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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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Because "This post is long,read it at your own risk" is way too mainstream. 

"Don't expect a fairytale ending". My father always used to tell me.
This experience of mine which i am jotting down isn't a fairytale either.
 The end is yet to come and I am not sure about the time when it actually would.

I've written CAT thrice already.The first attempt was when I was in the final year of college. CAT '11 it was. I used to spend my time sleeping during the day,bunking classes at will.My days were spent in reveries. I was not even daunted by that giant mustachioed college professors stature either who had seen me only twice during the entire semester.It was a 4 year long holiday that was about to come to an end. I signed up for TIME's correspondence course to tackle CAT and its henchmen(the other MBA entrance exams).
The package arrived in a week and I opened the package with the joy you can only see on a kids face opening his birthday present.

That was it. The package lay there for the next 10 days gathering dust.On the 11th day I tried to venture into the realm of the unknown when i took out the 1st quant book from the package. It seemed all familiar yet alien. I sat down and decided in my mind that I would solve one entire lesson that day. I began the arduous journey and the very first lesson on simple equations started giving me the jitters.I solved 2 entire exercises and left the last one for some time later.That 'some time later' actually came way too late.In fact I didn't open that booklet again.

YEAR 2011 & 2012

It was the first week of September when I got placed. Subsequently I lost all my inhibitions. I decided to appear for IIFT and CAT only. Every evening used to be beers and Mary-Jane. Besides I used to live right by the beach.It was just a 5 minute walk so getting all comfy and a bit spoilt was easy. The exam season began. CAT was a disaster as I had hoped it would be. My room-mate was sitting right beside me during the CAT exams.A studious one,he scored a 99.xx!
I managed a 68 percentile and I was still the same procrastinator extraordinaire. IIFT was just the same as well.I scored  a 29.xx overall.

The glasses clanked and continued to spill beer as college was about to come to an end.

I received the letter from the firm I was placed in to join them in the 1st week of June 2012. The location was supposed to be Noida.

The training program was difficult to cope with. I managed to barely scrape through after 3 months of training during which I hardly did learn anything useful(is what I feel). I didn't appear for CAT or any other exam that year. However,I was unhappy at my work place. I couldn't see my self going any where. I decided to 'study seriously'(which is an oxymoron in my case) and crack CAT and other exams.

YEAR 2013:

It was quite early when I started preparing. Mid-February in the year 2013 is what I recall. I still had those same books from the correspondence course I had subscribed to earlier and I decided to make full use of them this time.
I Signed up for AIMCATs as well in May. I solved the entire package within the next 4 months and moved on to the online sectional tests that had been provided by TIME.I worked pretty hard that time.Took some time off from work. I used to spend an entire day sometimes solving Quant and DI. I had Filled up the forms for CAT,XAT,SNAP ,IIFT and MICA as well. AIMCATs were cruel to me.I managed a couple of mid 90s and several mid 80s. I still believed that if not a 99, I might manage a 95+ at least in the final show. The season began as I took the exams one after another. Soon enough the results started pouring in one after another. CAT was surprising once again.Apparently normalization had devoured up my marks.I scored a 77 %ile overall and found it difficult to fathom the fact that I bungled up once again. XAT was a shocking 78.

SNAP was a 94. IIFT 39.84. Didn't make it to the GE/PI round in MICA. I was all devastated and disillusioned.

YEAR 2014

I still wanted to make it to a premier MBA institute. I was more interested in MICA though.Writing silly rhymes,analyzing market trends,studying how excessive consumerism would spell doom for human beings one day,how target audiences are identified for a particular product; I believed that MICA would be the one whose hallowed portals would honor the love I harbor for the institute and for its curriculum.

I decided to appear for the various entrance tests once again.i.e. the 2014 Season.However there was a change in plan this time around. I decided to ditch the books completely. I wrote a couple of AIMCATs and that was all the preparation I had done . The results were as follows:




NMAT:207 (super lucky me ! )

So,what this did was it made me a bit happy.Without the least bit of preparation I fared fairly if not failing completely.

I made it to the next round for MICA. Again,I appeared for GE/PI without any preparation whatsoever. My interview was a good one if not a stellar one I should say and so was the GE. I didn't land a spot offer but got into the MERIT LIST.

I was wait-listed(51) finally when the results were out.I cursed my luck and  I withdrew my candidature subsequently because a 51 was too unlikely to convert MICA.

XAT had helped me to get a call from GIM as well but I didn't appear for the interview. The NMAT score was taunting me and I felt as if it was intentionally making a mockery of my present state of affairs.However I hadn't studied at all so I was still satisfied with the way things had went about.

So,you see.I am still stuck at this same place I was before. I would be completing 3 years at work in a month. I still feel miserable when I have to leave for work everyday.I am trying to hate my job a little more now. Doing this helps me to study even harder especially when I see the face of my snobbish manager.

I am looking to make one final push this time. The 2015 season is probably the last one and I am hoping to make it big this time.

I had signed an armistice with my books a month back and we are getting along pretty well now.

That is the end of my random ranting folks.

Hoping  this would uplift the mood of several people who are very much in the same condition as I am. If reading this made you smile then it can't get better for me. I love seeing people smile and making them smile.

Cheers everyone!

Now it is the time,

To plan the course of my journey ahead,

The path I need to follow,

Or create a new one instead!

  • 27 Likes   7 Comments
  • @abhishekce08 Nicely written!! :smiley:. 03 Jun.
  • Thank you @deshprag123 ! :smiley:. 05 Jun.

I made it to IIM Calcutta for the 2015-2017 batch. This achievement will always hold a special place in my life not only because I made it to the prestigious Joka but it also strengthened my belief in the saying that if you work hard enough, the whole universe conspires to help you. I will keep my story short. Hope this inspires somebody to go achieve his/her dreams.

The story starts in a clichéd manner. I was not able to get into the IITs and this did hurt me a lot, probably because it was the first significant failure of my life. Working so hard for 2 years with a single goal in mind and finally not being able to make it does make you question your abilities. But anyways, I made it one of the top engineering colleges through AIEEE. Engineering was never my thing, and I sincerely believe that you cannot succeed in what you are genuinely disinterested in, no matter how hard you try.

Next obvious goal seemed to be the MBA and what better than the holy trinity. Not only I would get my escape out of the pathetic engineering world, it was also boost my ego after the IIT debacle. The CAT journey started in 2012. I was unable to secure a summer internship in college, so decided to stay back during summers and prepare for placements and CAT. Prepared sincerely till the D-day but was never confident of my preparation. The score was 98.xx, not something I wanted. Nonetheless, I was able to secure a 17lpa software job so decided to take the plunge in the job world but the spark to redeem myself was still alive.

Now the CAT preparation would be terribly difficult to manage along with my hectic job, but I didn't realize this initially. Anyways, started preparation for CAT 2013 in June as soon as I started my new job. The days became tough. Worked in office from 11am to 7pm and then, the CAT preparation from 9 pm to 2am, all this time with a single goal of making it to ABC. The D-Day came and so did the results with a pathetic 92.xx . Life was testing me and I was breaking. Earning around 1 lac per month was not making me happy. I had a non-existent social life with not many to share my feelings with. But I knew I had it in me to rise again.

CAT 2014 preparation started and I wanted to give my all. Hence, joined a weekend coaching class, purchased all the material, MOCK test series, etc. I had to do it this time. The work at office took a back seat. I was ready to face the consequences at work but not ready to compromise on my dream. The pressure to make it this time was getting to me. My mind was pre-occupied with the thoughts "What if I don't make it ?". CAT became an obsession. This was dangerous had I not made it this year. Now, the D-day again came for the 3rd time. Tried to stay calm but the never-ending question was still staring at me.

