Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Students still busy post CAT

The CAT results are out. But it’s not time to sit back and enjoy yet. For students who got call letters from IIMs and other business schools, this is the time to gear up for group discussions and interviews. Local students who cracked CAT have signed up for classes to prepare for the real test.

The written exam is not a selection process. It just eliminates all those who’re not up to the mark, says Sai Kumar Swamy, CAT course director. "Now those who have scored around 99 percentile will be called for a group discussion and personal interview," he adds. "The candidates will be tested for communication skills, knowledge, leadership and on their behaviour in a group."

"These students are individually brilliant, but what remains to be seen is if they are good in a team," he points out.

Suman Mondal, who has received letters from four IIMs, attends mock GDPI sessions. "After the exam, I was quite confident because I checked the answer key and knew I had done well," he says. "But now I’m worried about the GDPI which is in one month. I need to get familiar with the format and be mentally prepared." The topics for group discussions range from current affairs to case studies to newspaper articles. At a personal interview, the topic could go anywhere.

The ratio of number of candidates to the number of seats is not favourable for the students, says Vishal Mehta, a final year student of VNR Vignana Jyothi College. "Every year, more and more people take CAT and even after you get a call, there are eight to ten people fighting it out for one seat. I’m confident that I’ll get a call from Symbiosis but I’m also applying to other colleges."

The pressure doesn’t let up because you have to get into one of the top ten institutes, feels Amit Mehra, a student of Vardhaman College of Engineering. "I’ve scored 86 percentile, so I think I’ll get some work experience and take CAT again this year. You need at least 99 percentile to get into the best colleges, so I’ll be doing it all over again," he says.