I being an MBA aspirant and part software engineer for the past three years, was always curious to know, why the format of CAT should be like how it is now – RC/DI/QUANT? As I am slowly getting lost in this IT world, I got to know a little about the answer for the Question. Let’s take each section of a basic MBA exam and understand it from the Business point-of-view.
Reading Comprehension’s (RC’s):
This section is omnipresent, and also the most difficult section for most of the MBA aspirants. In everyday business, one has to read numerous customer agreements, legal documents, terms & conditions etc. One has to understand the text completely and able to extract the important points, analyse them w.r.t one’s business and need to tell his agreement or disagreement. Particularly in the cases of customer requirements, it is very important to understand both explicit & implicit requirements; else in the course of the project one may end up getting lot of surprises which he haven’t envisioned when the deal is agreed. So, the RC’s test this quality of an MBA aspirant, how fast and how correctly one understands a text. How fast because there may be some situations like in customer interactions where one may need to take spontaneous decisions and sign agreements.
Data Interpretations (DI):
Information is wealth and interpreting it is an art. With the advent of internet, there is lot of information easily accessible to everyone. One who can interpret it correctly and put that to use for business development will march ahead. Take the case of fund managers, they need to do a lot of number crunching with the balance sheets of companies to know their profit/loss/growth etc., put the numbers of all the companies together and interpret them to find which is the best company to put one’s money in .Also, in the cases where one has to think two to three years ahead and plan for it, only past numbers can help. One has to take the past data and then consider various parameters which may change in the course of next two or three years and then plan things like how many people to hire, any expansion is needed & how far the competitors will come in this period etc. All these are very important decisions for any business to prosper and interpreting the data correctly can make a huge difference. So DI is absolutely critical in any MBA’s life.
Quantitative Ability (QA):
What’s business without math? One has to eat, drink & sleep math all through his life. Be it probability and permutation & combinations which help in deciding the no.of check-in counters at an airport for smooth passage of people which we call it operation management or be it speed & distance which help in setting up efficient train/bus/flight timings without any conflicts or be it time & work which helps to compute the time-to-complete based on resources or vice-versa so on and so forth. Every chapter of math has its use in real world.
So, an MBA exam basically tries to evaluate one’s skills in the above sections which are very essential to learn/understand the principles of business problem solving.
At any MBA college, they basically teach you different methods, tools & techniques which help in interpret the data and understand what that data mean in a business point-of-view. Also, what questions to ask and how to analyse the answers, very important if one goes on to work with an FMCG. Extrapolations techniques which help in planning the future will also be taught. There will be case studies on different companies and how they responded to different situations, which will immensely help in dealing with similar situations at the places one may work in the future.
These things can be taught at any college, but what separates a great MBA college like IIM’s from others is the exposure to industry and the quality of students around. IIM’s will always stand-out because they get the students who can do the above mentioned things better than the rest.
So, only if one does well in a MBA exam he can to learn the Art Of Business easily and effectively.