03 Nov 2016 16:53 IST

What should non-engineers focus on?

Being a non-engineer doesn’t mean you can’t get into IIMs. Here’s how you can crack the CAT

The current concern among students is not of education per se but of what could be a good job and career after their graduation. This worry is all the more prevalent in students who pursue arts and science i.e. the non-engineering stream, where, earlier, students were assured jobs based on the curriculum or subject they chose.

Today, however, the situation has changed. With an increase in the number of educated people, the levels of competition have also gone up. As of now, the trend is not encouraging, as far as getting a job for a non-engineer is concerned. Bank jobs with decent salaries and high job security are usually associated with extremely high levels of competition, which worries students and parents.

Rather than dwell on these issues, students without an engineering background should focus on the positives — one of the major ones being an MBA in top B-schools in India through Common Admission Test (CAT) and other management entrance exams.

As good as others

Most B-schools, especially the IIMs, have started looking forward to admitting non-engineers into the system, since they want a better heterogeneity amongst their students. These students are awarded extra points during selection, which makes the entry into these prestigious institutes a little easier.

The doubt most non-engineering students have is whether they are capable of competing with engineers. This is evident from the analysis of people who have registered for CAT. However, non-engineering students should understand that they too can do as well as engineering students — sometimes, they can even be better as most engineering students have a thought process which is streamlined, and thus, uni-directional. Those from a non-engineering background have the advantage of looking for non-linear and creative methods of solving problems, which is extremely helpful in Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning sections of CAT.

Another major apprehension is associated with Quantitative Ability section. What they need to understand is that most questions in this section are associated with class VIII, IX, and X mathematics. The trick to crack not just the Quantitative Ability section but CAT, is to pick out the easy questions and do as many as of them as possible, while leaving the difficult questions for later.

Hence, basic focus on areas of Quantitative Aptitude like numbers, algebra, arithmetic expressions, and geometry and modern mathematics, which are the favourite of competitive exams, should help non-engineers increase their efficiency and effectiveness.

Prepare well

With around more than a month left for the test, non-engineering students should utilise their semester break effectively. The more time they spend on preparing for CAT, the better their chances will be of getting into a top B-school. A proper study plan should be designed, with the help of a mentor who can help identify the strong and weak areas of a student.

It is extremely important that along with preparation, non-engineering students also allocate time to take mock CAT tests. The most important aspect is to analyse a student’s performance in these tests and ensure that it improves constantly.

Being a non-engineer does not mean that success is far away. It only means that you must be focussed on the end goal – CAT. Extra perseverance is required from the students. A lot of non-engineers do not realise this, and think it is a far-fetched dream to crack the CAT, but following what has been suggested will turn dreams into reality.

All the best!

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