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Do you think the current format discourages female aspirants from attempting CAT?

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Dear Students,

LAST WEEK WE ASKED: Do you think the current format discourages female aspirants from attempting CAT?


The testing scheme of CAT is usually inclined towards mathematics thus in a way giving undue advantage to students with engineering background. Also, it is clear from the results, with engineering graduates dominating the list of high scores. And the strength of girls enrolled in engineering discipline is much lower than that of boys leading to only a limited pool of feminine gender. These facts have led to the notion of discouragement among female aspirants. Actually, strong determination for perseverance is enough to give female students the necessary push thereby counterbalancing the prevalent gender bias.

- Shivam Chhabra, Integral University, Lucknow.


No format is gender specific. What is required is a change in a social mindset. We should start treating female equally with men from birth and start providing them quality education and opportunity at par with a male child. This alone will make women adequately educated and competent to compete with men on equal footing in any sphere of life be it exam or job.

-Nilaya Mitash Shanker, IIT Roorkee.

Firstly, girls are hardly treated at par with the boys. Parents still feel that it is useless to educate a girl since she has to settle down and serve her in-laws and kids. Also, engineering, the field mostly preferred by the boys, makes the CAT exam a dead option for the girls. The fees of the IIMs are sky-high and hence the girls themselves hesitate to attempt for them. Lastly, the parents of the girl feel that if their daughter is highly educated, she will not find a groom easily and she will surpass the right age for the marriage.

- Itee Rasesh Pattani, MS University, Vadodara.

Many IIMs have been admitting more girls to improve gender ratio e.g the top three IIMs have increased the number of women candidates from 16 per cent to 23 per cent last year and this year there is an estimation of having more than 100 women each in top three IIMs. New IIMs like IIM Rohtak and IIM Udaipur are awarding 30 and 15 additional marks respectively to the girl candidate. I believe these ancillaries do help in bolstering and fostering the girl aspirants to go for MBA .

- Piyush Mittal, PEC Chandigarh.

The present entrance pattern provides equal opportunities to all the students. The female students generally pursue government jobs or higher degrees in their own fields so there is less of a trend towards MBA. Also the success rate of women in CAT and other exams is at par in fact a tad better than their success rate in other competitive exams. In my view there is no need to change the pattern.

- Swar Grover, GNDU, Amritsar.

The current independently timed section system is student friendly and therefore there was increased number of aspirants. Moreover there was notable increase in ratio of women aspirants in CAT 2013. This shows noticeable encouragement in CAT aspirants due to current format . So obviously it shows that it doesn't discourage women aspirants. Interestingly it's important that aspirants should be passionate about what they study so format shouldn't make any difference to candidates neither should it matter whichever gender aspirants belong to.

- Arpita S. Desai, Government Engineering College, Gandhinagar.

CAT with its substantial amount of weightage towards mathematics is often considered a deterrent by the non-engineering folk. But the structure invoking a gender bias isn’t justified. With the number of female aspirants for engineering significantly increasing, CAT does provide equal opportunities for both the sexes. Re- engineering of the CAT’s structure is required for a better diversity in the premium B-schools, to encourage the non-engineering aspirants for a better diversity, but not that it is gender biased.

- Vishal Nadgir, School of Petroleum Management, PDPU, Gandhinagar.

Women are under-represented at IIMs, with the ratio ranging from 1:4 to 1:6 while CAT itself has a low women applicant ratio of about 1:3. Now, if the word ‘format’ in the question takes into account the already low percentage of women at IIMs as well as rising cost of an MBA education, then it definitely has a negative impact. However, the decisions in some IIMs to increase the weight of school grades in their selection process format may help, as girls typically do better than boys at the school level.

- Rakshit Maheshwari, School of Petroleum Management, PDPU, Gandhinagar.

As responded by female candidates the CAT format itself does not discourages female candidates but the inclination of CAT towards engineers does affect them. As there are fewer female engineers and also the social structure which is patriarchal in majority insists females to study till undergraduate to be married off early. Provided the exemplification of iconic rise of the likes of Indira Nooyi are done progressively in society through means of counselling and conferences will there be a healthy gender equation in IIMs.

- Robinson Buriuly, Delhi University.

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Do you think there should be more number of IIT, IIM and AIIMS' campuses in the country?

Your responses should reach us at by Monday evening every week. Please ensure that your responses do not exceed 100 words. Avoid attachments and email your full name, institute's name, batch and complete mailing address. The student who gives the 'Best Response' will be awarded Rs 500.

First Published: Thu, January 23 2014. 00:49 IST