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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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Five years in the making... Part 3 of 3

Part C

Came to Mumbai with a lot of hopes. Started staying in my maternal uncle's place. Started working the very next day. I used to stay in Malad and my office was in Lower Parel. It took me around 45-50 minutes travel by locals during core office hours to reach my office. That was actually the toughest part of the job and punctuality was everything there. If you missed one train u are bound to be late which would cost you a half day's pay (assuming the same for simplicity purpose otherwise there were some relaxations) and any mumbaikar can testify that it is tougher to get into the mumbai local during office hours than it is to find a job in mumbai! Space just enough to place a foot on the train - thats what I used look forward to on a daily basis. Many a times that also used to be unavailable. However with time I learnt the tricks of the trade. I began enjoying the ride with one leg inside the train and one outside with one hand carrying a novel and ears glued to the earphones

Another part that I loved about the locals is that u are free to express urself when u r in them.... u cn cry, u cn laugh..... no one cares. At one point my life was so screwed up (due to personal reasons) I used to find solace in the chaos coz no one noticed.... thats the best thing about Mumbai ppl dont stop u from being urself there and thts i think i blossomed and matured as a person there

Job wise I was quite happy, I was thinking quants and getting paid for it... what else can a math fanatic want! My colleagues were also awesome and made some frenz for life there who stood by me no matter what. I thank Mumbai for @Sere, I thank Mumbai for Pradeep, I thank Mumbai for Priya and I thank Mumbai for Swapna. Guys I am still alive coz u guys, u guys saw me thru the tufest phase of my life when everyone had lost faith in me.

While in Mumbai I became a part of Mumbai Mavericks Dream Team where I met @Omkarp , @retry , @Zzeke  , @PatrickDsouza sir, @ashishpai2001  and the most bindaas person ever @rishi1415  amongst others. All those awesome times I spent with these guys cannot be described on a public forum (Rishi sir I will pay u back in kind soon ) . Then there were my college buddies Ravi and Aki who helped me sort out my shit each and every time I felt weak. There was a time when my parents had lost faith in me coz of my career choices (I had earlier landed a job at Samsung, a 6 lpa job, and rejected the same for TF) and I ended up crying on the road justifying myself to my parents. Their concerns were very valid when they said that my frenz were earning double the money I was and where was I in life..... Nowhere. Its difficult to make others understand ur passion coz u r the only one who can actually feel it burning inside. There were times when my frenz held me close when I used to have breakdowns in front of them due to multiple reasons. When I see it in the hindsight I actually was heading nowhere (I was 25 with a 30k pm job and an average profile and I had chucked MDI, IIT B) and on top of that everyone else was lecturing my parents about how i was directionless in life not knowing what to do and how to do it! It was hard on them, very hard on them to see their onli son be that way and salute my parents for persevering with me and believing in me Another person who always stood by me was my cousin brother Ujjwal tho he too tried to convince me to let go. 

I held on to my passion and moved forward. I learnt that if you truly love what you are doing everything else in its way becomes noise and u just have to find ur way thru it. I m happy i did that as i can see myself in the mirror daily and feel proud about myself

Lets come bk on track now

Mocks version 2012

3rd season and I was up for it. Multiple CAT attempts and around 150 mocks taken date hadnt lessened my enthusiasm for mocks. This tym I went all guns blazing and tuk up 3 mock series - TIME, CL and IMS. Apart from minor hiccups I managed pretty well in them again acing many of them

Heres an account of how they went:


Season 2012

CAT 2012 .... 2 sections with 70 minutes demarcated for each of them. I had a seating position which college goers would die for - Back bench last seat. But there was a catch - there was a wooden door which had a classrum on the otherside and unfortunately there were classes going on on the other side and voices were loud and clear. All this happened during the quants section attempt. I complained and complained and the reply i got was "College hai, classes toh hogi hi". I even threatened them of complaining to the authorities after which the noise did lessen but by then my Quants section was compromised. VALR went off fine but I din have a gud feeling about the QADI section though I had adequate number of attempts.

On the results day my feeling was validated:

CAT 201296.4x%ile Section 1:91.21 Section 2:97.30

XAT 2013 was bad as DM got screwed up pretty bad and I ended up with lowest percentile ever in any section in DM.

Had an IIFT call and some hope thru CMAT ( Rank 60ish).

Surprisingly gt a SPJIMR call along with an IIFT call and later on started prepping for JB as well. 

However SPJIMR dinged me after I reached the 2nd round. IIFT result I never checked myself, a friend later told me i had converted something but I chose to ignore it (not sure of the veracity) and DTE chose not to conduct the GDPI. 

Season 2012 ended as a lull but I had a fight left in me. 

However I knew i had to get out of Mumbai even if it meant going away from my frenz and family again. The negativity simply started to get the better of me though my frenz always tried to cheer me up, I remained immune. Even my managers at TF were very cooperative and believed in me throughout. But I knew I needed to get away and do something more relevant to what I wanted to do in the future. The job search started. I chose Business Development/Social Media marketing/content writing as my domain and targeted digital media start upsGave around a dozen interviews and was rejected in most of them due to lack of knowledge. Finally after 2 months of trying and not losing hope paid off and I converted 2 companies:

a) Giveter.com with an attractive Gift Guru profile (somewt related to biz dev and sales and mrkting)

b) ambitionME with a all around profile which included work in all the domains I had shortlisted (had 4 rounds of rigorous interviews and somehow Prashi managed to convince herself that I was capable enough). 

I chose the 2nd one and off I went to Delhi to join ambitionme. My frnz in Mumbai gave me an awesome farewell and I couldnt stop the tears as my train left for Delhi

I joined ambitionme (Amme) in October, the month of CAT. My colleagues at Amme (Prashi and Varsha both IIM C grads) were really supportive at all times and encouraged me reeli hard to do well in CAT. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for that. Biz Dev was a new experience n i loved every bit of it!

Here's a short gist of the same:


I also authored articles for them, designed infographics and events, managed corporate BD. Those 7 months I worked for them was an awesome learning experience which completely changed my outlook towards life

While in Delhi I found an awesome friend in Jai and we enjoyed our numerous trips to CP, Amritsar and Dharamsala

Mocks version 2013

Mocking again went off well this season as well with AIR 1 in 2 mocks. Most of the mocks were taken in Mumbai itself.

Here is a small gist of the same:


Season 2013

My CAT experience in Delhi was the best in terms of facilities offered. Calm and quiet though the test was a tumultuous 2 hr 20 minutes. I started off quite well but there were a couple of wring questions and an undoable DI set. This restricted me to 21 attempts which was pretty decent given the fact that the paper was on the tougher side. I was happy that I was able to keep my calm and attempt an optimum amount. In case of VALR my strategy of attempting LR backfired as LR was super tough. Could only manage 9 attempts (7 LR + 2 VA) in the first 40 minutes of the second section. However, all the hardwork and mocking helped me attempt 14 more in the last 30 minutes. However there were quite a few 50-50 type attempts and I knew I needed a fair share of luck to make it thru VALR. 

XAT didn't go well again and again due to DM where I again touched a new low in DM

The results day came by and VALR had somehow clicked. Had a decent percentile. I cried like a child that day with my mom on the phone. Yes I had done it again and I had proved that CAT 2011, XAT 2012 were not flukes. 

The scores were as follows:

CAT 2013 : 99.46%ile (QADI: 99.51%ile, VALR: 95.71%ile)

Calls: IIM K,S, FMS, New IIMs, IIT B.

First up was IIM S which went off quite well inspite of lack of preps. IIM K was the best one of the season and I was quite sure of a convert. New IIM's were thru the IIM K interview only and IIT B was a disaster as they quizzed on West Bengal and HR. I knew FMS was my best shot and I prepared well for the same. The extempore & and the interview went off well and I was hopeful for a convert. 

The results were a shocker to say the least. Couldn't convert K (I still wonder what went wrong), FMS I missed by a paltry mark (Scored 10/15 in the extempore + PI which was decent but as there was a 85% weightage to CAT score lost out due to the same) and was waitlisted at WL-94. The funny thing was that I managed to convert all the New IIMs thru the IIM K process score but IIM K didn't even offer me a WL number. IIM S gave me my first and best convert of the season. IIT B gave me a huge waitlist number which I converted later on.

Converts: IIM S, All new IIMs, IIT B.

As I wanted to tke up Sales and Marketing and already had 29 months of work ex I decided to take up IIM S after much contemplation.

However, the pain of never having got the ABC calls lived on. There was a never ending sense of emptiness. That's when I decided that I will have one final go at CAT while pursuing my MBA. 

Joined IIM Shillong and enjoyed the rigour of MBA life. There is always something or the other happening and the culture is awesome. Managed a decent SGPA in the first trimester apart from winning a few competitions (sports and cultural, intra and inter college). Took CAT without much preps ( a few mocks here and there in chaotic conditions) on the 1st day 1st slot!

Attempted all 50 in QADI (May have forgotten to "save and submit" in case of 1 question) in around 85 minutes and 35 VALR in the rest of the time.

On 27th December I experienced the ultimate bliss:

CAT 2014: 99.71%ile (QADI: 99.97%ile, VALR: 95.10%ile)

4 years of hardwork flashed by in those 2 minutes after I saw the result. I couldn't speak much as my mom hugged me and said "Beta you are great, u persevered, maan gaye tujhe". Congratulatory messages started coming in and all of sudden everyone was proud of me. However those golden words by mom is biggest achievement  till date. This moment of my life was pure unadulterated happiness : smiley:

The calls started coming by and finally got calls from A and C. I don't what will happen next but I had my redemption, my sweet sweet revenge and whatever happens next no one can take this from me

After two 99+ in CAT, one 99+ in XAT I finally have a percentile I can be proud of. That happiness on the face of my mother when she talks about my percentile, my calls is just wow. She deserves it much more than me for bearing all the pain over the years

My journey with CAT is finally over & I am happy to have ended it on my own terms. That void will never be there now, I have filled it finally

Thank you Pagalguy for all the support over the years in terms of preps, motivation and people. Wouldn't have gone beyond the 2nd attempt had it not been for the people I met thru Pagalguy. The saying "Hardwork never goes unrewarded forever" stands and my faith in it stands stronger than ever. I would like to thank all the people I have mentioned in the posts prior to this one and in this one. Apart from them @writetotanveer sir, @koyal1990 , @Squib  ,@arunavaray  , @subhakimi , @tamal220187  , @nits2811   , @Abhilash09  , @anishnambisan   , @sachinjha   , @anandmadhav , @saniyamakhijani , @Estallar12 , @YouMadFellow , @ankitcool , @aksaur , @abhi_sur , @visionIIM-ACL , @Love_CAT & the whole DT 12 and 13 also deserve a mention for believing in me. 

