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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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The End of 'B'eginning

The year was 2010. Ashoka Hotel, New Delhi. I was contemplating what just happened in that dreaded interview room. I guess the interview was in a way over the moment I answered the first cliché question on 'Why MBA'? I was hardly disappointed when the results came in early April. Infact, I was relieved that I wasn't selected for admission to the PGP course at IIMB. The point was I had no intention of doing an MBA. At least then. I was lucky enough that the first time online aptitude based exam got me the coveted B call which I never even expected lest prepared.

Fast forward 4 years. January 2014. I punch my fist in the air with joy. This was the one. This was the only one. What made it heartfelt was the fact that with my CAT percentile I felt I might not be able to get the coveted call. I checked the interview date. I had exactly 30 days to prepare for the interview. In the meantime, I was getting calls from my friends to make arrangements for the Goa trip we planned next week. The situation was changed now. As usual, the trip was put on a hold.

I prepared like I had never done before. Irrespective of my Reliance boss breathing down my neck, I put in at least 6 hours everyday. The Economist, Mint and Frontline had become my favorite toys for the month. I could see only onetarget. Target-IIMB.

Why did I want it so bad? The reasons - For a person brought up in Siliguri, working his ass off in Nagothane for the past four years, Bangalore was something sort of a welcome change. Friends and cousins, weather and beer. The city had it all. And of course the 2010 failed attempt!! Fortunately, sanity prevailed and I substituted my personal reasons with balanced answers in my SOP and interview.

April 11, 2014. The day God smiled. Perhaps, the only other date I remember apart from my birthday. I hug my office colleague, the senior who supported me so much. I had just checked the results and was offered admission into one of the sought after courses in one of the best B Schools in Asia. Remembering the moment still gives me a mix of joy and sadness - the fact that I celebrated the moment with my friend, philosopher and guide, and the fact that he passed away later that year.

Enter IIMB. After a tiresome first week, trying to get a sense and control of your life now came the time of club selections. I knew about all the clubs at IIMB since a year - I had practically read up anything and everything that was available on the website well before I got into B. Errors in judgement coupled with some narrow misses, and I didn't get into any clubs. And though it did not affect me for long -here is the first gyan - you can miss anything here, get very poor scores, etc. - and it won't matter one bit. The fact is for most things you become wiser only after. And getting advice from anyone and everyone is of no use. Because the correct advice can only come from a person who understands you very well and is a pro in that domain.

With a sense of struggle, I pursued two things which I knew best - academics and volleyball. Luckily, my active class participation (no DCP, eh) and the initial results boosted my morale and gave me a lot of confidence. On this, I laid the foundation of my journey at B.

You can only realize the importance of being idle only after coming to IIMs. The point is, there is hardly any free moment you get here during the initial few months. However, even though we work hard, we party much harder. I can still remember the birthday bashings in L-square, the New Year get-togethers, the section parties and the list goes on.

But the best part of the first year, was the peers I met and the wonderful friends I made. I can probably talk about them all day long.

Then came the summer internship and the brutal heat of Gurgaon made me cherish the cool winds of campus even more. The high of coming back to this place and with the best friends living next door, second year was even better. And term 4 was crazy as well - when almost every third day I slept only after breakfast.

The only time when I did not miss B so much was during the exchange term at Copenhagen. One hell of an experience it was and can be made into another story. More on that for later.

What I am taking away from two years at this place? Some memories to cherish for a lifetime! I will miss banging the door of my friends for every little thing and sometimes for no reason whatsoever. I will miss getting dirt on my volleyball jersey. I will miss going to Park-n-Eat and Night Canteen and having random 'bakar' with friends. I will miss the small talk withfellow mates. I will miss sitting in a class. And yes, I will miss my Hogwarts - the B campus.

The last term - months, weeks and now it has come down to days. The inevitable is coming. My 'Winter is coming'. And this is what I want to push away - the day we go our separate ways. How I wish I could add a month to this last term. Because life may never be the same again!


