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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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

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

The beginning :

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

Great Expectations :

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

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

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

The last season :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From 38 to 59.

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

Epilogue :
Joining TISS Mumbai HRM. 

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

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

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

  • 49 Likes   23 Comments
  • good one...ATB!. 16 May.
  • TISS hr is one of the best in india. I would call it a s.... 16 May.
Baawra mann dekhne chala ek sapna .....  
Ayush Agarwal @ayushag11 33

good one...ATB!

Ace Ventura @tush1992 193

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

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

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


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

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

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

Robert Louis Stevenson put it very rightly when he says,

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

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

So the wait was not endless,

fate wasn't relentless,

I am now ready to take on a new path

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

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


  • 25 Likes   12 Comments
  • @Beingshubham @keshandeepak8 this is for u guys http:/.... 23 Apr.
  • @jay3421 Thanks and all the best to you too bro :smiley:. 23 Apr.
CAT 2013- 99.15 , CAT 2014 - 99.67. IIM C-PGP 2015-17 
  • 136 Likes   60 Comments
  • @amank2168 Many happy returns of the day! :smiley:. 25 May.
  • @kittuboy thanks buddy!. 26 May.
X-71, XII-66, Grad-8.3, CAT'11-99.36, CAT'13-99.90, CAT'14-99.97, Calls-BLACK FMS Converts-ACL FMS 
K B @kittuboy 3,192

@amank2168 Many happy returns of the day!

  • 100 Likes   72 Comments
  • @Being_me See comment #68 BTW, why would you think I'm n.... 13 May.
  • U r going to IIM A dude... So how r u still preparing.. K.... 14 May.
WIMWI, batch of 2015-17 
K B @kittuboy 3,192

@Being_me See comment #68

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

@Being_me 27

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

                  Update :  The Journey continues after 2 years...  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Signing Off

A participant of IIM Kashipur - PGP 2013-15!

                  The Original Post (for your reference)

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

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

Flashback (till CAT 2011)-

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

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

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

CAT 2012

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

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

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

Results - 10th January 2013

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

Verbal - 98.56,

quant - 95.66

overall - 98.36

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

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

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

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

- hritik.sharma

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

                                  This Story will continue...

Hello everyone, after following Pagalguy for more than 3 months without signing in, I made up my mind for signing up so as to tell about myself. Before you read this, let me tell you I did not get into any good B school this time, but will get in next time definitely The story will continue...

I'm a final year student, studying in Delhi University. Like all my friends, I also joined the rat race to get a MBA degree from a premier B school, so I joined a coaching center so that I can score good percentile(this is what I thought}. I actually was studying seriously, solving quant booklets and trying to balance my Cat prep, semester prep, social life and family life. Though I didn't took my mocks seriously as some low score in those tests gave blow to my confidence but I continued taking them. Then came the exams, first two exams before the big exam were CMAT and NMAT. Their result also came soon. CMAT percentile : 94, I was satisfied. NMAT score : 189, I was shattered as I expected very much from this test. 

I came to know my quant score were not upto the mark but my Verbal scores were satisfactory, but this realization came a bit late as it was already the last week of October '14.

Because of CAT prep, my performance in college dropped to a new low, so I had no other option but to shift my focus towards my semester exams which were also in November'14 end. 

So, there I was, with CAT prep going slow now and the exam date. 22nd Nov'14 approaching fast. I decided to not touch any new topics(including geometry, Pnc, probabililty and a few more) and revise the chapters of quant that I know. Then came the BIG day, 22nd Nov'14. I was very much tensed. The exam was over, I was satisfied with my VALR attempts(34) but thought my attempts in QADI were low(19). Next up, IIFT and then began my semester exams. 

After that few exams in line were NMAT retake, SNAP and XAT.

All three went well. Then results came ringing.

