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COVID-19 impact: Business school admissions likely to have added layer of e-competitions

New processes like artificial intelligence and augmented reality could become part of the selection process. Spot case-study competitions and AR-based aptitude tests that would last 4-7 minutes would test the candidates’ agility, responsiveness, problem-solving ability and analytical thinking.

November 25, 2020 / 02:59 PM IST

Come 2021, business school aspirants could see an added layer of competition as part of the admission criteria. Sources told Moneycontrol that post the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2020 scores, new processes like digital competitions involving artificial intelligence and augmented reality (AR) could be part of the selection process.

Right now, entrance examinations like CAT are the entry criteria for admissions to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and several other management institutes.

Once the CAT scores are released, students undergo group discussions and personal interviews through which the institutes determine whether a candidate is a right fit.

However, the COVID-19 outbreak has led to the admission processes moving online. Amidst this remote model, business schools want to make sure that candidates can be assessed effectively online.

“When it is a face-to-face process like group discussions (GD) for example, we are able to gauge whether the candidate will be able to handle the pressures of the course, his/her behavioural aspects and also how well-versed they are with current topics. But a virtual GD wouldn’t be effective to spot the right talent, so there will be a shift in the entry process,” said the head of admissions at an IIM.

What will change?

Any student who wants to study at an IIM would need to get top scores in the CAT exam. Following this, there will be the personal interview which would mostly be conducted online. These interviews will be recorded to closely note the candidate's behavioural traits, using artificial intelligence tools.

The additional layer here will be the digital competitions that would be added to the admission process. This will include spot case-study competitions and AR-based aptitude tests.

These games would last 4-7 minutes and would test the candidates’ agility, responsiveness, problem-solving ability and analytical thinking. Games involving predictive analysis could also be part of the process.

Sources said that candidates would be split into groups of three to five and each group will be given either a group of games or a quick case study.

“Quick case study simulations could also be part of the process. The idea would be to identify minor problems and put the candidate’s analytical skills to test,” said the admissions director at a Mumbai-based management school.

He added that the technology will be provided by third-party assessment companies and the videos will be reviewed by the internal recruitment team at the B-School.

Will the process be lengthier?

Compared to a regular interview and GD round, which could get over in 1-3 days, the digital admissions could take between 3-5 days. Management institutes are also taking into account any technical glitch in the system that could lead to temporary suspensions of the admission modules online.

“The time taken could increase by one to two days. But both students will save costs since they can take part in these competitions from home. For institutes as well, this will help understand the candidate profile in-depth,” said Delhi-based consultant Nikhil Sindhwani, who advises B-Schools on admission processes.

Depending on the number of candidates shortlisted, there could be one or multiple rounds of competitions that will be held online.

M Saraswathy
M Saraswathy
first published: Nov 25, 2020 02:58 pm