The road to the IIMs and many other reputed B-schools in India starts off with the all India CAT examination. This year, over 2.14 lakh candidates registered for the exam, a growth from the 2.06 lakh forms sold last year.
The dates for CAT 2012 are scheduled between the 11th of October and the 6th of November. The exam consists of 2 sections, the quantitative ability and data interpretation section and the verbal ability and logical reasoning. Each section includes 30 multiple choice questions. Many students opt for coaching classes for the exam, with TIME, IMS and Career Launcher being popular options. “Taking classes helps to organise and structure the preparation. Instead of tackling it in a haphazard manner, they help students lay down a plan of action. It also develops a competitive spirit in you when you’re studying in a class with around 40 other MBA aspirants!”, said Randeep Mahajan, a third year BCom (Hons) student in DU.
The weeks leading up to the exam saw a flurry of tips, dos and don’ts on various websites and Facebook pages to help maximise CAT scores. Though there were not too many students appearing for the exam on the first day, those who did, gave mixed reactions. While some reported it to be an easy, typical first day paper, others complained about the difficulty of the quantitative section. The results of the exam will be announced in January, next year.
Though it remains a popular course, the craze to acquire an MBA degree has lessened considerably in the past few years. Students are no longer blindly sitting for management entrance exams simply for the sake of it. As Amogh Dhar Sharma, a third year Economics student at Hindu College puts it, “MBAs are straight-jacketed to meet the needs of the corporate sector. I’m not sure if I want to pursue such a specific degree. I would rather get some work experience and then consider it”.