Yes, you most certainly stand an equal chance as anyone else to crack CAT. CAT is an exam which is increasingly being designed to cater to non-engineers as well. While it is true that Engineers may have an additional advantage in dealing with numbers, that is not the case for everyone. Furthermore, top management institutes such as IIMs also have points for diversity, which is an added advantage for non-engineers.
Not everyone is highly proficient in mathematics. Therefore, to become good at number crunching, one must practice as much as possible. There are multiple online and offline resources to help you do this. A candidate very weak in Mathematics will take anywhere between 5-6 months to become CAT-ready. It is achievable.
Reading Comprehension for CAT is one of the important topics which you can't left un-attended. People usually find it difficult to cope up with the speed with the limited time span allotted to candidates during the CAT. So, how should one tackle it. Read more
If you meet the selection criteria set by various management institutes, you will be given a short-list call and will be invited for the next set of rounds to gain admission into the institute. This set of rounds will involve Academic Writing Tests, Personal Interview, Group Discussions and Extempore. Selection criteria for institutes can be different. For instance, the Common Admission Process consists of a GD round, but IIM Ahmedabad substitutes that with an AWT round.
There is a list of India's Most Desirable B-Schools.
Ideally, a candidate will require 6-8 months to prepare well for CAT, although CAT 99 percentilers have been known to prepare for CAT in a duration of just 3-4 months as well.
Unlike other MBA competitive exams such as GMAT and GRE, the CAT score is valid only for a period of one year. However, if you would like to work/continue working for a year before joining your institute, some B-Schools can provide you with deferred admission as well.
You most certainly can prepare for CAT while working. In fact, it is recommended that you attempt CAT without leaving your job. Management institutes have marks for work experience, and this can boost your chances of being at a top B-School. Further, a lot of campus recruiters at your MBA institute would prefer industry experience, in which case you will have an advantage.
If you belong to the General Category, you would need a score upward of 99 percentile to ensure a shortlist call from IIM A. Also, a good academic score in Class 10th, 12th and Graduation will play a major role in getting a shortlist call. An ideal candidate should have (90/90/80) in their 10th, 12th and Graduation. However, it is common for aspirants to be shortlisted with graduation scores as low as 60% (although that would have to be compensated for by a high CAT score). IIM Ahmedabad also provides diversity points to non-engineers whom it categorizes under 7 academic streams - A1 to A7.
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