P.S.: There are so many people that have helped me and without them, the incredible IIMB journey would not have been possible. Thank you so much everyone! And special thanks Suryaansh Makked for your editing help.

  • @kats_iitg ABP mention nhi kiya :stuck_out_tongue:. 01 Apr.
  • @anitsuri1990 not much of an ABP person :smiley:. 02 Apr.
PGP 2014-16 | IIM Bangalore  A slave who has 3 masters is free !! 

This is going to be long  so please bear with me.

They say life is what you make of it. But honestly, i didn't make my life; it was the circumstances that did it for me. Born in a middle class family in India, my fate was sealed to be an engineer from the prestigious IIT by my parents. They don't know what happens at IITs, they didn't know how one gets into an IIT, they only know that they want to see their kid there. Fair enough, every parent wants the best for his/her kids, but it's the duty of the kids to fulfill their parents' expectations.

I began my journey in a small town in Nainital. I was good at school. Scored around 80 odd percent till X grade. Parents thought their son is the next big thing. That's when thunder struck. My XII result was a disaster and my parents dream of seeing me at an IIT was shattered because JEE went equally bad. I sucked at physics. I managed to pass the exam because I was good at cramming. I always thought that maybe being in a small town I couldn't really get to learn well and blamed it as a reason for my poor performance along with a lot of other factors like family problems, girl stuff(actually it was the rejection that affected me) and many other reasons. So anyways, I decided to take a drop, moved to delhi and worked my ass off this one year, no disturbances, just studying, practically getting no sleep. I was getting good at chemistry, maths was always there, but physics still remained the same. Slowly and slowly IIT became a far-fetched thought and I realized I couldn't get there no matter how hard I try. I started aiming the tier 2 tier 3 colleges like DCE, NITs, BIT Mesra, etc. My focus was entirely on AIEEE. I was working like hell just to make it to these colleges but that's when thunder struck again.

CBSE decided to change the exam pattern and AIEEE became JEE Mains. The level of difficulty was same but the exam pattern was changed with weightage being given to XII scores. I was still optimistic and decided to study as hard as I could and tried to give my best. On the D-day, thunder struck again, when usually they gave around 10-12 calculus questions, they gave just 2. It was over for me. The moment I stepped out I realized I am done. I felt i was the biggest failure in the world. I got home and I cried. I cried the entire evening, the entire night.

I called my father the next day, and told him about it, his reply was why did you waste my money when you couldn't even study?

This was the final blow. I lost everything. I lost the emotions I had and I became a rock or that's what I think I am. I dropped the idea of being an engineer all together. I was passionate about computers since my school days so I choose BCA for my graduation. It wasn't what I dreamt, but it was close enough to what I aspired to be.  I did get to learn what I wanted to and that's what I used to lift myself up from the situation I was in. I knew from my father's look he still regarded me as a failure but that didn't bother me anymore, I rarely spoke to him, matter of fact, I didn't speak to anyone, I kept to myself and my studies. Time passed, I realized this isn't where I belong. I was good at what I did, but I realized I couldn't be creative in this field, I could only use what I learned and I cannot make something innovative out of it.

So gradually my focus shifted to CAT. Yes, you must think I am stupid, to go chasing after another bird in the bush knowing very well what happened the first time I did it. The thought for CAT came around my second year of graduation but that is what it remained- a thought.

It took me a lot of courage to start gearing up for another failure but I devoted every minute to convince myself I won't fail, not this time. Finally at the beginning of my 2015, I started studying for CAT. But I still lacked seriousness. I was doing it but was not completely into it. The one thing I stuck to was no coaching. I did not join any coaching institutes and worked on my own as much as I could. Towards June end, the seriousness came, and I became a maniac, with sleeping hours back to the JEE days, even harsher, I remember days when I only slept for 2 hours.

It was going good. Or so I thought, I had nothing to gauze how I'm doing or where I need to improve, what my strengths are, I was just aimlessly solving questions. August came, I told my father I'm planning to appear for CAT. He said, "1 lakh to barbaad ker hi diye, 2000 aur sahi". I was pissed off again, I filled my CAT form, dropped the idea of appearing for NMAT, IIFT, SNAP,etc. It was CAT or nothing. My preparations got even harsher, I was solving quant questions sitting in my college classroom while students made notes, I solved RC's during lectures.

