Monday, January 12, 2009

Past perfect?

Do people peak in performance at class 10 and 12?
Should poor performance in these exams haunt you for the rest of your life?

The IIMs certainly seem to think so. And particularly, IIM Ahmedabad. The institute recently released a document which laid out the selection process it is using for the 2009-11 intake.

In the general category, you would need to score at least 98 percentile overall and 94, 94 and 94.5 in sections 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

Now 1160 candidates from the 2.46 who appeared for the CAT this year qualified under this criteria. That number was further whittled down to 609 based on your past academic performance - in class 10 and 12.

The bottomline is that the institute needs to use some kind of tie breaker and it has opted for class 10 & 12 marks.

Unlike IIM Bangalore or IIM Lucknow, IIM A does not consider work experience, graduation marks or any other factor at the tie-breaker stage. I guess that is IIM A's prerogative - they basically want all the 'toppers'.

But there are two issues with this profiling

One is a technical one. Ankit Doshi is a BCom graduate from Mumbai with 3 interview calls, but he missed out on A. He believes it is because marks across different boards were not 'normalised'.

Giving his own example, Ankit states that he cleared the pre-screening criteria but probably lost out on the Academic Performance score as he scored 85.86% in class 10 (SSC) and 85.13% in class 12 (HSC). According to which his AP = 12

But in the ICSE or CBSE board (or even a state board like Andhra) scoring above 90% is common and those students would have an unfair advantage and score an AP of 16.

I think this is a very valid point and the institute should take this into account!

Ankit adds, "If you study the marking and scoring patterns of students, such a criteria completely closes the doors on students of Arts and Humanities across India . How many Arts std XIIth toppers even cross 85%?"

Well, that is a whole separate Pandora's box. At the 15th year reunion of IIMA's class of '93 held two weeks ago, we had a raging debate with some of the faculty on the changed student profile. From a 70: 30 ratio (70 being engineers and 30 being 'other streams'), we now have 93% engineers in the batch.

The faculty says it's because most smart kids in India gravitate towards engineering and hence more engineers crack the CAT. But factors like 'AP' make it that much more difficult for even the smartest of arts and commerce grads out there to get that interview call.

The second - and more fundamental - issue is should the past be given so much importance at all? Is it really an indicator of 'success' in the future?

One way to look at it is that if I am successful at an early age, I get a lot of positive strokes for it and therefore remain motivated to continue succeeding in the future.

But the other side of it is that now that I have the label of being 'successful', I no longer really need to peform. To do something more, or better. Because I am already 'there'.

Psychologist Carol Dweck has written a book on this subject called 'Mindset: the new psychology of success'. Which inspired Guy Kawasaki to make this post explaining why most 'hot' companies eventually drift into mediocrity.

Let’s say a startup is hot. It ships something great, and it achieves success. Thus, it’s able to attract the best, brightest, and most talented. These people have been told they’re the best since childhood. Indeed, being hired by the hot company is “proof” that they are the A and A+ players; in fact, the company is so hot that it can out-recruit Google and Microsoft.

Unfortunately, they develop a fixed mindset that they’re the most talented, and they think that continued success is a right. Problems arise because pure talent only works as long as the going is easy. Furthermore, they don’t take risks because failure would harm their image of being the best, brightest, and most talented. When they do fail, they deny it or attribute it to anything but their shortcomings.

I think those two paras precisely explain why we've seen that enormous mess on Wall Street! The sub prime mess is the ghastly creation of bschool bred minds who firmly believed they could do no wrong. And even if they did, the safety net of being part of an elite club would save them.

Carol postulates that people have two kinds of mindsets: growth or fixed. People with the growth mindset view life as a series of challenges and opportunities for improving. People with a fixed mindset believe that they are “set” as either good or bad.

The issue is that the good ones believe they don’t have to work hard, and the bad ones believe that working hard won’t change anything.

As far as I can see the past performance, topper-centric intake of our most wanted bschools is only reinforcing the fixed mindset. A mindset which is certainly not suited for an increasingly unpredictable world.


  1. one of the things i was looking at was whether the IIMs can look at a stanford/wharton type of procedure.

    since, they are so keen on excellence why not recognise excellence in different fields. surelyonly good percentages dont make good managers.

