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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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This Post is not to gain any sympathy J.The Incidences mentioned here were all written on the same dates on which they happened..
This post is all about some facts which many of us would have faced. This is just a post for people who want to say Let me give up. Things around me are bad. I cannot focus on one more struggle called CAT. This CAT has ruined my Life badly.
Some of us might also think, why this guy is writing all personal stuff here. Believe me, this is just to let some of our friends help themselves with handling all other issues in life along with CAT.
Well, there was a movie which got released in 2000, the theme of the movie is that, the hero tries to become a music director & till the climax he keeps trying...
One classic dialogue, which I liked in that movie is as follows:-
Heroine's Dad: Mr.Hero, Decide between my daughter & your Music Director dream..
Hero: When somebody offers a toffee, a kid will go to him/her, but 2 minutes later, the kid will search for its mom & starts crying if the other person stops...
Where am I directing you now using the above dialogue....You will understand by the end of this post...
XLRI chucked me without offering me a seat, 10 minutes I was speechless as my arrogance of a sure shot convert was thrashed...But there was this usual stupid feel, CAT 2008.....here I come...
But what the heck...How many more years..No No No..No more CAT...This is the end of the so called emotion, dream, exam called CAT...
5th April:The day we had the south India PG meet..After couple of drinks, Soham, Hameed & Raghu (Obsessed about MBA), took me aside & started asking "Why not CAT again?".I was thoroughly confused, I kept on saying " no no..Not anymore ...Soham didnt leave me, till evening he was talking only about this..I drove back with a heavy heart...Heart saying Yes for CAT & mind saying "No"
May 1 2008:CAT final results were out and I was in Mumbai, when the results were declared, Soham was desperate reaching me....SMS, SMS , SMS.."Bhai kahaan ho, mera C convert hogaya..hurray"..This is what it read, as soon as I switched on my phone after the flight landed at the Mumbai Airport..Second SMS from Mac..C converted..Immediately called up everyone, I could feel their happiness actually getting transferred to my heart.
By end of the day, I was happy to know that my best buddies have converted one call or the other IIM calls they had,
Soham: CLIK
Nithin: K
JustLikethat (Manish): BLIK
Eshnil: L
Viggy123: LIK
most importantly
Harshad: LIK...
I was very very happy, at the same time there was this uneasy feeling of me loosing out & it started spreading inside my mind & heart..Yet again, heart started saying "CAT, CAT,CAT"...Couldnt decide, kept quite....
End of May 2008: This is the same time I was working on the Laptop deal for the fresh batch, so I had to meet the IIM student council guys repeatedly & most of the times at IIMB..This time mind along with heart started saying CAT CAT CAT...Every now & then this feel started eating me & every phone call from my friend updating me about their admission status, fee payment, laptop, train reservation etc etc..started dragging me towards CAT ......
Soham on the day he reached Calcutta, called me to say how he was feeling travelling towards IIMC (Anir too was with him"..For whatever he said, I replied "I can understand that", but out of the blue one line came out of my mouth.."Will I ever get this feel, Soham"..Soham caught this line & said " Bhai, Between Will I ? & I will its just one shuffling which is needed & its in the faith you carry..You are giving CAT"...
I was 100% convinced..I DECIDED TO Go on..
Now, I didnt want to reveal it to any one,...One clear thing, I understood was more than Hardwork CAT requires luck, more than an exam CAT has become an unpredictable game & so on..So I really didnt had enough reasons to give CAT except but the fact that it is an unfullfilled dream...
But eventually told about my decision to my best buddies...From there the Journey started...
Joined the mock series (TIME) along with amrutesh..
Mock History so far;
916-75 :-(
August 10, 2008:
This was the most crucial day, when I went about screwing a Mock very badly...Concentration went for a toss, Time management went for a toss..Did every possible thing to screw this Mock.
I was humiliated, when I came to know that my students have beaten me comfortably by miles.
I was hurt to say the least.Soham called me & enquired about the mock..After listening to the comedy, he started laughing sarcasstically..Sinchan was screaming..
August 11, 2008:
Got up with a fresh mind. Decided to go the 2006 way..Preparing hard..
Sat down & jorted a plan...
Percentiles were out & it hit the lowest of this season
912: 69%ile
Had a decent Mocks from here on with scores moving out of the MAC graph
911: 93.5%ile
910: 96.5%ile
September 9, 2008: Dad's Birthday & my Death Day...
I was very happy on September 9th morning, It was my Dad's Birthday. The person whom I admire the most in the world. The happiness just existed for a while, before I reached the office. The moment I stepped in my TL called me & said, " lets sit down for a meeting". It was pretty unusual for me because, every half an hour I keep updating him about the developments though in an informal way. My mind started hinting that something is horribly wrong.
We sat for the so called meeting at 7.30 PM..
My TL started asking for the performance report & then he started the long speech which shook the earth below me..
"Well Prem, Report is OK, but we feel that you lack the passion in life. We are actually surprised, how come a person with your experience can lack the Multitasking Capabilities. You dont fit into this transaction business rather you might shine in the presales role/ Software Sales role. You are a Cultural Mismatch"
I asked directly, "Is there something, you wanted to communicate, if so, say it straight"
My TL replied with a stiff voice, "Look out for a Job & do let me know, if you need any help in that"
I dont know what was passing through my heart, was it the uncertainity about the future or the humiliation, I didnt know..
With a feel of a death blow I said, " Shall we end the meeting?"
That night, I was totally drunk..I called up Greenspan at 12.00 which was very unusual. He said " haan bhai, bhol, kya hua?" I said "Dont talk, I wanna cry'..I didnt allowed him to talk & I kept on crying .After 1o minutes , I told him what has happened..He tried consoling me, but I was beyond the stage of getting consoled..Yet again, the feel about Life going to be screwed started haunting me..
September 10, 2008: Boss says "Bye Bye"
I couldnt believe what I heard was true. I wanted to speak to my Boss on this & my Boss too parroted the samething..He started talking to me as if it was my last working day, wishing me all the best for my next job.
I didnt had an option except but saying "Thank You Sir'.
Politics has did what could do to me. My TL was due for a promotion & my TL wanted me to learn all the skills (in 7 months) which he had learnt in the past 7 years of his stay. When I couldnt do so, they wanted to look at somebody else and oust me out though I had acheived 97% of my target in 4 months & with balance 3% in 2 months to go...
908: 80.78%ile..
Success retained me as a boy, but failure(s) made me a man IIM Calcutta - Class of 2012