The results came for CAT 2014 and the score was 99.63. I was going through some time at work. But, everything was forgotten. My joy was limitless like I had achieved everything. All the sacrifices I had made for the past 3 years finally paid off.

I gave interviews for BCL among the top 4 IIMs and converted CL. I have made a lot of mistakes in these past 3 years but I believe they have played an important an important role in shaping me to what I am today. I would leave you all with this : You can achieve whatever you want if you set your heart to it.

  • Congrats and have a fabulous 2 years at Joka :). 31 May.
IIM Calcutta, 2015-2017  
Kinjal Das @kinji.at.pg1 29,567

Congrats and have a fabulous 2 years at Joka :) 

One can love me or hate me...BUT can't ignore my HARD WORK

Finally I am writing on the sacred thread. And it will start with the same clichéd sentence that this post is lengthy and bear with me for the same. Also ignore the grammatical mistakes as my English is not so good. People who are expecting high percentile and/or an IIM convert can stop reading. This is for all MBA aspirants who are working hard against all the odds to pursue their dreams.

My Background

10th - 93.86 % (Gujarat Board)

12th - 88.76 % (Gujarat Board)

UG - 70.86 % (till 6th semester, aggregate wise 6th in my class, CGPA would be above 9) (Electrical                                                                                                                       Engineering, FTE, MSU, Baroda)

The story goes back to first year which I completely enjoyed by playing cricket and computer games. Soon I was getting bored of playing computer games and I was having "extra" two hours that too unlike my other classmates who went for tuitions in college. One day an idea struck me to utilize those "extra" two hours. Then I got to know that one of my seniors had got 99.27 %ile in cat and realized that students from my college can also perform well in exams of national level.

I searched about cat and came to know that cat is about Maths and English. Meanwhile my elder brother told me the importance of English for an engineer. And I decided to go for cat. But the toughest part comes here: I studied in GUJARATI medium. I knew it is going to be very tough. But then I thought in the worst case I would end up improving my English.

In the vacation of first year I started reading English newspaper, TOI, and yes the language and vocabulary was hard for me to comprehend. Then I talked with one the alumni of IIM A to get his advice on cat preparation. Meanwhile I searched on internet, too. The answer was common and simple: for English read, read and read.

I knew with the percentage given by my university I will never make it to IIM A. Though IIM A was my target. I made very simple plan for cat 14: in the 2nd year of engineering I will only read India after Gandhi in 9 days (one can correctly assume that I am a slow reader).

Now I want to tell people from where I I have a dream I came to know the meaning of word "bribe". So all can guess from where I started. Soon the second year of engineering was over and I read around 20 novels and content wise more than that I read from the newspapers and online articles.

Now it was the time for Maths preparation. I had joined TIME and solved the QA-1 book within a week then the same chapters I solved from Arun Sharma. I faced difficulty in doing "Numbers" on my own though with the determination and persistence I grasped the concepts.

Cat 13 results were out. No one from seniors crossed 99 hurdle. In fact most of them got around 95 %ile. Seniors from Gujarati medium advised to drop Cat and start preparing for GATE.

I knew because of reading I got

AIMCATs season started. I was getting around AIR 500. With some more practice I was getting around AIR 300, except a few cases where I score too low or high.

Placement season started and I was rejected by two companies in GD process. So it was very demotivating to my preparation as I was aiming IIMs and I am not able to get through campus GDs.(Later, I was placed in the company I was targeting.)

Exams season started. I did not go for CMAT as speed was my strength and thought I won't be able to utilize my strength. I took NMAT and result was out on the day before cat. It was 231( 99.806 %ile) with 103( 99.993 %ile) in QA. I was on a high as I knew I have to replicate the same performance the next day). CAT went well. IIFT, the next day, was a disaster as I was in no mood of taking exam. And results started pouring. I got a call from IIFT (98.03 %ile) and was extremely happy. SNAP went well .  Then the CAT results were out. And It was a disaster.

Overall: 98.45 %ile

QA/DI : 99.32 %ile

VA/LR : 90.61 %ile

I was completely hopeless with this result and knew it is going to be cat 15/16 and again in no mood of taking XAT. I got 99.6993 %ile in SNAP and I realized that it was just bad day and I can perform better in cat. Soon I got calls from IIM

I started working on my communication skill and it was improving, slowly though. IIFT interview came and as expected the topic was very general and no one allowed me to contribute in the GD. I knew it was a reject. The next day it was

Indore and NMIMS interview went well. But I doubt my indore convert chances due to low graduation score. I wanted to postpone my MDI interview so that I get enough time to improve my communication skill and I managed to postpone it to 24th march, Bangalore. The day came and I performed very well as per my standards and satisfactorily overall as I can't dominate GD.

Finally MDI results were out and I converted HRM. Though I would join it only if convert PGPM. Indore was a reject.

So here I am ending this. Hopefully I will covert PGPM and would be joining MDI this year or it will be cat 15/16.

Finally I wanted to thank all my friends who believed in me all the time and motivated me during the toughest times and especially @chaka  for helping me in the interview process.


Update on 28th june

I was upgraded to PGPM from PGHR on the 2nd list (16th June). And it has been 2 weeks since I joined MDI. The schedule was somewhat hectic so i am uptading this post now.

May be after first term i will be posting the learnings from my cat journey.

  • 20 Likes   3 Comments
  • Gr8 ...ATB :smiley:. 01 Jun.
  • Milte h MDI me :smiley: :). 01 Jun.
Nmat 2014:99.8 Cat 14:98.45 Snap14:99.7 Reject:IIFT IIM S I Converts: NMIMS, Mdi Joined - MDI 

Disclaimer : Not a (CAT/XAT/IIFT/SNAP) success story. 

Intended Audience : My friends who are still active on PG + People who are remotely interested in HR course from TISS

The beginning :

It was the year 2008-09. I had this brilliant idea of cracking CAT and making it big in life. I had made my plans - "B.Tech + a 2 year work ex = Perfect  MBA profile".  The first 2 attempts at CAT 2010 and CAT 2011 were merely for testing the waters. I had been anointed as "Verbal Goddess" by great puys in season 2010 itself.  As a mark of mockery, my CAT VA and VA-LR scores in 2010 and 2011 were 89.xx and 74.xx respectively. 

Great Expectations :

I was working in TCS. Took a leave of 21 days before CAT 2012. The result : 5x.xx %ile in CAT. XAT gave me 76.xx. Had a call from XIMB-RM, converted it and did not join. 

Meanwhile, life had other plans. I heard that TISS had changed its entrance exam pattern. TISS NET had 95 objective questions with 25 GK questions. I did not have to write subjective answers ! Gladly, I plunged in to write the test without pondering over questions like "Is this the right course for me ?" I took the written test and was able to complete the entire 100 questions in 20 minutes flat. Same was the case with other candidates. QA section had a very memorable question - "What is the square root of 16 ?" Yes, you read it right. GK section had questions like "What was the reason behind formation of Sachar committee ?" Needless to say, GK was the determining factor of the test. The written test results were out. Cut off was 86. I scored 87. I was called for PIT/PI. The pattern had changed that year. We were supposed to write an essay for PIT and face the interview panel. Since it was the first year of TISS NET, there was hardly any time to "prepare for PIT/PI". I came across a preparation thread in PaGaLGuY and interacted with other shortlisted candidates. Essays were written, reviewed and opinions shared. I still had no answer to the question "Is this course right for me ?" or even "Am I the right fit for this course ?" I went for the PIT/PI to Mumbai. There were 2 essay topics, we were supposed to attempt any one of them. I chose the topic "Patriarchal outlook of Indian society". The topic "supposedly" was from my comfort zone. I wrote an essay and scored 35 out of 50. In the interview, I scored 38 out of 75. The end result - I was rejected. It was very difficult for me to accept the fact that the people I supposedly "helped" had made it and I had not.

