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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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January to June : From being nowhere - to a place I hadn't imagined in my wildest of dreams!!

It was the third year of my engineering. I was still undecided about my career and did not knew what I actually wanted to do with my life. Also, was sure of not getting an on-campus job owing to my wonderful acads:

10th : 91.8

12th : 67.8

B.Tech : 62.7 with a back thrown in as well

Being from a core branch like Electrical, almost 80% of the Junta was opting for GATE. The coaching for the GATE exams started in June, with almost 5-6 hour classes being held daily. In comparison, the nearby TIME centre was going to start classes for CAT with alternate days 2-hour classes. Needless to say, that was it! The decision was made purely keeping in mind the convenience and the ease of going to the classes! Also, I had registered for CAT (while I was in my 3rd year) for testing the unchartered territories of MBA entrance examinations. The result was nowhere near to what I had expected:

CAT Oct 2013 : 88.xx %ile

I became a bit over-confident. I was sure of scoring 95 %ile in the next CAT exam. IMT-G was my dream college (my hometown being Ghaziabad). The next year I started skipping classes, missed (or didn't want to give) all but two of the AIMCATs. Performance in those two was dismal : 85 %ile and 67 %ile. I didn't give the remaining mocks, being afraid of the fact that I would touch new lows. With 2 months remaining, I became  much more serious in my preparation : gave all the sectional tests, and hoping against hope that I would touch that magical figure of 95 which would  fetch me a call from IMT-G. The CAT 2015 exam went well : attempted around 65 questions. All the score predictors were indicating 97-98 percentile. I was happy. Then came the result, again nowhere near to what I had expected:

CAT Nov 2014 : 89.xx %ile

All of my dreams were shattered. Didn't want to give any more exams. Meanwhile, my self esteem was also on an all-time low after being rejected by companies during on campus placements. I was rejected 5 times in total (including TCS two times!!, AQ, Honda Motors, Sterlite). Wasn't even allowed to sit for Wipro, Tata Chemicals, etc. owing to my 62.7% marks in B.Tech. I had also registered for other exams such as XAT, SNAP, etc.

Didn't want to give XAT (the toughest of all). However, my mother insisted and said to not miss any exam. Gave XAT with nothing on my mind. Attempted the paper randomly. Didn't think twice before answering any question. Marked the answers even if I was 20% sure . Heck I even correctly attempted a probability question ( a topic which I hadn't touched since my IIT preparation days). The Result, again, nowhere near to what I had expected :

XAT 2015 : 98.97 %ile : astonished:

I didn't knew if it was for real or not. I had all three calls : BM, HRM and GMBA. This was the period in my life (from the day of the result until my GD/PI) during which I gave my all. I knew I could not afford to lose now. Gave both the GDPIs. They went well. In both the PIs, the interviewers were all along pulling my leg and asking questions about my low grads and 12th marks. However, I was able to somehow convince them otherwise . I was sure of a convert, esp. in HRM, as that interview had went exceptionally well (compared to my last 5-6 interviews). The final result:

REJECT in All Three Programs

I was back to square-one. Smoked around  15-20 cigarettes that day in my hostel room. Later that evening, things took  a quick turn and XL declared the published results as void, owing to some errors on their part. The updated results were to come within 2-3 days. This time though, I did not have any expectations. Was prepared to handle rejects in all three again. However to my surprise, on the result day, there was some encouragement for me  as I was waitlisted in all three programs (more than 200 in all three). I was satisfied with myself for coming so close to a coveted seat in one of the best B-Schools in the country.  One and half months of waiting, and here I am thanking all those 288 people who have decided to pursue their dreams elsewhere.  

Finally converted HRM at XLRI : A journey that started in January ends on a sweet note in June!

PS. : Never ever miss an Exam (I even gave GATE 2015 !! didn't qualify though )

  • 50 Likes   22 Comments
  • Congratulations! :grin: Felt happy reading this post.. 20 Aug.
  • @hazy_eyednomore thanks!!. 01 Sep.
@hazy_eyednomore 11


Felt happy reading this post.

First attempt and may be the last attempt of a GEM

Disclaimer 1: If you are expecting an IIM or a 99+ percentile then this post is not for you

Disclaimer 2: A pretty long post so read it at your own peril


I am basically from a middle class family from Hyderabad who started off by having an ambition of getting into Armed Forces but changed my mind and ended up doing engineering in a private college in my city itself. My acads are as follows: Xth: 89% XII: 94% Engineering: 78%. I was an introvert and an under achiever right from my childhood . I did not even fall into the category of an IIT aspirant. After my 12th I wanted to get into Armed forces and even cleared the SSB interview for the same. During the course of my assessment at SSB I realized that I do not belong there and hence joined an engineering college.But this interview gave me a confidence that I can compete after all.

During the course of my engineering I went with the crowd and wanted to go abroad for masters. My dad kept insisting me to prepare for cat but I never listened to him . I ended up taking GRE coaching but I never gave that exam. Being one of the better colleges in my state I always banked on getting a good job. Placement season started and I was upbeat thinking I would get any job as I cleared "THE SSB". It was then reality struck me and I couldn't clear the first round itself which was the aptitude test. I was disappointed and did not sit for the next two companies. It was then I sat for Capgemini and I cleared that exam and eventually the interview. I again sat for Wells Fargo and despite clearing the written test I was not allowed to sit for the interview as I was not present when results were announced. I was just heart broken as it was a job which I really wanted. The package was good as well. I just knew I could achieve more.

The dreaded post engineering phase:

I was into teaching from engineering itself as my dad runs a coaching institute. But I decided to take up the job offer I had and joined capgemini. It was an eventful month after joining as I had made very good friends. But the profile which I got pushed me to the verge of exit. And finally that day came where I resigned just after a month or so. I had no clue about what to do and did not even apply for jobs after that. It was then I decided that I should be helping my father in business. It was not that I was new to it but teaching was not what I had planned for. But it was more of a hobby which turned out to be a full time experience for me.I loved teaching and I also joined an engineering and a pharma college as a part time Maths teacher. I also started helping my dad in administrative activities. It was then I decided that I need an MBA to improve my career prospects. Hailing from a middle class business family I couldn't bank on teaching as my future. I was also following @jay3421 who insisted me to write CAT and other exams for MBA. It was a push I needed from someone as I had no idea about what is in store for these exams. It was then I joined TIME Classes and enrolled for mocks from CL as well. I started giving AIMCATS (pretty aimlessly) . I used to score 90-95%ile but never actually analyzed them. Eventually my scores dropped horribly and after getting a 98%ile I got into 50ish%ile. Then I realized that I should analyze aimcats thoroughly. I focused more on accuracy and compromised on speed (Mistake No 1: I couldn't strike a perfect balance between speed and accuracy which came on to haunt me on the D-day). I completely ignored CL mocks which I enrolled for and did not even opt for SIM CATS (Mistake No 2: More mocks implies more practice and I failed to recognize this).This classes on weekends my teaching and prep went on and here came BOMBSHELL 1: CAT PATTERN CHANGED. It was more questions and less time for each question compared to the previous pattern. It came on as a rude shock to me and I was not at all prepared for this twist. I started practicing new pattern mocks but never actually got a grip of the pattern. It was not until a month before cat where I went on problem solving spree where I solved atleast 50 questions of quant and some passages . I also made sure to solve atleast 3-4 sectional tests . I wish I could have done that atleast a couple of months prior to that. Nobody was actually sure of what to expect . Here comes Mistake No 3: On the insistence  of another good friend of mine I enrolled for Bank PO Exam IBPS. This was the first exam of the season and I thought this exam would boost my confidence if done well and if I clear this exam then I would have a good back up in hand as well . I appeared for this exam and came out attempting close to 120 questions which was more than decent according to the analysis from various websites.I was pretty confident of clearing all the sectional cutoffs and was upbeat about GK sectional cutoff as well. GK has always been my nemesis . After this exam, D-Day of Cat started approaching and I continued my prep . I was slotted in the 3rd slot and there was another disadvantage in the sense we had iift exam the very next day. First and Second slot were done with their exam and their feedback was that it was a very easy paper. I didnt know whether to modify my strategy in the last week or whether to prep for IIFT . I ended up doing neither of the both and continued to give online sectional tests and practice questions from the mocks. I was mentally gearing up for the exam and it was then BOMBSHELL 2 hit me real hard. The day before my cat exam IBPS results came out and I did not clear the exam. My friend managed to clear and when I logged in to PG guys with less attempts also managed to clear. What a time to release results! Scores were not mentioned. It just said I was rejected. I started doubting myself . Then came the D-Day. I somehow dragged myself into the exam and all the prep and motivation in  me took a beating because of the D-day. Somehow I completed the exam with around 58-60 attempts. Next up was IIFT. After coming back home from the CAT exam center I read a post on PG saying that IBPS uploaded marks of unqualified candidates. I logged on and to my disbelief I flunked the exam because of 1 mark in Gk section ! You heard that right 1 mark ! My overall score was 95 which was very decent.The next day again I was not in the right frame of mind to write a competitive exam . Still I gave that exam and walked out of the exam hall. I came back home and I was not very upbeat about the result ( I left a pretty easy RC section which was for 15 marks). I thought this was the end of road for me this season. Seeing attempts on PG i was not upbeat about CAT as well. Then my parents insisted me to write GRE exam. So I gave GRE and toefl exams and managed to score decently . GRE was again an exam where I could have done better but again I could just not get the underachiever tag of my back. It was then time for BOMBSHELL 3: IIFT results were out and as expected I could't make it to the list. My friend again managed to clear that exam as well and made it to the interviews.( She went on to clear the interview and is now joining IIFT Delhi). I was disappointed with my result and I almost gave up on doing an MBA. It was the ultimate low in my life . That was not it there came BOMBSHELL 4:CAT results! ( Verbal-55.XX%ile) . GAME OVER!  Verbal was one section I banked on and getting 55%ile was something I couldn't digest. Then I continued to prepare applying for universities abroad. Few days after that IIFT released marks and when I opened the result page I was in for another shock (OVERALL- 45.XX%ile). Like seriously ? Even my worst AIMCAT performance was 70ish. I just couldn't believe what was going on with me. Like scoring worse than mocks? I knew I was just screwing up with my life. I know that I am a temperamental guy who sometimes loses the plot but this was getting ridiculous day by day.Then I sat and told my self that I have to give a good fight for XAT exam. I knew I couldn't expect a 99ish percentile with my current state of mind . I then opted for SIM TAKE HOME XAT mocks . I solved few of them which gave me a good idea about the pattern of the exam. I knew this was the last exam of the season and I have to bow out in a positive way. There was more pressure on me to perform (not from my parents or friends but it was all about pride now). Then came the exam day. The exam was a very difficult one (which is typical of XAT) . I managed to attempt only a handful of questions and I came back home and checked the key. I thought fine ! I would get an 80ish percentile which will atleast boost my morale. Then came XLRI shortlist. To my shock I was shortlisted for HRM and GMBA program. I just couldn't believe it. I was like may be I scored 90%ile and just managed to sneak through the cutoffs. Then XAT scorecards were out (Overall: 94.xx%ile Verbal: 93%ile). I know it is not as good as a 99ish percentile. But from 45%ile in one of the exams and a nighmarish verbal in another it was one hell of a comeback. I knew with this percentile it would be difficult to convert XLRI, but getting a call from XLRI was itself an achievement. But i thought I would give it my all for interviews. XIMB shortlist was out immediately then and I got a call from that as well. I managed a call from IMT ghaziabad too. Suddenly I thought Hang on ! I can actually get into a good B School. I prepared decently for the GD WAT PI and I wanted to make these calls count. Eventually interview season started with IMT where I managed to perform decently . Then came XLRI interviews where my GD-PI performance was actually good. But at the back of my mind I knew that with 65% weightage given to XAT score I might miss the final list. Then came the XIMB interview which was one of the most smooth interviews which I have ever come across. That interview was oriented around entrepreneurship and I loved that topic. Then came IMT ghaziabad results: CONVERT. I was relieved more that anything as I thought there is something I achieved despite having an horrible start. Then came XIMB results : CONVERT again! This time I was very happy because something which went so smooth ended up in a smooth way as well . (surprisingly LOL!). Now I was happy that I need not go abroad and I can actually pursue MBA from a decent college. Then came the mighty XLRI results :A straight Reject. I was disappointed that i couldn't get through but after seeing so many lows in the season I was at least happy that I made it to the interview atleast. I found solace there . My parents and my well wishers were happy that I did not give up and managed to secure a seat in decent B-school. So finally as I am writing this I am preparing myself to join Xavier Institute Of Management- Bhubaneswar.

Few take aways from my journey: 1.The most important thing for faring well in any exam is the mindset. You might score well in as many mocks you write but your focus in the final exam matters.

2. Practice , Perseverance and Patience are very much important . I personally lacked at some of these and hence couldn't make it to the IIMs

3. Not getting into top B schools is not the end of the road and life gives you enough chances to make it big.

4. Always the start is very important. Make sure you do well in the very first exam of the season. It will set the tone for other exams

5. GD/PI is a complete ball game! You might have done brilliantly in written test but you might still not get through. College to college criteria varies so make sure your research is complete.