Its "success" (maybe after meticulous preparation or rise from ashes type) which has been the theme of inspirational stories
all thorugh this "sacred thread".I feel my failure (although on this day , I am yet to have confirmed any admission offer -
with final results to be declared although I am almost sure of making through the waitlists (thanks again to the domicile
quota for Orissa candidates in XIMB) can be even more inspiring about what all can go wrong - to the point of frustration and
even desperation.
I know this is "save it for blog" stuff - but PG - rather this "holy thread"...i simply could not stop myself :D...here it

Story before -

Decent enough grades till graduation (84.4% in CBSE Xth, 80.2% in 10+2), and joined Mechanical Engg in the "elite" "pedigree"
"Oldest Engineering College" of Orissa - UCE, Burla (inception year 1956) , I thought it was quite an achievement. Although
I joined Mechanical stream(year 2002), still the appeal of "MIT phenomena" (Male - IT engineer - this was and even today is
predominant phenomenon in Orissa prompted me to be sincere enough to keep my "MIT" option open by changing my branch to
either Electrical or Electronics. I did that with my scores in 1st & 2nd sems (again achievement no.2 - actually those who
had changed our streams on the basis of sem scores had a sort of 'rockstar' aura around them - and I was no exception, I
clung to that feeling). Planned for GATE exams , thought it would be a cakewalk.When 3rd sem i realised how much depth i had
about my courses. I didnt ever cross the 70% mark barrier after 3rd sem till 8th (consistently scoring in 63-68% range
whatever be my approach).These semester results provoked me to rethink about GATE plans, by 5th sem I had shunned the GATE
idea completly...so what to do now then (i didnt knew since when, but that had been a subconscious urge in me that atleast I
will definitely have a Master's degree, maybe family was the main motivator here, but it had been assumed and inherent all

Prep Stage -

Started off with CAT preparations by end of 4th semester, purchased those Abhijit Guha, Arun Sharma, M K Pandey (Banking
Reasoning book) and subscribed to B&M; chronicle . Looks picture perfect. Now comes the loopholes - it was full time
residential college, so hostel life is pretty cluttered (although the best enriching phase of anyone's career - same for me
too). Make a routine, follow it for a day and flunk it the very next. Smoke and booze sessions fill up most of the timetables
- bunking course classes, messing up assignments, additional memory devices - everything that can be expected from hosteliers
(many puys would concur with me on this).
But whatever be the 'masti' factor, I was determined to bell the CAT - atleast more determined than many of my batchmates
with whom I shared those booze and smoke sessions. Scattered look at those chapters of the books (it was sort of a 'nobel
prize' to solve couple of LOD 3 problems chosen by someone else after a booze/smoke session) , casual reading of magazines,
even at times I was addicted to novels (thinking it would improve my RC skills), thought freecell & solitaire to be better at
improving reasoning skills than any book - I had my own way of preparing - nothing systematic - no regularity - but I was to
'bell the CAT'.Seniors making through the IIMs were 'demigods' to me. I simply dreamt about myself in the same status
(sometimes these were day dreams, sometimes hallucinations under 'smoky' influence).
By start of 2005, I was almost done with my prep books (I thought it so). Purchased some old second hand TIME & IMS materials
by Jan- Feb and showed the same sincerity level with my huge collection of materials (I was proud that I had the whole prep
material at my disposal - and this was enough to push me into the IIMs - forgetting completely how messy was my sincerity
with all those prep books).July- Aug 2005 CAT notifications out - bells started ringing - now I carried these TIME/IMS stuff
to classroom and started rather showed off solving them there - escaping our prof's eyes. Naturally I shouldnt be hoping my
sem scores to improve, rather thought CAT to compensate all my disgrace.