CAT 2013 had a similar story to tell. The only difference - For TISSNET, the cut off for written test was 72. I had scored 71. The worst that could have happened. I had begun to believe that this was the end. 4 attempts in 4 years and a single convert from XIMB RM course. And the reject from TISS hurt badly.

The last season :

 Nothing miraculous happened in CAT 2014/XAT 2015/SNAP 2014/ IIFT 2014. Got a call from NMIMS Mumbai for MBA at a written score of 210 and eventually converted it. Paid the fees in time. At least I was going to do an MBA somewhere. 

XIMB BM too gave me a call (owing to domicile category) and I converted it. My interview experience is here

TISS NET gave me a call this time. Cut off was 75 and I scored 76. 

It was time to avenge the prior humilation (read : reject).

The preparation for PIT/PI was more centered towards myself. I figured out what the course was and my expectations from it. It took me days to frame answers to questions like "Why HR ?" , "Why TISS ?", "Why HR after IT ?" Since I had over 40 months of work experience by then, I made observations about my organisation with respect to HR policies. I also brushed up on frequently asked questions on trade unions, etc. A couple of my friends like Animesh were generous enough to help with materials and links from various websites. To be on the safe side, I brushed up my engineering basics (and realised that I had forgotten most of it) and subjects like 'Organizational Behaviour' that was taught in college. Also, I read a few issues of magazines like "People Matters". It helped me form an opinion on contemporary business issues involving HR. I was actively involved in reviving the Toastmasters Club at office this year. It was a kind of HR activity and I enjoyed the same. It gave me access to several people and content that I loved to work with. All this while, I did not put any extraordinary effort towards the entire process of TISS NET and PIT/PI ( I took my time to sleep, catch up with friends, work at office, etc). However, I had spent a lot of time (over the year) reading various books and thinking about them. Did not take up any interview coaching classes or mock interviews with anyone.

For the essay part, I did not put any special effort. The D-Day arrived. At 9 am, we were given the essay topic "Patriarchal outlook of Indian society". Yes, it was the same topic as the last season. I attempted it with S-P-E-L-T technique in mind ( S-P-E-L-T stands for Social - Political- Economic - Legal - Technological aspects of an issue). In 2013, I had written about 5 pages. This time it was about 4 pages. I cited examples from recent happenings, quotes from books that I liked and so on. I felt I needed to write more on the topic. The invigilator literally pulled the sheet out of my hands. In 45 minutes, that was all I could do. I spent the next month (till results were declared) in apprehension. If only I had the time to write some more lines ! The scores were out. I had scored 42 out of 50. A pleasant surprise !

I waited for a couple of hours for the interview. During this time, I glanced at my notebook (had made a fat notebook that contained almost all parts of my preparation over a couple of months). I decided not to spend much time on it and interacted with fellow aspirants and seniors. That eased the tension a bit. (In my last attempt of 2013, I was the first one to be interviewed, right after the essay). I was in Bino Paul Sir's panel. Prof. Rao and Prof. Vijayakumar were seated as well. I entered the room and greeted them. It started with "Tell me about yourself" and moved on anticipated lines. I was asked questions on DAF,my company's HR policies, status of women in the corporate world. Prof Vijayakumar asked me the question "How did you prepare for this interview ?" The words numbed me. I had prepared for this interview but was never prepared for this question. I regained my composure and blurted out , "I brushed up subjects like Organizational Behaviour from college". He asked me to talk about leadership theories that I knew. I knew nothing about it and said so. He asked me something else that I was able to answer. To end the interview, Prof Sarala Rao asked me about my take on OB and HR as a whole. When I answered, Prof Vijayakumar chipped in "Now you are sounding vague." He re-framed my sentence and asked me to clarify. I stuck to my point and at the end of it, he smiled. I left the room. For the next month or so (till results were declared), those words haunted me - "Now you are sounding vague". However, there is nothing you can do after an interview except waiting. The results were out. I had scored 59 out of 75 in the interview.

From 38 to 59.

It took me 2 years but I did it. I had made it this time.

Epilogue :
Joining TISS Mumbai HRM. 

5 years. 5 calls. 4 converts. The first reject turns into the final convert.

Would like to thank each of the puys and pirls here. All of you deserve special mention. And you know who you are. 

P.S. : A very long post indeed ! Aspirants can use this for RC practice

  • 48 Likes   23 Comments
  • good one...ATB!. 16 May.
  • TISS hr is one of the best in india. I would call it a s.... 16 May.
Baawra mann dekhne chala ek sapna .....  
Ace Ventura @tush1992 179

TISS hr is one of the best in india.  I would call it a success story.  All the best

My life; My story

Read it or don't read it. I don't care.

Love it or hate it. I don't care.

There are two kinds of people, leaving aside the reservation quota, who make it to IIMs every year. The intelligent ones and the ones who acquire enough knowledge over the years to appear to look like the intelligent ones. And it took three years for me realise that I'm neither.

As with most of the others I fell in love with CAT as soon as I came to know about it in 2012.  I had just joined TCS and I was care free and enjoying my life. One day, sometime in September 2012, I had a chat with one of my colleges who briefed me about CAT. The seemingly simple idea that "how hard can an exam be that tests basic English and Mathematics at 10th standard level" grew within me that very day. The very next day I applied for CAT using an Axis Bank voucher having just a month's time to prepare. I knew I won't be getting the percentile that I aspire within a month's time. I set my goals on CAT 2013. CAT 2012 was just a trial run.

The clichéd background story (Science student- Engineer- IT employee)

I was always good at mathematics. It was always less preparation and more marks throughout the school days and I went on to get a 100% in 10th standard CBSE board exam 2006 with an 81% overall. This gave me enough confidence to take a shot at the revered IIT-JEE. One year down the line I realised I was no IIT material but AIEEE and NITs were within the sight. I slogged for one year and got a sub 10,000 all India rank in AIEEE and 88% in 12th CBSE board exam. But fate has its own way of saying f**k you.

My grandma passed away with just two days to my Mathematics board exam. I was completely devastated and I was in no mood to take the exam. And results showed up as expected. I got a meagre 80% in Mathematics. So getting into Anna University was completely out of the equation. Meanwhile my parents were at the verge of getting a divorce. And just a week before my NIT counselling their fight took an ugly turn and I had no parent to accompany me to my counselling. I finally joined a private engineering college in Chennai which was supposed to be a backup after abandoning my seat at NIT-Trichy.  

BTW I forgot to mention that I too had a love story.  I'm blessed to say that my first crush was my first girlfriend. We had a great time together throughout the 12th standard. With all the combined studies we did together for IIT-JEE, AIEEE and board exams we ended up getting the same percentage. It was one awesome year with her .  Once again fate intervened, her dad got transferred to Pune and she joined a college there. I was powerless to do anything to stop it. We had a huge fight before she left and I haven't talked to her ever since until she got married an year ago (2014). Well, we both have moved on and the past is behind us.

My college life was great. I made new friends for life and had an awesome time. Apart from travelling 80kms every day I maintained a CGPA above 8.5. Mu-Sigma came for placement and I screwed up in the interview after clearing the test and GD. Finally I got placed in TCS and I had no regrets until I heard about CAT. 

Will be continued in the next post.

