Low CAT Score – What do you do now? CAT is highly competitive and unpredictable, so,it's normal for people to have a low CAT score and not get any offers from IIMs or other top B-schools such as XLRI, IIFT, etc. so don't worry if you belong to that category. Allow me to clear up some misconceptions and open up new opportunities for you. I will discuss what the correct mindset should be in this scenario.

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If you are also among those who has a low CAT score this year and did not receive calls from IIMs or other top B-schools or wonder what if I get a low CAT score, then this article is for you.

I am not here to give you any motivation and strategy for upcoming CAT exam. You should definitely give it another go. But that isn’t the point I want to make here.

Many CAT exam takers are aiming for lucrative B-school placements. I have nothing against placements, but students over-rely on them is where they fall behind.

As technology advances, organizations look for employees with specialized skills, more specifically, digital skills. If you come from an average college but have the required skills, you’re good to go.

Thus, if you have a low CAT score this time, besides preparing for CAT next year, you should also focus on acquiring specific skills and developing your brand.

Here I will talk about how your mindset should be as someone who has a low CAT score this year and is also targeting CAT exam next year.

What lies beyond placements? How do you get there?

The sheep mentality of MBA students

Focusing only on MBA placements is like a herd of sheep leaving their stall. There is no fence, only the gate.

So, what lies beyond placements and why are they so crucial for you. Read and explore.

  • Off-campus opportunities

With off-campus placements, you have the opportunity to dwell into diversified career options.

By securing an off-campus job, you are much more likely to experience an internal sense of satisfaction than if you were placed on campus. It is incredibly rewarding when we feel free, independent and proud of our accomplishments.

 If you are interested in working for a specific company, go through the Job Descriptions for the job roles offered by the company and understand the skills required.

Start acquiring those skills right now. Don’t worry about getting a low CAT score.

You can reach out to that organization once you have those skills. It won’t be a problem for you.

  • Getting freelancing assignments

Freelancing allows individual flexibility and control. A freelancer typically chooses their own hours, the work they do, and the clients they work with. They may even be able to work remotely.

  A freelancer is independent. You can do a variety of jobs as a freelancer, too.

 If you have certain digital skills required for MBA graduates, you can get freelancing assignments and get paid for your skill. For this, you don’t need to be from a branded college.

  • Digital Entrepreneurship

Along with your MBA, you should also have a side hustle. It could be your hobby, or it could be something you enjoy.

One day, you may want to turn this side business into a full-time business.

One of the perfect examples is Super Heuristics. Darpan started it in his first year at IIM Udaipur as a side hustle. Now it’s a full-time venture that’s booming.

Take inspiration from this and develop a similar mindset.

Now that you are aware of the opportunities available to you, let me show you how to make the most of them.

Learn >> Do >> Teach – The Universal Principle

Upon determining what skills you need to acquire for your specific job role, adopt the principle Learn >> Do >> Teach in order to acquire them faster and more effectively.

The first thing you want to do is learn the basics of the skill for which you are looking for.

With your learning, you must apply those concepts to internships and freelancing assignments. In this way, you will gain monetary incentives for the skill you are learning and then you would  be motivated to master the skill.

I’m sure you’re wondering how I can get an internship or a freelance job. For that, It’s important to leverage your college’s brand.

Organizations and leaders around the world appreciate working with Indian students, particularly if they are from a top B-school.

Once you have mastered a skill and have implemented it, you should document your learnings on a blog.

Importance of Blogging for MBA students – Your Marketing Experiments Lab

Blogging is the most sought-after practice these days if you want to make an appearance on the online space.

Therefore, MBA students should start blogging as well. The blog can be under your name, and you can write about anything that you learn. In this way, you are not only learning that skill efficiently but also documenting it and teaching others about it.

Eventually, you will not realize it, but you will have a marketing experiment lab in the form of your blog.

The marketing experiments lab will allow you to practice various digital skills like SEO, Facebook ads, Google ads, email marketing, etc.

As a matter of fact, organizations are currently highly valuing MBA graduates with these digital skills, etc.

Conclusion – Don’t get stressed out by your low CAT score

If you are still wondering about what if I get a low CAT score, then you are not doing justice to your potential.

Follow all the roadmap discussed in the article if you want to be successful in your career after MBA.

The main idea is that you should organize your skills into a practice-oriented mindset, applying whatever you learn and making money and growing. Therefore, rather than worrying about your low CAT score and concentrating only on CAT preparation, start working on your personal brand value.


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About the Author:

Vipul is a first-year student at IIM Rohtak, enrolled in the Integrated Program in Management ( BBA+MBA) course. He has an interest in writing content. He is currently an intern at Super Heuristics in the Content Marketing and Operations department. Cricket and football are his favorite sports, and he believes that being fit will allow him to be more efficient. He is still exploring various fields which could suit him the best. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Instagram.
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