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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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Its 6:22 AM right now, after studying for the quiz I thought about writing my story of CAT.

First of all let me introduce myself. My name is Agnimitra, I am in my first year PGDIM at NITIE.


CAT 2012 OA: 74 QA 80s VA 50s

CAT 2013 OA: 95.7 QA 50s VA 99.4

CAT 2014 OA: 98.77 QA 98.6 VA 96.29 XAT 2014: OA 98.7 QA 99 VA 95 DM 48


I am feeling emotional as I recollect all the moments that I lived while I prepared continuously for past three years for this exam. I have seen many ups and downs throughout my journey, many moments when I felt like giving up. I never gave up though.  My preparation has been a lone battle but support I never lacked. I was constantly motivated throughout the journey by my family and a special someone.

Let me start from the beginning.

My fascination with CAT began when my elder sister brought CAT paper home from her college. I was in class 12 preparing for JEE and felt elated to solve almost all the quant questions from the paper.  That was year 2008. In the back of my mind, I started dreaming about this exam right from that moment.

Fast forward to year 2011, I was in third year at engineering college. I decided to prepare for CAT, as I was in love with this exam already. Being in production and industrial engineering branch, my senior suggested me to target NITIE. I made up my mind that I will give my best for CAT.

CAT 2012 OA: 74 QA 80s VA 50s

 I was shabby in verbal. This I started to work upon. I completed Norman lewis couple of times and dedicated my effort towards improving verbal.

I got relaxed and left preparation of CAT midway in the final year, after getting placed at a manufacturing firm. I did not give a single mock for CAT. This resulted in a colossal failure.

I was relaxed so CAT 2012 gave me a shock in form of poor result.

CAT 2013 OA: 95.7 QA 50s VA 99.4

This time I started preparation three months before and bought online mocks and material to prepare. I was serious this time. I studied after coming from plant. Sometimes till late midnight I used to solve mocks and analyze them. I worked dedicatedly to improve my verbal solving thousands of RCs, PJs and whatnots. I didn't get time to give all the mocks but still I did my best as hours at plant were grueling.

On the D day of Cat I made a big mistake of planning. I was posted at wadi, Karnataka. The nearest Centre was at Hyderabad. The journey was of around 4 hours. I travelled on the day of exam. I was tired and hungry even before I entered the examination hall.  I couldn't solve QA and DI and sections 1 was a disaster. I was frustrated to my core. At one point of time in examination I got up to leave but I was told to wait. The whole year of preparation went to waste.  

I was meanwhile transferred to West Bengal. When the results came, it was a bit encouraging as I scored well in Verbal.  That year I got a call from IMT where I was rejected.

CAT 2014 OA: 98.77 QA 98.6 VA 96.29 XAT 2014: OA 98.7 QA 99 VA 95 DM 48

The work schedule got tougher as the time crossed. I was given more responsibilities and had to work at most of the weekends. At one point of time I can recall I worked from straight 30 days without single off. Jobs in maintenance and operations are hectic and physically draining. The inflection point came for me at Holi. The plant was located around 3 hours away from home. But I wasn't given holiday to go home for holi. This enraged me and I became hell bent in getting away from the cement sector (where I worked)

My schedule started in morning 6:00 AM when I used to study for an hour before going to office. In my phone I kept questions and rough sheets which I used to solve questions sitting in operator's room or shop floor. I returned from office usually after 8:00 pm and straight to preparation.

This year I had resolved will be my final for CAT. I felt I had a good head start and eased into the routine. As the days got closer my anxiety increased. I enrolled for Mocks for Time as well as CL. I was scoring at mid 90s percentile. I felt I needed improvement. In the meanwhile I didn't avoid my duties at job. My chief manager one day informed me that I was to be given responsibility of Head of department that I was working. I asked him for a week leave for CAT but it was rejected.

I went into the introspection mode. One fine morning in first week of October 2014 I decided to quit to get away from tensions for performing better in CAT. This my family supported whole heartedly. I packed my bags and came back to home. In the next 20 odd days I did nothing else besides mock sleep analyze and repeat. I gave around 90 mocks for CAT 2014. My percentile varied from 80s to 99.7 in the mocks. I was somehow ready for the final exam though.

