With a good preparation for CAT many of us would be comfortable with the traditional sections of Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Verbal Ability. However, many of the exams also include General Awareness as a separate section – an area that most of us will have ignored in the course of our preparation. So, it would be worthwhile to look at the patterns of various MBA Entrance tests which use GA as a part of the testing process and identify a preparation plan for the area.
If we observe the area-wise distribution of questions in various tests for the across years, we observe that there are wide variations to the weightage of General Awareness in the tests. And an understanding of the nature of questions asked in various exams will naturally guide us towards a preparation plan for each of these tests.
- TISSNET which is an entrance test for admission to the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, has allocated 40 marks to GA out of the 100 marks in the written test. The questions are usually related to General Awareness were from areas that a candidate desirous of doing a Masters in Social Sciences would be expected to know. The questions in past were not very difficult and only required a general interest in the area. The questions could be broadly classified into History of various social events, Definition/Meaning of terms related to social issues, various measures for handling the social issues, and Recent events involving a social issue.
- CMAT has a seperate section on GA with 25% weightage in the overall test – the questions relate to business and economy, static GK and pretty much everything under the sky. The section tries to cover as many areas as possible with questions on awards and achievements, famous personalities and places, historic events, governance and polity, major domestic and international events, sports, movies and cinema, books and authors etc.
- IIFT Entrance test last year had 28 questions on GA. The test had sectional cutoffs with a minimum 0.82 marks being the requirement in the GA section. The questions are primarily focussed on business and economy with a few odd-questions being from areas outside these. Foreign trade is an important aspect in the GA area for IIFT.
- SNAP allocated 30 out of 150 questions to current affairs. The questions will pertain to current affairs which occurred in the last 2 years.
- MICAT consists of 6 sections. GA is one of the sections.The questions are primarily focused on communications, branding, advertising etc.
- XAT consists of 4 sections (i) Verbal and Logical Ability (ii) Decision Making (iii) Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation (iv) General Knowledge. However, the performance in GK section is not used for shortlisting candidates for the GDPI stage. It may be used during the Interview/final shortlisting of candidates.
- MAT has a seperate section on General Awareness called the "Indian and Global Business Environment". However, the scoring in MAT is on a scale of 800 – GA does not form a part of the scoring. The performance in GA is indicated seperately on the scorecard. Most B-schools do not use the performance in the GA area for shortlisting candidates for the GDPI stage.
- CAT, NMAT and IBSAT do not ask questions on GA as a part of the written exam. The questions may however form a part fo the second stage of the selection process (Group Discussion, Personal Interview and Written Ability Test) for the B-schools using the respective scorecard as a basis for selecting candidates.