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Why have registrations of CAT, XAT, MAT, SNAP gone up this year?

IIM Indore’s director Himanshu Rai attributes this spike to various factors: “With an increased number of online courses and companies promoting lifelong learning, there is a heightened awareness of an MBA degree's advantages.

cat result out, xat admit card release dateAs job market stays slow, more candidates are upskilling themselves. Express Photo by Partha Paul/ representational image.

Call it the post-pandemic effect, fear of lay off or increase in the number of online courses, registration for management entrance examinations this year has seen a record spike. Be it CAT, XAT, MAT, or even SNAP, all reputed entrance tests have seen an increase in applications.

CAT 2023, the result of which is already out, has received 3.3 lakh applications, which as per the exam convener Prof Sanjeet Singh is the highest in the history of the Common Admission Test. Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) 2023 (scheduled to be held in January) recorded a 20 per cent increase in applications as against last year.

Similarly, Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP 2023) recorded a significant 25 per cent uptick in the number of test takers as compared to last year, with more than 1 lakh registrations. MAT too has seen 18 per cent increase in registration

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xat 2024 news The last five years data on XAT registration

IIM Indore’s director Himanshu Rai attributes this spike to various factors: “With an increased number of online courses and companies promoting lifelong learning, there is a heightened awareness of an MBA degree’s advantages. The job market in engineering colleges has been a bit slow and this may prompt many to go for higher studies. Colleges are looking for diversity and have taken measures to be more inclusive. This attracts many candidates.”

Festive offer

Prof Leena Chatterjee, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, BITSoM believes that many applicants waited for the pandemic to get over. “One of the biggest reasons for the increase in the CAT, XAT and other entrance tests is the job market. Students who graduated during the pandemic took up jobs to support their families and many postponed their plans to pursue higher education, and now after working for a few years they feel the need to do an MBA to grow.”

Moreover, with this wave of layoffs giving shivers to employees since 2021, experts believe candidates wish to upskill themselves to be in tune with the current trend.

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“The increased interest in MBA during layoffs could be attributed to individuals seeking career advancement, skill diversification, and increased marketability in a competitive job market. This has been a trend across all downturns in recent years,” said Jaideep Kewalramani, COO & head of employability, TeamLease Edtech.

Compared to 2.3 lakh freshers hired in the previous financial year, 1.55 lakh freshers are likely to be hired in the IT/Tech sector this fiscal, as per a report by TeamLease Digital.

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“MBA degree holders generally experience favourable job prospects, with many sectors valuing their strategic and leadership skills. However, job situations can vary by industry and region. The tech sector witnessed some headwinds and therefore the intake was hampered. BFSI and retail saw a significant uptake of MBA graduates,” said Kewalramani.

First published on: 24-12-2023 at 12:43 IST
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