Now that you have already appeared for the most popular Management Entrance Examination of India, Common Admission Test better known by the acronym CAT, you must be wondering about what should you be doing next. As you wait for the results which are due in the first week of January 2019, you can catch up on the much-deserved rest and family time after the rigorous preparation done for the CAT. CAT is a highly sought-after test which opens the door of a promising career in the field of management for many students every year. The CAT is conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) for admission to the 20 IIMs spread across the country and the scores are acceptable at more than 100 top business schools in India, including SP Jain Institute of Management Research (SPJIMR), Management Development Institute (MDI), Institute of Management Technology (IMT) and ICFAI Business School (IBS). The CAT is spread over three hours and has 100 questions, consisting of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) and non-MCQ. Around 2.5 lac aspirants from around the country appear for CAT every year with the hope of kickstarting their management education.
If you too have just faced the difficult task after months of preparation, here is a perfect recipe for you to not only unwind, but also before that help you make the most of your hard work. The most natural response that most aspirants would have, will be to put their holiday gear and take the much-deserved down time to rest themselves. It does sound like a great idea, however you must also consider the possibility of you not being as successful in the CAT as you feel. To ensure that you are not putting all your eggs in one basket, it is recommended that you use the preparation already done for CAT in more management entrance exams and tests. A good starting point would be a few upcoming tests which have similar formats and which match CAT in repute, difficulty and selection of business schools. Here are a few tests that you can consider focusing upon:
GMAT is a management admission test which is internationally recognized and conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). It is accepted at the most top management institutes of India and in more than 80 countries of the world. The GMAT is a computer adaptive test which needs to be completed in 3 hours 30 minutes, with four different sections with a total of 80 questions. The sections covered in this test are Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing.
As far as the eligibility is concerned, the GMAT does not have a lot of restrictive criteria. All that it requires is that the aspirant:
- Holds a valid passport on the date of the exam.
- Must satisfy the eligibility criteria of the respective university or institution for which the aspirant decides to apply.
The examination does not have a set examination date and can be applied for anytime that the student feels ready to take the test. The test center and date can be chosen at the end of the application process. The unofficial score for the test can be obtained at the end of the test while the official score will be made available after almost 20 days of the exam. The test scores are then valid for 5 years. If you would like to use the preparation done for the CAT exam to good use, a GMAT test can be a great option since it is accepted in top B schools in India such as ISB, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, XLRI Jamshedpur, FMS Delhi, MDI Gurgaon, and ICFAI Business School.
After CAT, IBSAT is the upcoming big management exam opportunity coming your way. IBSAT is conducted by the ICFAI Foundation, conducted once a year and coming up in December, 2018. This is a great platform for the management education aspirants, since the scores of this test can be considered not only for all the IBS Campuses, but also for management institutes such as Adarsh Institute of Management and Information Technology (AIMIT) Bangalore, GIBS Business School Bangalore, FMS- Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies Faridabad, JK Business School Gurgaon, VYASA Business School Bangalore.
The IBSAT is a computer based test and has 140 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) divided into four sections which need to be cleared in 2 hours. There is no negative marking unlike CAT and this can be a big helpful reason for students to maximize their scores.
NMAT by GMAC
NMAT is another popular admission test for entrance in top management institutes of India, conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The scores of this test are accepted in NMIMS University as well as 25 other B schools in India including ICFAI Business School, Alliance School of Business, VIT Business School, SRM University, Amity Business School and many more. The NMAT has 120 questions of the Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) format and spread over three sections – Language Skills, Quantitative Skills and Logical Reasoning Skills.
The test dates for 2018 has passed however it is a great option to consider for future if it suits the ambitions of the aspirant. The benefit that the students get with NMAT, which they do not get with any other management exam is that, within the admission cycle they can take the test up to three times and their best score will be considered for the admission. This helps in building confidence and is beneficial for students who may get nervous and may not be able to perform their best in a single attempt.
Apart from all these, the CAT aspirants can also spend their time in preparing for the next steps of the admission procedure, such as personal interviews and group discussions. Also the aspirants can use this time to research more about the management college of their dreams and read about the top business schools of India. The CAT and other management tests can serve as a great beginning of their careers.