CAT exams most popular, but cumbersome

The Common Admission Test (CAT) to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) remains the most popular choice for the bulk of MBA aspirants, even though they find such exams both cumbersome and expensive. These were some of the findings of the first-ever online survey of MBA aspirants, conducted by MBAUniverse.com, a New Delhi-based website.

It quizzed 445 aspirants in November 2013, who took CAT 2014 exams to the IIMs. The results were declared on January 14."The survey brings out key insights which will help business schools and policy makers address concerns and initiate reforms," Amit Agnihotri, chairman, MBAUniverse.com, told IANS.

The aspirants sought greater transparency on placement track record, besides reduced fees and a regulatory body to oversee management education, according to the survey.

The respondents said they wanted to pursue MBA for boosting knowledge and skills while more than 65 percent wanted it for a better salary.

Delhi remains the most preferred destination for MBA education (27 percent ), followed by Bangalore (25.4 percent), Mumbai (18.3 percent) and Ahmedabad (11.3 percent), according to the survey.

More than 66 percent preferred XAT (Xavier Admission Test), with the third and fourth places going to NMAT (Narsee Monjee Management Aptitude Test) at 45.8 percent, and SNAP (Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP), at 44.4 percent.

Admission tests by the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) came fifth, being preferred by 34.7 percent. IIFT is an autonomous business school established by the government of India in 1963.

Respondents suggested that the 140 B-schools which accept CAT results for admission should let applicants apply to a Bschool after they secure CAT scores in January.

For instance, some Bschools like the Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon and SP Jain close their application process in December itself, before CAT results are announced, necessitating wasteful expenditure.

Respondents selected Bschools on the basis of their placement history, corporate linkages, position of BSchools in various rankings and government approvals and faculty, rather than specialisations offered or location.

The country has 500 stand-alone B-schools , PG Diploma in Management ( PGDM) programmes; and nearly 3,000 MBA departments , offering 350,000 seats in a year.
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