The aspirations of all MBA aspirants begin with the top IIMs. Although it is important to realise that the admission process is extremely competitive in the country's top B-schools. Keeping that mind an aspirant is suggested to hedge his or her chances by accurately identifying a set of B-schools which are line with the aspirant's current preparation level (with regards to the qualifying entrance test) and the aspirant's academic and/or work profile.
CAT remains the B-school entrance test for which most number of MBA aspirants appear because a host of B-schools, other than just IIMs, accept CAT scores as part of their admission process. A focused approach is the one which begins with the shortlisting of a B-school, which is based on the shortlisting of which program/degree to pursue, which is based on the choice of career option.
For instance, the best program in the country for Personnel Management and Industrial Relations is offered by XLRI (Xavier Labour Research Institute), which takes admission through XAT. The most sought after program in Foreign Trade is offered by Indian Institute of Foreign Trade IIFT.