Placements season began; the first company to show up was Wipro. I sat for the interview. And guess what, I cracked the interview. It was not what I wanted to do, but it was the best thing that had happened to me in these three years. Focus was soon back to CAT in a few days. The three months before CAT passed in a jiffy.  I don't recall what I did, how I did, during these three months. I remember the last week pretty vividly, I had my semester exam beginning from 23rd November, I had studied nothing during the entire semester. I gave these exams on a nights preparation and simultaneously used to revise my quant formulas daily.

The day came, attempted around 26 in VA, 12 in DI/LR, and 16 in QA. I knew I could have done a lot better in quant because there were many questions where I knew the method, but I wasted time in solving the questions by serial number and thus my quant was screwed.

Flash forward to result day, 9:00, actually backing up a little, because December was the time I was introduced to pagalguy and I soon became a frequent visitor. I was continuously checking pagalguy for CAT results. On the result day, I got up at 9:00 and first thing I did was visit pg, and boom I saw posts flooded with CAT results. I immediately went to the site to check mine.

It was VA:- 48.14(81.87)  DILR:- 37.66(91.82)  QA:- 36.95(86.89)  Overall:- 89.78.

I don't know what my father thinks; I still don't talk to him. I applied to a few colleges and have converted calls from all the three colleges i gave the interviews for i.e. TAPMI, LIBA and NIRMA.

I don't know what I am going to do but lesson I learned was never lose faith in yourself. Also your life is determined to a certain extent by others but there will come a time when you will be in complete control of your life. Grab it and make the best of it. Cheers.

  • 37 Likes   11 Comments
  • @foadbear thanx man...and all the best to you too.. 27 Apr.
Sometimes, you have to look at the bigger picture.  
Itachi Uchiha @neal.caffrey 43

@foadbear thanx man...and all the best to you too. 

Journey from 62.87 to 99.93--> Its all about the journey not the outcome!! Part 1: As i write this,a lot of thoughts ,moments  come to my mind. I will try my best to pen down my story of lot and lot of failures,emotions  and the will to make it big someday. Bare with me for my writing skills and this is going to be a long one as the things i have been through in these four years of CAT journey is very difficult to express.I hope this motivates others to keep going despite the shortcomings because at the end its all  about  your dream and how far you can go to achieve it. P. S :- I haven't converted any call in these 4 years and yesterday   I had a IIFT reject again (3rd time in row)  but i know my  time will come as hard work always pays off. Just a brief description of my life before my tryst with CAT began. Grew up in a small town Siliguri and having scored well in my board exams my parents decided that i should move to pune to pursue my +2.There I started enjoying the lifestyle of city with nightouts ,trips becoming a daily affair . Gave AIEEE  lost my track and got a rank of around 6 lakh in AIEEE with a negative score. At the moment i realized i have lost 2 most important years of my life and decided to take a drop and go to KOTA . I studied with full effort but 9 months were too less for me to get a decent rank in JEE and AIEEE. I got admitted in a decent college but not so good branch through WBJEE . Since then the idea though doing PG from a elite college grew. During my 5th semester , i decided to write CAT in the hope to do well and get into a good college .I had a group of 5 and all of us had this dream of getting into a good B-School. So we joined career launcher and started attending regular classes. I used to find aptitude very difficult and used to take a lot of time solving questions .Bu t as time passed i felt i was improving on various fronts. I had never been an avid reader and so i never had command over VA. Word power made easy gave me some confidence. Started giving mocks and my %ile range used to be 93-97 and the confidence grew and i felt i could perform well in CAT'12. CAT'12: It was 29th October,2012 .The exam used to be of 140 minutes  with two sections QA/DI and VA/LR . I gave my best and was hoping i would get around 95-97. When the results came i had scored just 47%ile in QA DI with an overall %ile of 62.87 . That day i cried like anything and was in a state of shock for almost a week.  I felt very low and started doubting myself on why did I even prepare for Cat. It still haunts me when i remember those days.All my friends scored in the range of 94-98 % ile but none of them could convert and then we all decided to give another shot. I got Placed in Capgemini Mumbai and that was the next stop for me after my engineering.  . So I went to Mumbai in June'13 and the only thing on my mind was the dream of a top notch B-school. Part 2 on the way !!

