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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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I'm sharing with all of you advise that I got from someone who's well placed in the industry....... I had mailed him after my CAT and this is what he sent me, i feel there's enough wisdom in his words for it to be shared with all of you....

Dear Shoaib,

We are doing great and am sure same your end. Good to hear that you have cleared the CAT / will be clearing the CAT with good marks. I am also honoured that you have given me the priviledge to advice you in this moment of your career decision. That put the niceties to one side so we can get to hard facts .

Shoaib, it is very necessary in life that you decide what you want and when you want. You can have choices in a thread i.e this takes priority, if not this then this and the list goes on. But end of the day - You make your own choices based on a informed future oriented basis.

First the colleges - frankly what makes a difference is you. The better college gives you a 1 year head-start at the most. You need to decide what you want to do not do what is available. So what is your personality, temperament, aptitude and interest suited to. Analyze that - FAST. Pay packages do not matter (They have all dropped) (CTC is different from take home) (INR 10 lac CTC could give you 35-45K take home max - if lucky) - what matters is that do you have a good foundation in your subject of choice and more have you assimilated the theory and can you utilize it practically with common sense. Sounds Scary! But thats what separates the men from the boys and the butter from the buttermilk.

Good courses - top of line are - IIMs - Generalist / FMS - Marketing / XLRI - HR / MICA - Media / IIFT - Foreign trade. Then come MDI etc.

As regards studying overseas - once again what are your objectives in life. Live Life Kingsize overseas on DAD's MONEY! Shoaib, I may seem rough and rude but thats how you will get treated once in the real world. You need to build your foundations - yourself and then build your dreams. But dont forget to dream because if you dont you will not have a target in life and without that you will not have a sense of achievement.

My advice:

(1) Reach Higher, Hit Harder, Grow faster. (2) Success seems to be connected to action, Successful people keep moving, They make mistakes but never quit. (3) Your attitude makes altitude and lastly and the most important (4) "I CAN, I WILL".

Do a SWOT on yourself. Identify your core points - positive and negative. Identify your personality, temperment, aptitude and interest. FAST. Then select the course you wish to do. Where does not matter other than a ego issue. You do not see too many IIM guys heading successful organisations. Why, What happened. What has happend to the high flyers with super pay pack at start up. How come they did not get successful finally. So keep a gap to grow. Plan. Stragically and most importent IMPLEMENT.

Shoaib, all this sounds rough and bad. But " The rocky path you will tread on now will lead you to the rainbow" provided you keep your head on your shoulders and feet on the ground.

Wish you all the best and success. Any query to email in and I will be glad to advice within my limited knowledge of courses gone past. Take care and I await your reply.

