Looking beyond the IIMs

Updated: Nov 19 2005, 07:31am hrs
Heres a low-down on the entrance procedure in management institutes other than IIMs.

MBA, the three letters that make our world go round. The one tag that takes us past the first rung of the corporate ladder. If you are an MBA aspirant, you know that each entrance exam will test you on quantitative ability, data interpretation and verbal ability, which includes English usage and reading comprehension. Beyond this basic pattern there are variable procedures in different exams. Heres a capsule on B-school entrance exams outside the IIMs.

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT): Besides IIFT-Delhi, its entrance exam scores are accepted by GIFT-Visakhapatnam and KJ Somaiya-Mumbai. IIFT follows the CAT pattern, in terms of the topic and questioning style. The only extra section is general awareness, which tests static general knowledge, questions on history, geography, facts, etc as well as economics, science, world geography, history, and issues from the business world.

In short, you need to keep yourself abreast of the latest news in financial newspapers as well as brush up on your general knowledge. Focus more on on Verbal Ability (VA)at least 8-10 vocab-related questions are asked. Reading comprehension can be cumbersome since most questions are inference based. Last year, passages were of varied length and ranged from WTO to science, requiring a lot of comprehension.

Faculty of Management Studies (FMS): The Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University, offers one of the most coveted MBAs in India outside of the IIMs. It holds a separate entrance test for selection. The FMS exam is not such a tough nut to crack. Every question you answer is worth four marks, or one lost, if you go wrong. FMS gave up GK section in 2005. But still go through some static facts besides reading up the newspapers.

The number of questions per section have remained more or less the same over the years. There was no sectional demarcation in the paper till last year. Maths and Data Interpretation (DI) deserve their attention in preparation for FMS, as each year throws in some surprises.

Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP)/Symbiosis Centre For Management & Human Resource Development (SCMHRD): The Symbiosis National Aptitude Test started last year. Its scores are accepted at all Symbiosis institutes, except SIBM-Pune. Since it is just a year old, no concrete pattern has been observed.

Joint Management Entrance Test (JMET): For entry into the postgraduate management programme from one of the IITs or IISc-Bangalore, a student has to have an engineering or equivalent degree. JMET is held on the second Sunday of December every year. This year it will be on December 11, 2005. JMET does not have sectional cut-offs and the only stipulation is a positive score in each section.

Quant is the toughest section, so it will stand you in good stead to work on higher-level Maths. At least 15 questions usually come from 3D geometry, integration, differentiation, vectors, matrices, applications of derivatives etc.

XLRI Admission test (XAT): This is the common entrance exam for XLRI, XIMB, SIBM and for about 30 other institutes. XAT has been in the habit of experimenting with the testing pattern. There were sectional time limits till 2004 but those have been done away with this year and the only different thing in XAT remains the extra essay that you have to write in the last 15 minutes.

The Quant and DI sections are together. Questions on permutation and combination have managed to get preference every year, except in 2005. In Quant, concentrate on modern Maths since this is an area not much tested in CAT, so you may require practice.

GK is generally static and can be attempted well if you are prepared.

Compiled by Career Launcher