IIM Bangalore – the B of the “‘BLACKI’ IIMs” – a phrase that takes center-stage in almost all conversations among B-school aspirants, has announced its admission process for the PGP batch of 2021-23. With IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Kozhikode having announced their admission processes earlier, IIM B’s announcement comes at a crucial juncture. With the reduction in the duration of CAT 2020, and the uncertainty in the examination pattern, there are important aspects in the admission process that needs to be highlighted.
So, here we go!
At the outset…
IIM Bangalore has broken down the process into two phases – Phase 1 and Phase 2.
- Phase 1: This is the post-CAT phase. The shortlist of the candidates to be called for the subsequent rounds of the admission process (read, WAT (Written Ability Test) and PI (Personal Interview)) is decided.
- Phase 2: The WAT and PI scores, along with other criteria under consideration, are put together to form a composite score. This determines the final list of candidates who are given admissions.
Notice the difference?
Unlike IIM Kozhikode, which has done away with WAT this time, IIM Bangalore has decided to retain it.
Phase 1: Post-CAT and pre-PI – the important highlights
The process starts with what the official circular terms ‘the first shortlist’. You guessed it right! In comes the CAT score – not just the overall but the sectional ones as well.
CAT 2020 score and IIM Bangalore’s first shortlist
At this stage, ONLY your CAT scores are used to determine whether you will be considered for further rounds of shortlist.
The following table gives the minimum percentile requirement a candidate has to satisfy, depending upon their category.
|Category||Section 1 (VARC)||Section 2 (DILR)||Section 3 (QA)||Aggregate|
What happens after this?
Among the candidates in the first shortlist, the decision on who would be called for the WAT and PI round would be made, based on the following six parameters.
IIM Bangalore and the six parameters
- CAT 2020 score
- 10th grade Boards
- 12th grade Boards
- Academic performance in the Bachelors Degree
- Gender Diversity
- Work Experience
The following table gives a detailed break-up of the weightage given by IIM Bangalore to the six above-mentioned parameters.
|Parameter||Weightage (in points)|
|CAT 2020 Score||40|
The 40-point weightage given to the CAT 2020 score can be further broken down into the weightage points for each section.
The (work e)X-factor
Ah, the parameter the fresh graduates hate, while the candidates who are working look forward to eagerly.
The following table explains how work experience fits into the overall scheme of things, if you are vying for a seat at IIM Bangalore.
|Work Experience (in months)||Work Experience Score|
|0 < x < 36||8x/36|
|x >= 36||8|
x denotes work experience, in number of months, as of July 2020.
The work experience – Similarities and Contrasts
IIM Bangalore’s work experience score will give a boost to those with 36 months or more of work experience. But the rest of the crowd gets a score proportional to their work experience. Neither IIM Ahmedabad nor IIM Kozhikode has this advantage.
While IIM-A gives a score of 0 for those with less than 12 months of work experience, IIM-K gives a 0 to those with either less than 6 months or more than 36 months of work experience.
IIM-A and IIM-B have one thing in common – candidates with experience of 36 months or more have an edge in both.
Phase 1 – In a nutshell
Subject to a candidate reaching the percentile threshold as mentioned, the six parameters discussed above will come into play to decide whether they get called for the PI Round.
Phase 2 – The WAT and PI Rounds
As the title suggests, this phase involves two components – Written Ability Test (WAT) and Personal Interview (PI).
Again, there are three parameters that determine the selection of candidates, in Phase 2.
The three parameters of Phase 2
- WAT Score
- PI Score
- Assessment of the quality of work experience
Note that these are parameters that will come into play, IN ADDITION to the ones that have been taken into account earlier (like, the academic performances). While the first two parameters seem obvious, the third one begs a question.
How is the quality of work experience assessed?
During the PI stage, the interview panel will assess the quality of work experience of the candidate using a 5-point scale (0.25 – 0.5 – 1 – 1.5 – 2). The average of the scores given by each member of the panel will be multiplied with the work experience score (calculated earlier) to arrive at a revised score for work experience.
So, how do these parameters stack up in the final selection?
The following table gives an overview of the weightages of different parameters in the final composite score of a candidate after Phase 2.
|Work Experience Score||10|
CAT score still accounts for one-fourth of the overall final score. So, plan and strategize well for each section wisely, and aim to maximize your CAT score.
Out of the six parameters of Phase 1, OR the three parameters of Phase 2, OR the seven parameters that seal the deal eventually, there is only one under your control at this point. CAT 2020. The D-day is on 29 November 2020.
Do not dwell over past mishaps; nothing is going to come out of it. At the same time, do not over-agonize over what would happen further down the lane as well. With 54 days to go, you might want to get cracking in all the three sections of CAT. Take enough and more mocks, and prepare yourself for the new duration.
Stay safe and best wishes for CAT 2020!
Written by Giridharan Raghuraman