Cracking the MBA Entrance Exams – My Journey

MBA Admissions

by Prathmesh Deshmukh, MDI Gurgaon

MBA – the three initials that are associated with better career opportunities, better professional networking, acquisition of new knowledge and skills, and of course an increase in monetary remuneration – has attracted the attention of a large pool of talented people.

The number of candidates appearing for the various Management Entrance exams has increased exponentially in the recent times and this, in turn, has lead to a phenomenal increase in the amount of study material and associated resources both online and offline, creating confusion among potential aspirants as to how to prepare and from where to prepare. Hence, by means of this article, I would like to share my MBA preparation journey highlighting the key points of preparation and the nuances and tips that helped me ace the exams and the ensuing GD/PI processes and hopefully try and clear the doubts among aspirants and give some more direction to their preparation.  

I appeared for three major entrance exams – CAT, XAT and the NMAT and scored decently in all of them to get me GD/PI calls from institutes like XLRI, MDI, IMT and NMIMS to name a few. Broadly the further selection processes for all these institutes consisted of a Group Discussion ranging from 15 min to 45 min followed by a Personal Interview with the assessing panel and in some institutes (such as MDI), the selection processes included a WAT.

The topics of the GD’s ranged from current affairs like the introduction of GST in the tax system to a few abstract topics like Blue and 9 and so on. A few GDs even had a caselet describing a hypothetical situation which was to be debated on and analysed to arrive at recommendations.

Preparing for Group Discussions:

#1 – For Content Preparation: Read Live Mint and The Hindu especially the editorial pieces as well as news snippets for increasing general awareness and

#2 – For GD Participation: Don’t jump in too early if unsure of the topic and wait for some points to talk on (especially helpful in abstract topic GD’s) and try and summarise and conclude the GD which leaves a lasting impression.

Preparing for Personal Interviews

The critical point to be kept in mind is know yourself fully, i.e., your strengths and weakness, instances demonstrating leadership, why MBA and which specialisation? Be updated about the latest news and more importantly have your own opinion on the same.

Concluding the article, a few pointers I would like to reiterate that helped me and will surely help MBA aspirants in their preparation for GD and PI are:

1 – Know yourself in and out

2 – Be assertive while talking whether it be in GD or PI

3 – Be updated in your knowledge of General Awareness and Current Affairs and have an opinion on the same

4 – Keep it simple, have confidence and the self-belief that you can do it!

All the above points remain constant irrespective of changes in exam pattern or the various GD and PI processes – for both Experienced as well as Fresher Candidates.

All the best!!Prathmesh Deshmukh



Prathmesh Deshmukh is a student at Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon.

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