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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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Should have posted this way back, anyway doing it now. Its about my preparation for CAT.

My first attempt was in 2006 during the final year of engineering. Preparation started of in May with an intense 5 day study of quant and di from a Career Launcher book for MBA entrance exams which i found in the Fort area of Mumbai. Those 5 days were my first and last serious attempt of preparation for CAT that year. After hols i was back in college and there was a free all india mock in july and i got 98+%, while a year ago in a similar free mock i had scored 90%. So i got a 50% discount and joined the aimcat series. I used to write the mocks very seriously till i got placed in September; always scoring 96%+ with the best rank of air 48. But i rarely used to clear DI cutoffs and never reviewed my mistakes or attempted the unanswered questions. After placement, i lost interest and could never get into the 'zone' in exam and mock % started declining to 93%+. Finally in the real CAT, i basically screwed up with a 90% overall and a shocking 75% in both di and quant and 98% in verbal.Then i joined a software company in 2007, and focused on doing well in my role and learning about programming and embedded systems and was enjoying the work. I wasn't sure what future path to take and hence did not apply anywhere for higher education.

In July 2008, after 1 year of thinking about gre\mba\better job in MS,Amazon etc i decided to give CAT with the aim of getting into iima or iimc. Wrote a free mock with the hope of discount but scored only 96%, so had to pay full amount for the aimcats. I started reading The Economist magazine: contents page | The Economist, The New Yorker and practiced atleast 1 puzzle daily. The main difference this time was that i used to review each mock cat for atleast 10 hrs (includes time for revising 2-3 times). So i was improving with each test and started gaining confidence that this would be the first and last serious attempt on CAT. Another major difference was i used to follow mock cat review discussions on PaGaLGuY.com - India's biggest CAT 2009, MBA website by spending at least 1 hr after each test reading strategies and mistakes of the forum members.

Though on average i spent less than 45 min daily for the preparation, i was doing very well with scores >98%. But the DI scores were pathetic again; i just hated the section and found it painful to spend time in it; the lowest di score being a 57%. Slowly through the mock cat reviews i was gaining confidence as i could solve problems after spending lot of time for each one. But even in September scores in DI were always
To lose the DI fear, i took xerox of all previous year aimcat tests and started off in earnest, putting in 2 hours daily. But in mid september i had to go to S.Korea for 1.5 months for the final stage of a project i was working on. Luckily i had more spare time in Korea than in India, but was unable to motivate myself to prepare due to various distractions.
Only in the last week of my stay, i got scared and started DI again and surprisingly after the 5 week break from studies, i was easily able to solve the DI sets. I also realized that my order of VA,QA,DI may not be the right one; so i decided that first i have to attempt the 2nd strongest section QA first, then weakest section of DI and finally my strength - VA (Never got
D-Day - The centre was hard to find and very far away, but as i started early at 7 am i reached the centre 1 hour before the exam. It was a school and my room was a class for 4 th class students; so the seating was very uncomfortable. As we were waiting for the papers, I started to focus only on the exam and did not think about external disturbances (entering the zone :-P...in every other exam i would have a random topic at the back of my mind). Gave 35 minutes for QA and did 8 questions, then gave 55 min for DI and attempted 13, got a feeling that each one of my attempts was right. Then spent 45 minutes on VA and did 24 questions. Now comes the most critical part; in the last 30 minutes i was a bit distracted and was slow. I had 15 minutes left after VA and knew that only if i attempt 3-4 questions more in QA, i could clear the cutoff. I tried 4-5 which seemed easy but could do only 2 of them (Damn, was getting out of the 'zone' :shocked:). The time was up and the invigilator started collecting the papers and i was in the 3rd last bench; i knew i had to attempt 1 more question at least. It was a geometry question, and 2 options were eliminated by quick substitution and one of the remaining options felt like it was the right one; so i circled it.

Result -
QA - 10C, 1W - 39 - 96.02 - A cut off - 37 -geometry question was correct
DI - 13 C, 0 W - 52 - 99.64
VA - 18C, 6 W - 66 - 98.72
Overall - 157 - 99.76% - BLACKI calls - AIK converts


He joined Nirma. Life was good there. He already had a certain reputation as a pagalguy user. He quickly built a rapport with his batchmates. Got involved in the activities and the academic rigor there. But, he always felt a certain sadness at not giving himself another chance. Thus, he thought, why not give it another shot. He had read about people leaving after an year of MBA for better places. He joined the TIME test series again. He had absolutely no time to prepare. He just used to give the mocks on Sunday and that's it. Maybe look at the paper for an hour after that. That too wasn't very regular.

Surprisingly, when the scores started to pour in, he was doing well. He was consistent getting decent percentiles of 96-97. He had never crossed 92 in the previous year even with all the hard work. He regularly featured in the toppers list and was among the top students in his city.

Following is the scoring pattern for his mocks.

901___ 87.41__ 95.21__ 98.94__ 98.95
903___ 80.18__ 93.11__ 98.98__ 98.09
904___ 61.18__ 90.50__ 94.36__ 91.35
905___ 86.75__ 97.71__ 99.75__ 99.59
906___ 76.63__ 69.97__ 86.72__ 84.63
909___ 76.02__ 97.91__ 85.55__ 95.89
910___ 80.01__ 92.46__ 70.65__ 88.09
913___ 55.89__ 96.66__ 97.57__ 96.36
915___ 70.46__ 82.03__ 69.25__ 78.45
916___ 70.44__ 87.42__ 53.89__ 76.4
917___ 94.74__ 98.23__ 87.17__ 98.07

As can be seen, except for an occasional blip, DI was emerging as a strong point. Va had really rocketed in the last few mocks and QA remained a point of concern.

Looking at these scores, he felt quite confident. He used to give these mocks without any expectation - just for the fun element.

Now, with these scores, he again started expecting himself to do well. He even started dreaming of getting into IIM-A - an institute he used to cross every week to give his mocks. As a result, he again lost his sleep on the night before CAT. Result - another mess up. And this time it was DI. He ended up with a percentile of 95.xx.

He had filled two other forms this year - NMAT and XAT.

A couple of weeks prior to XAT, his paternal grandfather expired. This left him shattered as he was really close to him.

Cut to the night before XAT. He was having a horribly upset stomach. Was not able to stand even. He simply took a medicine and slept - he didn't even realize that he was to give XAT the next day. However, next morning he woke up with a start. He pushed himself out of the bed. He realized that he didn't have the print out for the XAT ID. He thought he would finally reach the venue in time. But fate had other things planned for him. His bike simple refused to start. He reached the centre somehow with just a few min to spare - huffing all the way and not having an iota of strength left. He started solving the paper - his regular pattern, QA,DI and then VA. Just at the end of the exam, he got stuck at a QA puzzle for 10 mins. He simply could not solve it. However, just as he had submitted his OMR and was waiting for the essay to begin, he solved the puzzle. He cursed himself as he knew that 2 marks matter a lot in XAT. Anyway, he moved on and completed the essay.