I wont drudge into the details of examination but my jittery nerves were calmed by a balanced score of

OA: 98.77 QA 98.6 VA 96.29


I felt it didn't reflect my performance as I had done better in verbal than what my score showed. Still I took what the cat had thrown at me. Then I began the mad rush for GD PI WAT.

To sum it all up I travelled to Kolkata 6 times, Mumbai 2 times, Delhi 2 times for the interviews

I travelled in sleeper I travelled in general. I got down at wrong station. I even jumped from running train. I spent my nights on platform and I spent my days and nights criss crossing the country, trying to get into a B school. I never gave up. At one point when I was rejected at SP JAIN in first round, I felt like venting as I felt like a loser who had left a decent paying job in search of chimerical seat in MBA College. I got a call from my father then he asked what happened in interview. When I told him, he simply said its not over till you think it's over.

I finally got converts at NITIE IIT B MDI (IM) NEW IIMs XIMB IMT MFC

I joined NITIE as I realized that it was the best option and the college that I targeted in my third year.

I only realized that if you want to succeed you will have to keep moving forward without getting bogged down by the failures because one of the fine days your hard work might just give you success. Its about your gut to take chances on yourself.

In the whole journey, there was this special girl who never left my side. She motivated me to improve and made me realize that in the pursuit of getting into a college, I should improve.  All though we are on different path I just hope one day it intertwines

  • 97 Likes   23 Comments
  • @avantika1 thanks :smiley:. 27 Aug '15.
  • Inspirational __/\\__ ATB mate. You are a Champ.!! :smiley:. 29 Jan.
Cat 2012 77 2014 98.77 snap 98.44 call: mdi new iims S, K Conv NITIE IIT B XIMB bm, MFC 
Junaid Saraf @sarafjunaid 533

Inspirational __/\__ ATB mate. You are a Champ.!!

A small story about a IIMA (2010 -12) IITD (2003-07) graduate. This story  doesn't speak much about what he did to clear IIMA but rather focuses on Hard Work, patience and determination

4 years flew away in IITD and he got a job in automobile company with low c2c package in which 1L was conditional bonus. From the last year in IIT he started taking cat exam. In this attempt he got approximate 98 percentile. After that year he got 97 something  and at last he got 99.4 in preceding attempt

This time also he didn't got a call from ABC. It was Lucknow and Indore from where he received calls but he failed to crack GD-PA. He was very upset (He is my real brother). He said to me on phone

"Yar jab IIT crack kar liya to ye kyon nahi hota". (What's problem in this when I have cracked IIT)

I didn't have any answer at that time.

Seeing such a a scenario of competition he started giving his attention to GMAT. He started working for IMS as a part time faculty. Counseling was made free in terms of teaching there. He applied for MIT sister concern namely Zaragoza (not mentioning others applications to keep blog SSS i.e sweet short and sexy). Logistic was the course which he applied for, in supply chain management also known as Z Log in short (MIT has M Log).

So he used to attend his company in morning shift at 6'O clock till 3 PM . Then at 4pm he had to attend IMS . At 8PM when he became free from IMS he used to have his dinner. he then preferred to study for some time at early night hours. We always believed that the rejection in last year will bring fruitful result. Meanwhile others application was also going on. That year also he gave CAT but just as a formality because of full attention to GMAT. He scored 99.86 percentile in CAT  and also got interview call from AC and not B and rest IIM's also (God knew what type of people IIM Bangalore wants)

Now two roads were going in parallel

  • Zaragoza
  • IIMS

He had a telephonic interview for Zaragoza from Spain whose fate was to be decided just a day before IIMA interview. He was selected for Zlog. That day he was very happy. Next day he went for interview of IIMA .He was complete in his sense.



What to choose now between IIMA and MIT sister concern

And he chose IIMA

  • 19 Likes   11 Comments
  • lol....same is during school to college transformation....... 21 Aug '15.
Anshul Gupta @anshul_gupta1987 404

lol....same is during school to college transformation.... Even in telephonic conversation of Zaragoza after completion of interview , interviewer let bro asked a question. I cant remember the question but was regarding to general trend in India about their studies. She said she saw tendency to opt for medical and engineering in India.