  • 36 Likes   14 Comments
  • waiting for part 2. 10 Apr.
  • Happy ending :smiley: joka calling!!. 18 Apr.
CAT 12 -62.87 CAT 13- 87.25  CAT 14 -94.73 Finally CAT 15- 99.93 !!Jokar for Life  
Mukesh Goyal @muxi 575

waiting for part 2

Mukesh Goyal @muxi 575

Happy ending joka calling!!

This is going to be a long story and writing it in one go, straight from the heart. Yes, like the good old AIWSAC stories, mine is full of hopes, dreams,a lot of failures, heartbreaks, grit, determination and finally the full stop.  

2006-07: The beginning

My CAT story began during the second year of college in Oct, 2006. I was pursuing a commerce degree from a prestigious college of Delhi University. Not keen on pursuing CA, I enrolled with Career Launcher in their one year program. Being a non-engineer student brought up in a non-convent school, I was average in all the sections barring the critical reasoning part. I regularly attended the classes - sometimes, even skipping the college classes - and was confident that with hard work I would be able to get coveted calls from IIMs (mistake no.1 - unrealistic optimism). My GF also started to prepare for CAT, and we started discussing our goals and strategies. Somehow with her into the CAT thing, I started feeling a bit of pressure on my head. I felt more so because even after six months of preparation, my performance chart was not showing much signs of improvement. I started focusing more on CAT after getting into the final year. I felt frustrated with little signs of improvement in my scores and lost track a bit after a few dismal performances in mock tests. As the d-day came closer, I pushed hard. Finally crossed the 90%le mark on my last mock test and felt good about it. On the d-day my GF called and she sounded nervous. The nervousness and uncertainty transcended into me as well. CAT used to be paper based back then and had 75 questions - 25 each in quant, english and reasoning. The target was 10 correct in each section. I started with quant and was able to solve only 2 questions in first 30 minutes. I knew the game was over, and that I would be re-taking CAT in 2008. In the next half an hour solved 10-12 questions in reasoning and then shifted to english. Did another 10-12 questions and moved back to quant. In the end managed 9 correct in reasoning, 7 in english and 5 in quant. The game was over for CAT 2007. Managed some 90 odd percentile only

2008-09: The worst two years 

2008 for me began with the global recession. I was confident of getting into Delhi School of Economic's MIB program (it had some reputation back then). I was also confident that one of the symbiosis colleges would take me. Hence, I rejected a job opportunity from Google adwords (there were no start ups and e-commerce companies back then) at the dawn of my college. It was not a high paying job, but still the brand mattered and for a commerce graduate, it would have been a decent start. They wanted a 3 year 5 lakh bond, and it was too much for me as I expected to pursue MBA in a few months time (mistake no.2- a bird in hand is better than any number in bush). To my shock I did not get through any of the MBA colleges. Even colleges such as BIMTECH noida and SIIB rejected me after interviews. A topper through out school and college, I had no job or direction after the last exam of my under-graduation. Meanwhile, my GF who was the person I looked upto since school days joined Amity much against my wishes and her caliber. Things became difficult between us and we had a break up (mistake no.3). I struggled through out without a job, enrolled myself into a post grad diploma in finance and simultaneously prepared for CAT. A family tragedy in the end ensured that I was unable to give CAT.

