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Greetings guys! thought i'll share my 2 cents about my cat journey. Hopefully its useful to someone, I've given cat thrice and scored 96.24, 99.4 and 98.2
If it has taught me anything it is how to set goals , deal with disappointments and ultimately a few things or two about life and expectations in general. I set the bar pretty high for myself and once believed preparation for exams like cat serves no purpose. I used to believe that it was all about being in the moment and cracking the test. I never prepared for any of them, i realise now i couldn't have been more wrong. If you set yourself a goal you must work for it, so to any of you setting a goal to reach ABC or any top 10 college my only advice would be to give it your best shot don't hold back.
The only thing that haunts me is that i know i haven't given it my best, but you learn as you go and hopefully i can do better in the coming years. Another thing i wanted to talk about is college comparisons, you'll see a lot of people talk about how x college is better than y . I believe it all perception, colleges are merely there to give you the right set of tools for you to use in the future. So, aim at being the best in whatever college you are in. Understand what it is you want from an MBA and work towards it. If you have worked hard and still not achieved your goal realise that either you can do more, realise luck plays a factor but don't rely on it.
I haven't yet decided on what to do next, waiting for JBIMS notification for now. To all the aspirants for next year, set a goal and work your butt off for it. To all the future managers in the top 10 colleges congratulations, your journey has just begun and i look forward to be able to interact with you in the future.
To all those disappointed please don't let an exam define you, you can be so much more. I feel your pain, let it motivate you , guide you to something better. I'll stop rambling now, puys have a great year ahead. All the best everyone.
Hi, guys, I dont know if this is the place to place this question but, I gave CAT 15 with around 3 months of proper prep. I joined CL for coaching in aug 14. Initially I just attended classes and didnt bother to solve the handouts.I prepared at whim and I found preparing for cat enjoyable especially doing LR caselets.
By Jan,due to college exams, I had completely stopped preparing for cat except for attending classes. It was Jun in no time and thats when I took the first mock cat and realised I suck at quant and LRDI. I couldnt take any more mocks in June due to college exams and it was July by the time exams ended.
I began seriously preparing in July, finishing many the CL fundabooks and taking mock cats. I also enrolled for TIME Aimcats.
Quant became the most difficult section, since I didnt know basics in most topics and I kept procrastinating.I never understood topics like geometry ,TSD,PNC. By Aug end-Sept I was comfortably reaching 85%ile in TIME mocks, 90+%ile in verbal most of the times. DI varied from 70 to 90. As expected, Quant was always in 55 to 60 %ile. But I never managed to cross 80%ile in CL mocks. I found them way too hard and many a times it just didnt make any sense.
Due to college workload and exams ,I slowed down my prep by mid sept, and completely stopped preparing in Oct and Nov. Lab exams finished on 26th nov, and cat was on 29th. Didnt do anything in these 2 days as i didnt want to get tensed.
I got the afternoon slot but centre was 110km from the city.The exam began with verbal section which seemed too simple to believe! The LRDI was quite a challenge but I managed to attempt 4 sets in total. And although Quant seemed really easy, I screwed it up.
Got OA 94.82%ile with VA 92.9 LRDI 97.3 QA 83.3
Now for the Question: Should I take up CAT seriously once more?
My friends and family are asking me to just join a decent institute which I can get for this CAT score. They think that if i give CAT again I might not be able to get a score like this. But I dont think I gave it my best and really want to give it again. Just really Confused right now. Also, is it worth joining institutes like IMT-G, IMI-D,KJSIM, since i think I can expect a call for my %ile?
Any suggestions and help would be appreciated
Ok, So I will post my experience of preparing for and writing CAT here.
This is also a lengthy post. So please bear with me..
Disclaimer: Unlike all other posts here, this one is not a success story of a person who cracked the exam. This post is an experience of failure and learning lessons over a period of 4 years.
Because there is a life beyond this exam. There is a life beyond IIM's. I find the quote of Arindam Chaudri very apt in my situation: Dare to think beyond the IIMs.!!!!
My background & profile:
Hometown : Chennai.
Did my schooling in Hindu Vidyalaya and got my BE from Anna University.
10th- 84.14, 12th- 93.41, UG- 8.1/10 - CGPA.
Now completed 2 years with TCS( which incidentally is the agency which conducts CAT).
Category: GEM, ofcourse..
My CAT JOURNEY
My tryst with CAT started in the year 2012, when I was in my final year. Exactly what made me write this exam or push myself for an MBA , I dont know. When I did an internship with Lucas-TVS during my third year, thats what made me think about the way things are managed in the company.
The floor-walk, the sessions on how parts are managed and assembled and the chain reactions that followed. The quality and operations dept. where I did my internship probably motivated me towards Operations Mgmt.
Anyway, cutting to my CAT journey..
CAT 2012: I was still in college and had to concentrate on my placements and projects. So didnt have much time to devote to CAT preparation. I joined TIME coaching classes. Found their handouts and books quite useful. Their shortcuts and tricks were useful. I didnt score very well in the AIMCATs.. Ofcourse, I never bothered much, as I was focused much on my college. I was just writing this exam to gain an idea of what the competition is really like.
The D-Day arrived. Exam was tough.. Ofcourse for a person with almost nil preparation, it was bound to be. I was not bothered.
Results came and my percentile was just 50.xx... Well, I thought I would not even get 20, the way I did..But I was optimistic, if with little prep, I can get 50, then how much would I score if I worked hard and focussed more??.. That gave me an inspiration to try a second time..
CAT 2013: Entering year-2 . I finished college in May 2013. Had about 6 months solidly. My job training was supposed to start in December. So I started preparing religiously. I still had the materials of TIME. I joined AIMCAT series again, this time with the determination to put some serious effort.
