CAT Strat
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How to plan a GMAT attempt along with a CAT re-take

In the aftermath of the CAT, a lot of aspirants who did not make it will be contemplating their next move and the GMAT as an option will be looming large on the horizon. I feel that for those aspirants who have a stellar profile, more than 30 months of work experience as of now, and are aiming at top-tier colleges, the GMAT should definitely be an option to consider.


Is it worth spending $250 on the GMAT if you are looking at colleges only in India?

This is maybe the first question to answer — What options does the GMAT give you in India? As most of you would agree, the best options via the GMAT in India are ISB and SPJIMR.

Even among the two ISB is considered too expensive by most aspirants. I feel that while that is definitely true, if one only looks at fee, the ROI becomes better if one considers the fact that it is a one-year course; you will be earning for a year if you do a 1-year MBA at ISB as opposed to a 2-year program, so if we subtract the savings of a year then the net ISB fee will come down by 10L (assuming you manage to get a 15L job and save 10L). This still makes ISB around 5-8L costlier than the old IIMs but that is to a certain extent compensated by the international faculty and learning at ISB. Also, the purely financial ROI for an MBA is better calculated over the longer-term, say 10 years, and not just your first salary. For those with 30 or more months of work experience, ISB definitely offers a wider range of roles since the average work experience of the batch at ISB is about 4.8 years.

SPJIMR takes the GMAT for its flagship course and the cut-off for a profile based call is a 650 and a 720 will more or less guarantee a score-based call.

It is anyway unwise to put all eggs once again into the CAT basket, so you should be taking other tests.


When should you take the GMAT if you are planning a CAT re-take?

The most important part of cracking both the GMAT and the CAT in the same year is the timing of the two tests. I believe that even if one has scored above a 95 percentile on the CAT and is looking at a re-take, a successful re-take — a percentile well in excess of 98 — one should take at the least 12-15 proctored tests. Proctored tests usually start by the end of June, so a CAT re-take prep should start no later than 15-July.

One thing that I would absolutely advise against is taking both GMAT and CAT Mocks simultaneously since they are as different as chalk and cheese or to be more precise Test Match and T20 cricket respectively. Playing a test match like the GMAT followed by a T20 like the CAT is definitely not going to help you ace both.

In most such cases, where aspirants are preparing for both tests even after July, I have seen that one of the two tests goes for a toss. There will always be exceptions but I am talking about the ideal way to prep to ensure that you crack both the tests.

So if you are planning to do both GMAT and CAT in one year, you should finish the GMAT by June-end or July first week and then begin your CAT Prep.


How is the GMAT different from the CAT?

By the test match analogy, it will be clear that the GMAT is a different kettle of fish altogether. The VERBAL on the GMAT is of a tougher level than the CAT with Grammar accounting for a third of the questions. The RC and CR as well are very different in terms of the technique required when compared to the way they are tested on Indian tests.

Also in terms of timing, the Verbal section on the CAT has 34 questions in 60 minutes, making the average time available per question 1min. 45 sec whereas on the GMAT it is 36 questions in 65 minutes at 1 min. 49 sec per question. The crucial catch though is that on the GMAT you have to answer every question and move on — no skipping, no coming back, while on the CAT you need not answer all questions, 25-28 attempts with a good accuracy will ensure that you clear the cut-off.

In essence, the GMAT Verbal is tougher than the CAT and would need some solid prep before you attain some mastery.

The Math on the GMAT, while much narrower in terms of the number of concepts to be covered, involves a higher amount of reasoning in that it comprises of 15-16 Data Sufficiency questions.

Most importantly the GMAT is a very structured test, which means that your scores will not fluctuate wildly during the Mocks, as is sometimes the case with CAT, especially on the Verbal section.

This also means that you need not take as many Mocks for the GMAT as you need to do for the CAT since you are not training to handle varying sectional and overall difficulty levels to ensure that you clear the cut-off in all conditions.


Do you need training for the GMAT?

I feel that GMAT Verbal is something for which almost all Indian test-takers need to take training if they intend to crack scores in excess of 720 over a 3-month period.