After coming out, he realized that he had attempted too many questions in DI/LR and very few in QA and VA. He had attempts of 15 in VA, 20-21 in DI, and 10 in QA. On checking the solutions, he found that he was getting all questions in DI right and 4/5 wrong in VA with one being wrong in QA. He knew that he would clear QA and DI but wasn't confident of VA. Consequently, he wasn't very hopeful of a call.

However, when the results came - he was pleasantly surprised.

He had scored

99.54 OA, 94.9 in QA, 91.xx in VA and 99.86 in DI. It was like a dream scorecard for him. He got the call from the BM program. (QA was right at the cut off).

He had also got calls from NMIMS (Written Rank 406) and XIMB.

He prepared for the GD/PI earnestly and with all sincerity. He tried to cover as many points as possible, spoke to people who had given GD/PIs after being in MBA already.

I would not delve into the details of the GD/PIs. The final result was:

XLRI - Reject.
NMIMS - Final rank 308
XIMB - Convert After a WL

I felt the worst ever after looking at the XLRI result. It was always a dream institute for me. It was the worst moment for me.
Anyway, I had to move on. Now, the biggest dilemma was whether it was worth leaving NIRMA for NMIMS/ XIMB after an year. I took opinions from a lot of people - alumni, current students, friends from non MBA background, mentors, PG members, family members. I was in a crazy situation for over 2 months. It was like an eternal dilemma for me. At one moment I felt staying at Nirma was better, at other I felt like joining NMIMS. (I had already given up XIMB - personal reasons).

Everyday was a challenge for me. Every moment was spent thinking about this. The pros and cons were almost equal. Would not enumerate them here. What really made me take the decision of joining NMIMS was the recession. I have basically bought an year against it. Nothing else. And yes, I heard everyone's opinions, but finally went with what my heart said.

Leaving Nirma was the toughest decision of my life. I had a good life there, a certain reputation, great friends - giving that all up wasn't too easy. The day I vacated my room from Nirma, I almost wanted to reverse my decision.

I don't know if this is a motivating story - but it certainly is unusual. I knew I owed this to pagalguy - a place which has given me so much recognition and respect, a place which has given me a very special person and some of closest friends, my roomies here at NM.

I would like to thank anyone and everyone who helped me during my entire journey. I have learnt that it is not only the preparation that matters, but also the state of mind you are in while writing the exam. I would advice everyone not to make CAT, MBA as the end all and be all of life. Make it a part of your life - enjoy it.

PS: I would also like to say that Nirma is an amazing institute. Please do join it. I spent some of my best times there. Please PM me in case of any queries. Please don't clutter this thread.
I also do not wish to malign or disrespect any institute. I admire every institute, exam for its specialty.
Jul 2006 - Jun 2008: The attempt

Deep joined his organization. He quickly also realized that he rather join the weekend coaching classes for CAT. He would require to spend only 2 hours on a sunday morning towards the preparation. He could also concentrate on his job during the first year.

He got involved in a lot of pursuits which fulfilled his creative side - drama, writing, et al. He quickly became popular in his team and was regularly commended for his quick adaptability to work and good communication skills. He gave CAT 2006 - just for the sake of it. The only thing he knew about CAT was - there are three sections in it. He had fun during the exam - ended up getting 81.xx Percentile. Perfectly nice, he thought. With proper preparation, he was sure he would crack the exam(s).

During this time, he religiously attended his weekend classes - he regularly raced ahead of the class in completing assignments given in class - especially in DI and QA. He was rather happy and felt was doing well.

Sometime in Jan. 2007, he started preparing the theoretical concepts for CAT. He used to solve problems from his coaching institute material.

Now, although he had joined pagalguy in Jan 2006. He had never really cared to login and check it. He started doing that now. Started with the threads on the work completion and other RC and SC threads. Slowly, he started posting. Getting involved with the discussions. He became a regular contributor in the mock threads. Started shouting on the shout box. Made a number of friends who supported and guided him during tough times.

Also, the mock season had started. He joined the TIME series. He used to give two mocks every sunday. One - Career Forum and other one was TIME. He started with a bang in CF. Got an AIR 2 once. This really rocketed his confidence. However, in the TIME mocks - which actually are true reflection of your position, he was performing rather poorly. Averaging about 88-90 Percentile. He could almost never clear the QA cut off. However, he cleared the VA cut off with regularity. DI was in between. He was in a fix. He could not understand what was happening. When he used to solve the problems at leisure, he would crack them rather quickly. However, in mocks he was unable to solve them. This was worrying him. He had bet a lot on CAT/MBA. Almost everyone at his work knew that he was preparing for CAT. And although he wasn't really ignored for any work, he was not given too many new opportunities. He did not mind it. He knew he had to sacrifice his work related commitments.

At this time (Aug 2007), during a session on Shout Box, he with some other regulars came up with the idea of BBLT (Bol Bachchan Losers Team). Starting from a concept which was a bit hazy, the team progressed to a bunch a individuals who were highly motivated and determined. There was great sense of camaraderie between them. Everyone encouraged each other. This infused a new spirit in him. He started working harder with a renewed spirit. Solved problems from online resources.

Finally, as a run up to CAT, he took a leave of 4 weeks. He solved the CAT question papers of the last decade during this time. Gave 3-4 sectional mocks every day. Revised his concepts. On the day before CAT, he relaxed. He relaxed a bit too much. As a result, anxiety took over him. He could not sleep till 4 that night. It was easily the most frustrating time in his life. He knew he just need 4-5 hours of sleep to be fresh enough. However, he could hardly sleep. Next morning, reaching the centre early, he could feel the pang of nervousness. Suddenly, he could feel the weight of expectation he had from himself.

The exam pattern was as expected. 75 questions, 25 questions in each section. However, he found quant exceedingly difficult. He realized this was a game of accuracy - his forte. He attempted only those questions he was sure of. Coming out of the examination centre, he felt uneasy. He felt he could have done well. Checking the scores throughout that day left him in no more doubt. He had messed the CAT. There was no probability of getting any calls.

He was sad. However, as is his wont, he quickly recharged himself and braced himself for the other tests. The same story was repeated in every test - IIFT, JMET (he used to regularly do very well in JMET mocks. Had really high hopes from it), SNAP, NMAT, XAT, FMS and CET.

After all the exams, he was confident of atleast getting a call from IIFT, NMIMS and decent percentile in XAT and a good score in SNAP.

However, the results had a separate story to tell.

He missed the IIFT call by a couple of marks.

CAT score was: 94.3 with a low 81.xx in VA and 93.xx in QA. Surprise, his strength turned into an achilles heel. His first love, QA was still loyal as ever.

JMET: Not qualified.

SNAP: A low score of 75.5.

FMS: No call

XAT: 91.94 OA, 96.xx in QA, 93.xx in DI/LR, and 55.xx. Surprise turned into a shock here. He had expected to get at least a XIMB call here.

He was heartbroken after all these results. He had put in so much of hard work and he had nothing to show for it. Then, within a space of 2 days, he got 2 calls - TAPMI and NMIMS. He had scored only 85 marks (cut off marks) in NMAT. However, he was determined to work hard and convert this call.