And how serious it was. Initially, my mock scores were low, But slowly they began peaking..I was almost obsessed. I began maintaining an excel sheet of my scores and comparing the mistakes. My scores were fluctuating highly. In one mock I would get 95.xx and in one mock it would hit 60.. But anyway, I was getting stronger in my basics..I took it as a positive sign..
The D-Day came. It was pouring..The monsoon had set in. But it did not dampen my spirits. I had located the center beforehand, and I got there ahead of time. The exam began. Paper was tougher than last year, but doable. Especially Quant and DI.. I could almost recognize the logic behind most of the questions I attempted. And I felt positive of getting a decent 80% accuracy. VALR was also easy enough.
After that, my job training began in TCS and I did not give much thought to CAT and stuff..
I also wrote SNAP , which I found easier as I had prepared for CAT. I just solved a few papers of last year. Scored around 85.3 percentile in SNAP. First 80s in a national level exam.. I was optimistic about CAT as well.
Results came: QADI- 47.xx VALR- 55.xx, OA- 52.xx..
I was just numb. Months of planning , months of effort and it all came to this??.. I was depressed.. My mother told me to forget it and get on with my job.. But I could not accept it. And then came the news of more than 95,000 people getting negative marks..I was just furious..My score had been goofed up because of a technical glitch!!.. I even wrote to IIMs and Prometric about this. And all I got back was a pseudo-intellectual reply regretting my situation.
Cant they reconsider and re-evaluate my paper and scores..Cant they release a new score-card??..After all they screwed up and is it too much to ask of them??..My respect for the IIMs began to dwindle slowly.
CAT 2014: Actually I did not have a specific plan at all. Initially, I did not plan to write CAT this year. My training in TCS got completed and I was in full-fledged job. (Thank-God, not much of bench period for me). I diverted myself by learning guitar and updated my GK, watching news about 2014 elections, watching Modi's inspirational speeches and stuff.. Infact, life was better this way.
But then , suddenly came the news that TCS is gonna be the testing agency for conducting CAT. The iON project dept. which conducts the exam is very near to my office. But TCS( when it comes to these matters) means Total and Complete Silence. So , even though I work there, I dont have any advantage over non-TCSers appearing for CAT.
Also came the change in pattern.So I thought why not give it a try??..After all, I am a working professional now, so I have got nothing to lose by writing this exam from now on. I also appeared for CMAT -Sept, where I scored 82.44 percentile. Ofcourse this was expected. With a little prep, I could have made it to 90s..
This time I didnt join any test series. I just took some 4-5 mocks of TestFunda. I became quite active on Pagalguy and started following threads about CAT exam. I did not give much thought to the mock scores.
The D-Day arrived: The exam center was located far away, but since it was in an afternoon slot, I did not have any difficulty going there. The exam itself was particularly smooth. The questions were damn easy. I seriously regretted not preparing much.. When I left the exam hall, I was particularly at peace. I knew that this is one exam where I would score better compared to prev. years. If not a 95+, I would surely get 85+..
Results came: 85.62..Well, no IIMs or any top colleges.But I applied to the ones where admissions were open to: NIT-Trichy, KJSIMSR and BIM-Trichy..
Got calls from all 3 of them. Joined TIME interview sessions and it was lucky that I had been following GK and politics stuff since the last 9 months.
All 3 interviews went smooth...I was a little sick on the day of my BIM-T interview. It was March 29- 2015, the day of the CWC Final. But I managed the interview well, though I screwed up the GD.
Got selected in NIT-T and KJSIMSR. Waitlisted in BIM-T....
Now see the way how fate works:!!!!! I was adamant that I would join only in the top colleges..So I refused the admits and started preparing for my fourth and last attempt....It was a decision that I would rue all my entire life now. My family asked me to take up the admits, but no, I was confident and proud now, that I got 85.62, I could get more than 99.xx in 2015. As they say: pride comes before the fall..And how big a fall it is , I saw today when the results of CAT 2015 were declared..
CAT 2015: Joined CL test series, bullseye and TestFunda.. Started preparing and taking mocks from July.. Mocks were good enough..I was scoring a steady score around 85-95% ile.Though I never made ot to the topper list even once, I knew that CAT would offer me a chance as the number of people is in lakhs...Anyway I was optimistic..too optimistic not to see the warning signs ahead of me. Signs which said that: Adithya, No CAT is not for you..You are barking at the wrong tree...But I was too close-minded to see it..
D-Day came: Again exam experience was smooth.. VARC went well enough..DILR, I screwed up. Though I thought I managed to salvage some points during QA....But I knew the moment I finished the exam that I had lost..I know that I wont cross even 70. I didnt know where I went wrong. I did not know what had just hit me..Seeing the tough DILR section just blacked out my mind..I tried hard to recover, but no. I could not..
And the results did not disappoint me: Dont ask me my percentile.. I am too ashamed to say it..( You can rest assured its less than 70)...
The road ahead.............:
The road ahead seems very bleak now..True, I have a healthy job, which I intend to grow in..If I get any tempting on-site opportunities, I would gladly take them up..But my higher studies prospects had just hit a brick wall. My MBA aspirations, my CAT dreams are just burnt to twigs..
Whenever I see people scoring consistently in mocks, I used to wonder how the hell were they scoring so much..Are they having brains or super-computers programmed in their heads??..Even here in PagalGuy, many people would be disappointed even after scoring 98.xx percentile. And there is me, who got over-confident when getting 85.62!!!!!!!..
And anyway, what am I going to gain by getting into an IIM??.
A. A brand tag that I am an IIM grad??..There are about 1 lakh people graduating out of B-schools throughout India and IIMers form only about 4000 of them..Whats so great about that??
B. A 12-lpa package??..I can earn that in my job itself...Going by my current rate, I would reach that level in another 7-10 years..So its not gonna make a difference..A difference of 5 years maybe. But nothing more..
