5 Reasons Why GMAT is Better than CAT

Should I take the Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted by the IIMs or the GMAT? This question is the dilemma that any Indian MBA aspirant faces today. Other major dilemmas students face are, Which exam will I stand a better chance at? Which exam will give me more “bang for the buck”? Which test will give you access to MBA programs that are commensurate at your experience level? And finally which exam will open my gates to the best management programs in the world

We analyze some important points on the eternal CAT vs GMAT debate, to help you decide:

Factor #1:

The Number of Aspirants

Over the last five years, both the CAT and GMAT have shown a consistent rise in the number of applicants but for last year. The number of aspirants for both the exams actually declined last year. However, even after considering the decline the number of test takers for CAT is almost three times as much as the number of test takers for GMAT. Here is a brief illustration

Factor #2:

The ability to improve the score:
One of the major factors as far as the CAT is concerned, is that it is like a bullet from a gun, once shot it cannot be recalled. Similarly, you only have one shot at the CAT in a given academic year. You have a bad headache or a fight with your girlfriend on the day of your CAT.The exam will go out of your hands.

However, as far as GMAT is concerned, there is no cap on the number of times that you can take the test. In an academic year, you are allowed to take the GMAT five times, with an interval of one month. These repeat attempts do come at a price, but then that critical option to improve your score exists and is used favorably by many candidates

What does this mean for you?

This means if you have a bad day or something crops up at work, you can shift your GMAT date to take it when you are ready. Infact you can reschedule your GMAT dates online up to a week before the test date.

Factor #3:

The validity of the Score

Your CAT scores are valid only for that particular year. If you take CAT in 2013, you can use the score to apply for programmes starting in 2014 and not after that. However, some institutions do give you the leeway to use your previous CAT scores when applying, but then they are very few and far in between.
On the other hand, GMAT scores are valid for 5 years.

What does this mean for you?

That means, you take your GMAT now and manage to get an awesome score but for some reason do not apply, you can use the same score to apply to any program even when:

  • 2014Glasgow Commonwealth Games
    •2014FIFA World Cup
    •2014Twenty 20 world Cup
    •2015Cricket World Cup
    •2016Rio De Janeiro Olympics
    •2016Twenty 20 World Cup
    •2017Auckland World Masters Games
    • 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup

Factor #4:

The institutions covered by GMAT

CAT scores in its current form, can be used only for admissions in the IIM’s and other affiliate Indian b-schools. Though it has been conducted for many years, it is still a very Indian test for Indian MBA programs.
Taking the GMAT opens up the gates to the best institutions, both abroad and in India. Harvard Business School, Wharton and Stanford amongst other schools in the USA, INSEAD in France and Singapore, London Business School are ome of the prestigious institutions that consider GMAT scores for admissions to their management program. Top Indian B-schools such as the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, Great Lakes Institute of Management (GLIM) in Chennai and SP Jain in Mumbai also have started considering GMAT scores for entry to their programmes.

What does this mean for you?

Well, we are certainly asking you to “Think beyond the IIMs”. Not in the ponytail way, but know that GMAT will open up a lot more prestigious doors, than what CAT will.

Factor #5:

 The relative ease of admissions

Acing the CAT is just the first step in what is an arduous and a highly competitive admission process. Group discussions, essays and personal interviews are the next in line before you bag the coveted admit. And worsening your already difficult task is the fact that each step has a high and arbitrary “cut offs”. You will have meet the daunting sectional cutoffs, 10th marks, 12th marks, Graduation marks .! before  you finally convert it. Also the competition is unbelievably high. For about 1000 seats in the top five IIMs, you are competing with 200,000 people with similar aspirations. And do not forget the ubiquitous reservations!
Simply put, only 0.5 percent of the total number of applicants make it to the IIMs.

Most b-schools abroad have a streamlined system for admissions which is also very subjective. Once you take your GMAT, you would need to send out your essays and recommendation letters, In which there is a lot of scope to explain certain “gaps” in education and experience. Heck, the schools abroad don’t even look at your 10th or 12th standard marks! It is all about how you are as a person – and not just meeting some arbitrary “cutoffs” which in all probability you don’t even know.Top of Form

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Your battle to the B School Admit does not end with you performing well in the various tests – the further rounds of selection i.e. the GD-Essay-PI are equally important. Further rounds of selection consist of the following in most cases.

