CAT is the best opportunity for any MBA aspirant can have. Why? Is it because CAT is a government centralized test, taken by more number of aspirants than any other MBA entrance tests? The answer to this would be no. This article is peculiarly for the aspirants who are steering away from CAT this year either because of lack of time to prepare or because of seemingly high difficulty level and are relying on other entrance exams that appear easy, i.e. NMAT, SNAP, MAT, CMAT and state-conducted entrances.
The significance of CAT is that the number of crème de la crème b-schools accepting CAT score is staggeringly higher than those accepting scores of OMETs. An MBA is the last formal educational course for most of the aspirants in the country, which can give their careers an unprecedented surge. Hence, it is only prudent to choose to do it from the topmost institutes of the country. And in this article, it is assumed that one is only aspiring the crème de la crème b-schools.
Let's compare some popular entrance exams to put things into perspective :
XAT, IIFT, TISSNET, MICAT :
XAT and IIFT exams (conducted by XLRI and IIFT respectively) are generally considered a couple of notches tougher than CAT. The rewards of getting into these b-schools are immensely exquisite. And hence, it is totally worth to toil to crack those entrances. But let's consider this :
Selection odds for XLRI = batch size/test takers = 364/100,000 = 0.00364. Approximately, 274
people compete for 1 seat in XLRI.
Selection odds for IIFT = batch size/test takers = 360/50,000 = 0.0072. Approximately, 138
people compete for 1 seat in IIFT.
MICAT and TISSNET are relatively easier than CAT. And the selection is not as difficult as compared to the b-schools mentioned above. But MICA and TISS offer niche courses, which are recommended only to the aspirants who are perfectly lucid about their specialization ambitions. As most of the aspirants are not completely sure about their specialization, these exams are not recommended for them.
SNAP and NMAT :
SNAP and NMAT exams are considered relatively easier than CAT, although the aspirants weak in GK are at a dire disadvantage in SNAP. Among all the colleges accepting SNAP scores, only SIBM & SCMHRD (Pune Campuses) are actually considered among the most coveted b-schools, and so is NMIMS Mumbai, among colleges accepting NMAT score.
Selection odds for NMIMS Mumbai = batch size/test takers = 697/90,000 = 0.00774. Approximately, 129 people compete for 1 seat in NMIMS Mumbai.
Selection odds for SIBM/SCMHRD = batch size/test takers = 407/60,000 = 0.00678. Approximately, 147
people compete for 1 seat in SIBM/SCMHRD, Pune.
State conducted entrances :
Consider the example of MAH-CET (Maharashtra state). Among b-schools accepting a score of this test (and even including MMS programs at SIMSREE, KJ Somaiya and Welingkar), only JBIMS Mumbai is considered at par with old IIMs and among the most respected b-schools of India.
Selection odds for JBIMS Mumbai = batch size/test takers = 120/99,000 = 0.0012. Approximately, 833 people compete for 1 seat in JBIMS Mumbai.
Other similar tests including MAT and CMAT yield even scarce opportunities.
And now let's see the stats of our ultimate champion (CAT) :
Total no. of seats in the most coveted b-schools in India i.e. IIMs (baby IIMs excluded), 4 IITs, IMT, MDI, IMI, NITIE, FMS, etc is 6000 approximately.
Selection odds through CAT = seats/test takers = 6000/200,000 = 0.03. Approximately, only
people compete for 1 seat in above mentioned bschools.
The difference in terms of odds is drastically stark. It simply means that one has more chances to get into an exemplary bschool through CAT as compared to any other entrance test.
If the sheer surplus of opportunities isn't enough to underline the need to focus primarily on CAT while ignoring all the other PLAN-B exams, then consider this :
Fees of XLRI : ₹2,000,000
Fees of IIFT Delhi : ₹1,570,000
Fees of IIFT Calcutta : ₹1,625,000
Fees of NMIMS : ₹1,800,000
Fees of SIBM : ₹1,825,000
Fees of SCMHRD : ₹1,545,000
Even though fees aren't a big issue if you're getting into these b-schools, it isn't trifling as well. Return on Investment parameter of the majority of the most coveted b-schools in India that accept CAT score is far better than above-mentioned b-schools. Also, the brand value of IIMs and IITs is something to cherish throughout one's life.
There's exactly one month left for CAT-18. The more you dread CAT and the more you seek scope in OMETs, the more you move towards losing the plethora of splendid opportunities. It can be done, it has been done. Make a plan, and prepare furiously for the rest of the days and take away the lifelong pride. All the best!!!
This 30 days preparation strategy might help.
PS : The above article is based on secondary research and approximations have been used wherever needed.