I will soon write my story on cat, i do feel its worth a read, but right now just grasping the moment and just praying that this feeling won't fade.....
had done a lot of questions. I was happy. But just then it struck me that I had committed silly mistakes in 2 sets or 8 questions. You must be wondering by now does thus guy never learn from the past. I would say LEOs are slow learners. :). Bas poora mood off ho gaya. Coz I knew even if I aced the other 2 sections I would never do well enough to get through. I dragged myself for 2 and half hours and all those memories came flooding back. I came out of the exam hall and went home
Results... 40%tile in DI, 90 odd in maths and 70 odd in VA. Overall 81 odd. Yes you are reading right. It was just 81. As usual the heroes anir_iim(my ideal for the season. He is in IIMA now.), prasant_iit_iim, basilsk, parulbajaj made great in CAT and deservedly went to the places they wanted. I was dejected. Special thanks to Prashant from IIT KGP here. He is one of the best guys I have ever seen in my association with PG.
I had calls from IIFT and SPJAIN this season and even after a fantastic PI (my thoughts) I could not convert IIFT. My GD was very bad though. Was asked to summarize at the end. In my ignorance I thought I had spoken the best that's why I am being asked to summarize. Poor screw head Srinibas.
Life in between CAT2007 and CAT2008
So 3 attempts and 3 botches. I decided that I won't take CAT ever again since a person with 81%tile cannot ever clear CAT. I told the same to my parents. They were dumbstruck by my decision and did not tell anything. By this time I was staying alone in Kolkata. CAT had taken out a lot of things from my life. I decided by now that all insanity (yeah that's what I call my obsession with the exam) must have an end. I had to stop. Come on Srini this cannot go on for ever. What more do you want to loose. Then I was asked to go on business work to Switzerland and Germany. Wow Germany my favorite soccer team. I readily agreed. Before that just to make more fun of myself I went to take the first TIME free AIMCAT. Yeah guys that was the aim. Just to see how lower I had fallen in aptitude. I was just relaxed. Went through the paper and came out. Never bothered to look at the solution and I just flew off to Europe and my dream country (Germany).
It was EURO2008 time. This was held in Switzerland only. My flat was a stone's throw from the French and the Dutch team hotels. Germany reached the finals yet again in a major tournament and it was due to sheer grit and tenacity. I was so impressed that I read all of German football history in Wikipedia. Then I thought of taking a look at the AIMCAT scores. Surprise of surprises I had scored 98.**. A first in any exam related to CAT. Thought it was a fluke and went back to work. After some days one of my friends told me on a separate context of course 'People quit when they do not realize how close they were to winning'. On the same day we had a discussion on 'When the going gets tough the tough gets going'. One of my very close friends also told me 'To take a longer jump you need to take 2 steps backward'. All these were healthy discussions and happened within a span of a day. Maybe fate was taking me for a ride. Then I thought maybe I am a ****head not to catch the hint. I said to me 'You don't have any right to be a German team fan if this is your attitude'. But hell yeah I am true German fan. I have the spirit. Come on Srini you can't just quit. That will so UNGERMAN.
The fire started burning again and I was longing to get back home to take AIMCATs. I came back but I had missed 5 AIMCATs by then. Yes I was also given a waiver in the AIMCAT fee coz of my decent score in the first AIMCAT. First real profitable venture of a wannabe MBA.I told my parents of my decision and they were dancing in the isles. Slowly but steadily I aced one AIMCAT after other. DI was a gray area though. I could never solve DI properly in the mocks . I had a sub 90 score in 2 AIMCATS and 96+ in the rest and 4 top rankers list. Well it's not great as a karanmaroo, sahilbansal, kamalaandi, varung, implex, anilgora to name a few but I was happy. Kisko phodu banna hai yaar. Ek seat hi to chahiye. I am happy if I am given the last seat.
I had also joined Carrer Launcher for a second series of MOCK CATs. People say that its stupid to join 2 AIMCAT series but I beg to differ. I think it is absolutely fine to join two and practise from diverse resources. Yaar proper analysis karne main 3 din se zyada kya lagega. Baki 3 din hai week main to analayse the second MOCK as well. So if you are serious you will find time for everything. Remember a busy man find time for everything that is important. Bahut funde ho gaye.Lets get back to the plot.
D Day (CAT 200 -- My most relaxed CAT. Went to the centre calmly in tracks and a loose T shirt and sandals. People were staring at me. I was looking like a fool. Paper was handed out.
First section -- Maths -- 17 questions done in 50 minutes. I was sure I had attempted 13 correctly.
Second Section -- DI -- My bete noire -- First 10 minutes were wasted. Could not solve a single question. Then all thoughts started creeping in. Again I said to me 'Not a worthy German soccer fan'. There was a miracle. Next 50 minutes was like knife through butter. 15 questions done. I was sure about 12. DI was tough this year. I knew it was a 98+ score. Time to move on.
VA -- I always was pretty confident about my English and thought that I will easily clear 96 percentile here within 40 minutes and my QA and DI will boost my overall. VA had 40 questions this year compared to 25 each in QA, DI. I attempted 25 questions in 40 minutes and was happy by the time the paper was over.
Came back and checked the solutions. Had committed some silly mistakes in QA, DI. But my decent number of attempts saved me. VA was different though. I was scoring somewhere between 45 and 50 from various keys. 50 was safe but I would definitely have missed out A and C with 45. Fingers crossed I waited for the results.
Finally some hours before the results were due they came out with the official keys. I got a rude shock that I had scored only 35 in VA. That meant a sub 90 %tile and all IIM dreams out of the window. Fate had other ideas this time around :)
My score card read QA -- 98.72, DI -- 98.66, VA -- 87. ** OA 98.66
I had been called by my dream college along with IIM Lucknow and IIM Shillong. The dream college was IIM Bangalore (I would have joined B even if I had an A or C convert). Well so far so good ain't it.
Started preparing or the GD/Interview processes. Each one came and went. But you know what I always had the low CAT score at the back of my mind. How can a person with 98.66 get into IIMB?
Special thanks to karanamroo who was the person I used to look up to for comparing DI scores. Alas on the D Day meri hi sayad nazar lag gayi usko. He did not do well in his strength area (DI). But don't worry Karan you are damn good and will make big in life.
The day of the results:-
I had an XIMB and NITIE (merit list number 2) convert by this time (2/2). Hoped to make it 4/4 on April the 10.
Moral from NITIE experience. -- In NITIE my rank was somewhere around 480 after the CAT scores. But when the final merit list was announced I was 2 (A senior had confirmed that the merit list was actually in order of our merit standings). So you see the importance of a good GD/PI. Don't ever loose heart after a poor written score. Just remember if you are good enough to be called you are better still to convert. So give your best shot.
April the 10 2009
First I went to IIML website. Typed in the registration number and my DOB. The message appeared
'Sorry you are *******'
I could not believe it was happening all over again. It seems like I am not ever going to an IIM. Then I rechecked my TR number and found that I had typed the wrong one. Typed in the corrected one again and I got the best message of my life.
'Congratulations. You have been --------------'.
I sat down; hands numb and read the message again and again. Seems like an eternity had passed and I started to pinch myself to believe that it was all happening. How could it be true? Was I being drafted into IIM Lucknow. Well heck I was, and wow I was, and yes I was, and truly I was. Phew. Thanked everyone from birds in the sky to the fish in the deepest parts of oceans and moved on to the real biggie. Yes my dream college IIM Bangalore. So now its 3/3. How it wanted it to be 4/4 which will ensure that I will move into IIMB.
Fate had another twist here too. Could not make it to my dream college. On hindsight theek hai I got a call from them right. Can't wait to go to HELL (For those of you who are unaware that is what they call IIML affectionately).

If you are not into GERMAN soccer one can take inspiration from Goran Ivanesevic and his quest for Wimbledon or Lance Armstrong and tour de france.

For all lesser mortals like me grit and tenacity can win you any battle under the sun and over the planet.
Bye and fell free to PM me for any help.

So my dear fellow puys here we go. Bas gali mat dena lambi post ke liye. I am writing my heart out as I would do to my best friend. Wish this thread was made of paper. This is also my 100 post and I have stopped posting in PG for some days to make this my 100th post.

Prologue/Epilogue (whatever it is called) --- I scored a decent 90.67 in X and got admitted to the best junior college in Orissa. I was on top of the world in terms of arrogance and trust me I did not even speak with people below this percentage of marks. Yeah I was that arrogant. 2 years went by and my arrogance only swelled up.
Come my 12 standard and I hit a rock bottom. Scored a meager 78.9. But the greatest frustration was that I did not even clear IIT JEE screening.

