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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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Hi.This is my first post on pagalguy.I need ur help

I appeared for CAT 2014 .My overall score is 88.41 QA:84 VA:86.63.This was my first serious attempt at CAT

I know its a very low percentile and the colleges I can apply to are a few in no.I left my job for preparing for CAT and with this score I am even more depressed.I have a work experience of 16 months.My NMAT score is 199.I did not apply for NMIMS Bangalore/Hyderabad campus

I am in  a very difficult situation right now.My parents are already angry with me because of my decision of not applying to NM Bangalore campus and are upset because of my low score in  CAT.I do not have the option of repeating another year.

What should be my further course of action?

  • @vrindaye sorry !!. 03 Apr.
  • @vrindaye messaged u again,kindly reply to that too. 03 Apr.
AIM IIM @alanshore 466

@vrindaye messaged u again,kindly reply to that too

Puys I have a question 
I appeared for CAT 14 and got a pathetic score,OA 90.29 percentile (QA 87.18,marks 69.44 and VA 86.33,marks 62.83).I expected much better as I was able to manage 95+ in AIMCATs in last 5 AIMCATS consistently.
Its not worthy to think about that now,because PAST cant be changed.
I am a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from a Government college and passed with CGPA 8.1 in 2014
My acads are also decent (96% and 87% in 10th and 12th resp.)
I want to do MBA from a good college(old IIMs,SPJAIN,MDI,FMS,NITIE etc) but I dont think I can manage as I am GENERAL.
So I want to try for the next time.But then I will lose a year as I am unemployed right now.My question is will this bother my chances for next year admission?Will this '1 YEAR LOSS' thing cut my chances off for the premier institutes next year?What should I do now?
Help me with your valuable suggestions

Thank you in advance.

  • 1 Like   3 Comments
  • @sujitsinhajgec There are many aspirants, every year, who.... 20 Jan.
  • @next_big_thing thank you for your suggestion.To be hones.... 20 Jan.
Risk it all....to win it all !!  
ANKIT BARIK @next_big_thing 677

@sujitsinhajgec There are many aspirants, every year, who take a year drop inorder to devote themselves wholeheartedly to their goal. A 1-year drop is not a big deal at all, BUT there is a rider - u must score a killer percentile next time or u will be left in the cold. If u can come up with a superb score next time in CAT/XAT/IIIFT, the one year gap will not be a sore point at all & ur interviewers would gladly look beyond that. But on the other hand, if u fail next time also, u will be in a deep mess with no job, a year gap & no coveted call - a mess of epic proportions. This is the reason why many stay away from the dreaded year drop (since they don't have the heart to take such a big risk) while the rest take the plunge headlong, knowing fully well that this is what I want & am gonna go all out to get it. 

So it's upto u to decide which group u belong to. There is a compromise too but I don't think that applies to u - there are many who are in a dead-end job but don't have the heart to take a drop. So what they do is stay in their company till July. By then, he must have appeared in 5-6 mocks. If the percentile languishes is the 75-82 range, it indicates that the drop may be a big risk. On the hand hand, if he is scoring 90+, that means he is up there with the best & taking a drop and focusing fully on CAT may not be such a bad idea. If u indeed decide to take the drop, try to do something to plug that hole - pursue an online degree in ur area of interest - six sigma certification, project management courses, CFA, NCFM certificates for Finance enthusiasts or Digital Marketing course - whatever interests u.

Sujit Sinha @sujitsinhajgec 20

@next_big_thing thank you for your suggestion.To be honest,I am really confident to get a 'KILLER PERCENTILE' next time as my basics are already brushed up.I just want to take mocks as many as possible.so thank you for your inspirational words,it really helps me a lot. :) 

Hey folks, I wanted to know if we are not from Maharashtra then what is the probability that we would turn out to be the selected candidate from exams like CMAT and CET..

  • #. 18 Jan.

My MBA story. How I got a 100 Percentile and didn't join an IIM

Hello Puys. Hope all of you are doing well. Been quite some time that I posted anything of note on PG.