    Though the stanford/wharton type of procedure is more subjective in its evaluation, they look at a host of other aspects apart from acads and really promote diversity.

    the male to female ratio in IIMs is 1 :10

    How about the IIMs allowing the top 10,000 candidates in the CAT (approx 95-96 percentile) to submit a form which covers all aspects about a persons personality. essays,reccos, etc.

    Harvard gets 8000+ applications a year but they are ready to go through the rigour of finding the right candidates.

    I don't know why we can't adopt such a system.

    Any takers?

  2. Interesting post! Kudos to bring in this issue so fast.
    I think that the X/XII criteria need to be normalized; for e.g. the year I passed out of Std X; the board topper scored just 87% which is mediocre performance in front of 95+ ICSE/Andhra Board performances.
    Regarding Ankit's 1:10 criteria, I'm not sure where the females are ten times that of males in IIM; at least my batch didn't boast of this ratio :D
    But on a serious note, bringing in a little subjectivity would definitely help IIMs but not for top 10,000 people. I'm saying this because how would we ensure that these 10,000 odd people won't involve their respective coaching centers, professors in writing essays, etc. So, there need to be some other kind of tests (sorry for just playing devil's advocate and not suggesting anything) which would bring out "real business/management aptitude". For that, IIMs would have to take some pain and not opt for an easy way out like picking up toppers

  3. Actually with the present criteria of looking at 10th and 12th marks only for pruning down the list from 1100 odd ppl to 600 odd ppl means that those 500 can now almost never dream to make it to IIMA....out of the huge majority of ppl who give CAT thr will always be a small percentage of ppl who does equally well in CAT as u do ..and betters u in board u can never breach the barrier...IIMB selection criteria in this respect is slighly better ( though not by much)...that if u perform exceptionally well in one of the parameters ....say a 100% in one of the sections ...then whatever is ur past record they will atleast call u for interview for sure....this time(unlike previous yrs) they have come out with a separate list which outlines those candidates....however being a present iim student i have seen that in general ppl who have better academic records in 10th and 12th tend to fare better..and iims continously try to refine their entry criteria and hence they have put these as one of the parameters ...

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  5. @ Peyush

    sorry a typo the male:female ratio being 10:1


    if the IIMs say that people who have done well in the 10th and the 12th do better , well then people will have to plan whether they want to go to IIM A right from childhood which i think is more dangerous. the problem is the transparency is so delayed. they change their criteria as per the whims and fancies of the admission commitee that paricular CAT year.

    No one can now can be sure of getting calls even after cracking the CAT. Then whats the point of the CAT?

  6. you have hit the nail on the head...IIM'A' wants nerds who have been groomed in their mother's womb that the only way to survive is to get good marks, and they do that, but don't learn how to take risks, how to have a wider perspective, to look beyond!!!

    Which is why now it has been converted into an employee shop for big consulting,FMCG,finance(if they exist) cos. Management instiutes primary objective should be to promote/create entrepreneurs.

  7. Interesting post. However, to think that in a time like this, when people can demand to see the selection and other details, and if there is a discrepancy found, it'll get splashed all over the world... can any institute afford to not be absolutely fair? Even if its IIMA. Or are we just jumping to conclusions here based on what we believe?

    I'm just asking a question. I don't agree with the the selection criteria if this is definitely it... if this had been the criteria in my time, I wouldn't have made it to IIMA.

    @rahul: I wouldn't generalize all toppers as nerds who believe that only marks is the way to go. Agreed, there are people like that. There are enough and more people unlike that as well. Even in IIMA :)

  8. Best and objective way to judge whether past predicts future success is to mathematically analyze. Depending on what criteria one chooses for future performance (say, IIMA CGPA, salary of first job, "good manager potential" after five years) we can regress this with 10th, 12th, undergrad, and work-ex, after doing proper normalization.

    It sounds unfair to hold onto past but statistically (generally speaking) people perform well in future are also who performed well in past. US colleges have shown that school performance is more indicative of college performance than SAT scores. Unfortunately, there is not such comparable analysis in India.

    What criteria define good past and future performance is for us to judge and they may as well not include marks in school.