Took a drop of one year and prepared hard with FITJEE. Aced the screening with a rank of 876 and then I lost focus. I got overconfident and chilled out. Started getting into wrong kind of movies (yeah u guessed right. Forum rules don't allow me to be explicit). The inevitable happened. Got booted out of mains. My rank was 8076. Nothing much just a zero changed its position in my rank from the screening rank. 0876 to 8076. Now I knew how imp the value of zero can be.

My parents whose support I could have expected said the following to my younger brother's friends "I am wasting money on an idiot who is a liability and can't get a single act together". Well he is my hero and a great man. He must have been very frustrated to say this. This was one of many instances though. I could not take this mental trauma anymore. I was just hounded around and was the black sheep of the family. For two days I thought of ending my life. Then as if manna from heaven I got an NIT Silchar Electrical Engg seat. I was happy that I will not see any of my family members for 4 years. This feeling was like the one I had when I had my first candy in mouth.

Lessons Learnt -- 1. Never ever be arrogant. 2. Never ever be complacent. 3. Never be frustrated

Fast forward 4 years and those were the best days of my life. One particular incident of note was en route from college to home once I saw a particular school friend of mine who was in IIT KGP in a restaurant. I still had a lingering low self esteem and hence I could not even think of talking to him. So I avoided contact and moved on. The scar was fresh wasn't it?

CAT2005 --

I was still in college. I was placed in IBM.I was on course for the silver medal and I was committed to a gal. Don't think a lot puys. She is happily married to some one else and yours truly has moved on.
Some people from college were preparing for the exam and I too joined the bandwagon. After all I had something to prove right. I did not prepare much. 10, 12 ka maths kya padhna yaar. I am an engineer right. You see complacency again but on a milder form.

D day --- Reached the venue in Guwahati and saw some people from IIT Guwahati also joining in. All the memories came flooding back about my failures with IIT JEE. The words of my father. How worthless a creature I am? How can I compete with IITians. I was worthless wasn't I?
I started getting nervous and with this feeling I entered the exam hall. By the way I had my end semester exams in another week and I had not studied anything for that either. The paper was given to us and on opening it I went to mathematics straightaway. There comes the bouncer. The quant section was not that easy for the unprepared people that year and I did not know that there would be variable marking. So screwed up quant royally. Only did decently in some geometry questions and started thinking after all my father was right. I could not do mathematics decently considering that it used to be one of my favorite subjects. I jumped to the DI section and found that it was tough too. Yeah everything was tough for me that year. But I was not perturbed as I was in maths because I had an open mind. Aced the section and moved to English. Huh I will never understand the section ever. I did well I thought.

Result --- OA 96.5 with a meager 88 in QA and a 90 odd in VA

I did not care much. It was enough to impress my girl and who wants to do an MBA anyways just after passing out.


Nicely settled into a job. I still had a feeling of proving something to myself and that is when it seriously started. I was staying as a Paying Guest and was very busy in office. After office I used to meet my girl so had a happy life. But I had one eye on CAT. One fine day enrolled myself in IMS test series and started to prepare. Staying as a Paying Guest did not help much though since I had to study in all kinds of disturbances.

Mocks came and went and my scores went from great to worse and worst. I had serious problems on the personal front as well. You guessed right. Parents having problems with their children's relations etc. I was really in doldrums.

Only one thing remained constant. My mock scores always dipped from the last one. Sometimes it as VA. At other times it was QA, DI. I could not analyze what my problem was. Was I mentally disturbed or was I just plain stupid. Or was I not adjusting well to exam conditions. All these analyses were done mentally. I never came back and alaysed the mock papers. This was a serious problem I had. So you see I was not doing my homework seriously although I was serious about CAT. Therefore there is a difference between commitment and directed commitment. I had commitment but I lacked in direction. This is where a forum like PG or a study group or your favorite teacher from your coaching institute can help you with.


Reached the venue on time and was quite relaxed. Don't know why. Booklet was handed over to us and I skimmed through the pages. Overview gave me the knowledge that QA, DI was easy and VA was dicey. I was very confident that I would do well. Went through QA and solved 13 odd. Moved to DI and got stuck after some time. Ruminated a lot and then it struck like a matchbox. Wow solved the set I was stuck up in. By then I had just 30 minutes of my time left for English. Now anyone will tell you VA in 2006 was damn dicey. Still I thought I did well in the last 30 minutes and hoped to clear the cutoff. This CAT also had a wrong question in Maths as all other subsequent CATs and I wasted a hell lot of time there as it seemed to be one of the easier ones.

After coming out I was happy about it and then suddenly something came to my mind. I thought about a couple of silly mistakes in my Maths and then a third and fourth. So I lost 20 marks starightaway. I cursed the question setter for the wrong question although I was the only one to be blamed. In DI I had also committed silly mistakes of 20 marks and now I had lost all hope. Huh. Yet another failure. How many more do I have in my share? There was a silver lining in all this though. I had converted XIMB.

Result: OA 95.4. Ideally had I not committed silly mistakes this should have been my last CAT. I had an XIMB convert this season. Decided not to join and take one more shot.

I consulted my parents and decided to take one more shot at CAT. I asked her 'I am not that bad am I'? My gal said NO. Well at least one soul still believed in my abilities when even I didn't.

CAT 2007

I had no friends in Kolkata. I could not interact much with my office colleagues since I used to rush out either to study or to meet her. So I was a stranger there too. I could not visit my parents often coz I had this mocks every Sunday. So all in all a pathetic existence sans the preparations time which I used to enjoy. I had joined TIME this time for the AIMCATS. So preparations started all over again. All this while I had quite a fractious personal life. U must be guessing why. Yes girlfriend and the parents. The mocks started all over again. MY first mock score was the best one and after that I reached one nadir after another.