His final tally of calls included: NMIMS, NIRMA, TAPMI, GIM.

During this time, he met a person who really supported him through all this. She gave him encouragement, helped him overcome the loss of his grandfather, and made him feel good and confident again - all the while grappling with her own bad string of results. He became even closer to pagalguy as a result of this.

He put in fair amount of hard work for the GD/PI. NMIMS was first up. He performed decently in the GD/PI. But, knowing the skewed weightage against the GD/PI, he was sure of not converting this call. Now, he had simply lost the appetite to give the GD/PIs. He was unsure of what to do. He didn't want to give up in his first attempt. He had already started thinking of the next attempt. He even canceled his trip to Manipal at the last moment.

However, he gave the GD/PIs of GIM and Nirma. He had a blast at GIM and was blasted at Nirma. (Or so he thought).

One day in April when he had even bought books for GMAT and started studying for next year, he received a mail from NIRMA. He had been selected in their first list even after a not so great percentile. Even though it was not a college he was sure he wanted to join, he was overjoyed. So much so that there were moist eyes and all that.

However, now started the eternal dilemma. He wasn't sure of joining Nirma. On one hand, he was not confident enough of going on for another year; on the other hand, he really wanted to try again. Give himself another chance. This went on for over a month. He took opinions from various people.

He gave the first AIMCAT of the season - 0920. Got a 83 odd percentile. It was enough to convince him that he may have more of such bad days.
Hence, he finally took the decision to join. He thought that it is the person who makes the life and not just the college. Finally, what tipped it in favour of joining was his parents' advice to join.

He gave in his papers and served just two weeks of notice period. He looked forward to joining MBA and living away from his family for the first time.

I did what i felt was best at that moment of time. It was a difficult decision to take. Many people were disappointed too with it. However, I was relatively happy. Also, my decision to join wasn't based only on my failure in one mock.

Well. So, here I post.

Deep in 2000:
(July 2000 to August 2002)

Happy go lucky. Is enjoying his eleventh standard - a reward for what he believes - a great result in Standard 10 board examinations; getting admission in the best junior college in the city. His immediate dream is fulfilled and he is on seventh heaven. He is experiencing college life for the first time - the independence, spending time at hangout places, gaming and all that.

In the midst, his more "serious" friends have already started joining tuition classes for standard 12. Now starts the dilemma for him. You see, there is a little twist in his life - his parents, particularly his mother want him to prepare for IIT-JEE. Heeding to this, he buys a book - the fattest book he has ever carried. Now, he browses through the book. Somehow, he feels that he won't be able to cope up with the complex mathematical and chemical structures mentioned in it. He decides that he is not fit for IIT-JEE. He communicates this to his parents. His argument - he doesn't want to be aboard two ships at the same time - jeopardizing his future. He chooses the safer, stabler option of preparing exclusively for 12th standard board examinations. He enrolls himself in a coaching class to pursue this choice.

Meanwhile, he barely manages to pass 11th standard; being in danger of failing in one subject. BTW, he was also attacked by the Hepatitis Virus in the same year. This jaundice affliction weakens his digestion considerably. This point will be of importance later.

Now, he attends the tuition for 12th standard devotedly - but still put-offs studying regularly. It is almost January and he is still performing very poorly in the mock tests being conducted - getting scores in the range of 40-50 percent in chemistry. He is doing very well in mathematics though - scoring well over 90% most of the times. This has a deep impact on him. He resolves to study hard for the last month before exams. However, just as he is getting into the groove, tragedy strikes and he is again attacked by Mr. Hepatitis. He is put on bed rest, has terrible weakness, can't eat anything much other than boiled dal and crushed rice. This period is the most difficult for him. He decides to work smart. He studies hard for the subject he is weak at.
He gives the exams - a very taxing exercise for him to concentrate on. He is fairly confident of doing well in all the subjects - including Chemistry.

Now is the time to relax and unwind. He does give the some entrance exams - AIEEE, Andhra Pradesh Entrance Exam and IIT-JEE. However, he is/was never serious about them, and just goes through the motions.

Finally the results come and as expected, he fails to perform any miracle and ends up getting a rather poor rank in all the entrance exams. He then waits for his 12th standard board exams. They are declared and he scores a very good 93%. (in PCM). Mathematics, as usual is his saviour - 99 marks.

He then gets the option of choosing from either civil in the top college or computer/IT from the second/third best. He chooses to go for computer - listening to what his heart says.

During this phase, I never aimed high. I thought that i wasn't good enough to be among the best.

2002 - 2006

During his first year, he was asked by a cousin of his - what are his future plans. His reply was very firm. "I'll do only an M Tech. " He felt that CAT, MBA and MS, GRE was a horde race. And he didn't like to be a part of it. And plus, he always thought that he'll be some technical geek.

His engineering began with a bang. His overconfidence overcame him - leading to him being inattentive towards studies. As a result, his scores nosedived to unknown waters. This brought about a marked change in him. He started thinking - " After all, technical field is not really for me"

Further, in response to a question posed by his professor with respect to future long term plans - his answer was - being the top notch HR executive in an MNC. His idea of MBA at point was HR and doing it from XLRI, Jamshedpur. It was his first real dream. Yes, there was the glamour of IIMs. But then, that didn't hold as much charm for him.

Now, in third year, all of his classmates were joining coaching institutes for classes on GRE or CAT. Being a low scorer in 1st year made life very difficult for him. He had to fore-go the chance to give CAT in the final year of engineering to ensure that his grades do not fall further. He didn't join any coaching institute. Only worked on his academics. Also, another reason for not preparing for CAT was that he was told by the people he interacted with that he should do an MBA after certain work-ex. (preferably 2 years). It would help understanding the course much better.

He landed a job in a dream company - one which used to recruit only really technical students and toppers. He was, by his own admission, not at all technical and his scores were such that he wasn't even eligible to sit for some of the so called important companies. He was really hurt during this period. However, when he got through the first company he was eligible for, his confidence soared.

Also, during final year, he had to go through a tough time due to some personal issues.

The remaining days were spent in enjoying his last year in college. He didn't even care giving CAT. Only a handful of people gave it from his college and hardly anyone got through any good institute. CAT, MBA was relegated slowly to the back of his mind.

Side note: Sometime during the third year, he went through the NMAT paper published in Competition Success Review. He really enjoyed solving these questions. NMIMS had made an impression on him.

In hindsight, I feel I should have probably given CAT in my final year. Maybe even without preparation. However, being the eldest in the family, i didn't have that kind of guidance.