Even so, the best way to determine whether you need coaching is to take a GMAT Official Computer-Based Mock by downloading the software from mba.com or the Diagnostic Test from any copy of the GMAT Official Guide (learn how to convert the OG Diagnostic Test to the 800 scale here)

If you score a 680 and above and it is the first time you are taking a full-length GMAT Mock, you will not need training. You can do your prep by going through all the posts on this GMAT blog that I run. It covers advanced concepts and strategies for all question types in Quant and Verbal.

If you score below 680 I suggest taking up a Verbal only program; IMS students can connect with their nearest IMS center for the same.


You should book your slot first before starting your prep

Whether we like it or not we function better under well-defined deadlines. If you do not book your GMAT slot right now and decide to do the same only after your prep then you will prep but not in all earnestness. Your prep will only really pick up steam once you enter June and invariably there will end up being a month or two of overlap between your GMAT and CAT Prep.

I have seen enough students messing up wither one or both of the exams and ending up having to choose from limited options — the exact opposite of the intended plan to maximise options.

Your chances of cracking both the GMAT and the CAT in the same year hinge a lot on how well you utilise the months of April and May and how well you utilise it hinges on whether you have a test paid for and lined up in June.


If you are looking at international applications or ISB, take up admissions consulting assistance

Most Indian aspirants have a tough time framing answers and making a strong application when it comes to filling up the forms of schools such as ISB and international schools.

The form does not have a major impact in the selection process of Indian b-schools since the form usually comes after the WAT-GD-PI shortlist is announced on the basis of test-scores but in the case of ISB and international schools, the shortlist is given on the basis of the score and a strong application form.

If you have friends who have made it to ISB and top international schools and will be willing to take out time to help you out extensively with your essays then you would not need any professional help. Else I suggest it is absolutely a must to take admissions consulting assistance to help you select the right schools abroad, evaluate your profile in-depth, enable you to come up with answers and edit your essays as well.

To get your profile evaluated for an international application you can write to consulting@imsindia.com


All of you will know that good planning is half the job done. The idea of this post was to help you do the same.

Over the years I have seen that students kind of go into a hibernation-mode post the CAT to wake up only in June-July, all kicked and pumped up to crack both tests.

As most of my students know I took the GMAT for the second time in June 2017 (my first attempt was in 2008 for a 750) and scored a 770.

From my personal experience of taking and teaching for these tests, I know that each test deserves to be respected and prepared for in its own right. Relying on a carry-over of prep from one test to the other is not going to result in great scores and there is no point in taking a test that costs $250 if one does not prep for it with the focus it deserves.

37 Comments

  1. Hello Sir
    I graduated in 2020, with a BBA degree. I gave my first CAT attempt in November, after graduation and scored a 90 percentile. I had a profile based call from SP Jain, however due to my inability of not clearing sectionals, I couldn’t make it to the next round. I haven’t started working as of now. I am confused whether I should take up GMAT, or give another attempt at CAT. It is also becoming difficult to search for a job now! Please guide Sir

    Like

    • Hi Tanya,

      There is no point in taking up the GMAT since there are few good Indian colleges accepting the GMAT that offer good programs for freshers — ISB gives an admit to freshers but you can join only after completing two years fo work-ex and Great Lakes has a program for those with under two years of work-ex.

      So it makes a lot of sense to give the CAT another shot.

      All the best!

      Like

  2. Priyal Jain says

    Hello Sir,

    I am Priyal Jain. Sir I wanted to talk you personally about some future plans and the concerns which I had. Sir, it will be really great if you could provide with any contact details of yours for the same.

    Sir, I badly need this because I ended up doing wrong things in my first attempt, and that’s why I want to contact you to discuss in detail as to how should I go ahead and plan.

    Looking forward to hear from you.

    Regards
    Priyal

    Like

    • Hi Priyal,

      I do not give out my contact details in public since then I will be deluged with questions. You can post all your questions here and I will answer them; CAT Prep and career plans are professional issues and hence you need not be conscious of putting it here; many people do.

      All the best!

      Like

  3. Priyal Jain says

    Thank you Sir for your reply and comment.

    So, sir majorly I am facing issues pertaining as to what should I take up now.

    1. I gave CAT2020 and ended up scoring low percentile and could not clear DILR cut off. So by default I could not make it to any good calls. The reasons which I could figure out for the same was lack of practice on my part and somewhat I was a little inconsistent when it came to giving mocks.

    So, my question to you is that what should I go forward with re preparing for CAT and simultaneously for GMAT. Or should I only prepare for GMAT. Also, should I again go for coaching or self study altogether.