Some lessons learnt in life:

Never underestimate the power of Passion, it is more powerful than anything else in the world. Pursue it with all you have and in the end it will reward you in ways you can't even imagine.

Persevere, persevere and persevere and you will get your due!

Your journey is meant to be only yours. Others may accompany you for sometime but you have to cover your own ground. Never stop because someone else moved away.

Helping others is ultimately helping yourself.

"Believers thanks for believing, Doubters thanks for doubting"

P.S: Will update if anything significant happens next

[Note: This is a post on the user's CAT journey that has been captured in his own words. We have not edited it in any way when publishing it as an article. Cover image is from http://www.sitebuilderreport.com/stock-up]

  • 95 Likes   31 Comments
  • Congratulations. 16 Jan.
CAT'14: 99.71%ile || CAT'13: 99.46%ile || CAT'11: 99.33%ile || XAT'12: 99.31%ile 

Five years in the making... Part 2 of 3


Part - B

Left for Bangalore with a heavy heart after a fun filled final phase of the final year and a 2 month merry making stay at home. However, was excited as a new beginning beckoned and on top of that Bangalore was the mecca for CAT aspirants too as there were many other like minded people pursuing their MBA dreams there. Got settled there and enrolled for 2 mock series - Time and CL. Apart from that Pagalguy prep threads and chats with fellow Puys kept me updated.

This reminds that this was the year I applied for Regional DT's and managed to get into Bangalore and Kolkata Dream Teams. This was crucial to my journey as this kept me motivated, in touch and hence, afloat in the journey. Star studded Bangalore meets were always awesome with the likes of @kill4iim  (IIM A), @Roger.Federer   (IIM I), @techgodajay   (IIM C), @kinji.at.pg1  (Our beloved mod & GMAT acer), @phdis  (IIM C), @mossad  , @shagils  ,@anshul_mechie  (XLRI), @seba_catrpillar  (MDI), @himspuy   being a regular part of the meets. Seba da and Roger sir's were always there for me and I found my much needed mentors in them. I remember me and @seba da having gala times going for bike rides to have tea at a far off place (the name of which I dont remember right now) where we would meet @himspuy  and enjoy chit chatting. Those were the good days when I come to think of them now

KDT was also a integral part of life that year. @nishant_88  , @allan89  , @DEBJITNAG  , @s_k_  , @pratskool  , @GANESH87  da were all very supportive and regular confys helped us a lot

Mocks version 2011

As stated above enrolled myself into 2 mock series - Time and CL. I have to admit that I used to have a hard time keeping up with mocks. This was basically due to the fact that I had to shoulder a new responsibility of the job and this hardly left any time for mocks during weekdays which often led to taking multiple mocks on weekends and there were days when I had to take a few during training sessions. People may wonder why take mocks during training sessions. I did this for a reason, it helped improve my concentration a lot which would prove crucial later on.

There were quite a few invigilated mocks and owing to the remote location of the TIME center I often had to travel around 10 kms to take a mock in a place which had no AC and was quite noisy. Again had to manage that coz taking the mocks in an invigilated environment was important for me. I remember the constant honking outside the center owing to the presense of a bus depot. 

The mocks per se started going reeli well for me tho and my scores starting improving with time. 99+ was a regular feature now in both the test series mocks. Gained a lot of confidence and ironed out the creases which had existed in 2010.

Here is a snapshot of the mock season:


Season 2011

This time around I decided to take only 3 exams - CAT, XAT, CMAT

Booked the CAT slot from my office itself in the 1st half of October. This time I was much more confident about myself and was pretty sure of getting a good percentile. 

Went to the center, completed the registration process and started the test on time. QADI was breeze. Answered around 27 questions in good time and moved on to VA and boy I was in for a surprise. It was the tufest VA I had ever encountered till that tym. However, I kept my calm took the single questions first, finished them off and moved on to LR and managed 2 sets of moderate difficulty quite well. The third set was a bouncer and had to let go. 2 of the RCs were easy to read but had tough inferential questions and 1 RC was over the head types. Somehow managed to attempt 24 questions but somewhere deep down I knew VALR hadnt been that great. 

Another new thing that happened this year was that I cudnt sleep before the exam. An advice from a fren reeli helped: 

Red Bull and a Cold water bath

But again the effect of these things vary from person to person. I had to take the risk on the D - Day but I would strongly recommend people to actually try this for a mock or 2 and then onli apply the same on D day

XAT was another fun filled ride. Had gone to Goa with college frenz to celebrate new years. Returned inebriated a day before XAT which ensured that I had very limited specific preps for XAT. With a stomach upset gave XAT and wasnt expecting anything as all the coaching instis predicted a DM disaster for me

I dont remember much about CMAT other than the fact that the center was a bloody 30 kms away from my place and the results werent favourable either

The Result came by and as expected VA bombed but QA kind of saved the day:

CAT 2011:99.33%ile(QADI:99.82%ile,VALR:86.85%ile )

XAT was a pleasant surprise tho:

XAT2012:99.31%ile(QADI:95.xx%ile,VA:98.xx%ile,DMLR:93.xx%ile )

A point to note about XAT is that XAT keys are quite different from the keys tht coaching instis release. Hence, it is not a gud idea to get tensed up or relaxed after calculating ur scores via the coaching insti keys

Calls: XLRI (BM and HRM), FMS, MDI, IIT B, New IIMs

Cudnt secure a call from any of the older IIMs due to the low VALR percentile.

The interview preps started and I joined both CL and TIME as i got gud discounts owing to my percentiles. Got grilled in some, some were relaxed. Got to know that GD's and essays are my strength while Interviews were quite unpredictable. Again Seba da and Roger sir reeli helped me prepare. At the end I felt I had decent enough preparations and was ready for the real deal. Another point worth mentioning here is the fact that ITC reeli helped me prepare

I had put in my papers in jan itself after CAT results as I was ready to take up MDI (which used to give a lot of weightage to CAT scores) and the next 3 months were gonna be the notice period. There was not much work in office and I tuk full advantage of that.

Interviews started and first up was New IIMs. I still laugh when I remember how I just managed to almost miss it. First of all I wasn't well that day and secondly I thought that the process was at 2 pm when it actually was supposed to start at 1 pm and I saw this at 10 mins to 1 just before I ws going in for a bath. Rushed and managed to reach just 5 mins late. WAT went off well but the PI was a disaster and I got screwed royally. Next up was MDI which went off quite well. Then came the big one XLRI. The XL BM PI was a dream run which lasted for 20 odd minutes with them asking me 60 rapid fire questions and I managed to answer almost all of them. However later on I realized that they had made up their mind beforehand when they said "Come back next year with more work ex". XL HRM interview was however a comic affair due to multiple goof ups from my side. An hour before the interview my maid spilled tea on my 2 month old macbook and I was in no mood to go for the interview. After a good scolding from my mom I left 5 minutes before the allotted time and again managed to reach 5 minutes late. As I entered the room the professors commented "You should have come 5 minutes before the allotted time but you 5 minutes late.". I managed to convince them that I had a personal problem and they let me enter. Post that they started searching for my profile sheet which was right in front of my eyes and so I told them the same. A senior prof got seriously pissed off and told me "You learn to mind your own business and we can mind our own". Then there was mild earthquake during the GD which made us all wonder whether the shaking of the legs was due to nervousness or anything else. Post that the PI was okaish though I was taunted a number of times ("You are only 24 and you are teaching us"). FMS was another story and i got screwed as the profs quizzed me on MSE's and MSME's which left me thinking where did that come from! I knew I wont convert XL or FMS. As the results came out this was confirmed.

Converts: MDI, IIT B

I was highly disappointed that I cudnt my 2 best calls but there was also a sense of satisfaction that I had converted MDI. I was almost ready to go but then there was a fleeting element of doubt in my mind. I talked to a number of people and at the end I floated the idea to my parents. They were dead against it. I had sleepless nights. My mom asked me to join MDI atleast a 100 times during those 2 months when i was at home. People I didn't even know properly taunted me "You are an over-confident brat", "You are committing a mistake, a big one". Some people even went to the extent of calling me a incompetent fool. Life wasn't easy in that phase. I was facing opposition at home, I had left my job, my profile was not tht great either but i was simply not ready to give up the dream of getting into ABC that easily. These were pebbles, not boulders I told myself and decided to drop MDI. The day I withdrew the deposit from MDI was the day I decided I will not stop before I give all I have to it. This is my passion n i will live it! This is what I am good at and I cant give up on it so easily! I cant be just that one name on the list!

Then started the search for jobs. I was determined not to venture into IT again so I began looking for a job that engineers usually do not usually get. I visited NGOs, applied to marketing firms but cudnt find a way thru. Then one day recvd a mail regarding an opening of content author (Qa) at TF. Jumped on it and got the job. Thus my journey towards the city which never sleeps i.e. MUMBAI began

I can safely say that this was the most eventful year of my life till date and the decisions taken during this year changed my life to a very big extent. This was the year I got to know the kind of passion I possessed for MBA and the fact that I can be so passionate about something in my life. Everything in life revolved around MBA  :)

[Note: This is a post on the user's CAT journey that has been captured in his own words. We have not edited it in any way when publishing it as an article. Cover image is from http://www.sitebuilderreport.com/stock-up]

  • 40 Likes   17 Comments
  • "and then there was an earthquake.." wait what???? "reel.... 07 Jan.
  • man you deserve a IIMC convert this year...you really des.... 11 Jan.
CAT'14: 99.71%ile || CAT'13: 99.46%ile || CAT'11: 99.33%ile || XAT'12: 99.31%ile 
The Mediocre Soul @zippysoul 911

"and then there was an earthquake.." wait what????

"reeli" awesome read bro!!  

Barnava Chatterjee @.brnv 7

man you deserve a IIMC convert this year...you really deserve it...the amount of labour and determination you have put on is really inspiring (y)

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Five years in the making... Part 1 of 3

Part - A

Five years in the making...... Hence, this one is going to be a long long one..... apologies in advance for the same!

You learn lessons throughout your life, at all stages of your life but the funny part is that you never know when and where you will have to apply them....  my life is full of such lessons....


Born and brought up in Kolkata..... have seen a lot of downs and some ups in life. My parents have worked very hard to provide for me by sacrificing their own needs and provide for me and I am wt i am because of them and onli them. There were times when my mom had to stay hungry to feed me well, there were times when she had to feed me burnt khichdi and I remember her telling me this with moist eyes (she kept this from me till very recently). This made me stronger and determined. I resolved to ensure that this never happens again and this became my main motivation to do well in life

Childhood was tough for me. Was ragged in school for reasons I can't fathom even now. Was under-confident, was over weight and had difficulty talking to people. That hunger to succeed was not there in the beginning either. However in hindsight overcoming these problems was what made me what I am today. It taught me that every problem can be overcome if you try hard enough.

