Admission to postgraduate courses in Retail Management/Marketing Management in the prominent management institutes is given on the basis of written test, group discussion and interview. In some cases, interview is followed by psychometric test also. As you might be aware a large number of management institutes prefer to admit candidates on the basis of their scores in CAT/MAT/ATMA/JMET/XAT. Apart from these common admission tests, there are some institutions who conduct their independent written admission tests.
To give you an idea about the general prevailing pattern of admission tests conducted by the prominent management institutions, it is necessary to be familiar with the following admission tests:
Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted by IIM.
Common Admission Test is a common aptitude test conducted jointly by the IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management—Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Bangalore, Lucknow, Indore, Calicut). It is highly competitive test among all other management aptitude tests like ATMA, GMAT, JMET, XLRI. The CAT is designed with an aim to test the candidate's managerial skills and aptitude and his ability to work under pressure and time constraint.
Xavier Admission Test (XAT) conducted by XLRI Jamshedpur for admission to retail or management programmes of XLRI and XIM. But there are a number of other private institutions who select students on the basis of XAT scores as part of their admission procedure. Further information on XAT can be had from: www.xlri.edu
Management Aptitude Test (MAT) is conducted by All India Management Association (AIMATS) for admission to almost all AICTE approve institutes and university departments.
ATMA (AIMS Test for Management Admissions) is conducted by Association of Indian Management Schools. ATMA scores are also widely recognized by various management schools.
JMET(Joint Management Entrance Test) is conducted by IJTs and Indian Institute of Science for selecting candidates primarily for PG programmes in the IITs and IIS. There are some institutions though less in number who accept the scores of J MET for their management programmes.
SNAP Test is conducted by Symbiosis for admission to management programmes.
On the basis of written test, candidates are short listed for group discussion and interview. The candidates who successfully clear all the stages are offered admission to the institution for the programme applied for.
As far as eligibility criteria is concerned, no percentage is as such demanded to appear for CAT. Any graduate whosoever has an interest in management could appear for the test. Students who are in their final year of graduation can also apply. Every institute which accepts CAT score also has their own admission requirements. Thus, most of them ask for 50% marks in the graduation level.
The detailed written examination test your: Quantitative Aptitude, Reading Comprehension, Verbal Ability and Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency.
Pattern of the paper is given below. But, it is important to note that the changes are seen every year, though major changes come in paper setting after every four or five year.
Mathematics section constitutes 50 marks comprising the regular topics - percentage, numbers, ratios, geometry, area, triangles, maxima, minima, permutation, circles and mensuration.
Data Interpretation and Data sufficiency section comprises of 35 marks. This section also constitutes the questions of logical reasoning. But at certain times, it has been observed that there is a separate section for logical reasoning.
English section comprises of 50 marks that contains contextual usage, jumbled paragraphs, synonyms, antonyms, sentence correction, summary passages, error spotting and finding the odd word.
Reading Comprehension is usually of 50 marks containing 6 to 8 passages on sociological or historical themes or on variety of subjects.
It is important to note that besides IIMs, there are many other management institutes which accept the CAT scores. CAT is known for its high level of unpredictability so much so that it has become a sort of phobia amongst the management aspirants. Students have labelled it as one of the toughest competitive exams because of the following factors:
The major attraction of most of the courses in retail management provided by various institutions is the hands on training which the student will get as a part of their curriculum. The internships as part of curriculum of the course provide the students a complete and holistic insight into the working of the various formats of retail stores, providing them with ample opportunities to understand the sciences of retail management practically. This industry exposure generates a rationality and pragmatism and encourages them to correlate classroom learning with what happens in the industry. This arrangement offers advanced training in theory and applications in the retailing business.
This way the students are prepared with a unique blend of academic prowess as well as practical rigor of the industry.
Duration of retail courses
The courses in retail management offered are of different durations depending on the universities and the institutions. Some are of 3 months certificate programme, whereas others are 2 or 3 years diploma or degree programmes in retail management or in one of its specialized branch.
3 months or 6 months or even 1 year programmes are of entry level programmes designed for an entrants to a retail career.
The degree programmes are for advanced level. Core Modules are:
Basics of Marketing, Merchandise Buying & Management, Warehousing & Supply Chain Management, Consumer Behaviour Analysis, Retail Advertising & Sales Promotions, Customer Relationship Management, Retail Strategy, Store Formats, Location & Positioning, Retail Information Systems & CRM, Store Design & Visual Merchandising, Retail Statutory Obligations, Financial Management & Retail Accounting, Marketing, Operation Management, Brand Management, Sales Management, Supply Chain Management, Retail Software Knowledge.