My personal life took one rough turn to encounter another. She found some one else and I was quite in the dark till one day when I was let known that I was unwanted. Huh One more. No issues bring them on I am used to it. I don't blame anyone but I had taken her permission before preparing for CAT. Maybe she did not know the road was so rough. Anyways it is her life and she is free to do whatever she wants. I wished her all the best from my heart and we broke of after 2 and half years.
End of an era for me. Needless to say my parents were over cloud number 9. This happened some 2 months before CAT.

I was desultory now in Kolkata with a very bad shape as far as preparations were concerned. But all these and many more failures had taught me to be strong. So I dived head along into preparations forgetting what had happened. But the incident took place at a very inopportune time. I kept on doing badly in MOCKS.

This time the reason was something different. TIME DI was so tough for me that I could never succeed in solving 2 sets correctly in any given AIMCAT. This led me to allot more and more time to DI and that killed my other sections as well. Whatever I tried I could never master TIME DI. My confidence took a real battering. Probably the worst battering ever. I remember scoring 40, 60, 54, 67, 87, 63 %tile in lots of mocks with only one 90%tiler. This was my state of affairs

As usual I reached the venue on time and entered the hall. Paper was handed over and I went to the DI section and thought about finishing it off for once and for all. This section was just a cakewalk for everyone in 2007. Well almost everyone not me. I thought I was doing well and after an hour I

Before I begin my Cat story. This is my profile
X: 93.44 (Karnataka State Board)
XII:90.16(Karnataka State Board)

B.E: 77.8 (VTU, SJCE Eand C)
CAT 08:
DI 98.11
Quant 97.84
Verbal 99.09
Aggregate 99.76

2005: I barely knew anything about CAT. I was wondering what's the fuzz about MBA?I was thinking well when we finished XII none of us were (IMHO) interested in joining B.Com, then why do some of my friends now want to study MBA? There was one guy, Spandan, who was regarded as the most brainy guy in our branch, he started this. I did not know what do I do after finishing Engineering. I simply bought the CAT application form. Then I came to know even though CAT is a kind of aptitude test we need some prep. I blindly subscribed to Brilliant-tutorials. Never got interested in studying those materials and did not study anything. CAT 2005 came(I was in 7th Sem). I attended the test and got an overall percentile of around 65.6 . Hmmm now I kind of got interested in cracking this test which embarrassed me (Again there was no direction and determination apart from this)

2006: This time around Time were conducting a scholarship test. I simply attended the test and got a scholarship . Three of us attended it Spandan,Sharath, and I. Sharath, who was our EC branch topper and who had no inclination whatsoever came second in this mysore district level test. I was kind of schoked at how this guy who hasn't solved any apti questions get this? He idea was simple, you don't need to solve every problem to arrive at the ans. You assume the ans and see whether it comes correct, and have a clear and calm mind. I had not warmed up to this concept yet. Anyway I got 50 % discount for coming in at 8th and joined time. Did not attend classes because I thought they were too boring. Tried to solve a few questions. But got bored the questions in the basic material were too easy. Still it had not occured to me that to ace CAT u need a plan and work hard to execute it. Later in July 2006 I joined Lucent as a software engineer and started learning all new languages like JAVA, XML, XSD, etc etc and stopped preparing for cat, but hey I had bought the application form again. I gave CAT 2006 but as expected failed to clear any of the sectional cut-offs. Got around 89 percentile. But it increased my confidence. I told to myself with some amount of preparation I should be through in 2007.

2007: Around August I really started thinking interms of what do I want to do? I did not like the job I was doing. Just coding something wasn't challeging enough for me. Then it dawned to me decision making is something that I enjoy, CAT gives me an opportunity. So i should be serious about it. I got IMS material now (was clueless about materials by this time ). Still was lacking in effort. So there it went another spineless performance. Surprise of surprises it was quant which spoiled it I had scored only 2 marks in quant (Shamed all the Engineers ) but I had 98.5 in verbal and cleared DI cut-off. So I thought I must be doing something right in these at least.