PS: Would like to thank PG and this motivational thread which kept me going.

PPS: Sorry if there are any grammatical mistakes

Signing off,

Yasasvi Santosh 


BM : 2015-17

  • 30 Likes   9 Comments
  • @foadbear thanks a lot :grin:. 12 Jun.
  • An ordinary story but still can feel each and every bit o.... 22 Jun.
The best is yet to come... 
siddhant mohanty @siddhantm 822

An ordinary story but still can feel each and every bit of it , the hardwork , the rejects but yaah , finally the feeling of converting XIMB/IMT . Both are good colleges . Do well broda..good luck!!

'It's not always about what you get in life , its always about what you make out of the minimal thing that you get in life '

PS : Recently two of my friends got placed in GoldmanSachs (Finance) .One was frm MDI and other from XIMB (same package).  

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going ..

Ahh, I so much wanted to write on this thread. Finally, I am writing it.

A small background

I have been a fairly good student from my childhood days. Managed to perform decently in my 10th and 12th. I never considered myself being capable of cracking IITJEE, so did not have much expectations from that exam. Infact being from a small town, aspirations were moderate compared to what they are now. My parents and even I was expecting okyaish ranks in WBJEE and AIEEE exams. Fortunately and surprisingly, the ranks I achieved were nowhere close to what I expected. They were actually much better.

Anyways, I was always afraid to leave my home for higher studies. So, I gave up many of the NIT calls and decided to join BESU,Shibpur(college in West Bengal). I thoroughly enjoyed my 4 years here while maintaining my academics simultaneously. At that time, my target was to just land up whatever job I can through my college placements. Idea of appearing for CAT and GATE never occurred to me. In fact, I used to get annoyed with my friends appearing for CAT during college days thinking why did they come to engineering for. Little did I know that few years down the line, CAT would become my obsession and the most important thing in life.

I got placed in Nomura from BESU and came to Mumbai in 2011.

Frustration begins and then dilemma ............

The initial few months at Nomura were very good. Obviously, salary came at the end of every month and I could spend them the way I liked. And secondly, it was Mumbai. So many things to enjoy. But after few months, I got bored of my work. I was in a technical support role and got bored of doing the same things day after day. Suddenly, I started feeling that I can't continue in this way. I had to do bigger things. Here came the dilemma. As said before, I was not very much into CAT like stuffs. So, first I decided to appear for GATE. But then I saw all 3 of my flatmates were appearing for CAT. After a lot of thinking, I decided to go for CAT. But I didn't appear for CAT in 2011 as I had no preparation.

Meanwhile, two of my roommates( let's call them Mr. A and Mr. B) fared very well in CAT while the 3rd one(Mr C) did not fare as per expectations. One of the two got into IIM Ahmedabad while the other go into MDI.

CAT journey starts (2012)

I started preparing for CAT from the middle of 2012. I took up the TIME coaching classes and mock tests. Initially, I used to attend the classes regularly. But later, I stopped attending as I felt that they were not very helpful, plus I felt very lazy to go to classes during weekends after working throughout the week.

I used to have percentile in the mid 90s in my mocks. One thing that I noted inspite of low percentiles was that I could solve tricky and tough questions from QA. Problem was that speed was not my forte at that time. Secondly, something that i realised later was that I put too much effort reading concepts rather than giving mocks due to which my speed continued to remain low and percentile in the mid 90s.

One month prior to D-day, I started improving my speed and started using various techniques to solve quicker including option elimination and blah blah ( we know what are those ). And the result started showing it. I started getting 98+ percentiles in QA. VA remained on the lower side though. During my entire mock season, the highest percentile that I achieved was 96.XX

D-Day 2012

Fortunately, I was not at all tensed on D-Day. I actually did not have much to lose and hence was very relaxed. Paper went quite smooth and i attempted around 20 questions in QA and 24 in VA. Accuracy was always my forte. So, I was not very sad with my low attempts.

Result - QA - 91.72 , VA - 97.82, OA - 97.16

Firstly, I was very happy with the results as I got a higher percentile than any of the mocks I have given and frankly I did not expect above 95. But getting a low percentile in QA actually hurt me a bit. I realised that the number of attempts were quite low and I was too conservative in the exam. I should have been a bit more aggressive. I appeared for XAT as well and got 97.06 but no call for XLRI.

Meanwhile, I got shortlisted for IIM Indore SPJIMR and new IIMs. I was ecstatic when I saw that i got shortlisted for IIM Indore. I skipped new IIMs as I the interview clashed SPJIMR interviews.

Finally, I converted IIM Indore. God, I was so ecstatic. I was dancing around with happiness. The days after converting IIM Indore were some of the happiest days of my life. I gave resignation at my office ( wanted to do this thing so so much ). Slowly, the happiness sunk in.

Now came a very strange period. Remember Mr. C I was talking about. This was his 3rd attempt. He converted IIM A and XLRI. He was a very good friend of mine and I was very happy for him. But personally, I felt that I am destined for bigger things in life. This was only the 1st attempt. I started fearing that I may always regret that I could have performed better if I attempted one more time ( like Mr. C). And I knew I could as my QA percentile were low as compared to what I felt I could achieve.

And to everyone's surprise, I withdrew my offer from IIM Indore and took my resignation back. It was a big risk I was taking as we all now that CAT is such an unpredicatable exam.

CAT 2013 journey

This year, I decided to focus purely on giving mocks. I enrolled myself for TIME and CL mocks. The first few mocks made me so happy. I started acing in the 98s and 99s regularly especially in QA. I felt confident and satisfied that I did the right thing by deciding to appear for CAT again. Meanwhile, there was a new development in my life. I went into a relationship. Everything was feeling so good. Life was awesome. Around 1-2 months prior to D-day, I started acing 99s regularly. I was confident of getting 99+ in CAT (though never over-confident).

D-Day 2013

This time I was a bit tensed. Because, I had many things to lose if exam did not go well. Exam went quite good. I attempted 24 and 24 in each section. I was satisfied as my accuracy has always been good.

Result: QA - 99.59, VA - 50.XX , OA - 94.25

At first, I could not believe my eyes when I saw my results. Slowly, the nightmare started becoming a reality. I thought, WHAT ???? What the hell happened with my VA scores. Later on I saw that a person who did not attempt any question got 55 percentile meaning I got negative marks. If fact, I observed that similar discrepancy happened with quite a few. I was just distraught after this. I kept on thinking why I did not join IIM I the previous year. Life suddenly started looking like a curse.

