Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What's your dream B-School?

You must have noticed the 'Dream B-School' poll on this blog some time or the other in the last few months. Already 1164 votes have been polled and we have decided to finally close the poll now, as we have arrived at a very unambiguous conclusion.

B-School No. of Votes
MDI 58
FMS 106
GIM (Goa) 28
XLRI 136
Other Indian 66
B-School Abroad 45
Total Votes Polled 1164

No surprises at all at no.1 - the IIMs are definitely India's most popular B-Schools. Little wonder that the number of CAT takers is now swelling to close to the 3 lakh figure. XLRI Jamshedpur was ranked no.2 in our poll with 136 votes. FMS was not far behind, ranked at no.3 with 106 votes.

The two specialized B-Schools, MICA and TISS together garnered over 12% of the total votes indicating a huge marketing for specialized Business Schools. 28 MBA aspirants showed their keenness to do their studies from GIM, Goa. Located on the beautiful Mandovi, the Goa Institute of Management is the most picturesque of the Indian B-Schools, and the ideal place to mix partying and studying. What was the most surprising was the lack of interest shown in overseas B-Schools. Less than 5% of the voters said they want to study abroad; an indication of the student community's faith in the booming Indian economy. But given a choice between Harvard and IIM Ahmedabad, will they prefer the Indian school? I have my doubts there.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

XAT 2009: Reach XLRI in 5 simple steps

How to obtain the XAT bulletin?
- Available at select branches of AXIS Bank on payment of Rs.800 ( 121 branches in all, how select depends on where you are - 3 options for the whole of north-east, 7 for Delhi alone. )
- If the select branch is not close enough, you need to make a draft in favour of "XLRI Jamshedpur A/c XAT" and send it to XLRI Jamshedpur.

Next steps:
1. Go to the XLRI website and fill in the online XAT form. You need to fill in basic details like the XAT bulletin no, AXIS Bank Branch Name, your personal info and you will be immediately issued your XAT ID and password. In case you just have a draft with you, you will be required to fill in the draft number, date and personal info.
2. You need to further furnish details of your applications to the other XAT associate B-Schools and once you do this, you can proceed to take a printout of the XAT Payment Advice cum Photo Form ( lovingly referred to by the XLRI as the XAT PP form)

3. Fill in the details asked for in the XAT PP form and since the second P is for photo, you will obviously need to stick one onto the form in the designated box provided. ( this b-school guys are not too emotional types, so no point in getting all nostalgic and sending that cute pic of yours when you were only 10; they deserve much less - send a boring looking recent pic)
4. Remember your visit to the Axis Bank? Let's hope you have retained those pay-in slips. (If not, wait for my post on the IIFT entrance.) Take out the 3rd slip ( I can bet a 1000$ at least half the guys confirm it with a friend/mom/sister as to which one is the 3rd slip, here is a hint: it's the one that's immediately after the 2nd slip) and put it in the special envelope given to you by the Axis bank guy. Don't forget to also insert into the envelope the lovely looking XAT PP. For those of you unlucky ones, far removed from an Axis Bank, please insert the draft instead of the pay-in slip.
5. This is the most crucial step, the one step that will finally bring you in direct contact with your dream b-school - Post that envelope. Let me add that the XLRI guys are not as uncaring as the IIM ones, in case you are late, you don't have to be dependent on the sarkari Speed Post only. You are even allowed to courier your application - wow, isn't it?!

The XAT is India's second most premier MBA Entrance Test after the CAT. Organized by the XLRI Jamshedpur, the exam serves as the entrance exam for various other B-Schools in India including SP Jain (Mumbai), Alliance Business Academy (Bangalore), Goa Institue of Management (Goa), Welingkar (Mumbai) and XIM (Bhubaneshwar).

