Opting for a five-year integrated management course in India

Though all the management aspirants in India dream of getting a degree from IIM, but considering the level of competition in the CAT exam, it is a well known fact that gaining entry into the prestigious group of institutes is not child’s play. Those who are concerned and looking for solutions should know that there are IIMs that offer five-year integrated MBA programs to enter IIMs right after grade XII.

The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Indore and Rohtak conducts its National Aptitude test (IPMAT) every year, now joined by IIM Jammu, Ranchi and Bodh Gaya. The aptitude test facilitates admission into their five-year integrated program in Management, where approximately 20,000 students appear for the exams each year. The admission process proceeds in several stages, starting with the IPM Aptitude Test (IPMAT), Written Ability Test (WAT) and Personal Interview (PI).

Besides IIM, there are several other institutes that also offer this five-year integrated program such as NALSAR, Hyderabad has recently started the course and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) is also expected to be all set to launch this program from this academic year.

Why is it useful?

A five-year integrated MBA program is for Class XII students who are passing out and looking forward to a career in business management. It stimulates students’ managerial skills and knowledge based on ethical considerations. Students who wish to pursue an integrated MBA have an added advantage in terms of the syllabus as there is no repetition of courses or subjects. In the integrated program, candidates are not required to appear twice for the entrance examination and selection process (at UG and PG level), saving a year in preparation for entrance examinations.

A management course familiarizes students with the tools and techniques used strategically in improving business practices and performance. A management aspirant must pass the entrance exams to participate in this course. Once the course is nearing completion, they can look for job profiles in the service sector, manufacturing sector, IT sector, banking sector, etc.

Students pursue a five-year integrated program because it offers:

a) Contribute to learning and introduce them to approaches to knowledge assimilation and skills acquisition.

b) Provide a strong foundation of management, law, philosophy and psychology to young managers for overall personality development.

c) It emphasizes a more holistic thinking capacity than just a process-driven approach to drive innovation and logical decision making

d) It creates opportunities to gain hands-on exposure in diverse decision scenarios, realities and complexities as part of their summer internships and live projects to develop a deeper and contextualized understanding.

e) Nurturing the students’ entrepreneurial aspirations and guiding them towards tangible milestones during the program.

Key Features to Crack IPM Exam

While the preparation for each exam requires a lot of hard work and dedication. It is important that a student understands the pattern of the paper.” Some tips to prepare for IPMAT:

a) The Basics- It is very important to cover the basic concepts of the topics Quantitative Aptitude, Logical Reasoning and Verbal Ability. This way you understand the questions well and you can take this entrance exam professionally.

b) Calculations- A student has to work on his/her calculations. Time is key because we are supposed to clear the sectional cut-off within a certain amount of time.

c) Reading- A student should focus on reading and improving his/her vocabulary.

d) Practice- As an aspirant for the IPMAT entrance exam, your goal should be to gain accuracy as there is a sectional cut-off. The only way to achieve accuracy is through PRACTICE. This will help you identify the question types within each section that you are good at and the ones that you are not so good at. It helps to work on improving these topics and it saves time during the actual exam

e) Testing – The more you practice and the more you work on strengthening the basic concepts, the more you improve your score. It is of utmost importance to regularly conduct and thoroughly analyze these mock tests. It will help you create a strategy for the actual exam well in advance.

(Author Ankit Kapoor is co-founder and director of Pratham Test Prep. The opinions expressed here are personal.)

Sajal Jain
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