FORE Goes Beyond CAT Score

Applications for the Common Admission Test (CAT) increased this year, and while candidates from engineering continue to dominate (about 67 per cent of the applicants), their percentage has declined.

Applications for the Common Admission Test (CAT) increased this year, and while candidates from engineering continue to dominate (about 67 per cent of the applicants), their percentage has declined, paving the way for more candidates with agriculture and architecture backgrounds. However, the number of candidates from humanities has dropped slightly. About 17,000 applicants had two to three years' work experience, reflecting a trend of more working professionals seeking management degrees for career growth and development.

There is a need for a wider-based talent pool and premier B-schools are now planning changes in the CAT to ensure a broad-based representation. The CAT score is not the only indicator of managerial potential and it does not capture many significant aspects. In many cases, candidates with a low CAT score have shown exceptional managerial potential during personal interviews. Recruiters hardly look at the CAT score in making their selections and while a high CAT score ensures entry into top-line business schools and IIMs, it does not necessarily measure academic worth. Top-line B-schools often give more weight to skills such as analytical reasoning, decision-making, problem-solving, creativity, communications and other positive attributes.

At FORE School Of Management , we take into consideration abilities which are essentially not captured in a CAT type of examination, such as leadership abilities, communication skills, creativity and responsiveness to the environment. As a result, candidates who are strong in these areas have a better chance of being selected. FORE tries to make its selection process more comprehensive and balanced. The weight given to a student's CAT score is only 40 per cent, while 60 per cent is distributed between academic performance, work experience, communication skills and other personal attributes.

FORE strongly believes that students with a non-engineering background have immense potential for management positions and ensures that a fair opportunity is provided to all potential candidates to prove their merit. The admission policy of FORE encourages diversity in terms of place of residence, gender, academic background and work experience, with FORE taking students from different regions of the country and various streams.

Last year, FORE received applications from 26 Indian states and the batch finally selected was 29 per cent female - a much higher ratio than some of the IIMs possess. FORE has students with backgrounds in science and humanities, medical sciences and the armed forces, making it different from other B-schools in terms of seeking talent in a more scientific manner and ensuring that candidates with the right aptitude are selected and groomed as future managers.

Prof. Sanghamitra Buddhapriya, Executive Chairperson-Admissions, FORE School Of Management , New Delhi.

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