Likely Cut-Offs For CAT-Allied Institutes


Personality Development Programme (PDP)

Personality Development Programme (PDP)



We have been getting a lot of students enquiring about their chances of getting calls from various CAT allied institutes.


The following table (now also available in the forecast section on is based on statistical data of thousands of CAT 2008 takers, who submitted their scores on the Career Launcher website.


We have calculated the percentiles by using the advanced statistical model developed by Career Launcher and IWSB experts to bring you the best in class analysis.


Likely Cut-Offs For CAT-Allied Institutes













KJ Somaiya, BIM, Fore, UBS, IMI-HR, MICA






IFMR, IIFM, BIMTech, Kirloskar, IISWBM, Jaipuria






SCM Cochin, IMM, Globsyn, Cosmic, Alliance, ISBM



NDIM, EMPI, Asia Pacific, Amrita, Suryadatta, Skyline



Disclaimer: All information on cut-offs, analysis, answer key, solutions and scores are based on independent analysis and evaluation made by Career Launcher. We do not take responsibility for any decision that might be taken, based on this information.

Tips for Group Discussions and Personal Interviews

Personality Development Programme (PDP)

Personality Development Programme (PDP)

The first things first — why

B-schools conduct GD/PI when students have already gone through an acid test. Isn’t clearing MBA entrance test enough to show that you are worth it? The simple answer is NO, because B-schools are simply not looking for walking dictionaries or logarithm books. They want candidates who can be trained and polished to be managers. The entrance test is just one stage where they see whether you have basic acumen to understand the course that will be taught during the MBA programme. In that too some parts of personality like ability to take decisions, ability to perform under pressure and analytical and logical thinking are assessed. But in order to get a complete idea of a candidate’s personality, B-schools go through this long process of assessing candidate’s personality.

There can be various ways of assessing an individual’s personality but group discussions and personal interviews are accepted tools to select a student because in a limited time they can give a fair idea to B-schools whether a candidate can become a manager or not. Students may argue that if this is the case, then knowing what B-schools are looking for and presenting yourself accordingly can actually help. Knowing what B-schools are looking for can actually help but not in preparing you for a superficial mask but to help you assess whether you have those traits which B-schools are looking for.

This brings us to other question: are managerial traits natural or can they be acquired? If they are natural, what is the need to do MBA? An MBA course teaches students how to achieve larger goals and it polishes those personality traits. But there are some basic traits that a candidate should have to go through the MBA process and to know that institutes conduct GD/PI.

Group discussion

A group discussion is generally a 20-to-30 minute process whose larger objective is to select those candidates who have the ability to perform in a team. Apart from this, the kind of topic given also helps panelists to know various traits of a candidate’s personality. In most of the GDs you are made to sit in a semi-circle and discuss a given topic. The topic can be as general as ‘Women make better managers’ or as specific as ‘India-US nuclear deal.’ What matters in group discussion is your stand on the topic, your ability to analyse the given topic, your awareness about the topic, and the way you present the topic. One person from the group is asked to introduce the topic, what follows is the discussion and the conclusion. The focus here is more on leadership and decision making, because in a GD you may or may not reach a consensus because the issues given to you are debatable. The end result of GD will not always be to reach a consensus but to assess your people’s skill.

Who wins?

Those who have:

Good listening skills: Listening doesn’t mean hearing. It means listening and understanding what the other person is saying. If you have good listening skills, you will be able to keep a track of where group discussion is moving. You will know different points that have already been raised and you have to bring in some new point.


Knowledge of the topic: Some years back content was the most important aspect of GD. Although content still holds its importance but in addition to that you are also weighed on how analytical and aware are you about your surroundings. Earlier it was just about discussing pros and cons of an issue but now knowledge gathered from various sources, analysed and presented in a structured form holds the key to success in GD. Reading newspapers, magazines, and going through Economic Survey would help in enriching the content of GD.

Confidence: You have all the knowledge and good listening and analytical skills, but you do not have confidence to assert what you are saying is right, may prove a negative point. In GD panelists do not know you personally; they would only be able to judge you from what you speak.

Introduction: Introducing the topic can make or break the situation. May be you do not speak for the next 10 minutes, but if you give a good introduction you are in. When the GD begins, everybody is speaking and you might not even be listened. But when you are asked to introduce the topic, you can take the situation forward. Explain the topic, don’t read what is written. Give brief introduction to the topic and what you think of it. People think that taking a stand in GD might to go against them. But there is difference in being assertive and in being rigid. You are expected to give your point of view.