The trigger for this post? I recently came across one of the latest posts on "All I wanted to speak about CAT" by @sid2222000 and wanted to share the same from my side as well. Being an oldie and an active member/moderator/employee/DT captain/editor circa 2009-11, I was always coaxed to write something about the journey but couldn't. I guess, on a holiday, with enough motivation to write something, I have finally managed to recollect and record something that might be useful to future CAT aspirants and might give a bit of insights into how I went about CAT.

Statutory warning: A lot of gyaan to follow. Those who know me on PG can vouch for the same!

A long long time ago in 2004

Till then, a conventional life had been led, with dreams as limited as to which college should I go to next and how should I study to achieve the former. Why should I go for a particular career choice was not thought about and the consequences, not planned. I managed to bag the last merit seat in Grant Medical College, Mumbai (one of the best in the country as I would later realize). It was a dream come true and for someone who was the proverbial frog in the well, it was an opportunity to experience a lot of new things.


Apart from a major personal setback, things were pretty smooth on the academic front. MBBS is a stretched out course that gives you ample time to grow academically and so, there was no major issue on the academic front. However, as time passed, I began to realize the need to have a plan for the future post my graduation.

When you get into a medical college, almost everybody is set to land up a seat at a post graduate institute in medicine or surgery. Over the previous 4 years, I had realized that I would not like to practice for the remainder of my life and so, getting into medicine or surgery would not make sense. I started looking for options and found that an MBA was interesting for 2 reasons - it was something that would add something to my personality (mock me all you want but I genuinely feel that MBA is somewhat a glorified personality development course with content addition as a by product) & the process seemed inviting to someone like me who had a knack of cracking aptitude tests (how wrong I was into thinking that one has to only crack a test to get into a B-school). I had never ever thought of the specialization aspect and was single-mindedly focused on just getting into a good B-school (a mistake in hindsight).

As is the case with many CAT aspirants, I Googled "MBA after MBBS". These 3 words changed the course of my life and I landed on PG. After trying and testing the forum (back in those days, PG had a simple interface), I finally signed up for the website in Jan 2008.


I started getting active on PG, started seeking help from senior puys including @puri.pallavi, @implex, @estranged_gnrs, @rmbt, @deep_agarwal and many many more. Seeking help turned into helping others and I took a liking to the concept of PG and the helpfulness of the users. The entirety of 2008 was spent well in understanding the various aspects of an MBA and how it would make sense to do one at that point in time. As has been the case many a time, it was a matter of deciding first and then finding means to justify that decision.

I had made it to the PG Mumbai Dream Team (in spite of not being a CAT taker that year) and had a wonderful time discussing strategies and learning from fellow aspirants like @implex, @navneet023, Nitin, @iitr.abhishek, @smarep amongst others.  

Come 2009 and I had a happy surprise call from @estranged_gnrs to ask if I was interested in moderating the forum. I had been pretty active in the previous months and was looking forward to playing a more important role with PG in an official capacity. I started attending PG meets; AIPGM 2009 was my first meet and I had the opportunity of meeting the likes of @ganeshiima, @iim.maniac, @try4it, @harshadk, @puri.pallavi, @pushkar84 and many more. I vividly remember sharing the dorm with @pushka84 and @ganeshiima and wondering if it was a good omen (both of them were on their way to IIM A that year and as it invariably is with a CAT aspirant, I had already taken a liking to WIMWI). Mumbai meets were fun and I remember a time when we used to go to CL to have meets with the Mumpuy junta. I managed to get into the prestigious Pagalguy Dream Team and had a wonderful time with @Sammael, @NeverG!veUp, @r11gupta, @ThEbmr, @silentassassin, @vipul88, @prakharc, @Explorer_Gagan, @varun.garg.pec. Never ever was a moment when it was not competitive and never ever was a moment when it led to tension between the teammates; one of the few representations where online interaction is as fruitful as meeting someone in person (we might have met only 3-4 times in total but still know each other a lot better than that). PG was defined by the sanctity of online interactions and this was the epitome of that thought.