  • Group Discussion – GD
  • Essay – AWT (Academic writing Test) , WAT (Writing Ability Test)
  • Personal Interview – PI

Different B Schools have different processes which may include one, two or all the above mentioned activities for the final round of selection. It is advised that irrespective of the calls received or not you should begin your second phase of preparation early since this is as vital as the first and calls for a lot more self confidence and preparation as the competition will be tougher than before.

Top 10 Business School Essay Writing Tips

1.Don’t Use Company Jargon:
As a prospective business student, you have probably spent the past few years in a corporate environment with its own in-house terminology. Remember that you are writing for a reader who hasn’t attended your company’s meetings or contributed to its products. You should certainly describe various aspects of your professional life–your leadership skills, your career trajectory, your triumph in the face of obstacles, and so on–but do so in language that is as accessible to your reader as it is to you. Imagine that you are composing a document for a customer who must decide whether to buy a particular product: you. Write clearly and personable.

And if you are a fresher, go for the common language you have been using in your school days rather than the jargons you came across while a conversation with your friend who is corporate now or any of your relative.

2. Don’t Bore the Reader. Be Interesting.
Admissions officers have to read hundreds of essays, and they must often skim. Abstract rumination has no place in an admission process essay. Admissions officers aren’t looking for a new way to view the world; they’re looking for a new way to view you, the prospective student.

The best way to grip your reader is to begin the essay with a captivating snapshot. Notice how the blunt, jarring “after” sentence creates intrigue and keeps the reader’s interest.

3. Use Personal Detail. Show, Don’t Tell!
Good essays are concrete and grounded in personal detail. They do not merely assert “I learned my lesson” or that “these lessons are useful both on and off the field.” They show it through personal detail. “Show, don’t tell” means that if you want to relate a personal quality, do so through your experiences without merely asserting it.

4. Be Concise. Don’t Be Wordy.
Wordiness not only takes up valuable space, but also confuses the important ideas you’re trying to convey. Short sentences are more forceful because they are direct and to the point. Certain phrases, such as “the fact that,” are usually unnecessary. Notice how the revised version focuses on active verbs rather than forms of “to be” and adverbs and adjectives.

5. Address Your Weaknesses. Don’t Dwell on Them.
At some point while writing the essay on personal topic, you will have an opportunity to explain deficiencies in your record, and you should take advantage of it. Be sure to explain them adequately: “I partied too much to do well on tests” will not help your reputation. The best tactic is to spin the negatives into positives by stressing your attempts to improve; for example, mention your poor first-quarter grades briefly, and then describe what you did to bring them up.
6. Vary Your Sentences and Use Transitions.
The best essays contain a variety of sentence lengths mixed within any given paragraph. Also, remember that transition is not limited to words like nevertheless, furthermore or consequently. Good transition flows from the natural thought progression of your argument.

7. Use Active Voice Verbs.
Passive-voice expressions are verb phrases in which the subject receives the action expressed in the verb. Passive voice employs a form of the word to be, such as was or were. Overuse of the passive voice makes prose seem flat and uninteresting..

8. Seek Multiple Opinions.
Ask your friends and family to keep these questions in mind

  • Does my essay have one central theme?
  • Does my introduction engage the reader? Does my conclusion provide closure?
  • Do my introduction and conclusion avoid summary?
  • Do I use concrete experiences as supporting details?
  • Have I used active-voice verbs wherever possible?
  • Is my sentence structure varied, or do I use all long or short sentences?
  • Are there any clichés, such as “cutting-edge” or “learned my lesson”?
  • Do I use transitions appropriately?
  • What about the essay is memorable?
  • What’s the worst part of the essay?
  • What parts of the essay need elaboration or are unclear?
  • What parts of the essay do not support my main argument?
  • Is every single sentence crucial to the essay? This must be the case.
  • What does the essay reveal about my personality?
  1. Don’t Wander. Stay Focused.
    Many students try to turn the personal essay into a complete autobiography. Not surprisingly, they find it difficult to pack so much information into such a short essay, and their essays end up sounding more like a list of experiences than a coherent, well-organized thought. Make sure that every sentence in your essay exists solely to support one central theme.10. Revise, Revise And Revise.
    The first step in an improving any essay is to cut, cut, and cut some more.Some important sample essays are as follows, although they are only indicative and not to be considered as the only way of writing on those topics. One should exercise his or her own thoughts as well. To help you understand and co-relate, the ending of some topics are not what it should be. We hope you can identify and complete them in your words.

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