First was CAT 2014, I was expecting anything between 85 and 95 percentile because of the variations in accuracy I've experienced during my mocks. BOOM! CAT Percentile : 88 ! I was silenced, I had nothing to say, no one to talk to. Parents also did not provide much help in supporting me. The score was in line with my expectations, low Qadi percentile - 72 and high Valr percentile - 95

IIFT : 33.09 marks ( No Call)

SNAP percentile : 94.133 (Filled only SIBM P and SCMHRD, NO Calls)

NMAT retake : 197 ( NMIMS Bang/Hyd call - Converted Nm Bang)

XAT percentile : 87 

Overall got calls from B schools of around these percentiles - TAPMI, FORE, GIM, LBSIM, NMIMS Bang/Hyd, IMI etc. 

So here I'm writing this, contemplating options that I have with me, with retaking CAT looking like my best bet. 

I don't know if I'm expecting too much from myself, do I have it in me to score good percentile? Don't know, but Yes, I will take CAT again, I will study hard and will get awesome percentile and join a premier B school next year. 

Thanks for reading this, signing off ! 

All suggestions and views are welcome !

  • 16 Likes   42 Comments
  • @Harveyspector OF course, it will be asked during interviews. 15 Apr.
  • You can join some NGO or an year diploma/certificate cour.... 15 Apr.
@SheerForce 200

@Harveyspector OF course, it will be asked during interviews

@Harveyspector 25

You can join some NGO or an year diploma/certificate course to justify but it should not affect your studies. Varna same na ho jae firse

  • 84 Likes   34 Comments
  • Thanks everyone and ATB for your future endeavors!. 08 Apr.
  • hw advantageous is general management over others?. 10 Apr.
Reeju Guha @rg89 88

Thanks everyone and ATB for your future endeavors!

Hemanth Kumar Dev @devavarapu11 4

hw advantageous is general management over others?

My journey My way!

Have been waiting for this moment since July 2013 (the day I joined pagalguy) and finally I get to have it, like live it, feel it, smile and cry with it. Being a general, non-technical female (I know comes to people's mind that girl's quota and commerce background will add points to my score and get me in) I did have my share of ups and downs which I guess made me learn a lot more which I would have missed if was in some college this time! So the journey begins!

Ischooling :  So I have been thinking of doing MBA since 2007. Belonging to a middle class family and having cousins who were part of all these big B-schools, it inspired me and made me work harder to score those 90+% in boards and a 100% in maths in class 10th (that was the only time i worked my ass off) and was pretty sure that I am smart enough to crack the feline and be part of IIM A (dream school). Times passed and class 12th was kind enough to me and i scored 90+ even though i had my right elbow fractured and was not studying for straight 2 months. So, yes school went on fine with parents being happy, having expectations and with other problems.

DU :

Was lucky to be a part of north campus, DU and studied B.Com(H) from Ramjas College and did all the fun which you expect from a DUite to do. Made friends, attended fests, interned, had a break up and life took a different turn. Once a girl was so excited about preparing for MBA , left her plans to pursue it for the time being and wrote CAT just for fun like literally. Wrote CAT in 2011 with 0 prep, didn't even knew about the pattern properly etc and still hoped that yeah i am smart enough, I'll score 80 something. The day result came, it was below 50. I was devastated, though it was normal because I wasn't prepared but those expectations I had from myself were shattered. So a failed relationship, losing my grandpa the same day CAT results came out,  pathetic CAT score, failed placements and an irritating professor as mentor for the project, my 3rd year was pretty screwed up!! I had zero self-confidence and thought of myself being a waste and a burden on my parents. They didn't knew about it much but yea knew I was depressed, but i guess life had its own plan and left Delhi to explore Bangalore

(my first love). Spent 2 weeks there, came back.


