Selection Process by the IIMs

The IIMs use four selection methods for admitting a student into one of the universities. The methods are detailed below:
All B-Schools in India have a written aptitude test which is used as the first stage of screening the applicants. All the IIMs conduct a Common Admission Test (CAT), which falls usually on the third Sunday of every November. All top ten management schools and other business schools and MBA colleges base their selection on students’ CAT scores, hence scoring high on the written test is very important. Other important MBA entrance tests in India are the XAT (Xavier Admission Test) conducted by XLRI Jamshedpur. A good score on this exam will provide one admission into colleges like BIM Trichy, XIM Bhubaneswar, XIME Bangalore, LIBA Chennai, Goa Institute of Management Goa and many other important B-schools. FMS Delhi, IIFT Delhi and the Schools of Management, IIT (Joint Management Entrance Test or JMET) have their own entrance tests.

The written test, which is also the first stage of elimination, is used to test a student's ability to perform under pressure. The areas of testing include basic mathematics up to Class X, general English grammar and communication skills and analytical & logical reasoning. The written test is the most difficult step amongst all the processes. Most of the elimination takes place at this stage. Only about 20% of the students are selected at this level.

2. B School Application Essays and Reference Letters:
Everybody who is selected in the written tests is required to write an Application essay . This is an important part of selection process in most top B schools. Only the short-listed candidates need to write an essay for admission into the IIMs. Other B schools may or may not require this admission step, while some ask for an essay in the first stage of admission itself. Also, some IIMs demand three letters of reference for the students whi have been called for the GD/PI round.
After getting selected in the first round, i.e. the written test, students are short listed for a Group Discussion and Personal Interview. At the IIMs, anyone who is short-listed for the GD/ PI process attends both the group discussion and the personal interview. Performance in GD does not lead to elimination at the IIMs.
4. Admission
Admission is usually made based on the combined scores of the written test, performance in the GD / PIs, and work experience, if any. Admissions to the top B Schools start from March and continue till the end of April. Many of the management institutes also have a waiting list of candidates which gets updated based on the number of students in the first list who accept the offers made to them.