It is a common perception and fear among non-math IPMAT aspirants that they are at a disadvantage and may not get into IPM, but that’s not necessarily the case.
A significant proportion of the batch comprises of non-math students at all the IPMs. They not only make it into the programme but several times, end up performing better than the math students inside the institute.
In the following article, you will find the actual weightage assigned to the higher-math component in different IPMAT entrances and interviews, and how you can prepare for the higher math section adequately.
Higher Math Component in the IPMAT Entrances
IPMAT Indore: IPMAT Indore tests a considerable proportion of questions from higher math concepts. One might be able to clear the cutoffs by just focusing on other topics, but in order to crack the final call, one needs to have a decent hold over the higher math topics as well. Hence, a few non-math students are able to convert the final call.
IPMAT Rohtak: IPMAT Rohtak majorly tests topics that come under arithmetic/basic math, and hence knowledge of topics until grade 10th is sufficient to crack the exam. Due to this, many non-math students make it into the programme (about 1/5th of the batch strength).
IPMAT Ranchi: In 2021, IIM Ranchi accepted IPMAT Indore scorecard along with SAT score in light of the pandemic. Assuming that SAT will be the only accepted score in the following years, the non-math students won’t be at any disadvantage as SAT tests basic math concepts, concepts that students have already covered till their 10th grade.
JIPMAT (Joint entrance test for admission to IPM JAMMU and IPM Bodh Gaya): The two institutes conducted a joint entrance test and the pattern and difficulty level was very similar to IPMAT Rohtak, with a better time per question ratio.
The one good thing about these IPMAT entrances is that they do not make math in 11th and 12th an eligibility criterion, unlike DUJAT and NPAT.
Higher Math Component in the IPMAT Interviews
IPM IIM Indore
IIM Indore interview is heavily academic oriented. In majority of the interviews, irrespective of an applicant’s academic background, questions from higher math concepts like calculus, integration, geometry, functions etc. are asked.
IPM IIM Rohtak
IIM Rohtak too tests students on their academic knowledge during its interview but the questions are not usually higher math inclined. Even if some higher math questions are asked, they would be basic enough for an IPMAT aspirant who has prepared adequately.
IPM IIM Ranchi
For its first year of the programme, the interviews were not academic oriented. Rather, students were asked to elaborate on their hobbies and interests. They were tested on their knowledge of national and international affairs. A few questions from academics were definitely asked but the difficulty level of the math questions was pretty basic.
IPM IIM Jammu and IPM IIM Bodhgaya
These two institutes did not conduct an interview round as a part of the selection process for their first year of the IPM programme.
How to Prepare for IPMAT as a Non-Math Student
1. Cover Common/Basic Topics First
As you start preparing for IPMAT, pick up topics like algebra and arithmetic first that are common to all IPMAT and other BBA entrances. Practice a significant number of questions from these categories so that you are capable of attempting any type of question from these topics. This will help you to make up for the questions that you might not be able to attempt because of the higher math component.
Once you are done with this, you have covered a significant portion of the topics that are tested in IPMAT Rohtak and JIPMAT and built a strong base around which you can center your remaining preparation for IPMAT Indore.
2. Limited Higher Math Questions
The questions tested from higher math are limited. You can score considerably higher than the required cutoff if you strengthen the other non-math concepts and verbal ability section.
3. Choose a Few Topics and Ace Them
Considering the time constraints, no one gets the time to solve all 60 questions in quants. So, in order to maximize score, you need to select those questions that you are confident about and can solve without taking much time.
Since you don’t have to attempt all questions, you don’t have to prepare all the concepts under higher math. You can go through the topics, understand what they comprise of, and select a few that you are the most comfortable with and feel can master with regular practice.
4. Regular Practice
The higher math concepts are covered by students in their 11th and 12th and regular practice at school helps math students cover their higher math portion to a significant extent.
Once you are done choosing those few higher math topics that you aim to ace, buckle down and practice regularly. You can easily bridge the gap between your preparation and a math student’s preparation with conceptual clarity and consistency.
5. Analyzing Mocks
As you analyze your mocks, if you come across a question from a higher math concept that you haven’t covered yet or don’t intend to cover, but it seems relatively easier, try to solve it or just go through the solution to have a rough idea as to how it can be solved. A few questions here and there, over a few months, can themselves apprise you of different concepts or tricks that you might not have allotted time for separately.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Don’t be disheartened if the higher-math concepts appear to be a little overwhelming in the first go, with consistency and patience, you will get there eventually.
- You don’t have to ace all concepts, but you do need to identify your strong areas and master them.
- A good chunk of the questions come from concepts that were covered till 10th grade, and hence getting into IIM Indore is not impossible for you or anybody else.
- Start with the basic concepts first, that have heavy weightage, and are common to majority of the entrances you plan to appear for.
It is not impossible for you to get into IPM as a non-math student, but you might need to put in more time and effort when compared to others. If you are motivated enough, a little extra effort shouldn’t be that big of a hassle.
IPMAT is not an entrance that tests your knowledge, rather your ability to work under pressure and your ability to manage time effectively. In such a case, it becomes crucial that you understand the exam structure well, identify your strengths and weaknesses and prepare accordingly.