For all you aspiring MBA’s, here are the answers to all the FAQ’s in your mind regarding the process of getting into a B-school.

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FAQ1: What is an MBA degree all about?

The Master of Business Administration (MBA or M.B.A.), a master’s degree in business administration , attracts people from a wide range of academic disciplines .The core courses in an MBA program introduce the various areas of business such as accounting, finance, marketing, human resources and operations management; many programs include elective courses.

Accreditation bodies specifically for MBA programs ensure consistency and quality of education. Business schools in many countries offer programs tailored to full-time, part-time, executive, and distance learning students, with specialized concentrations.

FAQ 2: What specializations are available?

The major specialization options offered by B-Schools is General MBA, MBA in Finance, MBA in Human Resources, MBA in Marketing and MBA in IT. Apart from this various institutes offer different specializations such as Banking and Insurance, Foreign trade, Mass Media, etc.

FAQ 3: What is the eligibility for an MBA programme in an Indian B-school?

You need to have a bachelor’s degree (3-year course) or equivalent in any discipline recognized by any Indian University / AICTE as eligible for post-graduate studies.

You can apply while you are in your final year of graduation. If you do get through the admission test, you will be given provisional admission on the condition that you provide your mark sheet and a certificate of passing by a certain date.

FAQ 4: What is the selection process for a B-School in India?

The most sought after institutes have their own independent admission processes.
However, all of them have a 2-stage process:

Stage 1: Written admission test.
Multiple-choice tests in maths, verbal, reading, logic & business awareness conducted in centres across India.
Stage 2: Personality Assessment
Those who qualify through Stage 1 normally proceed to two stages of personality assessment:

Group Discussion: Your performance in a group, while discussing a topic of current importance, is evaluated by a panel of judges. Read more about GDs

Personal Interview: You are interviewed by a panel of specialists. Read more about the interview process.

FAQ 5:  How are these tests conducted?

Each institute has a written admission test, either its own test (like XAT for XIMB, SNAP for Symbiosis, etc.) or part of a common test (like CAT conducted by the IIMs) used by several institutes

These tests are typically 2-hour multiple-choice tests.

Most common entrance exams these days, prefer the online format, some institutes still have the paper-based testing system in place.

Most of the institutes conduct its test once a year, few common tests like the CMAT is conducted twice a year. Test scores or marks are not revealed by any institute. Successful candidates are informed directly

FAQ 6: What are the subjects covered in these tests?

Quantitative Ability (QA): A test of your mathematical skills – essentially high school mathematics. Topics covered include Number Systems, Profit & Loss, Percentages, Averages, Progression, Work, Speed, Geometry and Algebra.

Data Interpretation (DI): A test of your ability to analyze and give specific information from Tables, Activity Charts, Caselets, Bar Charts, Pie Charts and Graphs. At times a variety of Analytical Reasoning questions also come under this section. These are both single puzzle-type questions as well as caselet data sets.

Verbal Ability (VA): A test of your English usage – Grammar, Vocabulary and Verbal Reasoning.

Reading Comprehension (RC): A test of your English reading comprehension skills. This section contains a few passages followed by questions that test your comprehension of the ideas contained in the passage as well as your reasoning skills.

General Awareness/Business Awareness (GA/BA): A test of your awareness of current affairs and business events. This section appears in most admission tests, except CAT. The test has questions on political events, scientific developments, awards, economic indicators, brands, CEOs and books.

Logical Reasoning (LR): A test of your analytical skills through Data Sufficiency exercises, puzzles and deductive reasoning. Data Sufficiency questions are based on basic mathematics.

FAQ 7: Are these tests identical? Are there differences?

There are lots of similarities. And lots of differences as well. For instance, CAT – the premier test, does not usually have the Business Awareness section, but time management is a crucial element here – as there are far more questions than can be possibly answered in the given time. The FMS test, on the other hand, has a Business Awareness section, the MICA test includes an advertising aptitude test, and the TISS test contains an essay on a socially relevant topic. Some tests have negative marking, others don’t

FAQ 8: How to appear for the test?

Test dates or slots will be announced in the newspapers the entire test cycle starts from September with the CMAT, followed by the CAT and other institute specific exams. It ends in March with the CET. Once you determine which B-Schools you want to target you need to fill up forms for their exams. After the exams based on your performance you can fill up B-School forms. Please remember, only those B-schools will accept your result whose forms you have filled in advance.

Followed by this comes the results and as per your score, the calls for the GDPI sessions follow.

FAQ 9: How many months in advance should I start preparing?

Ideally, you should start preparing 6-8 months before your first attempt. If your basic concepts of math and verbal are clear you have a good chance of building up on speed and accuracy and clearing the first attempt. Do not lose hope if that is not the case, a very marginal number of students get into the b-school of their choice in the first attempt.

Aim to complete the syllabus and give a few tests to understand how the tests are conducted and where you stand in terms of preparation. After this work on your weaknesses and you will surely clear any test you aim for.

FAQ 10: What sort of study material should I refer to?

Join a coaching class, as they help you learn the syllabus along with the tactics required to clear the written test and the GDPI. Another advantage of a coaching class is that they guide you in the entire entrance exam process so you are not lost in the first attempt.

If you don’t want to join a coaching class then there are various books and websites available to guide you throughout your syllabus and the process. Various mobile applications are also available to help you.

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'Ever Learning, Ever Evolving, Never Giving up' sums up www.bms.co.in's Content Manager and passionate writer, Ami. She is a BMS graduate who has freelanced in the past with the top Indian newspapers and magazines. Apart from writing she also likes to indulge into travelling, photography and social work.
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