Key learnings from this phase of my life:
1: Patience matters a lot.
2: Emotional support and love matters a lot.
3: Get ready to sacrifice a lot of joys and easier choices if you want to crack CAT.
4: Haphazard, nonchalant attempts at CAT are not going to help.
5: Concentrate on your strengths and weaknesses rather than on the competition.
6: Attend and analyse mocks religiously. Dont make a mockery of the mocks.
I would like to thank all the puys who I came in contact at Bangalore apart from my near and dear ones. I would never have had the strength to crack CAT had it not been for your support and friendship. I would also like to thank all the members of PagalGuy who I came in contact with either in ShoutBox or through posts. All of you kept me going strong on the journey called CAT. I would have easily given up mid-way had I not come in contact with wonderful people like you. I would also like to thank three people I prepared for the exams with. Support from you guys were also immense.
Thats it....Like they say, life in a B-School is just the beginning.


I did not want to write anything on this thread till I actually got admitted into a B-School and not completed the entire procedure....Now that everything is done and I am typing this from a B-School, I think I can start with my story....
Certain Pointers:
1: I am not someone who has got a 99+ in all mocks nor I am someone who is in an IIM....I am just an above average student who managed to get into one of the good B-Schools of the country....
2: I must say that apart from my own struggles in this journey, there were a lot of people who are responsible for whatever success I achieved and my thanks to them cannot be expressed in mere words....
3: I have sacrificed a lot to reach wherever I am now and when they say that you have to work hard and give your heart and soul to your CAT preparations, it is actually true....
4: Always give your honest attempt in CAT....Never say that if not this year, then next year....Because the next year might never come....
Now to start....
Pre 2007: I was an above average student in my school days. Good in studies, nice in extracurricular activities....90+ in 10th, 85+ in 12th, 87+ in undergraduate etc....I had gotten into a well known NIT for the 2003-07 batch in Ceramic Engineering, changed my branch to Chemical Engineering.... Life was good....In college, during the third and final years, I saw a lot of people joining coaching institutes, preparing hard for CAT etc....The thought of CAT or MBA for that matter had not even crossed my mind then....A couple of guys used to tell me that I was MBA material but I never heeded them....In the first year, I was more of a GRE person....Gradually, I came to realise the fact that scoring in GRE is the easiest part but getting a full scholarship was the catch....I got worried thinking that I was never going to be able to finance my education if I did not get a full scholarship....Somehow, the thought of delivering pizzas or newspapers to Americans in order to fund my education did not appeal to me....and needless to say, the interest in GRE faced a slow death....Come final year, I decided that I was not going to sit for any exams....I will just go for a job to get some work experience and then try to carve some path out for my life....My dad said sit for the exam at least you will get some experience of writing the exam... But I refused....I did not want to sit for an exam I had not prepared for....May be the fear of getting ridiculed for low percentiles haunted me....may be I just wanted to enjoy my final year in computer games and booze....I dont know....But I am now glad that I did not join in the 2007-09 batch anyways....may be God always has something good in store for everyone....Come campus placements time and unlike for our juniors, we had very few core Chemical Engineering companies on campus and as usual I landed up in a good IT company....IBM....Life felt good at that time....Meanwhile, a couple of my friends did land up at XIMB, MDI etc....
2007 (A crucial year): My joining was in June 2007....Kolkata....The city of Joy....I was quite excited about it....Had around 8 college mates who were joining at the same location, same date with me....We stayed together in a PG....partied big time....pocket was flush with funds....training period was fun....even made one very good room-mate during that time who was crucial in increasing my self confidence a lot....But most importantly, met the love of my life there....A beauty who can be best described as an angel....She changed my life completely....from being someone who had no aim in life, I began aiming of doing something worthwhile....for her....still did not have motivation enough for CAT....still wanted to just have fun for one more year and try for the next year....dad literally requested me to appear for CAT saying just give the exam....I will pay for the form....to appease my dad, I filled up the form, bought the series by Arun Sharma and started a bit of studies....approximately an hour a day for hardly 12 days....no seriousness, just casually flipping through pages, solving sums here and there....Come September 2007, training was over, bench period was over and I had to join a project at Bangalore....Those were the hardest days....I thought that I wont be able to sit for CAT anymore that year....Since I had given Kolkata as my centre....Was in no mood to apply for a centre change too....again dad persuaded me to try for a centre change....So I fax IIM Calcutta on the last day requesting a centre change from Bangalore (luckily got my transfer letter at the nick of the time after a lot of hassles with my manager)....Saying goodbye to Kolkata, the happiness there, saying good bye to my love was indeed difficult....At Bangalore, I was alone....No support....To make matters worse, I was given the office that was totally on the outskirts of Bangalore....and all my friends who had already settled in Bangalore lived far away....Preparations came to a grinding halt....Missed my love a lot....Missed the happy times at Kolkata a lot and just used to brood alone....Finally, I found another person of my college who had also been allotted the same office at Bangalore and we took to staying in a PG together just nearby the office....Luckily, my centre change was accepted and my parents received a letter at my native address....Even that had an element of luck involved....They were supposed to come visit me at Bangalore and they got the courier on the day before they were supposed to leave....Had it gotten late by one more day, it would have been bye-bye CAT 2007 for me....may be God wanted me to write CAT 2007 at all costs....Was asked to report at the centre one day early and confirm the centre change....Come November 18th 2007, I reported at my centre, clueless about what the result will come out to be with 12 hours of preparation in total....Saw the list and was shocked to find my name missing....There were a bunch of other people who had changed the centre and were facing the same problem.... Somehow the centre in charge confirmed that we were in Christ College instead of Christ High School or something like that....We were nevertheless allowed to sit for the exam after our verification was done and signatures taken....Just sat in the exam hall leisurely....Got the question paper, flipped through the pages, passed time....Now, traditionally, I was afraid of QA and found VA to be my strength....DI was OK OK types....never knew what to make out of DI....Finally could solve some questions and came out....Realised that I had solved only 3 questions in QA in total ....then went to see off my parents who were travelling from Bangalore to Bhubaneswar the same day....Just tossed away the paper and went back to work....Now work was getting very very hectic....Did not get even a bit of time to breathe....The project was at a critical stage and we were all getting screwed like anything....to make matters worse, we were new, no experience, no project-specific training, even our mentors were new to the project....frustration levels started growing day by day at the ways of working of the IT industry....Was sitting in my office one fine day and suddenly thought of checking the answer keys to CAT 2007....realised that I was scoring somewhere around 100....At that moment I dont know how or why, somehow the name PaGaLgUy came to my mind....had heard it from someone at college I guess and the name had stuck....logged on from office, created a user-id and went to the thread where discussions for CAT 2007 were going on, voted on the poll and came to know that around 100 was actually being touted as a very good score....Was immediately hyper charged....called up my parents, my honey and informed that CAT actually had been good for me....But 12 in QA I knew was anyways too less (All 3 attempts turned out to be correct )....One of my friends advised me to apply for SP Jain....plus XAT registrations were still open and with domicile advantage, I may go for XIMB too....At that moment, my dad gave me a very nice suggestion....See u have the potential....why not try for next year with a good work experience???? May be u get into XIMB but then we may never know what u r capable of doing with full sincere efforts....Anyways u have not given your best shot this year with fun, relocation etc. hampering preparations....so why not give it one HONEST SHOT???? I agreed....and just waited for CAT results....Come result day, I was not interested to check the web site even....Just waited till 3 PM and then casually sent an SMS....Got the reply....I still had that SMS on my mobile phone till last month before I changed my SIM....gives me quite a bit of strength....The scores read:
QA 12 (71 percentile)
VA 26 (93 odd percentile)
DI 46.88 (95 odd percentile)
OA 86 (94.38 percentile)
Anyways, I was happy scoring that....knew that I had the potential and all I needed was zeal and serious preparations....
2008(The year when everything changed):
2008 began with fresh hopes, CAT results and a most joyous news....My love had managed a relocation for herself from Kolkata to Bangalore....I was absolutely elated....We had different offices (may be Gods plan that u stay in one city but still meet only in the weekends so that preparations do not get hampered)....finally she came down to Bangalore and I started preparations from Feb onwards at a slow pace....Got her full support and loneliness vanished....Work pressure gradually reduced and I in fact took up such responsibilities which required very less work and was hence not preferred by people serious in IT....Used to prepare even in office....got myself a cubicle in the corner with minor intrusions and was happy with life....Come May, I decided to join weekend classes. Classes used to be in the afternoons and we (me and my girl friend) used to move around the city in the mornings when half of the shops hadnt even opened for the day. Sundays used to be worse. Exams in the morning, 1 hour of fun at Garuda Mall and then classes till evening. A couple of months later, I got a much-needed support from my parents. My mom came to stay with me, took care of me as a result of which all my external worries regarding food, motherly moral support etc. were eliminated and I could just concentrate on my studies. Life was good. I even found a senior in office. We used to prepare together, buy and fill up forms together etc. I was confident that I could make it into at least the top 20 colleges of the country this time. Then came and on-site opportunity in my project which I politely refused saying to my manager that I was preparing for CAT and if I dont get through this year, I will leave the quest for CAT. Thankfully, he understood. Mock scores were good too ranging from 99+ once to even 65 (but just once). I found a very good group of people to share thoughts about CAT, prepare together etc. My mom returned back to home for a short period and then came back just before the exams. I had filled up forms for every exam and every decently good B-School. Exams were IRMA, CAT, IIFT, SNAP, JMET, NMAT, XAT and colleges applied to were IRMA, IIMs, MDI (all three courses), IMT-G, SPJIMR, SIBM - Pune, SCMHRD, NMIMS, IMI, XLRI (both courses), XIMB. Exams came and went. It was time for the results. That was crucial. First result IIFT. Dinged. Could not believe my eyes. My confidence was shattered. Next IRMA. 99.49 percentile. Got a call. Happy. Was in two minds whether to actually go down to Anand to attend the interview or not. SCMHRD got a call. Next was the big CAT. Got a percentile of 96.74. A couple of stupid mistakes in Quant, lesser number of attempts in VA and another stupid mistake in DI did me in. Got a call from SPJIMR with the CAT score anyways. Anyways, it was OK I said to myself. NMAT had a rank of 700 odd. Got a call. JMET did not qualify. I still remember. That was the most shocking news for me when a friend informed me about the news. I had done well, I thought. SNAP scores were later revised and I got just equal to cut-off of SIBM Pune. Got a call too. Scored hopelessly low in LA in XAT, just 70 odd percentile. XLRI lost. Missed out on the over all cut off for for XIMB even with the domicile quota. Finally my GD/PI calls were IRMA, MDI-HR, IMT-G, IMI, TAPMI, FORE, NMIMS, SIBM Pune, SCMHRD, SPJIMR. I was OK OK types. I thought that I could at least convert a couple out of them and thought that finally I was going to join this year itself. Did not attend IRMA, TAPMI and FORE. GD/PI for IMI was pathetic. NMIMS GD/PI were OK. SCMHRD superb GD/PI. SIBM Pune OK types GD/PI. MDI HR OK types GD/PI. IMT G bad GD, good monologue and good PI. SPJIMR. Now this was the college that had become almost a dream for me. But royally screwed up the 2nd round of the PI. I questioned the interviewer when he was speaking and he ignored me :banghead: :banghead: I knew that it was over for me when I came out of the room. Finally waited for the results. First result SCMHRD. Not qualified. Was shell-shocked. That was by far the best GD/PI I had attended. Next NMIMS. Final merit rank of 571 odd. Hopeless. IMI next. Was out moving around Bangalore and returned in the evening. Logged on to PG as usual. Saw a new thread announcing IMI results are out. Called up my girl friend and talked to her while checking the results believing it could be a lucky charm and it worked. Qualified for both the courses. Was just plain happy that I would at least be going for an MBA this year. SIBM Pune dinged as expected. Then came IMT G. Was again out roaming around Bangalore when I got a line of calls from friends saying that IMT G was out and all of them had qualified finally. Was nervous. Did not ask them to check the result for me. Went home. Called my lucky charm again and checked the result again and there I had qualified in the first list for PGDM Finance. The choice was almost clear. But then again, IMI will always remain special for giving me the confidence to put down my papers at work. SPJIMR was a big let down. Did not even qualify after 5 lists. Was very very sad. Anyways life has to go on and you dont always get the best option life has to offer you. MDI HR hopelessly waitlisted as expected due to the low CAT score. So I was left with only two converts IMI and IMT G and two hopeless waitlists NMIMS and MDI HR. So I decided on IMT G. Put down my papers at work after the payment was received. Withdrew the payment from IMI. Got a farewell from the job on 15th May 2009. Stayed on at Bangalore till 31st May 2009. Had a lot of fun with my love. Went to many nice places to eat, explored Bangalore a lot and got ready for the long separation for 2 years. Reached Bhubaneswar on 1st June. Joining was on 22ndJune. Left Bhubaneswar on 17th June and reached Ghaziabad on 19th June and have been loving this place ever since.