  • 32 Likes   7 Comments
  • @Sabya1590 thanks buddy :) @alanshore @adharshmani @The.... 03 May.
  • I hve mentioned this several tyms on PG . The story of my.... 04 May.
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.  
Determination ToSucceed @aadhi444 1,093

@Sabya1590 thanks buddy :) 

@alanshore @adharshmani @TheMusicFreak @ayushag11 I'm held up with some work here. I will post the remaining parts soon

siddhant mohanty @siddhantm 809

I hve mentioned this several tyms on PG . The story of my friend which inspires me a lot. 2010 CAT - 78 ; 2011 - 89 ; 2012 - 83 . 2012 he cleared SNAP , XAT wd good scores , but cunt convert ny of the calls . 2013 cleared SBI PO and joined .CAT 2013 - 99.43 , NMAT-235(had never crossed 206 since 3 yrs) , IIFT - 54.XX marks , XAT - 98.XX . He got calls frm all IIM's sans ABC . In the i/ws the interviewers askd him y will you leave SBI PO , its the best in the banking sector and all had high respect for it .

Finally he converted all his calls and finally joined IIM-L . From TCS to SBI to IIM-L and now CRISIL(intern) , still he says SBI changed his life . I know @aadhi444 ur life is on the same lane . May you achieve something great some day.

What after CAT exams?

This is a personal experience intended only as "sharing my experience." 

I have been asked many a times that even after having a decent CAT score what went wrong in the interview phase. I first appeared for CAT in 2013 when I was in the final year of engineering. I Got 99.15 percentile which was not good enough for major calls but still had plenty of good ones. Those were the colleges I would have been happy to pass out from. But nothing materialized. I Gave CAT exams again the next year, got 99.67 and now I had better options and a bit of experience as to where I lacked the previous time. So here I am going to share a few points of what I feel were the major issues.


Yes. You read it right. All the time I was preparing for CAT and other entrance exams I was being told that it is the big deal. Get a good score and colleges will welcome you with open arms. No one, not even a single person I came across who said, " Dude, the real thing starts when you're done with the written exams". So yes, complacency seeped in. After all 99+ score is not an easy thing to achieve. But I am honestly telling you people that the real thing indeed starts post these exams.  The amount of sheer resolution to work hard needed during the 3 months post these exams is much more than you need during the 10 month preparation for them. Getting a score is one thing but getting a convert is a different ball game altogether.


This is one more aspect which plays a crucial role in your post exam days. You will see numerous debates on all forums about which institute is better than other for GD/WAT/PI preparation. But nothing is good until you get a direction backed by knowledge of the mentor. Even when you join any institute, you have to have a mentor who tells you from time to time on what to focus on, how to go about handling typical questions, how to keep yourself motivated all the way through because 7-8 interviews stretched in a 3 months period does get tiresome. This mentor can be anyone, any friend/senior of yours who has done it all, any particular faculty member of your institute you can look up to for help/guidance, or any professional you know or even your dad who had a great exposure in his profession.


Let me explain what I mean by this. When we have quite a few choices we tend to start on a selective note. Like I had calls from MDI,NITIE, IIFT, NMIMS, IIT-D & B, IIM S, New IIMs & MFC. So I started with only a selective few in my mind. It was like I was making choices before the process has even started. It led to me maintaining lower than the optimum level needed in the process.  It is good to desire the best option, but never ignore the others. You can't always hit the bulls eye but hitting somewhere on the board also fetches points. Each interview, no matter for which institute will add some value so prepare well for all.



It is a long process. Fatigue is undeniable. But you got to keep up with it. You got to develop the habit of learning. Like if you read a 2500 word editorial you will surely come across 2-3 new ideas. You then have to read about those ideas and may be think of a way to bring that into the conversation you might have with the interviewer. Prepare relevant things that you come across. And as I said a mentor will help you identify those relevant things.

But I hope these few points are enough for the start. And you all people who are adept at doing analysis of mocks will be able to do analysis of their own experiences as well. In the end it is a learning process. Look for your shortcomings without being too self-critical and also without putting 100% blame on the system. The systems loopholes cannot be helped but putting in efforts is in our hands.

CAT 2013- 99.15 , CAT 2014 - 99.67. IIM C-PGP 2015-17 

Almost 11 months have gone by since I put my thoughts here on Pagalguy.


That was an anxious time and that too the very first for me. A good Cat score, calls from top B-schools except old IIMs but still no convert at hand. A month later FMS rejected me too. The monotonous downward sloping curve just won't stop, as it seemed for a long while. It was time to exercise the only viable option I had. I joined Department of Financial Studies, DU. Was not really upbeat about it in the beginning but had no better thing to do.

It started in late July and by the time it was the last week of August the decision had been taken. I got to give CAT again. The dream to make it big still had some life left in it. As college life was not strenuous I started the little prep that I could manage. Mocks again became a meal of sorts. Analysis was again a sweet dish post the meal. Ironically the sweet dish took more time than the meal. At times I felt I have lost the touch but kept backing it up. Family and a couple of friends were supportive all the way through. The pattern was changed, CAT was delayed too as compared to its past usual dates and it clashed with one my final exams at DFS. This time the pressure was real. My first attempt and the preparation was a breeze. It had a certain fresh vigor at its core. Whereas now it was a desperate move and one last shot that I could have. Preparation had been shaky too. Just a bit more than a couple months I had.

It came and went away smoothly, leaving high hopes again. Results arrived a month later and the output was better than the previous one. A week later calls started pouring in. Finally the biggies knocked on the door. A couple of major interviews lined up for March,2015. Found a great mentor and started prepping up for the one on one. Testing time it was again. I had my own doubts. There are times when you are not just sure where you are heading too. When you feel you are trying to walk on different roads all at the same time. These times the support of your loved ones is all that you need. A little assurance from them gives you a boost.

Robert Louis Stevenson put it very rightly when he says,

"It is the history of our kindnesses that alone make this world tolerable. If it were not for that, for the effect of kind words, kind looks, kind letters . . . I should be inclined to think our life a practical jest in the worst possible spirit."

Well the interview gala was soon over. Now all that was to be done was to wait again. I hoped the wait was not endless this time and the fate wasn't relentless. But it began on a scary note too. It was a reject from XLRI first, then a straight from IIM - A. Honestly the fear was all over me. A real long sleepless night. Even small hiccups ( A's rejection was not small though) at times makes you doubt even the better things that you've done. That was what happening to me. I knew IIM C's results are going to be out the next day. But was petrified. The morning till afternoon was grim. Finally results arrived. My computer screen left me with a relief filled smile. It was not a convert but a waitlist. Waitlist #13. It was a relief that I now very well will make it. I will now be a 'jokar'. And even if by some weird twist I don't make it, this assured my faith in a couple other interviews that I feel were good. Although my heart is with IIM C now hoping for a convert very soon.

So the wait was not endless,

fate wasn't relentless,

I am now ready to take on a new path

As a lot is still to be done...and A lot is still to be won.

Endless wait, relentless fate - PaGaLGuY
Endless wait, relentless fate - After endless tossing and turning on bed with my mind in some zone of itself I finally decided to pen it all down.


  • 24 Likes   12 Comments
  • @Beingshubham @keshandeepak8 this is for u guys http:/.... 23 Apr.
  • @jay3421 Thanks and all the best to you too bro :smiley:. 23 Apr.
CAT 2013- 99.15 , CAT 2014 - 99.67. IIM C-PGP 2015-17 

My CATchy journey

CAT 2014

I know it is too long to read, so read it at your own risk!  :D

The journey started almost 8-9 months back, with me planning to write CAT one last time. With FMS as the only target in my head (couldn't trust A B C anymore after they didn't shortlist me even for interview despite scoring 99.90 in CAT 2013), I went on with the preparation with a goal to just score enough to secure the college admission. The job was not satisfactory anymore and the family was also pushing me to try one last time (though they had some higher targets in their mind!).

My preparation mostly relied on few books that I had along with googling for some questions and eventually the Pagalguy question bank. Never took any coaching, or mocks for any of my three CAT papers, one reason to miss the spotlight and to be frank, the one reason that I could focus more on preparation.