  9. It's a question of too many people chasing too few seats. Because of this factor, the IIMs can afford to be as selective as they want. You can haggle all you want about how unfair their selection criteria is, but until their monopoly is broken, they will feel no urge to change their system.

    It's surprising that even though Harvard and Wharton are ranked higher than the IIMs, they are still easier to get into than the IIMs. For London Business School (consistently in top 5 in Europe and the world), you don't even need an undergraduate degree, provided you have solid work experience.

  10. Oh and also to add - the general Indian mindset is all for getting good grades. No one cares that you're good at sports and other activities outside of studies. The IIMs just reinforce this belief that good grades are all you need to succeed in life.

  11. "It's surprising that even though Harvard and Wharton are ranked higher than the IIMs, they are still easier to get into than the IIMs. "...

    This is another fallacy propagated by Indian media and later lapped up by Indian blogosphere.

    If we look beyond the numbers for a few second then we can realize how difficult it is to get into H/W!

    Whoever is writing CAT is regarded as an IIM-A/B/C candidate.That is, out of 246K CAT writers, there are 240 seats in IIM-A up for grab, hence the selectivity gets inflated. But is it really true, all of the 246k examinees are writing CAT with IIM-A as target ? How many of them are serious contenders?

    On the other hand, in global B-schools, people apply after they write their GMAT, have wrok ex, do their research on school etc. As a result each applicant applying to a certain US b-school apply to that specific B-school only after they realize that they have a reasonable shot at getting in ( i.e., people like them get in and people like them get dinged). Of course, there are some hail Mary applicants, but they are very few ( considering the time and money it takes to submit a single app).

    So, we are talking about different levels/ qualities of competition here. Where, in IIMs we never know the number of serious contenders among the bagfull of 246K CAT writers, on the other hand in H/W everyone applying is a quality applicant and has a reasonable chance at getting in. So, the they are at least as difficult to get into as IIMs.

  12. Other than the issue of different boards there will arise an issue within the same board itself. Suppose a person scored 89.8% in both the board exams and another 90% (diff. of 1 mark) in both, then the first person will have an AP of 4 lower which means he must score about 16 marks more in CAT (a much tougher exam)to equalise). I dont understand why IIMs can't give 8.98 to the first person and 9 to the second, which would be fair instead of having these stupid tranches.

  13. CAT, IIMs and these bunch of stupid B-schools (esp in India) are a joke. They dont know what they want, they dont know what their responsibility for the society is. These institutions and the rats who struggle their entire youth to get into these schools are hypocrites, who think they will be 'successful' if they gt a degree from these institutes.
    Tell me one good social activist/political leader these IIMs schools have given to world politics, or at to the least Indian society.
    And if you morons think that you will/have achieve/d success by attending these schools, grow up. You dont need an MBA in India to create a business, or its not worth it if your MBA gives you a job in an MnC to serve someone else. You can do that anyhow, just tell them you are here to lick their asses and they will take you.
    Start living your lives outside the bubble, go on a road trip, see India, see the world, find the meaning for your life beyond this dumb world of false pretensions.
    If you think your 10-12th marks dont mean anything after just 8-10 yrs, will your MBA be of any worth 25 yrs from now when you look at yourself and repent for all those wasted years you ran after something that was utterly false and nothing but a 'more competitive rat race'.

    Sorry for any offense. It is intended, and hope this wakes atleast one person here. You all r extremely intelligent and I hope you do something good for yourself, and for the society.

  14. I agree with the description and spirit of the problem and complication of the Xth and XIIth scores. However I contend that by considering previous track record, companies/institutes are only making a rough estimate of the future potential of a candidate. None of us have a crystal ball so thought considering past record may not be a perfect method but I think it is still a lot more objective rather than solely judging the potential based on 2 hr CAT test or a 30 min interview session.

  15. hey Rashmi why dont u take the initiative and ask IIMA to look into its selection friend got 99.28 percentile(clearing individual cutoffs) and still he has not got any calls. believe me he has been working hard for the past two years realizing all his effort r useless and he should have prepared for IIM right from his school days.

