What are your chances to get into top 6 IIMs, FMS, NITIE

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Indian Institute of Management which is known as IIM has presently 13 colleges at various places. Out of these, six colleges namely IIM, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, Indore and Kozhikode are the top IIMs. FMS and Nitie also categorize as top B-schools. IIMs offer variety of management courses and because of their excellent teaching methodologies students want to flock at their gates through CAT. The common admission test conducted by the IIMs is a very competitive test for admission to around 1250 graduate programmes in management at various campuses. This test is considered to be toughest one and is of world standard. The success rate is one out of two hundred.

Apart from the percentile obtained in CAT, IIMs also take academic records namely percentage in Std. X and Std. XII. Each institute also conducts group discussions, writing ability test and personal interviews to shortlist the candidate after the test.

Reservation at IIMs:

Around fifty percentages of the total seats are earmarked for general category. They are filled through open competition. As per the established data compiled upto 2007, around 230000 students compete for less than 1200 general seats in the IIMs. There is a 22.5% reservation for SC and ST students. 3% is reserved for the person with disability.

Admission policy: Here we have taken two prominent Colleges

IIM, Calcutta.


CAT score and academic performance are the benchmark for short listing the candidates for IIM Calcutta subject to the students gets the following minimum section wise and overall percentile in CAT.

Table-1: Minimum cut-off percentile for short listing the candidates for Personal Interview (PI) stage.





Open > 90 > 90 > 95
NC-OBC > 75 > 75 > 85
SC > 65 > 65 > 75
ST > 60 > 60 > 70
DA > 60 > 60 > 70

All the candidates in CAT from each category, securing the above percentile will be considered for calculation for their composite score in stage-II. However, actual cut-offs for shortlist generation from each category of P-I will depend on composite score calculated in Stage-II, section wise and overall percentile in CAT which may be higher than above minimum cut-offs.


Method of giving points for X and XII standard percentage of marks based on aggregate scores:

Table-2 showing points for Class X and Class XII marks

Class X marks (in %)

Class XII marks (In %)


> 81 > 81 5
> 76 and < 81 > 76 and < 81 4
> 71 and < 76 > 71 and < 76 3
> 66 and < 71 > 66 and < 71 2
> 60 and < 66 > 60 and < 66 1
> 60 > 60 0

Table-3 showing components and corresponding weighs assigned for generating category wise short list for the PI stage



Method of calculation

CAT2013 score 77  A/B) x 77
Std. X marks 10 (C / 5) x 10
Std. XIII marks 10 (D/5) x 10
Gender diversify factor 3 To ensure gender diversity, 3 points are awarded to female candidates only.
Total 100

A = Candidate’s total CAT score
B = Maximum CAT score
C = Points awarded for Std. X marks as per table-2
D = Points awarded for Class XII marks as per table-2

Based on the performance in CAT, Std. X and XII marks and gender diversity, candidates are called for PI stage of selection process like Personal Interview, Written Ability Test (WAT) etc. Cut-offs for PI stage of selection category wise is depending on section wise and overall percentile in CAT, composite marks based on components in Table-3 and intake for the batch.

IIM, Ahmedabad

IIM, Ahmedabad has changed its admission policy for the year 2014-16.

At present, the number of non-engineering background students is 4% which they want to increase upto 18% for the year 2014-16. Earlier, the Application Rating (AR) was calculated according to the formula, AR= (A*B*C) + D + E.

Rating Score




(A)  Percentage score in 10th Std. exam < 60 60-80 80+
(B)  Percentage score in 12th Std. exam <60 60-80 80+
(C ) Percentage score in Bachelor’s degree exam <60 60-80 80+
(D)  Percentage score in Master’s degree exam <60 60-80 80+
(E)  Work Experience < 1 year 1-2 years 2+ years

Now, as per their new policy, AR will be calculated as AR=0.5*A + 1.5*B+2.5*C.

% score in 10th & 12th std. exam

Rating score (A & B)

 > = 55 1
>55 &  < = 60 2
> 60 & < = 70 3
> 70 & < = 80 5
> 80 & < = 90 7
> 90 10


% score in Bachelor’s degree exam

Rating score (C)

> = 55 1
>55 &  < = 60 2
> 60 & < = 65 3
> 65 & < = 70 5
> 70 & < = 80 7
> 80 10








The maximum possible score is 45.

The idea of giving more weightage to performance in the undergraduate degree and shifting to a completely additive manner, the changed system makes sure that the performances are given proper weightage.

At present, the fresher’s are around 27% of the batch and they are expecting that the said number to be shortlisted for WA-PI will be increased with implementation of changed policy. They will also consider work experience and postgraduate education as criteria while evaluating candidates for final selection (i.e. ion the calculation of the Aggregate Rating will be used to decide the final list of selected candidates)

In the second criteria, IIM Ahmedabad is considering direct short listing of candidates from each academic category.

