Hi friends, Nitya Krishna is working as an Asst. Prof, SIMS Pune. Recently I read her article on “Destination B Schools: Cracking The Selection Process” from the CRS magazine. Really, it was Superb ! And thus I am posting it here, so that you can also learn those extraordinary tips suggested by her. I have divided her article to several segments and points for better visibility.
What does is actually take to get a place for yourself in a B School of your choice ? A pertinent question for all MBA aspirants to ask as this is the next hurdle which needs to be successfully overcome after the Entrance Exam.
For all B Schools, largely, the next round of Selection Process comprises of a combination of either of these: Group Discussion, Groups Activity, Presentation, Extempore and Personal Interview. One important thing that needs to be understood here is that any one or any combination of either of these is actually aimed at measuring the candidate’s suitability to take up the programes.
1. Groups Discussion
Groups Discussion (GD) is one of the most widely used Selection Tools and mostly accounts for the fist round of screening. The topic can range from anything General to absolutely Abstract to even case study. A candidate is tested on a variety of parameters like Analytical and Logical Thinking, Knowledge of the subject concerned, Ability to appreciate others opinions, contribution in terms of thoughts, ideas, opinions, perspectives and yes, the Body languages which includes manners & etiquettes.
It therefore becomes absolutely essential to speak. People who lose on that are likely to get rejected. But again, speaking just for the sake of speaking should also be avoided. It is better to make a few points but sensible ones instead of speaking more but all meaningless. It is a general notion that people who speak the loudest are the ones who get selected. Actually, it is about making yourself get noticed but for the right reason. So, to that extent, the point you are making and its meaning as well as the relevance hold good. It is always better to be in the first three people to speak. It helps in getting noticed immediately and significantly. At the same time, it shows your initiative and proactive-ness in response to the situation.
Once you have started on, you should keep the tempo going which means keep contributing in terms of new ideas, thoughts, opinions in line with the topic of discussion. Discussions suffer from a very common phenomenon of getting deviated from the track. At that time, bringing the discussion right on the track and then steering the Group through would bring in significant advantage to you. Also if you haven’t been able to make a point, take a chance to at least summarize it. One important parameter that emerges out here is Communication Skills. To be able to make an impact having an idea is not enough. You will have to make yourself heard. So fluency in speaking English is a must and not desirable.
2. Group Activity
The other Selections Tool that is gaining popularity is the Group Activity. In some cases, it is used in place of GD. In others, it is used along with it. The parameters that are used for evaluation are more or less except for some. In cases of GA, the Group is assigned an Activity which needs to be completed with the contribution of all group Members. A candidate is evaluated on Team Skills, Initiative, Proactiveness, Participation, Innovation Thinking apart from the others mentioned in case of GD. Here, the Non verbal Cues play a major role. It is aimed at judging the personality Attributes.
3. Extempore & Presentation
Extempore & Presentation are no so commonly used Selection Tools. However, there are some B Schools for whom it accounts for the preliminarily round. An Extempore would required the candidate to speak about a topic given on the spot. In case of a Presentation, the topic is told in advance or else, even left to the discretion, the level of General Awareness, presentations of ideals, analytical & logical ability, communication skills & the ability to handle questions. Keeping this in mind, it is important to read about the Current Affairs both national as well as International for a period of 1 year from the time of the Selection process.
4. Personal Interview
Finally, the most important component of the Selection Process is the Persona Interview (PI). It aims to judge a variety of attributes & skills sets in a candidate apart from the knowledge. Percentage of marks obtained in 10 th, 12th & Graduation serve as a representative of sound academic background. Further if the candidate has prior Work Experience, it adds weight to the CV. Here the length of service seniority of position & the responsibilities handled hold merit. All these fetch points. Interviews can also have a behavior testing component to gauge a candidate’s ability to handle pressure. Interviews also aim to handle pressure. Interviews also aim at judging the candidate’s level of Confidence Determination, Seriousness pf Purpose & the Learning Attitude.
5. Selection Structure
The structure of the Selection Process varies from one B School to the other. In some cases, the preliminary rounds can be Screening Rounds and candidates who clear them can proceed with the other Rounds. In others, a composite score of all the components is taken into account to prepare a Merit List. Nevertheless , it is important to perform to the best of your abilities ion all the components of the Selection Process.
Maintaining the composure of all the mind is extremely important for all the good preparation done by you to come out well. Also, remember, if you have to cut the tree, spend 80 % of your time sharpening the axe and the rest 20 % in actually performing the task.
– by Kitya Krishna