C. A social status??.. Well, I dont give a rat's fart of what the society thinks..In the end, I would have to lead my own life..
Right now, I just want to let go of everything and do what I generally like..Watching movies, writing blogs in Quora and reading novels, watching cricket and swimming championships..
Takeaways from my CAT experience:
So even though I failed 4 times in CAT, I am not a complete loser..There are a lot of lessons learnt from these four years..
As they say: Life is not about the destination, its about the journey..Same applies for CAT as well.
So what have I learnt from this journey of CAT??..
1. Perseverance: During my college days and before, I used to be an impatient young boy.. I will find it very difficult to adapt to changes..But this CAT journey has taught me to be patient with problems..
2. Furthering my knowledge: The verbal and RC sections have helped me a lot..Usually the topics in RCs would be based on some literature, art , politics and economic theories..I generally avoid reading these topics in newspapers. I just skim through the sports section and cinema section..But inorder to improve my reading speed, I started reading editorials of Hindu and Ideas section of TOI..And suddenly my interests in Indian Politics and Economics shot up..Now I have taken to writing in Quora about a gamut of topics regarding India, Caste system, Reservation System, Politics, Religion and culture..It has helped me in gathering knowledge..
3.Thinking outside my mother-tongue: Another area to give credit to CAT. I used to think and frame ideas in my mother-tongue: Tamil..But now, to crack RCs, I had to think in that language. My mom used to say: To become fluent in that language, you have to think in that language....This has helped me break my language barrier..
One small request to Puys and Pirls:
I am thinking of going off PG for a while. The memories here are painful for me to digest. But still my MBA dreams are not yet dead. They may come up again. I dont know when, but they will.
My point is: I am looking for any options regarding executive MBA programmes ( both India and abroad). I heard that only a few IIMs offer this programme. I also heard that IBS is also one among the top colleges which offers this. However, if any ISBians read this post, please point me to some threads in PG where I can get some details about this programmes.
You saw my profile above. Is it really worth doing an exec-MBA from there??. What selection criteria they have??..I need some info regarding this..I dont know any person personally who is an ISBian or who did an e-MBA from IIM
So your suggestions are welcome in comments and you can also ping me at my gmail id: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sorry, if I sounded too emotional or sentimental in this post..
Every wave you see in the beach will have a crest and trough. They will be high tides and low tides..But both are necessary for the sea to maintain its water-level..Similarly, humans also need highs and lows in their lives.
I have fallen for now, But I will rise again.
Thanks for your patience reading this post..
Fighting against the odds, Exploring uncharted territories.. CAT result in few days !
I don't know why I am writing this and sharing in Pagalguy. I have been giving cat from 2013 and have never bell the CAT. Last year, I worked hard for CAT. Unfortunately, I dint cleared the cutoff in VA section( I should admit, I am not good at this though I speak well and write decently, there always something wrong that i mess up). I scored a mere 94 percentile (VA 77). I was totally shattered after viewing my result I was mum and dumb for quite some days. I have worked my butt off for CAT 2015. But, I can't give any guarantee on my VA. I spent many sleepless night just to get there and have been quite optimistic about it. From my boyhood, I was always fond of maths, So no matter what I do a decent job in QA.
After giving the CAT 2015, I am still unsure about VA and DI dint go pretty well. I have an experience of 2 years in an IT company. I pray to god in fear to help me to crack CAT. But guys, i suggest you guys not to fear. I know fear is imminent but still, You gotta stand up again and follow your dreams. I have been doing that, and will do that. Give time some time. Perseverance and patience are the two important P's of success.
Even though, I am hoping for a good result but I ain't expecting, because expectations leads to disappointment.
I wish you guys, All the best for the result and remember you have 100 chances to crack your dream. Don't get saddened if you fail once because you've 99 more to go.
Cheers Pagalguy !!
Push through the pain, and conquer the obstacles. Regardless of what you think today, it wont matter 5 years from now. SO DON'T BE AFRAID! - Unknown
I seriously don`t know if it's right time to share to my story of how I began thinking about CAT and started preparing (not preparing), but it looks like this time is the right time. This story began when I joined MNC way back in 2014. I was almost clueless and was totally confused that should I join this company or not. But, after consulting my family and relatives (who obviously wanted me to join this company because I was jobless) I finally joined this. I am bit of shy guy and it takes me really a long time to jell up with new people and making new friends (maybe I`m staunch introvert).As my college friends were going along with me to join the same company, I was pretty much relieved and less stressed out. The strenuous training began and while it was going on I started doubting (rather procrastinating) myself whether I am capable to work in private sector and will I survive in this cut throat competition or not (all thanks to one college friend who always used to give me insights(kind of stupid and useless advice) about how government sector is better than private sector). I had these intense mood swings started blocking my thoughts and energy. This impacted my training, but somehow I successfully completed my saga (THE TRAINING). I was released from training and got Pune as my job location. In no matter of time, I got the project (the worst project simply just because of my own fault). During this project I met this guy who was preparing sincerely for CAT with utmost dedication and perseverance. He instilled in me to have faith and confidence to achieve and make your dreams possible. Sorry to tell you guys but I forgot to mention one thing that I had interested in finance (stocks and mutual funds). So, I thought my interest can be coalescing with MBA in finance (THE BIG IDEA) and therefore I decided to join the coaching centre and started preparing CAT in full swing. My first six months of preparation were really great but then I totally messed it up at my job and coaching. I left the coaching and started concentrating on job (all thanks to OFFICE POLITICS which I`m really poor at). After I left the coaching, I stopped studying and this strange feeling started building up in my mind, that it's impossible for me to bell the cat because there are people who are more intelligent and serious about this exam than me, therefore I`m already out of this league and I should quit. So, I stopped thinking about MBA and my dreams and continued with sluggish and boring job of IT sector.
