IPMAT 101 - The What, Why & How of the 5 year Integrated Program in Management
Updated: Aug 28, 2020
Did you know you can do an MBA right after school?
Surprised? Well, don’t be. There is a futuristic course called the Integrated Program of Management offered by IIM Indore, now IIM Rohtak. It is a BA in Foundations of Management and an MBA. You don’t need to even write CAT to get into the top B-school of our country!
It offers a variety of subjects, ranging from economics to psychology to regression to dance! To get more information on this course, checkout the IIM Indore website here.
Now, you want to study in this magnificent institute. IIM Indore does not discriminate between any kind of an educational background. Be it a science, humanities, commerce or arts, you can aspire for this. What now?
Well, getting into IIM Indore, is no easy feat! With a selection rate of less than one percent, you will be one of 20000+ competing for one of the 150 coveted seats. Selection rates of Harvard and Stanford are higher.
But, what do you need to do to get into it? What is the selection process? Any tips and tricks from the current IPM students?
If these are the questions running through your mind, look no further. We bring you this article that has the answers. It has been vetted by IPM students from science as well as a commerce background and someone who got through with their SAT scores! If you have any more questions, feel free to leave a comment below!
Let’s get down to it!
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How do I get into IPM?
The admission process consists of a screening test called the IPM Aptitude Test or IPMAT, an Interview + WAT. The combined scores in each of these allows the institute to give ranks and admission letters accordingly.
If you are a non-resident Indian, you can get into IPM with your SAT scores. You will be exempted from IPMAT. However, you will be asked to sit for the interview and WAT.
Word of caution, go through the eligibility criteria once and make sure you fit in!
What is the pattern for IPMAT?
The paper is divided into three sections all of which is timed. You cannot go back to a section after its time is over. You can not toggle between sections too.
All of these questions have equal weightage, i.e., +4 for every correct question and -1 for a wrong answer.
IPMAT also has sectional cut-offs. This means that you will have to solve the sections in the given order, in the given time, and you must attempt enough questions in each section to make through their individual cut-offs, after which you need to clear the overall cut-offs.
So just focus on attempting the questions you know best. You can move back and forth within a section. Remain calm and solve them.
As far as the SAT cut-offs go, we believe that above the 85th percentile or 1300+ is required to be called for an interview+WAT. However, it depends on the difficulty of the exam that year.
What is the syllabus for IPMAT?
There is no prescribed syllabus for the test. However, based on the 2019 question paper, there seemed to be questions from Sequence and Series, Quadratic Equations, Matrices and Determinants, Ratio and Proportions, Three-Dimensional Geometry (Circle, parabolas), Trigonometry, Sets, and Inequalities. There is also comprehension and vocabulary.
If you are a math student, borrow some of the books from your fellow JEE counterparts and do their easy questions in addition to your 12th mathematics book. They will help a lot. If you aren't, well, according to CAT book writer and expert Arun Sharma, the first section of his book is sufficient to clear IPMAT.
Most of all, solve the mocks! Mock papers give you a realistic idea regarding the number of questions you are getting right and the ones you are getting wrong. Use this data to create your imaginary cut-offs regarding the number of questions you must attempt and the kind of questions you rather avoid, given the negative marking. You can also use this to identify your weak areas.
Is coaching absolutely necessary?
No, but you still have to maintain a schedule to study and solve as many questions as you can. There are a lot of preparatory booklets out there. Utilise them. Test series of either Pratham or CL was used by a lot of my fellow peers. Even though, Pearson’s guide to IPM was widely used, it had a lot of errors. Beware, if you choose to use it. Or, you could go online and solve papers 😉
Let’s assume you have cleared IPMAT.
Now, you have the next round of selection, your WAT + Interview.
Update: However, due to the pandemic, IIM Indore has revised its selection structure for the year 2020-21. For this year, there will a VA instead of a WAT+PI. The weightage for IPMAT has been increased to 85% and the VA constitutes to a 15%. So, focus completely on the IPMAT folks! For more details, click here
What is WAT all about?