  16. even i got 99.36%ile with all sectionals 97+ and i only got a call from C(thank god it doesnt consider acads for PGDM).The weightage given by IIM-A to acads is outrageous to say the least(16 marks to acads & only 8 to CAT).Consider a person who for whatever reason didnt do well in 10-12th,then he wont get a call from IIM-A even if he scores a 100%ile.What kind of formula is this ?

  17. So basically you need to be best from womb to get to IIMA , And ultimately these nerds will take on big problems like the one faced by financial industry currently and will fail .

    So basically we are grooming "Abhimanue" who will succumb while facing the crisis situation.

    Original Article on Stanford web-site is a eye-opener.

    Thanks for such insightful article.

  18. @ dodo - the only reason I say this is because I've attempted the CAT twice: both times I scored in the 99th percentile in math and english and scored 97th in the third section but never received a call (I also have a first class with distinction in both 10th and 12th standards).

    Yes, I agree that Harvard and Wharton do have a higher proportion of "quality" candidates but they ARE easier to get into because they don't depend on how you do in just 2 hours on the third Sunday of November. You can prove yourself through work experience, GMAT scores, essays and recommendations.

  19. After CAT 2008 and release of IIMA's selection criteria; I really doubt the ranking of IIMA as a top notch B-school. They refuse completely to look at a person's background.

    Like Ankit there are many people who may toppers in their respective boards but do not have a call b'coz they were in boards like UP state board that give marks in a stingy manner...

    A friend of mine who topped in IIT Kanpur in his department and had 97+ in all sections; 99.8 overall percentile in CAT 2008 has not been called by A becoz he had 76 in 10th. This is so ridiculous.

    IIMA owes an explanation to 2.7 lakh CAT takers.

  20. @ Rashmi, thanks a lot for voicing the concern of the CAT taking community... the last line in the post is beautiful!

  21. @ Rohan: See, as far as I can tell, each and every one of those who get a good %ile in CAT deserves a chance. But bear in mind that even the procedure in IIMs is almost as in a Govt. organization(we say in L that if you cant run yourselves, you can't expect your students to run a company).

    But IIMs are trying to follow the principle that even MS follows in its hiring procedures - "We may miss out on a good candidate, but we will not take a lousy one".. By using 10/12 marks, they are trying to do just that. And it will seem unfair for those who do not have a good 10/12 marks.

    I agree with the normalization point being made here and hope the IIMs change rules to normalize the scores around the schools and boards and hence enable a much fairer selection. Also, Graduation marks also must be considered, especially for those who score really well in graduation. CAT must be given more weightage too.

    IIMA is not the end of the world and is not the TOP DOG here. The top 30% in any IM are equally good and equally competitive. I don't mind if they really take nerds into IIMs because Nerds can study and understand concepts much easier. IIMs are what they are for those who want to take what they want from it - If you want to become a entrepreneur, you can do so with a IIM degree, if you wanna enter a good company, you can with a IIM degree... Most people run after the job - its a Indian mentality. Bear with it. It's a safety net. Don't tell me people are all after IIMs for becoming "Entrepreneurs" - some was a job and safety in their professional lives. They know that it is not exciting, but still it is a safer option.Getting a degree frm a good institue may not ensure success, but it increases the probability of it. I may be good at sports and singing, but that doesn't mean I will pursue them as a profession if I am good in my studies. those who have the will to succeed will succeed. Those who don't opt for the easier path.

  22. If grades are the criteria in academics, then what do we define as equivalent to measure as success beyond. It is money.

    I am sure if we take a sample of the 400 richest earners through legitimate means i.e. leave aside politicians, the underworld, etc., then a miniscule number of these would be IIM or IIT related. These are fairly over hyped institutes. They look good because the rest of the system is so bad.

    An allround view of society, business, the individuals own understanding of oneself within this politico-economic system can be developed only through experience, introspection and continuous learning. One does not need the above institutes for this.

    They are just in the business of education and making a good sell using scarcity as the base of their model.

  23. Hey Rashmi, you're right in saying that this is only going to reinforce the already existing mind set of marks being the most important purpose in a 15yr olds life.

    With this kind of scoring and evaluation, parents are going to pressurize their children even more - even before the child really knows his own mind or even what an MBA is, let alone IIMA.