The exams were passing at a fast clip. I had a fair amount of confidence in my ability but never felt from within that I could dream big. All my previous attempts at gaining excellence had fallen short by some distance (starting from my 10th standard to my medical entrance where I had almost fallen short of getting into GMC). I felt that I could be content getting into a decent institute and would need a stroke of luck if I were to make it to ABC. CAT came and went and I was not really happy with my attempt (same slot as @WarriorWithin, my batch mate and a very close friend from GMC who later made it to IIM L). The paper was a bit strange and I was not sure if I had done justice to the paper. IIFT, FMS and SNAP had passed uneventfully and XAT remained.


I had never taken XAT before and had heard a lot of stories about it being unpredictable and incredibly challenging. In an era where solving previous year papers would allow even non serious aspirants to get some footing, XAT came across as a breath of fresh air. The paper was challenging and I found it to my liking. I merrily went around solving questions and when I had finished, I had attempted 71 questions out of a maximum possible 100 odd. Came out and got a call from @r11gupta and we were mutually shocked at the disparity in attempts (he had attempted 55 odd but had a knack for being extremely accurate). I was stunned at my attempt. All keys showed that I had done decently enough to get both the calls from XLRI. The belief had started returning.

Results came out and I was indifferent to see a 98.26%ile in CAT. I had not expected a huge score but had always felt that a 99+ was on the cards. More shocking was that I had missed the GK cutoff in IIFT by 0.8 marks and the LR cutoff in SNAP by 1.5 marks. So, here I was without a call yet with FMS and XLRI results pending.

As expected, I managed to bag both BM and PMIR calls from XLRI with a score of 99.96%ile. FMS was kind enough to give calls although I was sure I had barely scraped through. Got a consolation call from MDI through CAT and that was it.

Now came probably the biggest learning of my life. I had taken GDPI extremely lightly and was banking heavily on my diverse profile and written score to get through. My answers were half baked and being a shy and reserved person, I could not muster enough courage to talk to people and get my answers reviewed. Disaster struck in my XLRI and FMS interviews and I failed miserably in all 4 of them.

But surprisingly, in spite of the failure, I was surprisingly happy about the outcome as I was not prepared to enter a B-School at that point in time and needed more time to reflect and clarity. I was sure why I wanted to do an MBA and how I was not too keen to enter the healthcare sector but I had reservations accepting that I had made a mistake in the past and was looking forward to changing it. I realized that it is impossible to convince someone about something that you are not convinced about and promised myself to take care of this in the future. Post my FMS interview and non-conversion, I had spent a few days with @ayush13 at his home and the amount of belief he and his mother put into me were amazing. I realised that I could make it happen given another opportunity.

Maharashtra CET still remained and I took it with a clear mind given that I had nothing to lose. Had some in depth insights from @prasad.sawant, @nikhil.john, @murtz and others and it really helped. I ended up scoring 179/200 which is probably the highest score ever in CET and had managed to exorcise my internal demons (the one thing that really gave me happiness and I don't mean to come across as arrogant, was that, I had managed to score a mark better than @PatrickDsouza Sir who has been a source of inspiration to many CET and CAT aspirants). I believed that I could top a test (might sound trivial to many but for me, it meant a lot). GDPI happened and I managed to get a 211/240 which has not been breached since then. The previous highest was a 201 and so, I knew that if I were sufficiently relaxed and had my mind clear, I had it in me to get into the top B-schools in the country. I had my first bite of the publicity pie and my first interview was with PG which was probably @laj's first article on PG.

I chose to forego JBIMS (I didn't apply to the institute) and was looking for options as to what should I be doing in the interim year. I had a few options from TIME, TestFunda, E&Y. I was planning to pick one amongst them that would not harm my CV much and would be a good learning experience. And then PG happened. @pagalguy and @estranged_gnrs called me up to discuss a prep platform that was in the pipeline at that point in time and little did I realize that it was an interview. I was not at all prepared for the same and lacked the maturity to put in some amount of thought before going for an interaction at that point in time. In hindsight, I gave probably what was an embarrassing account of myself and I am grateful to get an opportunity at that point in time in spite of that.