    Currently I am placed at a company which I will be joining in July. So, how should I go about preparation, planning of backups and preparation of CAT (because to be honest I want to give one more attempt to it to give my best once again and I know nuances of CAT as well and if I would be going for GMAT I would have to start altogether new and again.) or altogether leave the preparation for the time being and focus on taking up work experience and then go for masters.

    All in all sir I am confused right now as to how should I sort things out and plan properly with backup. I badly need a suggestion right now sir and I really look forward to you for same because I have seen all your videos, read your blogs and they were really helpful for me when I was preparing earlier.

    Looking forward to hear from you sir !

    Thanks in advance sir.

    Regards
    Priyal

    Like

    • Hi Priyal,

      Firstly, since it seems like you are about to graduate this year or are yet to take up a job, I do not see what you will gain from taking the GMAT since in India GMAT is accepted primarily by 1-year programs that look for people with more than 2 years of experience.

      The only reason for freshers to take the GMAT is if they want to apply to ISB’s early entry program (through which you get admission into the program without work-ex but can start the program only after you finish the 2 years work-ex). The rest of the Indian programs accepting GMAT are just about okay. So if you are not looking at programs abroad (MiM not MBA since MBA programs need work-ex) there is no point in spending $250 just for a couple of colleges.

      Taking the CAT again (along with IIFT, NMAT, SNAP and XAT) though is what you should do since Indian schools have 30-50% freshers or those with under 2 years of work-ex and recruiters from domains such as Marketing look for freshers.

      Do you need to take coaching again? Well, that completely depends on your learning needs.

      If you gave a solid prep last year and only DI-LR is an issue then maybe joining the DI-LR score improvement program (LIVE Online) that we launch later in the year is the only program you will need.

      So yeah, life is not as complicated as it seems, work and prep to retake CAT.

      All the best!

      Like

  4. Ashwini says

    Hi Sir,

    Firstly, I loved this post.
    Sir I gave CAT 2020 last year and honestly got buried in the ground. my overall percentile was worse than what I got last year (Without any prep 78) which is 67. I only managed to get a 95+ percentile in QA. I resigned last year with 45 months of work ex. From here on, I do not know where I should go or what I should do. Honestly I do believe I can do much better. But I am dubious about whether I should give CAT again this year. Last year I gave SIMCATs, and I really loved the way you explained VARC section and it really helped me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do well in VARC too. I guess due to not giving enough mocks.
    Should I take up mocks this year and start preparing for CAT 2021. Also, since GMAT is somewhat different from CAT. How can I prepare for both, If I should.

    Regards,
    Ashwini

    Like

    • Hi Ashwini,

      Given that you have 45 months of work-ex, your profile will normally have been considered to be a bit of an outlier for a 2-year program and more suited to a 1-year program. But given gender diversity, you can count on getting more shortlists in a 2-year program.

      I would suggest the following plan, your first plan should be to crack the best 1-year programs (ISB, SPJIMR, some of the old IIMs, and Great Lakes). For this take up the GMAT and prep for GMAT and finish it before 30-May.

      Take an official GMAT Mock from mba.com (in ideal test condition since it is the best blood test you can take) if you score less than 680 then you will be better off seeking test prep help (either IMS Live GMAT Program — https://www.imsindia.com/GMAT/ or Wizako) as 720 is par for ISB. The thing about the GMAT it will seem very achievable on your own but without the right technique, your scores will stay stagnant; my GMAT Blog thegmatblogger.in can serve as a companion.

      From June onwards, do your applications for 1-year programs and prepare for CAT and the two-year programs.

      If you have good admits to both 1-year and 2-year programs you can choose between them later.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

      • Ashwini says

        Thank you for the valuable suggestion sir. Although I think there is one misunderstanding. I am a GEM (General Engineer Male). 🙂

        Like

      • Well, my bad – default wiring 🙂 Then things become clearer, GMAT becomes even more the route to go; you can push it till June-end, if required and take the CAT with nothing much to lose!

        All the best!

