If you have applied for CAT 2017, you should also opt at least for one or more than one MBA entrance exams like XAT 2018, SNAP 2017, NMAT 2017 to keep your MBA admission chances open in good B-schools. On the other hand if you have missed to apply for CAT 2017, you should avail the opportunity not to miss your application for other exams as equally good B-schools would accept XAT, SNAP and NMAT scores to short list you for next round of admission.
3 reasons: Why you must appear in XAT & SNAP with CAT
One of the biggest advantage this year is that almost all the MBA entrance exams for admission to MBA 2018-20 will be online computer based tests. While CAT, NMAT are being conducted as computer based tests for the last many years, XAT and SNAP will be held as online computer based exams for the first time for admission to 2018-20 batch. This brings more similarity in navigation process, exam taking experience. Instead of marking answers on OMR sheet, the candidates will have to insert their answers with a mouse click.
Experts suggest that it will be good if you have more MBA admission options instead of limited ones, so know the facts and analyse why you should not be satisfied by applying only for CAT 2017.
There are 3 big reasons shared by the CAT/XAT preparation expert and mentor Prof S K Agarwal.
Reason-1: Equally Good B-schools available with XAT, SNAP, NMAT
Success in CAT 2017 will offer you admission to IIMs but not to XLRI which is as good a B-school as any IIM and will accept only XAT scores. SPJIMR Mumbai, IMT Ghaziabad, TAPMI Manipal, XIM Bhubaneswar also accept XAT exam scores in addition to CAT exam scores.
The 15 Symbiosis institutes accept only SNAP 2017 scores. SIBM Pune and other Symbiosis institutes are most sought after B-schools. The learning and placement at these B-schools is equally good. Accordingly, dependence only on CAT 2017 is not sufficient.
NMAT 2017 (Now NMAT by GMAC) will give you an opportunity to do MBA from NMIMS Mumbai. NMIMS does not accept CAT/XAT/SNAP exam scores and shortlists the candidates on the basis of NMAT scored.
Details about the last date to apply, application fee of leading MBA entrance exams which can give you an opportunity to get admission in top B-schools are shared below:
Reason-2: Single exam-no opportunity to improve score
If you have applied and decided to appear only in CAT 2017 and are not able to score high sectional and over all percentile as prescribed by IIMs, the admission opportunity to top IIMs and to SPJIMR, IMT is also lost.
IIMs have prescribed a minimum qualifying CAT 2017 percentile in the range of 70 to 85 sectional and 80 to 90 overall to become eligible for shortlisting for final admission round. If you score very high percentile in the 2 sections but miss the qualifying percentile even by a fraction in 3rd section, you will not be shortlisted by any of the 20 IIMs. Now you stand nowhere. At that time you would think, ‘Had I applied to other exams also, I would have the opportunity to get a very good B-school.’
Read IIMs Admission Criteria for PGP 2018-20
So, if you apply to XAT 2018, you will have an added advantage to get into XLRI, along with improving your score for SPJIMR, IMT and others. The better of CAT and XAT score will be considered for admission by number of B-schools. So keeping the admission option open in other B-schools without losing the admission opportunity is very much necessary, says the expert.
Reason-3: Similar Exam pattern, preparation strategy not much different
If you analyse the CAT 2017, XAT 2018, SNAP 2017, NMAT 2017 exam pattern, you will find similar test components and sections with similar exam syllabus topics on the basis of which questions are formed in each exam.
However, each exam has its some unique features in terms of sectional composition, level of difficulty, time duration, number and type of questions, scoring pattern, negative marking among others. If we analyse the similar test sections in different exams and the different sectional composition with level of difficulty, it will be easier to understand that to a large extent similar preparation strategy can lead to crack the other exams apart from enriching you with diverse experience and offering with more admission chances in different B-schools.
Since there are different sections also in respective exams and each section may have different difficulty level, the strategy to prepare for each such section has to be devised.
Which exam is more difficult?
Although each exam whether it is CAT, XAT, SNAP or NMAT, has higher and lower difficulty levels, none of them is too easy or too difficult. One or other section in each exam is slightly more or less difficult. Besides, one who is well prepared finds the exam relatively easy and if the question is from your well studied topic, it is always easy.
Prof S K Agarwal, Verbal Ability expert on CAT/XAT/SNAP preparation suggests the candidates not to miss any important MBA entrance test and draw their plan to apply now. MBA aspirants should register and apply without waiting for the last date to NMAT 2017, XAT 2018 and SNAP 2017 as there are number of B-schools who will accept these exam scores.
Like their peers, all MBA aspirants eye the top B-schools for admission. However to finally convert the call in top rated B schools like IIMs, XLRI, SPJIMR, JBIMS, FMS, MDI, IMT, apart from a good volume of needed preparation, you need excellent academics and a good percentile score in each section of MBA entrance exam to cross the cut offs.
If you are seeking admission to MBA 2018 and wish to pursue it from one of the top B-schools in India, next 2 months are very crucial for you. Out of the 5 top MBA entrance exams, CAT and IIFT have already closed their registration process, the other important ones now are XAT, SNAP and NMAT.
You have to draw your plan which exams you should appear, how to prepare for each of them as every exam is different in one or other way and get shortlisted to succeed in your mission MBA 2018.