ARKS Srinivas on possible strategies for 50 – 75 Percentilers of CAT 2014

We had a chat for Aspirants who scored 50 – 75 percentiles in CAT 2014. They got some real good advise from our Expert ARKS Srinivas.

Read on to get some advise if you are still figuring out what to do with the percentile you got. We would be conducting more chats in the days ahead.


Animesh Kumar  Sir, I had quit my job for CAT prep and now cat scores being really bad, what should I do? in SNAP I got 89. Which college can I expect there and how is NM-Bang?

ARKS Srinivas SITM (SNAP), NM Bangalore (probably). I am giving you a set of colleges – please do some research and apply. BIMTECH, Christ, Amrita, BIMM, Amity IMDR, Kirloskar, Alliance, SCMS Cochin, ITM, SDM IMD, MIT Pune, Apeejay Institute, IFIM, Vanguard, Jagan, PSG,

Animesh Kumar  Sir, is SIOM or SIIB not possible at my score?

ARKS Srinivas SIOM is surely possible. SIIB, i am not very sure.

Animesh Kumar One more thing, does MBA in Operations have good prospects? I do not have much idea about it.

ARKS Srinivas  It does, but it depends on your interest.

Animesh Kumar Sir how is Narsee Monjee, Bangalore?? what are the opportunities it provides and how is its reputation?

ARKS Srinivas NM (Bangalore) has only PGDM for Execs. Please check this.

Animesh Kumar  Sir what is the cutoff for PGDM-BFS in TAPMI? considering that it’s a new program, can the cutoff for it be a tad low

ARKS Srinivas  It should be low.

Animesh Kumar  Sir how is MICA? will u count it in the same league as IMT, XIMB?

ARKS Srinivas  Animesh – MICA is very good and as good or better than IMT and XIMB.


Payal Sachdeva I have got 72%ile – accuracy being good but I could attempt only 45 questions. CAT being my first paper and I was nervous. Should I go for CAT 2015?

ARKS Srinivas  The decision to go for CAT 2015 depends on a) If CAT 2014 was a first/second attempt b) How good your preparation was for CAT2014 c) Do you have the patience and will to study (for CAT) for the next 10 months d) How good are your academics and what are the things that you can hope for in CAT 2015 e) With the percentile you have, what is the best B-School(s) you may get.

Payal Sachdeva This was my first attempt and I think I do have patience to study. plus I want IIM only. And this is my last year for under graduation.

ARKS Srinivas  I suggest that you write CAT again. Take up a job and prepare seriously!


Satish Singh This year was my second attempt to CAT and I scored 50 percentile which was really shocking for me. I have 3.5 years of work experience in Finance field. I am completely exhausted and confused now and don’t know what to do. Shall I continue my preparation for 3rd attempt? Due to CAT preparation for 2 years I did not learnt too much in job also.

ARKS Srinivas  With 3 years of experience, writing CAT next time may not be a good idea (you will have four years of work-ex by then). You may look at a ONE Year MBA through a GMAT. IBPS/SBI PO is not a bad option – however, remember that the growth is very slow. I would still suggest that you do an MBA (useful in the long run). Depending your current CTC, You may still look at some B Schools.

Satish Singh  You are correct that MBA will be helpful in long run. However I am not interested in IBPS and PO. I want to have a career in investment banking. Not very sure of one year MBA will provide me specialisation on Finance. I got 80 percentile in CMAT through which i applied in Christ Bangalore. how wise is my decision as the fees of Christ is bit low.

ARKS Srinivas  Getting into Investment Banking is possible only through the top 5 to 6 colleges – ABCL, FMS, XL, ISB and maybe IITB and SP Jain. All others will not get you there. Even then, for IB, you have to be the top 5% of the class. Please be aware of the same. Christ will not give you that option and the fees are actually pretty high.


utkarsh awasthi  I scored 78%ile. This is my first attempt. Should I again appear or should I go for IBPS as I am selected for interviews and most probably will clear this.

ARKS Srinivas If this is your first attempt, then I say that you apply to some colleges and then depending on where you get a final selection, you can decide in April. Prepare well for CAT 2015.


niraj tripathi  Sir I got 69.68 percentile in cat14. Please help where can I apply to. I am BBA final year student & I also 76.19 percentile in CMAT.

