IIM Ahmedabad has changed the admission criteria significantly for the year 2014-16. Here's a brief of the changes.
According to the data available, 96% of students in the 2012-14 batch in IIM A come from an engineering background, and the numbers are expected to be similar for the 2013-15 batch.
There are two major changes proposed this year which will have a considerable influence on the composition of the batch-
The formula for calculating the application rating has been changed
A provision for direct shortlist to the WA-PI round for top performers in the five academic categories has been included.
1. Changes in the Application Rating (AR) Calculation
For the current year 2013-15, the Application Rating was calculated according to the formula -
AR = (A*B*C) + D + E
The rating scores were assigned based on the Table below. The maximum possible score is 33.
Table 1- Application Rating Score for the year 2013-15
The new system applicable for CAT 2013 based admissions moves away from a composite of multiplicative and additive scores to a completely additive model. The AR will now be calculated as -
AR = 0.5*A + 1.5*B + 2.5*C
The rating scores are assigned based on Table 2. The maximum possible score is 45.
Table 2 - Application Rating Score for the year 2014-16
There were several complaints since the past two years that, due to the multiplicative calculation of AR scores, there was too much focus on marks obtained in 10th and 12th standard examination. Under the old system, if the candidate had fared badly in any one of the exams but showed exceptional performance otherwise, it would have hampered his chances in getting shortlisted. By giving more weightage to performance in the undergraduate degree and shifting to a completely additive model, the proposed system makes sure that recent performances are given adequate weightage as performances farther back.
Currently, freshers constitute around 27% of the batch. As the new system does not give any points for work experience or for Master's degree, the number of freshers who will be shortlisted for the WA-PI round is expected to increase. Work Experience and postgraduate education will however be used as a criteria while evaluating candidates for final
2. Direct shortlist into WA-PI round for top performers in the five academic categories
IIM Ahmedabad, for the first time, is considering direct shortlisting of candidates from each academic category to WA-PI round, provided they clear the minimum percentile cut-offs as mentioned below-
This is expected to bring in the much required diversity on campus and give a holistic perspective on different opportunities in each stream. Long story short, the candidates will be categorized into five academic categories on the basis of the information they provide in the CAT Application form. For every such academic category, the top 1% or top 50 candidates will be directly shortlisted for the WA-PI round irrespective of their Application Rating.
Our calculations indicate that the number of engineers can be expected to fall significantly. The conversion ratio from a WA-PI shortlist to a final admit has historically been 1 in 3 candidates . Assuming that top 50 students are shortlisted to WA-PI round directly from each category and the conversion ratio remains same, the number of students from non-engineering background is expected to increase. Interestingly, IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta both have higher percentage of non-engineers as part of their current batches as compared to IIM Ahmedabad.
The admission criteria clearly states that "all subjects that appear in the mark-sheets of 10th and 12th standard exams will be considered irrespective of whether the Board/University considers them for calculating the percentage".
Also, with respect to the undergraduate degree, if the university does not consider all subjects in the mark sheet for all the years while calculating the percentage, a letter certifying the details of the practice has to be produced at the time of WA-PI for the candidate to get the benefit of the provision. This was included after it was noticed that some boards consider a few subjects as non-evaluative. While the marks-card includes these subjects in the calculating the percentage, many boards/university do not.