By the end of 2008, I had a few job offers but the joining in each case got delayed. My ex-GF returned in my life as a friend and things became smooth again in life. I started a venture of my own and after 3-4 months I had to close it down for want of resources. Exactly one year after my graduation in June 2009, I was at the same position. No job, no signs of IIM calls - the only source of support were my parents and ex-GF. I was so frustrated in life that I left my hometown and went to Mumbai for a while. This led to some issues at home and with my ex-GF as well. Our families met and discussed my situation. I returned from Bombay after a few weeks, and started again. My ex-GF was told by her parent to stay away from me and she complied. It kinda broke me from inside and that was the time I joined Pagalguy - October 2009. I made a lot of friends, became active on the Delhi-NCR meet scene. There was one thread specifically - Pursuit of Happiness -  where was very active. In mean time one of the members informed me about off campus interviews at research arm of a consulting firm. I prepared and cleared rigorous rounds of guesstimate interviews. So practically after 18 months of my graduation, I got my first job. It was important to get a job as once during a PG meet - an experienced puy told me that "CAT tabhi theek hoga, jab personal life stable hogi". Skipped CAT in 2009 as well, but this time voluntarily

2010-2011: The years of exposure err wandering

I joined the firm in March 2010, and as it is while working with most business research firms - was engrossed throughout the year in work, deliverables and deadlines. Missed CAT again. Probably, that was the year I realised that CAT was not meant for me. After getting frustrated with corporate drudgery, I resigned on April 03, 2011 - a day after India won the 2011 WC. Luckily, within next 2 weeks I received a fellowship from a Policy Think Tank which required me to work with a Member of Parliament. Thereon began an unthinkable journey into politics, policy making, development process, and what not. After the fellowship concluded, I was offered an opportunity to lead the policy and parliament vertical of an MP's office. I accepted it. I also tried to connect with my ex-GF but failed again.

2012-2014: Hit the road running

By the end of 2011, I was sure that I wanted a career in public policy. I had started to influence the policy making and implementation process, began to understand the political scenario, and a masters in public policy seemed the logical next step. Wrote GRE, applied to LSE and Colombia MPA programmes, got through both in early 2014 backed by solid profile, letters of recommendations and essays. 

At the same time, I got an opportunity to work for one of biggest energy firms in India where I began handling their policy, corporate affairs and legislation work. I deferred my MPA offers. The experience completely changed my perspective towards industry.  In Feb 2014, I ran into my ex-GF in a market but I could not speak a word. My mom called her but nothing worked out.

2015- present

I was working with the top management of the firm and on multiple occasions felt handicapped in absence of financial and operational skills. While I was doing fine in my responsibilities, the next what question kept pestering me. Finally, in July I started preparing for GMAT. It was difficult in the beginning, My office is 1.5 hours one-way drive from home, and working closely with top management meant long hours including on weekends. I had targeted October, but because of the work.. I could only give GMAT in December. I had prepared well and was getting 740 on the official mocks.. so I knew that 720+ was definitely on. GMAT is a comparatively predictable exam and on the day I scored 720. While, I knew I had messed up the verbal section and could have score more but I was largely satisfied. I wanted to stay in India - so ISB was my first preference. My experience of writing essays for MPA applications helped. My essays came out good and I was confident of getting an interview call, which I eventually got. Interview went without much fuss - unlike the MBA interviews I had given 5-6 years back. Finally, in March 2016 I was offered admission by Indian School of Business and I have accepted it.


The reason I wrote more about my initial years than my last few years is that I wanted to tell people who are going through tough times right now that it gets difficult for everyone. There was a time when I was unemployed, lost my GF (who was also my best friend since we were 7!), failed in business - lost complete self confidence,  I have probably seen things which I should not have. My family also went through a lot - but at no point did they stop supporting me. My father suffered a paralytic attack and was on bed for 6 months, my younger brother dropped an year after class 12th, and have seen multiple personal set backs- but ultimately you just have to keep calm and carry on. I was lucky to get certain opportunities but I really burnt midnight oil at every given opportunity and pushed the performance to the next level. If it were not ISB, I would have certainly applied to top 10-15 colleges in US next year and gotten through a few there as well - but even if I would not have been in this position today.. I would have still continued to try. Persistence is all what counts in the end. 