I have always been a very carefree, careless lad who never cared that much about studies...... somehow used to score decently in school exams which kept my parents from giving me a sound thrashing.... Though my parents and teachers were always of the opinion "Agar padh leta to 1st aata" but  I always felt "1st aake kya hoga, ratoo ka thapaa lag jayega". At that tym I was oblivious to how this world works and how capability without hardwork is useless.

Then came the 10th boards which were supposed to be a wake up call for me but alas I was as laid back as ever (kaun itna padhega). However, I remember one sentence that my maths tuition teacher has told me "Dekho u give ur best for ur boards, but remember one thing this doesnt matter as much as doing well in Entrance Exams does". At that time I wasn't even aware of what entrance exams were (yea, what an idiot i was to have not known what even IIT JEE was when I went to Kota the next year to prepare for the same). Gave my boards gt 83% and went to Kota (Bansals) post that which proved to be a turning point in my life for the first time in my life I was without my parents left to solve my own problems. It was an eye opening experience and made me come out of the protected world I used to reside in before that. Lost close to 35 kgs  and came bk to Kol as a fitter and sorted out individual with clearer goals. 

The Beginning

My journey towards CAT started way back in 2002...... I remember having a discussion with mom and dad discussing about doing an MBA post my engineering & orienting my choices according to that. Coming from a Marwari business family I ultimately aspire to start something of my own and hence, MBA will provide me with a very good platform to exxplore, network and gain some good experience before ultimately giving it a shot! So gave IIT JEE, AIEEE, missed an IIT seat by a few ranks (had an extended merit list rank) due to lack of preps (in Quants ), scored decently in AIEEE (thanks to Physics) . Post that had to decide which college and stream to so as to facilitate my MBA preps the most. Chose to pursue CompSci at NIT Dgp as it was in my home state and compsci was supposedly the "Coolest" branch in terms of rigour. The point to be noted here is that I chucked NIT Warangal, chemical (which would have been upgraded later on) and BIT Mesra (Mech) and some other colleges for my MBA dream.

College days passed like a breeze....... however, i found frenz who were like minded and we used to solve Quant and LRDI problems together. I still remember trying to solve the famous "Erdos number" set in my 1st year with my frenz in that crowded room of ours. Solving that set gave me a kick i din kno of till thn.... This gave me a feel of the passion I was gonna feel in the future for this exam, for the colleges I will dream of getting into. Motivated as I was I joined Career Launcher, Kolkata at the end of my 2nd year. Used to travel down every week to kolkata for classes from Dgp.

I knew VA was my achilles heel and I had to improve on the same, however I had no idea as to much I needed to improve. CL really helped realize that. Speed tests, Daily practise problems, grammar classes made me realize that I actually needed to improve a lot. Started reading rigorously, read like 30 books in close to 3 months underlining all the words which i couldnt understand and browsing the dictionary for them. Started conversing with my frenz in English as much as possible. Started using flash cards and using the words consciously on a daily basis. Flash cards are a very good tool to improve ur vocabulary but regular usage and revision of the words is a necessary exercise. I used to keep a small notebook with me all the time where I used note down the words learnt thru the flash cards and revise them on a daily basis whenever I used to be free. All this helped me increase my reading speed 2 fold and improve my grammar and other verbal skills

Quants, however, was my strength and I always knew that. Always used to do well in classes, sectionals, etc. Hence, the ante was always up in that front. However regularly solving the DPP sheets and problems on Pagalguy helped me stay a notch ahead of competition. Another thing that helped me a lot was the spontaneous mathematics I used to involve myself in. I began to fall in love with numbers and used to play around with them a lot. For ex if a car used to pass by i used try to play around with the numbers on the number plate, phone numbers were another thing that i used to play around with.on  Solving problems (L1 and L2 esp.) from the Arun Sharma's book Quantitative aptitude helped me a lot (i kno a lot of ppl wont concur with me on this but the book reeli does help). Theory wise Total Gadha and testfunda material also helped sharpen my knowledge with their awesome tricks, shortcuts and examples

That was a short gist of how i prepared for CAT and this was all i did in terms of hardcore preps. Post that I never prepared per se and it was all mocks after that! 

Point to note here is that 1 year of sound preps is enough for CAT post which composure and a little bit of luck is all that is required (which didn't come in that easily in my case )

Start of a memorable journey with Pagalguy

I joined PG in July 2009 (phew I am an oldie ) and was simply in awe of ppl here. The passion that ppl like @shashank3012  saar, @abhishek_sharma  saar, @manganese   saar, @Roger.Federer  saar, @techgodajay saar, @geminite maam, @sarcastix saar, @the_hate saar, @ThEbmr saar, @kinji.at.pg1 saar and many others had for CAT simply astounded me. Watching them maul mocks made me push myself harder and harder. 

Sometime during my 3rd year in college I met @Satwinder in Dgp and we held the first PG meet in Dgp. Also became a madcap for PG

Through him I also got to know about the concept of Regional and National Dream Teams. Couldn't apply in 2009 as I joined a bit late. However, these teams played a major role in shaping my journey when I see it now

Mocks version 2010

Mocks according to me are the most important part of preps. My tryst with them started in 2010. I still remember getting 70%ile in my first mock. This however improved with time and I consistently used to score above 95 in most of the mocks. Gained a lot of confidence as a result and was up and ready for CAT when it came for me (atleast I thot so ).

Here is a snapshot of my mock scores in 2010:


Season 2010

This was my first CAT and as I stated above I felt well prepared. I booked my slot for the first week of November and was well pumped up. Luckily I got placed in Mu Sigma early into the placement season which meant I had a decent back up and hence, that kinda pressure wasn't there. The stage was all set for me and I thought I will manage well. Me and one of my college mates (who had also been with me in CL) had booked the slot together. The registration process tuk place smoothly and there were no tech glitches. 

I started off with QA and attempted a decent amount (16 afai remember). Then moved on to VA where i attempted 19 in gud time which left me with LRDI and around 35 minutes which wasn't that bad. However, after being unable to solve a couple of sets I panicked (the preconceived notion that LRDI was obscure and tough in CAT 2010 did me in) and messed up the paper. After some ill - judged attempts I managed to attempt around 11-12 questions and the time allotted finished. I knew I had screwed up LRDI but there was still a glimmer of hope. 

Waited anxiously for the results hoping against hope. I remember the results getting leaked and my friend (the same friend who gave CAT with me) sending me the result via email after expressing disappointment. It read as follows:

CAT 2010: 96.18%ile(QA:98.xx%ile,VA:97.xx%ile,DILR:57.xx%ile )

As expected LRDI screwed me big time. No calls from anywhere. 

XAT 2011 was a disaster too as I knew I had messed up DMLR and ended up with:

XAT2011: 96.55%ile(QADI:85.xx%ile,VA:99.xx%ile,DMLR:69.xx%ile )

NM and Symbiosis called but i gave them a miss to give CAT, XAT another shot coz deep down I always knew that I can do much better.  

Meanwhile I had landed my 2nd job at ITC Infotech and decided to pursue the same in Bangalore. At that time my focus what totally on CAT and I thought being in ITC will give me time to prepare for CAT while being in Mu sigma wont. Later on I realized how wrong I was but again a lesson in life

[Note: This is a post on the user's CAT journey that has been captured in his own words. We have not edited it in any way when publishing it as an article. Cover image is from http://www.sitebuilderreport.com/stock-up]

  • 43 Likes   29 Comments
  • @sid2222000 finally..aa hi gaya legendary post !! \\\\_-_.... 06 Jan.
  • @sid2222000 awesome .. :smiley: .. the journey is the .... 06 Jan.
CAT'14: 99.71%ile || CAT'13: 99.46%ile || CAT'11: 99.33%ile || XAT'12: 99.31%ile 
Saquib Hasnain @Squib 1,309

@sid2222000 finally..aa hi gaya legendary post !! \\_-__o_//

Tough Luck- the elusive luck which was always tough and unfavourable.................. @Toughluck2009 2,305

@sid2222000  awesome .. .. the journey is the destination..as every traveller knows " he is travelling because he enjoys the journey rather than a destination "

I secured 760.5 marks in MAT.

I did not appeared in CAT this year.

I want to ask some questions-

1) Should I go for a MBA in MAT related colleges or should I wait for a year to give CAT.

2) Does work experience is a booster in a MBA course.I am a fresher.

3) Should I work for a few years and then seek MBA.

For every reply, I am very thankful that you have given some precious time to my query.

  • @nantu8mahapatra Have changed it.. :smiley:. 05 Jan.
  • All the best mates for CAT and management journey.. 05 Jan.
Nantu Mahapatra @nantu8mahapatra 7

All the best mates for CAT and management journey.

gave cat dis yr..scored 85%tile..thinking to join wipro in feb..or should i solely focus on cat 2015?...give some suggestions guys..thnx in advnce..:)

Hello puys ,

Note : this is a long post . very long .

Background :

My name is Sarfaraz and I am from Chennai .  I am an above average Hindi speaking guy who did not give much importance to studies especially during school , and for early couple of years of my engineering college .

10th :  84% (CBSE)

12th : 82% (CBSE)

B.E Electronics & Instrumentation (Anna univ ):  70%

My falling in love with CAT exam :

It was the winter of 2009 when my girlfriend had just broken up with me . I was pretty devasted  and was in a stage where I felt completely numb.  It was such a difficult time that my only priority was to survive and take each day as it comes. However , with support of close friends (a big thank you to them ) I managed to normalise myself and atleast take an interest in doing something.  I started exploring , asking questions and just trying to do the right things . Feels pretty pleasant when one starts to consciously do the right things .  It was during these times that I got fascinated by world of MBA,CAT and IIM's.  I also started visiting Pagalguy frequently . Slowly , as I got to know more , I came to realise and fall in love with the fact that management education is something I am passionate about and would like to know . 

Along with this , I did two mistakes. I fell in love with CAT as a way of getting back at my ex as she had called me a loser, good-for-nothing , no self-respect guy etc  . I was stupid enough to think that if I crack CAT then my Ex would be filled with regrets  and I would like it :-p. LOL.  Also , I had'nt cracked JEE nor AIEEE after my 12th so I was often tagged as a kind of loser by elders and CAT seemed a perfect opportunity to prove myself to them . Also , It would help me Move on . My brain and heart seemed convince to take the plunge in the world of CAT and MBA.

