Steering a new course

Foreign B schools’ response to the financial crisis.


  • B Schools partly blamed for financial crisis – now pondering about reinvention
  • Failed firms such as Lehman Brothers were full of prestigious school alumni who were complacent and greedy
  • Programme directors’ dilemma: totally overhaul curricula and appear hasty / change nothing and seem to be in a state of denial
  • Most schools have settled for modest adjustments
  • Slow speed of implementation of ideas is hampering progress at b schools
  • Various views of academic experts on the issue
  • Renewed interest in economic history to examine lessons from The Great Depression and 18th and 19th century companies that started with a view that emphasized responsible behavior for sustainability
  • Greater emphasis on personal development and on imparting soft skills

Source: The Economist

How to Bell this CAT?

Excerpt from Indian Express article titled ‘How to Bell this CAT?‘, dated 21st September’09 :

Gautam Puri highlights some Do’s and Dont’s that a student should watch out for while taking the exam:

  • Expect easier reading comprehensions and data interpretation as their length is going to be shorter in the new test.
  • Don’t get stuck with a question at any point. Don’t mark any of the radio buttons if you are not confident of the answer.
  • Don’t aim to attempt the maximum number of question. Accuracy is more important in this context. Spend equal time on each section of questions.
  • Don’t leave the sections you are most uncomfortable with for the end. That way, bu the time you come about to answering it, you will already be exasperated. Instead, attempt those question in between the other section. That way you can keep your motivation and energies up!
  • More the exposure, the better you will perform. Try taking similar online tests.
  • It is a myth that the CAT changes every year. It does not. The content and type of question remain the same. Get your basic fundamentals right to sail through.

Source: Indian Express

Puzzled by the cat?

Every November, students aspiring to pursue the coveted MBA at the Indian Institutes of Management appear for the CAT — arguably, the largest management entrance exam in the country. But this November will be different. Setting a precedent, the CAT will be the first MBA entrance exam to go online. The anticipation attached to the e-CAT this year has created a lot of buzz about what the actual nature of the e-CAT may turn out to be. Rumours have been flying thick and fast, and students are likely to be misled by the clutter of contradictory information out there. In this article, we’ve sifted through all the information to help you understand the differences between the paper-based CAT and the computerized CAT. Read More…

Source:  Times of India

IIM-B starts student exchange prog with Paris-based HEC


  • IIM-B and Paris-based HEC School of Management (HEC) started a student exchange programme – HEC-IIMB (Hiep)
  • 20 students from each of the institutes will visit India and France and work jointly on projects of mutual interest
  • IIMB Director Pankaj Chandra: “This initiative is part of our strategic vision to increase the size of the institute in terms of number of programs, to make IIM-B an international school and a top research school which focuses not only on India but on other emerging economies”
  • 14 students of HEC came to IIMB and visited companies such as Infosys and Biocon. In exchange , batch of 14 students of IIM-B will visit France this December and will be exposed to business environment in Europe
  • Professor Shrish C Srisvastava of HEC: “Some of collaborative projects between the two institutes include understanding mergers and acquisitions, banking system, IT offshoring and outsouring and nuclear energy”
  • There has been an increase in number of international students visiting IIM-B as part of the student exchange. In 2009 more than 90 students will visit IIM-B . Around 63 students from IIM-B are currently visiting universities around the world.

Source:  Economic Times

IIMs face many hurdles in mentoring newer ones


  • IIMs face difficulty in mentoring new ones due to shortage of resources like faculty, staff etc
  • In August, the govt. approved 7 new IIMs, with 4 becoming functional in 2010-11 and other three a year later
  • Each new IIM to start with batch of 140 which will rise to 560 eventually
  • However, unlike the existing IITs, existing IIMs are neither providing temporary accommodation nor adequate faculty to the new IIMs
  • IIM Ranchi (mentored by IIM-C) will initially operate from a temporary campus given by the Jharkhand government, with first batch of 60-100 students
  • IIM Rohtak (mentored by IIM-L) will initially operate from space provided to it by MD University in Rohtak
  • IIM Trichy (mentored by IIM-B) is likely to put up its temporary campus and hostel facilities at BHEL and NIT

Source:  Business Standard

CAT website glitches to be rectified by Sep 18


  • Currently, there’s no option for rectifying mistakes in online CAT registration form (each form costs Rs. 1,400/-)
  • Authorities working on making CAT registration and scheduling website more user friendly by ironing out glitches and adding new features
  • Corrections and changes in the forms to be made possible September 18 evening onwards
  • Students can get a refund for their second voucher forms by filling up an online request form
  • CAT is between Nov28-Dec7
  • Many candidates trying to book last slots thinking they will have more time to prepare, would get review about the new format from others, and/or get easier questions in the CAT
  • Acads rubbish such notions. Gautam Puri, vice-chairman, Career Launcher: “Many students think the last few slots will have easier questions. There’s no logic behind such assumptions. The IIMs will prepare 20 different papers and each will have about the same difficulty level”
  • Aspirants angry with absence of an ‘unmark’ option in the demo CAT. Option to change answer is available though
  • Some are unhappy with no option to see all the questions on one page. To look up any question they had to go back several screens

Source:  Times of India

Road to CAT 2009

FAQs answered by Career Launcher, Vice-Chairman, Gautam Puri

Q: What is the basic preparation strategy for the last few months of CAT 2009?

