The Indian Institute of Management, popularly known as IIMs, are the most prestigious institutes for management studies in India. They offer various undergraduate, postgraduate, executive and doctoral programs. They are renowned for their MBA, PGDM, PGP, Executive MBA and fellowship programs. However, a candidate needs to be aware of the eligibility for IIM, if they decide to apply to the institute. 

IIMs are listed under institutions of national importance. Currently, there are 20 IIMs in India. Besides, these are regarded as the dream B-schools for MBA aspirants in India because of their prestige and reputation. IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore and IIM Kolkata (earlier — Calcutta), commonly known as IIM-A, B and C, rank the highest across the country in terms of faculty, curriculum, infrastructure and training. 

Moreover, IIMs are known for handsome pay packages and a high return on investment (ROI). They provide numerous opportunities to students not just through academics but also with regard to extra-curricular activities. Thus, IIMs attract many applications each year for admission to management programs.

Through this article, we will talk about the IIM eligibility criteria and its admission process, which will be helpful for candidates who decide to apply there. 

Eligibility for IIM:

1. To get into an MBA program in an IIM, the candidate is required to hold a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognised university with at least 50% marks or equivalent GPA. This is an essential IIM MBA eligibility criteria for any student applying. However, if the candidate belongs to any other category, i.e. SC/ST/PwD, the eligibility criteria is relaxed to 45%. 

2. The first step for admission into an IIM is acing the GMAT. The candidate must take the exam and score the minimum prescribed percentile to be eligible for admission.  It is important to qualify for both the sectional and the overall cut off GMAT score.

3. If the graduation score report of the candidate consists of grades/GPA instead of marks, the procedure to determine eligibility would be based upon the equivalence given by the college/university from where the degree has been obtained. The candidate will be required to produce a written statement from the principal/director of his/her university mentioning the same.

4. The candidates who are still appearing for their final year examinations or those who have already given their examination but are waiting for their results are also eligible for applying to the IIMs. However, the candidate needs to provide a written proof from the university’s principal/director to clarify the same.

5. It is necessary to submit the final score report of graduation after the candidate has been granted admission. Inability to provide the same leads to cancellation of his/her admission. 

6. Candidates who have cleared the minimum GMAT cut off also need to sit for WAT, GD and PI sessions. You need to clear them to be considered for admission. Clearance of the GMAT cut off solely doesn’t guarantee admission into IIMs. After clearing all the required assessment procedures and submitting the necessary documents, the candidate is accepted.

7. There is no defined age limit for admission into IIMs. The individual should just possess a graduate degree with a minimum of 50% marks to be considered. 

IIM Admission Criteria:

The first step towards getting into an IIM is cracking the CAT or Common Admission Test with a good score. It is a standardised test for admission into MBA courses conducted in India by IIMs. Moreover, this exam is taken by nearly 4 lakh candidates every year and is a highly competitive exam. 

Candidates who ace this exam and meet the eligibility criteria of their preferred program are then shortlisted for Analytical Writing Test (AWT), Group discussion round (GD) and Personal Interview (PI).

When the CAT result is declared, the IIMs declare their cut-off percentiles — both section wise and category wise — too. The applicants are then screened based on their CAT score and past academic performance. For the past academic performance, the candidate’s class 10th, class 12th and graduation marks are taken into consideration. After the candidate gets shortlisted, he/she is given a call for the next round.

Candidates can also get accepted to programs similar to MBAs at IIMs through their GMAT scores. GMAT or Graduate Management Admission Test is a standardised multiple-choice, computer-adaptive test designed to assess a candidate’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The following information will clear all your doubts regarding the eligibility criteria to get into an IIM.

IIM Admission Procedure:

  •  Common Aptitude Test (CAT)/Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

All MBA aspirants have to ace their CAT and GMAT exams to get into the management programs at IIMs. 

Note: Candidates fulfilling the minimum cut off in the sectional percentile ranks and total percentile ranks in the GMAT exam will only be considered for all subsequent stages.

  • Shortlisting of candidates 

Candidates who clear the cut-off declared by an IIM must submit their exam score along with their past academic records and personal information.

  •  Screening of applicants for Written Ability Test/Group Discuss/Personal Interview 

After securing the minimum CAT/GMAT  percentile required for an IIM, candidates are shortlisted for Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD) or Personal Interview (PI). Official emails are sent only to the shortlisted candidates. 

  • Final selection

The final selection is made based on the candidate’s ‘Final composite score’, which is calculated by taking the following into consideration —  Writing Ability Test score, Personal Interview score, CAT/GMAT score, past academic performance and work experience. 

After assessing the candidate on these parameters, he/she is finally selected.

If you are targeting the IIMs, it is crucial to realise that your GMAT score matters, but it is not the sole criterion for getting you into an IIM. You need an equally impressive work profile and an excellent academic background. Moreover, your performance in the other rounds matters too. You should be well prepared for your personal interview, written ability test and group discussion round. A dedicated preparation and a good study approach can surely help you get into an IIM. Moreover, before you apply make sure you are aware of all the IIM eligibility criteria so that you don’t miss out on anything.

 Good luck!

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