I started writing articles for the homepage and started gaining popularity. I was appointed captain of the Pagalguy Dream Team 2010 and it was a tremendous experience all over again. Made great friends in the process and rarely had I encountered a more talented bunch of individuals: @the_hate, @geminite, @abhishek_sharma, @TnT, @hbz_316, @Scuderia, @Samurai_X, @.Z., @nik.nat, @murtz and @varun.garg.pec, @targetcat_2010, @Alex_Mahone and many more.

My mock scores had started rising and I was pretty confident of a fruitful year:

Mock Scores Repository 2010

The dynamics shared was completely different from what I had the previous year. This year, everybody was determined to score crazy and make a mockery of the entrance tests. And mockery they did.

On a personal front, I had started to gain a bit of confidence. Although not fully open, I started interacting with people around me. That PG was with me during that point in time was a big help although I am sure I have given everybody at the PGHQ few sleepless nights wondering if hiring me was indeed a correct decision. It was the start of my development though and I would always fondly remember the year I spent with PG. I discussed my interview answers with almost everybody at the HQ and there was some feedback waiting for me that helped me gain insights not only into the interview process but as to how the interviewers thoughts and how could I be one step ahead of them.

CAT came and it was a laborious slot to say the least. On 14th of November 2010, on Children's day, afternoon slot, 3 people suffered a similar fate - @abhishek_sharma, @TnT and I. I understand when an exam is difficult and it is fun to crack such exams too (XAT 2011 comes to mind, more on that later) but there is a thin line beyond which, it becomes incredibly frustrating. Add to that an unclear process of normalization and you are almost about to pull your hair off. I was sure that DI/LR was a bit too annoying (50 row tables with simple calculation based questions that required one to scroll up and down and left and right) but managed to fight it out. Verbal was a breeze and I always had faith in my quant abilities.

IIFT and SNAP were swatted away and I managed to get calls and convert them quite easily. FMS was a breeze and I knew I had rocked the paper big time.

XAT was next and fond memories from the year before made me look forward to this new challenge. And what a challenge it was. 3 sections, with an unequal number of questions and marks, questions ranging from 1-markers to 5-markers and the test taking fraternity was surely stumped. I could clearly see people in the exam hall rattled and a few almost cried after not making enough headway post the first hour. Sample this: the test was of 250 odd marks and the cutoffs were predicted to be around 35. I was happy that I had done justice to the test and was looking forward to the result.

Results started trickling in. FMS had given me a call and I knew I could convert it given my huge written score and the 70% emphasis on the same. XLRI gave me both calls, after a bit of a mishap when XLRI faced some technical glitch which was reported on PG (by yours truly; in hindsight, it was pretty acerbic and I had to probably pay the price for it during my interview ;)).

Then CAT struck. On the night of the 11th of January 2011, I entered that zone when people don't know whether to be happy or sad about a particular event. My scorecard showed 93.79%ile with a 55.84%ile in verbal. I was shocked beyond belief and could not move away from my pc for an entire day. All the dreams I had of making it to an IIM were squashed and I could not think of a thing that I could have done to correct the history.

A lot of support was shown from my friends at PG and I was glad to have such motivating people around J

I fought my way through the XL BM interview which was probably marred by my vengeance article on PG a few days back and managed to convert my FMS call and decided on joining the same.

The team did pretty well that year with a few exceptions:

DT 2010 Scorecard

Now, all happy stories on this thread have come to an end at this point in time. But iss kahani mein ek twist hai

FMS started and I had a wonderful time there. The opportunity was amazing and I had a fair bit of idea as to what I should be expecting and what were the things I should take care about. I had a clear picture of what I wanted to gain from my MBA (development on personal front with some positions of responsibility, a change in my career and some added content). I loved the institute and am extremely proud to be an alumnus. Summer internship came and I was happy to come out of it with a TAS offer (for the uninitiated, TAS has an approximately 2 hour Group Discussion and is probably one of the most sought after company on campus). The GD demons were put to rest and I was happily in FMS, with a TAS offer and in the Media Relations team.