A: To start with, my advice is that you should spend at least four to five hours every day on CAT preparations. By this time you must be thorough with your basic knowledge on the different sections of the CAT exam namely Quantitative Aptitude, Verbal Aptitude and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning. Brush up on the basics. Most of you just practice and don’t revise. I would suggest you to practice along with revision. Unless you revise, you will forget what you have learnt and your practice will be futile. Write as much as possible.

Q: How much time should I ideally keep for CAT 2009 preparations given the fact that I have to do my regular studies, too?

A: As I have mentioned before, you have to spend a minimum of four to five hours for your preparations, if possible more. Divide time between the sections wisely. If you are pursuing your graduation or are working, you will find it difficult, but then you have to manage. You have to cut down on other activities till the time CAT 2009 is over. If you cannot take out much time during the evening, make it a point to get up early or vice versa in order to make up. But also ensure that you don’t compromise on your health and sleep. A relaxed mind and body is what you need to take to the test center.

Q: What should be the ideal frequency of taking mock tests?

A: You should ideally take mock tests twice a week. And always remember to analyze the results. If you take it one the first day of the week, you will take one day to analyze it and another day to revise and rectify the errors. So you can invest a week by taking two mock tests.

Q: I am not very strong in Mathematics, how can I manage the cut off in the Quantitative Ability and the CAT exam as a whole?

A: Most of the students have a common perception that Quantitative Aptitude is about mathematics. This is a myth. Quant can be solved by using certain methods and most importantly, common sense. You will get four options with the questions. Follow common sense and logic, and do your rough work. Remember, Algebra is all about substitution, not solution. For the geometry section, practice free hand drawing of 15, 35 and 40 degree angles. They can help you in DI&LR section too.

Q: Will CAT 2009, being a computer exam, hamper measuring figures or doing rough work?

A: This is not an issue at all. Till last year you could measure the figures on paper, this year you can do the same on the screen. You can mark the figure with felt pen, measure it and then erase it. And by regular practice even you will have a fair idea regarding the measurements which you can roughly assume by looking at the figure itself. For rough work, you will be provided with papers, so don’t worry about that. Don’t abstain yourself from rough work in the fear wastage of time. The more rough work you will do, more chances will be there to get the correct answer.

Q: What is your advice for managing oneself on the CAT 2009 exam day?

A: First and foremost, you must be relaxed on the day of your final CAT exam. Be confident of your preparation. CAT exam questions are made to look scary, but most of them are pretty simple. Rather the questions which look complicated are the ones which are actually simple and vice-versa. After attempting a question, if you start facing problems, don’t waste time and go ahead. Do as much rough work as possible as that is the way to get the correct answers. Wear a big analogue watch where you can constantly keep a check on time. It can also be helpful for the time and date related questions. Practice free-hand drawing of various angles, circles etc. for solving the Quant section questions. And last but not the least, I would suggest you to practice and revise a lot.

Q: CAT 2009 is going to be held in a window of 10 days and students are free to choose their slots, what is the ideal slot to be chosen?

A: The slot doesn’t really matter. Preference may vary from person to person. The early and the later slots both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Those who are choosing the early slots may get easier questions whereas those choosing later slots will have some idea about the CAT entrance exam question pattern. So it absolutely depends on you. CAT itself is a very unpredictable exam so nothing specific can be said beforehand.

Q: What can be the expected cut off marks of the three sections in CAT 2009?

A: The cut off marks can only be decided after the CAT 2009 exam is over. It depends upon the difficulty level of the questions on the basis of which they are decided. In the bulletin it is mentioned that CAT 2009 will have 60 to 70 questions. Now it has to be seen in which way the questions are divided according to the sections and which section has more difficult sets of questions.

Q: Will my past average academic record hamper my CAT performance and admission in top business schools in India?

A: Though academic background is given much weightage in the selection procedure of the top business schools, but for cracking the CAT entrance exam all you need is right focus and systematic preparation. I can talk about my personal experience; I never had a very bright academic background, neither did I have any extra-curricular background, but still I got through IIM Bangalore. So all I can say is instead of thinking about the bygones concentrate on your goal.

Q: How shall I keep the motivation high for facing CAT 2009?

A: Always think that nothing is impossible. If you are really serious about your dream, that itself will act as your motivation. Apart from that, follow the preparation guidelines stringently which is most important. Wish you all the best for CAT 2009!