It has been almost a year since I started with the preparation of a so called ‘tough exam’ – CAT. There are some things that come to you naturally even if you try to turn a blind eye to everything around you. One such thing is the thought of your past academic scores. The world starts talking about them till the point you really start asking to yourself - ‘How would I have known in my class X or XII that I’d be taking up CAT exam one day?’
Various IIMs start releasing their selection criteria and all you do is look for a way where your past sins don’t haunt you. You start feeling that ‘The world is cruel and works on an assumption that a person can’t improve during her stay on Earth. If I was bad or even average at academics, I can never be good at it in future.’ It is the time when even 90+ scorers start feeling the anxiety along with a self-doubt flowing into their veins.
So here I will try to simplify this problem in the most basic way to help you plan your CAT preparation rather than thinking about the academics (which unfortunately can’t be changed). When you search on any IIM’s website, the basic eligibility criteria is 50% marks (45% for SC, ST and PWD/DA categories). Well! If you’ve scored lesser than this, choose a better career, work hard to achieve it and believe me that MBA is not a guarantee to success or even the happiness.
For other candidates, who feel that they might be on a safe side, you need to stop and calm down. Let me first take you through selection criteria of some of the IIMs.
|Institute||X marks weightage||XII marks weightage||Graduation weightage|
Yes, you read that right! IIM I, K and C have 74%, 45% and 45% weightage respectively for initial shortlisting. That simply means you need to score 99.9+ percentile in CAT and still pray to the Almighty for getting a call. IIM B and L still give you a leverage to perform better in CAT and emerge as a winner.
That’s not the end of the story. Even if you somehow enter a B-school with high CAT score and average or poor academic scores, these ghosts will continue to haunt you during your summer internships. Your CV, as well as your confidence, will take a hit as you will be devoid of company shortlists. You again start cursing your past acads – ‘I should have studied rather than playing or wasting time on social media etc.’
In the nutshell, academic scores do matter before and during your journey at a B-school but you can always overcome the average/poor scores with a high CAT score. You can change your future. All you need to do is put all your focus and efforts in the present i.e. preparation of CAT rather than wasting time on calculating the probability of making to your dream B-school based on your past scores.