I made a promise to myself the day I saw this thread for the first time.Finally I get a chance to post my sojourn with CAT on this hallowed thread. It is sooner than I expected but later than I wished . It's not the regular CAT success story, but then I could not find a better place to share my story.

Before I start with my Journey with CAT let me tell you a little about myself. I was a good student till class X, always among top few students in school. I did well to score 80.xx % in Class X. After that my dad got transferred and we moved to a small town in Tamil Nadu, named Hosur. That's where a number of factors, led to me neglecting my studies and I managed a paltry score of 64.xx in XII. I also managed to mess up my AIEEE exam. But somehow I managed a good rank in Karnataka CET and I also sat for National Council of Hotel Management's All India entrance test, which is taken by over 10000 approximately every year and got an AIR 63. I decided against becoming an engineer and joined Hotel Management. I decided to make amends for my unsatisfactory score in school and ended up being among the Top 3 students for First and Second Year. In Third year, the placement season started, being among the top students, I was expected to be one of the leading contenders to be selected for the Management Trainee programmes by the Top Hotel Chains of the country. What I had not realized in all this time was that hospitality industry was not a place for an introvert. I was among the last few to be placed. Still I managed to set two college records, 1.) First person to be offered 3 different jobs in 3 different departments. 2.) Only person in the history of the Institute to be offered a job based on performance in practical examination.