Table-I:  Minimum CAT-2013 Percentile:



Sec.1 (QA+DI) (%)

Sec.2 (VA+LR) (%)

Total (%)

General 85 85 90
NC-OBC 75 75 80
SC 55 55 75
ST 50 50 70
DA 55 55 75

QA = Quantitative Ability, DI = Data Interpretation
VA = Verbal Ability, LR = Logical Reasoning

As per the changed policy, the candidates will be categorized into five academic categories based on the data given by them in CAT application form. The top 1% and top 50 candidates (whichever is lower) will be directly selected for WA-PI round from each academic category irrespective of their Application Rating (AR).

The step has been taken to introduce more variety and holistic approach in the new batch. The overall profile spectrum of the candidates shortlisted for the WA-PI round will be affected by this change.

The conversion ration from a WA-PI shortlist to a final admits has been 1 in 3 candidates (unofficial figures). Assuring that top 50 students are shortlisted to WA-PI round directly from each category and the conversion ratio remains same, the number of students from non-engineering background is expected to increase.

Focus from the beginning:

Students must focus to cultivate a habit of obtaining good percentage all through their academic career. I have seen that many students strive very hard to get success in CAT and they obtain also. For example, students obtain 95% and above in CAT and achieve success in group discussion and personal interviews, but still unable to get admission in IIM, Calcutta, Ahmedabad or Bangalore. Why it is so? The academic record of X and XII standard, general knowledge proficiency and effectiveness of extracurricular activities play significant role in IIM admission particularly in IIM Ahmedabad, Calcutta and Bangalore. Though other IIM’s admission policy is also stringent, but these 3 IIMs held the leading ranks on one to ten scale.

Admission in IIM is a calculated strategy:

Getting admission in top B-schools require a well defined strategy backed up by hard and smart study, acquiring more and more general knowledge, to become aware of national and international events and information and finally a confidence level that “I will get success”. This is known as a calculated strategy and all students aspire for this management education must adopt this strategy.

From my experience as a visiting faculty for a management college for a few years, I opine that all the relevant details, as stated above are very important for a student before they appear for CAT. For example, despite your best efforts, you might have not achieved a success in your Standard-X and XII, then you have to burn your midnight lamp little extra to score 99% percentile in CAT to get admission in IIM Ahmedabad, Calcutta or Bangalore. To get admission in these colleges, you need to show your ability for academic first and then other aspects like written tests, group discussion and personal interview.

Students sometimes lack in the stream of analyzing all the factors say admission policy of the respective IIM, reservation criteria and any change in current procedure. For example, IIM Ahmedabad has made a change in their admission policy recently. They are giving preference to the students from non-engineering background for the year 2014-16. They want to ensure that non-engineering background students also get a chance for this coveted management education.

What is your chance?

I was questioned many times about the probability factor by my various students. Of course, you have to be a brilliant student with a powerful general knowledge, aptitude for debate, sports or arts and further if you get an exposure of orientation training while you study, your chance to get admission in IIMs, FMS & Nitie becomes more prominent. Many engineering students in their last semester come to our company for an orientation training to get admission in Management College. But, none of them are so ambitious to get admission in IIM because they are aware about their strengths and weakness. So, there is no point of questioning a faculty “how is my chance?” It is all in your hand.

Let us give analysis of two cases

Case I

Case II

10th Grade 81% 81%
12th Grade 75% 80%
Engineering 7.2 CGPA 7.5 CGPA
Extra Curricular Activities Not too much Not too much
CAT Score 95% 95%
Name (Assume) Mahesh Arpita

Success rate for Mr. Mahesh:

IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta                                          Less than 10%
IIM Lucknow                                                                                  15% to 20%
IIM Indore                                                                                       15% to 20%
IIM Kozhikode                                                                               Better than 25%
NITIE                                                                                                 40%
FMS Delhi                                                                                          40%

This is my frank opinion after seeing the scores.  Your CAT score may be alright for IIM Kozhikode, FMS and Nitie, but the same is not at all sufficient for IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore or Calcutta.  Further, your extra curricular activities are not much.  If it is little significant then percentage chance of getting admission to IIM Lucknow or Indore would have been more.  I don’t know whether you have any industry exposure during engineering study.  That would have been also added a feather in your cap to increase the percentage chance for IIM Lucknow, Indore.

Success rate for Ms. Arpita:

IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta                                             Less than 10%
IIM Lucknow                                                                                       20%
IIM Indore                                                                                           20%
IIM Kozhikode                                                                              Better than 35%
Nitie                                                                                                      50%
FMS Delhi                                                                                           50%

My opinion is same as above, a bit here and a bit there in percentage for some IIMs are changed.  Overall CAT score of 95% does not guarantee at all for admission in first three IIMs.  Your extra curricular activities are also not so much.  So, chance of getting admission in these IIMs is insignificant.  Your XII standard percentage gives you an extra mileage and you have improved upon your overall percentage which is a combination of CAT, writing ability test, group discussions and personal interview.  And, in this way, you stand to a better chance for IIM Lucknow, Indore and Kozhikode .Of course,I do not find any problem of your admission in FMS, Nitie.



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