The notification of CAT, XAT and NMAT was released. I had already decided I will not fill the form and will not apply to any colleges. (All thanks to Pagalguy All I wanted to speak about CAT)But I read these stories of people who fought against all odds and emerged successful. This again pumped up me and I again started preparation and therefore decide to apply and take all 3 exams. I neither know how I performed nor did I calculate my marks (percentile), but I`m more confident and focus than before. I will post my CAT and IIFT result.
TO BE CONTINUED
PS: Sorry for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes
@Lov_Cat - I read your/our story and it forced me to write about my journey too. As I couldn't make it to the coveted top 5 institutes, I decided not to pen down my experience. But I later thought that there are many friends out there, who are just like us, average-mediocre-but fire to excel. Hence here goes my story:
Background - Till class 10 I was in my native [a mini town] and we used to live in a colony [central govt quarters]. I have a memory problem. I forget very easily. Even if I solve a question a few days earlier, it seems a fresh question to me if I encounter it again. The best and worst part of a colony is that people know one another very well and parents compare everything. I was also a victim of that comparison. As usual I joined IIT coaching where I failed. My parents did not say a word. I decided to drop a year for IIT.
During a reception in my native the director's wife inquired about me with my father. He told her that I dropped an year for IIT. She replied that dropping an extra year will not help. If he has the ability of cracking the exam he could have cracked it at the first attempt itself.
I could clear maths
and physics cut offs by a big margin in my 2nd attempt but chemistry
bombed which I expected. My memory is very very weak [Even now]
Fortunately I got a seat in CUSAT [ a free seat with a fee of 8000 per semester]. I could not crack any other engineering entrance exam. Days before my admission into CUSAT, I was traveling with my father in our car returning from my grand parents' home. All of a sudden there comes a set of sharp piercing words from my father
- "You broke my heart, even 1 extra year could not help you".
That's it the end of the conversation for 1 month between my father and me.
Joined btech in CUSAT in 2006, kerala [my best 4 years of life]. Gave the 1st year end exams. CUSAT declares the results after 1 year of completion of exams during those years. I got my 1st year result when I was in 4th semester. I failed in Eng Graphics which was a shock to me. CUSAT had a culture of mass supplies and pass percentage used to be in the range of 25-35% during those times. My father came to know about my result. He called me when I was in cricket practice. Here goes another set of sharp piercing set of words -
"You are spoiling the family name"
Just imagine how this goes down the mind of a teenager who is far away from home and who has no one to share feelings except for parents and this comes from the father.
My father's anguish was understandable. He's a scientist and very well respected person in the society. The societal pressure kept on mounting inside him and he couldn't suppress. The fact being I'm the only kid to my parents made his anguish intense. All hopes on me!!!
I cried for 1 full week in my room. I did not know to whom I
should share my agony. I have no siblings. I felt I should have one. Unlike
@Lov_Cat I never had a gf. My friends were far away from me. Mobile call rates
were high at that time
Then I decided to prove to the people that cracking these
useless mind fukng senseless exams is not an herculean task. I wanted to show
that with perseverance and hard work you can crack any exam although it might
take time. This was when I entered the world of MBA. I found that CAT ,XAT and
other top MBA exams also have the same reputation of IIT entrance exam. Reading
was never my cup of tea. But I started reading just for the sake of Verbal
ability. I still remember my first book - The fountain Head. I found it very
difficult and I completed it in 4 months
2009 - The year when I joined Time in Cochin. My college near Alleppey is 70 KMs away from Cochin. The classes begin at 8:30 am and end at 4:30 PM on weekends. I had to get up at 4 am, get ready, catch the only bus at 5:15 am to reach Alleppey and catch another bus to reach Cochin to attend classes on time. My mocks were a disaster initially. My scores ranged from 50%-60%. But I started improving from 10th aimcat onwards and reached 90% mark. You don't believe I mugged up all the vocab cards[160 cards] given by Time. I appeared for all the exams and scored 90% in each exam. Could not clear IIFT. I made up my mind for next attempt.
2010 - Fortunately I got through Accenture and joined in Chennai in July 2010. Everything was fine but something was bothering me. The insult that my father had to undergo because of me kept on poking me. I did not appear for any entrance exams in 2010 except XAT-2011
2011 - I joined BYJU classes and started practicing very hard for the next season. The mock season was a decent one. I had very minimal fun because of these preparations. Every weekend I used to attend the classes in the morning and attempt mocks in the afternoon. My father advised me to focus on my job. He told me that it is very difficult to crack these exams. But I wanted to prove that an average person like me can also achieve success [as perceived in India]. But still I couldn't clear any exams.
2012 - As usual I mentally prepared for next season. At some point of time I was ashamed of myself. I thought how many times I should appear for these exams. Even my juniors cracked these exams and joined B-schools. Talks of marriage cropped up in the family. I requested for one more last chance. My parents reluctantly agreed but they didn't stop searching for an alliance.
I never believed in destiny. I always thought it is in our
hands and that is what I wanted to prove. But after meeting Sid and @Lov_Cat in
April it seems something called destiny exists in this universe. There's an
eternal power which cannot be named and cannot be given a shape. They moved
into the flat where I was staying. We all started our preparations together. We
had a huge collection of mocks. We prepared a schedule and was strictly
following it. We maintained a diary for our mocks analysis question by
question. Strengths, weaknesses, reasons for getting a question wrong etc etc.
We appeared for all the exams. I came out of my project in the month of August
by requesting my manager. He allowed me to leave. I was on bench for 2 months.