 Lesson learnt : Once I cracked CAT I came to realise that elders love you unconditionally and just because you don't crack some stupid exam doesn't have to affect relationship . They have just one concern , i.e whether you are delivering value to the world . ofcourse, its your responsibility to make them understand that . most of the time its not difficult.  And your ex-gf is an ex for a reason because no matter what you do it doesn't matter to her . The only thing you can do is respect her decision to choose someone else and enjoy the fact that you would be getting a better one, sooner than later. And since you are the one who has been wronged, God provides you from sources you couldn't imagine .  

CAT Preparation Phase (Feb 2010 - Nov 2010 approx 10 months ) :

I along with my best friend joined BYJU's classes since we attended a few trial classes and found the classes to be useful .I wasn't impressed with TIME or IMS classes.   However , we did join TIME's AIMCAT series and IMHO I think they are the best out there.

BYJU's classes happened on weekend mostly and the classes focussed on teaching shortcuts , planning and techniques to crack the CAT . I also started taking my college coursework more seriously and strangely I felt interested in doing it.  I also joined AIESEC , which really helped me in developing my leadership and social abilities.   It was an interesting and fulfilling time filled with learning.  I was quite surprised by way things turned out as 6 months back I was numbed out guy and now I was loving the way things turned out and clarity which came with it.

AIMCAT's started and despite my best efforts I couldn't score well. I did not give up , gave all the 16-20 aimcats and successfully never crossed 65%ile except once.  But one good thing I did was to analyse every aimcat like an addict  and only attend byju's classes.   By mid sept I had become obsessed with AIMCATs . Despite not crossing 65%ile , I did not lose hope (afterall I handled a breakup so I can handle this Aimcat failure) and kept analysing , improving myself and taking AIMCAT after AIMCAT. 

And puys this  cycle is crucial (practice->analyse-> practice->analyse ) . Its in these cycle's that you come realise your strengths , you as a person improve , connect on a deeper level to CAT exam and  I think this is what differentiates the winner's . Also you come to face some emotions which probably you wouldn't have encountered before.

CAT 2010 season:

So I was writing CAT , JMET(for iit mba) and IIFT . In terms of preparation I had byju's classes and about 20 AIMCAT's to show.

Result : Flunked all . Scored badly . Couldn't get any interviews.

I felt pretty stupid because I thought I had put in so much hard work and the result showed opposite.

But a little voice inside me said that my journey is not over and I actually felt emotionless about the whole result issue. Instead I just felt calm bliss that  I can move on . Atleast I gave my best and that's what matters. 

However , I was more interested in getting a quality business education and I did not care whether I get it from IIM's or someplace else.  Afterall , its more important to be well educated.  So I started researching B-school's and came across HULT . I did some more research and I was pretty impressed with what they were offering and how it was being offered . It was a one year course, world class faculty and they had a campus in dubai (one of my fav place) . I decided to apply and got admitted based on my acads and AIESEC experience.  Meanwhile , I also took an interest in my final year project and the result was pretty interesting .  So , I am done with my engineering course and have a few months before I head to Dubai for my master's course in International business (MIB) .

In this few months I came to realise that I was still a CAT addict. And I used to write AIMCAT as sort of timepass , cope with any bad situations , happy situation . In about 3 months I would have practiced and analysed  around 10 AIMCAT's and the results were surprising . I was scoring minimum 80%le.  One important thing I noticed was that I was practising Aimcat for pure joy with no expectations or pressure. Also , this time I was doing Aimcats for pure self-satisfaction and not as a way to get back at ex,or prove myself to anyone . I felt much better after taking aimcats.

MIB Time ( Oct 2011- Nov 2012):

So I head off to HULT dubai and the busy life of a b school takes over. Honestly , I think the US system of education is a lot better than indian system. You study what is needed and in way which makes you learn and educate. HULT curriculum involved a lot of team assignments , quizzes and not to mention the faculty comes from world class b schools like Harvard, Berkeley etc and also from the corporate world.

It was during this time that I came to realise the fruits of CAT my prep. (CAT journey improved my decision making, analysis , number crunching and basically I could just do acad things faster and smarter effortlessly). It felt like the story of bamboo.  When you have classmates from across the globe and diverse cultures , the learning experience takes a whole lot different meaning and its enriching . During this time I made a good set friends , had lots of fun and probably fell In love with a south  girl .(the south girl left the course by term1 and I ended up feeling disappointed but  not sad as there were convincing reasons for that to happen )  .

By the time I completed the course, I also managed to get an internship and I soon realised that employment is not something I would be keen on and following that I got fired from the internship . It was a troubling time for me . Also got  cheated , let down by some people on whom I had put a lot of hope and faith. Somehow managed to not let all this affect my acads. .  However,  the experiences of the past had strengthened me such that I was able to graduate with top score and got an acad award also . It was a really good strong happy moment for me.  By nov 2012 , I decided to return to India and become an entrepreneur.

In the midst of all this I managed to practice aimcats , thanks to pagalguy forum I got acess to many aimcats.

The Entrepreneur writes CAT 2013 :

I came back to india and through a friend of friend got involved in starting and running a startup dealing in mobile apps and augmented reality . It was a tough time and I realised doing a startup is much better than doing an mba and leading a corporate-ish life. Startup will teach you  a lot about business than any number of years at b-school. 

So in the midst of all this startup running, I still found time to take Aimcats and to my surprise I was clearing the cutoffs quite well.  Even then, I wasn't sure if should take CAT 2013 . but then a loved one passed away and out of an impulse I felt determined to take CAT and dedicate the win . (I still don't know what prompted me take this steps)

I fill up the forms, book my exam date and chill.  With a few weeks left for CAT just practiced some aimcats and took it without pressure. The attitude was IDGAF CAT exam.  So I take up the cat exam , answer questions for which I know answers.   However, this time I have more than 80 aimcats (spread over 3 years) to show for as prep but no proper effort before the exams.


So I almost forget about CAT as I got busy with work . Results declared and I did not bother to check . Did not feel its worth it. A few days later an Email pops which basically said "You have been selected for GDPI for the New IIMS (RRTUK)"

So I go for the GDPI with no prep.  Wrote the essay and attended the interview. Answered the usual question but had a tough convincing the interviewers about "y iim mba after doing business and a USA business degree" somehow managed to convince them.

Finally in month of may 2014 , I get an email saying that I had converted for 2 IIM's and waitlisted for other two.  I can't describe how happy this moment made me. It truly made me believe that dreams do come true if pursued with passion and perseverance. I danced with Joy .   But at the same time , I strongly felt that I am not ready to spend 2 years at a b school and spend lot of money . I would rather use that money to develop my business .  

I rejected the admission offers. !

My friends and to an extent my family couldn't believe that I am rejecting IIM's admission but then with a little explanation they understood .  

Some of the takeaway's from CAT journey which I think might be useful to Aspiratnts :

1. CAT is an exam which needs prep but also smartness.

2. CAT is not the end of road . there are awesome things than CAT Exam if you can find it.

3. If your plan is to do MBA , job and then do business because you will have experience then please drop the idea .  You can right away start up a business and learn as you go .  In two years you know much more about making money and business than an MBA.  There are financial benefits to it too.

4. Do CAT because you "want" to and not because you "have" to or "prove" yourself to someone.

5. Hard work never goes waste . It always repays well in some form or the other , sooner or later.

6.  Priortise, plan and focus on what's important.

7. Don't go by what society says or what status quo dictates. Just do what you feel morally  right and good about. 

8. Since you only need to succeed once , it doesn't matter how many times you fail . Learn from your failures and stick to your dreams during your darkest times . the dark times prepare you for your success .

9. Keep visiting pagalguy (or similar CAT sites) for inspiration , preparation and staying in tune with CAT .

10. CAT is an exam which might improve you for the better . So, IMHO its worth the effort.

11. Basics are important .  Some realise it earlier , some later . I realised it after about 40 Mocks.

12. Its OK to fail . Whats important is whether you think its worth trying again and can execute it.

13. Practice , Analyse and learn from mocks . the more the better.

14. Get into the mindset of getting IIM Admission than percentile scores. (Why? because with the different  admission criteria's  and normalisation of score , the probability of successfully predicting a score is unfavourable. And also it's the the reason why I have not mentioned my scores )

15. Take CAT with a chill mind. Its just another exam anyways J

16. As a bonus , GMAT exam looks much easier and smoother  after your CAT prep.

Good Luck to all CAT Aspirants.

Cheers !

-By Sarfaraz

Got admission to IIM but rejected it and decided to continue my business .

  • 34 Likes   9 Comments
  • @sarfaraz syed: great work man.. However in India and mo.... 01 Jan.
  • @Himanshu_Kohli Yea , true that if someone is looking at.... 01 Jan.
Himanshu Kohli @Himanshu_Kohli 7

@sarfaraz syed: great work man..

However in India and mostly everywhere, an MBA degree is required to show that u have know-how of running a biz. Without it, do u think companies would bother shortlisting u.. They would think y i would waste my time on him/her when i got other certified (MBA holders) applying to the company, even though that one applicant may have much more ideas than the other MBAs.

The irony of the fact is that most recruiters, not all, believe in the MBA on resume, rather than the potential of the candidate. They only consider the potential, after they have shortlisted them, and this is done on MBA degrees.

But firms like Google and some Big and promising Startups, prefer people over the degree.

However, Overall if u see.. MBA degree does greatly increase your chances of selection, although this aspect/process is absolutely flawed.

Sarfaraz Syed @sarfaraz1 58

@Himanshu_Kohli  Yea , true that if someone is looking at MBA and IIM as a means to get good jobs... The nuances of running an actual business are very much different from what is taught at a B-school. Spending 2 years running your own business would teach you a lot more than spending 2 years at B school. In my opinion ,An MBA just helps you think better and helps in viewing the business as a whole but its noway near the real deal. However , if someone wishes to do MBA just for the knowledge then its awesome and highly recommended

I dont remember exactly when i  logged in last time here at pagalguy

and to my surprise, the interface has changed lots.  I really had a hard

time figuring out how to post in the relevant sections and I hope I am

posting it in the right section. I had been banned before at PG for

posting stuffs so I hope I am posting it in the right section. First of all,

Why return to PG after so much time and post this today.  Well, I was

telling a junior of mine today if he has heard of pagalguy.com. He

was asking online resources for CAT prep so to be honest, I could

not think of anything else other than PG. Although, I still don't have a

clue how to post a smiley here. Everything has changed here.