A week before the CAT, I had to rush to home for some urgent work and returned just the day before the paper. CAT centre was an overnight journey, left in night to reach there in the morning. Went through the paper, looked like I was out of practice. Tried easier questions first, especially in quant's and then moved for tough ones and at last verbal. Quant took away almost 65-70 minutes and I was mostly satisfied and finally left the centre with a feeling that I might get something around 99.5 (relying on past experience).

From there, it felt like decades before the results were out, I started coming on PG more frequently, saw people doing analysis, tried my hand too, made a graph to calculate percentile (I know it sounds funny, but you guys don't need any explanation for this). Slowly I came to realize that I might get better than my expectation. Anyway, long story short, let's skip to the day of the result.

I was among lucky few who could access the result within the first 10 minutes, and to my surprise, it was much more than I could bear. I had excelled in the part I considered myself really weak in, the VA with 99.92 in the section, my QA took a marginal dip from 99.94 last year to 99.86 this year, but it was the overall percentile that made me more hopeful, that may be this time I would get a call from the big three.

The calls came eventually, from L, A, B (Marginally in my opinion), C (Again marginally in) and K. Checked last year records and decided my preference as A>C>B>FMS>L (FMS due to ROI thingy) and hence decided to skip K interview. IIM-L I would attend just for an experience as it was the first interview I would ever face (Jan 22), followed by the biggest one (A on Jan 25) followed by my marriage on Jan 29 (Yes! You read it right! ).

L went okay, A was pretty smooth with questions mostly on work ex and AWT (Philip Hughes cricket bouncer case). Went home, got married, returned back to attend B (the worst experience, was sure of not getting in). Then came JOKA, interview was weird, with questions like innovative methods to cheat in exam etc etc. Was never sure if I did good or bad!! FMS list came, was sure of converting, and so just chilled during the interview and it went pretty smooth with a cool smiling panel and extempore topic "I love my tie!"

Finally with the results pouring in, my first result (B) was obviously a reject, as expected. Next day, sitting in my office I kept on checking C website, and eventually left for home at 5:50pm. On my way, I got a call from a friend, who converted ISB and IIM-B and he told me -"Dude! You made it to A!" and I was like-"Yaar result kab aaya!". With my internet pack outdated, I called my better half and within a minute she was already shouting on phone-"Yes!!" Well, that was it. The whole evening went over phone with calls to relatives, friends etc. And now today I got the JOKA results.

Finally for the people, who couldn't get in, or were marginally left out, I would just like to say one thing-"It's just the time testing you, don't lose hope and come better prepared next year! They can stop you once, may be twice, but not forever, if you have the will, you will move forward! All the best everyone!"

  • 133 Likes   60 Comments
  • @amank2168 Many happy returns of the day! :smiley:. 25 May.
  • @kittuboy thanks buddy!. 26 May.
X-71, XII-66, Grad-8.3, CAT'11-99.36, CAT'13-99.90, CAT'14-99.97, Calls-BLACK FMS Converts-ACL FMS 

Tryst with CAT

My tryst with the CAT is quite different from that of others. It starts with my floundering academics in my Undergrads. 

I had waltzed through 10th with 88% in a relatively easy state board, taken up biology next (doctor dreams, you see) and after having a front-row show of bio, decided that medicine was never going to be my career. I bid biology goodbye with 73% in my 12th and got into Jain Engineering College, Bangalore. This was a deemed (rather doomed)  university. For now I was ignorant and blissful. Engineering ho!

Engineering began with full enthusiasm and I wrote the first semester exam- one backlog. Cleared it in the supplementary. Second semester came and I scraped through without no backlogs. And then began the fall from paradise. From third semester on wards, through the 8th semester, I ended up with at least one backlog from each.

I was always cautious to avoid angering any lecturer, but somehow they seemed to have developed a secret dislike of me. As of now I looked down upon the IITs and IIMs - I felt they were hyped, and I wanted to blaze a trail of my own. So I totally neglected my studies even though I had no goal to speak of. Ignorance makes us all fools.

Finally I pulled myself through 6th semester. It was about this time that I fell for a girl- and she reciprocated. For a year I was all gaga over her; her parents seemed to like me a lot, my parents weren't too happy, but I was unconcerned. The romance took its toll - eighth semester saw me flunk two subjects. I was at the bottom of the class, probably the entire batch. I had scored about 6% lower than the second-worst performer. I was shocked, but decided to myself that I would clear everything this time. Remember, I had two backlogs from previous semesters too- four in all.

Psychotic girlfriend was begging me to do well, but also demanding more attention. My parents had reached the end of their tether. One week after the results were out, I was set to leave to Ahmedabad, to stay with my aunt and uncle. I was extremely reluctant to agree - I knew that the arrangement was going to be all work and no play. Eventually I went ahead, studied for my backlog subjects and came back armed and ready to finish engineering. Now, my aunt had dropped a few hints saying I should take up the CAT, and I realized she was right. the romance ended soon after I returned ( and I should say, thankfully); she had decided that she didn't like me any more (apparently she didn't approve of my atheism) and I had one less thing to worry about.

I breezed through the engineering exams and cleared everything with 56 percent  and 25 mark sheets for an 8-semester course, and meanwhile joined IMS for a crash course. I had no idea what I was doing. I learned a few shortcuts in quant, thought, "Hey, my verbal rocks!" and shrugged off verbal. I never knew what SimCATs were. Gave my first SimCAT one day and the reality was more painful than a slap on my face. 40 percentile. But my overconfidence refused to go away. I wrote another mock. Another slap. This way I wrote some 5 mocks, never breached 70 percentile.

I went to take the actual CAT, high on some medicine that was said to prevent sleepiness, came back home in a very complacent mood and decided to apply for XAT too (I wanted to get into XL). Applied, sent documents and started studying. XAT came around. The day before the exam I was questioning myself, wondering whether I should even attempt - I had no idea what I was doing, after all. I decided, I should just write it.

The center was a stone's throw from a bar I used to frequent, so post-exam beer tempted me to write. Marked options in a bored, unhurried manner. DM, my strong area, felt as easy as drinking water. I came out thinking to myself that I would never clear this, and that CAT would see me through.

The results came out for the CAT in Jan 2014. Quant- 59.xx. Verbal- 77.xx. Overall- 71.xx. I was in depression that day.

My cousin had just scraped through GATE and got into IIT Madras, and here I was, struggling to get my life on track. Just as I was about to lose all hope, the light at the end of the tunnel appeared. A junior's dad offered to get me a marketing job at Yatra.com. I was all set, though I knew nothing about marketing. I walked into the interview with my knees trembling. The interview was just a casual chat where I was told to report within three days and that I would be paid 15000 per month. I accepted and danced on my way home. Things were improving.

XAT results came out. I was more shocked than anyone else looking at my marks. Quant 71.xx. Verbal 88.xx. DM 99.xx. Overall 96.56. And HRM, the one program I had applied to, was only a successful GD/PI away. I was elated.

GD/PI came. I had been an introvert all along so I never managed to speak in the GD but ended up exchanging sheepish awkward glances with the panelists sitting six feet away. PI went quite well. I was brutally honest in places, cheeky in others and embarrassed in yet others. They did mention that I never spoke in the GD, so I strongly feel I should have been a bit more aggressive there.

The interview concluded. I returned to my job. Results came out. Straight reject; I felt upset for that one day. Next day I was back at work. I gradually made a great name for myself at the job. Higher management was getting good signals about me. By April however, I knew I would have to write and clear the CAT (and/or XAT) this time for sure. My prep had gone to zero. In May, in a fit of desperation, I approached IMS again to commence classes. My quant faculty, who was the head at the Koramangala center, offered me a job instead- I was to teach verbal to GRE, Bank PO and CAT students. I was all set. I was eligible for Disabled (DA) category benefits due to my hearing issue. We had got the paperwork finished back in February and I had applied for CAT as a DA.