    In my experience, majority of my batchmates who are now excelling in their chosen careers (most of whom were non-engineering based) werent toppers in school - in fact some were below average. Those who did choose engineering (i believe out of herd mentality more than anything else) are now floundering and looking to career changes or the typical move towards management.

    This scoring that IIMA plans to do, in effect is making children fixed in their decisions abt their careers without any scope to change their mind - someone who worked his ass off in the 10th/12th just to get a place in IIMA maybe 5-7 years later is hardly going to change his mind!

  24. very well put .... bang on the target !!

  25. math scores are most important.

    also the frame of mind....i have met toppers who have lost their edge due to depression, stress life probs.

  26. Inspite of CAT, IIM's manage to produce some of the best talent. But, i think iim's are keener to produce few movers and great workers.There is nothing demeaning about it, as our society was driven by the west earlier. Now, since the ball game is changing i think few students are adapting well to thew situation by moving ideas they have. Anyways, i think these are great institutions. An undergraduate who is not interested in an MBA from IIM.

  27. Ok i just have a few questions.
    Agreed IIMs are great institutions and they have a tough job because of so many applicants and such few seats. Thats why they need to devise different selection criteria.

    My questions are:

    1) Why are criteria decided after the CAT is over? Isn't it unfair for students who basically will never be sure whether they will get calls no matter what they do?

    2) If emphasis is on other things disclose it beforehand. I will not put in 6months/1 year/2 years of hard work if i know i have done badly in Xth or XIIth or graduation. Why should there be students with 99.xx percentile with balanced sectionals without any calls?

    3)Why conduct the CAT for 250,000 candidates? Have CAT only for those who clear the basic academics criteria. Why take 1300 rs. from every tom dick and harry as application fees. if the argument is other institutes also take CAT scores well.... then let those students who plan to apply to other institutes take the CAT.

    4) Why can't there be a standard formula or selection criteria? Why do IIMs change it every year according to the whims and fancies of a few people in the adcoms of the IIMs

    5)What about things like diversity and overall experience? Isn't it shameful that only 10% of most IIM batches consist of women?
    To say that all bright people in India join engineering is like saying that all terorists are muslims. sorry for the analogy but if that was told to rashmi at the alumni meet thats all i think of the assessment. srcc, st stephens, st.xaviers- mumbai, hr/nm/poddar -mumabi and many more such quality institutions also exist

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  29. To put one more point in perspective: Lesser women clear CAT. Then it should imply that women are not good at management. The empirical truth is entirely different. Women are better managers of two most important resources of a business enterprise - people and financial credit.


    In recent years, McKinsey has done extensive work on the relationship between organizational and financial performance and on the number of women who are managers at the companies they studied. Their research has shown, first, that the companies around the world with the highest scores on nine important dimensions of organization—from leadership and direction to accountability and motivation—are likely to have higher operating margins than their lower-ranked counterparts do. Second, among the companies for which information on the gender of senior managers was available,6 those with three or more women on their senior-management teams scored higher on all nine organizational criteria than did companies with no senior-level women.

    Have IIMs ever thought why women are still lagging behind in tests of managerial aptitude like "CAT".
    Isn't it high time IIMs analyse the structure this overrated exam - CAT?? I am of the opinion that CAT is only a test of solving math questions quickly and guessing well in verbal logic.

    P.S: Grapes are not sour. I do have calls; but I do not respect the system.

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  31. To begin with
    I am so happy to see so many intelligent people who wont make it to IIM-A :) y u may ask?
    well that's coz you are the people who can change the mindset of the the country.
    if any can do a survey of good managers around the world most of them wouldn't even have a "legal" graduation degree and most would b entrepreneurs.