All this while, the fire still burned within me. The question of what went wrong in CAT 09 and 10 was still unanswered. CAT had become more than an entrance test to me. All this made me take CAT once again in 2011. The only people who were aware of this were my mother and @neha.visionary who had secretly smuggled me a CAT application form. I registered on the last day and there was only one slot (morning, which I hate) and one center available. CAT had shifted to a new pattern and so, I was not prepared at all for what lay ahead. In hindsight, it helped me that I was under no pressure. I had no plans to switch, had a good internship in hand and was in line for entering the Placecom at FMS which is kind of a big deal. The test went by and I was really happy with my performance. I had managed to finish both the sections 10 minutes before the time ran out and had checked and crosschecked at least a couple of times. I came out of the exam hall, called up my mother and said, "I won't be surprised if I score a 100."

The results came out in January. I had scored a 100, the sweet smell of success. I was sure of not taking up admission into an IIM and so, did not appear for any of the interviews. The only take away from the result was the belief that I could do something substantial at a big stage. The demons had been exorcised and here I was, living the dream I had started out with.

Fast Forward

FMS was a wonderful experience. I got into the placecom and had a wonderful time there. Learnt a lot from the faculty and peers and ended up with a job in Sales with ITC. After completing 20 months with ITC, selling soaps and shampoos and agarbattis across first coastal Andhra Pradesh and then the entire Andhra Pradesh, I am entering a new beginning once again...

Am extremely thankful to all who have read through this huge post, and all those who are on PG who make PG the wonderful place that it is. Kudos to the team who keep the site running, fulfilling dreams of thousands of aspirants.

PS: A few names I want to mention: @seba_catrpillar, @cutie.pie, @sweetgalshruti, @justtj, @first_timer, @abhimukh19, @visionIIM-ACL, @rajaramvarun, @varnicat, @soumik.ganguly, @shreyas_nitt, @kinji@PG, @anwesa09, @barclaysboss, @uglyduckling, @Amodh, @rahicecream, @subhakimi, @naga25french, @Crysis, @ravi.tejapalla, @Clark-kent, @ajaigovindg, @astha_a, @severus_snits, @QuintEssence, @writetotanveer, @manish.harodia, @pari123, @priyalli, @Rooney7, @inshulchawla, @The.Raven, @vineetkhn, @vivekkahn, @vineet.nitd, @spirit11, @grondmaster, @chuck_gopal, @harry4u9, @Psychodementia, @raghav507, @wHiTe_HoLe, @pendyal, @lehmannbrothershereicome, @sumitrocks, @diablorulez, @deep_agarwal, @UtsavGambhir, @deepu, @arion5, the entire Dream Teams and Underdogs Teams of all years.

PPS: I have not been able to name many of the puys here owing to my poor memory. I am sure I would be forgiven.

PPPS: This has been bigger than I had ever thought.

PPPPS: Any grammatical errors are to be forgiven. This is straight from the heart without any edits.

Moral/s of the story:

You can have 0 idea about what you are going to do in the long term and still end up experiencing a lot of good things; having goals is important no doubt but being farfetched doesn't help either

Your friends, relatives, well-wishers might all make sense at some point in time and you might come across as a very confused individual, but at the end of the day, it is your choice that would matter

Doing an MBA at the right point in time is extremely crucial in how your career would turn out to be; the question why MBA needs to be answered not only from an interview's point of view but for yourself to know if this is the best you would want to do to yourself over the next few years

Getting into an institute might be a dream for many and even yours at certain points in time, but it always helps to be rational rather than getting carried away at times (letting go of institutes after topping 2 tests was not easy and people still ridicule me, but I was sure of my decision both times)

Trust in yourself, put in hard word and it won't go unrewarded.

(This article has been written by a PaGaLGuY user so largely left unedited to retain the flavour).