Written Ability Test, aka, WAT, tests your skill of formulating an argument and your ability to present facts and figures in a coherent format. You get only 30 minutes for this, so you have to think on your feet.
Take the time to prepare a teeny tiny outline of your essay. This will help you write better and faster. It will also help you take the essay in the direction you want it to go.
Do not beat around the bush! Of course, sometimes ornate (flowery) language can come in handy but this does not mean your entire essay should be full of hogwash. Keep your arguments to the point and back them. (unlike the previous sentences) The professors are quite smart and you cannot fool them!
Read books, newspapers, articles or even essays. They will help you improve your vocabulary and will help you gain insights on the structure of a good essay.
These are some of the topics given in the previous years:
Dumping waste into the oceans – present your arguments
Should people with a fatal disease be allowed to decide whether they want to live or not?
Can e-books replace traditional books, what will be the impact?
What is the impact of Robotics in the future? Boon or Bane?
Should the government spend money in promotion of cultural activities?
What is more necessary? Smart work or Hard work?
Keep your calm and just write.
The fun part, The Personal Interview.
Your interview can last anywhere between 15 to 45 minutes. The duration of the interview does not matter. At all. So, if you find the candidate before you in the room for 30 minutes and you were in for 20 minutes, it does not imply that your chances of getting into IPM is lesser than him. Trust me, I speak from experience.
The interviewers expect a pleasant personality and an appropriate approach to every question they ask rather than an extensive academic knowledge. In short, don’t panic and even if you do, maintain a neutral/smiling expression on your face.
On the other hand, be thorough with one or two subjects that you enjoyed in your 12th grade. They might ask what your favourite subjects were and ask questions regarding that (or not!). These questions aren’t hard to answer and they are usually from the basics. There is usually a question regarding your hometown too.
If you do not know the answer, it is wise to reply with an “I don’t know”, rather than pretending to know the answer.
Sometimes, they might ask you to give a speech on a random topic, (usually it is related to the directions your interview took). And please be aware of the news, the current affairs, the cabinet ministries and all other sorts of important position-holders in our country. Sometimes, to see how informed you are, they’ll ask about your constituency, and its representatives (if it is the election season!)
By chance, you walked out of the interview, thinking it went down horrendously as you could not answer all the questions, fret not! For they look at how you react to every question rather than being a grade A student and answering all the questions right.
Some of the highlights from the team's personal interviews for IPM:
“The interviewers expected me to have some knowledge of the government schemes. They questioned me on schemes regarding fuel. I personally, did not have any idea on the specifics. So, I interpreted the question as the steps various government took to implement alternative sources of fuel. I mentioned about the Kerala having an airport run entirely on solar power and further elaborated on the direction we should go forward”
“My interview was pretty generic. They asked me about myself and questioned me on the basics of economics. We discussed about the functions of RBI, about the HRD minister and other general knowledge questions”
“My interview was a disaster, they started off asking about where I was from. On hearing that I had travelled a long way to reach the interview, they questioned me on the name of the train I took, the places the train passes through and the people who ere sitting beside me. Unfortunately, I took an overnight train, so I was not sure of the people nor the places the train passed through. I answered them to the best of my knowledges and conceded defeat when I couldn’t name ALL of the cities. I was asked basic math and chemistry questions and about the constituencies in my district. They did not test me on general knowledge rather on the general awareness”
On that note, I part with you. I hope this article was useful. Best of luck and I wish you success in your future endeavours.
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Interested in learning about how to approach the CAT? Check out our Strategise the CAT series here!
You can also check out some related posts such as:
Hi, I’m here for a 5-year MBA! – Aradhya’s tryst with IPM at IIM Indore
Breaking the shackles: IIT Bombay to Mass Media to IIM Indore
Soaring from the Indian Air Force to IIM Indore - Flt Lt. Jitendra Singh Bhadoria’s incredible story