I began taking classes at IMS. I started off with Bank PO. It was a painful ordeal - I was very comfortable with the subject but my teaching ability was unrefined. I slowly learned, working my way up to GRE (this was how my vocabulary grew even more) and took the occasional CAT verbal class. By September I had become quite comfortable with taking classes for students at all levels of proficiency, be it CAT, GRE or Bank PO, one on one and group. Hell, I even gave out CAT 'gyaan' to some  on request. At the end of September my boss told me to take a sabbatical and prepare for my own exams. I agreed, he cancelled all my classes and I promptly whiled away two weeks. I had not bothered about preparation for 9 months now. My parents, panicked and stepped in again.

Ahmedabad calling.

This time I decided I would not fail. I took one SimCAT every day. Granted, take-home ones, but still. My first SimCAT after two days of real intense work threw back 90 percentile. I was elated. Riding this high, for almost a month, I worked like a dog. My percentile stayed in the 90s. And then the CAT people sent me the mail stating I would get a time extension of 1 hour. I decided not to factor it into my preparation. I even purchased Arun Sharma's textbook and casually solved a handful of problems from it. My CAT was scheduled for November 16th, morning slot.

The exam went well, considering that I had actually prepared for just a month, except for one problem: I never got the time extension. I didn't care since my attempts had been in the low 70s, and the exam had been a cakewalk anyway. My dad, who'd accompanied me to the center, wasn't concerned either. My uncle, on the other hand, sternly ordered me to go back and ask for an official statement that I had missed the extension. That was when I learned what a colossal idiot I was, because DA candidates had been given a single room which I hadn't gone to. The in-charge said he was helpless at that stage and couldn't give us any such statement. I had written to IIM-I about this episode on Sunday. That week on Thursday, I got a response from them. They were permitting me to write the exam on the 22nd. I was elated again. I wrote the CAT once more and this time I made good use of that additional hour. I attempted ten questions more this time.

The result for CAT came out. 97 percentile. I wrote XAT with decent preparation but no enthusiasm. Result: XLRI reject. But I had calls from all IIMs except B and K, so I had that going for me. I attended the interviews.

On 16th April, I was tooling around on PG when some rumours began that Joka results would be out. Surprisingly enough, when I went to the Facebook forum, I saw a post that WIMWI had announced their results. Hands trembling, I opened up the site on my phone and checked.

I was through.

Despite what seemed to me like a mediocre interview, I was one step closer to my final goal of world- whoops. Forget you read that. I had been selected for the prestigious PGP of IIM Ahmedabad. Mandatory status updates on social networking sites followed and phone calls flowed in. 

Anyway; it has been a great journey, and it isn't anywhere close to ending. 

  • 98 Likes   72 Comments
  • @Being_me See comment #68 BTW, why would you think I'm n.... 13 May.
  • U r going to IIM A dude... So how r u still preparing.. K.... 14 May.
WIMWI, batch of 2015-17 
I did Nazi that coming @kittuboy 3,163

@Being_me See comment #68

BTW, why would you think I'm not preparing for CAT? :mg:

@Being_me 27

U r going to IIM A dude... So how r u still preparing.. Kuchh bhi!!! Bt u r such a trouble...people lyk u make us (cat aspirants) conscious mannnn PS- i have just started verbal preparation yet.... Purely based on ur verbal thread pe answers

                  Update :  The Journey continues after 2 years...  

It has been a great feeling to come back to this sacred thread after 2 years to finally give you all guys some updates. As my "Original Post" was about how an ordinary guy can achieve extraordinary results, the theme of this section of my post would be to hopefully share with you my genuine and honest experiences in what we call as one among the new IIMs - IIM Kashipur with a small tagline coined by me - "A startup of dreams!"  

So well, yes there were dreams that I would wanna make it into an IIM... I finally did...the first day...feeling was great!! I am finally in an IIM. However, as I had visited IIM Ahmedabad earlier, I did realize that things here are going to be different, challenging and hence interesting...just the way I like it. The good thing was that this year the batch was more than 3 times the seniors strength and hence I was hoping the experiences I would gain would be far more enriching. And boy was I right!! ( )

So the first day I enter, I see this small but beautiful make shift campus (independent of any university though) where there were a handful of professors, a hint of newness and a texture of something big that this place would turn out to be in years to come. We had the official registration and welcome ceremony but what was the most interesting thing, and for which I must praise my seniors (who were just 2 batch of this campus and were instilling those activitites which are trademark of the IIMs and other major B Schools) was - The Induction. In all probability, all those who have been to decent B-schools already know what Induction is all about and for all those who will be joining in years to come, I am not going to be a spoilsport and hence would let you all experience this amazing activity in your respective B-schools. Trust me this will be an experience of a lifetime and therez a very strong reason why I am not divulging the same to u all!

Apart from Induction, there won't be any more suspense from my side in this installment of my post and I hope this post would help some of the puys who would be facing the New IIM Dilemma in years to come. So lets start with acads, being a lazy engineer, I was in for a shock with the amount of work that a student puts in a B-school. Its as if you are totally transformed into a workhorse! Assignments, quizzes, term exams, events, seminars, guest lectures, PPTs, committee selections, club selections and what not! U name it and that thing exists at IIM Kashipur. It is here that I finally understood what "student driven" campuses ACTUALLY mean.  So as always, I went for the toughest committee (yes you guessed it right) and got through after a long and tedious process. To this day and for the life ahead, I am sure, what this committee has taught me (being a startup IIM without any established alumni pool etc.) would be something I would cherish forever. And as I was a lazy lad for pretty much the whole year I never got into any club as a core member (academic or otherwise). There were plethora of them - the committees - alumni relations, placement, corporate relations, mess, infrastructure & IT, academic etc and the clubs - Marketing, finance, Operations, Movie, quiz club, Photography club etc.  So day in and day out I was handling acads and committee work as a regular student would be required to do.

The one reason why I joined IIM Kashipur was because I wanted to gain an experience of starting new things (yeah faff, I Know and so I never did anything for first two trimesters ). However in the third trimester I realised that so many intitatives were already taken up by my batchmates - new clubs like literary club, Music club, Biker's club (with support of our beloved director who himself is a kickass biker!) had sprung up already. So then, I thought of trying to implement a few ideas of my own which were a legacy in other cherished B-schools. The first one was that of creating a yearbook, to which the literary club happily obliged by making me an honorary member. However, more than me it was the efforts of the people in the club that actually made the yearbook happen for our seniors and started off with the practice for years to follow. Then, there was an idea of an annual b-fest called Excelsior which was a daunting task at that time itself and focused on the case presentations and simulation events of business. I really loved the idea but discussed with its initiators something much more bigger and grand to be called the B-fest of IIM Kashipur in the next year which included excelsior as a part of it. And behold, it was in 2014-15, for the first time IIM Kashipur organised Agnitraya - festival combining sports, culture and business all together with performances from Sunburn campus and other film stars as jury members being the highlights of the event.  The last intiative - the closest for me was that of founding an academic club along with 5 other really passionate people - the HR club of IIM Kashipur which obviously did the regular club activities that all clubs were supposed to do but was also the only club of IIM Kashipur to galvanize and organize the Annual HR summit outside Kashipur  - in Delhi... a big challenge in itself that also revived the event for the years to come! It was a tremendous experience to handle speakers, logistics, event management etc remotely from a place called kashipur to organise an event 220 Kms away in Delhi.

