“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.” – Charles Dickens
These beautiful lines by Charles Dickens are perfect and reflect the time of the year where management aspirants stand at two opposite ends of the spectrum, as mentioned in the lines by the most celebrated novelist and English writer of the Victorian era. Congratulations to all those who are at the bright end of the spectrum and working hard day and night to do well in the Personality Assessment process!
However, those who are at the dark end of the spectrum are wondering - What went wrong and what is the way forward? Some of you have no hope from this admissions season and are perhaps contemplating attempting CAT and other management exams next year. Many of you are planning to compromise and join a B-school whose admission process is nothing more than a formality.
The fact is that, out of approximately 4000 approved management institutes in India, not more than 100 are worth joining as only these top 100 provide you with a decent education which is valued in the industry and help you to get a worthy job. The MBA degree offered by other remaining 98% institutes is not valued more than that of a paper and even the money invested will go in vain.
For all such candidates, let me suggest you some other options where you can put the good use of all learnings which you gained while preparing for CAT:
Combined Graduate Level Exam (CGL)
Staff Selection Commission is India’s largest recruiter for the central government, and its most important exam is the Combined Graduate Level Exam (CGL). All the selected candidates get the officer post in the services of central government and get the salary (Rs. 55,000-60,000 per month) and benefits (free housing, medical support for life for your family, post-retirement support and more) much better than the jobs offered by lower end MBA institutes.
The SSC-CGL conducts in four Tiers:
- Tier I: SSC-CGL Tier I is mandatory for all posts and the exam has a total of 100 questions from General Intelligence & Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, General English and General Awareness and is of 60 minutes duration
- Tier II: In CGL Tier II, two exams are conducted on the same day. Exam 1 is on Quantitative Aptitude having 100 questions; Exam 2 is on General English having 200 questions. Also, for the post of Junior Statistical Officer (JSO) and Assistant Audit Officer (AAO), another exam on Statistics and General Studies (Finance and Economics) are conducted respectively.
- Tier III: SSC-CGL Tier III exam is descriptive where the candidate has to write an essay/precis/ letter etc. either in English or Hindi within 60 minutes.
- Tier IV: The tier IV of SSC-CGL is of qualifying nature which is majorly to test the skills of a candidate, i.e. Data Entry Speed and Computer Proficiency.
RBI Grade B
Reserve Bank of India’s Grade B examination is the gateway to the key managerial positions in RBI. This exam is strongly recommended for those management aspirants who are interested in finance and banking.
The RBI grade B officer has the basic pay scale which amounts to Rs. 60,000-70,000 per month along with many other benefits such as Medical allowance, HRA, DA, Conveyance allowance, Bank Loan facility and much more.
Selection Procedure of RBI Grade B Exam (General) comprises of following steps -
- Preliminary Exam: It comprises of 4 sections, i.e. General Awareness, English Language, Quantitative Ability and Reasoning Ability, with a total of 200 questions in 2 hrs.
- Mains Exam: This has two objectives tests on Economic & Social Issues and Finance & Management and one descriptive test on English (Writing Skills)
- Interview: Candidates on the basis of the above exams are shortlisted for the interview round and can opt the same to be either in English or Hindi.
Probationary Officer Recruitment Tests
SBI PO and IBPS PO are the main examinations for the post of Probationary Officer and are the golden opportunities for all the graduates who are interested in making their career in banking sector.
The selection procedure of both SBI PO and IBPS PO involves three phases:
- Preliminary Exam: This exam has 100 questions from English, Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude which need to be solved in an hour.
- Mains Exam: This is of approximately 3 hours of an examination having questions from General Awareness, English Language, Reasoning Ability & Computer Aptitude and Data Analysis and Interpretation.
- Group Exercise and Interview: Mandatory for the final selection of shortlisted candidates.
Intelligence Bureau (IB)
The Ministry of Home Affairs conducts exam for the post of Assistant Central Intelligence Officer (ACIO) Grade II & Executives in Intelligence Bureau.
The Intelligence Bureau ACIO Selection Process is divided mainly into three phases:
- Tier 1 Exam: This is a written exam comprises of 25 questions from each section, i.e. General Awareness, English Language, Quantitative Ability and Reasoning and the allocated time is 60 mins.
- Tier 2 Exam: This is descriptive, where candidates are asked to write an essay and do English Comprehension or Precis Writing.
- Interview: Based on the performance in the above-mentioned exams, candidates are called for the final selection process, i.e. Interview
For an MBA aspirant, the preparation of these exams will not be a herculean task as the major portion of the syllabus of these exams is very much similar to that of management entrance exams, and the level of difficulty is less than that of CAT & other MBA entrance exams, only he/she has to practice a few mocks of the respective exams and study topics like General Awareness and Economics & Social Issues quite diligently.
“Always remember that there are many ways of going forward in life but only one way of standing still” – Franklin D. Roosevelt.