        Like

  5. Konark Gupta says

    Hello Sir,

    Thank you for writing this article. I am totally in the same situation where I’ll be giving GMAT and CAT this year. Background about myself – I am a lawyer by profession with 2+ years of experience, gave CAT in 2020, and scored an 85 Percentile (tanked my Quants Section). This year I have decided to take up CAT once again and also go for GMAT (Primarily for ISB). Also, along with my preparations, I have decided that I’ll be working under a lawyer in my hometown (Part-time). Am I taking too many things on my plate or is this an ideal way to proceed with things?

    Any advice that you would want to give before I kickstart my preparations and go ahead with this schedule.

    Regards,
    Konark

    Like

    • Hi Konark,

      If you are working part-time and have the rest of your day for exam prep, then from now on till November there is enough time to crack both tests.

      Take an official GMAT Mock from mba.com (in ideal test condition since it is the best blood test you can take) if you score less than 680 then you will be better off seeking test prep help (either IMS Live GMAT Program — https://www.imsindia.com/GMAT/ or Wizako) as 720 is par for ISB. The thing about the GMAT it will seem very achievable on your own but without the right technique, your scores will stay stagnant; my GMAT Blog thegmatblogger.in can serve as a companion.

      You need to knock-off the GMAT before June and then move on to CAT.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  6. Ananya says

    Greetings Tony Sir,

    I’ve been very fascinated by your blog posts, masterclasses, and webinars since April 2020 and every piece of advice you’ve given has had very drastic changes on my decisions, career goals, motivation, and of course the preparation.

    In this situation, I think only you can help me and give me a perspective as to what I should do. It’s been several days since the NMAT cutoffs were released and I couldn’t get a call from NMIMS Mumbai with just 1 mark below the QA cut off and I’ve been taking time off just to recover that entire scenario. NMIMS was the last option I had on my list this year after a bad CAT 2020 percentile of 83.

    I’m a final year engineering student, (Branch: CSE) and I have got placement at Wipro as a project engineer. But since they have a bond period of 12 months for freshers, I’m very very unsure about what to do. I want to prepare for CAT 2021 and give other entrances as well as try to get into a good B school next year for which I’m ready to do whatever it takes, but again I’m just worried about all the risks and pressure That I have to go through if I drop a year and not accept the job offer. This situation nearly haunts me every single day as to what would be a good decision for me at the moment. My career goals are focused on joining a B-school primarily, I’ve also been doing online courses to explore more about MBA. I would be completely honest that I’m not the most interested in pursuing a career in IT but I’m afraid of the risks I’ll be running if I drop a campus job.

    Please could you give me some advice on my situation.
    Regards,
    Ananya.

    Like

    • Hi Ananya,

      I recognise you from previous comments on the blog 🙂

      Well, you do have a problem on your hands but not quite as grave as you think it is.

      Firstly, unless you need to prep for a whole day for the next 9 months to crack CAT and other exams, you need to take up a job since you would want to avoid questions about the CAT if you can.

      Secondly, more than the alignment with your career goals, you should consider not taking up the job you have only if you feel you absolutely hate IT, which given that you are a CSE grad is a bit of an anomaly but not a mystery. In that case, you should look for other jobs to take up.

      If you do not mind taking up the job and learning from the experience then take it up since the 12-month bond unless it starts in July and you will have to break the bond to join a b-school; if the latter is true then again look for other jobs.

      The last option, but not a scary one if you can handle the pressure that comes with it, is to take another shot without a full-time job but at the same time doing enough things to account for the gap and improve your profile.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!

      Like

  7. isha verma says

    sir, if given two options which one would be better in terms of long term career growth. My profile is Class 10 : 9.8, Class 12 : 91%, B.com H (DU) :7.5, left KPMG with work ex of 17 months in Audit
    CAT percentile is 89 and NMAT score is 243.
    Good MBA calls from India are NMIMS core Mumbai, MICA and IIM Bodhgaya, Jammu, Sirmaur. Through CAT, I am thinking of applying for MIM programs in schools like ESCP and EDHEC France. If I get into NM, should I join and work for a while and then go for specialized programs in US b schools ? or go for these MIM programs?
    I am thinking of applying for MIM because I was not satisfied with my calls and want to keep my options open and their deadline for payment is 3 march. (i have started with sop and lor process with help of IMS). the shortlist for NM is on 1 march. my confusion is if i get in, should i join ? I really wish to get in touch with you regarding this.

    Like

    • Hi Isha,

      Well, the thing is that we are not comparing apples with apples when we are comparing a MIM program with an MBA program.