(Coming from a PG veteran- Gaawd, I miss the smileys)

         My tryst with CAT started in my third year of Btech.  Arun

Sharma used to come in our hostel mess and in our common halls

and used to tell us, we ought to want CAT as bad as we would had

wanted a breath if we are dying of cancer. Well, lots of us were

motivated and given the discounts he was offering , we were

inclined to join his coaching classes. (Arun Sharma, the CAT related

books writer) Cl also chipped in with scholarship offers and I

managed to bag second position at their Lucknow centre. Cool, 8k

off on fees, good enough for our liquor parties to last for a week at

least. Well, I was a ranker in the CL scholarship test so naturally,

thought no need to study much. In my mind, I was already in most of

the IIMs and I didn't even considered JBIMS or any other college with

names like SPJIMR or you know, SIBM, lots of colleges that I wanted

to target after I failed twice in CAT (missing the PG smiley here, the

one with the logo) So, took CAT first time, failed, got 77.73 percentile

but since I think rationally  to justify my failures, I thought that so

what, have a job and who cares. CAT next time.  Everything went

smooth, smooth like I had always imagined, job to fulfil our daily

needs of ciggs and liquor and parties and what not, and on top of

that, I was blindly in love so failure in CAT did not even fazed me a bit.

      And then, at the threshold of what is called the real life, bang. Gf

left, after I had the left the job to prepare for CAT with her, yeah, life

does plans out that way.  So now, what , CAT, that can redeem me of

my sins, and if I make it, I can look myself in the mirror at least. Was

very dejected, and yeah, I used to cry too back then. let me take you

back down the memory lane. I was shattered, dejected, and used to

cry on the overbridges near Polytechnic, Waves, if anyone is from

lucknow, will know the places I am talking about.

     Was bouncing back from Cl kapoorthala centre to Cl Hazratganj

centre and it was pretty scary at times, manoeuvring in the traffic. So

FMS got included in the list now and was quite determined to make

it this time. bang, results, no success, haha, and then, decided to

move to Bangalore.

  Bangalore, I love this city. This city has been very kind to me (if you

take out the occasional chats with cops that ends with me and my

friends in their custody). Used to go to job interviews, well, I even

went for call centre interviews and had made up a story to tell back

home telling why I have joined a call centre after leaving a job

before. Well, got job in HP.  and again, the dream started to take it's

course.  AIMCATS, SIMCATS, these words were like, let me tell you,

the best things that I knew that time. Like a newborn baby says first

time, a word and everyone thinks its so awesome, I was in the same

phase.  AIMCAT 19, marks, ohh, you topped, I got this, damn, will

bounce back next time after some time at Purple haze Kormangla,

tried my best to bounce back the next day. didnt had many friends

back then, so PG was all that I had, in terms of friends too. 

      People learn lessons from their mistakes, but I had a knack for

thinking that what I do is the best, so again, left job, went full fledged

with CAT, FMS and yeah, MAH CET has now got a place in my list of

exams and (missing the smiley). so, results were not as I expected,

crashed in CAT,  missed FMS by borderline ( around 38 marks If I

remember- and yes, 38 marks is what I call borderline) and MAH CET,

98.73 percentile.(phew, finally, I can also boast of a percentile) so, in

nutshell -  no job (again), no admits and everything was lost.  I even

thought of consulting a psychiatrist back then. I still remember the

day FMS results were out, I called up one of my friends, and cried,

no, wailed. He said, its okay, maybe it was the first time in ages that

you studied hard, its ok to fail try harder next time. But I had not

motivation left, I was at the lowest of my life. So low that I used to

think, what I will do now. All my friends are at so good places, what

will I tell my parents, what will happen to my life and all the dreams

that I have had , they just shattered. Fast forward next year, luckily,

there was an exam called SSC, got through and opted for Bangalore

for posting ( I love Bangalore). Well, in college I used to think that

two to three years after college, I will be riding the bike of my choice,

will be partying more, well, personally, I love purple haze marathalli

for that ( they let us smoke too) unlike other joints. And there I was,

boarding a sarkari bus, and by the time I reached office, all my

nightmares had turned into reality and was facing the reality staring

in my face in the form of ladies ( above 50)  as my co workers

(missing the smileys) , among other things that made me think what I

had done with my life, and how I had ruined it with my own hands.

back at home, everyone was at least thinking that I had now settled

for something, not the thing that I had wished for my life, but yes,

had a sarkari job, and was trying to portray myself as happy as I could. So was the

frustration that I had ended up myself in jail for beating up cops near a pub.

    Wait, then, the miracle happened, I had a hobby, in college days,

of uttering the word open source. Open source, yeah, I had the

hobby of uttering the word every now and then. So after my job , I

used to come and see the packages offered by various IIMs and then

do my open source thing. started dreaming again, of having a

company, a small one of course, I still fear of dreaming big, since I

failed so many times.  Dreaming got intense, started taking leave

from job more often and one day, lady luck bestowed her showers

upon me. Got my first contract and finished it in a week.  The long

lost of dreams of having the package of 20+ Lpa and all started

taking it's course again. yeah I still laugh at it, it happened last year,

2013 started, and I was on the road of getting the dream.  Well, my

purpose of cracking the CAT was to have a big fat pay package, that

enables me to do what i want to do. This time, I was not going to give

it up. I worked for 16-18 hours a day, applied for leave at office and

yeah, I resigned too from office. No, how can you do it again,7th pay

commission is around the corner, how could you do that, was the

response from everyone I knew.  Once you start failing, people

believe that you will always fail and even the slightest thing that you

get, they will advise you to hold on to it. No, but I wanted to do it. I

resigned, and worked lots. I worked round the clock, seems I

mentioned it, before 16-18 hours a day (missing the smiley) 

results :   I have two employees now, both are based out of India(and

both are,umm,what's the smiley for saying they are so cute), and the

ITR that I filed last fiscal was more than the yearly salary that I used to

get at HP.  I have a small sort of company right now, and I have

clients all over the US and Australia ( I dont want to work for UK

clients since they ruled us and all, personal vendetta you see ) My

senior officers at my office call me up to ask that If I have some sort

of opening for their sons( missing the smiley)  Feels like a dream. But

to get here, I had to go through lots. I still remember the day when I

crossed that magical figure, that I had set up as a benchmark for my

financial success, I didnt knew what to do. I went to the Central Mall,

BODYSHOP, and purchased the eye mask there, to pamper myself

since my eyes hurt lots after crying.  I am very fortunate that I got

what I wanted. And yes, maybe, I had not wanted CAT that much,

because , I see here, people who had wanted it so bad , had got it.

The_hate, the doc mod (shashank -FMS inspiration for me that time

and probably these people will be my inspirations in time to come

), burning_desire one of the most beloved friends I had at that time at

PG. Not only I am doing what I wanted to do (utter open source, among other things) I am doing it from where I want to do. Currently I

am in Bangalore, since I love this city.  Life could not had been better

for me than this. Even though the manager of Purple Haze kormangla

has warned me that if he sees  me again in the premises, he will have

me kicked out, I still go sometimes, thinking that he won't recognise

me. After all, once you start yelling "This Place shicks", the managers

tend to do that it seems.

 The dream is still there, its still there.  I could not make it to the

colleges that I dreamed of, but I did something worthwhile. I can now

see myself and tell myself that I am not just some guy who gave up

because he was tired to continue. there are many tear shedding

stories, instances where I had sat numb, staring in the dark, and

thinking that life is over. I hope I have not diluted the sacredness of

this thread in any manner. Life does rewards us, we just have to

dream that reward and work towards it. I could not clear CAT in three

years and I saw the success that I had dreamed of in just one year.

That makes me think that I was not committed that much to CAT

prep and just wanted to crack CAT to prove my self worthiness to

others and me.  Now, i just try to prove to myself and maybe that is

what matters ultimately. we have to dream the dream for ourselves,

not for any other person, not for your gf, not for your parents , it has

to be you.

Seems boring now, this gyaan, so will end now.

[UPDATE]  I will not be writing any exam now, CAT, or any other for that matter. 

  • 68 Likes   29 Comments
  • :thumbsup: i guess,its always better to listen to uh rea.... 24 Dec '14.
  • @mind-at-work thanks, it is definitely worth it. 15 Jan.
Dreams come true.Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them. AIWTSAC http://goo.gl/r23kcf 
sia @mind-at-work 3,708

 i guess,its always better to listen to uh real heart...uh real wish...ur real dream...n ur real self...."cos they only pave d way for ur real peace!:) all the best!

Foad Bear @foadbear 1,732

@mind-at-work thanks, it is definitely worth it

I wish I knew these a couple of years back- My ruminations that may help you

I am working "in a stable job" since 2009. I gave CAT 4 times from 2010 till 2013.U may ask y CAT? Every endeavor in life has a trigger moment and mine goes like this, I gave CAT because I was content with my job and so my mind thought this way-being content means I am rotting and starting to lose intellectual skills. I was self deluding myself. Around the same time a intelligent and trustworthy friend of mine(who is not from IIM-C) told me how cool IIM-C is, how vibrant the campus is and what an IIM-C alumini can do. Vaguely I remember him telling me "Indira Nooyi...math and extra curricular heaven...place to be among all IIM's" Road to IIM-C is named CAT so I decided CAT it is!

Trigger moment aside other reasons include,

1. More opportunities to collaborate with a(the) intellectual, like minded and ethnically diverse opposite sex. I was shy and from a boy's school. I didnt use opportunities to change in this area during Undergrad.

2."Mr.ABC from IIM" tag means u r intelligent and branded for life that way. A sense of accomplishment. Self deception again.

3.FB being the way of life reading newsfeeds of close and many times unknown college/school friends which read like, "coverted the coveted IIM call" "feeling elated" "by gods grace..." made me feel,

(a)I was missing out

(b)I didnt do enough and was being dumb

(c)When will I get to post these messages? In short I felt "peer pressure"

Out with all the correct reasons for Y I took up CAT I must admit that all the time (during my 4 attempts) I kept churning out reasons other than these honest ones to keep me going. They did just that "kept me going"

After 2 long years of preparation I became very confident of acing CAT from 2013. Particularly last year, 2014, the year I came very close. But somehow I didnt get there.

Out of CAT fever and now pursuing different things in life I was subconciously introspecting the causes for my not clinching the exam. And today morning I couldnt work and couldnt think of doing anything other than writing my thoughts.

Coming to what you guys must have come to read in the first place. Maybe someone, someone like "me of 2012", may be able to put his senses in the right place.

Here I go,

1.There is no perfect study material or perfect place (tution) to learn Quant, English or DI. No one can teach you what is required to ace CAT. Stop searching and reading forums on the above subjects. For Quant,DI-Solve questions For English- I dont know. I did very well(i am being v humble here) in this section of CAT but lost out last year due to verbal. Maybe reading helps. I never read to improve english and I only read those which interested me. I started reading v late, 3rd yr in college. Never too late and its always difficult to begin with, not reading anything.

