Entrance examinations to get into the coveted management
institutes across the country are facing slowdown pressures. Registrations for the Common Admission Test (CAT
) 2013 saw a 9.3 per cent drop in registrations, while NMIMS
Management Aptitude Test (NMAT
) 2014 may also see 10-12 per cent drop in registrations. While, Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT
) 2014 may see a 5-10 per cent rise in the total applicants. There was a 25 per cent rise in the number of applicants for XAT 2013.
Rohit Kapoor, convenor of CAT 2013 and chairperson, admissions at Indian Institute of Management, Indore, explained that the registrations have dropped since this is a phase of consolidation. “There has been a drop about 14,000-15,000 in total registrations. In my view, there are some candidates on fringes who usually write CAT for the sheer experience. It is these candidates who have not applied this year, and hence the fall,” he said.
Kapoor added the macro-economy also had a role to play. He explained that while it was earlier believed that an MBA
is a ticket for getting a good job, with the weak market conditions, it no longer remains true. CAT, which is the common test for admission to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and several other non-IIM business schools has a ratio of 1:20, wherein almost 120,000 candidates have applied for 10,000 seats.
“It is a consolidated pool and the ratio of number of applicants to total seats is also good. Hence, this year’s exam will be more competitive and having a consolidated pool of candidates is a positive development,” said Kapoor.
XAT 2014, which will be held in January 2014 has seen a steady flow of applications. Professor Vishwa Ballabh, chairperson-admission, XLRI (the institute that conducts XAT) said that they are hoping to see a 5-10 per cent rise in number of applicants for the exam. XAT 2013 had seen 75,300 candidates appearing for the test.
Industry experts pointed out that with rising costs and increasing fees, doing an MBA from a reputed institute was not viable for the Indian middle class. “Students are presently focussed on finding a job after pursuing their education. Doing a course from one of the top 10 institutes with a Rs 10 lakh plus fee does not compare well with their aspirations. Hence, students, especially from the smaller towns, do not wish to take a risk, by applying for MBA programmes,” said a senior IIM professor.
NMAT, which is the official entrance exam for Narsee Monjee Institute Of Management Studies (School Of Business Management) may see a marginal dip in registrations. NMIMS spokesperson said that till September 24, they had seen 55,000 students registering for the exam and the total registrations could touch 60,000 when the registrations close in first week of November.
The All India Council for Technical Education’s (AICTE) Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) is perhaps the only one which has seen an increase. For the CMAT held in February 2013, around 190,000 students registered for CMAT with 375,000 seats available with B-schools. In its first edition of tests, CMAT had seen registrations of around 70,000 students for the exam.
Apart from these examinations, the Graduate Management Admission Council conducts the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) globally, which is accepted in more than 5,800 programmes at nearly 2,000 universities and organisations across the world.