2008: This is the year I told myself that I need to study MBA if I think so whether in an IIM or another college. One of my friends at office, Kapil, who got into IIM B advised me to give as many different tests (apart from cat ) as possible. I decided to write GMAT. Then I came to know about PG. Had never entered PG before that (the name was not appealing ). But decision to take GMAT was not planned well. I applied in march and fixed april 18th as the date. Then I underwent an ear operation and hoped to study while on medical leave. But the tablets I was taking and that bulky bandage around my ear were such a nuisance.So when I took the test finally I scored just 670 ( QA-51, and VA-2 was dissapointed . But GMAT proved I was not hopeless in quant. In fit of rage I booked another date June 6th but again there was no plan in place.This time I started contributing in GMAT sentence correction and critical reasoning thread. I wanted to test myself. It helped a lot. I got to know a lot from the explanations of other successful PGs.
June 6th came my second GMAT attempt scored an ok score of 700 this time (QA-50, VA-34) . Decided to try my luck with ISB. Spent a month on writing essays and getting it reviewed by my friends( Pradeep and Spandan). Had hopes on ISB (don't know why but I had a feeling that I would go to study MBA this time my best bet was institutes other then IIMs). But got rejected in ISB just two weeks before CAT 2008. November 16 th came. I was having fever couldn't sleep all night was almost on the verge of skipping cat (I am glad that I didn't ;)).I was alone in the room and was very tired But somehow mustered enough strength to reach the test center. Got my adrenaline going by looking at some pretty faces there . The rest is history. Now I will stop boring you and take you through my strategy which may be of great help to you.
Strategy 1: Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Write different tests and be ready to consider other good universities apart from IIMs. This gives you a fall back option and keeps your mind relaxed and calm. This is needed in CAT
Strategy 2: Write GMAT. The tests help you to manage time. The verbal part is very good you can easily ace cat VA if you prepare for GMAT VA. I was confident in VA because of this (I used to clear cut offs in mocks most of the time in VA while I failed in others don't know my mind may be designed for this kind of VA questions). In actual CAT I was confident of doing well in RC, Sentence correction and critical reasoning kind of questions. I am also a great fan of short stories. May be analysing them helped me
inadvertently in RC. I got 3 out of 4 sentence correction things right and many RC questions.
Strategy 3: Attend Mock cats people. It is the training ground. I did not attend Mocks prior to 2008 with any sincerity and it cost me. I faired poorly in 12 of the 14 mocks that I took in 2008. only in 2 of them I had over 97 percentile rest were pretty bad ranging from 60-90. But never cleared all the cut-offs in any mock (joined time Mock). But mocks are not about scoring they are about experimenting, I experimented different strategies and finally settled on this format. 50 mins for each section. Start with the section in which I was good (VA). 40 mins of quant then 50 mins of DI (because I couldn't fix 50 mins always for DI ,as it is sometimes more n sometimes less time consuming). Then I would come back and finish QA
Strategy 4: Cat is a diligence test more than an intelligence test. You need to work towards it. I realised my forte was not hard work. I usually got serious about cat only in the months of August or september. The questions in basic materials were not Mock cat or CAT worthy. So I decided in solving previous mocks. Wrote in a book all questions that were different, in the sense that these questions required me to know a particulat concept or a formula without which I couldn't solve them. I used to come back home after Mocks and solve questions again ( I usually experimented during mocks so would to solve it again at home). Solving Mocks is fun and more helpful than basic materials. The notes I prepared help me solve 6 -8 CAT quesions in 2008 within a reasonable time. Make your own strategy solve as many mocks as u can.
I solved questions in CAT that were to my strength (not the ones the institutes said easy)
The real cat has many common sense questions. In the last week I solved previous CAT papers and what I found out was I could really solve them. This gave me the confidence. Also compare real cat papers. There is always some similarity when it comes to the kind of answers they pick for questions I identified a lot of them.
Puzzle kind of things were what I liked in DI so I solved those kind og questions I think IMS basic material gives a good explanation in these kind of questions . The basic material on methods to solve puzzles like arranging something matching a profession with a person, city etc is better described there. Also para jumble quesstions are well explained in it.
Now let me tell you what happened after writing CAT. I got the results and came to know I had BLACKI calls. Now I searched through PG threads and made a list of maths and E and C related questions (particulary telecom , my domain) in PG. Also made a list of other why MBA and osuch general questions. Prepared answers for them asked my friends to conduct mock interviews. Attended 2 time mock GD classes. The PG questions were a great help especially I got Maths questions in A that were there in my prepared list . Thanks PGs, without it I wouldn't have made it to IIMs today.
April 10th : By now I was suffering from Insomnia. Had seen the leaked list of IIM B PGP list. My name was not there. I was greatly disappointed as I thought it was one of my better interviews. Didn't sleep all night. Then came L shock (this I considered my best interview) I was rejected there too. Not even waitlisted. Then around 8.30 came C results. Again a reject (expected it was a bad interview). Was totally depressed by now. Came to know around 10 that IIM A results were being announced didn't wanto open it as I feared the worst. Didn't want another reject. But somehow mustered enough courage to open it. To my disbelief I had made it That was it for me. I am still in disbelief. Later came to know I got rejected in K and selected in I from one of friends.To all of you my suggestion is write cat for youself not for your GF or for others but for you yourself. Remeber emotions simply put pressure on you and make you weak. I would like to end it by quoting a dialogue from Shawshank Redemption (something that I always used to keep saying to myslef whenever I needed inspiration)

Hope is a good thing,may be the best of things and no good thing ever dies.
Excuse me for any grammatical error. I am writing this post half asleep
Feel free to PM me.

Interview Exp :
IIM B : http://www.pagalguy.com/forum/cat-and-related-discussion/37585-2009-2011-iimb-gd-pi-8.html#post1486130

IIM L : http://www.pagalguy.com/forum/cat-and-related-discussion/37587-2009-2011-iiml-essay-gd-9.html#post1486134

IIM A : http://www.pagalguy.com/discussions/2009-2011-iima-pgp-essay-pi-experiences-25037584

IIM C : http://www.pagalguy.com/forum/cat-and-related-discussion/37586-2009-2011-iimc-pgdm-gd-9.html#post1486141

IIM K : http://www.pagalguy.com/discussions/2009-2011iimk-gd-pi-experiences-25037408

IIM I : http://www.pagalguy.com/forum/cat-and-related-discussion/37548-2009-2011-iimi-gd-pi-10.html#post1486144

Well, this is my first post on pagalguy. Never thought that I would be writing my first post with such a grim face and a remorse and grief-stricken heart. But then thats life. Not everything comes out the way we want it to... But frnz r frnz, and I dnt have any left as of now. May be only successful people get friends and "losers" are not entitled to any companions, especially in tuf times...

Hope to get sum support from whoever possible, it will be very welcome. Thanks.....

To b continued for a happys endingssss

Don't want to spam but it was necessary. Sorry prem bhai.. Please forgive me.

Sir, I appreciate the courage you have displayed in your post. But, i strongly disagree with the part mentioned above. (Highlighted in bold).

Kindly remember that you, as on 10/04/2009, have 298,273 friends. Friends who don't judge each other by 'wins' or 'losses', who don't get influenced by labels like 'winners' or 'losers'... These are people who might meet each other on the pretext of their goal of an MBA but become friends united by the spirit of this sanctum sanctorum called PG...

Friends who will always be there.. whenever you need them.. whether you are an IIM or not.. Whether you have a GF or not ...