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

  • 78 Likes   11 Comments
  • salute. 14 Apr.
  • hats off sir !!! All the very best for ur future endeavor.... 14 Apr.
Aashish | ISB '17 | AIWSAC http://goo.gl/jq6utF |  ISB Interview http://goo.gl/qw94cV  
@banu.p29 24

hats off sir !!! All the very best for ur future endeavors.... (for the last para esp...... )

This isn't a complete success story, neither a failed one. I shall start from my days of B.Tech

B.Tech Final Year: I used to prepare hard for GATE. I even didn't attend the "IDEA" placements as we have to sign a bond for it. All this time couple of my class mates, say,  C and A , prepared for CAT and they scored well. I got AIR 2127 in GATE and missed IIT's. C and A were unable to clear the interviews. I got placed in TCS. C and A didn't even sit for placements.

After 1 year: Decided to give up on GATE (I have my reasons) and joined the coaching institute along with C and A. We prepared for 1 month and meanwhile I got the joining letter of TCS. Tried to delay the joining but wasn't able to. In fear of losing job, I took it. C and A still prepared. I took CAT for namesake that year and scored 84 percentile. Time was rude with both C and A, they have no calls.

After 1 more year: I joined a coaching institute in Hyderabad itself. Decided to make it this year at any cost. Mean people especially leads in my project added fuel to my fire to succeed. Hardly slept in the nights, withstood Migraine attacks and made sure that I progressed. Mock season started and I crawled slowly from 80 percentile to 99.5 percentile by the end. The last phase of preparation has started. Applied a month leave to my job, (I was sick then, but good enough to live. Still took the leave) and prepared with C and A in the old coaching institute. The day has come, to put the battlefield on fire and I went ahead with all blazing guns of knowledge. CAT is such a mean exam, where even a small misfire can turn into a vicious cyclone and collapses the castles. I know it is a mishandled day. Expected around 92 to 95 percentiles (Even keys show that). I started to prepare for XAT where C and A aren't ready.

With all evaporated hopes took XAT. In last 5 min, I am yet to solve a RC and went ahead instead of submitting. I have the least knowledge that those 5 min will decide my fate. After coming home, didn't even check the key. Such was the surprise CAT gave to me. All of a sudden, the CAT results started to come and I got a meager 72.7 percentile. (Inner Voice: What a disgrace are you to the family? You took 30K loan, joined a coaching center, 1 month holiday to prepare and in the end you got this? What about the family that is solely dependent on you?) I never thought of dying, but I already did for the kind of result I got. Then checked the XAT key, as per coaching institutes, and I got 32.7 marks and all sections are equally good.(Some ray of hope).

Somewhere in the same month XAT released their keys and I got 33.7 marks but with a twist in the tale (VA: 7.75 marks). Had my heart in the mouth for almost 10 days. XAT percentiles are released and I managed a 97.9 percentile with only 75 in VA. (Inner Voice: You are shit. This is the check mate. As per previous trends, you will not get a call. Die once again.) Next day calls are released and with a twist again. They lowered the cut off for HRM but not for BM (BM cut off is 77.4 percentile and those 3 question in a RC were wrong. Otherwise I may be preparing for BM too). Managed a call for HRM. Finally some result in the end. A week later, SPJIMR called for Finance interview.

I am dancing like a monkey there, and already started reading Investopedia even from my phone. Borrowed my Mom's smartphone so that I can make use of the traveling time too.

Mumbai: It's the interview day and 2:00am at Chatrapathi Shivaji Terminal. Platform No:1. Unable to sleep and took a finance magazine with me, sat there and went through some articles. I booked a room in the station itself(dormitory). At 6:00 am, got ready and headed to interview. Interview started at 2:00pm and the questions are very basic. Nailed the interview and was waiting for the first round result with a satisfied hope. Result came. verdict: Rejected. Only 1 out of 6 was selected and all of those for finance with B.Tech Background were rejected. I headed to the juhu beach and cried like a child. The first failure that condensed my tears. I informed my parents and returned back. Now about to face the XLRI interview and as I write this, I feel how desperate I was, about getting into SPJIMR. I wish I can prove them wrong one day. 

