IIM Admissions

In order to comply with the Right to Information Act (one of the very few pieces of good legislation by the current UPA government), IIMB has disclosed the “formula” used in this year’s admission process. For someone who went through the process three years back, it makes extremely interesting reading. Once again, I’m not in the mood for “writing”, so I’ll use bullet points.

  • For a start, i never imagined that the formula would be so “complex”. If you look at the extent of mathematical computation involved, perhaps the only formula that that is more complicated than this would be Duckworth-Lewis!
  • It is interesting to see how much your “history” matters. I didn’t imagine my 10th and 12th board marks would matter for so long. Thank goodness my 69 in 12 Board English didn’t have too much of an adverse impact!
  • On a related note, it might explain why you don’t find that many gults, or people from factory towns such as Kota for that matter, at IIM. The fact that many of them totally ignore their 12th boards in favor of the JEE may perhaps be coming back to haunt them a few years down the line. This is just a conjecture, and there is a good chance i’m wrong on this count.
  • Contrary to what a lot of people think, the place where you do your undergrad doesn’t seem to have any impact on your prospects of getting in. It doesn’t matter whether you do your undergrad from Indian Institute of Technology or (the now derecognized) Islamia Institute of Technology!
  • On one hand, this gives a good opportunity to those who had missed out in their JEE or similar exams to “get back”. Also, one thing you will notice is that historically the percentage of IITians at IIMB is significantly lower than that at IIMA or IIMC. Maybe, now that fits in!
  • The group discussion in itself has as little as a 7.5% weightage, which is heartening. In my opinion, group discussion is one of the worst selection tools. The equal weight given to the GD summary also offers a ray of hope to people who are not aggressive, or those who get stuck in a GD panel full of aggressive people.
  • It is now clear that the “most preferred” work experience is about three years. So if you have tried four times for CAT and not gotten through, you might do well to look for alternate alternatives.
  • Again contrary to popular perception, there doesn’t seem to be much weight for extra curricular activities, and leadership. Unless of course, they have an impact on your performance in the interviews. And they will probably improve your chances of a shortlist in placements if you do make it to IIM
  • Then, it is interesting that the weight given to CAT in the final analysis is about 20%. In our batch (IIMB 2004-06), it seemed like the weightage for CAT was higher. Practically half my batch had a percentile in excess of 99.8. And we could see in our junior batch that this number had come down.
  • The table with cutoffs for each category makes for interesting viewing. That the cutoffs for SC/ST/disabled is much lower than that for the general category comes as no surprise. It would be interesting, however, to know the difference in final cutoffs for people who get in “normally” through SC/ST and those who get in to the prep course. I have reasons to believe it is going to be significant.
  • Much has been made out of the fact that the OBC cutoff is not too different from that for general. For example, Rashmi Bansal of JAM says , “It’s heartening to know the OBC cut offs were pegged very close to General cut offs“. However, I believe it’s more to do with demand and supply. Had the reservations been implemented this academic year, the proposed quota for OBCs was 7%, and this low “supply of seats” pushed up the cutoffs. If 27% is to be reserved for OBCs, I’m sure the cutoffs would be much lower, not too much more than that for SC/STs.

Do read the document, it makes for some interesting reading. And if you find anything else interesting, do let me and the other readers of this blog know.

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