Meanwhile my XAT scores were not good as well and I got something around 95.25. Though I got shortlisted for IIFT interviews, I skipped it as I was very low on confidence after my CAT debacle and did not want to see more failures( i felt that i would not perform good in IIFT PI though PIs have been my strong points).

I almost decided to quit. Just that somehow my father motivated me to appear for it one more time. He said hardwork never goes unrewarded.

CAT 2014 journey

This time, I gave everything. I appeared for as many mocks as possible and got upto 99.9X in one-two cases. Though, I averaged around 98.5. I worked even harder this year. Adding to that, workload at office was quite high. And most painfully, my relationship was not going very good. I used to take out my frustrations at my beloved. I knew I was doing wrong but somehow could not control myself. I just kept on thinking about CAT . I used to devote very little time to my partner. Behaving in a matured way, she tolerated all my whimses and bad behavior and asked me to just focus on my studies and not think about her. Talk about true love and here is a perfect example :). Though my mocks were going quite good, but the debacle of previous year and the extreme pressure of the fact that this was my last chance did not allow me to go the D-Day on a high note of confidence.

D-Day 2014

To everyone's surprise, the paper was very very easy. Frankly, I did not expect it to be so easy. I was averaging around 55 attempts with a very high accuracy in my mocks. On D-Day, I attempted 73. In fact after attempting 40 questions in QA, I relaxed a bit in VA and attempted the questions conservatively whereas I should have been more aggressive ( I realised this later when I saw celestial number of attempts from others ). I was just rooting on my accuracy to save me. Result: QA - 99.15, VA - 96.69, OA - 99.19

My accuracy actually saved me. Going by the number of attempts of the 99 percentilers, 72 was quite low. I got calls from IIM B, L , K,I,S and new IIMs

Meanwhile XAT went good as well and scored 99.46 %ile and got calls from XLRI. Interviews were always my strong points. So, I knew this year would finally be my year. I appeared only for IIM B, IIM L and XLRI-BM as I was only targetting these 3. IIM L went okayish while B and XL went good. First I converted XL. God, I was so so happy. I was crying over the phone with my girlfriend. After all these years, I managed to convert one of the top 5 B-schools. Icing on the cake came in the form of IIM B convert. I could not believe that I converted one of the holy trinity. Something, that I have been dreaming for so so long. And most importantly, my decision to not join IIM Indore two years back was vindicated ( though IIM I will always be special to me , it being my first convert). I felt like a satisfied soul. My mother cried the day I converted IIM B and so did my girlfriend as well. I thanked my dad for motivating me 1 year back to appear for CAT one more time.

So here I am, finally going to realize my dream of studying in one of the colleges among the holy trinity.

And what did I learn. I learnt that fruits of hardwork may be delayed, but they can never be denied.

  • 62 Likes   15 Comments
  • @ashish2292 Thanks Ashish. 11 Jun.
  • My personal favorite article on this page. 20 Jun.
DJ WALEY BABU @laggayiyaar 411

My personal favorite article on this page

Flashes (Part 2)

Midnight Ruminations (Part 1): http://www.pagalguy.com/discussions/all-i-wanted-to-speak-about-cat-25002933/34089336

The story is the same as faced by most of the students in India. Plus Two, no idea what to do, tanked the JEE, tanked the AIEEE, went to Manipal hoping to be a Bond and fared much less than any self-respecting Bond would. I remember getting backs (failing subjects) in the initial semesters and not knowing what to do about it at home. My parents are generally my most staunch defenders. They have always defended their son and seen him shine. But even they were flabbergasted. Mediocre result was a given. All I could do is pray for no backs. Basically, I faced the same situation of non-identity that the best and worst do. My mistake was- I failed to apply myself and make amends.

How do you completely destroy yourself? The most common answers will be in love, in smoking and drinking or in drugs. I disagree completely. Excess of anything destroys you right? Wrong.

The only way you can completely destroy yourself is when you start to accept that you are only good enough to be where you are currently. Accepting mediocrity is the surest suicide. I came damn close.

There are 2 things that had a major impact on me. That changed my outlook.

December 2012 - I land home after another average semester. For the first time ever, only dad comes to pick me up. In the car, he reveals to me that mom has cancer and breaks down. Me? I am stunned.

The cancer could be recovered. After the initial anxiety, we learned to deal with it somewhat. We still never let mom do any major task. She was undergoing her chemotherapy sessions and some days were tougher on her than the others. But my mom was a fighter. She never let us approach anything negatively. Looking at her hustle and bustle around the house, you could have been forgiven for thinking everything was perfect. Even in the hospital, people were flabbergasted she took it so well and asked her to write a book on positive thinking! She taught me to fight against the odds. I promised to never fail again.

May 2013 - I had improved somewhat but still felt I was in that rut. This self-assured Doctorate student from IIM Calcutta comes home. He is from Dad's company. He talks to me a bit. The next day he tells Dad I am meant for much much more than what is being doled out to me!

This might sound like idle praise to some of you but to me, it meant the WHOLE FREAKING WORLD. For someone who did not even know if he would get placed at all, praise was hard to come by. Parents also seemed to have accepted my condition. And then viola, he came and CHANGED everything.

Suddenly, I wanted to be what HE saw me as. Suddenly, I was the guy who didn't want to prove his future mentor wrong. That day I started studying for CAT 2013.

Ps - Next post has CAT 13 details. Sorry if I am going slow. I don't want to make these posts tedious reads.

*Midnight Ruminations (Part 1)* This... - @aman_bedi on 01 Jun '15 - PaGaLGuY
*Midnight Ruminations (Part 1)* This... - @aman_bedi on 01 Jun '15 - PaGaLGuY
This page has success stories. People here inspire me. This forum is uplifting. Right now, while I sit here banging the keyboard furiously, there are certain lessons I recollect having learned. These lessons are/were a direct result of the last years of preparation, of moulding, of having people to discuss with and of self-realization.


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  • https://examsteam.slack.com join this group. 20 Aug.
  • bhakk sala, ee to bollywood se bhi jada suspense rakhis h.... 20 Aug.
CAT 14 - 99.68 | Converts - C(WL-4 ),FMS,MDI,S,Rohtak,Kashipur | AIWTSAC - http://www.pagalguy.com/discussions/all-i-wanted-to-speak-about-cat-25002933/34089336
Couch Potato @insaneniraj666 134

bhakk sala, ee to bollywood se bhi jada suspense rakhis hai

4 years, 4 attempts. Error 404 - IIM not found

Posting on this thread was long awaited. Whether I do justice to it or not, is for you to judge.