Sometime during my third year I thought about doing an MBA but decided to get some work-ex before I attempt CAT.


Once college got over, I joined a 5-star Hotel in Bangalore. The first few weeks were good but soon it became monotonous and I realized that this is not something I want to do for rest of my life. That's when MBA came back to mind and I decided to take CAT.
Resigned from the Hotel in August, just after 3 months and joined a finance firm. With new job came new kind of work atmosphere which I found enjoyable. Soon it was November and I realized that the time I spent for preparation for CAT was less than 3 hours, that too in July, after getting the CAT application . Anyway, I went to the centre and decided to give it my best shot. Believe me, I had never read a boring passage in English than the ones in the VA section. (probably because I never took any mocks, hell ! I didn't even know what mocks were.) When the results were declared I was surprised to find out that I had scored 91.xx %ile and was furious that I had not prepared seriously enough. But I decided that next year I would be better prepared.


After previous year's performance, I decided to study diligently for CAT and enrolled for a Study-at-home course from one of the coaching institutes. This time I also decide to take other B-school tests too. I studied whenever I got time and my score in mocks varied from 95%ile to 46%ile. Sometime in the month of October I got a call from Indian Air Force to attend their Service Selection Board in the first week of November at Mysore.
So, I went to mysore to fulfill my childhood ambition of joining the armed forces. It was there that while performing an obstacle I fell from a height of 15 feet and landed on my back and lost all the skin on my left palm as I tried to hang on to the rope I was supposed to climb down. I was advised complete bed-rest for atleast a month by doctors. Against the doctor's advise I decide to attend CAT, which was a mistake. 30 minutes into the test, I realized that the pain in my back has reached a level where it cannot be ignored anymore. Still I somehow managed to sit through the test. Took other tests viz. IIFT, SNAP, NMAT, XAT. When the results were declared I scored 92.xx %ile in CAT, 96 in XAT and missed NMAT cut-off by 1 mark. My CAT score got me calls from TAPMI and K J Somaiya, which I couldn't convert.

Sometime in November I realized that I had registered at Pagalguy.com in early 2006. Just tried a random password and behold, I found a key to an insane world. Spent first few weeks at PG just going through different threads, hesitant to post. Finally, worked up enough courage to publish my first post and then one thing led to another Attended my first Bangy PG meet and got really hooked. Harsharocks (HR) introduced me to shoutbox and my addiction to PG started.


The season started with me changing a couple of jobs. With new job came new responsibilities and I wasn't able to get into the groove until September. But, after that I made it a point to study something every day. Attended all but two of the PG meets of the season to make sure I got a regular dose of Bakar.

Was eager to get into a b-school that I filled almost each and every form. Finally, the C-Day arrived. Saw the paper smiled when I saw 40 questions in VA. Started with VA as it was one of my stronger sections. Next, I moved to Quants and surprisingly, found it easy.
Moved to DI with 45 minutes remaining and realized the consequences of being complacent. I hadn't scored less than 96%ile in DI in any of the mocks or real CAT ever but on that day I couldn't get one answer correct. Moved from one problem to another hopelessly. Came out of the centre, looking at the brighter side that this could be the day when I clear the Quants cut-off for the first time in 3 years.

Next up was IIFT, which I never thought I would clear but took just for the heck of it. After that it was one exam after the other.

Soon it was the time for results, IRMA was the first one with a call at 99.61 %ile. Surprisingly IIFT too decided to call me. CAT result came with the usual server problems. When I finally checked my result, I didn't know what to do. I realized that I had shaded 3 bubbles wrongly, and instead of the 96+ %ile score I was expecting, I was still stuck at 92.xx %ile. Next day, the SNAP fiasco happened, and I was happy that I didn't have any result coming the next day. Got a call from NMIMS after just clearing the cut-off. Got a call from TAPMI and UBS - Chandigarh based on my CAT score.
IIFT was the first GD/PI of the season. Imagine a situation when four of Bangy PG regulars (Shabadp, the_hate, yogsconnect and me) are in the same group for a GD. My performance in the GD was satisfactory at best. Interview was cool and I came out of the room with a feeling, regardless of the result, I did my best. IRMA, TAPMI and NMIMS decided to grill me and successfully managed to do so.

When the results came, all the four instis decided to ding me. Waited eagerly for waitlists to come out, but to no avail. The final waitlist for IIFT was published and my name wasn't there.

Took the failure in my stride and realized that each year my performance is improving and decided to take another shot at CAT. Decided to wait till the CAT notification is out before I joined any test series.

There comes a day in everybody's life, which he remembers till the end of his days and knows exactly where he was at that time. 23rd June 2009 was one of those days for me. I was sitting in an auto-rickshaw, going for some official work when I received a call from a number from Delhi, which got disconnected thanks to poor network. I joked to myself that this could be from IIFT. 2 minutes later I got the call again, with a lady telling me that she is calling from IIFT-Delhi and I have been offered admission to IIFT - Kolkata Campus and if I would be interested. And I was like. " you've got to be joking". She said classes start from 1st July. I realized that this meant that I would have to resign soon anyway so chucked the official work and rushed home to reply to an e-mail from IIFT. :biggrin:

The quest for B-School has ended but insanity is intact and so it will continue with OMPA.

Lessons I learnt:

Failures are stepping stones to success. Might sound clichd but it is clichd because it is truth.

B-school entrances are an emotional roller-coaster and you need strong support from your family and friends, so do not ignore them in your quest for glory.

Miracles do happen :-P . I believe it now.

Logging on to PG was one of the best things I ever did. I would have given up CAT after failing twice had I not met people like Prem bhai, Amrutesh etc. I would like to thank everyone on SB for their constant support. To Ayaz (datkilldme), Siddharth (sid_darth), Pooja (Lehmanbrothershereicome) for sending me prep materials for GD/PI. To Ram (apatchofsnow), yogs (yogsconnect), Shabad (shabadp), Abhishek (the_hate) for being company for mock GD's and the honest feedback. To Bangy PG gang. To Diablo, just for listening to me after I messed up my CAT. To Junior (Utsav_s1986) for that inspirational call the day after CAT result, when I knew you were suffering equally if not more. To Sriram (rsriram84) for constantly egging me on. And to everyone else who believed in me, more than I did.



I read your failure story. Now wanna read mine? Forget about 10th and 12th, I don't want to go too back into the time. Let me take you to the year 2007. The year which was the best in my life so far when I got placed in 2 of the top 5 IT companies of India. I was one of the few students in my college who were able to achieve this feat and the only one who had graduation percentage less than 70 at that moment. I was happy since my future was secure now. But I was wrong.

I won't blame recession at all. It began with my small carelessness. Due to gujjar agitation in the state there was little change in the time table of the 6th semester exams and that did the damage. I had never got grace in any paper, leave back alone, but this time i suffered. Got two of them. Sataym campus took place when I was in the final month of 7th semester and the selection in it came as a big relief for me since even if I couldn't go to Infosys I had Satyam. But after that my luck begin to desert me completely.