2.Excellence is incremental and only happens step by step. "Camera of Iphone 6 plus is great but IPhone 1st gen had the dumbest of all if you look back" Small steps towards improving ur aptitude is the correct way. Dont expect too much from yourself and stop comparing performances.

3.Minus scores in mocks and continuous flops will make u feel worse and depressed. Acknowledge and make fun of yourself and move on.

4.Dont plan too much and dont make timetables for prep.

5.Dont read success stories et al for inspiration. Solving the next problem is inspiration enough. Never feel elated when someone praises you for your supposed skills.

6.Dont think too far ahead i.e like during prep dont imagine being in an IIM interview and play roles. Dreaming too far ahead is bad for health.

7.Indulge yourself in a game.Team game. No I am not talking of chess here. I took to carrom last year and what started as mindless striking of coins slowly took hold of me and now my analytical skills have improved leaps. I am able to realise that myself.

8.Accept ur reasons for giving CAT even if they are very dumb. Write them out like me. Share them if u feel OK. It will definitely help you and a lot others.

9.I read a lot of philosophy books. I like them. Osho et al. They helped me improve my english tremendously i think. But they killed the "Ambitious" me. It was one of the most trying phases of my prep life. Think twice before philosophy.

10.I read this somewhere when i was preparing for CAT. "CAT is not the end of the world." True this. Most of the guys who prep'ed with me have left to join IIM's and other insti's. Some are still with me. Some still trying. I should be feeling distraught.I should be feeling depressed. But I am not and it is very surprising because during prep days I even repressed myself from imagining not clearing CAT.

I finally move on.

All the best puys!

  • 43 Likes   8 Comments
  • good one. 13 Dec '14.
  • Inspiring one and served at the right moment. Cheers to u.... 15 Dec '14.
Sayantani Ray @sayorina 2

Inspiring one and served at the right moment. Cheers to ur optimism, guess we all need it at one point of time. Thanks for the post, it is really nice (y) 

As i write this post, I have completed (I presume) a term at IIM Bangalore. Back at home, with Term 2 about to start, I felt I would pen down my thoughts in this sacred thread which motivated me and kept me going for 4 years. I still remember the AIWTSAC of Rohit Gupta and @the_hate I remember these distinctly because, whenever I was down, I had always looked upto these posts which kept me going


- Pretty long post

My profile

X - 92% (Tamil Nadu)

XII - 97% (Tamil Nadu)

B.Tech(IT) - 88% (2009 passed out - Private engineering college at Chennai)

Category - General

Any remarks - Just another General,Engineer, Male who had 53 months of IT experience when he cracked the CAT

CAT 2010

I was just 8 months experienced at the IT Industry. A faccha, who wrote CAT in October 2010. There was no real preparation and hardwork this time. Wrote CAT owing to "What are you going to do with your life" question. As expected secured 78%ile. Had calls from a few Tier 2 B-schools and was rejected by all of them in their GD-PI

CAT 2011

My nerves started to beat faster now. I became highly insecure of my position. Was not sure where life was taking me. I gave a deep thought and was convinced that MS wasn't my career choice. I wanted to pursue an MBA, and from an IIM. With the kind of preparation and mindset I was in at that point of time, this seemed to be a tough ask. I was out of touch with acads for over 2 years. My work needed me to be at office for nearly 12-13 hours. I initially wanted to take a test series alone and prepare in the remaining time which I got by myself. I went to CL, Tambaram on 7th May 2011. I should say this was the beginning of a change. I met Ajay Zener, an IIM A Alumnus. He was the most genuine and awesome person to talk to. He apprised me of CAT and the strategies to take CAT. I understood that my base wasn't strong and that classroom coaching would enable me to strengthen my base. I joined the CL full time classes and started attending them religiously. Every class was a unique experience. I interacted with serious mock maulers and some best brains. I could see that I was improving slowly and steadily in this process. I still remember, my initial scores were 24/180 in the mocks.. Slowly it improved to early 40s and touched 70s fetching a 90+ percentile. I started to follow a crazy schedule. I came back from office at 9 PM. I slogged for CAT upto morning 2 AM. Slept and again studied for CAT from 6.30 AM to 8 AM before leaving to office. I covered pretty much all concepts by August and gave nearly 15 mocks before giving actual CAT on October. My best score of the season was around 94 percentile. To admit, CAT 2011 was a pretty simple paper. In fact my first question was a simple area problem from co-ordinate geometry. I performed to the best of my ability. I scored a 202 in NMAT and screwed up IIFT/ XAT. I stayed hopeful of CAT . The results were out and dreams were crushed. An amateurish 80 percentile. My quant had gone good. But VA had hit an all time low of 61 percentile. I had no other calls. I had 2 years of experience in IT. I thought, I will try harder..I was decent in all concepts, but there wasn't an area wherein I was strong. So i decided to work harder again.

CAT 2012

This was the year wherein I decided to put in all my energy and effort once more. The mistakes of 2011 made me realize several key lessons. I started to slog much early, as early as February. I completed all basic books of CL once more and started with the mocks from April. This time, I touched the 98 percentiles quite a few times. With experience, My work slightly relaxed at office and I started to stay full time at CL Tambaram. I used to be back from office by 8 PM. stayed at the center and studied till 3AM. Got back at 7 AM and practiced problems till 9.45 AM and left straight to office. I realized that everyday, I should do a bit of QA, VA and LR-DI. As days passed, I was frequented by the question "More than 2 years in IT ? Not leaving abroad ?" , "CAT is all about luck..dont waste your life dreaming about it..Try GRE". I quietly set aside all these. As August approached, I became very sharp at all concepts. I was helping several of my friends with quants and I was determined to crack CAT this time. I was able to articulate the concepts very well. If you are not able to explain a concept in simple terms, you haven't got it enough. I checked myself to ensure I had learnt everything the right way. I solved more mocks and sectional tests. Early October, NMAT came and I secured a 215. This slightly boosted my spirits. CAT went like a breeze. I thought, I had done well. A well-connected study group or in other words a friends group was formed at CL tambaram. I also got to know many nice people from PG. Can never the bunch of amazing people who shared loads of their knowledge to the threads. It was January and I was extremely eager to view my CAT results. As I checked mine, my heart stopped..80 percentile again with balanced sectionals though I thought whether this was some jinx associated with me ! I felt very quiet. I moved on to NMAT, gave the CD-PI and converted NMIMS. Now I took the big decision of my life. I am not joining NMIMS, Mumbai. NM had declared it's average package as 14.5 L. I already had 42 months of workex in IT. Many felt I was getting old (goddamn !! ) Everyone around me thought, I should join a B-school without fail. I went upto Ajay sir and conveyed him my desire of not joining NM.  Ajay supported me and asked me to try once more. He was the only person who believed in my dreams and asked me to try once more. Some guys asked me to join NM quoting the placements, some asked me to try an Onsite opportunity from office quoting the returns. I guess I did the best thing under these perils. I shut myself for sometime and proceed with my dreams

CAT 2013

I started everything again. Even more harder effort this time. Sleep took a backseat and I got engrossed in solving QA and VA.I completely forgot about the end result. I thought, I am going to give one best shot. I also concentrated on my work to improve my profile. As March came, I took up the basic books of TIME/ CL and some other sources and finished them. I had also solved all papers of CAT. I  found methods for DI and LR and sharpened them. I started concentrating exclusively for CAT. For RCs, I developed a skill of skimming passages to identify if i can/cannot solve them.The last three months became an obsession towards CAT..I was able to recognize/solve almost every Quant problem I was in the All india ranks of CL and TIME many times. My mock scores reached a 140+ with >100 scores many times. I also cracked a 99+ score 7 times at the mocks.This time, I filled every form which I could. I wrote NMAT first and then wrote CAT on the first week slot. To our dismay, CAT 2013 turned to be a tricky paper with lesser attempts. My Quant section did not have arithmetic. But I solved all DI and attempted nearly 18 questions. The Quant paper was indeed challenging. Moving to VA, the LR sets turned out to be tricky. Having solved 10 Lr questions, I saw the clock and my heart froze..45 mins were gone and just 25 minutes were remaining. I checked the RCS...Of the three 2 were philosophical, I left them. 1 was simple and straightforward. I cracked all 3 questions. Since I was good in Vocab and EU, solve every other question within 20 mins. As the exam ended I had attempted 37 questions.. I thought it was over and I had to take either an NMIMS or some other college

NMAT results were out and I had scored a 218. Felt relaxed (Atleast I can join one college now). The other exams went well and the big day of CAT results did arrive.I was scared and in no mood to check it..Finally I did and it was a jinxed 97.9 percentile (93.9 in QA + 98.9 in VA. QA had done me in, but the damage wasn't so bad). General cut off for IIM Shillong was instantly announced and it was a 98 overall.. IIMS was out, so was IIMK.

I had calls from NITIE, MDI, SCMHRD, IIM-Indore, NMIMS, New IIMs IMT, XIMB and SPJIMR

3 days later, I checked the site of IIM B. To my surprise I had a call from IIMB. Now when you are close to your dream, you feel energized somehow. Now I knew that to overcome a 2 percentile shortage at CAT, I had to give a real good GD-PI. I started studying everything..Current affairs, Credit Crisis, Eurozone crisis, Obamacare, US Healthcare (Since I was working in Healthcare-IT), Basics of economics, Banking, Acads. I felt the 30 days of GD-PI would transformed me greatly. I developed a perspective towards everything. I conveyed my call to my Manager and he provided me some leeway to prepare. Finally the day did arrive March 03,2014. I went to IIM B campus. The WAT went very well and so was the Interview.

As I received the following mail from IIM B, I cried out my heard ,

Congratulations! Indian Institute of Management Bangalore is pleased to offer you admission to the Post Graduate Programme in Management (2014-2016).

After many years, after so many rejects, I felt peaceful. 

A few of my thoughts

1. Never let anyone decide your future. We are adults. We should think and take our own decisions.

2. Believe your intuition. It is always right.

3. Great things take time to happen. Persevere and wait for your turn.

4. You can never change the result. You can only make your chances bright. So slog and do whatever you can

5. The World around us is seldom clear in their thoughts. So better turn a deaf ear to unproductive comments.

6. Surround yourself with people better than you and who bring about positive energy. Lucky for me I had an awesome mentor, Ajay Zener at CL,Tambaram and a bunch of awesome buddies

7. Finally never give up, Tough times do not last long, Tough people do.

BTW I converted all my calls this year except SPJIMR.

