Top B-Schools and other related questions

This is the time when we get to hear a lot of questions on how to apply, where to apply, which exams to write, etc. Let us start with B-school rankings. Like all the best rankings, we have come up with our own way of handling this. Unlike the best rankings, we have not conducted a survey to create some data to validate what we wanted to put anyway. If you want a really phony survey, refer to the outlook one. If you want a reasonable honest decent one, the pagalguy one is good. If you want a survey that does not even want to pretend to be anything but an advertising campaign, look for anything with IIPM top 10 in it.

Anyway, on to our own list. We have just categorized the colleges into three tiers.

Tier I
Based on CAT: IIMs A, B, C, L, I, K, SPJain, MDI, NITIE, Bajaj
Based on XAT: XLRI
Other: ISB, FMS,

Tier II
Based on CAT: IIMS - Ranchi, Rohtak, Raipur, Trichy, etc. Symbioisis SIBM, NMIMS, IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, TISS, TAPMI, IIT Kanpur,
Based on XAT: XIMB
Other: SCMHRD,

Tier III
Based on XAT: KJ Somaiyya, Goa Institute of Management, XIME, LIBA
Other: Great Lakes, Other Symbioses. BIM, etc.

Needless to say, this list is indicative and highly subjective. This is not much more than a starting point for students to do research.

Exams to write
Anyone interested in MBA should definitely take up CAT, XAT and FMS. Other exams to consider are SNAP, MICAT and any regional exams. JMET is no longer included because entry into the IITs is going to be through the CAT from this year onwards.

How to choose elective/specialization
To start with, there is no hard and fast specialization in most MBAs. A degree in MBA-Finance is not like a BE Civil engineering degree. A student can specialize in finance and/or marketing or neither and still get a job in P&G or ICICI. Thumb rule while applying to companies is this - If you are applying to P&G call yourself a marketing guy, if you are applying to Goldman Sachs call yourself a fin guy. So, do not worry about specialization till you join college. You wont have to worry about this till you start your second year if you are doing a two-year course.

Which college is best for marketing/fin/HR, etc?
Specialization brands have not yet come up in India (They are not such a big deal globally either). Go for the better college, do not sweat over specialization. The only colleges known for something different are
XLRI- HR
NITIE - Ops
MICA - Advertising

And even these are not too clearly defined.

Best wishes for the entrance exam season