XLRI has announced the dates and registration process for XAT 2009 ( for admissions to the 2009-2011 MBA programmes). Here are the important details:

XAT - Exam Date & Time:
Sunday, 4th January 2009, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

XAT Test Centres:
Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bangalore, Baroda, Behrampur, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Goa, Gurgaon, Gauhati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jamshedpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, New Delhi, Noida, Patna, Pune, Raipur, Ranchi, Rourkela, Trivandrum

Last Date for receiving the application:
5th December 2008

Sunday, September 07, 2008

CATch 'em if you can

You might find this piece on a topic a bit deviated from the regular 'cat' and 'gmat' stuff, but then only four months from now I am getting married! Confused? Well, let me clarify.

Her name is Sashi and she happens to be a lawyer. Till a few months back, she was as interested in the management world as I was in the legal but things have changed dramatically in the past twelve weeks. Today, she knows what the 4 P's of marketing are and fancy sounding words like mandamus and habeas corpus are already enriching my vocabulary. And me being me, a google fanatic, I have started scouring for more and more info on her world. That's how I landed at the doors of an 108 year old institute called Rasmussen.

Remember the dramatic call- to- action line in those Army recruitment ads : "Do you have it in you?". Rasmussen's online criminal justice degree programme tries to raise a similar emotion in you - "There's no higher calling than keeping America’s streets safe." This degree programme can be your starting point for an exciting career in crime management in the US. You can go on to work as a Police Officer, Correctional Officer, Customs officer and in other similar areas .The programme can be completed either in the classroom or through a blending learning programme wherein there is a mix of online and offline classes.

Rasmussen College's School of Justice Studies ' programmes delve into several different aspects of the legal process. With a degree in criminal justice from this premier school, you can aspire to reach the top in your field of work. Besides this programme, there are a variety of different course to select from, depending on your areas of interest. For instance, if you love lawyers (like I do) and wish to be close to a lawyer always, you can look at the Paralegal Associates' Programme from their paralegal school minnesota. Of course, there is always a possibility that you don't want to be as close to lawyers as I want to be, or you may simply not be in Minnesota. Not to worry, just hop over to their website and you will find lots else to opt from, or simply call toll free: (888) 5-Rasmussen.

Institute Strengths/Good Points:
- 108 years of experience (yes, they began operations as way back as 1900, this month - September),
- flexible scheduling enables you to create a fit with your work life,
- Personalized Support.
- Another thing I quite liked is their easily navigable website, with highly relevant and easy to understand content.

Friday, September 05, 2008

CAT 2009 will be online...well..

Online CAT 2009 ? Will the CAT 2009 go online or will it not? The debate has been raging for almost a year now, and we are as near to a definite answer as we were then - only the pendulum keeps swinging, from one side to the other.

The latest swing seems to be in favour of the "CAT will go online from next year". Latest media reports suggest that the IIMs, " which had rolled out the process for inviting tenders from various companies for conducting CAT have already shortlisted four companies." (source: Mint, 5th September)

Notice that this by itself doesn't really indicate much about the nature of the testing method itself. What it does indicate is that the IIMs are seriously considering outsourcing CAT. However the nature of the organisations that have been shortlisted does point clearly in the direction of a computer based CAT.

The companies which have been shortlisted are
1. ETS Prometric ( have handled GMAT before)
2. Eduquity Ventures ( conducts the BITSAT)
3. Attest (An Aptech concern, it is into computer aided assessment. But it also manages traditional paper and pencil tests)
4. Pearson VUE (Virtual University Enterprises) - (they are into computer based testing solutions)

A few months back the IIMs had officially denied that a decision had been made to make the CAT a computer based test (CBT), much like the GMAT , from 2009. What they did say was that the IIMs were exploring alternatives to the traditional testing method. This official denial was prompted by media reports and statements by various CAT coaching institutes that the test was indeed going online from next year. Even then it had all started with the news of the IIMs inviting tenders from interested parties for conducting the CAT.

Once again there is no confirmation or denial from any authority at the IIMs though the Mint report does include anonymous comments from an IIM official. Well, you can never be sure about that - whether it is truly an anonymous IIM official or the creative imagination of a journalist!

Watch this space for more.

An online CAT doesn't mean a internet based test. It is actually a misnomer in that sense. What will likely happen is that the CAT will actually become CAT, which expanded means Computer Adaptive Test vis-a-vis GMAT.