Good luck puys ! Never thought would write a post here

Natarajan Ramachandran,

PGP 2014-16 Batch

IIM Bangalore

  • 215 Likes   57 Comments
  • @axeey Of course Akshay :smiley: Good luck with your re.... 13 Dec '14.
  • amazing post... just loved it.. ur dedication n zeal for .... 13 Dec '14.
PGP 2014-16, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
Natarajan Ramachandran @nramachandran 2,699

@axeey Of course Akshay Good luck with your results !! 

namami ambashtha @Nemmo

amazing post... just loved it.. ur dedication n zeal for ur dreams...

Quantum CAT PDF anyone?

  • whatsapp plz 8961777574. 10 Sep '14.

Hi Puys!

I have gone through so many experiences on this thread and I have to say the emotions have been infectious. Every time I stumbled upon a really huge post, I would think to myself, " God! How can one write so much!" Some people have a way with words (and I envy them :P) but I am not that good so I'd keep it short

My relationship with CAT began in 2010 when I first appeared for it in my 7th semester of B.Tech. I was just testing the waters so I ended up scoring an average 86.x. I had my mind set on work experience so forgot all about it. Then came 2012. My work experience had definitely given me a reality check and I realized a technically inclined career wasn't the thing for me. And so, I was reminded of my past love, i.e. CAT <3

My workplace had been stressful (thanks to a chauvinistic and egotistical manager). It was August already and I was yet to kick-start my CAT 2012 preparation. My preparedness was nowhere up to the mark. Knowing I hadn't put in much efforts, I knew the outcome wouldn't be very pleasant but there's always a part of you which is forever hoping for miracles! Then came January 2013 and brought with it my CAT score. Meager 84.59 %ile was all I got :/ I was kind of taken aback. I sooo wanted to leave my job that I followed the page @CAT 80-90% ! Lets make the most of it  I applied to a few colleges (read 3) to which applications were still open. To my surprise, I even converted one of them. My confidence soared and I decided to take one final shot at it. So, I pulled up my socks for CAT 2013.

Being employed meant I was mainly left with the weekends and a few hours after the job (which I mostly managed to waste). I did as much as I could on my own but joined IMS test series which kept me in check. Appeared for September CMAT, scored 242, ranked 1013. My confidence for CAT went a notch higher. Knowing this was my last attempt and not wanting to screw it, I convinced my managers to let me take off from work before the exam. D-day arrived - 31st Oct, 2013. I wasn't happy with my performance, to say the least. My attempts were less and so were the chances of cracking it. But then, CAT has its ways of surprising you Result: 95.13! I know you're thinking it's only 95.13 and not 99.13 but I was super happy! I remember having my eyes welled up with tears of happiness almost instantly! I knew this was my ticket to an awesome MBA college and I would finally live my dream

So, here I am today, joining MHRM at IIT KGP. Thanks to everyone who helped me in any way in my journey. Special thanks to @arpan.m   for telling me about this program and @dragster   for the constant guidance. I Hope I make the best use of this awesome opportunity!

Lessons learnt : 1. It's never too late to follow your dreams. 2. Keep exploring the world, keep challenging yourself. Life is an ongoing adventure. 3. It's okay to be stupid sometimes

Advice to CAT aspirants : 1. Be regular in your preparation. 2. Apply to as many colleges as you can, even if you think they're out of your league. (I regret not filling up MDI/XIMB) 3. Appear for all the exams. You never know which day is yours. 4. Lastly, CAT or even MBA is not the be-it-all. There is life beyond it.

All the best guys! Cheers to the new beginnings! (y)

PS: It wasn't that long, was it?

  • 89 Likes   81 Comments
  • Good luck! (y). 29 Aug '14.
"The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. " - Steve Jobs

After contemplating a lot whether I should write in this thread or not, I decided to pen it down on this sacred thread. Though I am not an active member in any forums or threads of pagalguy, but every day since last 2 years I am visiting this website.  But I regret how come I never looked into this thread. It was in february 2014, during my GDPI preparations when I first got a link to the_hate sir's post and came to know about this thread. So today I am sharing my journey in this thread though it's not a special one.

Since my school days my father had a dream of me being an IITian. He always encouraged me to try for JEE but like most of the average students I also ended up getting into a Btech course in a not much renowned college. I was always an average student from my school days and even in my Btech I never thought of beyond enjoying life and getting a job. I enjoyed my whole 4 years without any further goal and ended up getting a job in IT sector. But as I was from a core engineering background I didn't like my job at all. This was one of the most depressing periods of my life. While I was working in the IT sector I also kept trying in my core sector. But the thought of going for an MBA came to my mind in dec 2011. I was just telling one of my friends cum colleague about a senior of my school who was in IIM A. I told him that my father also dreamed of me joining a premier institute. Then suddenly my friend asked me about my acads and I told him that I had 81, 71, 79 in X, XII n grads respectively. The very next reply from him was that forget about BLACKI, you may end up in IIM kashipur if u try hard. I felt really bad and low after getting such a reply and decided to give a try in this rat race. A month later I resigned my job and returned to my home sate to join a core company. In march 2012, I bought the study material from TIME and started preparing for CAT 2012. Being from an engineering background I was comfortable with the quant section but in verbal I was too weak and even today I don't have a good hold over my verbal skills. My preparations were going at a good speed, I solved many quant questions. I started reading The Hindu and worked upon my vocabulary. Soon the mock season started. I started giving mocks and through out the season my %le varied from 50- 85. During the whole season I always found people talking about analyzing the mocks but personally I never did, for which my mock scores always varied a lot. I booked my slot on 28th oct 2012. I also gave XAT ,IIFT,NMAT. ON 9th Jan the CAT results came at around 4 am and I was shattered to see a miserable 60%le in CAT. I cried and cried for almost 2 hours. Then in the evening I went to a friend's place and drank there till the last drop. I called my dad, cried on the phone and told him that I couldn't fulfill his dream. He consoled me saying it was not the end. Other results also poured in and each one was disastrous. I scored around 63%le in XAT, 37 in IIFT, 190 in NMAT. I lost my confidence and remembered my colleague's words. My parents kept encouraging me and asked me to take a break for some time.

After 3 months I again thought of giving one last attempt to these exams. Again enrolled myself for the AIMCATs and this time instead of solving too many questions, I analysed the mocks and worked upon my accuracy. It was reflecting in my mock scores as in 2013 mock scores varied from 75 to early 90s. Then The D day arrived, 7th nov 2013. This time I even asked my family panditji to find a good date within the CAT window ( I am too superstitious). I went to the test centre with a calm mind. I attempted 16 and 17 questions in qa and va respectively and tried to maximize my accuracy. I gave other exams also. Then the results started to come. I scored 39.xx in IIFT, 187 in NMAT.  Seeing these results, I thought I have again failed and wasn't hopeful at all for remaining results. On 14th Jan 2014, without hoping much and less fear I checked my results almost an hour after declaration. The very next moment I screamed out and let all frustrations come out. My mother came running to me worrying something bad had happened and I said I scored 93.28(QA 93.96 VA 86.xx). I knew I got what was needed as I am from NC OBC category. (That is why I was thinking if I should write about my journey in this sacred thread as I don't have a God like score.) My father came rushing from my uncle's house hearing my screams. I just jumped and hugged him. It was one of the most happiest moments of my life. I called my gf and told her that I made it this time. Next I got 91 %le in XAT. I knew I'll have a few good calls and I need to convert them at any cost. I didn't give any interview in my last 2 years, so I was a bit worried and started preparing for GDPI. I had calls from IIM K, I, all 6 new IIMs,NITIE, XLRI HRM, Vgsom, SJMSOM  and IIT D. My first interview was for XLRI. It wasn't a good one and I knew I won't make it. From there on I had almost 6 interviews scheduled in next 2 months. After performing badly in XL, I knew that I had to raise my performance and with every next interview I became more confident and performed better. The GDPI results started to come. XL was the first one and it was a straight reject as expected. The next one was NITIE and even that was a reject. My NITIE interview was good but I was shocked that I didn't even make it to the waiting lists. I was again in that depressing state but my gf said,” you'll make it to an old IIM and all the IITs”. As I am very superstitious, I believed her words like anything because whatever she says, that comes true for me :P. And once again it did come true for me . I got my vgsom results and with a category rank of 15, I was finally sure of doing an MBA this year. And after that I converted most of my calls by converting  IIM Indore, kashipur, Udaipur, Sjmsom and was waitlisted in IIM K and raipur.

So finally, I made it to a premier institute. This journey is not just about making it to an institute, it has taught me many things in my life. I am a very changed person with much more patience and goals in my life. I have learnt to handle pressure, analyse situations and most importantly to keep calm. I am really thankful to my parents, gf and all my friends who believed in me and encouraged me through out my journey. Thank you Pagalguy, even you had a major role in my success. ATB to everyone.

Dreams do come true.


IIM Indore PGP 2014-16

  • 36 Likes   20 Comments
  • really inspiring all the best buddy. 23 Nov '14.
  • @sid2222000 "*it is tougher to get into the mumbai local.... 16 Jan.
Calls: IIM K,I,new IIMs, XLRI HRM, NITIE, IIT B, IIT kgp, IIT D, IMT, LIBA Converts: IIM I,Udaipur,Sjmsom,Ka,IIT kgp,LIBA Waitlisted : IIMK wl91,IIM Raipur Skipped: IMT, IIT D Rejects: XLRI HRM, NITIE
amitabh das @amitabhdas 1

really inspiring all the best buddy

one last time . @Chirayu2404 1,365

"it is tougher to get into the mumbai local during office hours than it is to find a job in mumbai! " true that!

Salute sirji...A jaaoge aap.

Hi Puys. Here are my two cents for your CAT preparation. I have written about my experience and preparation strategies in my blog. Hope it is useful.

  • 38 Likes   27 Comments
  • @imaginer88 Test funda Skill builder has a lot of good q.... 25 Aug '14.
  • @anandgun thanks man , actually i got motivated by readin.... 02 Sep '14.
Anand Ganapathy @anandgun 318

@imaginer88  Test funda Skill builder has a lot of good questions. Working out the problems in the skillbuilder per se would take some time. I did not take up the test funda mocks or the rankbooster. So I cannot comment on either of those. But I would recommend the skill builder alone. It has enough problems which can push your score high. Later if there is a paucity of material, you can opt for rankbooster. 

@imaginer88 201

@anandgun thanks man , actually i got motivated by reading that you used the skill builder in the last 2 months . As of now also , only 2 months are remaining and i am thinking that it would be a good use of my time 

I think its finally time to put my story on this thread.

Read only if you can bear the length, its pretty long

Its not very inspiring or special but its mine and will always be special to me.

