Institutes for cat preparation

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The great writer, Alexandre Dumas, once said "nothing succeeds like success". It is, but a winner, who takes all the accolades, and not the also-rans. To win is an innate propensity of man in any competition. In today's world, education is the main race. Every person demands the best. Hence, the fierce competition. If the competition be, to simply enter a good school, one can imagine how rigorous the 'rat race' will be.

After school, (10+2 or intermediate), one tries to get into the best college and do the best graduate level course. But, the job market, being what it is today, a Post-graduation becomes necessary. In India these days there is no dearth of courses and colleges. But how many are reputed, provide good education, have all facilities etc.?

A very important career these days is Business management. To get into a good B-School itself is a daunting task. With only a few thousand seats in all B-Schools combined, it is a big challenge for the lacs of candidates. So, we have entrance exams.

The 'CAT'(Common Admission Test), conducted by the 'IIMs' (Indian Institute of Management), is one of the toughest entrance tests. Conducted by the IIMs, this unique test, checks one for one's IQ, general English and general math and other soft skills. This test has a specialized marking system, also carries negative points. There are about 75 B-Schools besides the six IIMs which accept CAT scores. Since CAT needs special preparation, there are coaching institutes for CAT itself.

How to Choose an Institute: CAT coaching is done basically at three levels; classroom, correspondence & online. The latter two may be followed up with a personal contact program crash course. Following guidelines will be useful:

* Make sure the institute is of repute. It has all the basic facilities to take up CAT coaching. Some institutes offer free demo classes. That may be good, but don't rely on them as a free demo is any way going to be good.

* Do not go by their word on how many students they have placed, low fees or strength of ex-IIM faculty.

* The institute may run coaching for non-IIMs as well, but what is your requirement? Most institutes offer, at a little extra cost, training for both. In such a case a GK section is included which may help in GD/PI later. Act accordingly

* Mark your choice between correspondence, classroom & online courses. Online courses are suggested the least as interactive and at-length courses are better.

* If your city does not have a classroom coaching, go for a correspondence course and take mock cats along with interactive crash course.(it may not be a bad choice to move to a nearby big city for that.)

* Last but not the least, does the institute provide GD/PI (Group Discussion/ Personal Interview) session later on. they are as important as the written test.

* If you require a study loan, go directly to a bank, not through the institute.

Such is the demand for CAT preparation that Pre-CAT institutes have sprung up like Mushrooms all over. Some of the prominent ones are:

o IMS Learning Resources Pvt. Ltd: perhaps the oldest in biz, it is headquartered in Mumbai. It has a presence in over 50 cities. Prominent ones are Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Bhubneshwar, Baroda, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Jammu, Jaipur, Kolkata, kanpur, lucknow, Mumbai, Madurai, Nagpur etc. the institute gives its USP as the most no. of placements.

o Career Launcher: A Delhi based institute, it is one of the younger institutes. Has many branches in Delhi. Has branches in Mumbai, Pune, NOIDA, Lucknow, Kanpur, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon,Kolkata, Burdwan, Durgapur, Bangalore, Hubli, Ahmedabad etc. as well.

o Ascent Education: It is a Chennai based also provides courses in correspondence &online courses in multiple locations.

o T.I.M.E.(Triumphant institute of management education): Headquartered in Hyderabad, it imparts classroom coaching in most major towns of India. According to the T.I.M.E., it imparts affordable course. It has been a recent success. Has been founded by IIM & XLRI alumnus.

o Career Forum: This institute provides coaching in Pune and 6 other cities. It also provides correspondence courses.

o Brilliant Tutorials: A veteran of IIT JEE, this Chennai based institute also provides reputed courses in CAT as well. Perhaps the most advertised one, it claims a high success rate.

o Other prominent institutes are PT (professional tutorials), The Princeton Review, Magnum, Bulls eye, Prudence academy, Indo-Scottish Study Circle, Mastervision Nucleus(Bangalore) etc.

One can also get information from the Net (Google, Yahoo), by word-of-mouth from their peers, Educational supplements of major national dailies.

Now-a-days it is possible that MBA entrance training institutes outnumber the B-Schools themselves! Remember what someone said," If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail".

There is no reason to believe that if you go to a small CAT-prep school, live in a small town or you are Differently-abled u can't crack CAT. Hard-work, regularity & practice are the key to 'Belling the CAT'!