      The pros of a MIM program are that the quality of education will be much better, personal growth will be steeper and faster and opens up opportunities for building a career abroad.

      The cons are that you will eventually have to do an MBA at some point in time and from what I have heard MiM programs are not bad if you are looking at Finance but for Marketing, Consulting and other areas it is not easy to manage without full working knowledge of French.

      The advantages of an Indian MBA program say from NMIMS is that you will find the journey to a job easier since you will have none of the adjustment to deal with and since placements are more or less taken care of while there you have to in a way fend for yourself. The cons are that it will be more of the same old Indian system but much better and more competitive since it is an MBA program.

      Yes, you have the option of doing a second MBA abroad much later, after you have more skills and also have more knowledge about yourself, what you want to do and the opportunities out there. In fact, a lot of people take that route.

      So yeah, both options have their pros and cons. It is up to you to take a call based on where you see yourself thriving.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  8. Shivam Goenka says

    Hello sir
    How do you rate the MiM program from reputed institutions via the GMAT?

    Like

  9. Ashutosh says

    Hello Sir

    Thanks for your plan. It has given a good plan for scheduling both tests. Can you please review my profile and suggest me what is a good way for me to proceed. About my profile:
    Class X: 10/10
    Class XII 92/100
    Graduation: B.E (Engineering Hons) Chemical Engineering 8.79/10
    Work Experience: 33 Months as Software Development Engineer(In a global top 4 bank).(Resigned)
    I resigned from my job as I had an offer from a stealth mode startup but the startup didn’t work and unfortunately I am unemployed. I don’t see my self working for a long time in IT and want to
    shift the job roles to Product Management. I really liked the job profiles of Program manager at Microsoft, Aditya Birla Leadership Programmes and such roles offered at other firms. I have given CAT 2020 and scored 98.06 percentile with Sectionals as (Verbal-84.3/DILR-88.6/Quant-99.7).Also in XAT I scored 94.3 percentile with sectionals as (Verbal-96.3/DM-80.5/QA-84.3).Also I was working consistently around 98+ in mocks. I did a lot of practice with 3rcs in VARC sectionals instead of 4rcs that made me less prepared and couldn’t manage my RCS properly within time. I am done with my interview for IIM CAP Rounds and SPJain.I didn’t get any call from other college. So my question is
    1.Should I take SP Jain if i convert this year?
    2. If not SP Jain, I think I could follow the plan of CAT and GMAT as mentioned in your blog?
    3. If I am planning to retake CAT, since I have no job should I take up any job to avoid a gap or target the roles like Business Analyst and Product Manager roles. I believe with my experience I am getting SDE role shortlist easily but not BA Role or PM Role.
    4.Also I am preparing for entrance of PGDBA Course at IIMC/ISI Kolata/IIT Kgp at the moment as a backup.

    Like

    • Hi Ashutosh,

      At this stage, the best thing you can do is join a Top 20 B-school. So, if you get SPJIMR, join. It might seem given your profile that you deserve and can get into a Top 6 program but I feel that given your work-ex it is ideal you join right now.

      If you are looking at another attempt or if you have to make another attempt then it makes sense to take up something substantial in the process.

      You can take a job, but alternatively, you can look at taking up the CFA since it will come in handy for the ABG and TAS roles.

      You can take up the PGDBA course but it will be a different course and am not sure if you will get the outcomes you want.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!
      All the best!

      Like

  10. Aditya says

    Sir, how realistic are scores from mba.com. Number of incorrect answers seems to be on higher side for a score of 710.
    scaled score Percentile
    IR 3 19% (4 correct,8 incorrect)
    VERBAL 35 76% (23 correct,13 incorrect)
    QA 50 86% (23 correct,8 incorrect)
    TOTAL 710 91%

    Thanks

    Like

    • Pretty realistic. I got the same score twice in the actual GMAT as I got in the penultimate mba.com test that I took.

      All the best!

      Like

  11. Thank you for the informative post! As CAT 2020 did not go according to plan, and I have set my sights on a reattempt. GMAT is an option I am considering to widen the safety net in case CAT 2021 does not lead to something good. I am a GEM in a marketing role with 12 months of experience, and am apprehensive as most B-schools from outside require a good amount of work ex paired with a good profile. My main apprehension for doing an MBA from outside India are cost related (MBA from outside india is almost twice as much as in India from what I know so far), but I want to educate myself on the ground reality and whether scholarships are provided on the basis of test scores by good colleges. How to go about this dilemma sir? Really looking forward to your opinion.