ARKS Srinivas If you are keen to pursue some MBA this year, then I suggest the following colleges at your percentile. : IMDR, Kirloskar, Alliance, SCMS Cochin, ITM, SDM IMD, MIT Pune, Apeejay Institute, IFIM, Vanguard, Jagan, PSG, Globsyn, EIILM, VIT Vellore, PIBM


akshay joseph  I got just 66 percentile this time. My speed was not up to the mark, accuracy being quite good. I’m preparing for MH-CET now (JBIMS), and then will start preparing for CAT-15. What should be my ideal strategy from March?

ARKS Srinivas Since you are looking at Mah CET, please improve your Speed. Take a lot of tests with the sole aim to increase your speed of attempts. You have to practice FAST decision making.


Riddhi Sharma  I secured 68 percentile in CAT. This was my first attempt. I have 2 years of work ex currently. Although I was getting 80+ in all the mock tests I enrolled but I landed up in 60s. I am giving MICAT and CET this year. If I don’t clear that should I prepare again next year or drop the plans?

ARKS Srinivas Unless there is an urgent need to do an MBA this year, I suggest that you look at writing next year again. Having said that, I would apply to a few colleges this year and secure a final selection and then look at taking a decision later.

Riddhi Sharma I have exp of 2 years in IT but my work was in shifts. Recently I got a job offer from a company that works on movie subtitles, will leaving IT and joining a complete new domain hamper my future perspectives? The new company I am talking about has quite a chilled atmosphere and there are no shifts and work pressure. Please can you suggest something on this?

ARKS Srinivas If you are keen on MBA, then shift to the new job.

Riddhi Sharma  MICA says that they don’t consider CAT as criteria for selection. But can such low score (68),be a negative factor for me?

ARKS Srinivas Go ahead and give MICAT. IF your verbal percentile is good, they will consider.

Riddhi Sharma But sir there have been repetitive posts from TI of MICA stating that CAT is not the criteria. I am very confused now. What should be done?

ARKS Srinivas That is not untrue – having said that, they do consider high Verbal scores. If your profile can make up for the bad percentile – then you may apply.

Riddhi Sharma  Profile: 10th-92 12th :86 BCA:79 exp:2 years IT ,played university zonals and states(basketball).Can this be of any use there?

ARKS Srinivas  Any creative, organisational stuff? Also, how good are you in your communication skills, reading? General Awareness?

Riddhi Sharma  Creative is only blogs and company CSR activities. I have been preparing for a month now. Creative writing, essay and media GK. So should I go ahead and fill the form?

ARKS Srinivas Please do.

Riddhi Sharma  Also sir, should I fill through XAT. I am expecting around 17-18 marks. VA : 8-9 DM-7-9 QA-3-4.Last date to fill MICA is 18th Jan and XAT scores will be declared later. So should I fill through XAT or should go ahead with CAT itself?

ARKS Srinivas  Suggest you to fill through XAT.

Riddhi Sharma  I heard of SRCC GBO program. Is it worth applying for a person with 2 years of work-ex?

ARKS Srinivas  I have no idea on the SRCC GBO program


Akash Patel  Sir I scored 79%tile. Where should I apply? GEM.

ARKS Srinivas The colleges which will give you a call are: UBS, Welingkar, IFMR, TAPMI, NIRMA, IIFM Bhopal BIMTECH, Christ, Amrita, BIMM, Amity. TAPMI and NIRMA have given at 80 percentile last year.

Akash Patel So sir should I apply to NIRMA and TAPMI?

ARKS Srinivas  Apply to NIRMA, skip TAPMI.

Akash Patel  And sir what about IRMA?

ARKS Srinivas  IRMA last date I guess is over. Their exam is on Jan 25th. Please do check IRMA’s last date.

Akash Patel  Sir I applied to IRMA. Is there any chance for me? If I perform good in ISC?

ARKS Srinivas  Yes.


Ajitesh Kumar I scored 95.36 overall but my VA section percentile is 73 only. Sir, do I stand a chance in any of the good colleges now. I am confused what to do now. Where to apply – any realistic chance anywhere?