One paper in 7th semester was messed up completely. What happened that day I don't know. Paper was little tough but I had passed many of them before too. But this time I couldn't. Results came out in June and I was now staring at an extended engineering. Our university conducts back paper a year later so my hopes of joining any company were almost dashed. The only option I had was to try my hand in CAT and other MBA exams.

I didn't join any coaching institute neither did I take any test series. I was never comfortable with this 'coaching' thing right since 10th and so I decided against it. I appeared in different exams and some turned out to be good and some bad. I scored 88.03 in CAT, 50+ in SNAP, 98.1 in MAT while NMAT and CET were washouts. Even then I had secured calls from some decent colleges like SCIT, BIMTECH, IMT Nagpur and was sure about Welingker as well since I had scored 97 percentile in ATMA. I was pretty sure that I would convert atleast one of them. Here yet again fate didn't favor me.

My back exam was held post CAT results. I couldn't give much time in november and december to my studies but in the month of January I focused on my back paper alone. I couldn't do a very sound preparation but was confident that I would make it this time. Alas! The moment I saw the paper I knew my hopes were dashed. The paper was the toughest in the last 10 years and even though I tried hard I couldn't manage much in it. Heck! I didn't even have the privilege of getting grace of 10 marks since I was appearing in back paper.

All of my interviews took place after my debacle in back paper. I just couldn't focus on them. It was always in my mind that any of my converts would get wasted if I couldn't clear the back exam. This fear spolied all of my interviews. IMT Nagpur was the worst since the panel directly attacked on my weak point - my pending back. It was march 1st week when I was finished with my these interviews. I didn't have hopes from any except for BIMTECH where my performance was ok, though not very good. Few days later I got the call of Welingker.

By that time I had recovered from exam debacle and my single aim was to convert Welingker. I threw that fear out of my mind which had haunted me in the last 3 interviews. I did a lot of preparation for Welingker. Only a couple of days before my interview, another bomb fell on me. I knew it was coming but never expected to come at such a crucial time. I had again missed out in my back paper and now my engineering had swelled to 5.5 years. All the enthusiasm for Welingker was gone. I went to Delhi, appeared there to complete the formalities and came back. I didn't even bother to check the result.

Now here I am, a yet-to-become Engineer even after more than 5 years. I wonder if I would come across any pathetic profile like mine ever on PG. But even after so much wrong happenings in my life I refuse to concede. I am waiting for just that one chance of getting redeemed. And I am aiming for big. I didn't go for any college outside top 50 B Schools last time which would have been easy converts for me and I wouldn't do that even this time.

I know in what kind of situation you are in. Many of my peers would be out of B Schools while I am still to complete my UG. Even many of your friends too would be already on the path of success while you still haven't found the road. But don't lose hope. Work hard. That's the only thing we can do. Nothing else is in our hands but this.

i want to end the post with these famous lines of Robert Frost which are my favorite too
"And Miles to go before I sleep........................."


I was thinking about the events and happenings that lead to me getting an admit from MDI, Gurgaon. Was it tough? How much of hard work did I have to put in?
There are gonna be thousands of guys who will take the CAT(rated as among the most difficult exams on the planet) this year too. A few will score a super percentile. But a super-percentile, as I learnt later, doesnt guarantee you a seat in a college.

I will give a blow-by-blow account of how things worked and didnt work for me. In the process, I hope to inspire some of you (I know, tall order) and console the others.

So this is how it started-
I was disillusioned by the way engineering studies are counducted in our country. I had a quater-life crisis back then. I had secured a job with Siemens but I didnt know if I wanted to work. To be honest, I wanted to stay at home, watch movies, play cricket, do every damn thing that I wasnt able to do coz of my 4 years of engineering. Now engineering in Mumbai is a lot different from other parts of the country. Its real bad if u have to waste 4 hours of your day in travelling only to reach college to find the class being cancelled. It becomes even worse when you have been a straight A's student all your life and have to work your ass off to maintain high grades in engineering.

I played with the thought of joining siemens, then decided on not to only to change it on the night before the induction day. I am glad that I took that decesion. Its among the best decesions that I took.
After working for 9 months, getting up early everyday, spending a lot of time doing electrical shit(I am a mechie), I got bored and quit the job. Again, among the best decesions of my life.

I left the job around May. The next months till January, when the CAT results came, were among the best days of my life. I did almost everything I wanted- played cricket like crazy, slept like crazy, saw every sitcom I could get my hands on, in short, enjoyed life! One of my really close friends felt that it was among the most eventful year of my life. I agree mate!

May-June-July were mostly fun. One fine day it struck me - what do I do next? Maybe a part-time job - the kind that doesnt reqire me to get up early. How about a course in Film direction? I have always wanted to do that... If not now, then when? I am 22, when will I get the time in the future? If I have to, it has to be now, and it has to be from the best institute in the country.

I applied for FTII's direction course (Gods like Ashutosh Gowariker, Sanjay Leela Bhansali are the products of this college). At the same time I got a call for part-time teaching at Career Forum teaching CAT. While I was teaching, I gave the exam for FTII and got selected in the top 40. After the interview, I made it to the top 10 in the country, but that wasnt good enough. They took in the top 6 and that was the end of that.

Around August, I became serious about CAT. FTII was behind me, I didnt have a full-time job, I didnt have a plan B. That is when I pulled up my socks and started giving mock tests of every god damn coaching classes.

I gave the JMET, CAT, SNAP, MICAT(for MICA)... The colleges I had filled up were-
1. MDI, Gurgaon
2. IMT, Ghaziabad
3. SIBM, Pune
4. SCMHRD, Pune
5. MICA, Ahmedabad
6. SIIB, Pune
7. Welingkar, Mumbai

In that order of importance...

The first results that came in were in Jan were JMET. I logged on - You have not Qualified for the next round. Bad start. One out. But I wasnt too sad. Jmet is for the IITS and though I like IITs, I wouldnt wanna spend two years of my life there.

The next results were the biggie - CAT. I was extremely cool about the results. I remember, I checked it around 4 in the afternoon. My friends were making franctic calls to each other, trying to find out each others scores. I was as cool as can be. I wasnt expecting much. And I also figured out that me getting excited isnt going to change the results. I logged on - 98.37%ile with a expected poor performance in DI.

Then came the SNAP results. I had a God-score of 101 in SNAP. I had virtually converted all Symbiosis institutes or so I thought.

As expected, I got calls from all institutes I had applied to.

I was sure to convert SIIB and SIBM, but was sckeptical about SCMHRD because of their vague selection criteria.

First, the SIIB results came out. "You have been waitlisted - WL123"
There hasnt been a time when I have felt worse. A college like SIIB doesnt pick me up? I aint good enough for SIIB? Its 6th on my list yaar! If I cant get into this how can I get into the top ones?

