IIM-A: Level Playing
The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A) has retailored the selection paradigm for admissions to the Post Graduate Programmes for batch of 2014-16.
IIM-A has defined five academic disciplines covering the arts, medicine, commerce, engineering and science and, the 50 or 1% (whichever is lower) of the applicants from the mentioned categories with the highest Common Admission Test (CAT) scores, will get a direct entry to the written and GD/PI rounds. For other candidates, the school will use ‘composite scores’ (combining their CAT scores and ‘Applicant Rating (AR)’, total score of past academic grades) for interview shortlisting.
The change in selection process should ensure at least 200 non-engineers candidates eligible to stand for interviews and admissions reducing the surprisingly high numbers of engineers that the IIMs are castigated for admitting. This is because of the fact that engineering students are comfortable with mathematics scoring high in CAT causing differences in the scoring patterns between arts or commerce colleges.
Till now, the AR score made a huge impact on selection of candidates. The marks obtained in Master’s degree and the work experience was counted with the marks obtained in class X, XII and undergraduate course. This new selection process has eliminated work experience and Master’s degree score from Applicant Rating (A.R). This will allow freshers to compete with the candidates having work experience.
But this new selection process is not a disadvantage for experienced candidates, because the process will now point the quality of work experience during the interview round. However the working procedure of the process is not disclosed by the management but it can be speculated that qualitative stress might pour a little advantage for candidates who has high quality work experience.
The CAT scores will still be used as a cut-off qualifier in the first stage of the application process but the overall emphasis on the exam has reduced this year. Earlier, in the final round of selection, the interview accounted for 70% of the weight whereas 30% was carried by the CAT scores. This year, apart from the 70% weight to the interview, 30% of the weight is assigned to the composite score and not the CAT score alone. CAT scores form only 70% of the composite score. This means, effectively, in the final round of selection, the stress on CAT scores is reduced to 21%, down from the earlier 30%.