  • 164 Likes   59 Comments
  • Congrats sir!!. 01 Nov '15.
  • Congrats sir!!. 01 Nov '15.
GMAT : 760 (49/44) |  Class of Tepper 2017    | Linkedin Handle : goo.gl/dRzo01|  AIWTSC/AIWTSG (GMAT) : goo.gl/pqx3us  

So the story begins. It's a pretty long story, but it rewards your patience ...at least I hope so. The Story starts with a rise, falls and touches the rock bottom and then rises again. I dedicate this story to all those people, all those who rose from the ashes to make their life better (Well, best is always bettered and hence it's the 'better' state that I strive for).

There are few vital data points I would like to present- I am a General, Engineer (CSE), Male (on the verge of sounding clichéd but 3 mistakes of my life). Scores stand at 10th-92.2%, 12th-80.8% and B.Tech (CSE)-64.3%.

10th & 12th

I started out as an above average student. Having delivered a good performance in 10th, I thought I had it all. I got into one of the best schools of Jharkhand, and started my journey for engineering. As one year passed and I graduated to 12th, I thought I wouldn't be able to crack JEE and instead shifted my focus to getting good marks in 12th. It proved to be a strategy that was good and bad in equal measures. Bad because I had already decided to waste one year of my life and good because I managed a decent enough score in 12th Boards.

Post that, I shifted to Jamshedpur, joined a famous coaching centre and here it went haywire for the first time in my life. I write-the first time. As you will read the story, you will find out why. The first 3 months of classes were good, I put in decent effort and managed to stay in top 50 of the batch, which was pretty huge. The next 9 months were disaster, and I screwed up all the exams I wrote.

The next one year was spent again, at home preparing for JEE. I put in my best of effort and screwed myself again. JEE was a whitewash, AIEEE rank was ~20K. Heck, I didn't even get through VITEEE. Managed to clear my CUSAT CAT with a good rank, and got into CSE Branch.


B.Tech was started on a good note, I scored well in first year. It was in the third year where things went haywire again. My complacency cost me huge. In 5th semester, I managed to score 6 backs (Out of 8 papers) and in 6th semester, I had 3 backs. Combined with 2 backs in 4th semester, I had a total of 11 backlogs. My college was swift in taking supplementary examinations, only catch was that it never published results in time. I ended up writing few papers thrice, just to be sure that I would pass. It was a wakeup call for me, I could not tell anyone at home about this. It was a huge shock that jolted me out of slumber and I started focusing on studies. I wrote special as well as regular supplementary examinations and managed to clear quite a few papers.

It was in the beginning of 7th Semester that companies started coming for placements, and I, even after being the member of PlaceCom was not able to sit in any one of them. I saw my friends getting placed one by one and I attended all their placement parties. I couldn't sit as I still had 6 backlogs pending (Results weren't declared yet). In the month of Feb, 2010, I managed to sit in an interview for HCLi (because it had a relaxed criteria for selection-considered marks & backlogs up to 4th semester only) and I managed to get through. I was grilled for 45 minutes for my interview and I came out totally overwhelmed (What happened there is a story for another time, quite an interesting one).

It was a huge morale booster for me, that at least I had a job. Went bankrupt in the party I threw. I managed to clear my degree and join my job in time despite so many backlogs. If nothing else, this shows we can recover from failure, however huge it is.

Job & MBA Preps

I was fortunate enough to get a job which was different from what regular B.Tech pass-outs do in IT Firms. And that is another topic for discussion later. As I started in my job, I knew from the initial few months that I had to get a MBA Degree. The reasons being- I wanted to study in a good college, and the job profile that I had, was perfectly suited for MBA Degree. In fact, many of my colleagues were MBA freshers, although from Tier #2 & #3 Colleges. I started out at a decent enough package and the first two years passed in a jiffy. I learnt a lot from my job and I can confidently say that I knew more about business than people who had passed out from MBA colleges and had come to join my company.

2012- First attempt and an eye opener

I appeared in CAT & XAT in 2012, just to test waters and managed embarrassing myself. The results were a fiasco and not even worth mentioning. No calls, from any colleges. But it was a good eye opener, I knew my weaknesses and strength. In the meanwhile, I took up few responsibilities for my family and the MBA Preps went on.