Ofcourse the pressure of summer internship was mounting and with Marketing as one of my majors, landing up one in an FMCG was something that was a dream come true. The learning experience and the mistakes that I did during my stint at the company is something that will be a lesson throughout my life. Being a fresher, this was also my first actual corporate experience. 

Finally the first year ended and came the juniors. This was the period when we were the driving force and experience of being seniors was something exceptional especially during the phase of Induction of our juniors. Subjects went past, GPAs moved like sinusoidal curves ( ) and then the pressure of final placements started to get over me. The people I was competing with were the best of the best. The friends of mine, were all equally anxious coz this was the time when dreams finally turn to reality. This is the defining moment of one's professional career. Something every parents want their children to kick-start on a high! However, life wasn't easy at this juncture. Companies came and went by, every next disappointment much more shattering from within than the previous one but with just a smile on my face.. I carried on. It was after some struggle that finally, I got to hear the good news in the month of January. I had been placed! It was a dream come true. I had got into one of the major marketing brands of the world with a decent double figure salary and a good leadership profile. What more could a graduate want?  While my own placement was done, I knew the job is just half done. I went back towards toiling hard and trying my every bit to excel in acads and committee work that I was entrusted with. If there were any friends that I made during this college, most of them were from this very own committee of mine and the ones that I would cherish forever. I knew each and every member of it was trying everything they could possibly do to get results and that finally taught me what teamwork is all about.!

So yes, I know that there has been a huge hue and cry about whether the New IIMs can deliver the way old IIMs do? Who will go to this never heard of place called Kashipur?  How good are the placements? What about my learning?? How are the faculties? Whats the ROI? What about exchage programs? What about my comforts, facilities and emotional bonding?

Well, If therez anything that I have to say, it has to be this - the new IIMs (whichever, they may be...my judgement is based on my experience in IIM Kashipur!) are an IIM for a reason. For any other private college, to achieve the results these IIMs are achieving (in terms of placements, Corporate events wins by their students, internatonal exposure etc.) would be a dream for even the first 10 years of their establishment. Granted, that there is a lot of scope of improvement but thats what startups do. They evolve. I couldn't have been any more satisfied than the experiences which I gained here cos for sure I will be using them when I am starting up my own venture. The news that this batch would actually shift to the permanent campus - a first amongst the new IIMs, that there have already been highest international final placements consecutively for two years during my stay amongst new IIMs and that highest international CTCs are pretty much touching the same figures of a few relatively older IIMs are all heartening to see with the fact that overall medians and top 25% and 50% landing up with great offers proving to be an icing on the cake. The never before taken intitatives of setting up our own community radio, a quiz right in the middle of the Corbett Jungle or creating a graffiti on a wall are all some crazy yet unique experiences that I might never have experienced in any other premier B School!

It has been rightly said by someone - A man is a product of his choices! And I beleive whatever tough decisions I took (in terms of joining a new college in contrast to joining an established one) have all worked well in my favour and have made me what I am today - a confident B-school graduate now rearing to go for his next stint - the ground where an excitement of altogether differrent level awaits - The Corporate.

I would like to thank all those who read this update fragment patiently till the very end and would suggest them to make some adventurous choices (ofcourse thats just my opinion) and learn somethin new while you are at it.. All the best guys! May the force be with you!

Signing Off

A participant of IIM Kashipur - PGP 2013-15!

                  The Original Post (for your reference)

Joined: IIM Kashipur PGP 2013-15! (A startup of Dreams!!!)

Hey puys! I am not a great writer and maybe not that perseverant as well as so many people on this thread have been. However , i think, owing to the sanctity of this thread and to contribute my least bit in fulfilling its purpose of existence, I still would like to give my experiences of CAT..however this is gonna be one marathon post (for which i apologize, because i still dont know what i am doing is right or not, but would definitely like to get ur opinions...however...only after i have made the entire background clear....)

Flashback (till CAT 2011)-

This is after my class 12th exams got over...I have been an ardent visual gaming fan...be it samurai video games, tekken large format consoles or the recent computer games..i have always had this one thing been intriguing me. So, i figured, why not make a career out of it... i had heard just like most of us that in India , engineers and doctors are paid heavily and u enjoy a luxurious life etc. etc. My parents, however had been very kind in never forcing me to do anything (infact my dad had warned me before itslef that science is a difficult stream and i should think about commerce...but being a kid then and having secured 84% in Xth with top two subjects being of maths (91) and science (86) , i figured... "I ACCEPT") So went in with science and screwed up my 12th with 68.8 percent on board and 3 long months of holidays standing right in front of me and no engg entrance exams done well on my part (because i joined coaching in 12th itself and had school + coaching from 7 AM to 9 PM...but excuses are for losers, arent they?) Fine, if engg is what it takes, I thought I would damn well become an engineer (but in computer science ONLY)...took a drop...went to KOTA ( :P) and then started preparing..working hours and hours and came into top 150 student which was a big jump from being 450th student when i entered these coaching classes....everything was going on smoothly...but then cam 1 month of terrible disaster...chicken pox..all studies gone haywire..(again, no excuses... it happens to everyone, right?)..so gave the exams......came to know about an entrance exam by SAE university and Assam university JV in India for getting admitted into Visual game designing and development...gave it...got 50% scholarship...but soon the happiness died out coz my dad wasnt convinced with the infrastructure as well as the conventional (B.A.) degree...and i dont blame him..he only wanted the best for me... results of engg exams came...cleared in a reputed private college and failed at all other exams so came the dilemma... I was offerred a non CS branch in the private college ....tried going to local engg colleges..."4 Lac plus donation and he can get into IT" was told to my father right on my face......i decided..i will go to the reputed private college because thts what i earned on my own rather than asking dad to donate money like water.. One good thing, I could upgrade my branch to CS in this college if i score a well GPA (above 9) as first year is common here...my dad loved maths (topper at his time)...and i almost had a killing ego for being very good at maths so i figured i will do well in engg (its maths and phy only rit?) in my first year and get upgraded to CS...hence came firs year...i became the guy who stayed in his room..or in his class..studyin all the time...being made fun of for not enjoyinglife in one of the most chilled out campuses of india...but then i had self beleif..i have my own reason for doing this, isnt it?..then came first sem result ...reached 8 GPA..went into 2 sem thinking ..i need to fight a little more and became a proper tensed 'geek'...result..on the very day before my Maths II exam...i fall sick...vomitting...and finally giving the exam...it was all over... i knew it when i gave the paper..dreams shatterred...its not meant to be...results came... i flunked in it... GPA..6.7... , ask for revaluation (internals - 40/50..which is excellent in engg..but in the exam, missed by a wafer thin margin).. immeidately applied for retest..passed...but as per rules...given the lowest E grade...and so my CGPA went to around 7.8...time came for upgrades.. and it turns out, i can get into 14 of the 16 branches but for CS and ECE..i was in a branch tht was considered as the lowest..being mocked off as well in college...i can take 13 other branches..hell..they r not CS...so i sat one night going thru the course content of this branch and CS to my astonishment i cleared quite a few misconceptions..CS was filled with programming, mathematics, circuits etc..and this branch with graphics, photoshop, advanced C++ (including animation) etc.... I had applied to get upgraded in 5 other branches but thought..this branch right here, has atleast some connection with gaming while all others r fancied and tough to crack as well...next day morning on the last day...asked for withdrawing from upgrades and persist witht this so-called "underdog" branch..when i was home , i knew i had hurt my dad for gettinf flunked in maths...and i wud be hearing a lot from him..he just said.. "It's Ok" and i saw tht dissappontment in his eyes...

I went bak...1400 KMs from my home to the college..now with a point to prove...studied hard and at the same point again had to cope up with the jokes of being a geek...however this time around i secured in every semester above 9.3 and guess what ? with the best grade (A+) in maths..hence went till 6 semester in engg...