    1)what IIMs are doing is creating people who can solve an amazing number of calculations really fast (faster than the calculator as opined by MOST VEDIC MATH teachers) so that some day we wont require the fast calculating computers and their interactive computational softwares, whose inventors have made it to the top of the forbes list. but the question is y. the answer is coz v want to breed worker drones :)

    2)the XAT is a better exam :)
    check 2009 xat paper.
    its beautiful.its more complete and its more manager centric.
    (no i didnt qualify it but it makes me love the test preparer coz its more management aptitude based than cat has ever been- this was my first shot at the exam for which i had zilch prep-and the CAT anything but APTITUDE test-LMFAO which is shud b not a COMMON ENTRANCE TEST as its touted to b as)

    3)cat was earlier an English exam and today is a math exam :)
    was never an IQ or GK or LATERAL THINKING test.
    and that is a shame.
    no manager will ever become top notch widout those 3 things i just mentioned.
    I am ashamed of the only exam in India of which i was once a proud aspirant :)

    4)dont compare GMAT or CAT or XAT
    btw dont compare INDIAN ACADEMICS to 1ST world (American or European) ACADEMICS either :)
    y is gmat not as FLAWED as CAT?
    coz it does base its criteria for selection to top colleges on a lot many grounds like essays, recommendations, pi, work ex and past academic scores, which in America - the academic criteria for good scores in SCHOOLS are not just final exams which nurture rote (rot) learning. They also take in class participation, extra curriculars, social work, sports, debates, spelling bees, psychometric tests, art clubbing, quizzes etc. so plz dont put the Indian system to shame by comparing both pedantic models.
    (gmat is a better exam than cat any day (also coz it can be taken almost any day of the year) :) cat is harder but hey is harder necessarily better? :) simple two step analogy that some of you who have got calls may be forgetting, including IIM heads and tails)

    5)The only thing that the IIMs are doing by cutting down on PI calls is cutting down on work :)
    come on dudes/dudettes! its still India remember? society vs self? the SELF always wins, right? (capitalism in its India form :) )

    6)something tells me if IIMs want geeks then they deserve them.
    ask yourself, is a geek, any geek a good manager? you know the answer instantaneously. i think even the geeks would agree here. well if they don't then just remember that you enjoyed your life than a geek ever has or will have and remember for the geeks "true life" (which includes dating btw) will always be the grapes that are sour infact ROTtEn.
    (nb: no offence meant to mama's boyz n daddy's lil angelz)

    7)look at the lives of people you admire including the rich and famous. then ask yourself what degree do they have and what do they do with their degrees.

    8)the only educational ranking tht matters - times higher educational ranking. the schools which are ranked higher are ranked higher for extremely good reasons.

    9)our educational system breeds drones and kills the rest. otherwise slumdog millionaire would have been directed by an Indian director based in India :)

    10)look at our juniors :) even ourselves
    their fav sport is GRAND THEFT AUTO :)
    most play "REAL GAMES" for the certificates and stop wen they come to 8th standard coz of the percentages.
    a fact we all have to admit to is producing a geek is infinitely easier then producing a complete man/woman.

    11)cat is a rat race which can only be won by horses (wearing blinders) :)

    12)Here is the ultimate truth.
    Big Schools in Big cities get benefits that smaller schools in smaller cities wont. the same goes for different boards of India, more so since most age old boards in India for whom its a teacher vs student issue so as to say if a student gets good marks the student wins and vice versa.
    a lot of questions of major boards (ICSE-CBSE board questions mostly leak out in major cities - how do i know? i have been through 4 cities 2 huge-1 medium-1 small through some of India's best schools :) without naming any, i would say the best in North India and the best in east India) some of you who have not been PRIVATELY TUTORED under the people who CO-AUTHOR BOOKS might not know about this.
    christian schools are favoured by ICSE :) same is true for some management schools lik.........some in the south who BAPTISE u and make u go through. (do some research and you will know)

    13)notwithstanding any of these facts, the CAT was the common student's pill towards sublimity but alas.

    14)no they didn't learn anything from "taare zameen pey" but one certain b-school might have got the producer-director of the movie for lessons though :) talk about hypocrisy.

    15)my name is KAMONASISH AAYUSH MAZUMDAR. I am in my BBA 3rd year. cat/xat aspirant. i am thinking of ways to tackle the situation called cat amongst others.