    Like

    • Hi Nikhil,

      All MBA programs abroad need atleast3 years of work-ex; the average age of candidates in MBA programs abroad is 27 years.

      With your work-ex, you will have to look at MIM programs, which are for people with less than 2 years of work-ex, and offers entry levels roles in management; it means that at some point of time you will have to do an MBA later.

      Education abroad will be mighty expensive even with all the scholarships.

      So unless you have three or more years of experience and are willing yo shell out good money I do not think you should look at GMAT and schools abroad.

      There is no point in taking the GMAT for roles in India since there are no great 2-year programs accepting the GMAT.

      MY advice put your head down and give the CAT, XAT, IIFT, NMAT and SNAP your best shot and apply to Top-25 colleges.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  12. Rohan Chakraborty says

    Hi Sir,

    Thanks a lot for this post. Can you please look at my profile and suggest the best path I could take this year.

    Class X- 9.8/10
    Class XII- 87.6%
    Graduation- BTech( Electrical and Electronics engineering)- 7.77/10
    Work Experience- 46 months
    GEM candidate

    I worked for my first 2 years as a Software developer. As, I was not finding my coding job interesting, I switched to a role of Business Operation Specialist wherein I could understand the impact which our work has on business front and is not a core technical job. Though I was not very well prepared, but I appeared for CAT 2020 and got 83 percentile.(Quants-85, DI-64, Verbal-83). I got a score of 230 in NMAT and missed out on a call from NMIMS, Mumbai. I am currently preparing for CMAT and CET and I fall under OMS (Outside Maharashtra category). Right now, I am getting around 250 in CMAT mocks. Firstly, I am aiming to push it beyond 300 as JBIMS gives a call at 99.99 percentile(CMAT) for which a score of 320+ is required.

    Coming to my work related concerns-I am not in a managerial position right now. As i switched to a new Business profile as mentioned above, I am only 16 months into this new role. Sir, I really desire to do an MBA from a top 20 Indian B-school and hence unable to understand my next step forward. Can you please suggest if I am too late to give myself another chance by attempting CAT 2021, NMAT,XAT,IIFT for this year? What should be a good score for GMAT considering the fact that I am GEM and interested to try for ISB. Also, Can you please guide me on how to make my profile attractive for ISB and SP Jain as I have heard that its the overall profile which matters and not just a progression in your job role which gives you an edge above others.

    Looking forward to hear back from you.

    Regards,
    Rohan

    Like

    • Hi Rohan,

      Everyone starts off with a technical role and then moves on to more managerial roles — being in a managerial role is not a pre-requisite to an MBA — infact it is the other way around an MBA is the route to move from the technical side to the business side of things.

      Given your work-ex and your CAT percentile, I think you should give it another shot and not settle for the CMAT & CET colleges.

      But another shot not at CAT (and other exams) but at the good 1-year program through the GMAT since that will be your best bet if you are starting a program next year with around 60 months of work-ex.

      So, prepare for the GMAT, ISB would need around 720-ish and that should suffice for all the other good programs — IIMs, XLRI-GMP, SPJIMR, Great Lakes; you should be able to make it one of these 7-8 programs.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  13. Priyansh says

    Hello Sir,

    I always find my solutions related to preparation in your posts and then reading the comment section, if someone is in the same dilemma where I am right now.
    I will be highlighting my background firstly and then ask few questions
    – Born – 1997
    – Class X – 8.4 CGPA (2013)
    – Class XII (Commerce with math) – 89.8% (2015)
    – BA(Economic Hons.) – 6.10 CGPA (2018)
    – 4 internships
    – Key responsibilities – Founder President of Marketing Society and R&D head of Enactus
    – Work experience – 18 months as an analyst (3 LPA)
    – Trainings- Digital marketing and marketing analytics

