Business Schools: MBA admissions no longer CAT-centric

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April 05, 2021 4:00 AM

MAT and CMAT emerge as popular MBA entrance exams, besides CAT: Shiksha

Students are moving towards online platforms for credible information.

MBA college entrance exams such as MAT (Management Aptitude Test) and CMAT (Common Management Admission Test) are gaining popularity across India, in addition to CAT (Common Admission Test), according to the survey ‘MBA Outlook 2021’ by career and college selection website Shiksha.com (part of Info Edge).

Preference for exams such as CAT, XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test), SNAP (Symbiosis National Aptitude Test), MICAT (MICA Admission Test), IRMASAT (Institute of Rural Management Anand) and SPJAT (SP Jain Aptitude Test) increased by minimum 10% in 2020 over 2019, while preference for NMAT (by GMAC), IBSAT (ICFAI Business School) and IIFT (Indian Institute of Foreign Trade) declined by 12-25% in 2020 over 2019, the survey noted.

Other findings include:
—Large cities or home states are preferred college locations: In 2020, aspirants from east, north and central India preferred large cities like Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai instead of their home state or towns while looking for MBA colleges. On the other hand, aspirants from west and south India preferred their home state and/or home town over large cities.

—Ranking and fees are key for students searching for an MBA college: College reviews, admission requirements, college rankings and fees & scholarships are the information most wanted by students to make a guided decision. Students also seek information on programmes offered and alumni success stories.

—Apart from finance, new specialisations are getting popular: While MBA in Finance led the charts in 2020, specialisations like business analytics and IT & systems gained preference, as did emerging ones like entrepreneurship, agriculture & food business and healthcare & hospital.

—Student fairs and family/friends loose out to college portals and search engines: Students are moving towards online platforms for credible information. Official college websites and college listing/ranking sites were the strongest platforms for information about colleges.

—Current MBA students are most preferred to get admission-related information: Interactions with current students of a college are the top choice to get more information about a college.

—Weak placements negatively impact a student’s preference: Weak placements are one of the top concerns along with college ranking & accreditation for students planning to take admission.

—Placement and internship opportunities are key value-add when choosing an MBA college: Placement opportunities are the top value-add that students look for in an MBA college, followed by fee/scholarship programmes, experienced faculty, work-experience while studying, and industry-expert sessions.

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