Harvard Business School (SPNM), MBA: SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Master of Information Technology, Virginia Tech.
Which MBA exams have GK and how to prepare for them:
The effectiveness of an MBA is determined by the Business school that the aspirant manages to get into. In-country like India, because of the immense competition, we see that several top-notch institutes conduct their own entrance exams, so as to filter out candidates, and select the best suitable candidate. Though the majority of MBA entrance exams focus on three major sections, which are Quantitative Aptitude Section, Verbal Ability Section, and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Section, the candidates generally focus on these areas. However, Several Entrance exams also have one more additional sections, which tests the awareness of the candidates for GK, around him. The section which we are talking about is General Knowledge i.e. GK. Many entrance exams have now been keeping GK, as an integral part of their test, and this section must not be treated lightly, as it could be the deciding factor for selection into the desired institute. So let’s have a look at how to prepare GK for your MBA exams.
Let us talk about some of the MBA entrance exams that include GK section:
IIFT is one of the important exams for MBA aspirants, which has a section dedicated to General Awareness knowledge. One can expect a good number of questions from GK, in the exam.
The exam has 4 sections out of which one is dedicated to GK. Around 20 -30 questions are dedicated to GK (Last year there were 20 questions, every year the number of questions have been decreasing). Questions could be from Dynamic and Traditional GK. Areas such as business, Country Capital, Currency, Economics, Science & Technology, etc. are tested.
A breakup of the type of questions usually covered in IIFT GK are:
As you can observe from the above table, there is an almost equal weightage to Static and current affairs, which means you have to focus on both to get a decent score. The difficulty level of these questions is usually high, hence the cut-offs (no. of minimum attempts) are on the lower side. Yet, to get that score also requires that you are up-to-date with current affairs and thorough with static gk. One important aspect is that the GK section also carries negative marking, so you can’t go about marking all guesses. Each mark counts here so these Gk sections have to be solved strategically. You can read more about this in our detailed article mentioned below.
Mudra Institute of Communication conducts the MICAT entrance exam, which has a section on General Knowledge. The exam consists of two papers, out of which Paper 2 consists of the GK section. Around 25 questions are asked in the General Knowledge section. There is no negative marking for these questions.
A list of important topics that are usually covered in MICAT GK are as follows:
- Current Affairs over the past year (National, world, business etc.)
- Brand ambassadors
- National and International affairs (Social icons, CEOs, MDs, new appointees etc.)
- Taglines of Companies
- Logos of Companies
- Recent Advertising campaigns
- Recent major Books, awards and their authors
- Marketing related major news
- Economy related questions (major events)
MICA, as we know, specializes in marketing, hence, you will find that a lot of questions are based on advertising and marketing domain. Questions such as tagline, logo, current CEO, brand ambassador etc. are based of the last one year (current) so you can pay more attention to these. Also, try to read a lot of GK from Marketing sources, as it has been found that questions are usually taken from these sources. Also, pay forces to current National events (any major event, calamity, economy-related affairs) as these questions also form an important part of MICAT GK. You can read more on how to focus on the right sections in our article mentioned below.
TISSNET exam is the entrance test for admission into the Tata Institue of Social Sciences (TISS). It one of the most prestigious B-school for specialization in HR. The TISSNET also consists of 4 sections out of which one is dedicated to GK. The weightage for GK is higher in this than any other exams, as you can see in the table below:
Number of questions
Mathematics & Logical Reasoning
With 40 questions in hand, it becomes crucial for TISSNET aspirants to be very well prepared with GK, especially Static GK. As compared to the other exams, you will find that TISSNET has majority of its questions based on static GK, with focus on topics like:
- Constitution of India
- History of India
- Indian Economics
- Awards and Recognition
- Science and Technology
- Sports events/ awards
- International organizations and their details
In current affairs, the focus is on issues that are related to social life that have happened within the last year. A student is expected to perform very well in the GK sections to crack TISSNET. An accuracy of 70% is desirable. Start preparing for Static from the start, you need to memorize a lot of GK to score well in the static questions.
XAT is one of the most important exams that a lot of MBA aspirants attempt every year for admissions into some of the top institutes in India. It also has a GK section, and focus on this section is important to covert colleges. It consists of 25 questions with no negative marking. Focus on Static questions is higher than Current affairs.
So candidates have to focus a lot on Static GK to score better in the GK section. The topics included in XAT GK are majorly from:
- International organizations
- Books and Authors
- Science and Technology
- Current Affairs
One peculiar thing about the GK section is XAT is that the score of this section is not counted in the final score. So, this score does not count in calculating your percentile. However, your GK score will play a role once you are shortlisted. It will be analyzed during your interview round and final selection. So don’t take the GK section lightly, as it can make or break your chances of admission into top B-schools like XLRI!
A good number of colleges’ across the country accept CMAT scores. CMAT has around 25 questions on General Knowledge. the difficultly level for these questions could be expected to be Easy to Moderate. The Questions is generally based on current affairs, important events across the country, etc.
MAT has a section on General Knowledge. Around 35-40 questions could be expected on the GK section In this exam. Questions are generally based on topics such as Economics, Prizes & Awards, Constitution of India, Sports, business, etc.
How to prepare for GK in the MBA?
The best method to prepare for GK not just for MBA exams, but for any exam is to just READ, READ, and READ!!
The candidates must thoroughly read newspapers every day, several political and business articles, books, magazines, etc. Building a good grip on General Knowledge, cannot be done in a month or two, it’s a continuous learning process, and has to built in a course of time. A proper watch on several major events in the fields of Politics, Corporates, Economy, Global Events, Sports, etc., in the last one year should be kept. The majority of questions in several entrance exams are based on advertisements, Current Affairs, etc. Hence, maintaining a proper disciplinary schedule, to regularly read and update oneself should be done.
Reading is the best method, however, one should also watch several informative TV channels like History Channel, Discovery, National Geography, etc, and a lot of news channels in this regard. IIFT 2017, had a new type of question in its GK section. In this type, the questions consisted of a paragraph that could be related to a certain news item, and the candidate had to identify the incorrect information in the paragraph.
Some of the other methods to improve the preparation of this section could be :
- Several Video Tutorials that cover all Current Affairs and important events could be accessed through several sources across the internet.
- A set of documents, known as Business Awareness Documents, consists of all the important questions, relating to several companies, which may be a good data point covering the business area asked in the exam.
- Static General Knowledge must be properly focused on and memorized.
- Past year papers must be looked upon and analyzed to get an understanding of the type of question asked, and accordingly preparation is to be done
- Keeping a track of monthly current affairs could be a good method to be aware of the happenings around the country as well as on a global level
- And finally, Practice is the key to success, one should practice as much as possible, which could the determining factor for these exams
We can see that GK section has a good weightage across several entrance exams held, and this section cannot be ignored. One should focus on this section. But the most important question is how one should prepare for this section. Considering the variety of areas and fields covered, the best way is to keep yourself updated on the current happenings, not only in India but also across the world. Reading and Practicing is the key to cracking the General Knowledge section, across all the entrance exams. Be disciplined, focused and one shall achieve its target!