It is hard to describe my feelings when I finally write in this thread! Satisfaction? Excitement? Success? I dont know. All I know is that I have been waiting for 2 years for this day! CAT 2007 season
It all started at a chai shop in Ichchhanath, at NIT Surat, when I was in my third year. I was more than half of an engineer, and the question of future, career etc started raising its head. An IT job? No thanks. A career in electronics(my branch)? Not interested. I confess that I decided to try for CAT after eliminating the various other options!
Like everyone else, I joined IMS and wrote the SIM CATs. In a test or two, I scored high percentiles and suddenly everyone was talking about IIM calls and all. Somewhere, I believed that I had it in me, and prepared now and then. The D Day was nearing.
Come November 15, 2007(think that was the day berfore CAT) and I was on train with my friends to Ahmedabad. It felt like just another tour with my friends! The night before CAT, I had an asthma attack(I am allergic to dust). I could sleep only around 3 am and slept till 5 am. I remember lying in the bed and praying that I fall asleep soon!
On the D-Day, I was more or less ok, but I was tired and in no high spirits. In the exam, I started off with VA(my strongest section) and did well. Attempted 24/25 in an hour. Then DI. It went downhill from there. The very first set, I was stuck. And I was stubborn enough not to let it go. Maybe, the very good VA section contributed to the over confidence. After trying a couple of sets, I tried QA. No success there too. By this time, my confidence had touched an all time low. After the exam, I was sure that it was worse than even my mock tests. Result
- Overall 93.xx, VA-99.xx, QA-85.xx, DI-67.xx What CAT 2007 taught me
- If you are strong in a section, it doesnt mean you have to spend all your time in it.
- Dont be stubborn and keep trying a question if you are unsure about the logic. The golden words are.LET GO.
- Remember that if you get tense, you have to get back on track asap.
Then I wrote FMS, XAT. Got 95 odd percentile in XAT. By then, I was placed in IBM and BPCL. I decided to join BPCL as a management trainee, as by then, I had decided that I would be doing an MBA, and a managerial post will help in the long run. CAT 2008 Season
I was too busy with my job to prepare hard for CAT 2008. So I decided I would write only CAT exam and that too just for the sake of attempting it. Lo and behold! Cat 2008 was like a cakewalk(well, almost!) Started with DI (which had let me down the previous year.) Was happy after finishing it in just over 40 mins and proceeded to Verbal. Which was again very good. After that came QA. I attempted those questions for which I knew the logic, and skipped the rest, just like that. Result
- Overall 98.97, VA-96.xx, QA-92.xx, DI-99.xx
After the results were declared, I was happy and sad. Happy because I did this without any preparation. And sad because QA let me down. If I had answered a couple of questions more in QA, I would have got atleast 2 IIM calls.
The day the results were announced was also one of the saddest days in my life. I was working, when I got a call from the TIME manager. He told me I had got a K call. I was ecstatic. I rushed to a caf, and there it wasYou have been selected for GD/PI at IIM K! I was on top of the world, and informed my closest friends, parents and a few relatives. I couldnt concentrate on my work, took a leave, and went back to the caf to see PG and the result once again.
You wont believe me, but this time, I got a regret message. I called up admissions, IIM K and spoke to the professor who was in charge of admissions. He said there might have been some error and confirmed that my name was not in the list. And said something about my name being in the first list of only CAT score people, and when they included work ex, I didnt clear the cutoff.
To say that I was disappointed would be an under statement. I messaged my friends to ignore my earlier message, and told them it was just a MISSED CALL from K! Totop it all, TIME centre had already published my photo with the other call getters, and I had to explain to some that I didnt have a call! The TIME director apologized, but said that he was seeing something like this for the first time in his life. Well, that left me in my company for one more year, and ample time to prepare for CAT 2009. What CAT 2008 taught me
1.A major part of success in CAT depends on how cool you are on the D Day.
2.If you attempt only a few questions in one section, probe further, until you are sure about clearing the sectional cut off.
3.The last and most important, Dont be let down by failures. If you have a missed call from K one year, aim for an A call next year and convert it!! CAT 2009 Season
I had sufficient time to prepare, and I utilized it well in the initial days(March-June). Then enthusiasm levels dropped, and work started getting more hectic. I wrote the online mock CATs of TIME and my scores were good. But I failed to perform consistently in all the sections. However, VA continued to be my strongest section.
Another important thing happened. My GF!!! She was the one inspiration and motivation, who never failed to encourage me. Most importantly, she believed in me and used to be angry when I was pessimistic at times. Some stressful days at work and some mock CATs later, I was ready to bell the CAT.
On the day of CAT, I had no strategy in mind. The idea was to remain cool and maximize the attempts, as the word was that online CAT 2009 was a cakewalk.
I was surprised to find that the exam was not as easy as it was hyped to be. DI was pretty doable. QA required logic and quick thinking, and was in no way a breeze. And the surprise was..VA was quite tough! My slot had the privilege of getting 3 abstract passages for RC, out of a total of 3 passages. And, the sentence correction and everything else was not easy, to say the least. In as much as 10 questions, I had to choose between 2 options, both of which seemed likely.
After CAT, I knew that my entire chances depended on VA. If I had done it well, I was through. Otherwise, it would be another year for the next CAT! The results were declared after a huge delay and I was disappointed when I saw this: Result
: Overall:98.82 QA:92.50 VA :94.50 DI:99.25
There, I thought, another year down the drain. I was sure that I would not get any IIM call, as last year, I had OA 98.97. Here again, it was my GF who was somehow sure that I would get atleast a lone call!! IIM A,B,C. No call. As expected. IIM L..SurpriseI couldnt believe my eyes! My registration number was there in the list. I was on top of the world! IIM KAgain..CALL!! IIM I.. No call. Oh, and a call from SP Jain too, after the CAT scores were declared(Second list)
After the initial days of frenzy and celebration, I realized I had to prepare for the interview. I decided to follow the current affairs closely, as it was my weak point. I also assured myself that I am already good, and PI depends on what you have been doing till now, and not only on the last few days before the PI! The only coaching I took was a GD/PI workshop in Bangalore conducted by TIME. The mock PI there was the worst PI in my life, and I thought I had no chance unless I drastically changed myself! Here goes my PI experiences at IIM K and IIM L. http://www.pagalguy.com/forum/cat-and-related-discussion/51842-2010-2012-iimk-gd-pi.html#post1985301http://www.pagalguy.com/forum/cat-and-related-discussion/51890-2010-2012-iiml-essay-gd-15.html#post2069904Finally.. Both IIM L and K converted. SP Jain reject. Joining hel(L)!!!!!!
More than anything, I am relieved that I am finally chasing my dream. And I learnt many important lessons in the 3 years before I finally made it! The most important one is Dont succumb to failures, and try hard till the goal is achieved.