    16)in my humble opinion, i think most b schools (apart from iims) will have their own exams in 2009 and that might just prove to be the silver lining :)
    and look at schools beyond IIMs seriously. after all its your aptitude that matters and remember that horses need jockeys to ride them and show them the right path to win.
    so try and be the jockey. shall we? :)
    good luck to all of us.

    contact me on
    or gtalk/gmail at:
    or on yahoo at:

    (NB: I am extremely sorry if i some how managed to hurt anyone's personal feelings and know that it was purely unintentional :) )

  32. A very heated discussion , to say the least . Just some points ...
    @ varun
    " nerds can study and understand concepts better " is a joke . I think understanding of concepts comes with brains and interest in the subject . As opposed to mugging , wich our whole education system (including many graduation courses ) is reliant upon . Nerds have to be spoonfed things , and are more comforable with guide books in q/a form rather than business paradigms

    So I think nerds are the ones who should be kept out of the ims . Thinking on their feet and practical sense does not ocur to them .

    the ideas of normalisation , introducing subjectivity are all good . That was the whole idea of the gd/pi . since they are subjective measures . Looking at a candidates reaction and on the feet thinking , his gk and his general intelligence can be guaged from them . The interview can easily tell if he/she is a bookworm or a well rounded candidate .The idea is to get future managers , not to reward people with good marks !

    The toppers have anyway been rewarded enough . That was the whole purpose of cat, gd/pi , to have a seperate , objective selection process . The subjects taught till now have no relevance to running a company . Some streams like eng ( I can spk about my stream dono about others )the scores are much lower than others , so some form of normalisation is required .

  33. this is my take on acads...

    i think ur acads are not a pointer to how intelligent you are.... surely!!! i mean in our system, marks is all about remembering and vomitting.. if u know what i mean..

    however, acads do show one thing. your propensity to work hard and do it consistently. Acads are a pointer to whether you will be able to cope up with the rigours of a residential mba programme or (whether u pack ur bags and head home)
    this is my opinion. correct me please if i am wrong

  34. @rajiv: absolutely right.

    choose one :)

    that's my argument.

  35. Looking into the academic records means having the candidates who are consistent enough throught out their careers. But giving 75% weightage to just 10th and 12th marks is completely crap. If IIM-A checks 10th and 12th marks, then why cant it see the grads scores, why the graduation and job ex weightage is zero. Just 6 marks( only with 100 percentile) to the CAT score is a waste for a student who gives his heart out for CAT preparation throughout the year. Why IIMs are looking so much deep into the past, when a lot can change in 4 years in someone's career. Why till last year, no such weightage is given to 10th and 12th acads score.
    I am a CAT-2010 aspirant, and i am having a score of 10 out of 16, which means IIM-A,L,C are gone out of my hands. Hope the selection criteria changes next year .

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  38. It's indeed been an enthralling discussion with very valid points put forth. I have been a casualty of this farcical and illogical criteria for CAT. scored 68.6% in 10th (scored in 50s in hindi, which is not my mother tongue, and social I hated mugging up)..though i fared better in eng and math with 78 each. But CAT was renaissance for me..scored 99.98%ile and as happened with most of my mates here, got CLIK..not A and B

    I can;t agree more with Ankit Doshi.He's posed some excellent Qs.
    Why would someone not look at my case and say " Hey, DESPITE this guy getting only 68%, he's still got 99.98&ile..he surely deserves a call!" of glass half full or half empty..just that the IIMs prefer to view it half empty.

    and as some of my other friends in the blog have remarked, there has to be surely another way of assessing. Why not ask the candidate to list 2 or 3 favourite topics and write an essay. or present view points on current affairs. How can you assess a guy in 10 min ?? What's more, in those 10 min, the guy is quizzed again about his 10th and 12th marks!! How ridiculous is it to ask someone with exp qns from his/her undergraduation in those 10 min!!?? Is someone from the IIMs listening?

  39. A very heated discussion on the selection process....The nerds make good managers ??.. You don't even need common sense to say whether nerds can manage people and organisations

    A selection process which gives so much of weight to acads clearly seeks methods of elimination...

    Besides the cat paper tests nothing..You don't need to know geometry to be a good manager...As someone said, the XAT 2009 paper still examined your management aptitude to an extent..

    For me, the real test if any, is the GD/PI stage where a b-school can find out if the candidate can make a good manager . Ideally, a question paper which has a section based purely on aptitude, business skills, I.Q , psychometry etc can help one to screen out the best in the lot... Scoring high marks in history and geography in school cannot be given any weightage at all.