Here I missed another interesting mis-preparation aspect - TIME people were conducting Mock tests in college classrooms, I
made it a point not to attend them ever (I did save some 3000 bucks - but I was of the belief that I can score more than
anyone else who appeared for those Mocks) - this I would now say was my biggest mistake rather cardinal sin - but then I used
to think this as my "confidence".
Nov - CAT 2005 - around 60 attempts - I didnt know then there was something like section cut offs - overall cutoffs -
nothing. I had been preparing my own CAT. When I came out one of my friends Somesh (he was another CAT..err MBA fanatic - he
was determined ,of course not my type determination but in real sense, to join a b-school in 2006) talked to me about the
sectional attempts, what could be the possible cut -offs - it was like I was listening to 'rocket science stuff in Chinese'.
Further prodding revealed the facts about sectional /overall cutoffs.Then I realised the importance of prospectus' details.
Still I had fared well enough by my standards. Although didnt expect any IIM calls still expected it to be around 96-97 odd.
I had applied to MDI, NITIE, IMT & SPJIMR by then (next best insti to IIMs). CAT result out - final score 95.36 % - pathetic
in VA section though(something around 40s-50s). QA & DI were decent (around 95 in each section). I thought I scored in my
strength Quant Section (this was actually a self created demon which would destroy me later).
I got GD/PI calls from IMT, but could just crawl through - confirmed HR.But I had a strong bias against HRs (maybe repeated
rejection in campus selection interviews ignited this bias) - whatever be the reason I didnt join IMT- HR.

"Catch up period"

April-May 2006 - My engineering honeymoon period was over (mandatory 4 years with no back papers - thanks to my booze/smoke
sessions that destroyed all my sincerity with studies - helped India increase its unemployed 'qualified' youth poulation) -
but I knew that I had to crack CAT - maybe the magical thought itself kept the hopes alive in me. Till June 2006 - I thought
to stay back at home, prepare hard for a year and get through the ivy league insti. but then who would accept a engineer who
had been doing nothing for a year but just preparing for stuff that he had learnt during school days - but those answers i
would seek once i get the GD/PI calls - i thought so then. I was into serious preparation - May - June 2006 - joined coaching
institute at Bhubaneswar itself, got myself completely into CAT prep mode - then I realised what all I had goofed in those
prep books that I thought I had completed earlier. I hadnt even had a complete look of all varieties that a lesson posed.
Anyway better late than never I thought. By June end 2006 I was done with all those prep books purchased two years earlier
(this time i had a real feel of the lessons). But now what? The coaching inst materials neednt be read all day - I realised I
was wasting my time - literally wastage of time devoting whole day for CAT.
July 2006 - I moved out to Bangalore - to atleast try for job, i neednt make any excuses atleast in PI stage.CAT 2006 being
the target - again joined full time classroom course with TIME (not sure what affinity with TIME folks) in Bangalore and
started applying for Job interviews.By september I was through - got a job in an Indian IT company "Wipro Technologies"- my
plan of MIT was successful now - but there was a catch - my joining date got delayed by 3 months - December mid . CAT 2006 in
Nov. With having secured something - I went back to my messy ways - same hanging around, boozing, missing the TIME coaching
classes (but religiously collecting TIME materials on schedule).
Expectedly CAT 2006 - pathetic 78.XX percentile - but atleast something paid off this time - XAT 2007 - made it through for
XIMB (Orissa domicile after all) & GIM...could convert none of them. But thought that picture isnt as bad - I still have a
job , can try it once more

"CAT 2007"

