IIM Ahmedabad revises selection criteria for batch of 2014-16

IIM Ahmedabad

Note: The following post is based on the IIM A PGP 2014-16 admission criteria released by the IIM Ahmedabad Admission Office. The motivation behind this post is solely to paraphrase the salient features of the new policy and provide a convenient reference to applicants and other readers. While we have made every attempt to include all important aspects, Media Cell and the institute are in no way responsible for any omissions/errors that may have inadvertently crept into this article. For all official purposes, the policy document uploaded (see here) on the IIM Ahmedabad website will be considered authentic.

Based on the feedback given by the admissions committee, IIM Ahmedabad has changed the admission criteria significantly for the year 2014-16 compared to the previous couple of years. The following is an attempt to briefly analyze the major changes in the policy and their expected impact on the batch profile in the coming years.

According to the data available, 96% of students in the 2012-14 batch in IIM A come from an engineering background, and the numbers are expected to be similar for the 2013-15 batch.  The changes proposed in the admission criteria fall in line with IIM A’s desire to increase diversity among the incoming students with respect to their academic background.

There are two major changes proposed this year which will have a considerable influence on the composition of the batch-

  1. The formula for calculating the application rating has been changed
  2. A provision for direct shortlist to the WA-PI round for top performers in the five academic categories has been included

1. Changes in the Application Rating (AR) Calculation

For the current year 2013-15, the Application Rating (AR) was calculated according to the formula –

AR = (A*B*C) + D + E

The rating scores were assigned based on the Table below.  The maximum possible score is 33.

Table 1– Application Rating Score for the year 2013-15
http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/users/admission/files/Short%20listing%20Criteria%20for%20PGP%202013-15.pdf )

The new system applicable for CAT 2013 based admissions moves away from a composite of multiplicative and additive scores to a completely additive model.  The AR will now be calculated as –

AR = 0.5*A + 1.5*B + 2.5*C

The rating scores are assigned based on Table 2.  The maximum possible score is 45.

Table 2 – Application Rating Score for the year 2014-16 (Source: http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/users/admission/files/IIMAProfile_13.pdf)

There were several complaints since the past two years that, due to the multiplicative calculation of AR scores, there was too much focus on marks obtained in 10th and 12th standard examination.  Under the old system, if the candidate had fared badly in any one of the exams but showed exceptional performance otherwise, it would have hampered his chances in getting shortlisted.  By giving more weightage to performance in the undergraduate degree and shifting to a completely additive model, the proposed system makes sure that recent performances are given adequate weightage as performances farther back.

Currently, freshers constitute around 27% of the batch.  As the new system does not give any points for work experience or for Master’s degree, the number of freshers who will be shortlisted for the WA-PI round is expected to increase.  Work Experience and postgraduate education will however be used as a criteria while evaluating candidates for final selection (i.e. in the calculation of the Aggregate Rating that would be used to determine the final list of selected candidates).

2. Direct shortlist into WA-PI round for top performers in the five academic categories

IIM Ahmedabad, for the first time, is considering direct shortlisting of candidates from each academic category (as provided in Table 3 of the Admissions Shortlisting Criteria document using information provided by the applicant at the time of filling the CAT 2013 application form) to WA-PI round, provided they clear the minimum percentile cut-offs as mentioned below-

min_cat_percentile 2014

This is expected to bring in the much required diversity on campus and give a holistic perspective on different opportunities in each stream.  Long story short, the candidates will be categorized into five academic categories on the basis of the information they provide in the CAT Application form. For every such academic category, the top 1% or top 50 candidates (whichever is lower) will be directly shortlisted for the WA-PI round irrespective of their Application Rating (AR).

This policy is expected to have a significant impact on the overall profile spectrum of the candidates shortlisted for the WA-PI round. Our calculations indicate that the number of engineers can be expected to fall significantly. The conversion ratio from a WA-PI shortlist to a final admit has historically been 1 in 3 candidates (unofficial figures).  Assuming that top 50 students are shortlisted to WA-PI round directly from each category and the conversion ratio remains same, the number of students from non-engineering background is expected to increase.  Interestingly, IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta both have higher percentage of non-engineers as part of their current batches as compared to IIM Ahmedabad.

Other Changes

Due to confusions regarding the calculation of percentage by the board/university, the admission criteria clearly states that “all subjects that appear in the mark-sheets of 10th and 12th standard exams will be considered irrespective of whether the Board/University considers them for calculating the percentage”.

Also, with respect to the undergraduate degree, if the university does not consider all subjects in the mark sheet for all the years while calculating the percentage, a letter certifying the details of the practice has to be produced at the time of WA-PI for the candidate to get the benefit of the provision.  This was included after it was noticed that some boards consider a few subjects as non-evaluative.  While the marks-card includes these subjects in the calculating the percentage, many boards/university do not.

For more details about the admission criteria for the 2014-16 PGP batch, please refer to: http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/users/admission/files/IIMAProfile_13.pdf

(Compiled by the Media Cell)


  1. Pingback: How can I get an Interview Call from IIM Ahmedabad ? - CAT 2013 : PGP 2014-16 « InsideIIM.com

  2. anany goel

    a lots of things are unclear and i think their are a few lacunas also in the method which can actually be disadvantageous for the non engineering aspirants… plz tell to whom shall we address our concenrns…

  3. Sud

    Disappointing that work-ex and the rest of the candidate’s application isn’t taken into consideration in the early stages, with Bachelor’s grades (of all things) getting highest weightage. Not the best indicator of talent.

  4. Pavan

    Even the new method for calculation of AR does not take into account that there are more the 20 board(for 10th and 12th standard) and more than 100 uninversities that award marks differntly to students. For example, it’s impossible for a Pune university student to score 80%. A 60% is considered very good in Pune university and his relative rank might be better than a 8 pointer from some NIT. But this guy would already be trailing in AR even though he was a topper in his school. Therefor, it’s a request to IIM Ahmedabad admission cell to consider this kind of things while creating AR, If foreign universities can do this why cannot our own indian stalwarts?

  5. Parijat

    Undergraduate Universities are lots and each with a specific marking pattern. Giving 2.5 weightage and that too huge jump in points (5 for 80). several universities dole out marks easily between 80-90 while many a universities give toppers less than 75%. I dnt think removing masters and work ex for the flagship program is not a wise discision (a personal opinion)

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  7. Ankit Madhogaria

    Very happy to see the changes happening in the right direction. People who have been through the process would recognize that workex does get its due in the interview process. The diversity in thought process, so apparently missing in the classroom would definitely be helped by the new criterion.

    Also, hopefully someone in mediacell and on other forums is noting down the criticisms and passing it on to the academic committee. I am sure they have the right vision and going forward would refine the process to be more and more perfect!


  8. ankit sharma

    in courses like CS and CWA, if you are scoring a mere 55%, you are in top 50 all India ranks. rank 1 normally scores 60-61%. similarly in CA, a 67-68% is in top 50 all India ranks. how would the purpose of bringing more diversity get solved when CA/CS/CWA would score so low in the scores assigned to bachelor’s degree. Also their 3 years of work ex as an article assistant is not given any weightage though they gain a very rich industry experience in these 3 years. and these people are capable of becoming very good MBAs because they have a very strong knowledge of finance and other related subjects taught in the PGP of the IIMs.


      Correctly said. As per me, CWA< CA< CS in terms of ease of clearing; though Articleship in CA is more hectic (+mandatory). It seems CAs have been reduced to academic pariah by this elite institute; there's nothing we CAs can do.

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