I didn't accept any project. Finally after checking the IIFT key I thought I
might get a call from IIFT. One evening in the month of December, I was travelling
by bike coming back to the flat from the office. @Lov_Cat [Dipanjan], called me
and told me that we both got a GDPI call from IIFT. I started screaming in the
middle of the road, laughed, smiled and cried. That journey to the flat on bike
was unforgettable although my memory is weak
Then I took a very peculiar decision of quitting Accenture just to focus on GDPI. I thought that's the only chance I might have. I resigned and started preparing for GDPI and other exams. I appeared for XAT in the month of Jan. I cracked XAT too. I got calls from XL-BM, XL-HRM, SP Jain, IMT-G from XAT and SIBM-Pune, SCHHRD from SNAP and IIFT. CAT dinged again. I appeared for all GDPIs. And it was the time for the results. I started getting a rejection from one by one. At last I made it through XIMB. My friend @Lov_Cat got through IIFT. Smiles again and joined the respective colleges.
My results - Don't remember exact numbers because of my weak memory [ you might already guess]
XAT'10 - 83%ile
XAT'11 - 79%ile
XAT'12 - 87%ile
Getting through GDPI is not in our hands. It is very subjective. But I cracked these entrance exams which are considered very tough. Finally I proved what I wanted to. But these are just exams. Every human is talented. It is very sad that education is only considered a talent in India. I questioned those very people who insulted my father -" I was a Andhra State Level Tennis Player, I'm a stage dancer, I'm a martial arts brown belt certified practitioner, I won many competitions in painting, I was a part of my university cricket team, part of XIMB football and TT teams and I was the Sports Secy of XIMB. What about your Sons and daughters who just cracked the top engineering and MBA entrance exams but nothing else and earned a hefty paying jobs. I don't deny their talents. Similarly don't denigrate the other kids who are not good at education. Also not every weak-at-education kid makes it as big as Sachin. Let the kid live peacefully. It is a very basic courtesy to respect the other individual."
My friend Sid joined GLIM and came out of it successfully. He's on his way to launch his start up very soon. My friend Lov_Cat joined IIFT and came out successfully. But this is not what we truly earned but everlasting friendship.
You might wonder how I maintained my motivation for all these years. Pagalguy was a fantastic companion to me. Many people helped me. I'm grateful to those till my last breath. "Naruto" a Japanese anime was there throughout my journey. I follow it very diligently. Naruto became a part of my mind and soul. I never share my feelings with anyone. I'm a cheerful person. You can never see me doleful. No body close to me can guess the amount of trauma I went through. This journey made me strong.
Many people in Accenture still ask me what if I could not clear XIMB either. I say "just fuk it and search for a new job "
I picked up my phone that was sitting on the bed, it read 01:45. I realized how being awake at this time seems so amazingly usual when you are in a B-School. I then opened up the lid of my laptop and typed in the browser "paga..." and the smart browser that google is, it completed it with "pagalguy.com". And here I am. After months and months of staying away from this forum, I am seeing how much it has changed and how much of it is the same. This is the CAT month and all the applications are on. So are the doubts regarding these much awaited events in the lives of aspiring managers.
I couldn't really stop myself from penning something down. Writing on pagalguy is something I have cherished for real long. Whenever got the chance I penned down something. I was so overjoyed when the old pagalguy added that author icon in front of my user name. 5 months into IIM Calcutta and that phase of life when cracking CAT and getting into a top B-school was the only mission, seems a thing of past life. Come on, it has been only a little more than 6 months when I got the joy of securing admission here. The pace of life has tremendously increased, sometimes which seems a speed that is out of control.
This place has added so much to me in just 5 months. With the first term and all the tense days of finding an internship behind me it feels I have done a lot since the time I got here. But again a lot is still to be done. It is bewildering that how much a good B-school has to offer its inhabitants. So much at once and then gradual additions to it. Hectic becomes a norm and you start enjoying it and crave for some more. And then at one slow moment when you sit in your room alone at night and let your mind wander over the past, it all seems worth it. The fight you put to crack CAT, then the interviews which are a bigger fight than CAT and then the joy of getting into your dream school or somewhere that can replace your dream appropriately.
Trust me, any effort you put is never wasted. There will come a time when it all seems worth it. And that moment then become the inspiration to go on for more. And as I again glance at the clock I realize it is time to stop here. Wishing all the prospective managers a good exam season. Hope to bump in here soon again.
Well, I decided to pen down my All I wanted to speak about CAT. It is more of an emotional outing rather than a practical one. Though I did not manage to get into my dream institute, but I got into a reputed one.
I was always a very lousy student during my school days. One event changed my life and turned myself into an average one, and I scored in 80s in my board exams(it was great deal to pull up myself from scoring to 60s even in ninth std.).I got into a private engineering college just to get a job, well I managed that. I was placed in the first company which visited my campus, Cognizant. I developed my liking for a girl, the girl later practically made things clear to me : "if you want me get a good MBA" Being a student from a vernacular medium my English was lousy, my Maths was never good. But I was ready to improve myself for her. And she accepted me, with the condition attached. I have never ever bothered about CAT during the entire college life, but when she asked for I could not avoid.
2008 My first tryst CAT: Enrolled myself in the AIMCAT test series. I had no basics in place, used to flunk in all of them, but I kept on taking them without much improvement. My score used to hover around 50-60%tile (yes, you read that right). Took the exam, scored some odd 70 percentile. In the meantime, I was introduced to Pagalguy. I used to follow those mock threads where Gods (the_hate, catdemon,premravi etal) were acing each of them. I felt inspired.