  • 153 Likes   46 Comments
  • @shashank3012 inspirational. 16 Mar.
Captain, PG Dream Team 2010 | CAT 11 - 100%ile | CET 10 - Rank 1 (211/240) 

Hi Puys, 

X : 80% (Maharashtra State Board)-2004

XII : 68% (Maharashtra State Board)-2006

B.E.(Electronics) : 67% (Mumbai University)-2011

I got placed in Hexaware Technologies, Navi Mumbai,  working there I realized I should go for an MBA and that was the one sure shot way to enter the managerial level and also have a change in my field to Finance.

I spontaneously decided to leave my job and prepare for CAT. GAve CAT in 2012 for the first time and got a horrible 68%ile. Plus I had NO JOB.

I then left the hope for MBA and in 2013 I joined a small company close to home and worked there in half the salary that I used to get in the earlier job. No job satisfaction and then the company relocated to Indore, because of which I resigned from there in Oct 2013. Then I took private tutions at home.

Things were going smooth until the need to get back at CAT became very strong. Joined a coaching class : Endeavor Classes in Vashi. Was performing well there. Gave CMAT Sept 2014 and got 96.57%ile, Scored 86.76%ile in CAT 2014. I am not happy with my score. Even my parents feel I could have done much better. 

I have applied to FORE, TAPMI, Welingkars, FMS-BHU, KJ Somaiya. 

Is it advisable to give CAT one more shot. Although I am 26 already and my parents keep insisting on marriage. 

  • 4 Likes   13 Comments
  • @AMBEK If u don't mind me being honest, age is not the pr.... 20 Jan.
  • demotivating. 13 Apr.
ANKIT BARIK @next_big_thing 677

@AMBEK If u don't mind me being honest, age is not the problem but ur profile is. Institutes & companies during placements would gladly look beyond ur age (other than TAS & a host of FMCG companies) if u have a solid profile to boast but unfortunately, other than ur X score, it's all downhill. The inconsequential & haphazard work-ex is a sore point too. Jumping from 86 to 99+ in a year is very very tough (there are some exceptional cases where ppl have jumped from 49 to 99 but they are just that - an exception). Even if u score 95-96 next time, considering the current state of indian education system where such a score has been rendered ordinary, ur options wont increase manifold- maybe just IMT-G, IMI, XIMB & IIT-M. Another headache is actually converting ur call since it's not all black & white there. In u, the panelists will see someone who will be very difficult to place in a tough year & who will bring down the average of the batch.

Now that we have all the negative out of the way, lets get to re-building part. U have reached a stage where u badly need to start over. If u indeed wanna reach epic heights in ur career, u will need a starting point. So I would strongly recommend u to go to TAPMI or FMS-BHU this year itself, if u get the call & convert it, that is. Try to get the placed in a decent company (Axis bank, ICICI etc) & simultaneously pursue ur CFA (U should clear upto L2 by the time of passing out. Will help u greatly during final placements & during switching) - This is the starting over that I was talking about. None of the dream offers go to anywhere outside the Top-10. So u will be placed in a back-end Ops role. U will be 28 by the time u join. Work in Finance industry for 3-4 yrs, try building ur CV during this time by completing ur CFA, maybe do some online certifications from MIT, LSE on Investment Banking etc - This is the re-building stage. Now, when u have somewhat strengthened ur CV, u should sit for GMAT & try for a 2nd MBA (an Elite MBA) from HEC Paris, INSEAD, IESE Spain (these 3 in particular coz they are the only Top-15 FT B-Schools that favour ppl in their 30s) or IIM-A. Now, when u passout, u can truly aim for greatness. U will have access to all the top roles in the Finance world & all ur struggles will be in the past. Best of luck

hey i am new to pagal guy..so i just want anybody to please help me out here.

i didnt give cat 2013 despite being in my final year of btech.(backlogs) but i was able to finish my degree on time.

so last January  i started preparing for cat .my aim was to get a good cat score so i really wanted to focus on that, so i didn't try to find a job after my btech...it was a damn struggle to  not be haunted by my batch mate's life and basically everyone getting into infosys ,but i really didnt wanted to learn computer languages so , didnt even try going for that.

