How accurate are the IIM & Non IIM College Predictor

Anna Sharma

Pursuing a good management programme from a reputed MBA institute plays the decisive role in any professional’s career. With the demand for MBA degree holders increasing by the day, the degree has become a necessity for today’s generation. In India, every year nearly 2.4 lakh candidates appear for CAT or Common Admission Test, conducted by the IIM. CAT is India’s top common entrance test for MBA admission. CAT score is the main criteria for admission to the IIMs and over 1500 MBA institutes across India.

The sheer magnitude of competition in MBA admission, makes MBA aspirantsanxious about his/her chances viz their desired college. To help such candidates, many coaching institutes and education websites offer college predictor tools. These predictor tools, help candidates in predicting assessing their chances of getting interview calls from IIMs or non-IIMs based on their CAT result.

How do IIM & Non IIM College Predictor tools work?

These online IIM & Non IIM College Predictor tools often work on the basis of previous years’ admission data collected from various sources. There is often no guarantee whether this data is verified and unverified. However, these IIM & Non IIM College Predictor tools are nearly accurate in their prediction, as minimum CAT cut off percentile criteria does not change much year on year. We have seen marginal rise and fall in the CAT cut off percentiles for IIMs and top MBA institutes, like FMS-Delhi, MDI-Gurgaon, SPJIMR-Mumbai, IMT-Ghaziabad and others.

Most of these tools predict admission chances on the basis of following information:

  • Candidate’s gender
  • Candidate’s category
  • Candidate’s class 10 score
  • Candidate’s class 11-12 stream
  • Candidate’s class 12 score
  • Candidate’s Graduation course
  • Candidate’s Graduation score
  • Candidate’s CAT score (sectional)
  • Candidate’s CAT score (overall)
  • Candidate’s CAT percentile (sectional)
  • Candidate’s CAT percentile (overall)

These predictor tools, predict your chances of interview call by certain institutes. Now the question arises how accurate are these tools?

These tools cannot be considered 100 percent accurate as the cut off marks of a particular institute may change for admission that year. Also, the institute may change the weight assigned to the above mentioned parameters in a new academic session. Moreover, the exact method of calculating interview call cut off cannot be known as the institutes do not reveal their method of calculation.

Although, the IIMs release selection criteria and admission process for each year including qualifying CAT cut offs and method of calculating percentile, there is still no way one should rely completely on these predictor tools. The results provided by these are indicative and only help in assessing potential colleges you may get a call from.

Thus the important thing here is to understand how CAT percentile is calculated?

CAT percentile refers to a candidate’s rank compared to rest of the people who took the same exam. For example, if a total of 10000 candidates took CAT and your rank is number 1, it means that you have performed better than 9999 candidates and your percentile will be 9999/10000*100= 99.99.

What is CAT score?

CAT score is the total marks scored in the exam. But you must note that you CAT score printed on the CAT scorecard is not the raw score. It is scaled CAT score which is arrived at through a process called normalization of score. The CAT scores are normalized to ensure equity among all the candidates in terms of performance as often CAT question paper of one slot is tougher than the other slot. This scaled CAT score can be more or less than the raw CAT score.

So, should one trust these IIM & Non IIM College Predictor tools to decide upon MBA colleges? The answer is‘Yes’ and ‘No’. One should trust these predictor tools, but only for shortlisting colleges. These are not 100 percent accurate so do not pin your hopes on these tools. You may or may not make the cut.