    Now, I have few options and need to decide what suits me and what I can do in near future. I will briefly explain few pointers which can be done and I want if you could help me choose the right one and I would be glad if you could find out the loopholes wherever possible.
    Though my current position is that I left my job for preparation for CAT and OMET’s in March 2020. It’s been an year now and I did 2 months of a course from Coursera. Now, I have been selected for a job which is paying 6-7 LPA, though due to the incentives I will be getting 70K-75K per month. Also, I am expecting a call from Welingkar Mumbai based on my scores. I have applied for CMAT as well where in I have filled the application forms for GIM, KJ, Welingkar. In SIMCMAT 1 I scored 95.5 percentile but then I haven’t prepared anything from past 1 month since the delay is going on.
    So now the options available are as follows:-

    1. Join this organization which is a complete night shift as it is an US based startup set up in 2016 growing at a tremendous pace backed up by many top investors. While working here, to build my resume and learning much more so that I can grow up in this field need to pursue Business Analytics course which involves Python, SAS etc. though I don’t have any pre-requisite knowledge here but I have sound knowledge for statistics as what was taught in economic hons. though which need to be revised thoroughly. This is a 6 months course wherein fees of this course is 50k and will make me competent enough for getting jobs which is not an entry level one. While simultaneously preparing for GMAT and taking time till this course is going on. As for these 6 months of BA, I will be just reading and solving few Arithmetic questions to be in touch and after completion of this course gunning my 4 months prep for my first attempt to GMAT for an executive MBA i.e somewhere in Jan- March 2022.

    2.Prepare for CMAT and aim for GIM/ KJ.

    3. If not able to convert GIM/KJ through CMAT, take up Welingkar and quit this job as in probation I would need to serve a month.

    4. Work and prepare for CAT and OMEt’s again, though now I fear RC intense exam like CAT a bit. i am comfortable with NMAT and SNAP exam as I was able to knock every CR question. Scored terribly low in CAT and average scores in other exams.

    5. Work + Business Analytics + MBA(Distance Learning) = Look for further growth just like climbing the ladder in organizations step by step.

    6. Your solution.

    I am facing this dilemma for a month now and I just found this insightful and please do reply sir. Looking for the best solution possible. I had followed your blogs while I prepared and found to be very useful. This can be a turning point in my life and there is no looking back after this decision.

    Like

    • Hi Priyansh,

      The executive MBA makes sense for people with four or more years of work-ex at the least and you are very far from that.

      My suggestion would be simple:

      1. Take up the job and give another shot.

      2. This time focus on NMAT & SNAP since they will any day offer much better options than the ones you have in your hand right now; take the CAT just for the sake of it (since you know it is other tests that are your forte); so think ADMAT (our name for OMET :-)) + CAT rather than CAT + ADMAT.

      3. Finish NMAT first attempt before CAT, and make sure your prep does justice to SNAP as well. IIFT and XAT are not easy so you can leave one of them; given your RC fear, it should be XAT that you leave.

      Once this is clear in your head, you can prepare with confidence instead of the fear of failing from last time; a great performance can be a bonus that can be captialised on by applying to a few schools based on CAT.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

      • Priyansh Verma says

        Thank you so much for your response, I had a question to this.
        Should I think of doing this Business Analytics course or plan this latter. Kindly help.

        Like

      • That depends on the careers you want to pursue post your MBA; is you want to work in analytics then doing it will make sense.

        All the best!

        Like

  14. Parth Patel says

    Hello sir,
    Less planning and practice gave me the worst score in CAT 2020 with less than 50%lie. Also, I gave all test except XAT and getting enough scores like NMAT(189), SNAP(40%lie). Then, I have called from IBS Mumbai (converted), SIBM-H(waiting list). These call is not satisfy to me, off course low %lie but I am very much confused to take it IBS Mumbai or go for next year CAT.
    So, sir I request you to reply because I am scared that I will ace CAT next year, major afraid part is that will I crack verbal part? or getting the same score as i have got this year or if I ace it next year, then well and good but can’t get good enough scores so then what to do?. Should I re-take CAT or get an admission in IBS Mumbai.
    I am eagerly waiting for solution.

    Regards,
    Parth Patel.

    Like

    • Hi Parth,

      A college should always be evaluated with respect to the profile of the applicant. So you have to see whether the placements offered at IBS Mumbai— domains, brands, salaries — match your aspiration or not; if they do then go ahead and join the school.

      One big thing that is need for a retake is the confidence that you have what it takes to make it both in terms of ability and courage; if you are doubtful about both then it makes sense to join right now.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  15. Khagendra Dipak Deore says

    Dear Sir,

    Hope you are doing well.

