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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.
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
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....
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 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
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........................."
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 !!
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