A bit of background - I have always been an average, non-phodu student. And I dreaded Maths. I dropped a year and still could not crack any IIT or NIT. Needless to say, this was the perfect recipe for being treated as shit amongst friends and relatives. It was frustrating, to say the least. To make things worse, I stayed just 100 metres away from a top NIT. To look at it every day, to aspire and then to finally realize you are far below their standards is not exactly an uplifting feeling.

I just didn't want to study in an engineering college in my state (most of them concentrated in only one city) and be around 'friends' and relatives again. I chose a college far away, in an unheard of place called Shimoga. I deleted my Orkut (yes, Orkut) account. I wanted no contact. Even if I came home on a semester break, I met very few people. Everyone else seemed to do better than me and without me.

I had studied a bit seriously in the dropped year and this came in handy during engineering. Also, the competition in the college was just average. It was not too tough to take things lightly and still end up in the top 3 or even at the top. I hardly took the achievements seriously. There was no pride in being amongst the best there. The regret of not making it to a top college always remained.

It was in the 7th semester that I thought I had a chance to make things right. I had this plan- "Make it to an IIM. Any God damned one. I don't care if it is old or new or a baby one."

The first attempt (CAT 2011-  83.xx %ile, XAT 2012 - 77.XX)

It would be unfair to say that I was just testing the waters. I was serious. And I wasn't good enough, again.

Perhaps, the average competition in my college had made me forget that there were other brains in the country and many of them were better than mine. I was barely able to complete the syllabus and had taken 1-2 mocks. I failed to gauge the level of competition and hence, the pathetic score. Also, quant was a major cause for concern. Memories of 12th came back to haunt me. I thought I tried better than my scores suggested. But then, those thoughts don't matter.

The second attempt - I pushed harder.

I was fresh into a job that I hated from day one. I tried harder than the last year. I took a few mocks. My quant skills were improving. But, my mock scores were in the range of 85-90 %ile, no matter how hard I tried. The end result-  CAT 2012 - 93.47 %ile. I didn't take any other exam like XAT etc. I just wanted any damn IIM, remember? The result was not good enough, again. And the taunts returned. A few so-called-friends said, "jab aukaat nahin hai toh kyun itna udte ho?"

The third attempt (CAT 2013)- perhaps, the most important one.

It was for this attempt that I worked the hardest. I barely took 3-4 days off after the CAT 2012 results. I made a study plan and vowed to stick to it.

The plan was -

Weekdays - 4+1 hrs.

10 mins - plan topics for the day

20 mins - Speed Enhancement Tests

30 mins - Reading Comprehension

2 hrs - Quant and Data Interpretation

30 mins- Word meanings

30 mins - The Hindu editorial

1 hr (optional)- Quant and Data Interpretation again if I get the time.

The next day - just replace 2hrs of QA & DI with VA & LR. Rest remains same.

Weekends - 8+2 hrs

10 mins - plan topics for the day

20 mins - Speed Enhancement Tests

30 mins - Reading Comprehension

6 hrs - Revisit areas that need practice. Study weak areas in QA/DI/VA/LR 

30 mins- Word meanings

30 mins - The Hindu editorial

2 hrs (optional) - Solve problems marked as important / difficult if I get the time

I made every effort to stick to the above plan. I used a stopwatch on my cell phone to keep track of the time spent on each activity. When the stopwatch ran, I had to concentrate only on studies. If I got a phone call, got up to drink water, or a loo break (whatever) , I stopped the stopwatch and did those. Stopwatch resumed when I was back to my books.  It became a habit after a few days. My flatmate wondered why I had a stopwatch on my phone screen all the time  

I have lost count of the number of parties and outings I skipped in order to stick to the 4+1/8+1 plan.  My social life diminished to almost zero. I took up a flat very near to office. The area was a bit more expensive, but it took me just 5 mins to reach office. I talked to very few people at office. Any free time I got, I utilized. While my boss and colleagues took the 1 hr lunch + sutta break, I gobbled up my lunch in 15 mins. That way I could pull out the stopwatch and get 30mins before they returned. Also, I hardly took any break. When at office, I replaced my cigarettes with nicotine chewing gums. Not as much fun, but they save time. The shops were not very near to the SEZ and a sutta break took at least 30mins. All I wanted was to finish off my work ASAP and get around 30-60 additional minutes to study at office. I still remember the day when there was a function at office and everyone was there, enjoying. I was holed up in my cubicle completing my work. Thereafter, I found my way to the vacant library. I told to myself all this was going to count someday.

I also cut down on the number of minutes spent on talking to my gf. I made it a habit to mail her the daily status report of whatever I had studied the day before. Damn, even my manager asked for a weekly report, not a daily one   A long distance relationship is not exactly fun, but, I made it worse.  Nevertheless, she has been my pillar of strength. Her constant support and criticism made it sure that I stayed on track.

Study->Work at office->Sleep->Repeat -  this summed up my life.

It was not always possible to put in 4+1 hrs on weekdays and 8+2 hrs on weekends. It was taxing, to say the least and sometimes the vella instincts took over. But, I had a pretty decent 70% success rate, i.e. 7 days out of 10 I was able to stick to the schedule. The rest 3 days, I missed it by a margin - either small or huge. But, there was no single day when I hadn't touched the books. The 1-2  optional hrs made me push my limits. There was hardly any day when I slept thinking that I was done for the day. Usually, it went like this - plan for a 20 min nap -> end up sleeping for 2 hrs -> study for 40-60mins -> sleep again.

In a few months, the mocks scores started improving. I was scoring in the range of 95-98%ile.

39 days to the C-DAY - it gets all messed up.

The day was Friday, the 13th (of September). I met a freak bike accident. I had a bad ligament tear on my waist and a gaping hole in my knee. It left me completely bed ridden. No MBA this season, I thought.

But then, my gf was not sure if she could wait that long. She is from an orthodox South Indian family where they like to marry off girls (and boys) early. Waiting for me to complete my MBA was difficult, but adding an extra year to that was nothing short of rebellion for her. The MBA had to be done, this season. I had no other option.

I had my laptop  brought to the hospital bed.  I could not get up and sit upright. Having a man lying down whole day with a laptop on his chest was quite a sight for many The good thing was I didn't have to go to office. So, I had a bit more time. I made a few changes to the study plan. I just analysed mocks. I aimed to be done studying for the day before 6pm. It was the time when the nurses came for a visit. Having someone put their fingers inside your knee required some heavy doses of painkillers thereafter. (For some freaking reason they didn't think it proper to administer a painkiller prior to the procedure). The pain and induced sleep made it difficult to concentrate on anything.