    First of all, I am really grateful for your constant guidance through amazing posts at every single stage of the preparation. I also appreciate the efforts you put in answering every single query in the comments(being the only point of contact).

    I have come across this post at the moment when I needed it the most. I will briefly quote the profile followed my B-school aspirations :
    10th – 87.60% 12th- 68.31%
    GEM – Mech Engineering(2018) – 66.61%
    Work ex as Software Developer- 32 months which includes 20 months(TCS) and 12 months at KSB Pumps(German MNC).

    I have attempted CAT,SNAP(77%le),XAT(62%le),TISSNET(57marks),CMAT(77%le) in 2020 where could not score above 80%le in any of these exams.
    As far as the B-schools are concerned, I am aiming for best HR B-schools as I want to pursue career in HR domain. When I talked to a counsellor at IMS, GMAT stood out as a good option in terms of wide scope of B schools abroad(work experience being a plus) and few options in India too.
    Coming to the thought which is haunting me everyday is that, I am little sure about scoring good in CAT(honestly) after analyzing it. I want to put in serious efforts for GMAT prep and get it done by August mid. Post that, I will focus on TISSNET, XAT(XLRI) and SNAP(for SCMHRD) being HR as a priority.
    Also, the current job is not letting me prepare much(and is something which I don’t enjoy.). If I take up an entry level HR job and prepare along side, will it improve the profile by any means?
    What should be the preparation plan for GMAT and then considering the above exams? Should I prepare for CAT after GMAT is over, considering the fact that TISSNET,XAT and SNAP are conducted around January?

    Please help me with these queries as I am feeling stuck as of now. I will definitely wait for the response.

    P.S.- I will surely follow your GMAT blog for preparation :-).

    Regards,
    Khagendra.

    Like

  16. Hamid says

    Hi Sir,

    Hope you are doing well. Thanks for helping students with their preparations and career advice through your insightful blogs.

    Need your advice pertaining to my MBA. Sharing my profile brief below, and the questions
    following that:

    Profile Brief:

    Education:
    B.Tech -2016 passout E.C 77.10%
    Class 10th CBSE 91.20%
    Class 12th CBSE 79.60%

    Work Experience:
    4.5 years at Tata Consultancy Services, Bangalore. Currently an IT
    Analyst working on system integration using cloud integration platforms.
    If I apply next year, I will leave my job at TCS, and work 1
    year at Rupifi, a fintech startup in a tech development + product
    role. I already have an offer from them.

    Current MBA Results:
    I have an admit from NMIMS Mumbai for this year.
    I got 96.59 percentile in CAT this year. Interview calls from all
    “new” IIMs and MDI Gurgaon. Final results are not out yet.
    GMAT – Planning to take in June. Based on mock results, expecting a
    730-750 score.

    Questions:
    1. Confused whether to go for NMIMS or wait for next year for better
    Indian and Foreign MBA programmes. Main concern is that NMIMS is good
    for people with less than 2.5 years work ex and those specializing in
    finance, but not so sure about my profile (4+ years in IT). I am
    looking more for a Product Manager sort of role in Tech/Ecommerce companies.
    If you have any inputs, it will be really helpful.

    2. If I wait for another year, I want to keep the foreign MBA option
    strong, since with a 5+ year work ex, only very few Indian colleges
    will consider / be the right choice for me for their two year MBA
    programmes. Hence, I wanted your honest opinion on what kind of
    foreign MBA programmes along with ISB and the 1 year MBA programmes at
    IIM A/B/C I can realistically aim for given my background.

    Regards,
    Hamid

    Like

    • Hi Hamid,

      Your assessment of the right way ahead for your profile is pretty much spot on.

      With 4-plus years of experience, you will definitely be better off applying to the premier 1-year programs in India and a few good programs abroad rather than taking up NM right now, I do not think the overall experience and learning will be commensurate with what you are looking at. The only reason to join NM can be to look at General Management programs or IT Leadership programs offered by GE and stuff.

      If you are not in a hurry, unlike most Indian aspirants, you should take another shot.

      As to your second question about what sort of international colleges you should apply to, I do not have hands-on experience with admissions consulting for international programs, so I will not be the best person to answer this question. You can leave your e-mail id as a reply to this comment and I will get the right person to give you some preliminary guidance.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

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