Next result - SCMHRD - "We are sorry to inform you that you havent been selected for the program at SCMHRD". Okay. This one I can understand. HRD looks for work experience or whatever no one know. They rather flip a coin

Next- SIBM- now this one I was surely gonna convert. Its by far the best GD and Interview I have had ever! I was so damn confident about this one. I had already started dreaming of this place and how I will buy a bike and travel from Pune to Mumbai on weekends. I logged on - "We are sorry to inform...." I didnt read the next line. They didnt take me in- is all I could tell myself. They rejected me. The feeling of selfworthlessness cant be described in words.

3 of the 7 colleges I had applied to had rejected me. I had a God-score! What happened? How bad am I? What mistake do I make? Havent I prepared well? I am sure I have! I have given 8 hours per day reading shit like who is India's X minister and who heads Y committe.

MICAT- is the additional exam that you give for MICA. MICAT is supposed to check how creative you are. Now this is my turf. I gave the exam. Waited patiently for the results.
The results came in - "You are not selected for..." I kept looking at the screen.
4 out of the 7 colleges had rejected me. Dude? I got selected in God-damn FTII!! Thats the most creative exam on the whole continent! I get selected in FTII but ant creative enough for Mica?!

Now the only colleges left were MDI, IMT and Welingkar. The chances were bleak for mdi and imt since they are among the top instis in the country. If I cant make to normal colleges, how can I make it to the top ones? I will take a Welingkar. I am sure I will get it. But I have a 98.37 for pete's sake! Welingkar at that kinda score?

I used to find guys who cant even write basic English writing posts on Pagalguy saying - I have get admission to XYZ college. Aaj raat parti hogi. Chers!
I made sure that I swore atleast once at the college in question.

Then came the IMT results. I had a so-so GD and an average Interview. I wasnt expecting a convert, but atleast I got into the waitlist. "Game on," I said to myself. Maybe, just maybe, I might get in.

The most important results came in next. MDI- Waitlisted. Expected. Had an horrible interview. Now, when I think about it, I realise that I was depressed by the kinda results I had got. Here I was running out of colleges I can apply to and still havent got a convert.

Slowly and steadily my friends were getting converts. Everyone had orkut taglines changed to -Joining XXX.. 22 days to go.. some stuff like that.. Colleges are starting in 22 days? I still dont have an convert.

I started applying for jobs. But recession had kicked in and no one was willing to give me any jobs. BPOs loved to stay away from you if you were an engineer, which I was.

I was caught up. Tense. But like my friends tell me now, that I masked it pretty well. Infact even if you go back and read my posts dated around that time, they were still funny.

So here I was, 20 days remaining for colleges to start, with no job, no college. I felt like I had taken the worst decesion by leaving Siemens. Life can only be understood in hindsight.

I kept checking the waitlist movement at IMT. Somehow I had a feeling that I might just make it in this B school.

I remember that afternoon- I logged in on to the IMT site. I put in my id and password. The screen went blank for a moment. Then a new page appeared on screen -
"Congratulations...You have been selected for..."

I read the fifteen letter word again and again. Congratulations. When was the last time I read that? I didnt do what they do in the movies. No pumping my fists in the air. No shouting, No yelling. I just sat on the chair... letting it sink in... and then let myself sink in the chair... Then got up from the chair. Made a tight fist, and ever so slowly said - Yes.

The time I had spent studying, giving mock-cats, learning about minister X and committe Y, all of a sudden, I felt, had paid dividends. A feeling of gratitude took me over. I dont remember how many times must I had thanked the computer that day.

In the last week, I got a call from MDI too. And I took that up. But I still love IMT. In the way you love your girlfriend you had when you were 15.

Now when I look back, I feel everything fell in place. But I still wonder, the Intellectual capital that comes to MDI and IMT is way better than the colleges that rejected me. I dont get it, if the country's elite b-schools can accept me, then what are the traits that these other bschools look at? And its obvious that they are doing something wrong, else they would be higher up the rankings.

Also, I dont think CAT is a good way to judge students. Now, for eg, had I made one mistake in the paper, I wouldnt be in IMT or MDI. At the same time, had I made one mistake less, I would have been in the IIMs. The point being - CAT is definitely not the only parameter that a college should look at. But it should be remembered that CAT is the most transparent way of selecting students. The lesser of the evils.

Note: The whole point of this post has been to let you know that as an aspirant, you might lose hope and heart sometime - DONT!
Dust off the Dust..
.. Just Kick Butt!

TPI: All I wanted to say about the CAT...

Please help me guys ..what shud i do ?? how shud i get a job ??
what shud i do abt the gap ?? Even in 2001 recession ppl got jobs in off campus within 7-8 months..abhi to woh bhi nahi ho raha !!
Please help me...i beg !!

Dear rs00,
Nice to see your frank admission, it requires courage.
They say don't dream because if you dream you have to wake up one fine day..to find nothing but your own carefully preserved but shattered dreams.
They are right since if you had followed the usual path, you might have ended up in a good college if not IIM's, and thanks to recession which is the biggest party crasherisn't????
Boss I would like to ask you if you had such an enthu about an MBA that to from IIM-A, why the hell you were not preparing in your college days, being student we have plethora of time but then you were celebrating for no reason and I am sure if you could not find time in college days then you won't find in your job as well (I am finding it tough to manage).
As far as your gap is concerned if you have any business plan/s then you may sell them anytime in your interview and if they are really good then you can easily negotiate on your gap as well, but I am afraid if you have any, do you???
You can or could have invest/ed your time working with an NGO or something whose experience always comes handy, after all where else you will get hands on experience in Microfinance "the buzzword of current & future entrepreneurship" and CSR (Corporate social Responsibility).
Dear it's been more than a year since you passed out and you are not sure about this CAT as well which is only 4 months ahead, imagine if you had only prepared for CAT after your engineering than you would have in position by now to get IIM calls this year, but you haven't done even that.
Since the fall of Lehman Brothers I knew it's going to be tough for all us, how come you had no idea of this if you were into reading business stuff.
But let me tell you nothing is lost reason being.
IIM's and other b-schools know the situation better than you (in-fact who knows better than them) so explaining delay in joining will be a cake walk, even top b schoolers joing is delayed this year (yes this is correct).
According to me following are the options available.
a) Since you are sure about entrepreneurship so I would suggest you to go for EDI Ahmedabad (hope you know this), I don't think the admission would be that tough there and you will end up in place of your choice as well, because even if you go to IIM-A interview panel their first question would be if entrepreneurship why not EDI.
If that doesn't goes that well with you.
b) Go for an ICFAI CFA/CPA at least that will make you employable, go for an MBA later.
If this also doesn't work for you and you want to employable as soon as possible go for
c) 1 year Insurance sales program run by top colleges in India IIMC, XLRI, JBIMS, IMI, SPJAIN (BCIDS), you can go for proper MBA later.
If this also don't works for you go for the NGO thing I told earlier for the reasons explained.
Yaar there are infinite possibilities of making a career but yes the path would be tough.don't bother about age factor as an MBA is Scotch the older the better.
And finally "Stop dreaming Start working"
P.S. After reading your post i think you are talented enough to make you mark in life and its painful that you are lost.
I know my words are rude in this post, but they must.
You may send your resume to me, i will see if I can....
What would you trade "this moment" for?

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