4 Essential Steps to Pursuing MBA at an IIM


Masters in Business Administration, or MBA, is one of the most popular courses for students and working professionals who wish to pursue their higher studies in the management field. In India, the IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) are the premier institutes to pursue an MBA. The IIM selection process is strenuous and happens over a couple of months. Here, we have the IIM admission procedure explained in detail:

IIM Selection Process

Step 1: Bell the CAT

CAT, or the Common Aptitude Test, is the national-level examination that you need to write in order to cross the first hurdle. The duration of the examination is 3 hours and it contains 100 questions. The question paper is split into 3 categories – Quantitative aptitude (QA), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Verbal & Reading Comprehension (VRC). QA will consist of 34 questions, VRC will also contain 34 questions, and DILR will contain 32 questions. The question paper will predominantly contain MCQs (Multiple Choice Question) and a few non-MCQs in each section. In order to cross this hurdle, you need a valid CAT score, preferably more than 90 percentile overall. If you have a score higher than 90 percentile, the chances of getting a call from the IIMs is higher. There are many CAT coaching institutes and online classes for CAT are also available.

Step 2: Express yourself in the Written Ability Test (WAT)

IIM Selection Process

The second hurdle after obtaining a good score on the CAT is the WAT (Written Ability Test). It primarily tests the candidate’s ability to think in a critical manner and their ability to efficiently communicate their ideas. You will also need to think on your feet and give an appropriate answer within a given time frame. In most cases, the topic for WAT is from the current business, economic, political affairs; the usual time limit for this test is 20 minutes. In certain cases, candidates have found this part of the admission process to be hardest.

Step 3: Talk in the Group Discussion

This step in the admission procedure was scrapped by all IIMs except 2 – IIM Lucknow and IIM Kozhikode. This came into effect from 2014. It is considered as one of the crucial steps for obtaining an admission at the IIMs. In the group discussion round, the moderators judge the candidate’s communication ability, logical thinking, and their analytical skills. At times, the group discussions become difficult for the moderator because few of the candidates tend to be aggressive and dominate the discussion entirely. Due to this, many candidates with good managerial aptitude are unable to put forth their thoughts and are eliminated towards the end.

Step 4: Ace the Personal Interview

This is the last step in the admission process. Candidates who underwent the interview had mixed opinions about it. Therefore, there is no perfect formula to perfect the interview. Usually, there will be two or more than two panelists who conduct the personal interview. They will quiz you on the current affairs in various fields. The candidate’s portfolio also plays a key role here as the panelists will ask questions based on prior work experience or internships. Candidates fear that the interview will be difficult and they will be grilled on topics they have no idea about. Panelists are primarily looking at the candidate’s confidence level and knowledge about current affairs.
The candidates will be shortlisted on a few other factors and their overall performance in the steps mentioned above. The candidate’s previous academic records and work experience play a key role in the selection process.

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