ARKS Srinivas  Most colleges at your percentile may not take sectional cutoffs. So don’t worry. go ahead and apply to IMT, IMI, KJ Somaiyya, IIT Kanpur, KGP, Madras (Assuming you are BTech), BIM Trichy, XIMB.

Ajitesh Kumar  Sir can you suggest a few good colleges to apply at this percentile. My acads (X:95 XII:91 Do I stand a chance at SP JAIN and I have heard XIMB needs a high VA percentile. Is it so?

ARKS Srinivas  I have given you the names of the colleges you should apply to, above. XIMB will call you. You also have a good chance at SP Jain. But I guess the last date is done?.

Ajitesh Kumar  Sir one small query more while selecting a college should I consider the batch size. As if the batch is humongous then better to leave it as being a fresher it would certainly be a big risk?

ARKS Srinivas  Ideally yes. Unless it happens to be IIM!

Ajitesh Kumar  Definitely I have no second thoughts about any of the IIM but it bothers me while looking at other good b schools. Sir do I have a chance in the newest IIM’s(upcoming) for a call?

ARKS Srinivas  Very much possible for the new (unannounced yet) IIMs.


Ram Naresh Prasad  Working in TCS with decent salary score 52 this year. I lost my confidence. sometimes I see better to concentrate on job. I have lost my confidence.

ARKS Srinivas  This is not a problem. Lots of students go through this but come out trumps (if you persist). Please send me your details to give you proper advice.

Ram Naresh Prasad Is executive MBA is a good option?

ARKS Srinivas  Exec MBA is definitely good for a person with 3 years + work-ex.

Ram Naresh Prasad  Can you give a brief description about my profile. 10th – 81, 12th -76, 77, work exp-1.6 year in TCS.

ARKS Srinivas  You are too young to be worried about couple of failures!


Abhishek Nautiyal  Sir I want to ask whether ICFAI colleges are good or not?

ARKS Srinivas ICFAI – Hyderabad is supposedly decent with the top half of the class getting good jobs. The bottom half will have a problem.

Abhishek Nautiyal  Sir I got only 50% in CAT. I am so confused whether to go for a job and prepare again for cat or just take admission in an MBA college?

ARKS Srinivas  There is no direct answer. It depends on you and your state of preparedness. Please check my first few posts (in this chat) and depending on where you stand, you may decide.


Subham Chatterjee  Though I don’t fall under this category, I scored 97.1 percentile. Final year undergrad. On one hand I feel I should join a b school this year. On the other hand I feel like writing again to score 99+. Colleges I’m aiming this year include IIM RRRUTK, NITIE, IMT, SPJAIN, IIM B,D,M,KGP. Interested in a career in investment banking. What’s your take on this?

ARKS Srinivas  If you have a good job from campus and you don’t get a final selection from the SP Jain, NITIE, Some New IIMs, IITB/D – then write again.


Subham Chatterjee I saw on a comment of yours that for investment banking, you should be in IIM ABCL, SpJain, XL etc. How about the same in new IIMs? IMT G, NITIE?

ARKS Srinivas  Since there is very little chance of A and C. I would say your best chance for IB would be XL and SP Jain. Having said that, I would still consider the other institutes I have listed (if I have a final selection). My advice is simple, Get a final selection from these institutes and then take a decision closer to April/May! There are no real IB jobs in other institutes. Whatever the institutes may claim!


Abhinav Kumar  Sir my profile is X:86, XII: 73, BE: 7.1 CGPA. I have given CAT 2014 without any real preparation and scored 55(OA). I am placed at HCL and I can’t decide if I should take up the job and prepare simultaneously or drop a year? I’d really appreciate your valuable thoughts.

ARKS Srinivas Since you have a job – take that up and prepare for CAT 2015!


Saumyadip Moitra  Sir, I gave CAT without any prep or coaching. I scored 79.79 percentile. I am final year X-92 % XII-86% grad- 8.35 (so far). Can I get any decent colleges this time or should I give next year CAT with full prep.

ARKS Srinivas You should write CAT 2015 with full prep. You have a very decent profile.


Sunny Vincent Sir CAT 77.94 SNAP 62 percentile. Army background plus catholic. Applied for SIMS Pune, LIBA Chennai, SDMIMD Mysore. Which all should I apply. X: 90 XII 88.4 B-tech 88.4.

