The detailed shortlisting and selection criteria for IIM Ahmedabad for the Class of 2017 is available here.
The big news is that IIM Ahmedabad will start giving a little more weight to the CAT score. The main changes and salient points are given below:
What's changed from last year:
- Weightages changed for interview process and CAT score: The final selection is based on your Personal Interview Score (50% weight), Academic Writing Task Score (10% weight) and your Normalized CAT Total Score (40% weight). In comparison, last year the Personal Interview (PI) Score and Academic Writing Task (AWT) Score were given a total weight of 70% (reduced to 60% this year), and the remainder (30%) was derived from the CAT score and Academic Record score. And, the split up between PI and Writing is disclosed now, it is clear that the interview is the all-important part of your evaluation.
- Past Academic performance will not have a direct bearing on the final selection criteria: Last year, in the final selection, the 30% that came from outside PI and AWT was allocated as 70% to CAT score (normalized) and 30% to your academic record (a score based on your performances in X, XII and undergraduate study). This year, the 40% that comes outside the PI and AWT is allocated entirely to the normalized CAT score. In other words, as per our conversation with the admissions office of IIM Ahmedabad, the AR score will not figure in the final merit list used to decide who gets admission.
- Past Academic performance will still decide who gets a shortlist for the PI and AWT stage. In a sense, no great changes in this process. AR scores will still be used to decide who gets shortlisted for the PI and AWT. The logic remains same as last year - it is an additive formula with increasing weights for Standard X, Standard XII and bachelor's degree. The formula remains the same -
(0.5) * (score for Standard X) + (1.5) * (score for standard XII) + (2.5) * (score for bachelor's degree). You can see the sample scores in the picture below:
For e.g someone who gets a score of 92% in Std. X, 94% in Std XII and 79% in bachelors will have an AR score of (0.5) *10 + (1.5)*10 + (2.5) *7 = 37.5. The maximum possible AR score is 45. The perceived injustice of distinguishing so cruelly between 79.9% (only 7 marks) and 80.1% (full 10 marks) in graduation will continue to be observed, but we at InsideIIM believe that this is unavoidable - the line must be drawn somewhere.
In other words, academic performance during undergraduation continues to bear an important influence on your chances of getting an interview call. The break-up between CAT score and AR score to be used to compute the list of call-getters is not revealed. Last year's formula was 70% weight for normalized CAT score and 30% weight for AR score. This year, the admissions document has been tight-lipped about this matter. Unlike last year, we do not know what combination of CAT score and AR score will be used to arrive at the list of call-getters.
- Minimum percentile criteria remains same for General category, tightened for other categories:
The minimum percentile for general category is 85, 85 and 90 overall, same as last year. But for OBCs it has been increased from 75, 75 and 80 overall to 80, 80 and 85 overall. For the other categories, it has increased from 55, 55 and 75 and in the case of ST - 50,50 and 70 to 75, 75, and 80 across the board. Also, for the first time, it is mentioned that a positive raw score in each section is a pre-requisite for getting a shortlist..
What hasn't changed
- Diversity of academic disciplines has been given the same importance. If you are in the top 50 students or top 1% as per your CAT score in your academic discipline among those identified by IIM Ahmedabad, you will immediately get a call provided you have 90%ile overall and 85% in each section. Engineers may continue to feel a bit aggrieved, but they have cause for optimism...read on to know more...
- No favours for girls. No extra marks for gender.
- No advantage for having work experience when being shortlisted
- No solution for the normalization of marks across boards (Std X, Std XII and bachelors). High-scoring boards will continue to dominate.
Last year's criteria made it nigh-on impossible for people with less than stellar academic records to get that interview and final admit to IIM Ahmedabad. This year, the difficulty of getting an interview call remains high like before. However, once you get that interview, it is much easier to convert it into a final admit as compared to last year, because your past sins are no longer punished at the final stage.
Advice for CAT aspirants with poor past academic performance: Focus on the CAT completely, and try to ace it. You just need to do what is required to get that interview. Once you get there, you have a pretty decent chance of getting a final admit, unlike last year. Go for it!!
Test Case 1 : Arts Graduate gets 99%ile
Let us assume this Arts graduate gets 99%ile with 85%ile+ in both sections.
His 10th,12th,15th scores are : 85%,82% and 77%.
Just like last year, provided this person is among the top 1% or among the top 50 candidates in terms of CAT percentiles in his academic discipline, he will immediately get a call even though his graduation percentage is low. He will get a call even if he has 95%ile but is among the top 50 candidates in his discipline. However, unlike last year where his 77% would have had a negative influence on his final outcome, this year, he would stand as good a chance as anyone. He just has to do well in the interview.
Test Case 2 : Engineer gets 99.6%ile
Let us assume this person gets 99.6%ile with 85%ile+ in both sections.
His 10th,12th,15th scores are also 85%,82% and 77%.
Now it is unlikely that an engineer with 99.6%ile will be among the top 50 candidates in his discipline. Hence, getting a call through Stage 1b as applied to the Arts graduate above is out of question for this person. Based on history of the CAT, the top 50 candidates in the Engineering discipline will close above 99.9%ile
Hence, the Application Rating (AR score) will apply to this person.
Let us start with the Application Rating.
The engineer's AR score will be (0.5*7)+ (1.5*7) +(2.5*7) = 3 + 10.5 + 17.5 = 31 out of a total of 45.
At this stage, we do not know what combination of AR score and CAT normalized score will be used to shortlist for the PI. Last year, the proportion was 70% CAT normalized Score, and 30% AR score.
We keep getting umpteen queries from engineers on our website saying that they have a less than exemplary academic past, wanting to know their chances of getting into the older IIMs. Well, the answer from IIM A is loud and clear. As an engineer, getting that elusive shortlist will most probably remain as difficult as last year, but the chances of getting a final admit are much improved. All the more reason to keep preparing religiously for the CAT.
We invite our readers to comment with their views on the selection criteria. Do you like it, or do you prefer the status quo?
For last year’s selection criteria at IIM A, read here
Read everything about IIM A here
Selection Criteria for CAT 2013
Selection Criteria for CAT 2012