Job : Managed to secure a job with a startup in Gurgaon ( a place where my ex belonged to and I loathed) and started working. Initially it was tough , literally, but then yes you eventually adjusts with things around. Worked harder, was in the top of the lists and was involved with other stuff there itself so had myself pretty occupied. Around birthday (January) I relaised "yaar aur nai hoga yeh, have to get back to the original self" and I told my parents about the discussion of pursuing MBA again making them satisfied "ki haan ab kuch hoga iska" Asked my cousins about the same and planned that I'll take the night shift and study in the day time but on my own, no coaching. Mind mai apni value abhi b kum nai hui thi (still thought of myself a smarty) and will crack it on my own. Registered with TIME for the test series and had a friend from XIMB to pan out my stuff and help me with it. Boy!! Those aimcats gave me nightmares, scoring as low as single digit percentiles. Still something in me kept me moving on and in August I resigned thinking I'll be full time devoted to it as was not able t manage job and study together. Manager felt bad but had to do this and packed my stuff and came back home. So living in Delhi/NCR for 4 + years and coming back to Yamunanagar (small town) gave me jitters. All hanging out, weekend parties etc all came to a stop. Kept my cool and promised myself with lucrative offers if I end up good.

Struggle time : actual period : So kept on preparing and hoping for a miracle I wrote CAT and all other MBA entrances , had in my mind that I'll atleast get through something. In this whole process, made amazing friends here on pagalguy. A long list of people and wont name because missing even a single on would be unfair. "Rise to Smile" was  my adda where was called tamatar and was called sallu too. Spent around 10 hours here because it was my family. So when the results started pouring in, it was a time where I thought it's time to end my life.

CAT : 50 %ile

SNAP : 86 %ile

XAT : 75.75%

And all other were straight rejects.

Managed to secure calls from TAPMI, IFMR, IMT Nagpur but the worst they didn't get converted too. Only IMT Nagpur did. My all friends had converts and were happy and gay with their new friends. It was a time I want no one should ever go through. A failure which makes you think yourself as a big loser, a failure, a burden, good for nothing girl. When you are so low, everything about you turns to be negative, you start thinking about how ugly you are, nobody loves you, people are moving away, they are happy and you are just sulking, you cry and cry yourself to sleep. Watching your parents try to pacify you but deep down you know how much they want you to be successful, taunts etc just was too much. Because of all this, I stopped eating and ignored my health and fell sick. Jaundice and acute intestinal infection took over me and 3 months on bed direct (April-May-June).This period was horrible, used to cry at nights because of pain and I guess the failure because I was scared about my future and cry till the point my mum used to make me sleep around 3 AM. This continued for 3 months, injections of pain killers, mum dad taking leaves for handling me etc, the only best part I wasn't admitted. During this time, I met a person on PG and he helped me to find a way out for all this. He asked me to introspect as it wasn't taking my time much and note down that what wrong I did. I agreed after a bit nagging and started the introspection and realized:

1.       I ignored the basic pattern and got emotionally attached to questions.

2.       I spent most of the time here on PG bakaring.

3.       I wasn't serious or organised with my course.

4.       I thought of myself as a person who'll clear CAT without prep.

5.       Was too involved in worldly affairs and vulnerable.

With all this I thought of working but was refused because of stamina/health issues and thought of writing CAT the last time in 2014. I was 23 by then, unemployed, good for nothing lass but still my parents agreed to it (not the marriage issue but they wanted me to settle professionally)

I gave up chocolates, I can die for them but yes did. Just to bring myself in discipline and joined CL in july for classes. Went for my classes, studied hard, did my questions, was off PG as in bakar and was a part of the FB group but realised that cannot study this way and went for chats and all just to ease my mind out. Joined swimming to keep myself involved as was still at home and made every effort to burn the midnight oil and with the support of my bestie and people around wrote CAT and all other entrances.