By two weeks, it was clear that there was no way I could nail CAT from a hospital bed. My mock scores dipped. They were in the range of 88-92%ile now. Against all medical advice, I decided to move to home. I cut down heavily on painkillers and had my doctor prescribe a less sleep inducing one. I told myself, "It is just an orthopaedic problem. I am not suffering from Cancer or AIDS. A bit of rest and I will do just fine." It was a bit more painful at home, but a lot quieter. I could study and take mocks in peace.

A week before the C-Day

I could barely walk, but the mocks scores were on an all time high. I had scored 97-98+ in the last few mocks. I had spent much of the last month just taking and analyzing mocks. I decided not to take mocks any more. I just analyzed past mocks and brushed up the equations.

The C-Day

I came out of the examination hall feeling I should have done 3-4 questions more in each section. I didn't feel it went as well as I had expected.

As nothing could be done about CAT now, I thought about giving XAT a serious try. I solved and analyzed all available mock papers I could lay my hands on. The XAT went reasonably well. I knew I had done the best I could have.

The results and calls -

The results started pouring in. CAT was 97.11%ile. I got calls from the new IIMs. Finally a call from IIMs I thought. 

XAT was 99.88%ile. Got calls from XLRI-BM and HRM. I hadn't applied to any other institute.

The XAT score worked wonders to boost up my spirits. I was slowly, but surely getting the feeling that I can make it to top institutes. I had read @Zzeke's  post before. I knew what it took to get into XL. To put it shortly and honestly, I can say I tried just as hard.

The interviews

The first interview was XL-HRM followed by XL-BM 3 days later. The interview centre was XLRI, Jamshedpur. I fell in love with the place. The whole campus had a welcoming air to it. I was floored by the humility of a few people I met there. You never feel it is the place of the arrogant elites. That day, I just knew I wanted to be in one of the top institutes - either old IIMs or others in the top 10.

The HRM interview was chaleble types. There were plenty of highs and lows. I was banking on my XAT score to see me through.

The BM interview was cool. There were no low moments and I was able to answer almost every question, most of them technical. I had a hint of doubt about a question which was opinion based - something related to AAP and its policies. Rest all was cool. I was confident of converting the call, though I didn't say that to anyone who asked.

The next interview was for the new IIMs. They blasted me for everything, ranging from acads to CAT%ile to my work ex, to choosing Bangalore as the interview centre and almost everything under the Sun. According to them, I was good, but not good enough for their standards. I tried to handle the stress interview the best way I could. I put up a smile and defended my position calmly.

At the end of it, when I came out of the interview room, I could barely suppress my anger. I cursed under my breath, removed my tie, shoved it into my bag and walked out with a whole tray of biscuits wrapped in a napkin. I hope they brought another tray for the participants waiting for their interviews  

The Results:

It was my flatmate's birthday. I was just going out to get some booze when someone in XL Whatsapp group pinged that the results were out. I felt a chill down my spine. I checked the results -

XL - HRM - Straight Reject. I expected a waitlist at least. But, never mind.

XL - BM - Straight Reject. WTF?

I refreshed the page a few times, but the result was the same. I tried to keep my cool and went out to bring the booze. As I rode the bike, I ran the interview over and over again in my head. All the sacrifices I made, all the hard work I put in, I remembered everything. I had to stop the bike by the side of the road, just to cry. I do give the bullshit about "men don't cry" but when the moment came, I found myself no stronger. I called up my gf. The call went unanswered. I called up my father - unanswered. I hadn't cried in a very long time and now, how badly I needed a shoulder to cry upon. To this day I don't know what more I could have done in that interview. XL messed up the results this year in 2015 and it took a PG post to make them realize their mistake. May be, they did the same in 2014 too. (Sour grapes, I know. But, they work just as fine to console your mind   ) Booze to the rescue.

A few days later, the new IIM results came in. I had converted four of them. May be I had handled the stress interview well.   My parents and gf were ecstatic. It is an IIM tag after all. I called my father and said, "I don't want to join this year." He thought I had gone mad. He knew I was getting something far above my academic standards and was refusing it. He tried to coax me into it by saying that the Gods have been kind to me. A top tier college is simply not in my fate and I should accept God's will. I said something which translated to "I don't care what the f*ck God's will is. I am here to exercise my own free f*cking will." This was the first time I had cursed in front of my parents and they didn't press me further.

My gf too wanted me to join. "What if it's not XL?  It's still an IIM". I was too tired of explaining things to people. I just said, "Google the difference. As for the marriage, tell me when and if you want it. I shall be ready." I don't know what she Googled, but she called me up after a week and said, "I will wait for one more year." This was the best thing I had heard in a long time. I don't know why she chose to be so patient with a 3-time loser. Thank you Google!

The 4th attempt - CAT 2014 (damn, I am tired of typing. Thank you if you have read this far)

I contemplated quitting the job to prepare. Moreover, the work was not challenging enough and I hardly talked to anyone on office. But, the CAT is unpredictable and justifying a jobless gap would not have been easy. I decided to stick to my job. I proactively tried to get into stuff that was a bit challenging and interesting. I joined the Toastmasters club and met some amazing people there - the certificates and awards came in handy during interviews. It was here that I met @anwesa09  - the most helpful individual I have ever met. Having her help at all stages was the biggest advantage I had this year.

I was somehow at peace this time. I knew I had nothing to lose. I was not afraid to fail again. The study plan was essentially the same as last year. I analyzed all the past mocks and was ready for the CAT just when the mocks season began.  The mocks started with a paltry 93.xx and jumped to a 98 in the next one. A few mocks later I was scoring in the range of 99.5+. F*ck yes! Not worrying about the future was working for me. I maintained an average OA of 99.5+ for the next several mocks. The CAT pattern changed. It caused my scores to dip to 95-98 range for a while. I pulled up my socks and was scoring the 99.5+ before long.

The CAT/XAT/IIFT exams and results

By the time of the C-Day, I was not in awe of any 99%iler. There was respect, but no awe. I also applied for a few top institutes other than IIMs this year.

The results:

IIFT - 44.xx marks .... GK :/

CAT - 97.68%ile

XAT - 98.38%ile

The funny part - I had a 99.xx in quant in CAT with VA screwed and a 99.xx in VA in XAT with quant screwed. I felt mocked by fate. But then, f*ck fate.

The calls, interviews and final results - IIFT, SP Jain and an out of the blue IIM -I and S. No XLRI call as I had just 70.xx in XAT QA.

I re-read @Zzeke's post. To be honest, I didn't try as hard as last year. @anwesa09  and my gf were generous enough to help me with study materials and links.