2013- Second attempt with self-preparation

By 2013 beginning, a huge chunk of my responsibilities were done with and I dived into MBA preps full time. I wanted to be in top IIMs/XLRI or niche colleges like IIFT, IRMA, NITIE etc. I know this point is lost here (eventually most of the MBA grads end up at similar places), but somehow I have a huge respect for the niche colleges.

The studies were going on at a good pace and I had found love in my life too... a beautiful lady!! The pressure on me was building due to multiple reasons and I was running out of time. I had to get into a MBA College just to be sure that we both passed out together so that we could marry in near future. Well, things went haywire again and I screwed up my CAT and XAT Results. CAT & XAT percentiles were in 80s and only consolation was that I had scored 96%ile in CAT quant section.

It was March, 2014 and six of my colleagues from the parallel team were fired due to downsizing policies. Situation was getting out of control. I wasn't getting enough incentives (both qualitative and quantitative) at job (apart from regular appraisals) and the future looked bleak. I was bored of doing the same rote work again and again. The business declined and I kept losing deals. I lived in the fear that I would be the next one to be fired. My job required me to travel a lot for client interactions and this had increased heavily by this time. Combining personal and official trips, on an average, I had outbound travels- short out station trips every 10-15 days. I was living out of bags. This combined with my hectic work schedule had screwed up my life into a shithole.

2014- Third Attempt and Redemption

It was May, 2014 and I was broken beyond repair. I was wrecked emotionally, and economically. Economically I say because I was very poor with my finances. At a point of time, I didn't even have money to fill up college forms. I was getting desperate and all my attempts to get my life back failed in succession.

It was then, I decided to join a regular classroom program at CL, Noida. The irony was that I didn't have money to pay for the fee and later to pay for the examination forms. I managed the money part somehow and joined CL.

Why did I join CL? Mostly it was just to fall into a regular routine for studying and to be methodical in my preparations. Started attending classes regularly, and preparations were in full swing. I was scoring in 90ies in my Mock Tests @CL, doing better test after test. I made it a routine to go sit in CL every evening after office hours for study, study and leave only when the premises shut down for the day. It was going good, I had managed to recover out of my emotional turmoil but life had something else in store for me. In August, 2014, I cleared a job interview at IBM which was offering me a job with 70% hike (+around 1.5L in joining bonuses ... Mind you I was already sitting at a decent package, my sad economic state had nothing to do with my salary, it was due to my poor financial skills) and it required me to shift to Bangalore for 2 months and then to Hyderabad. Now as I sit and study principles of economics, I realize how valid they are- Everything is a trade off in our world. Leaving Noida would mean that I would say good bye to my preparations at CL. At the other end was a job with a better future. I didn't even have money to shift to Bangalore. Managed the money part and decided to shift to Bangalore. By this time I had filled up all the forms, all the centres were at Delhi.

Three things happened meanwhile- A new job meant parties with friends every weekend. We partied a lot. We drank like fish. Although I was attending my classes at CL, but regular self-study went for a toss. And somehow I managed to fix up things with her. I could not ask for more.

In October, 2014 I shifted to Bangalore and joined my new job. With the new job and fat paycheque, came bigger responsibilities and more out-station travels. Heck, I spent close to 4 hours in traffic in commuting to office every day and spent close to 8-10 hours working. I slept on the buses and usually conductors woke me up. With parties every other day, I was eternally sleep deprived and tired, but I was happy. The happiness lasted for a short duration though.

Though short on preparations, I decided to appear for exams and further shortened my already short shortlist. It came down to mere 10 colleges from 25+ odd colleges I had in 2013. (Basis of shortlisting-I wanted to be in those colleges only where the median salary stood better than my current CTC ...more on this later in the post). Spent a hefty sum to travel to Delhi and appear for CAT & IIFT which fell back to back in 2014 and screwed them both. Skipped NMAT (Didn't make sense to appear for NMAT), and shifted XAT & SNAP to Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, my Bangalore stint was about to finish and I had to shift to Hyderabad. I shifted to Hyderabad in December end, 2014 and in a way I was both sad and thankful. Sad because I had left Bangalore and my friends, the absolute heaven for me and thankful because I was tired of living out of my bags for months now. I finally had a place of my own and I started settling down for good.

