The IIMs follow a 2 stage selection process – the written exam (CAT) and the GWPI (Group discussion / Written ability test / Personal Interview). At most of the IIMs a shortlist of candidates is prepared after the first stage taking into account the performance in the written exam, academic background, work experience etc.
Shortlisted applicants are required to appear for the second stage of the admission process wherein they would go through a personal interview, written ability test and/or a group discussion. Most IIMs have now shifted to Written Ability Test (WAT) from Group Discussion (GD) as a part of the selection process. The final list of selected candidates is prepared taking into account your performance in the written exam, the GWPI process, academic background, work experience etc.
Weightage - Various Components of Selection Process
The weightage of various components in the selection process varies across institutes and varies from year-to-year for most institutes. In general, we can say that most of the premier B-schools give high weightage to performance in CAT/GD/WAT/PI rounds and relatively lesser weightage to other factors like academic profile, work ex etc.
At this stage, many students are given to understand that getting a call from an IIM is extremely difficult and converting a call even more so. Through this section we will try to dispel a few myths surrounding the selection process of the IIMs. In the process, we will also share the details of shortlisting at various stages.
Some students have the misconception that even if they do exceptionally well in CAT, they may not get an IIM call as the IIMs give a lot of importance to academic background, work experience, extra-curricular activities etc. Lets take a look at the weightage to CAT in the preparation of Interview shortlist as followed by various IIMs.
|Weight of CAT Score||List of IIMs|
|100.00%||11 ( Rohtak,Trichy,Udaipur,Kashipur, Raipur, Ranchi, Shillong,Bodhgaya,Sambalpur,Jammu,sirmaur )|
|60 to 80%||2 (IIM Ahmedabad, Lucknow )|
|40 to 60%||5 ( IIM Bangalore, Calcutta, Kozhikode,Vizag,Amritsar)|
|Less than 40%||2 (IIM Indore,Nagpur )|
As can be observed from the above table,13 out of 20 IIMs awarded at least 60% weightage to CAT score while shortlisting candidates for WAT/GD/PI rounds.
The naysayers opine that if you are not a 90% throughout your academic career you do not stand a chance to get any of the IIMs. This is absolutely false.Let us look at the weightage to academic background in the preparation of final shortlists.
|Weightage||No. of IIMs|
|0%||4 (IIM Calcutta,Kozhikode, Shillong, Rohtak )|
|5% to 15%||12 (IIM Ahmedabad,Lucknow,Raipur, Ranchi Trichy, Udaipur,Jammu,SambalpurNagpur,Bodhgaya,Sirmaur,Kashipur )|
|16% to 40%||4 ( IIM Bangalore,Indore,visakhapatnam,Amritsar )
|More than 40%||0|
As can be seen, only 4 of the 20 IIMs give more than 15% weightage to academic profile. For all other IIMs, this parameter is far less important than it is made out to be.
As they say, there are things outside our control and there is no use worrying about them. And, there are things we can control and lets make the most of them. If we assume that Academic background, gender and work experience are not really within our control as far as writing CAT is concerned, and only our performance in CAT and the WAT/GD/PI process are what we can control ( lets call them 'controllables'), the distribution of these Controllables in the final selection stands as follows:
|Weightage||No. of IIMs|
|100.00%||1 (IIM Shillong)|
|80-99%||7( IIM Ahmedabad, Calcutta,Lucknow, Indore,Kozhikode,Rohtak,Amritsar)|
|60-79%||10( IIMBangalore,Raipur,Ranchi,Udaipur,Kashipur,Bodhgaya,Nagpur,Jammu,Sirmaur,Trichy )|
|Less than 60%||2 ( IIM Sambalpur,Visakhapatnam )|
What is amply clear from the above is that with a good performance in CAT and the GWPI process, we still have a good chance of getting into one of the IIMs not withstanding the academic/work ex background. Also, there are many non-IIM B-schools like MDI, FMS, XLRI, IIFT, NMIMS which give substantial weightage to the entrance process and still fetch us excellent salaries. So, before you say you can't, say I'll try and then give it your best!