In coming weeks we will be discussing all about CAT, the three sections and various strategies to tackle them but before that we need to understand our adversary.
Understanding Competition: A lot has been said about competition at CAT and how IIMs are the toughest institute in the world to get into. I would like to present some points on the same for you to ponder.
General perception is that success ratio to get into IIMs (for the time being we will calculate it for only the top 7 IIMs with an aggregate of is 1:75 and above. Yes, 185,000 took CAT 2010. So?
Does that mean 185000 were targeting IIMs last year? That is anybody’s guess.
By my experience I can say roughly two-third of the CAT takers every year in their dreams would not have targeted IIMs. They are just product of "What next?" syndrome and have got hold of some CAT material to start with. In the Indian academic system, a student is more worried about "what next" than focusing on present. This "what next" decision is not taken after a rational look at various career options and students interest levels but is dependent on peer pressure and the current trend in market, not to mention lack of exposure to graduates in current scheme of things.
The real competition at CAT is the remaining one third aspirants (those who chose MBA as their career option and not a degree option). These are the aspirants from the various IITs, RECs, best commerce colleges in the country, working professionals with sound managerial acumen and the fresh CAs. But as it happens in each competitive exam half of these lack the will & focus and tend to postpone their CAT aspirations for years to come.
Objectively speaking, the real competition is just 25000 to 30000 in number but it comprises of bunch of aspirants who are not just brilliant and smart but focused and diligent in pursuit of their dream IIM tag.
Me - the CAT aspirant and knowing what it takes: First of all you need to sit down and understand whether you are a serious CAT taker or you belong to the second category of "half-hearted attempters" at CAT. Thereafter you need to introspect your current verbal and quantitative skills as they stand today.
Take a previous year CAT paper or log on to our website www.catgurus.com for online CAT preparation material and do introspect this week till we meet next week and discuss "CAT-What it takes".