Sorry for the unfinished story. I shall update it once I face it all. Now C, A and I all together are preparing for the interviews. Hopefully all three will make it this year.

  • 31 Likes   7 Comments
  • if thats what you want....dont give up mate.... 15 Mar.
  • all the best!!. 15 Mar.
jisko mera khoon, paseena, dil, jaan dekar bhi yakeen nahi hota #CAT2015 
@GAURAV9515 1

if thats what you want....dont give up mate...

Started From the Bottom now we are Here.

so i am in the  3rd year of my B.tech(3rd tier college) bogged down by 5 backlogs and i am drowning in self loathing and my hate for this B.tech .i was trying to distract myself from all this by co curricular activities , just keeping myself busy.why did i choose B,tech ???well when your cousin is in Microsoft and you have 12 cousins all in IT, it is pretty much set in stone what you are going to do with your life

Frustrated with my condition i decided to take the first step.I chaulked out a plan to put me back in this game; we called "Life".

Step 1-find something you want to do for the rest of your life.

Step 2- Get rid of the Baggage and distractions.

Step 3 -passion and deliberate practice can make anything possible.

1st thing First -i really liked organizing events and had a knack for public speaking ,so i knew a tech job wasn't for me. i decided to do an MBA (i dont want to die poor) This was my moto.

Step 2 -Worked really hard and was able to get rid of the backlogs on time.

by this time all my friends had found jobs in infosys or HCL and fb was the worst place to be (placed in TCS feeling secured).This status rocked me to the core.i decided to switch it off,no more FB for me until i achieve something in life.

Step 3- execution (i read this book (Talent is overrated by Geoff colvin )and it really showed that great performance in anything was achievable by deliberate practice and focus.)

  so in my 4th year i started my CAT journey .i enrolled in ims cp (not a product placement) and my life changed. i met some of the smartest people i  know.My QUANT teacher was From BCG and DILR from XLRI ,we used to say that these people pull answers from thin air.I was really in awe of these guys.i wanted to be like them.

4th year ended(63 percent) and i took up a JOB in HR talent acquisition (thought i would have something to talk about in PI (might even get browny points for having relevant work ex-I was gunning for HR)) and it might even cover up for my acads

i gave cat for the first time and was in so much pressure at that time that i almost started crying after looking at DI(it was CAT 2014). I had MATH PHOBIA so quant wasn't easy as well.

Got a 53 percentile and i called my Mom to say that life was over for me and wont be able to amount to anything in life.

went through all stages of mourning and Picked my self back UP again.

Started preparing again.  solved the shit out of my simcats.

 Cat 2015 


i was never uncomfortable with english (watch friends yes the tv show it will improve it.)

english was good, did like 28 questions .



same story as last year ,tough as hell ,but i decided to do just 2 sets and thought tukka toh nai marrunga

Then Came 


Math Phobia still persisted but when i had solved 7 out of 10 right. i knew paper was easy was now just a game of speed.

did 26 questions there.

Result TIME

A month passed and then came the results.

i was siting in my office when i thought "CHALO PAGALGUY CHECK KRTE HAI"

everyone was posting there scores(DUE TO THAT SOURCE CODE S#IT). i panicked as hell.

Told my boss i wasn't feeling well and left the office to check the result .

went to my home and  i got an sms saying" your score is 93.53 percentile"




 i screamed on the top of my lungs.i had never 90 plus in anything in my life ,called my mom to tell her about it.she was happy so i was happy.

not too shabby for a guy who had 5 backlogs once and was making 15000 rs per month

got a call from imt , imi , ximb , tapmi , lbsim ,many as still to come .

Dont know wheather i will be able to convert them or not (GEM 75,75, 63 ,19 MONTH WORK EX).

but sure was one hell of an year.

Thanks for all your stories ,will comment here if i convert a good college.

