Updated: Jun 28, 2020
Recently, a couple of members asked if this blog can help those studying in school prepare for IPMAT 2020. And I thought, "why not". The idea of this blog is to bridge the gap between those who have the requisite knowledge and those who seek it. So, presenting to you a post authored by Hitanshu Sahu, an IIM Indore IPM student of the Batch 2019-2024, who has come forward to share about IPM and IPMAT 2020.
In Hitanshu's Words:
IPM stands for Integrated Programme in Management, started in 2011 by IIM Indore. It aims at creating all-rounded individuals who can be future leaders. The program is based on the 3+2 model where in the first three years, the candidates are taught economics, statistics, humanities communication skills and computer science in detail. These subjects are the foundation for management education.
For the last two years, the IPM participants are merged with PGP participants. The placement procedure is common for IPM and PGP participants. The degree that you get after five years is a B.A. - Foundation in Management Studies + MBA from IIM -Indore.
Why choose IPM?
You will get to spend five years in one of the best B-schools of the country, the exposure will groom you inside out.
Amazing peers to learn from.
Unique course and very relatable content.
You will become the jack of all trades and the master of some.
Why not choose IPM?
High fees (30+ Lac for 5 years).
The program is relatively new and at times fights for recognition (although things are getting exponentially better every year).
The course structure for the first 3 years focuses on a lot of subjects and there is no particular specialization. This can be counted as both an advantage and a disadvantage. There are people who master a specific subject which they love, but that’s that.
Degree: The degree (B.A. + MBA) that you get is from IIM Indore itself. Before 2016, IGNOU used to offer an undergrad degree but post IIM Bill, IIMs award their own degree and hence now you will get a degree from IIM Indore upon graduation.
Drop Year: Drop year does not affect your chances to get into IPM as long as you have a valid reason for taking a drop. If you are worthy enough of a seat, you are going to get it. There are a lot of droppers in IPM to prove this point.
Not BBA: The first three years are not of a BBA degree. In fact it is very different from a traditional BBA degree; the first three years focus on building a foundation in core management subjects.
Mathematics: Mathematics and statistics form an essential part of the curriculum unlike the notion which is usually associated with a B.A. degree.
Only Graduation: A candidate can leave the program after completing the first three years. In that case, a B.A. degree is awarded by IIM Indore.
The selection procedure has 3 component for evaluation:
IPMAT Online Test (50%)
Personal Interview (35%)
First, the candidate should qualify the cutoff for IPMAT and then only he/she will be called for WAT and personal interview. There are a total of 150 seats for IPM IIM Indore from 2020-25 batch onward. You can download the detailed structure here.
IPMAT is 2 hours long computer-based examination. It has three sections with equal time (40 minutes) allotted to each section. An on-screen calculator is provided.
Quant (Short Answer) - It has 20 questions which are numeric type, i.e. you will have to input the answer with the help of the keyboard.
Quant (MCQ) - It has 40 MCQs.
Verbal - It has 40 questions including R.C.s, para jumbles and vocabulary based questions.
IPMAT as an exam checks problem solving ability and general intelligence. The following books can be useful:
Arun Sharma’s Quantitative Aptitude (only LOD 1 and 2)
Coaching Material (TIME/CL)
Apart from this, I found Percentile Classes Videos on YouTube to be very helpful for exam strategy.
Suggested Reading | How to use Arun Sharma's QA book for self-preparation?
In the Quant (MCQ) section, the data interpretation sets are easier compared to the rest of questions. So, make sure you solve them, don’t let them go un-attempted due to the time constraints, try to solve them first.
Take a lot of mocks and analyze them properly, see what works for you.
Suggested | How to analyze a mock?
IPMAT has sectional cutoffs. Please see the cutoff for previous years and make the strategy accordingly. The cutoff for the verbal section is usually higher than the others. I know a lot of people who had a very good overall score but were not shortlisted because they failed to clear the sectional cutoff.
You can find the 2019 cutoff and other details here.
Once you clear the IPMAT, you are called for WAT and the personal interview. WAT stands for Writing Ability Test. The candidate is asked to write an essay on a topic which is given on the spot. Usually, 30 minutes are allotted for the process.
A few topics from past years:
Can e-books replace traditional books, what will be the impact?
Effects of smartphone on the young and the old generation.
Older people can choose if they want to stay home or get admitted in the hospital.
Should euthanasia be legalized?
Don’t start writing without thinking about the topic, first collect points and create a mind map.
Reading about the various topics on Quora and newspapers might help.
Having an opinion about things and the ability to analyze a topic is essential for WAT.
Suggested | Writing a WAT Essay
The interview for IPM is generally 15-20 minutes long and might include an extempore. You can read about my interview experience here.
Unlike CAT interviews, the panelists don’t have a lot of things to talk about (like internship and job etc.) and hence the interview revolves around academics (class 11th and 12th) and general knowledge.
Read a lot of interview experiences on the internet that will help you analyze how things actually work, before the actual interview.
The panelists don't focus much on the answer; instead, the approach is more important for them. A lot of IPMers I know were not able to answer every question that was asked, yet they made it.
They do not expect you to be some genius who knows about everything, you are allowed to make mistakes, but dishonesty is not one among them. Be truthful, if you don’t know any answer just say it straight away. The chances are that they will help you reach the solution by giving hints but beating around the bush won’t help.
Having extracurricular activities is advisable for the interview; however, if you don’t have much of it, you can still make it. I know a lot of people who did not have a good number of certificates, and yet they made it to IPM.
On paper, your 12th percentage does not matter in the selection (though it should be greater than 60%). Although, it might create a good/bad impression of you in the mind of the interviewer, it is still pretty much manageable. There are a lot of people with a percentage in 70-90 range.
IPMAT as an exam is very conceptual and checks the basic grasp over mathematics and verbal skills. There are a lot of coaching institutes for IPM, but the fact is that IPMAT as an exam doesn't require it. However, joining coaching can help you keep up with the preparation time table, maintaining discipline and doubt clearing.
I highly recommend taking test series of any reputed coaching institute (TIME, CL and Percentile Classes). As a matter of fact, most of the people in my batch either took a crash course for IPMAT after board exams or they never took any coaching at all. I personally took no coaching whatsoever.
Speaking from personal experience, I have seen people just walking inside the examination hall without any prior coaching or mocks and cracking the exam. There are also people who prepared for it for 2 years and yet failed. So at the end of the day, it boils down to how smart you are and not on how longer you prepare.
I would suggest to self-study with the help of books and online material and take a crash course after boards are over. Also consider the fact that you have board exams to focus on as well. For time table and schedule, I suggest you go through my answer here.
Wish you all the best!
So, that was a comprehensive take on IPM and IPMAT 2020 by Hitanshu Sahu. On behalf of all the readers of this post, I'd like to thank Hitanshu for taking out his valuable time to pen down this article. I'm sure the IPMAT 2020 aspirants will be able to takeaway a lot of useful insights from it.
If you're an IPMAT aspirant with any follow-ups, do let me know by commenting below, I'm sure Hitanshu will be happy to help with it. If you know an IPMAT aspirant, would highly encourage you to share this piece of content with him/her if you find it of use :)
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