I was topping charts and then came placements season in 7 semester...got thru 2 comapnies...but then came the harsh reality...low packages...recessions etc etc....got a notion again...MBAs are paid highly in India...gave CAT without any decent preparation in 2011 with a really intelligent friend of mine...she got 99.XX and almost all good colleges...for which i was proud of her as she hadnt been placed till then but had been trying so hard for her placement and CAT at the same time..I howerver stayed at 89 and consloed myself...i did this without studying....then came some happiness...i finally got offerred for an all expenses paid 8 semester research scholarship in Germany...tht made my parents proud like anything..first kid from the family to go abraod..and tht too on scholarship!..Did my projeect..came back and was given gold medal for being the branch topper at the convocation and was with those really few friends of mine who actually cared (and most of whom were not even from my branch.. but became my flatmates..and thorughly enjoying with them my last 1.5 years of engg)..

CAT 2012

After a good German summer, the reality dawned upon me...enough of enjoyment dude...what about job now? I had given up one of the options already and the second one wanted me to join in september in ahmedabad where my aunt lived...my cousin..who was excellent in commerce and did her CFA as amongst toppers in ICFAI...she advised me..why dont u give CAT...i thought to myself..she must be kidding rit..CAT is not an option...i just returned in second week of june,,,and CAT will be in October..how much time do I have? besides I dont even know anything of commerce...but what other option do I have?..low paying IT job wont be what i want to get into (I am not a CS engg afterall and i dont know if i wud be able to excel there)...however during my stint at the college i ensured my interest of gaming was alive and participated in basic animation workshops of autodesk 3Ds max and other such advanced workshop...however it was there that i met a professor who taught us entrepreneurship development, who made me realise after looking at my interest in gaming to why not make an own enterprise in gaming? It just struck me...the positives..there have been so many children like me who would love to pursue this career...negatives...I dont have tht high technical knowledge, neither the resources nor the know how of how to do business as such?...realization...maybe its MBA afterall, I should go into International business or operations (being the only branch tht actually is universally applicable for any comapny and is involved in actual making and delivering of the product!)..maybe i can work in such a comapny...take some experience and at the same time get some capital as well!...but all this was too far ahead...its just 4 odd months and there are 2 lakh aspirants...i dont know if i can do this...so reluctantly, on my cousin's persuance...i joined this coaching institute which i hadnt even heard of...this institute ,was differrent..I had to give CAT my best shot however at the same point of time not only get engrossed in studies just like i did in my 2 sem in engg..so i had to be differrent as well...i wasnt knowing how to say it or tell it...but then during the orientation by COO of this institute...i just heard that word...i had to be "Street smart". I took a totally different outlool for CAT...while most people went after solving maximum questions...i went to knowing how to leave questions...(didnt have much time to prepare too right? ) i tried to understand tht at the end of the day, its not attempts that ,atter (it took me 15 online mocks to realise that) but actually the accuracy that matters. I tried to be hyper selective in studies...few topics are always less no matter how hard u prepare...5 major ones bein - numbers, PnC, Probability, Coordinate geometry and special coding patterns...similiarly verbal too required either very good grammer with lots of previous reading (which usually engineers dont posess)..like differences in advise,advice...ingenious,ingenuous etc ... or u should be good at LR and RCs...i knew reading novels is a luxury i cant afford and DI too had quite some logic driven caselets that are hard to crack...so what do i do..how can I be street smart enough here?? I decided... I shud ccover these topics superficially in quant (just basic formulas and already known techniques of remainder finding etc in numbers , patterns etc..because anywyas on that day , these clicking is anyone's guess)...and similiarly lay higher stress on parajumbles and do keep on readin 4-5 RCs a day ( coz they along with LR , which comes easy to engineers in most cases can make up approx 24 odd questions of section 2)...and as fro DI (which usually has 9 questions out of 30, I decided to do only first question of each set (making 3 questions) and just glance through other 6 questions and try only if i can create a proper link). The remaining quant , however, had to be thoruough..so i ensured i went through last papers and mocks i gave and kept myself reinforcing in time-work,TSD,Sequences, normal geometry,Quadratic,Inequalities etc. and these would make up approx 23 odd questions (including DI ones of course) and can happily glance thru other questions and try if i can do them or leave them peacefully.....

The D- DAy - 31 October...CAT 2012

So I had a perfect strategey..however CAT is known to throw surprises...this i learnt on the day of my paper...I went thru the quant section..and after 50 minutes of perseverance I realized.. I have just done 14 questions in quant section...so again i was faced with a dilemma...to got thru the guesses and do 5-6 more questions or to do 2- more questions and move to next section...my brain told former...and gut..the latter..(attempts vs accuracy...here we are again.. :P) so there i was , at the end of 1st section...i had made just 17 quant attempts ...then acme the verbal section and as always..owing to loads of RCs I had done...started off with 2 RCs..finished them off quite swiftly..and glanced thru grammer..answered 1-2 questions, went to LR...answered 2 sets but the third one was tricky...wasted 7-8 minutes and now there were choices...either the RC and 2 PJs left or this full logic set of 4 questions...time left- 8 minutes...fine..PJs started...completed both in 3 minutes...5 minutes for an entire RC!! This was gonna be challenging!..went thru...last 3 seconds...n finally attempted the last question in total disarray...came out realising I had made 24 attempts in verbal which seemed OK...however...then came the discussions..and it turned out everyone was happy..and i was hearing people saying they had made 55 , 53 ..etc attempts in my ears...i realized...my attempts ..17 + 24 = 41!!! So CAT will test my underlying principle beleif of Accuracy over attempts...and I had the bad feeling..I might have been wrong all along..

Results - 10th January 2013

There had been other exams and everything else I gave... i was prepared for the worse...what more could I have done with less than 4 months of preparation, I was atleast smart (or so I thought)...whatever it may be...I will accept it...I gave it my best shot..5 AM in the morning (i had slept at 2 becaus of anticipation) i get up by messages of people askin my results in CAT...and then keyed in the loogin at prometric - result -

Verbal - 98.56,

quant - 95.66

overall - 98.36

Was i amazed? U bet I was! Was it luck ? maybe ...Did my approach work? (Hell yeah!  )

I was finally happy...this was amongst the most clinical preparations I had made.. I knew battle is far from over...thereare GDs n PIs n all...I also got thru NMAT with 211 score...SNAP hopwever was at 93.56...start the GD prep ..but that story is for some other time...as of now.. converts include

IIM KASHIPUR,VGSOM IIT Kgp ,DoMS IIT chennai, IMT G, TAPMI,SIBM-B,SSBM,LBS (fin), NIRMA,NMIMS (BM,CM,bang,Hyd but NOT core)...got waitlisted in NITIE(difficult to convert though),SIIB and still expecting results of - baby IIMs, IITs (except mum)

I dont know if this would help anyone, I dont know if MBA would help me later in my goal itself!.. however, i applaud ur patience for actually going thru this all but the only thing that i can tell as far as CAT is concerned is..guys its not that tough to clear cat..u only need to identify ur strengths and WEAKNSESSES as well (so that u can leave those questions just like there a few deliveries to be left alone in cricket)...I hope the future test takers excel in the exam (however, CAT is just the first step..but as the say "well begun is half done!")..I do owe my success to my parents who today are very proud of me , my friends at this institute who were there all the time besides me and worked for strainght long hours of morning 9 Am to evening 6 PM apart from our own individual studies...I am satisified with what I did..and once again sorry for such a lengthy post.. :P, I just hope it helps...and do give me ur opinions too

- hritik.sharma

  • 23 Likes   7 Comments
  • Best of luck :smiley:. 10 Apr.
  • Thanks @foadbear !!. 10 Apr.

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