Appeared in SNAP, I was no longer interested in the college. XAT came and went, my attempt seemed average to me and I had lost all my hopes of getting into a MBA college in this academic year. I made my plans to write GMAT for ISB and XLRI (One year programs ...as I had accumulated around 5 years of Job experience which was very similar to MBA grads).

Meanwhile, went and visited ISB Campus (I had a friend there) and heard all about it from my friend- his experience at ISB and was blown away by it. I decided that ISB could be an option worth giving my effort.

Soon enough, Results started pouring in and I faced disappointments which added to my depressions. Yes, the job was good, but I had screwed up all my results and my love life was again headed south. XAT Results were the last and I had a call for one year GMP Program. It was a ray of hope, but I had serious doubts that I could clear the interview.

Come February 2015 and I was in Delhi to attend a training program sponsored by IBM. Somehow managed to fill up the online questionnaire and uploaded my video to XL site (A big shout out for my friend, who helped me with the script!!). Extended my trip by two days and stayed put to give interview. It was scheduled on Monday, and my training ended on Friday. It was a pretty hectic training and I just survived through it. Saturday was spent boozing and Sunday went in clearing the hangover.

Monday morning, I was at the interview location, in a borrowed blazer. GD went fine and I was the first one to be interviewed. The interview lasted for around 15-20 minutes, included questions from various aspects... right from why MBA to questions like ...if I had to choose to be an animal, which one I would be. I was free within an hour and the hour had gone like a flash. I had no idea what would be the outcome. Almost in a trance, I came out, smoked a cigarette and started for the metro journey back to Noida. Spent some more time with friends, collected my luggage and caught late night flight back to Hyderabad.

Coming back to Hyderabad, I had almost forgotten about XAT interview. I was almost sure that my MBA dreams were trashed and I was inconsolable. My mother had a hard time dealing with me and my friends were fed up. My love life had almost ended and I was broken, yet again. I was all alone in Hyderabad, loaded with work and it was killing me. I went back to drinking and all the weekends were spent in drunken slumber.

It was in a drunken slumber, the weekend that I was spending at my cousin brother's place, that my mobile showed me a mail notification. I was about to dismiss it, but I opened to read it. It was a mail from XLRI AdCom, and my god, no sooner than I had read my email, I was jumping in joy, like a kid who had got his long cherished toy.

It was a convert!!!

One Call, One Interview, One Convert!!!

Is it true? OMG, was it real??

I opened the email on my iPad and read it again!! Yes, it was. Called up mom and told her the good news. She was happy and I can't really express those feelings in words now. Everything had changed in a moment. I felt like being on the top of the world and the sense of achievement was just not sinking in. It took a while and I came to terms with the fact, that finally the dream had come true.

Got involved in financing the loan, it was cleared in a day at SBI XLRI Branch. Informed my Manager, put in my papers, returned my joining bonus, packed my bags and came back to School. (About the School, Its fun ...that's another story, for another day!!)  

P.S.: Things are getting better again!! It all turned out to be good. Only fear is a slight apprehension, I do not fall back to the bottom again. I have a tendency to screw up at the most unexpected times in my life. Well, I only hope for the best in the future.

Key Pointers

1. Take it from me and this has been often repeated in this thread- Failure is just a stepping stone to success. If I could do it, with the kind of academic record I have, Most of us can. In short, if you want it enough, it's going to be yours and no one can stop you.

2. Second and the most important point: Never stop pursuing your dreams. I pursued my dreams till they turned into reality. One of the examples being the bike which had me drooling... I bought it this year, after 4 years of wait post joining my job. And trust me, the pleasure that I get out of driving her on open roads can't be put down in words.

3. Make plans. Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and so on. Have backups ready, never hinge your entire future on one decision, on one event.

4. You will find that I didn't write up about my preps in detail here- the source, the methods etc. Well, my intention was never to do that. Sources-there are plenty good books available, methods- each one has his/her own unique methods to learn and grasp. My entire point is to highlight the fact that there will be lows in life. There will be highs in life. Never let any of them overpower or subdue you in submission. Bad times come and go. Good times come and go. Nothing is permanent here. So have trust on that, when you are low and upbeat.

