The Next Step After CAT 2015

CAT 2015, one of the most important exams taken by 2 lakh plus aspirants this year is finally over. What is the next step now?

You need to have a strategy till the results are declared in January so that you do not waste time and remain indecisive till the last moment. This is because you may or may not be sure of cracking the CAT and you may either want to target other b-schools/exams or start your career. Whatever you choose, make sure you take an informed decision and go with the right choice.

1- Prepare for GD/PI/WAT

The results are not yet out. But it should not stop you from preparing for the Group Discussion/ Personal Interview/Written Ability Test. Preparing for this is a continuous ongoing process and needs time. To prepare for this, focus on boosting up your confidence and communication skills. You can join classes, workshops, contact people who have previous experience etc. Also, find out what is the exact GD/PI/WAT process for each b-school as it can differ from b-school to b-school.

2- Target other b-schools/exams

You can target various other b-schools other than the IIM’s out of which there are a few which are almost as good as the IIM’s themselves, if not better. There is a host of exams which you can give to get into these colleges like XAT, MH-CET, CMAT, NMAT, MICAT, MAT etc.

a- XAT: XAT 2016 will be conducted on Sunday 3rd January 2016. XLRI conducts XAT on behalf of the XAMI. For more than 60 years XLRI is conducting XAT at all India level to select the most appropriate students for management education. The XAT score is being used by more than 100 institutes for the admission. (Source:

b- MH-CET: MAH CET 2016 MBA is a state level MBA entrance exam for Maharashtra. This test is conducted by DTE (Directorate of Technical Education) Maharashtra for admissions in Management Programs provided by various institutes.

c- CMAT: Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) is a national level entrance examination conducted by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) every year as per the directions of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India. The CMAT is a three-hour computer based online test. The CMAT score is accepted by all AICTE-Approved Institutions/University Departments/Constituent Colleges/Affiliated Colleges. The CMAT 2016 will be conducted on 17th January 2016. (Source:

d- NMAT: NMAT by GMAC is an entrance exam to get into Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS). It is a computer based exam across 27 centres in the country and the test window duration will range from October 6th, 2015 to December 19th, 2015.

e- MICAT: MICA will conduct computer based MICAT 2016 on December 13, 2015, in 14 cities and proposes to conduct GE-PI in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai by mid-January 2016. The exam will be held on December 13, 2015, in 14 cities and MICA proposes to conduct GE-PI in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai by mid-January 2016. The registration will open on Sep 10, 2015. (Source:

f- MAT: Management Aptitude Test (MAT) is a standardised test being administered since 1988 to facilitate Business Schools (B-Schools) to screen candidates for admission to MBA and allied programmes. Govt. of India, Ministry of HRD approved MAT as a national level test in 2003. Any B-School – national or international – can consider MAT Score as an admission input based on the Score Cards issued to the candidates. The largest test of its kind in the nation, MAT will continue to be your passport to over 600 B-Schools across India.

3- Evaluating b-schools: Evaluate other b-schools if you are unsure of cracking the CAT. This will include various parameters and every person’s choice will depend on various factors. You can do a self-evaluation on what are your preferences and see which b-school is the best fit for you. Do a thorough online research and talk to maximum people to get a good idea of which is the right college for you.

4- Financing: Many candidates finance their education at this point of time with the help of bank loans. So check with your bank with the various bank documents required and eligibility for loans. This is probably the second most important part of your journey to a b-school after cracking the entrance exam so see that everything is taken care of well in advance.

5- Contingency Plan: If you are unsuccessful in cracking the CAT, do not fret. You can always attempt it again or give a different exam. If not, you can choose a different career path altogether.