2009 My Second CAT: I convinced my father and enrolled in CL Kolkata in their full time program. I started attending the classes regularly. I used to be a regular visitor in the famous quant thread. That improved my concepts. I have joined both AIMCAT and CL mock test series. Taking mocks, being disappointed, analyzing and then hitting the next became a regular affair. Though I developed my liking for Quants, DI-LR but my verbal did not improve much. Sometimes even I managed to clear both Quants and DI sections, but verbal was always a nightmare. Took the CAT to find my ability must have really improved. Scores read 98.96%tile (QA 99.1, DI 99.23, but VA showed a paltry 70). By that time I have become a part of the awe inspiring PG gang: rik_12, ronil, Rahul to name a few. I was elated seeing my score, and wanted to get into IIM Calcutta (nowhere else). My score made her happy, I was going through a good phase of my life, though albeit ephemeral.
2010 My third outing: I was posted in Chennai. Boy, I was not able to adapt myself at all during the initial phase. My CAT preparation went downhill, I even stopped a few mocks midway and left the hall (which I never did in almost last 60 odd mocks I took in previous years). I became completely nonchalant, god knows why, with CAT. Though I have taken the rest but as expected I performed pretty badly in most of them. Add to that, my long distance relationship started taking a toll on me, I abhorred my office, I hated almost everything. But I could not let her go, somehow managed to hang on. Opened the books in last month, well as expected I flunked with a 85%tile. I was shattered, confused, dashed to death.
2011 My fourth CAT: Took a break from CAT related activities and thoughts. Just to take my mind away I started spending time at office. Learnt new tools, took up responsibilities. CAT went away from my mind till one fine morning she reminded me about the condition I signed. Well, this time I enrolled with all the mock tests (IMS, TF, TIME, CL). Photocopied past 3 years mock papers and started solving them diligently. Then I met some very good people (who became my very good friends later) here in Pagalguy: Siddharth, Subhakimi, Debjit,Koustav, Shaunak, Somaritta, Naga to name a few. They all were mock maulers, and all of a sudden the long lost vigor was back. I used to wake up around 6 am in the morning, take sectionals till 9 am. During lunch hours either I used read some abstract topics or used to read some nonfiction books to improve my verbal ability. Made some friends in TT court too. Then by 8pm I got to back in my mess and study for another 3-4 odd hours. Mock session took off well. I started doing well in Verbal too. But then CAT has changed its pattern, QA-DI and VA-LR were clubbed together. Still, my performance in mocks was satisfactory. Filled up CAT,XAT,IIFT forms.
I had a good CAT, or so I thought, I attempted 29 QA questions and 27 from VA. Total 56 attempts out of 60. I hoped to break the jinx finally. The night CAT committee declared the result was the worst night of my life. My mother was hospitalized just a day back, and then the report card flashed with 95.xx( QADI:99 VALR 70). I failed again. I literally howled for hours. Called up my girlfriend, she asked me attend whatever college falls under my %tile range. I refused. The only respite of the session was XAT which showed my VA %tile to be 98.xx and that made me to think that I not that bad at VA as the CAT says, hence decided to fight one last battle to make it to my dream. I refused to succumb. I was dinged in IIFT too by marks.
2012 My fifth CAT : This is the year when I learnt the most from life. I have seen extreme highs, faced extreme lows. This description is going to be a little longer. Kindly bear with me.
I decided to live it the way I want, I was ready to take the risk, I decided to indulge in a lot of activities. I let my manager know about my aspiration. I started maintaining bare minimum responsibility and was bombed in appraisal. Well it does not matter how you have fared earlier, once they know you want to get out of the place, they will make sure you are. I took the risk to spoil my career in IT, not that it matters I told to myself. I gradually became a laughing stock in my fraternity, they all advised me to make a career in IT and leaving what I have aspired for or might compromise, I was not agreed. My relationship turned sore, she started avoiding me. My father, rightly, left hope and asked me to consider Bank PO as a career. I refused to listen, but I started feeling lonely. In all those pensive moods I kept on writing my blog.
I wrote once, " When I look back I realize life had pumped away the extra dose of emotion from my heart and made me a bit inert. It was important to go through those stages, a few(may be more) dull days and lone nights when nobody but you need to care of yourself, have to pat on your back and need to say this too shall pass."
Well, I was in search of inspiration. I joined an NGO to feel good. I started playing TT madly, and did well in corporate tournament. I won the national blogging contest competition in Cognizant. All of them diverted my mind a bit. Came April, I took up those old mocks again and started practising madly day in and day out. I stopped sleeping during night. I felt fire inside, to prove myself. My mess was refilled with young joinees, hence it was making a lot of nuisance in my preparation. I found another guy (Sid) in my office who was preparing seriously for CAT and wanted to get out of the place. We moved in a flat which was dusty as hell, (well we two together did not have any good savings or salary to get a good flat in Chennai for us) but it did not matter much.
As God wanted, in one of those PG meets in Chennai I met Neelkanth(azure09). I along with Sid moved to his flat, where there were other four living in the same place(and one of them joined IIFT as my junior). There was a common thread among us, we hated our job and we failed multiple times but wanted to go for one last shot. That was a life changer, I never had any CAT group in Chennai, for the first time I got one. I started enjoying my outing again. Here, I would like to mention about my best friend Angshuman (lovlu). We are friend for more than two decades, and everything in our life happened in tandem, I can't decipher the reason though. As you can imagine, his state was almost similar to me barring he was good at coding and all. We enrolled with CL and IMS test packages. The mock session began. I started faring well, my average percentile used to be around 97-98 with occasional low 99s to even higher 99s a few times. Made entry in the topper list for multiple times. As I developed my habit of studying overnight, unlike my other counterparts, sometimes I used to go to office late and spend whole night in my cubicle alone. There was no one to disturb, I regained my focus. Boy, those mock days were the awesome. In most of the cases, I along with one of my friends used to travel by bike to reach the center. We made a point to remain aloof with the occasional bloopers. In case we hit low, we made a point to celebrate over lunch or dinner in Zytoon and all other good restaurants in Chennai, or made a visit to a movie. I never enjoyed so much in Chennai before, a good friend circle can do awesome to your life, and I can vouch for that. I was chosen to be the Vice Captain of the KDT too.