Who lose?

Those who speak a lot: Of course not speaking in GD will not take you anywhere but speaking too much can also make you lose the GD. You have all the points and you can speak a lot on GD. But it is not a one-man show. It is a group discussion. If you try to grab the attention of the panelists, cut other person short, it shows that you are not a team worker. Also speaking a lot on the topic and just repeating one point will not be appreciated. You do not speak in the entire GD, but give valid points twice that can add value to the discussion, will be appreciated.

Those who become emotional: There are topics that involve some sensitive issues. You have all the valid points to support that women make better managers, but bringing in the element of argument and accusing other persons in the group will only help you in getting rejected.

Those who over-dominate: You are taking and managing the group discussion well, listening to the arguments, giving your point of view and letting everyone speak, everything is in your favour and suddenly you decide to be a godfather of somebody who has not spoken at all and who doesn’t have one single argument to present. Cutting short somebody who is making a valid point and asking the silent one to speak, can actually cut your points.

Personal interview

Your academic skills were checked in the entrance test, your people’s skills were checked in GD, now comes the turn of gauging you on your own standards. The B-schools want to know how much you are aware of yourself and how much you relate your goals to your personal self. Students spend most of the time in going through course books whereas 90 per cent of the interview questions are based on you. What could be better than answering questions on yourself? But answering questions on yourself can catch you in a tight spot. There can be some rules set when it comes to GD because there are certain expected etiquettes, but there can be no rules set for the interview because everyone has sui generis personality. The best way to tackle interview is to sit and know you in and out. Think why you want to pursue MBA. Think and make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Not only will it help you analyse your personality, will also help you prepare many other questions for the interview. The most commonly asked questions are:

Why do you want to do MBA?

What are your personal goals?

Where do you see yourself 10 years down the line?

What are your hobbies?

What are your strengths and weakness?

Tell us about yourself.

Who win?

Those with:

Self awareness– You should be able to delve on each and every aspect of your personality, family background, the city you come from and the institutes you have studied in. If you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses you will be able to justify them, for example the panelists may ask you about your poor academic record. As long as you know why you under-perform you can prove that.

Goal clarity- You should know where the MBA programme fits in and how it will help you achieve your long-term goals. There might be different reasons for doing MBA for different people and even for one person there can be more than one objective to do MBA, but you should analyse it beforehand rather than doing it in front of the panel.

Ability to maintain calm- The real you comes up when you are under pressure situation. The panelist will try to grill you on your weakness or on the answers you are giving. They want to put you under pressure and see whether you lose your calm once put under pressure. Students at this situation become nervous and it starts showing on their faces.

Who lose?

Those who:

Give tutored answers– You have your own strengths and weaknesses. But while attending the mock interviews you were told how some students gave impressive answers and got selected. If you would try to give the same answers, you might be caught.

Lie to the panelists: They are very experienced people and can catch you if you try to bluff them on your academic record or on a fact-based question or when you try to answer the question even if you don’t know the answer.

Think that battle is over- The interview is not over till the last question is asked. The moment a candidate says, “I am sorry Sir, I don’t know the answer,” he starts coming under the pressure. There is no harm in accepting that you do not know what the population of China is. They might try to put you under pressure by asking you the population of Africa, once again you say sorry and the pressure starts mounting. The next question is of your interest, which book did you read last? You know the answer but since you have already come under pressure you might not be able to answer this question properly because you are nervous. A chain of events that might ultimately lead to getting rejected.

Sources of questions in IIFT 2008 paper

There were 11 questions in Logical Reasoning section, which carried an uncanny resemblance to 6 reasoning questions from CAT 2002 and another 5 reasoning questions from CAT 2003 (November). It seems that someone just changed the name and little data, and replicated those questions in IIFT 2008 paper. In few cases, the options were also exactly matching,which is very surprising again.

For questions in the Verbal Ability section, a few GMAT and GRE websites obviously provided a lot of inspiration.

To read the complete document, click here

Analysis and Answer Key of IIFT 2008.

Executive Summary

The IIFT Entrance Test 2008 was very similar in essence to IIFT 2007, but there was a slight change in the pattern of the test. Unlike last year, when there was 4 sections with three of them having sub-sections as in Part (i) and Part (ii), this time there was 6 distinct sections. Like last year, each question had only one correct answer. Students accustomed to the 150 minutes format of CAT which comprised of much lesser number of questions, found the IIFT paper to be extremely lengthy. Another notable departure from last year was the absence of Decision Making questions from Logical Reasoning section.