  • 51 Likes   14 Comments
  • @ranareshab bt y?. 14 Apr.
  • kyunki paisae kamane hai.. Isleye.... Long way to go. 14 Apr.
call 2015:iim ranchi.imt.imi.tapmi.iit. 
bat wayne @ranareshab 222

kyunki paisae kamane hai.. Isleye.... Long way to go

Hello all. I'd like to share my own experience of CAT'15 and other entrance exams I took last year. Before that I'd like to apologize if there is any kind of error in the post I wrote, be it grammatical or any other. 

My profile is stated as follows -

Xth - 76%

XIIth - 57% (Screwed big time)

B.Tech - Final year - 63.60% till now.

Exams taken - CAT'15, NMAT (1st & Retake once), IIFT,SNAP,XAT.

Results - CAT'15 - 66.xx%ile. NMAT -1st - 172. Retake- 181. IIFT - couldn't clear cutoff. SNAP - 68%ile. XAT- 20 Raw score.


Though I'd like to start on a high note, that I had started preparing for CAT since 2014 April. I joined TIME in my second year itself and continued to attend all the weekend lectures at TIME & solved questions religiously. Mocks were usually in the range 70-80%ile with once getting 90+%ile. I wasn't expecting high percentile but atleast expected something in the 80s so that I could target lower rank B-Schools. And I gave other examinations so that I could atleast get a chance somewhere in a decent B-School. One by one the results came and I started to breakdown.

Today it is 23rd January and I have calls only from IBS Hyderabad, Alliance, KIAMS, Amity University, Woxsen School of Business and VIT Business School, which I'm not gonna attend any of them.

I read Aks Gupta's post on how he scored 44.22%ile in XAT 2011 to 98.83%ile in XAT 2013 and how he cracked XLRI GDPI and made it to XL. This made my depression fly away and I am already preparing myself to fight for a job and attempt CAT/XAT again. 

Honestly speaking, I don't hope for colleges like IIM ABC (which I used to, earlier) but even if I manage to crack XL or IIML, I'll be the happiest person ever. 

Only suggestion and word of advice to my fellow Puys and Pirls is, please read @Zzeke or Aks Gupta's post if you feel dejected and depressed. And please do not start with CAT prep too early. I started too early and lost the heat when it was the most needed.

Thank you for reading. Cheers. And all the best for CAT'16, XAT'17 and all other exams to come. Because the MBA session for this season is over.

  • 17 Likes   28 Comments
  • As long as you are focused and motivated you can achieve .... 23 Feb.
  • @saloni1931 sahi bola.. 23 Feb.
Failures are stepping stones to success. Also, Forever Affluent! 
@JeffMurdock 17

As long as you are focused and motivated you can achieve anything. Good luck. 

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.

  • 35 Likes   5 Comments
  • We all have our share in stupidity. I have scored 98 but .... 25 Jan.
  • i dont understand why you gave one more cat after scoring.... 07 Mar.
cat 2014: 99.4,IIM-K, New IIMs. One final push for abc  
Bhanu Arora @bhanu94 7

We all have our share in stupidity. I have scored 98 but neither applied to fms nor mdi

Ishit Kothari @ishitdon 2

i dont understand why you gave one more cat after scoring 99.4?

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

  • 2 Likes   6 Comments
  • TAke your own call,if you think you can go one up then sure.. 02 Feb.
Ryuk Shinigami @swargr 1,375

TAke your own call,if you think you can go one up then sure.

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 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: adithyaram.v@gmail.com.


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..

  • 51 Likes   23 Comments
  • @zippysoul \- Sour grapes or not, as a realistic fox, I p.... 01 Apr.
  • good for you,man. 01 Apr.
If you dont like a rule...then follow that rule...get to the top ...And change the rule -Hitler Mama... 
Adithya Ram @adi_rulezz 307

@zippysoul - Sour grapes or not, as a realistic fox, I prefer to have berries on the ground, which are under my reach rather than aiming for (sour) grapes which are not in my reach anyway....

The Mediocre Soul @zippysoul 1,086

good for you,man

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