The first interview was for IIFT. The essay and GD was cool. The interview was okay-ish. The low point was when they asked me questions related to my father's job and qualifications. I doubt whether my father could have answered those  

SP Jain's process went smoother for me. After the SPJ interview, when @anwesa09 asked about it, I just said, "Nailed it. If this doesn't convert, I wonder what will." But, I had felt almost similar about XL last year. So, a hint of doubt remained.

I was asleep with a hangover when SPJ declared its results. A friend called and informed me about the results being out. I just acknowledged and fell back on to the bed. I didn't want to relive last year's disappointment. I told myself, "Better to get a good sleep and be prepared for it. Also, checking it a few hours later won't change the results."

I woke up at 1pm to see quite a few missed calls and pings about SPJ's results being out. Also, I faintly remembered talking to a professor from SPJ when I was half in my sleep. I logged in to check and it was official - I had finally made it! What better way to cure a hangover than to get a couple of beers?

IIFT was a ding. And I decided to skip IIM-I and S interviews after SPJ's results.

From aspiring and failing to join anything with an IIM tag to skipping their interviews, I have come quite a long way. If I can do it, any average Joe can. But, this is not the end. As someone said, "Life is a race and there are no winners. You just qualify for the next race."

(For those of you who did scroll down quickly - SPJIMR Class of 2015-17 it is.)

  • 142 Likes   69 Comments
  • man just one word to you ...hats off. 30 Oct.
  • Truly an inspiring one..... 30 Oct.
CAT11: 83.xx, XAT12: 77.xx........CAT12: 93.47,   XAT13: NA..... CAT13: 97.11, XAT14: 99.88..... CAT14:97.68, XAT15: 98.38 
shubham shrivastava @redtape92

man just one word to you ...hats off 

Pulkit Mehrotra @Pulkit1990 13

Truly an inspiring one....

Looking at the posts here of many aspirants, I can't say that my journey was as difficult as many but it was tough and many a times, depressing and filled with anxiety.

So let's get started, it's a long post...

Background: GEM


Calls: IIFT, NMIMS, IMT, SIBM, SCMHRD, FORE, IMI, Nirma Converts: NMIMS, IMT, SIBM, SCMHRD Interview not attended: FORE, IMI, Nirma Joining: NMIMS Bombay

When I thought about writing CAT for the first time

Let's go back to 2010, it was the summer vacation after the second year of college, I was interning at an NGO in Ahmedabad when I first joined an institute for CAT Prep in June 2010. I was supposed to write CAT in 2012 but had joined the year and a half long course to cover everything from scratch. Those were great days, everything was going fine, I was good at it, was getting good scores in mock tests and was in the good books of the faculty members until August 2011, campus placements. I got placed on Day 0 in one of the niche firms and dropped the plans to join a B School in 2012. I stopped studying from that day. I wrote CAT in October 2010 for the heck of it and secured 91.xx percentile. I hadn't filled any other form and I knew I was not going to get any call with these digits. I was fine with it as I anyway was not planning to join any school the next year. I had made up my mind to work for two years, as it was one of the Big 4 I was joining in June 2012, and then study for the exams while working.

Joining Delayed

Suddenly one day my company decided to delay our joining by six months from June 2012 to January 2013. This put me in a spot and made me think over my previous decision to not to join a school. Did I make a mistake as this would put a gap of 3 years, rather than 2, between my graduation and joining B-School as per my plan? And what was I supposed to do for the next six months? I was bit disappointed with myself at that time. But what was done was done. I decided to utilize these six months productively and joined the Diploma course in Financial Management at Ahmedabad Management Association thinking it would ultimately help make my profile better.

Prep Journey Commences

 Then came January 2013, I started with my job in Bombay and I totally loved it. In October I voluntarily sought transfer to Bangalore so that I could rent an apartment to myself (because, cheaper rents in Bangalore) and study peacefully for the exams. Now this is where the tough time starts. I joined weekend classes at TIME in Bangalore. Attended few classes initially but didn't find them useful, as they taught just the basics in the classes which I already knew. I then started solving their materials at home. My daily schedule was like this: I got up at 9, set out for work at 10, reached office at 11 after a tiring commute comprising of walking, autorickshaw, bus and office shuttle. Then left office at 8 in the evening usually (when I was not required to stay back late till about midnight because of calls etc.) and reached home at 9 tired after the same commute. Had dinner and then started studying from around 10 PM and went on till 2-3 AM dispersed with an episode of Suits or Arrested Development. Then on weekends, my entire day was spent in solving TIME material till the AIMCATs started. This was a disaster. My first AIMCAT fetched me 97.xx percentile. This was good but less than what I had expected as the AIMCAT was simpler compared to the other nightmarish AIMCATs that followed. In the remaining AIMCATs my percentile varied widely, from 70-92. I was demotivated because the tests were tough and my percentile was less. I started skipping an AIMCAT or two in between. I used to sneak Pagalguy threads to see the level of difficulty and used to give only relatively simpler AIMCATs. Yet my percentile was stuck in the 70-92 range. Those were hard times, I had no social life, all I was doing was working and studying. And studying was not giving me satisfaction enough. Coming home after giving AIMCATs put me into deep thoughts about what I would be doing in CAT, how much would I score. Would it be enough to get into a decent B School, if not, with the kind of scores I am getting, would I get into a decent enough B School post which a job will pay me more than what I was earning already. All I could talk with a friend of mine at work over lunch was my anxieties and fears. She was tired of hearing my whining but I couldn't help it.

During this phase, I realized that I was good at simpler speed based questions but not so much at the CAT level questions. I now also started focusing bit more on the speed based sets and stopped giving AIMCATs altogether towards the end as they used to depress me. I used to occasionally try to solve the questions from the AIMCAT pdfs provided though. As CAT grew closer. I started solving additional questions from IMS' 500 must do questions for CAT. That raised my confidence a bit. I also took online test packages for specific exams like SNAP and NMAT, those helped a lot to make me familiar with the pattern.

Exam season begins

First came September CMAT. Though I didn't want to get into any B-School which took CMAT scores, I gave the exam to see where I stood. As it is a pretty simple exam, I was able to do well in all sections but GK. I thought that the regular reading of newspaper (I was reading Mint) would be enough but I was wrong. I then started going through the Pagalguy GK threads, the weekly pdfs, TIME static GK module, additional GK questions over the internet and anything pertaining to GK I could get my hands on, also bought GK e-booklets online from various websites. I knew that GK was going to play a crucial role in SNAP which was a speed based test and I was aiming to crack, also IIFT.