So, I knew I wanted to go for my MBA right from grad but though I would do it after gaining some work-ex. That, I think, was an error-not the work-ex part, but the not preparing, not trying at all part.

So, I graduated from a top College in Economics with above average scores but not brilliant ones.

My 10th & 12th grades were great though (94 & 95)mg

I was placed in a research and analytics firm and I liked it there. First few months had to be spent adjusting to life as a working person as opposed to a vella college student.

Hence, didn't think of CAT that season as well-CAT 2012.

Then started the panic-I was moving towards completing a year in a firm which I loved doing work which was not satisfying as it was getting repetetive, not having taken CAT even once.

Time to take action. Joined coaching in March 2013 thinking I would be regular. Work was hectic but manageable.

May 2013-a problem in my project at work and all hell broke lose.

At a time when I should have been focusing on CAT prep, I was spending days, night and even weekends in office, trying to salvage the client, correcting errors made by the person who had been handling the client before me and had quit by then. The client had multiple projects across teams and was the biggest client of the company so I couldn't screw it up.

August-things settled, client pacified. I started taking mocks to realise I was majorly screwing up quant. verbal was my saving grace.

I was scoring in 80-85%ile range in quant and 95-99% in verbal.

Then quant scores started dipping, work kept becoming hectic.

I applied for study leave which was approved (3 weeks). Was planning to book a slot for 10th Nov but was blatantly told by the organisation that a senior wanted to take off at that time hence I would have to take CAT by 21st October.

Had no choice but to accept-booked the 21st October afternoon slot.

Had given up hope of doing well in light of my continously falling quant scores, and the 95%iles (not good enough) in verbal. Took the prep leave anyway.

Thats when I actually started sitting in my coaching centre with a teacher who encouraged me and convinced me to give my best in whatever time I have. Was nervous but decided I had nothing to lose. In the words of my teacher, "You've already paid,Jaake de bhi aa"

So, 21 October 2013-CAT day

Went in nervously-I was attempting CAT for the first time.

Quant-Tough like the trend was. managed to solve just 16 Got stuck in a DI set and never recovered. I was flustered by the end of the section.

Moved to Verbal.

LRs-Very tough.

I had been consistently doing well in Verbal in all mocks and LRs are my strength so was surprised.

After some struggle, was able to solve them. Attempts-24 (used to go over 26 in all mocks)
Thought section 2 went decent as my accuracy was pretty good in verbal.

Spoke to my teachers saying section 1 was screwed....was convinced I lost my chance but they said if my accuracy was 100%, I should make it above 95% in quant and verbal they knew I won't screw up.

I wasn't convinced. Randomly applied for job switch to a seemingly better job-management consulting.

Got through; quit my last organisation on 10th Jan with a heavy heart (I had an awesome 20 months there because the people rocked!)

14th Jan-result day
Checked: OA: 95.13%ile
QA: 95.6%ile
VA: 90 %ile

Couldn't believe my eyes. VA had screwed me up.
Joined the job.

The B-School lists started coming out and I didn't check any. Was forced to check by friends to see I had received a call from S....had already received a profile based call from SPJIMR, received more calls from I, MDI, and finally L.

Was thrilled to know I had an outside chance of making it to L though I knew it would be tough with the low CAT score. Heck the call itself was unexpected at my percentile.

Meanwhile, the job was screwed-I was surviving on 2 hours of sleep everyday, working 18 hours a day.

There was no chance of preparation. Had to just struggle to survive.

Somehow went for the NMIMS interview, dozed off during the orientation, rocked the CD, PI was a stress interview but I was chilled out because I was so unprepared anyway
Answered about 30 questions, didn't answer 2. I had gone just for prep since I had no time to prepare otherwise.
Verdict: Converted with merit rank around 80 Didn't join, didn't book a seat.

SPJIMR-screwed since I couldn't defend why a grad should get in while there were 2 people with a CA and CFA respectively.
Verdict: They moved to round 2, I didn't.

Fell ill, Fought with my boss, went back home for 10 days. (Mumbai to Delhi)

Took the Shillong interview aise hi, screwed it up.
Went for L interview was extremely nervous as I had no time to prepare.

GD went well, stopped people from digressing, made contributions, started the GD.
PI was very chilled out-discussed projects and I had no problems in any work-ex related questions ever
Had poetry as a hobby in the form somewhere so was asked to write a poem on the spotp
Wrote-they were happy.
Messed 2 particular questions on stats on Indian economy but answered all other questions on the Economy with a smile (am an Eco grad).

Came out of the interview satisfied but unsure since the CAT score gap was still there and L gives 38% weightage to CAT even in the final merit score.
Came back to Mumbai, worked hard again.
Skipped the MDI interview as I decided to take CAT again and aim for A/B/C/L/XL in case I didn't get through.

Was unsure about IIM-I....was waiting impatiently for L results.

Result day: I was in office, the link for results had been leaked around 8pm and i was checking the inactive link impatiently.
9 o' clock we packed up to go home and I was stepping out when I got a call from a friend who had been checking for me and he said, "You made it"

I couldn't believe it! My team(they knew about my wait) said, we'll wait, you check the results!
So, at 9:30 PM, I was standing in the corridor of a client's office, opening my laptop to see the message,
"Congratulations! You have been selected for PGP at IIM-L"

I screamed out of joy! Certainly one of the happiest moments of my life.

The past year just wizzed past my eyes-the problems, the 18 hour workdays, the interviews without preparation, the desperation, the hope.

If not for L, I would have quit my job to prepare....it would have been a year of self doubt, I was safe.

My teachers suggested I wait for a year-aim for A/B/C, I decided to join L

My first CAT season remains my last CAT season (thankfully!)mg

I skipped the IIM-I interview, it was a couple of days after the L result was declared.

Today is the last day of my job, its been a tough 4 months here-screwed up boss, torturous life which I don't wish for anyone else. I have learnt a lot of patience and resilience here and hopefully that will help me in HEL(L)

Can't thank the pagalguy team enough because though I have been a silent member, its been of immense help.

Signing off.
IIM Lucknow
  • 67 Likes   21 Comments
  • @rahuljaat Thanks bro! :smiley:. 08 Jan.

Finally it's done. IIM Lucknow it is. Peace -- for now at least. The destination, for which I set out on in the month of January, 11, has finally arrived. The journey might have been over, but it was one I'd never forget. It's this journey which I'd like to share here, albeit in brief.

I'll start from the beginning. January, 11 it was. I was in the 4th semester of college life. Life was going well. Then one fine day, brother got a PPO from a multinational bank, in a foreign locale, with a hefty pay-package. Brother happened to be from IIMB. So, management it was for me. The only problem is, I had no idea what a CAT paper looked like. rolleyesI knew it comprised of Maths and English questions, but little more.

My 1st reaction. Maths, could be managed, but English – hmm. So, work on English began. First came 'Word Power Made Easy', then the most revered Hindu editorials. Voila -- slowly, slowly my vocabulary started to improve. September came, and I, along with many friends joined CL. After few initial classes we decided not to attend any more quant classes. Why -- It was beneath our dignity (However, now when I look back at it, I feel the Quant classes helped more than their English counterparts.)

April arrived, and with it the Test Series season commenced. With high hopes I gave my 1st complete CAT paper. Result – 66 marks and 85 percentile. F***. The next 3 tests also the same story continued. Thoughts in my mind – 'maybe I require another year'. However, I gave all the tests, and bingo—the marks started to improve.

Cat paper – 28 Oct, 13. Quant gets f*****, but English acted as the saving grace.

December, 13. I got placed, and so decided not to apply for FMS. I even gave XAT half-heartedly as I wanted to work for a year or 2.

I ended up getting 99.51 in CAT, against expectations. Quant – 97.34, English – 99.51!! But I got calls only from the new IIMs. (Travails of a GEM + a 7 pointer. I'll leave this for another day :D). However, the result acted as a real confidence booster, and I knew that with a little better exam anything was possible.

Soon it was July, and I joined a Global Fortune 500 company, where I had little work to do. So, all-out CAT it was. TIME's AIMCATs joined CL's test series as part of my ammo in my battle against the prometric. 50 tests in 4 months. This was how I decided to prepare for CAT'14. No part tests, no sectional tests. Only full length tests, and that to 50 of them.

I deliberately chose the slot for Cat, 14 same as that of cat, 13(Yes, superstitious I am ). After the paper I knew the exam had gone well. I was expecting the very best. It might seem exaggeration, but I'd be lying if I say a percentile of 99.89 didn't disappoint me at first. However what was interesting was the reversal in sectional percentiles from last year (Quant – 99.91 , English – 97.31). In the meanwhile I screwed up my XAT 2nd time in a row. Couldn't even clear all the 3 sectional cutoffs.

As expected, I didn't get an A or B call. I had no intention of joining K, S or the new IIMs (maybe they gauged this fact during the interviews. Got straight rejects from all of them ). So, C, L and FMS were the 3 options I decided to pursue seriously, in that order. However I don't know why, maybe because of the lack of infrastructure or the desire for an IIM tag, I was never really inclined towards FMS.

The interview season started in February. I decided to take 2 leaves per week from office for preparation. Covered everything I could find under the sun. From HR questions, to technical ones. From questions asked in past years (thanks to Pagal Guy's 'Previous Years' experience' thread), to potential questions related to my work profile. However all this came to no use as my C interview lasted no more than 7-8 minutes, resulting in me getting a straight reject from both their profiles

However, L wasn't this cruel to me (they did however give me a moment of scare, showing rejected status before changing it to converted moments latermg) A good WAT, GD followed by a decent interview, had raised my hopes. As it happened, L turned out to be my 1st and last convert of the season. I knew I had screwed up my K interview, but seeing S release a wait-list of 700, and not finding my name even in it was disheartening. Even the new IIM's didn't bestow their kindness on me. But the important thing, from my perspective, was that I converted my 2nd best call.

Still many self- doubts remain. How could I convert only 1 of the 4 calls? How bad were my C and K interviews that I couldn't convert even a single new IIM? Will I be able to ace the interviews during the summers, and final placements? Is my profile good enough?

But still the excitement of getting into a top IIM is enough to suppress all these self-doubts – at least for now. And also a little nervousness is good, it keeps you on your toes, prevents you from getting lazy (This is what I said in my L interview when asked 'you look slightly nervous').

With this I'd like to bid adieu. Thank you Pagal Guy. You have been really helpful. I hope this post will help someone who might be in a similar spot I was 1 or 2 years back.

  • 25 Likes   8 Comments
  • CAT'14 :astonished: ?. 27 Sep '14.
  • Plz share ur profile n ur engineering college too... 20 Oct '14.
Anup iim.aspirant @anup.suraj123 9

Plz share ur profile n ur engineering college too..

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