Salient features:

1. Number of sections: 6
2. Number of options for each question: 4
3. All questions had only one correct answer, out of the given options
4. Each incorrect answer carried 1/4 negative marks
5. Variation in weightage, as compared to the previous year
6. No specific mention of sectional cut-offs
7. Like last year, aspirants were allowed to retain the booklet
8. The expected cut-off for the Delhi campus will be between (27-28)

To read the complete analysis of IIFT 2008, click here.

The Answer Key of IIFT 2008 is now available on Click here to download.

10 percent aspirants gave CAT a miss

Source: The Times of India

Excerpts from the link above:

Data provided by the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B), which administers CAT in three cities — Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad — shows that the total number of candidates who gave CAT the slip at these centres this year is 6,352. The centre-wise break-up is 3,032 in Bangalore, 1,624 in Pune and 1,696 at Hyderabad.

Data from other IIMs too showed that about 10% of candidates did not show up for the CAT. Figures given by IIM-Kozhikode show that a total of 22,120 candidates from Kozhikode, Coimbatore and Chennai were expected to appear. Of these, 2,045 did not show up. “This is the normal percentage of candidates not turning up for the test. And, this is not high”, an IIM-K official said. The city-wise break-up is 1,251 in Chennai, 310 in Coimbatore and 484 in Kozhikode.

IIM-Lucknow administers two cities — Delhi and Lucknow. IIM-L chairman (admissions) Saji K B Nair told The Times of India that of the 59,000-odd candidates who applied, 42,300 were from Delhi alone. “Candidates wrote the test in 59 venues. We are still counting the number of candidates who did not show up in the remaining venues. However, data from 40 venues reveals that about 10% not take the test,” he added.  


There is nothing new here as around 10% drop out every year due to a variety of reasons ranging from work obligations, personal reasons, securing a new job or admission in a foreign university etc

Inspiring Leadership On CAT Day

We were expecting some serious traffic on our websites on CAT Day. But this is just unbelievable. We had a record 75,000 visitors to our website, a 50% increase over last year and registered.

And here are few facts :

1. According to Google Trends, “Career Launcher” was most searched term in google india on November 16.2008.



2. We featured in prestigious “blog of the day” worldwide on 16 november in Thanks wordpress for serving our blog and making sure things went well on high traffic days.


On behalf of everyone at Career Launcher, we would like to say a big THANK YOU to every student who has contributed through events like these.

Instant CAT 2008 Percentile Calculator is LIVE now

We have released instant CAT 2008 percentile calculator on

How can I calculate my percentile with this tool ?

Step 1 :

If you are a Career Launcher student, just login with your SIS username/password on

If you are not a Career Launcher student and have not registered for CAT 2008 service, first register on and mark your answers through e-OMR. If you have already filled e-OMR, skip this step.

Step 2
After filling the e-OMR, click on Forecast tab to get your sectional and overall percentile predictions. This service is open to all students who appeared for CAT 2008.


1. How accurate are these predictions?
The predictions are fairly accurate – in fact statistically these are presented with 95% confidence. There is also a small margin of statistical error which can be calculated for each prediction. The CL team has analysed the error correction data and concluded that it will not make any material difference to the predicted score.
You must remember that these scores have been calculated based on CL’s answer keys and on the attempt data provided to us. Naturally if either of these are wrong then it affects your, and everyone else’s, scores.

2. Will my percentile change as more people provide attempt data?

No, it wont. We have collected enough data to statistically predict the characteristic of the CAT takers population. Based on these assumptions we have put in formulae to calculate your CAT percentile projections. Even if more data comes in, it is unlikely that our model will change, hence your percentile projection is more or less constant.

3. Can CL predict the calls from various institutes?

The different institutes have provided information in the public domain where they state their selection criteria. Many of these are also on our website. You may apply the same to your projected percentiles to get an idea of your chances of getting a call.

4. If I resubmit by data will my percentile predictions change?
Yes it will, but only if your scores change. The system will dynamically generate a different projection based on the new scores submitted.

5. What next ?
Watch this space. The CL team will provide a tool to help predict institute specific call predictions.
Also, ask your friends to provide their accurate e-OMRs to us. It will only help us to refine our model. And of course, they will know their CAT percentile projections !

Your feedback is always important for us. Please leave a comment.

Disclaimer: The data is based on a statistical model and is dependent on inputs provided by CAT takers which cannot be authenticated.Your actual percentiles may vary. Do not take any decisions solely on the data provided by this predictor, Career Launcher will not be responsible for the consequences.