And we people don't share a goal.. we share a journey... A journey through ups and downs.. fun and misery.. anxiety and desperation... converts and rejects

Always remember sir.. you have us PUYS...

God bless our disgruntled and wicked souls...


For people who don't know what or whom i am referring to, click below:


I got a few books and started self study...I must say some of friends were the real motivating factors for me to go ahead and give a good try, one thing was for sure--I had no support from home, they thought I was only wasting money and rather should get married as I was about to turn 24 (which is kind of right for a female acc to them ) .. during all this , my Dad resigned and they shifted to chn.. I tried for a transfer from Pune to chn where i had been working so I cud support my family till my Dad got a new job.. those were testing times for sure when I almost felt like giving up. If dad hadn't got a new job in oct, i dunno wht i wud have done cos it wud have not been right for me to leave my job and take up higher studies then..

Oct-Jan 08-- totally hard pressed for time.. too much of work at home, at office... almost nil time devoted towards studies except the weekly TIME tests..stopped taking IMS tests as the test centre was way too far...the TIME scores plummeted ... cud hardly manage b/w 70-80's.. I still didn't lose all hope.. took a week's leave before CAT and took several mocks.. had invested some time in maths in the early months so on that front situation was not downright bad.. On the D-day , I reached the test centre and took my seat.. I, who was feeling confident till then , broke down in sweat wondering what I wud do if I did not make it this time.. that's it, I was done for.. when the paper was distributed , I knew I had lost the battle even before fighting it.. even Verbal and DI which were my strong points had taken a hiding and refused to help me out when I tried to work them out.. came home and attempted all those Q's which i cud not do sitting in the exam hall..I believe each one of us can attempt those q's , ultimately it is not how hard the Q is, but how hard your brain is prepared to work in those 2 hrs.. result was a meagre-70%'ile..(it is self deprecating to even quote this ridiculous figure on this sacred forum but am only quoting this in the hope that when you read this you will know that this is but a score, and you shouldn't give up just yet!!) , because of my poor preps, I had not applied to any of the colleges under CAT... which I should have done as it simply translates into not believing much in myself.. lose everything, but never self belief!

One week before XAT, and I was working in office for more than 12 hrs each day.... 3rd Jan,Sat-instead of revising my fundas, I was in office mailing the client till night 9 pm.. I rushed to my test centre on Jan 4th , went thru the paper , gave my best shot.. (not literally..there were a no of attempts that I got wrong as i didn't read th options carefully).. and then rushed back to the office again..(what a Sunday!) ..when results came I had 90%'ile, was quite disappointed... I hadn't applied to XL, but had thought I might still be able to make it to XIMB.. but I couldn't complain... I was happy I had turned up at least this much given the circumstances at home and office.., BTW, by this time my parents had already started searching for grooms and I was left with no peace of mind at home... I knew that once I got married an MBA would only be a distant dream...

I got calls from SCIT, Welingkar and XIME... I converted SCIT , so am not going for the WE interview... I have an IT experience of almost 3 yrs so I believe I might as well specialise in this stream, my parents who had been almost against my getting into an MBA this yr are now willing to let me study... :p

I would not have written this post today if not for the great difference PG has made to my life..I feel like I know a lot of people here though I have never personally interacted with them.. It has kept motivating me to get better every time and helped me stay focussed when I was down and ready to give up..I hope that for all of you who have problems and have often thought of giving up, this post shall in some way help to keep fighting till the end for your cause, no matter what...

I have read most of the Posts on this forum, and see people here have a lot to offer in terms of advice that really needs to be followed..so I won't repeat them again..but a few of my learnings which I think may help others:


I had a decent profile throughout.. maintained 80+ record throughout 10th and 12th , and managed to get into an NIT... but was never too ambitious or so I thought...
Dec 05- I was in the final yr of my college when I decided with a few other friends to give CAT 05.. joined IMS for coaching during my project training and decided to give it my best shot.. I knew from the start that I lacked in maths, but I decided to turn a blind eye to it... I trudged on with the coaching and after August started taking mocks...at that time we had just about 8 tests or so... I used to get a city rank of 2/3 , but considering that the city was Jalandhar it hardly used to mean much as the test taking population there might have been very less... my percentiles used to range b/w 75-85 and I was actually not getting anywhere... I got this CTS job offer at the same time, but despite that it didn't do much to ease the pressure.

I thought of CAT as a matter of life and death, and before the D'day didn't sleep at all.. was downright nervous and `unable to think clearly. CAT came and went and it was clearly a disaster..I went home with the belief that I had screwed it up big time,and shed copious tears when I saw my results in jan..I had ended up with a meagre 78%ile . I was ashamed to say the least... XAT was even worse with only 70%ile....
Now that I look back I realize that CAT is such an exam where we sacrifice a lot-our sleep, movies, fun,peace of mind...just to make sure we get that coveted IIM seat, so it tends to rule our mind, becomes our master and we get emotionally involved with something that is just an exam.Another mistake I did was not concentrating on my weak points..ignoring maths only made it worse..

Anyway, coming back to my story, I decided that I really was not interested in an MBA and took up my job with CTS in 2006.. was happy and excited the way people generally are with a new job. In 2007, many of friends who were taking CAT ,coerced me to take CAT again.. I visualized that i didn't have enough conviction or time to prepare as it was already sep..so I just let it go, but bought the XAT form nevertheless... I started preparing for XAT in december , and as a part of prep took NMAT and SNAP exams too.. In xat 2008, I ended up with 83%ile..not much , but still a vast improvement considering the efforts I had put in which were negligible..
Here , the one thing which helped me was my less prep... since I hadn't prepared well, I expected less of myself , and thus was under lesser pressure to deliver..the other thing was PG ..I followed all threads relentlessly, don't know why but something just kept pulling me back to where I thought , I belonged..

