Days of our Lives!

August 15, 2007

The Past is fast catching up – Review of IIM(B) admission process

Filed under: I at IIM I,My Cup of Socie-Tea — Santhosh @ 10:29 PM

The official document is available here. But don’t even try and read it – you’ll need a 99 percentile in RC to understand anything. The gist is as follows :

PHASE ONE – The objective part
a) Stage 1 shortlist: Based on your CAT scores. The percentiles, individual and total cut-offs funda. No big surprise here, we’ve kind of known this. In fact, we’ve kind of known only this.

b) Stage 2 shortlist: In case you weren’t around when the first atomic bomb was dropped, here you are :

For all candidates in the first shortlist as stated in Table 1, the weighted total of the five components namely (a) work experience or professional course, (b) CAT, (c) 10th board, (d) 12th board, (e) bachelor’s as stated above was used to prepare a pre-GDPI rank list for calling candidates for the GDPI.

The weightage for each of the said parameters are :
CAT = 20
10th board = 15
12th board = 10
Bachelors* = 15
Work ex/Professional course** = 10

* For (final year) students, the marks in undergrad years will be considered.
** Only CA is considered as a professional course. The formula for work ex gives the highest score to candidates with an experience of 36 months duration.

The exception that proves the rule :

For all candidates in the first shortlist as stated in (1), the top 10 candidates in each sectional and total score in CAT, adjusted SSC, HSC, Bachelors and professional (CA) (from the first shortlist, as created in Table 1) automatically qualified for GDPI.

And thankfully the academic scores are not going to be measured as the same across the country :

For all candidates in the first shortlist as stated in Table 1, the candidates’ percentage scores in the 10th and 12th board exams are standardized by dividing each score by the 90th percentile score obtained in that board. The database of 10th and 12th scores of all CAT applicants of the past two years was used for identifying the 90th percentile score for each 10th and 12th board for this purpose.

Thus the profile of the candidate most likely to get a call from IIM(B) should be:
# A high CAT score, cleared all sectional cut offs.
# Consistent academic performance across 10th, 12th and college(s).
# A CA or a working professional with atleast 3 years experience of stealing mousepads and minimizing yahoo messenger and solitaire windows.
# Lots of hair oil, big round glasses, full sleeve shirt with collar button closed.
Ok, I made the last one up, but then, it goes with whatever else they’re asking for anyway.

PHASE TWO – The subjective part – GDPI (Gunda Dhadiya Pazhama Irukiya)

Two interviewers rate your performance for scores out of

GD score – 7.5
GD summary – 7.5
Personal Interview – 20

During the PI, ‘work experience quality’ is given a rating (0, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2) by each member of the panel. The average is then multiplied with the pre-GDPI work experience score and accordingly revised in Phase 2. All candidates are also required to provide three confidential reference letters from their employers or faculty and these are also used in the PI evaluation.

So, the guys who are likely to succeed (which is subjective by the way) in Phase 2 are :
# A good performance in the GD – quality over quantity
# The ones who utter only “Yes, I agree with what Mr.Gupta is saying”, “Yes, I agree with what Mr.Kuppuswamy is saying too”, “Let me summarize what all these jerks shouting their heads off have been saying…”. But frankly, I never knew ‘GD Summary’ was important!
# The ones who’ve not done any silly stuff like singleton classes or python scripts, but have instead gone for the wonderful world of Excel and Powerpoint should breeze through I guess. Poor me, I still can’t get the hang of aligning two columns.

The scores in both phases are added (with revision of Work Ex score with ‘work-exp-quality’) to arrive at a final aggregate score out of 105. (enna number edhu, round a avasara police 100 nu vaikkalamla)


A few random observations/opinions (both of which of course influence each other) :

  • Those from ‘elite’ institutions don’t get preference except that they are more likely to have been toppers in classes 10 and 12 to begin with.
  • The subjective part – GD & PI – make up 33% of the aggregate score. So there still is a chance to play catch up with those first benchers!
  • Everybody, including IIM grads, seem to be cribbing that not enough entrepreneurs graduate every year. I think the selection process plays a part in it in the sense that it looks to be designed to take in only those who’ve never had a failure (which according to me, with the existing education system that promotes memory retention, is the same as never having done anything out of track).
  • Since the day the admit process was released everyone’s been talking of how IIM’s seem set on taking in only the play-it-safe, done-nothing-but-study types. I refuse to accept this. The way the scores work here, an above average student’s academic scores are not going to make that much of a difference from the toppers when the figures are naturalised to 15 and 10 points.
  • But then, in the 10th and 12th board exams, there’s more than a bit of luck with respect to the language scores and not many take stuff like history and geography too seriously (the existing state-level education system is not in sync here).
  • Basically the goal seems to be to try and get people who did well throughout instead of an out of the world performance on the third sunday of November. But once again the process seems to be overwhelming the goal – the CAT paper should be set in such a way that one-day wonders don’t have too much of a say.
  • Above everything, since all this criteria is being taken into account for the GDPI invite itself (every one in millionth of the score makes a difference), a lot of people who’ve tried to do thing their way or tried to change things and failed are going to miss out. There’s a very high realistic probability that potential Welches and Steves who have average acads won’t pass through (not to mention our very own Kamarajar padikalai, Superstar padikalai…).
  • Consistency is one thing, but talent is something else. Would you opt for a class filled with Dravid’s or rather have a good percentage of Sehwags, Yuvrajs and Sreesanths thrown in?

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