Throughout my association with MBA test prep, I have encountered this common question: Should people go in for an MBA after a few years of work experience, or should they dive into it immediately after their graduation? Another question that has kept me busy is if a certain B-school is better than another - Whether ISB is the best place? Is not IIM-A better? ... And so on.
The scope of this article does not allow me to discuss these questions in detail. But it would be wise to discuss them in brief at the very least. The reason why one joins a B-school differs from person to person; to study for an MBA or not is a very personal decision and I’d rather pen down the reasons and the logic why one could choose to do MBA at this stage and why a B-school such as ISB makes sense for many: An MBA can lay a firm foundation for your career goals. It is interesting to note that only 38% of the CEOs in US have an MBA degree. The situation in India should not be significantly different. In today’s corporate sector, a position of leadership is more often than not a function of experience in terms of time he/she has spent in the industry – more than any particular qualification. Now, if one wants to change the trend and gain an advantage, they have to bring in experience not in terms of time but in terms of knowledge and skill. Therefore, this factor of superseding a peer or even a senior by adding extra qualifications works as a primary motivating factor for a working professional. Some of the other compelling reasons to do MBA are:
_ Switching to some other industry or function
_ Starting one’s own business
_ Progressing to a higher responsibility in the same industry or function
CRITICAL Reasoning forms an integral part of the VA section in CAT; its purpose. like all other question types, is to evaluate the aspiring manager’s level of understanding when it comes to the complex or somewhat convoluted aspects of life. In this very same vein, Critical Reasoning is the logical or a questioning way of thinking about issues and evaluating standpoints in order to arrive at the best conclusion. One must not equate ‘critical’ with any negativity as CR is best used to elucidate goals, scrutinise assumptions, distinguish hidden values, gauge evidence, and weigh decisions.
It might not seem relevant to our immediate purpose but the history of these question types helps shed light on their importance in our daily workings. Greek philosopher Socrates set the agenda for the tradition of critical thinking - to reflectively question common beliefs and explanations, carefully distinguishing lack of adequate evidence or rational foundation to warrant our belief. Socrates’ practice was followed by the critical thinking of Plato, Aristotle, and the Greek sceptics, all of whom emphasised that things are often very different from what they appear to be and that only the trained mind is prepared to see through the way things look to us on the surface. And then there were Colet, Erasmus, Francis Bacon, Descartes, Sir Thomas Moore, Machiavelli, Hobbes and Locke, and many, many more.
However, it was only in 1906 we got some explicit insight into this. William Graham Sumner, an American Academic and one of the most influential teachers of his generation, said, “Criticism is the examination and test of propositions of any kind which are offered for acceptance, in order to find out whether they correspond to reality or not. The critical faculty is a product of education and training. It is a mental habit and power. It is a prime condition of human welfare that men and women should be trained in it. It is our only guarantee against delusion, deception, superstition, and misapprehension of ourselves and our earthly circumstances… Education in the critical faculty is the only education of which it can be truly said that it makes good citizens”.
Nowadays, Critical Reasoning features as an important segment of perhaps all aptitude tests across the globe. There are seven main question stems under this area: Find the Assumption, Inference, and Conclusion, Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Summarise, and Complete the Paragraph. Let’s take a look at these questions types and look for strategies to crack them.
The author is a faculty by profession and imparts education/training for Common Admission Test (CAT) exam. For more details, you can visit www.careerlauncher.com and get information on all entrance tests, notifications, results and exam analysis. You may also visit Career Launcher website to enroll for CL test prep programs or subscribe to study material or test series.
Is B-School The Best Destination For You