    It's is very clear that the IIMs just want to 'get rid of' as many aspirants as they can before the gd/pi commences.. They are simply looking to reduce their work. The ploy of making cat online speaks volumes for this(going paper-less). To be honest, the IIMs are making themselves look stupid, and not exactly 'managing' their selection process well. Lack of transparency and announcing their methods after the final results are out is ridiculous.

    Today, no matter how well you score in cat, you are never assured of anything, and they are making it more whimsical with a CBT form and different question papers to test the same candidates.

  40. hi guys... i`m amongst you gettin fooled by our edu. sys. i`m not that gullible bt nw after reading so many hot comments, i`m feelin like an stupid guy wasting his time in such a shit like CAT... people i admire don`t have ny degrees of MBA or sumthin... i`ve been a vry mediocre student till my 12th and scored around 65%. But now wen i`ve worked harder enough 2 raise my aptitude 2 get one on one with `THE CAT` and other 3.5 lakh applicants.... they say `it doesn`t matter son, u`re no good`, just because i was a couple years late in understanding my abilities??? WTF... one thing i`m sure of... i`ll crack it and show these old chirps wat management is... i`ll hire those bloody geeks u produce in ur nerd factory... and.... rest u`ll all see....

  41. continued from earlier one....
    dear geeks.... it`s nothing to offend you by this blog.. if u still feel bad... i dnt give a f... i love people who work hard in search of something very interesting and innovative and because of them this world turns generation to generation... ( big fan of ayn rand). wat i`m intrested in is hw fast n intellegently they work( smartly in short) and wen u have seen so many dreams of being in a much hyped b-school, u just can`t shatter ur dreams just because some einsteins are rubbing their heads ahead of u in the que.. they may be good in damning mathematical equations bt i too have a right to compete with them in a nuetral field... i know i`m good in management and i cn fight it out in a battle with some superbrains... bt atlteast provide us with an opportunity in our country to compete them... i can`t have a work ex because i`m not a engineer and this pathetic BBA degree is of no use in the market... there are opportunities fr buisiness bt they dnt count it as work ex WTF... wat should i do??? hang myself???

  42. hey guys do all iims consider 10-12th %???? im giving cat this year.... and reason im asking this coz' i do not have an impressive 10-12th pc. which iims do not consider past acads??? can anyone pls tell me this...:)

  43. @NS:The IIM selection criteria changes almost every year. Before 2008, IIM-A used to give maximum weightage to the CAT score but this time academics carried the weightage of 70%. HopefullY this criteria will get changed in 2009 and 2010.

    Even if the criteria remains the same, You have clear chances to get calls from Indore, Calcutta,and Kozhikode, because these institutes dont give any weightage to the past acads while shortlisting students for the GD-PI.You can get Lucknow if you have some work exp.
    So my advice to you is prepare all out for the exam and stop worrying about this thing, because your ultimate aim right now should to crack the CAT, because this criteria is something we cant change, but the only thing we can do is hard work which will able us to qualify the CAT.

  44. oh.. buddy thanks a lot for the info...this should defnitely give me a boost.... hope the A changes its mind...

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  50. Management Institutes definitely needs to have a better way of selection and the fundamental of your past records does not show that you have not changed.
    Its like saying that we will not except Ramayana because it was written by Valmiki, who was a robber.
    The judgment should be passed on the basis of current state of the candidate. A person who has strive hard to come up out of the past failures can actually turn the tables round in a Management position. The taste of failure at some point of life helps him identify the risks involved. A well mixed portion of current state should be considered as a criteria for selection. The CAT scores might be a fluke. So the selection criteria should be a blend of some luck and some work.
    The formula should look like this
    Final Score = % of Luck (Read CAT Scores) + % of Work - Ex (Should include the current position as well as the salary being drawn)+ % of Communication Skills (Both Written and Verbal)+ % of Risk Taking Capabilities + % of Judgmental Skills

    The rest can be taught by IIMs i.e. the theory (Finance, Marketing,Operations etc.) and the processes (Six Sigma, ISO, Business Processes).
    Disclaimer:-The comment is not to offend any Individual/Organisation but an attempt to put in my thoughts.


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