When IBA first started it, this admission test format was the only one of its type in the country. Now most private universities and many public university’s BBA departments use this format.
However, this format is still very different from the admission tests that you will face for other departments of Dhaka University, other public universities, BUET and medical colleges.
The main differences are:
Individual passing mark
Individual passing mark: The most difficult part of the IBA admission test is that you have to “pass” each individual section. This means you have to pass individually in the IBA English section, the Mathematics section, the Analytical section, each individual task of the Writing section, and the Viva.
What the “passing mark” is, varies from year to year, depending on the difficulty of the question paper and everyone’s exam performance. This “passing mark” is never officially released, but it is considered safe to aim for 60% marks in each section to pass. The passing threshold is usually lower than this, but it can also be higher!
So try to do your best and aim for at least 60% marks in each section.
It is important to note that it does not matter how high your total aggregate score is, if you fail to pass in even one section. The shortlist of the candidates called for the Viva is done by generating a list of all candidates who have the required passing marks in each section, and then selecting the top 180 () candidates.
For example, consider the three candidates’ scores below:
Only candidate 1 will be shortlisted for Viva in the above scenario.
Notice that even though candidate 2 and candidate 3 have higher total scores than candidate 1, they are not shortlisted for Viva. This is because candidate 2 fails to achieve the passing mark in the Analytical section and candidate 3 fails to achieve the passing mark in Task 1 of the Writing section.
Common questions: Most admission tests, including that of Dhaka University, other public universities, medical colleges, and engineering institutes, have a pattern of “common questions”.
For these admission tests, if you solve many questions and question papers, there is a high chance you will get some questions in the test which you have seen before.
There is a very very low chance that you will get these “common questions” in the IBA admission test, no matter how many questions you practice!
This is because the IBA admission tests for your language and reasoning skills, not academic knowledge. This also means that it tests your “understanding and basic concepts”, not your “memory”. So it is very important to understand the underlying concepts behind each question and answer, particularly the ones that you get wrong!
Viva: Also unlike most admission tests, IBA uses a Viva (interview) as part of its admission test. The interview is an opportunity for your future professors to get to know you a little personally.
The interviews are always conducted in English. The interviewers look for your spoken English skills, presentability, and composure (how calm you are).
Waiting list: Again, unlike most other universities and departments, IBA has no waiting list for either its BBA or MBA admissions. The idea behind this is that since the Viva also has a passing mark, only those candidates in the final shortlist have “passed” the Viva. So pulling candidates from a waiting list would mean taking candidates who have not passed the Viva.
For example, if in a year, IBA selects 120 candidates in the final BBA admission to shortlist, and only 115 candidates take admitted, IBA will start that BBA batch with 115 students. The 5 places of the candidates who did not take admission will be left empty.