Sunday, November 19, 2006

My bread-n-butter Sunday

Today, 19th November 2006 is not just any other Sunday। It's the CAT Sunday - as i post this entry over 1,80,000 students are possibly writing a test which may can their lives forever. The Common Admission Test for the six IIMs is a ticket to corporate success, so it's hardly any wonder that the competition is gruelling. So gruelling that even a 99th percentile ( a top 1% score) is sometimes not sufficient to get the all important interview call from the Indian Institutes of Management.
For us working at IMS, the stakes are both higher and lower। While we are not too concerned about our percentiles any more and our own careers insulated from the vagaries of the CAT, the percentiles of thousands of others suddenly become that much more important. While IMS has been sending students to the IIMs by the hundreds every year for over 29 years now, every CAT is a fresh new challenge. The butterflies are back in our stomachs every winters - have we trained our students well enough, have the new changes we incorporated this year been right, have we prepared our students to face the pressure of the percentile game? This year is a bit more exciting since we launched a brand new pedagogy - the ICAP ( Interlinked concepts and applied pedagogy) for the Common Admission Test training programme. The basic idea was simple - the CAT keeps changing, our students should be prepared for any eventuality. Though it was launched only in July and the first proper test will be in November 2007, we did give our 2006 students a few ICAP booster classes. With an interesting case-study based teaching method and the cartoon characters Kittu and Mittu to simplify your mathematics learnings, ICAP is a quantum leap. But the CAT is the real test. Let's see what the students tell us this evening and tomorrow.
Post script:
Reports from my marketing team out in the field covering the 56 CAT centres in Delhi/NCR indicate that there are close to 30,000 students writing the test this year in the national capital region. It's only getting tougher..

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