Twist in the tale
I took my CAT center in Kolkata. I and Neelkanth took the same slot, which turned out to be one of the most difficult one. I started struggling with Quants, for the first time in the whole season. In the midway I knew I lost it completely. Came back, called up Neelkanth. His outing was not well too, but was better than me. Verbal used to be his strongest section, while even though the first section used to be my forte I was completely r***d there. Called up her, let her know about my crappy tryst. She cut the phone short saying the only point in my life is to take CAT and fail. Hence, the ending was evident, and I was completely devastated. I could not show my face to my parents anymore. Life became a full circle, I did not know how to overcome it. I was heading nowhere. It was the lowest point of my life.
Further twist and the game changer
I decided to come back to Chennai, much earlier than I planned. I changed my mind, gathered all anger and hatred, and channelized them to motivate myself. It could not be the end, anyway. IIFT was in the offing. We made a game plan to crack this beast. Went through last few years' papers. Attempted over 10 mocks. We did pretty well in the mocks, but mocks might tell you a different story hence I did not believe in them. We covered last one year business affairs in detail. We three took charge to complete them and shared across. My brother helped me during this time, he kept on sharing motivational stuffs with me, and kept on reassuring myself.
IIFT decided to conduct the paper on my birthday, 25th Nov. I was kind of mad that time. I kept my phone switched off so that nobody can wish me and reduce my anger. In the morning, I called up my father. He asked me not be worried about the result rather to focus on giving the best I have. With misty eyes, I left. I and Neelkanth had the same center. I can remember exactly how it went, how the hall was, how the smell of the paper was; well almost everything. I followed a pre decided strategy: GK-VARC-QA-DILR. I knew I was doing well. GK went fine, took 2 RCs and completed the rest of the VA, attempted 18 questions in quants (I was sure all of them were correct, even most of the questions I have already encountered earlier), only DILR did not go that well I should, attempted one more RC in last 3 mins. I counted my attempts, it was 87(out of 120 I guess). When I came out I had the feeling I killed it, and that brought tears to my eyes. Neelkanth did well too with around 85 attempts. Came back home, checked the score. It was hovering around 53.xx-55.xx. Oh!! Boy, the VA which deluded my all through decided to fire in IIFT, with a good 20.xx. Finally it seemed, my hard work did not go waste. I enjoyed my b'day, but decided not to booze. We saved that.
In the meantime XAT came. We prepared well. But all of a sudden, just on the eve of the exam,I started feeling a heavy stomach ache. But decide not to leave the center. Fought till the end. But was not good enough to get the BM call. Neelkanth just nailed it left right center. Result started pouring in. CAT as expected went pathetic, the worst result in last few years including all the mocks. I scored some 73 in Quant, but this time it was a different act from my side altogether. I laughed, we laughed. IIFT declared the result. Siddharth pinged me and congratulated. I called Neelkanth, he also made it. We shouted on the top of our voice. We drank whole night. It was one of the best moments. As expected Neelkanth killed XAT with 99.xx with both XL- BM and HR call, got XIMB too.I made a 96(QA 98, VA 94 and 64 DM ,hence no call) I had a lone call from IIFT, however. I decided to put my best show, and converted it. Neelkanth got into XIMB, lovlu made it to IMT-G.
To me CAT was never just an exam. It was a life changing experience, which helped me during my MBA too. I learnt how to fight even when everything starts looking hazy. I am thankful to the God that I experienced it. As Sebada(Seba_caterpiller) rightly quoted, "When people ridicule you, criticize you, make fun of you; but you have not lost self-belief and you are working hard to achieve it, then just smile at them with two words in mind: F*** O**!!" You gotta dream, you are going to protect it. Period!!
Its 6:22 AM right now, after studying for the quiz I thought about writing my story of CAT.
First of all let me introduce myself. My name is Agnimitra, I am in my first year PGDIM at NITIE.
CAT 2012 OA: 74 QA 80s VA 50s
CAT 2013 OA: 95.7 QA 50s VA 99.4
CAT 2014 OA: 98.77 QA 98.6 VA 96.29 XAT 2014: OA 98.7 QA 99 VA 95 DM 48
Converts: NITIE IIT B New IIMs XIMB IMT MFC
I am feeling emotional as I recollect all the moments that I lived while I prepared continuously for past three years for this exam. I have seen many ups and downs throughout my journey, many moments when I felt like giving up. I never gave up though. My preparation has been a lone battle but support I never lacked. I was constantly motivated throughout the journey by my family and a special someone.
Let me start from the beginning.
My fascination with CAT began when my elder sister brought CAT paper home from her college. I was in class 12 preparing for JEE and felt elated to solve almost all the quant questions from the paper. That was year 2008. In the back of my mind, I started dreaming about this exam right from that moment.
Fast forward to year 2011, I was in third year at engineering college. I decided to prepare for CAT, as I was in love with this exam already. Being in production and industrial engineering branch, my senior suggested me to target NITIE. I made up my mind that I will give my best for CAT.
CAT 2012 OA: 74 QA 80s VA 50s
I was shabby in verbal. This I started to work upon. I completed Norman lewis couple of times and dedicated my effort towards improving verbal.
I got relaxed and left preparation of CAT midway in the final year, after getting placed at a manufacturing firm. I did not give a single mock for CAT. This resulted in a colossal failure.
I was relaxed so CAT 2012 gave me a shock in form of poor result.