Come 2008 may and I decided I wanted to take CAT one last time,I decided that this would be my last try as my parents back home were contemplating my marriage.I had to fight and convince at home that I really wanted to take the exams this season..It was difficult, but I managed.. I decided not to join any coaching as I believed that I could do good on my own if I tried hard.. I joined the TIME test series and IMS series as well.. it was difficult to give both tests the same day,... I usually ended up doing good in the first test i took and fared poorly in the second due to lack on concentration or mental fatigue.
I always heard people saying 'dream comes true' and wondered why it never happened with me.
My CAT story started in 2006. Common frustrations after working for a couple of years in IT industry gave me the first impetus of preparing for CAT. Did not get enough time to prepare but fared decently on the D-day. Just after taking the CAT, I got the coveted onsite opportunity. Thanks to the keys released by the coaching institutes. I was getting 5 in VA so did not bother to stay back and went to the UK. One month later CAT came up with the result and I had 97 percentile in VA. Got call from B and I. After a lot of fight with my PM, I got a leave for 5 days just to attend these two interviews. Unfortunately I flunked on both.
Back to normal life again. This time I was not that averse to my work. Did my work very sincerely for the next one year. Could not get release from my onsite engagement in 2007 as well and finally after another round of fight with my manager, managed to come back home in the mid 2008. As expected my manager paid me back with a poor appraisal.
Started preparing for CAT again. This time much more seriously. Now, I'm not taking CAT just because I don't like my work. The long journey towards CAT has now taught me exactly why I want to do an MBA from a premier institute. Now, I also have the confidence and I know I can achieve what I want. So, any new onsite opportunity or a better job offer will not be able to lure me. I know that because of this, I've come back early from onsite, I've got a poor rating and more importantly I did not get the growth in my job which I would have got otherwise. All these sacrifices have to be worth now.
Prepared for CAT really well this time. Finally the D-Day comes. Again coaching institutes are showing a poor score in VA. But this time I know how to ignore them and concentrate for the next exams. CAT result came up with a 99.53 percentile and 4 IIM calls for me. The rest of the path was comparatively easy. I had my longest interview in IIMB. The panelists asked me almost all kind of possible questions. I had a good feeling after the interview and have been waiting eagerly for the verdict. Finally, IIMB came out with the list today with my name in it.
Now I know that dream just does not come true for nothing. I now truly believe what Paulo Coelho said. 'If you desperately want something, the whole world conspires in helping you achieve it'. Dream comes true only when we really want to make it true and give our best effort for it.
Now that I couldn't get through" L"..One obvious question woud be..Iam I joining XL or not..
My answer is a big "NO"I cant risk my life for a 1 year program
What's my next plan of action: Now my focus will be to ensure my Students at Spurti getting into an IIM this year