Then came The D Day. I was anxious and didn't know how I would fare as the pattern was different and the AIMCATs with their experiments didn't help me gauge that either. The questions were too simple to believe but I still marked the questions in the range I was comfortable in as I didn't want to take the risk of negative marking. I marked the answers for 68 questions. 30 in Section 1 and 38 in section 2. I later realized that this was too less when I looked at the number of questions folks on Pagalguy had attempted. The CAT percentile predictors floating around were still saying that the number of questions I had attempted and with my accuracy, I should get more than 97 percentile. Well that was a consolation but all these predictions were wrong when the results arrived. I got 90.83 percentile, which was even less that 91.xx which I got when I wrote CAT in college without studying in the last 2.5 months. I was disappointed deeply. With all the efforts I had put in, I at least deserved more than 91.xx percentile of the last time without preparation. I could picture myself continuing in the same firm, though I loved working in my firm, but couldn't see myself working in Technology Consulting for a longer term.  But with these scores, a good CAT score accepting B-School was out of picture.

Results continue, interviews take place. Then I got call from IIFT, my score was only a little above the cut off, also being a GEM, I had a disadvantage because of the reservations and the grace marks to girls. I attended the interview, my first of the season, it was little short of a disaster. I was asked weird questions about religion and spirituality and being an atheist, I had little idea. I said whatever I could think of at that time and came out. I knew this interview wouldn't take me anywhere. Then came results for NMAT and SNAP, both being speed based tests, I was able to fetch 99+ percentile in both. I went to Bombay and Poona for NMIMS and SIBM & SCMHRD interviews. First came SCMHRD and SIBM. SCMHRD interview was ok, definitely above average, the panel was not able to make out why I wanted to join SCMHRD with 2 years of experience as the pay would be already comparable to what I was earning in my Big 4 firm. But the SIBM interview was the best. The panel was impressed with my responses and presentation and I was sure to convert it. Then I went to NMIMS Bombay for the interview, the interview there too went well though not as good as SIBM. Meanwhile I gave IMT interview in Bangalore itself, it too went well barring the last moment when they asked me to solve a mathematical problem ( I mean come on, who asks that in the interview, isn't this meant for exams?).

Final Results arrive

First came SIBM, the best of the five interviews I gave till that time and which I was sure to convert. Waiting List - 70. SCMHRD - WL 110+. This depressed me a lot. Felt like if I couldn't convert SIBM, others will bomb too. I took to working from home to cope with the anxiety and thoughts about my future. There was nothing that could cheer me up. But luckily NMIMS result came out 3-4 days post it and I was selected there. I knew no bounds of glee. The words 'SELECTED' on my screen were like a treat to my sore eyes. I got into NMIMS, I was going to Bombay, the only city I am proud to call home in India. Then IMT result came and I was in WL, but I didn't mind. I was going to NMIMS. I had three more interviews remaining, I didn't even attend those. So this was it! My journey, long, anxious, and at times depressing and disappointing. Hope it is of some help to future aspirants.

PS- In last few days, all - SIBM, SCMHRD and IMT got converted from Waiting List. I am still joining NMIMS.:)

  • 18 Likes   10 Comments
  • Hey, thanks @Grk9 and @abir217nandi, yes, been a long tim.... 03 Jun.
  • You are welcome @Kpuy :smiley: all the best!. 04 Jun.
K @KPuy 694

Hey, thanks @Grk9 and @abir217nandi, yes, been a long time since I have been active here. Now will be with the NMIMS badge.

@Grk9 1,015

You are welcome @Kpuy all the best!

Midnight Ruminations (Part 1)

This page has success stories. People here inspire me. This forum is uplifting.

Right now, while I sit here banging the keyboard furiously, there are certain lessons I recollect having learned. These lessons are/were a direct result of the last years of preparation, of moulding, of having people to discuss with and of self-realization.

The most important lesson anyone could teach came from the most unlikely source - me.

All of us, in varying degrees, crave for stability, for security. We want to feel we are treading the right path because that makes us feel secure about life. What is the best path to tread? No one has any clue. Then how can someone tell? How do you know you are going right?

The best answers always come from inside.  I realized that the biggest deciding factor of how I was faring and how I would fare was - me. The mind knows where you err and why you err. When you are at peace with the mind, you know you are heading the way you need to.  I had lost this peace a while ago. I found it only recently.

Once burned, twice shy. The 6 years it took me to regain my internal zen have also taught me the fragility with which it can be lost again. This war has made me a fighter. I will not let go of what I have got because I know how it feels to not have it at all!

PagalGuy as a forum has made me meet some great people. With that comes appreciation.  I appreciate @vineetjain111 and how he made it so big with what he had. I appreciate @shashwatdgr8 and how he dealt with last year's set-back and rocked the world this time around. These are just some names. I appreciate so many people for the effort they put into these exams.

This thread and the ones linked to it is the story of my effort. I would never claim that it is at par to the level of such esteemed individuals. The only reason I share is because I want you guys to know, the fight is totally worth it.

Remember, in the end, only the man in the mirror can tell you how successful you are. Only he has these answers.

Flashes(Part 2): 


  • 31 Likes   43 Comments
  • @vineetjain111 how tough is it to do that? Juggle everyth.... 06 Jun.
  • @aman_bedi It's not very difficult. You need to conscious.... 23 Jun.
CAT 14 - 99.68 | Converts - C(WL-4 ),FMS,MDI,S,Rohtak,Kashipur | AIWTSAC - http://www.pagalguy.com/discussions/all-i-wanted-to-speak-about-cat-25002933/34089336
Aman Bedi @Anonymous 5,324

@vineetjain111 how tough is it to do that? Juggle everything with acads?

Vineet Jain @vineetjain111 2,114

 @aman_bedi It's not very difficult. You need to consciously make an effort though, keep evaluating your focus regularly 

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.I hadn't studied at all so I wasn't as much disappointed as the last time. With this,the season came to an end and I found my self still on that same pedestal of uncertainty and confusion.

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!

  • 31 Likes   8 Comments
  • Thank you @deshprag123 ! :smiley:. 05 Jun.
  • Kinda same condition :grin:. 17 Nov.
Life sucks but it is you who has to swallow!  ("_")  

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.

  • 46 Likes   7 Comments
  • @suman3040 money is not everything in life.. 24 Jul.
  • agreed @sid_5050 even i m not talking abt money..@IIMKraz.... 24 Jul.
IIM Calcutta, 2015-2017  
Daredevil @sid_5050 276

@suman3040 money is not everything in life. 

suman jha @suman3040 48

agreed @sid_5050 even i m not talking abt money..@IIMKrazy  is really inspiring

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.

  • 21 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 

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