ARKS Srinivas  You should get some of the colleges you have applied. However, with your profile – you may want to think of writing CAT again.


abiram v  My academics are as follows : 10th – 90.2% ,12th- 89.6 % ,B.Tech (industrial biotechnology) -7.5, In CAT 14 I scored 77.7 percentile, I’ll complete my college in June 2015, I am planning to drop out and prepare for CAT 15, is it advisable? Also I was an NC-OBC candidate this year, but not very sure if I’ll get the same certificate next year, so as of now.

ARKS Srinivas  Why will you not get the NC OBC next year? With your profile, and the CAT percentile – suggest you seriously consider writing CAT again!

abiram v  I haven’t sat for my placements as I put a lot of hope on CAT 14 , so basically, I will remain a fresher with no job experience.

ARKS Srinivas  You will get a job, you still at Bhopal? you may look for a job in Bangalore or Chennai or Mumbai.


Salmanul Faricy  CAT 89.97, 10th 90.5 12th 88.8 Grad 71.4 and 42 months of work ex with Infosys. NC-OBC male . Please suggest the colleges I should apply sir.

ARKS Srinivas  Hope you have applied to FMS and NITIE. Please apply to the IITs also (all).

Salmanul Faricy  Yes sir I have applied to IITs and NITIE, What are the chances for IIT Delhi and Mumbai

ARKS Srinivas  You have chances.

Salmanul Faricy   Sir, what about private colleges?

ARKS Srinivas You can apply to MICA, XIMB, MFC, MBE, KJ Somaiya, IMI Delhi BIM Trichy, FORE, LBSIM, GIM, LIBA, IRMA.


Ashwin Venugopal My cat score is 82.23(QA 57,VA/LR 96),disappointed but and i am planning to join this year, I have a work ex of 2 yrs with a XAT score of 19 it might end up in the same percentiles as CAT, do you recommend that I write CMAT? targeting GIM, IMT is it worth it?

ARKS Srinivas  If you are targeting IMT, then write CMAT.

Ashwin Venugopal  If GIM will these scores be enough?

ARKS Srinivas  Yes.


Piyush Khandelwal  CAT 14 – 92.26 (QA – 94.08, VA – 77.13) CBSE 10th – 88.6, 12th – 88.8, Grad – 80.53, Work ex – 30 months. Please suggest which colleges can be CONVERTED with this profile considering decent performance in PI rounds. Applied IMT, IMI, TAPMI, FORE, GIM, LBISM. Also please rate these in order to be considered.

ARKS Srinivas  You can convert all and the order is exactly as you have given

Piyush Khandelwal  Sir should I consider any other colleges as well to be on the safer side.

ARKS Srinivas  GLIM, XIMB, KJ Somaiya should be considered.


Kunal Arora  CAT 14 OA- 93.82 VA-95.62 QA- 86.xx GEM 10th – 88.33 % 12th – 75.40 % BTech 64.40 %. I have applied to XIMB IMT IMI IIT Roorkee , MDI, NITIE. Can I expect a call from these institutes? My snap percentile is 97.75. is SIBM Pune possible at this percentile?

ARKS Srinivas  NITIE and MDI no. Others yes

Kunal Arora  sir what about MDI IM and HR? and NITIE PGDSIEM?

ARKS Srinivas  MDI IM sure, HR border case.


Adithya Raman  Hi I scored 85.62 percentile overall. GEM category 10th -84.14 12th- 93.41 BE- 8.1/10 GPA. Work ex- 13 months (till date)..Will I get any IIT/NIT? I don’t know if I would get even new IIMs?

ARKS Srinivas  Almost no chance in IIMs and IITs. NITs are not that great.

Adithya Raman What colleges can I apply to? Should I prepare for next year?

ARKS Srinivas  BIM Trichy, FORE, LBSIM, GIM, LIBA, IRMA UBS, Welingkar, IFMR, TAPMI, NIRMA, IIFM Bhopal. but looking at your profile – you may give another shot at CAT.

Adithya Raman  I heard that NIT-T placements are good for MBA. Is it true?

ARKS Srinivas  Can’t corroborate that. Infact, they hardly put any profiles (of jobs) on the website. And whatever I know, while they do get decent companies (since it is NIT), profiles are not always good. Top 10% of them do get good jobs, but most of them aren’t.