What did I do for the preparation?
If some one has to ask me, what was the difference between the yester years & now, I would say, I had a controlled emotion this year, I started believing that CAT is just an exam, I started treating Mocks seriously (only in terms of the learnings- After every Mock, I used to store the mistakes, learnings, good things etc in an XL sheet), I started enjoying Life & I took the exam with the minimal possible emotions..Rather I have understood the art of cracking CAT..
So no hardwork only smart work
Having read this story, now you know what it takes to hold nerves..
Today I agree completely with HARSHAROCKS that CAT is not an emotion , its an examLet it be that way, that's when you wont feel bad when you loose
Dreaming about doing an MBA is always good, but don't make dreams your master
In this journey I have learnt so many things, which I have been sharing with all of you whenever possible. Will keep doing that but without an MBA J
In this time, I want to thank couple of people here
Bengali Bhondhus
I always share a good rapport with Bhabhumoshais...My best in college was a Bong bhai..CAT 2007 gave me Anirban Das & 2008 gave me 2 Bong friends..
Soham:My driving force this year has been Soham & Soham only....Every moment he keeps saying "Bhai CAL aajavo"......Every day keeps calling me to check, whether I have read my Newspaper or not....
Sinchan (rik_12): This guy has been my Guru at times..Happy that he is joining JOKA
Kamalaandi: Cribbing but a nice soul.Joining JOKA again
Live2Die: My Interviewer J..Joining JOKA again
Amrutesh666: My Financier, who sponsored for my CAT form..Joining JOKA again
Karanmaroo: Marooo, whenever you say "Prem Bhai"..I feel so good
Greenspan:Mera Bhai, Hum dononko Naukri jaada fit hotha hae J
People from IIML
People from IIMB
All these guys have played a Major role in my Life as such (sorry If I have missed out some names)..
Now you know IIM is a means and not the end..CAT is a beautiful journey..agonising though, but worth traversing..So if you feel you can, keep trying..Nothing will stop you..
May GOD bless you all & give the Patience, enery, emotions, strength, aptitude and attitude to get through your dream institute, one day or the other in Life..
All the Best Guys
Success retained me as a boy, but failure(s) made me a man IIM Calcutta - Class of 2012
NOVEMBER 16: My Birthday/ CAT.
Reached the Centre just on time due to traffic Jam. Sat in my seat, was allocated with the first seat in the hall. So no diversions. Till the last minute tried recollecting, what my mentors have told me throughout the yearThe Five Rules:
1.Its just an exam ie AIMCAT 900
2.Dont look at the fielders , look at the gaps
3.Strick to basics ie 45-45-45, 15 minutes buffer
4.try attempting more if the paper is easy else if its tough go for accuracy
5. Try solving questions individually without emotions.
I just recollected this 1 minute before the paper was handed over.
10:15: Paper was givenChange in pattern, with which my point no 3 had to be tweaked..
Decided to start with QA (40 Mins), followed by DI (40 Mins) , Verbal (55 Mins) & 15 Mins buffer.
Started the exam.
QA: wasn't appearing easy, hence it has to be a low attempt-high accuracy game..40 Mins over & I had shaded 9 ovalsFor a minute tension started creeping..Tried remembering point 4 & 5 of my rule book..decided to move on to DI..
DI: Set 1 - cannot touch, Set 2- Don't even look, Set 3 - What was that..15 mins over , 0 ovals shaded. Surprising wasn't tensed..Moved to LR 11 attempts 15 minutes..then tried Set 3 of DI..40 minutes up with 14 attempts.
VA- what was that Crap. 40 questions should have been like CAT 02-03.But it was more like CAT 06/07 with more questions. VA took 25 minutes with 13 attempts & RC took 35 minutes with 13 attempts.
1 hour over with 26 attempts..
Last 10 minutes: was sure about where to go..Obviously QA..2 more questions & time up was the call
Came out with a neutral feel..Knew that Paper wasn't that great but wasn't that bad as well
QA-11 attempts
DI-14 attempts
VA-26 attempts
Total-51 attempts
Everybody said QA was easy & DI was tough..I had a neutral feel..Went for the PG meet to celebrate my Birthday .
Nov ember 17: 3*5*5*5= 500 L
Couple of mistakes like the one above had made my QA to be in the border & it turned out as if it is going to be the decider
DI was safe with a score of 51 & VA was dangling between 44-59..
Next 15 days there were lots of predictions & every institute assured atleast one call with my score
Was in touch with every other fellow competitor whom I know & my buddies in IIMs..Everyone felt that Iam safe.
So the next phase started with the expected frustration
Meanwhile the tought of opening a coaching class for the special kids started eating my head & I finally jorted down a plan to roll it(With the help of PG/Career Launcher)
December 23, 2008: Passion Vs Reality
The question ie what if I get or convert only calls from L or I or K started eating my head..More than IK (which I might reject), the question about L becoming extremely confusing. Infact had a lengthy talk with many who are in the IIMs..Whenever I spoke about this, I also remembered that my Passion can turn the table completely down inspite of people saying not to Join
Januar y 8, 2009: Nervous Minutes
By 3 PM, Shabad pinged me saying that the link published in PG is the actual one & he has got CLIK..
Now, now I was really nervous..Mind kept on praying..GOD, don't force me into a situation which will confuse me yet again & was praying hard that I should see C, when I get my results
Wanted to check the results of my friends so that I can see where Iam going to land??
Gave one registration No after the other to Shabad
Rik_12: Lone C
Kamalaandi: BLACKI
Yogsconnect: LI
By now I started feeling that Shabad is the angel in disguise as whosever results he is checking, they have callsGave my number now & was waiting (literally tensed ) with phone in one hand & cigarette on the other..After few seconds Shabad said "Bhai, L sae call hai".I said thank u & it took 10 minutes & 2 more cigarettes to accept the reality..For a minute I thought, look at this, I could predict my result almost 15-20 days back & GOD has given me to analyse it & get mentally prepared rather than me getting shocked at the result
As I said my passion helped me to decide what should be done..Whatelse, convert it & Join J

January 9, 2009: Hard Facts - Sad Memories for a Life time
In 1995, when I missed my MBBS seat by 3 marks or 0.3 %ile..It hurt & its hurting even today..
But today I got a new episode to erase the old one
Came to know that through Live2Die I missed out my dream institute this year, IIMC by 1 mark & that too in QA
Also it was a shocker when I learnt that I have cleared all the cutoffs given by IIMK & had a good workex too..Still no call
January 12, 2009: It tooks 3 days to come to terms with the reality that yet again I have got a lone call..But this year the resolution was to convert it..I was all set to gooooo
Joined TIME as well as CL and was very irregular in the beginning..Reason: Lots my Students got > 4 calls.I was feeling bad & the memories of loosing C by 1 mark started hitting me hard. That's when Soham said "Be proud bhai. It proves that you are a good teacher". The actual realization came, only after the CL boot camp, when I realized, where & what Iam lacking from converting a call..
February 1 -10: Yet again I went to US and from there to Mexico. Zero preps during this period & was enjoying every single minute.
Jan 17: SPURTI takes her first step..
Finally I decided to go ahead with opening an institute to help the people who with little support can Crack CAT. This institute is for people who have disabilities & economically weak. This was the happiest day in my life as I started it after a lot of struggle (see the link attached in my signature to know the details)

March2: XLRI PI.
I would say that it is one of my best interviews...
Meanwhile I started focusing more & more on work as well & every week I was travelling for atleast 2 days (Out of Bangalore)
March 12-25
Four rounds of Mock Interviews with Live2Die..
PI 1: 1.5 hours, result- zero in current affairs, stammering when cornered..Got 5.5/10 from Live2Die
PI 2: 1.5 hours, ok current affairs, fine tune why MBA..Got 6.5/10 from Live2Die
PI3: 1.5 hours, Good Current affairs & Voice Modulation..Got 7.5/10 from Live2Die
PI4: 1.5 hours, Excellent PI-ready for the Interview..Got 9.5 from Live2Die
Infact I became so good at current affairs that I went about telling this which L2D, Sinchan didn't know
March 25: IIML PI & XL results
The greatest MBA Interview..Everything went wellPI was solid
XL results out : I converted my firstever MBA call - GMP programme..
March25-April 9: I wasn't nervous this time around, I was enjoying everyday
April 9: Journey ends with a Shocker..
Around 1.30 got to know from L2D that L results are out & he also checked my results and said "Sorry Bhai"
Success retained me as a boy, but failure(s) made me a man IIM Calcutta - Class of 2012

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