CAT 2013 OA: 95.7 QA 50s VA 99.4
This time I started preparation three months before and bought online mocks and material to prepare. I was serious this time. I studied after coming from plant. Sometimes till late midnight I used to solve mocks and analyze them. I worked dedicatedly to improve my verbal solving thousands of RCs, PJs and whatnots. I didn't get time to give all the mocks but still I did my best as hours at plant were grueling.
On the D day of Cat I made a big mistake of planning. I was posted at wadi, Karnataka. The nearest Centre was at Hyderabad. The journey was of around 4 hours. I travelled on the day of exam. I was tired and hungry even before I entered the examination hall. I couldn't solve QA and DI and sections 1 was a disaster. I was frustrated to my core. At one point of time in examination I got up to leave but I was told to wait. The whole year of preparation went to waste.
I was meanwhile transferred to West Bengal. When the results came, it was a bit encouraging as I scored well in Verbal. That year I got a call from IMT where I was rejected.
CAT 2014 OA: 98.77 QA 98.6 VA 96.29 XAT 2014: OA 98.7 QA 99 VA 95 DM 48
The work schedule got tougher as the time crossed. I was given more responsibilities and had to work at most of the weekends. At one point of time I can recall I worked from straight 30 days without single off. Jobs in maintenance and operations are hectic and physically draining. The inflection point came for me at Holi. The plant was located around 3 hours away from home. But I wasn't given holiday to go home for holi. This enraged me and I became hell bent in getting away from the cement sector (where I worked)
My schedule started in morning 6:00 AM when I used to study for an hour before going to office. In my phone I kept questions and rough sheets which I used to solve questions sitting in operator's room or shop floor. I returned from office usually after 8:00 pm and straight to preparation.
This year I had resolved will be my final for CAT. I felt I had a good head start and eased into the routine. As the days got closer my anxiety increased. I enrolled for Mocks for Time as well as CL. I was scoring at mid 90s percentile. I felt I needed improvement. In the meanwhile I didn't avoid my duties at job. My chief manager one day informed me that I was to be given responsibility of Head of department that I was working. I asked him for a week leave for CAT but it was rejected.
I went into the introspection mode. One fine morning in first week of October 2014 I decided to quit to get away from tensions for performing better in CAT. This my family supported whole heartedly. I packed my bags and came back to home. In the next 20 odd days I did nothing else besides mock sleep analyze and repeat. I gave around 90 mocks for CAT 2014. My percentile varied from 80s to 99.7 in the mocks. I was somehow ready for the final exam though.
I wont drudge into the details of examination but my jittery nerves were calmed by a balanced score of
OA: 98.77 QA 98.6 VA 96.29
Calls: IIM K, S New IIMs NITIE IIT B FMS XIMB MDI IMT MFC IMI SIBM P SPJAIN
I felt it didn't reflect my performance as I had done better in verbal than what my score showed. Still I took what the cat had thrown at me. Then I began the mad rush for GD PI WAT.
To sum it all up I travelled to Kolkata 6 times, Mumbai 2 times, Delhi 2 times for the interviews
I travelled in sleeper I travelled in general. I got down at wrong station. I even jumped from running train. I spent my nights on platform and I spent my days and nights criss crossing the country, trying to get into a B school. I never gave up. At one point when I was rejected at SP JAIN in first round, I felt like venting as I felt like a loser who had left a decent paying job in search of chimerical seat in MBA College. I got a call from my father then he asked what happened in interview. When I told him, he simply said its not over till you think it's over.
I finally got converts at NITIE IIT B MDI (IM) NEW IIMs XIMB IMT MFC
I joined NITIE as I realized that it was the best option and the college that I targeted in my third year.
I only realized that if you want to succeed you will have to keep moving forward without getting bogged down by the failures because one of the fine days your hard work might just give you success. Its about your gut to take chances on yourself.
In the whole journey, there was this special girl who never left my side. She motivated me to improve and made me realize that in the pursuit of getting into a college, I should improve. All though we are on different path I just hope one day it intertwines
A small story about a IIMA (2010 -12) IITD (2003-07) graduate. This story doesn't speak much about what he did to clear IIMA but rather focuses on Hard Work, patience and determination
4 years flew away in IITD
and he got a job in automobile company with low c2c package in which 1L was conditional bonus. From the last year in IIT he started taking cat exam.
In this attempt he got approximate 98 percentile. After that year he got 97
something and at last he got 99.4 in preceding attempt
This time also he didn't got a call from ABC. It was Lucknow and Indore from where he received calls but he failed to crack GD-PA. He was very upset (He is my real brother). He said to me on phone
"Yar jab IIT crack kar liya to ye kyon nahi hota". (What's problem in this when I have cracked IIT)
I didn't have any answer at that time.
Seeing such a a scenario of competition he started giving his attention to GMAT. He started working for IMS as a part time faculty. Counseling was made free in terms of teaching there. He applied for MIT sister concern namely Zaragoza (not mentioning others applications to keep blog SSS i.e sweet short and sexy). Logistic was the course which he applied for, in supply chain management also known as Z Log in short (MIT has M Log).
So he used to attend his company in morning shift at 6'O clock till 3 PM . Then at 4pm he had to attend IMS . At 8PM when he became free from IMS he used to have his dinner. he then preferred to study for some time at early night hours. We always believed that the rejection in last year will bring fruitful result. Meanwhile others application was also going on. That year also he gave CAT but just as a formality because of full attention to GMAT. He scored 99.86 percentile in CAT and also got interview call from AC and not B and rest IIM's also (God knew what type of people IIM Bangalore wants)
Now two roads were going in parallel
He had a telephonic interview for Zaragoza from Spain whose fate was to be decided just a day before IIMA interview. He was selected for Zlog. That day he was very happy. Next day he went for interview of IIMA .He was complete in his sense.
IIMA was also CRACKED
What to choose now between IIMA and MIT sister concern
And he chose IIMA
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