The first one was CMAT sept, result came around midnight and I managed a 95%ile, I know not a great one but a person who has seen 40-50, it was heaven. Called up Ankita (besite) and cried my heart out. I know I wouldn't get calls but then it was 90+. Was a bit confident and with an added effort wrote CAT. So i am this person who gets nervous before exams and happened this time too. After CAT, the next day i had IIFT and realised in the middle of the exam, IIFT is not my cup of tea The same night I went to katwaria sarai, in front of the IIFT gate, vented out (kiddish I know). SNAP happened then and results came. CAT it was, i scored 89.68%ile, yes not even a 90 -_- It scared the shit out of me again and was so depressed that I made my parents let down again and couldn't even manage 90+ with coaching and stuff. As the battle was still left, prepared for XAT. Was unwell that morning but managed to appear for it :/ The day I had TISS ,SNAP's result was declared. As I was going for the exam, the result was out. I was firm that I'll check once i am back at my massi's place. I went back, opened my mail hoping positivity as I wasn't bad last year. As I opened the score card, it was 97.85%ile and I shouted like anything. My cousin from the other room came running and was shocked to see me in tears (i cry a lot ) He got so so so scared that he called up bhabhi to look into the matter. I checked, rechecked, re re checked if it was me only. That moment I was not in my senses, I was crying and laughing at the same time Called up Ankita and did the same on phone, she was so confused that I got some good abuses from her The amount of confidence it gave me had no boundaries. Went out the next day and ate my heart out and shopped ^_^ Called my parents but they were normal with it! J

Then all the results came and TISS, IIFT was a straight reject. So as I had SNAP, i was hell bent to convert Symbiosis as Pune it was, a place I so wanted to be a part of. I knew I would clear SCMHRD cut off but was sceptical about SIBM-P, again tension times :/ but somehow I did :D.

So this season I had/have calls from SIBMP, SCMHRD, SIIB, SIBMB, XIMB HR, IMI, TAPMI, KJ FORE, that is it.

The pune phase was altogether an amazing journey and rickety one but yes made me so so so strong.

Converted SCMHRD and am waitlisted for SIBMP which I have no hopes for to clear. So will be joining SCMHRD for now and will have my badge too :mg:

I made so many friends in this whole journey who are so close to my heart and have stood by me and seeing them saying "we are so happy for you, you deserved it" made me cry. Some of them left me but yes I cannot control that. The whole journey made me kill myself, made me proud. My parents cried with me the day I was part of the SCMHRD merit list. Sooner or later I realised, I can do it, I just need to be a lil more disciplined and strict with myself. Things will eventually fall in place, people say or "tension na le, sab sahi hoga" but yea we are humans, but obvious hota tension! J

Something in us keeps us moving, we just have to find that something and we'll succeed for sure!

PS - I know it is a long one but wanted to share with my PG family.

PPS - Ignore the grammatical errors as direct from the heart and no proof reading has been done.

PPPS - I did it (somehow) so anyone can do it! J

PPPPS - any sort of feedback is welcomed!

All the best peeps!! You'll surely shine!  

  • 120 Likes   123 Comments
  • @saloni1931 Haha...So I assume that you didn't liked Mode.... 17 Jun.
  • @greedyreader thts like assuming kuch b -_-. 18 Jun.
Varun Upadhyay @greedyreader 5

@saloni1931 Haha...So I assume that you didn't liked Model Town

Saloni Agarwal @saloni1931 12,722

@greedyreader  thts like assuming kuch b -_-

  • 112 Likes   27 Comments
  • Can you please share your profile (X,XII,Undergrad,Name o.... 12 Nov.
  • @amiteshchawla X-84% XII-91% B.Tech-78% (JNTU Hyderabad). 13 Nov.
CMAT Sept 2013:AIR 153 CAT 2013:99.73 SNAP:99.73 NMAT:230(99.81)IIFT:58.74 score XAT 2014:99.38 Calls:IIM C,K,S,New IIMs,IIT B,XLRI(BM&HR;),NITIE,SIBM-P,XIMB,NMIMS,IIFT,MDI,SP Jain Skipped:NITIE,IIM S,SIM-P Converts:XLRI(HR),IIFT-D,MDI,IIT B, NMIMS,XIMB...
Amitesh Chawla @amiteshchawla 1

Can you please share your profile (X,XII,Undergrad,Name of UG college) etc.

Anubhav Kunnel @IIM-C-Aspirant 231

@amiteshchawla  X-84% XII-91% B.Tech-78% (JNTU Hyderabad) 

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