5. My selection of colleges: I had a list of targeted colleges in year 2013, the list had 26 names. Shortened down to ~15 in the year 2014 and later I narrowed down to around 10 later in August, post joining IBM. I can share the lists if anyone is interested. The reasons were multi-fold for shortening down the list to 10 odd colleges. The first reason was- I wanted to be in a reputed B-School, to actually learn from the best minds- both in terms of faculty and peer group. Trust me, a good peer group takes you places. And I do not need to elaborate about the importance of good faculty. Next-I wanted the B-Schools to have median salary better than what I was earning already. It may seem materialistic and a stupid reason but trust me, as you do the financial analysis, you will understand it. To cement my point further-given equal amount of effort you put post joining a MBA College, where do you stand better chance of getting a 20LPA job offer? Third, I already knew a good deal about business (this was due to learning on the job and from peers) and I was pretty sure, I wanted to be in a college which can supplement and go beyond this. It may all sound pompous and vain, but trust me, people with job ex similar to me would vouch for this. Next-a good brand name would mean personal satisfaction and a sense of achievement-much needed for me to come out of depression that I was constantly in.

Well, I guess that's all. With this, I would wrap up. Feel free to PM me for any queries. I wish you all ...the very best and I hope my story gives you drive for your fight.

  • 59 Likes   17 Comments
  • Well o well..do I know who the author of this refulgent p.... 17 Aug '15.
  • @beteNoire Coming from another master story teller, thats.... 17 Aug '15.
XLRI GM  (2015-16) || . ..All it takes is a little push! 
The Traveler Tiwary @beteNoire 1,182

Well o well..do I know who the author of this refulgent piece of writ is...Oh I do..The bespectacled 'super' by all means senior of mine..take a bow sire...

Optimus Prime @aS7 111

@beteNoire Coming from another master story teller, thats a huge compliment. :) 

  • 111 Likes   38 Comments
  • bhai kya likh diya hai, gazab kiya hai aaj to bhagwan pe .... 20 Jan.
  • Awesome buddy..I have an interview for SPJain next week..... 23 Jan.
But I would walk 500 miles.. and I would walk 500 more.  CET'15 99.993 
Chaitanya upadhyay @Apriest 25

bhai kya likh diya hai, gazab kiya hai aaj to bhagwan pe bharosa aa agya

sai kumar ganga @saikumar41 1

Awesome buddy..I have an interview for SPJain  next week.Any tips pls...

  • 177 Likes   63 Comments
  • I just pass in 12th science .n now doing Bba.. Is it poss.... 16 Dec '15.
  • Thanks :smiley:. 16 Jan.
CAT '13-65.53 | CAT '14-99.37 | VA '10-09.11 | VA '14-99.49 | AIWTSAC
@Divyeah 1

I just pass in 12th science .n now doing Bba.. Is it possible to get me into the high B school.. If I get 99%above in cat. I just passed in 12th science with 44.5%

  • 69 Likes   17 Comments
  • its my first attempt and i got really scared that how peo.... 28 Jun '15.
  • but why HR ??? I mean XL is a top clg ?? but HR seriously.... 29 Aug '15.
for there are men , men of steel... XL HRM 15-17 
Harsh Vaibhav @harshv0029 67

its my first attempt and i got really scared that how people are taking twice and thrice attempts to actually converting IIMs or tier-1 MBA colleges. thinking where i will stand, seeing 94 percentile in current AIMCATS, feeling that i will be there in the list of failed at the end of this season. and this placement season in final year is another horrible nightmare for me.

Disappointed CAT result @Nipun008 963

but why HR ??? I mean XL is a top clg ?? but HR seriously...correct me if I am wrong HR doesn't have much growth right??

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 )

  • 54 Likes   23 Comments
  • @hazy_eyednomore thanks!!. 01 Sep '15.
  • @mnstwr2417 amazing...really inspiring :smiley:. 27 Jan.

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

  • 32 Likes   10 Comments
  • An ordinary story but still can feel each and every bit o.... 22 Jun '15.
  • bro your story inspires people like me :smiley:. 22 Dec '15.
The best is yet to come... 
siddhant mohanty @siddhantm 858

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).  

Swastik Banerjee @banswastik

bro your story inspires people like me

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 99. 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.

  • 66 Likes   15 Comments
  • @ashish2292 Thanks Ashish. 11 Jun '15.
  • My personal favorite article on this page. 20 Jun '15.
The Unlucky Soul @laggayiyaar 440

My personal favorite article on this page

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