If you have decided to pursue the post-graduate program in management, your next stage will be to gear up for the selection process for admission to a B-school of your choice. Before starting off with the preparations, you must understand the selection or admission process and the right approach needed to taste success in these competitive entrance examinations.
The selection process to get admission to a top-notch business school involves the test of your attitude, aptitude, time management skills,and knowledge—academic as well as general.Generally, all the b-schools follow the three-step process starting with written test, followed by a group discussion, and concluding with a personal interview to assess the attributes such as analytical and communication skills.
This post will help you achieve a detailed understanding of the different stages involved in the selection process,to help you secure admission to the desired two-year management program.A written test, the first step in the selection process, marks the first stage of elimination and is a test of your abilities to complete tasks under pressure and timelines.This is the most crucial stage in making it to a high-ranked business school as the elimination ratio is quite high at this stage. The written test comprises of different sections aimed at testing your aptitude and responsiveness.It features:
- questions from mathematics that you have studied till tenth standard to test your accuracy within time constraints,
- a section on English language that checks your skills of comprehending a passage, extracting the relevant information from it,and your command over English vocabulary,
- a section on reasoning which includes analytical and logical reasoning to gauge your analytical and problem solving competencies,
- questions that need to be answered using the data provided to test your data interpretation skills, and
- a section on general knowledge to test your awareness about the latest happenings of the world.
To be successful in the test, you need to have the right mix of speed and accuracy as well as good time management skills to be able to attempt all sections of the question paper within the stipulated time frame. During the course of your preparation, you can take mock tests offered by several coaching classes and websites to measure your performance periodically. It will help you identify upon your weak areas and analyze your performance in various sections thereby equipping you with a knack of solving questions within the specified period.
Once you are through with the written test, the next step,which also forms the core of the selection process,is the group discussion stage. During the group discussion, you will be asked to participate in a discussion with other aspirants. The topic of discussion could be from a wide range of subjects such as current affairs, business news, politics, social issues or any popular topic. This is a formal discussion intended to bring your inherent attributes such as leadership quality and convincing skills to the fore,as well as test your knowledge, with respect to the latest developments in different spheres at national and international levels.Your performance in the group discussion reflectsthe following key attributes among others:
- confidence level
- leadership skills
- intelligence quotient (IQ)
- emotional quotient (EQ)
- ability to see different perspectives
One of the best ways to prepare for the group discussion stage is to form a group and have mock discussions on a diverse range of topics from academics as well as current happenings in the political, economic, scientific and social spheres.Mock group discussions will help you perceive a given scenario from different perspectives, lending you an in-depth understanding of the subject, thus widening your perceptions about the number of ways the issues can be seen and addressed.
After the group discussion, the final stage in the selection process is facing the personal interview. In the personal interview, the focus may be largely on questions related to your goals and aspirations in life and how the MBA program will help you accomplish your dreams, apart from the generic questions.The interviewers may even put up questions from topics not relevant to your course of study such as your leisurely pursuits, which implies that they are assessing your personality and not just your knowledge and skills.
Facing an interview without proper preparation can spoil all your effortssince this could be the most critical stage towards fulfilment of your career aspirations. Hence, this involves conscious preparation from your end to be successful at this stage, to help you stand out among other contenders.Participating in mock interviews with the peer group will help you a lot in developing self-confidence, and regular practice will give you an understanding on how to articulate your answers and responses in a way that you do not sound too mundane and monotonous.
Your composure and articulation during the personal interview round will speak for your preparation and forethought, leaving a positive impression on the interviewers. Sometimes, the first impression that you leave on the interviewers makes all the difference and is enough to clear the final hurdle on your endeavour to get into a B-school of your choice. Another aspect that you need to focus upon is your personality and body language, which speaks volumes about your attitude in general. Having a confident body language with a pleasant countenance makes a good combination to create a lasting impression.
Some business schools also include micro presentations as a part of the selection process to test the presentation skills of the aspirants. Presentations are meant to analyze the knowledge, preparation, confidence, public speaking skills, and convincing ability of the aspirants before their selection for the MBA program.
So, you can now understand that the objective of various stages entailed in the selection process is to test your cognitive abilities as well as the different aspects of your personality. This means that making it to a good business school will require rigorous preparation on your part with equal emphasis on all the aspects evaluated in the selection process. Hard work and preparation always pay, so the only trick is to go fully prepared.