long story short i deactivated my fb account ,focused the last year only on cat preparation....i was getting decent scores on my simcats 92 to 94 percentiles...

but on the d-day i got really nervous and things were going preety well in english but as soon as i attempted D.I things went down hill....i had the last slot 22nd nov.so di was really tough but i had pre decided to attempt 3 sets of di...i got really stubborn on that and even after trying really hard i just did 1 set correct so i wasted away much of my  time and bombed the quant section,it bombed like a americans on hiroshima...cz i got really nervous and every quant question felt like a nail in my coffin,...

i did all my institute material and arun sharma (cz i had a lot of time)

english 92 

quant 60 ....

as i knew my cat score wasnt going to be good,. .i got job in a HR consulting firm about a month ago..cz i really want to make a career in HR .....so

i am still (DHEET) about my cat goals and want to start all over again.

i cant join an institute cz my saturdays are not off..



  • 1 Like   9 Comments
  • First .. Kudos to ur tough decisions :smiley: just take.... 14 Jan.
  • same story but meri quant me 92 hai and english me 60, an.... 21 Jan.
.. .. @jay3421 5,883

First .. Kudos to ur tough decisions just take up a test series n sectional tests n pump up hardwork can get u almost anything

crazy astronaut @worldcontent91 1

same story but meri quant me 92 hai and english me 60, and since its my last sem my frnds wont even let me study. ;-( 

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

Part C

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

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

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

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

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

Lets come bk on track now

Mocks version 2012

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

Heres an account of how they went:


Season 2012

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

On the results day my feeling was validated:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's a short gist of the same:


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

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

Mocks version 2013

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

Here is a small gist of the same:


Season 2013

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

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

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

The scores were as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On 27th December I experienced the ultimate bliss:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some lessons learnt in life:

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

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

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

Helping others is ultimately helping yourself.

"Believers thanks for believing, Doubters thanks for doubting"

P.S: Will update if anything significant happens next

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

  • 102 Likes   31 Comments
  • Congratulations. 16 Jan.

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


Part - B

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

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

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

Mocks version 2011

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

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

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

Here is a snapshot of the mock season:


Season 2011

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

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

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

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

Red Bull and a Cold water bath

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

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

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

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

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

XAT was a pleasant surprise tho:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Converts: MDI, IIT B

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

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

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

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

  • 42 Likes   17 Comments
  • "and then there was an earthquake.." wait what???? "reel.... 07 Jan.
  • man you deserve a IIMC convert this year...you really des.... 11 Jan.
The Mediocre Soul @zippysoul 1,050

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

"reeli" awesome read bro!!  

Barnava Chatterjee @.brnv 7

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

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

Part - A

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

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


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

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

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

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

The Beginning

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

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

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

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

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

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

Start of a memorable journey with Pagalguy

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

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

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

Mocks version 2010

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

Here is a snapshot of my mock scores in 2010:


Season 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 44 Likes   29 Comments
  • @sid2222000 finally..aa hi gaya legendary post !! \\\\_-_.... 06 Jan.
  • @sid2222000 awesome .. :smiley: .. the journey is the .... 06 Jan.
Saquib Hasnain @Squib 1,309

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

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

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

Why I prepared for CAT to have fun, and rejected joining the IIMs...


Hello puys ,

Note : this is a long post . very long .

Background :

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

10th :  84% (CBSE)

12th : 82% (CBSE)

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

My falling in love with CAT exam :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CAT 2010 season:

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

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

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

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

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

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

MIB Time ( Oct 2011- Nov 2012):

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

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

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

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

The Entrepreneur writes CAT 2013 :

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

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

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


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

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

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

I rejected the admission offers. !

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good Luck to all CAT Aspirants.

Cheers !

-By Sarfaraz

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

  • 47 Likes   15 Comments
  • thanks guys :smiley:. 28 Feb.
  • really an inspiring one...i too started my journey... yo.... 27 Mar.
Pavan Teja Desai @pvn_tej 27

really an inspiring  one...i too started my journey... your experiences will guide me ... thank you

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