Adithya Raman  Also this was my third attempt at CAT.

ARKS Srinivas  I have given some colleges – you may do a bit of research on these and decide three to four. You should get calls from all these. BIM Trichy is better than NIT Trichy.


Amit Kumar  CAT14-75 overall 36 months of work EX, I’m determined to write cat 15 for my dream (A,B,C). what will be your suggestion as next year, my work ex will shoot up to 48 months.

ARKS Srinivas  You should also write GMAT next year along with CAT.


Karan Kakkar  Sir 95% in snap filled SIBM Pune, SIBM Bangalore and SCHMRD. Completed grad in Ba eco honors, no work ex. Can I get a call and should I go for job to increase my chances?

ARKS Srinivas  Chances are in SIBM B and SCMHRD. If you get through, take it, Else, go for a job (unless ofcourse you have decent percentiles in XAT or CAT)

Karan Kakkar  No sir snap is my best bet this year. SIBM Bangalore is good enough. Got mixed reviews for a fresher?

ARKS Srinivas It is decent – and it is not as good as SIBM Pune. I believe that that is accepted?

Karan Kakkar Okay sir, the interview is around next month. Got nothing 2 do. Any certification on finance side?

ARKS Srinivas  NSE’s certificate programs are good.

Karan Kakkar  Sir I wanted 2 know about the window dressing by b schools in terms of packages mentioned in placement reports. Do they include variable and incentives as well to come up with final packages in order to increase the avg and median package. What can b the credible sources to get a proper estimate of what the actual one might be?

ARKS Srinivas Credible sources are people like us in coaching. We get info from our students!


prince raj Hello sir. I got 93.3 %ile in CAT. Would I be able to finally convert IMT G at this %ile (I think for conversion it is very less %ile). I also filled- TAPMI, GIM, FORE, LBS, IFMR. Should I fill any other form. Should I fill Delhi school of management?

ARKS Srinivas  You can convert if your Interview is good!

prince raj  But sir I heard that – for IMT G we need atleast 95 %ile(bad academics).

ARKS Srinivas At 60%ile, even with an SC certificate, you may not get good colleges. I suggest you write CAT 2015.

prince raj  At 93.3 %ile which forms should I fill? I already filled GIM, TAPMI, IMT, FORE, LBS, IFMR.

ARKS Srinivas  KJ Somaiya and BIM Trichy too.

prince raj Should I fill Delhi school of management?

ARKS Srinivas  Go ahead and apply.


deepak som  Sir I scored 71%le in CMAT. Can I get something?

ARKS Srinivas  Not sure of the good colleges at that CMAT percentile. Old IIMs doubtful (less chances).

deepak som How is Christ university sir?

ARKS Srinivas  The university is good. For the top 25% of students, the placements are also good. But cannot say the same for the entire batch.


Vineet Goyal  Overall 84.63 – VA 90 Quant 76.

ARKS Srinivas  Please apply to these : BIM Trichy, FORE, LBSIM, GIM, LIBA, IRMA


Debabrata Chowdhury Sir, I scored 78.71 percentile x-79.6 xii-73.8 btech-72.4 work ex -4 yrs category – SC any chances to get shortlisted in old IIM’s

ARKS Srinivas New IIMs, there is a chance.

Debabrata Chowdhury  NITIE and FMS?

ARKS Srinivas  Unlikely.


vishal garg  Hi Sir, I have worked of 2 years, from IIT r (10th-96,12th-91) couldn’t prepare this year , got 90 percentile, please suggest!

ARKS Srinivas  Write CAT 2015!


Sriram K  Sir, I have given my XAT this year and I am getting around 30 marks.(11.75,9.25,9) in each section (va,dm,qa). What percentile can I expect and what colleges will come under the radar?

ARKS Srinivas  You will get more than 95%ile and probably a call from XLRI BM and HR both.


ARKS Srinivas please send your queries here.

Team InsideIIM  Read everything written by ARKS Srinivas here. Do also visit which ARKS Sir runs.

Team InsideIIM  You can also use InsideIIM Counselling here. Our LIVE Chat is generally on from 10 am to 8 pm everyday here.


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