What should be my CAT score to get into IIMA? Confused about low 10th and 12th standard scores.

The following discussion is between one of our faculty members and a CAT aspirant on several questions such as “What are my chances in getting into IIMA if my score is xx in 10th, yy in 12th?”, “What should be my CAT score to get into IIM Ahmedabad?”, “Should I drop a year to prepare well for CAT?”, “Is final year the best time to prepare for CAT?” and so on.

This is an actual conversation through email (names fictionalised).

The Conversation Thread:

Student:

I am Virat Kohli. Am pursuing BBA from XYZ University. I want some suggestions regarding CAT preparation. Actually, I saw your youtube videos. I came to know that IIMs consider 10th and 12th marks. My 10th and 12th marks aren’t that good. I got 76% in 10th and 65.2% in 12th. (Avg of these is 70). Before I join any coaching centre and start preparing for CAT, I want to know whether my marks will affect my call. How much percentile do I need to score to get a call from top IIMs?

Please give some suggestions sir. I am willing to appear for CAT 2019. I will graduate mid 2019. So, I will be having a gap year. Can you please help me? I am a bit confused about what I should do! Please help me.

Faculty:

The following statements are my opinions. Please use your judgement and decide what you want to do.

1. Prepare well for CAT 2018. There is practically no downside to preparing and appearing for CAT 2018.
2. Your 10th and 12th grades are facts that you cannot change. Let’s say that you score 99.8 percentile –even then, IIMs X and Y might not call you. However, FMS and IIM Z will most probably give you a seat based on your GD/PI etc. Would you feel bad that X and Y didn’t even call you, or would you be happy that you converted IIM Z and FMS and the likes?
3. If you have decided that getting into a B-school is your goal, prepare well for CAT. And take CAT 2018. Do not think about CAT 2019. CAT is not a monster as everyone claims it to be. You don’t have to be at home, taking a gap year to be able to prepare well for CAT. Final year is the best time to prepare for CAT. Make the most out of it.
4. Take up an online course that will help you set the pace of your CAT prep. (Of course, I would recommend 2iim’s online course – online.2iim.com).

Student:

Thank you for your suggestions. But I have some more doubts.

1.What if I am unable to perform well in CAT 2018? Should I attempt again in 2019? It’s already June and I haven’t even started a single chapter. And haven’t joined any coaching centre. I also have to work very hard on my vocabulary.

2.Is it difficult to get a call from IIM-A even if I score 99.99 th percentile or even 100th percentile (which is obviously not possible)?  That is, is it impossible to get a call from IIM-A even if one scores 100th percentile if he/she has an average profile?

Faculty:

1. If you don’t perform well this year, go for CAT 2019. Lots of people crack the exam in their second/third attempt. I strongly suggest that you sign up as a trial user at online.2iim.com and see if you can follow and learn from our online course. I’m not saying this to pitch our course. Rather, I want you to try this because the online course is much better than classroom one in terms of letting you study anytime, anywhere and at your own pace.

Also, CAT has not tested vocab in a long long time. Please do not worry about vocab. Read extensively for an hour and half, on a everyday basis, you can rock the VARC.

2. Year-on-year, the criteria for selection keep changing. Why do you want to know with certainty that IIMA will call you? I’m just curious to know. I understand that it is said to be the best B-school in the country. However, I want to know your point of view.
There are things that you can control, and there are things that you cannot control. CAT score falls on the side of what you can control, while your 10th or 12th score is something you cannot change now. Accept the reality and focus on your CAT score.

Student:

Actually, I took BBA so that I can focus on MBA more. And whenever I talk to anyone about my MBA plans I always mention that I want to do an MBA from IIM-A. I won’t regret if I get a call from IIM-Z–but why not dream for the best?  I will be very happy if I manage to get a call from IIM-Z but A is a dream college for many including me. This is the only reason for which I want to know whether 99.99 will fetch a call from IIM-A or not.

Faculty:

The honest answer is, I don’t know. Maybe criteria for shortlisting will change. May be they won’t.

Best wishes for CAT prep!

Student :

Thanks a lot.

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