Did quite well enough in job - couple of awards, customer appreciations - onsite assignment - it was all happening for me.
"But I had to crack CAT" - only Mock Tests - AIMCATs (same TIME folks - they have earned quite few bucks from my failures).
Same project pressure, meetings, code issues, incident /problem tickets (run-of-the-mill excuses , I never fell short of
them) - in spite of these excuses - MOCK TESTS. Regular in attending AIMCATs (used to score around 90-95 range whichever
tactic I tried) - but "consistently fickle" in analysing the Mocks. I never used to give a second look at the mock tests
after those 2.5 hrs. But it was sort of a 'ego' issue now - "I had to make into the ivy league inst.".
CAT 2007 was bound to be no different with such messy effort, in fact left for the onsite assignment on C-Day itself (Nov
18. Excitement of first overseas trip, 3rd shot at CAT - all happening on the same day. I thought I did well enough - even
had no ime to discuss the paper with friends - finally by the time I was back after 2.5 mnths CAT was out - I had no idea
till then about my expected percentile range - absolute blank. Hadnt applied anywhere else - only IIMs. Results finally out -
94.36 percentile.
Thought that "providence has something huge in store for me" - I am meant for IIMs - maybe next time - even I have a couple
of colourful feathers of Onsite work-experience up my sleeves, should be a cakewalk if I give another sigh at CAT 2008

"CAT 2008"

From Feb I had made up my mind, that this year (for 2009-2011) I "will" make it through. But same story again - AIMCATS with
TIME . 5 days of work 9 AM to 8 PM at office, 8:30 PM to 11 PM TV,complete sleep, friday night
booze, saturday - magazine, movies (or occasional look at lessons/formulae - whatever came in my grip) - this was in brief
summary of the routine I had been following.
But "I will crack CAT" - whatever be my activities, I will make it big on C-Day , I will perform couple of notches better
than I do with Mock tests.
All through the Mock Tests and even in the exam hall, I always start off with QA (i feel its a disgrace as engineer to have
something else as strength section) - but due to the same "mental block" I fare pretty awful in QA section, while perform
exceptionally well in VA section (be it CAT, XAT - all through I have never scored less than 90 percentile in any VA section
in CAT or XAT - prompting me to believe that first attempt CAT 2005 VA score maybe was an aberration) . Now not that VA is my strength, even till date I think QA is my strength - but performance shows something
else. There has been simply no resurrection till date - I consistently repeat same mistakes each time, I appear each exam
with the same bias/prejudice.
Finally Nov 16 2008, my performance was no different from the mocks - but with the "mock effort" i wasnt cracking CAT, I
tried something different "guesswork". I attempted 5 VA questions with "blind guesses" - 'RAM, LAKHAN, SITA type' - all 5 of
them were wrong. Checked performance with few tutorials' , I was getting in the range of same 90-95 percentiles "wondered the
story might have been bit brighter, had I not tried "something different""...but I was strong willed - its enough now,
whichever inst i get through, I am definitely going for it this time. Enough is enough. This was my fourth attempt, I was
getting impatient at the same CAT stuff (well words arent enough to describe impatience - many puys would have gone hrough
the same themselves)
Applied for a couple of inst in the 90-95 percentile range (final score CAT 2008 93.66 percentile). Screwed up IIFT big time,
thought JMET went well enough (until results said I had not qualified), thanks to Orissa domicile quota in XIMB - XAT score
of 91.66 percentile also gave me a GD/PI call.
Finally gd/pi calls from IMT (nagpur), TAPMI, MICA, SIMSR and XIMB - nothing spectacular performance in any of them - but
neither bad ones.
Now confirmed with IMT (N), Waitlisted with XIMB , rest results awaited.
Almost confident of getting through XIMB, i value this much much more- it means a lot to me. I couldnot correct my
flaws/habits - inspite of which I made it through, i certainly feel I have acheived something "finally got rid of this CAT
stuff" - my routines are my own "no more section bias, no further mocks" - its all over this time - finally.

Guys after so much of "pakaoing" strict no-no 'learning from my failures' , all this shouldnt be done ever -

1)Never mess up your schedules - fun is part of life - not the complete picture - right word would be "DISCIPLINE"
2)Too much preparatory material isnt an asset - rather practising whatever one has is the most important
3)Never take the Mocks lightly - these are actual confidence builders, and its where the real preparation bears fruit
(atleast it gives one a chance to 'fail' - which the real CAT doesnt)
4)Regarding CAT sections, never have any prejudice/bias for any section - all sections can be equally rewarding, equally easy
- never does one get kudos for proving one to be strong - its bottomline "CAT score" which matters
5)Never flunk your priorities - setting and identification of priorities is the foremost aspect
6)Its never late, impatience isnt going to help - work out what you want, rather than compromising what you get
7)Finally never never never evr make any wild guesses , calculated guesses after elimination of options is fine (but that
wont work with CAT now coming with 5 options per Q).

Enough of "bakar" now PUYs...do PM me your comments/groans whatever you feel...


Post deleted

  • 1 Like  
That was a terrific post Chandoo.....
But..er........that raises the BIGGEST question!
Is it really necessary to prepare for CAT?
Am no kidding here guys.......
Its been my belief that CAT is just an aptitude test and it requires no preparation!

All CAT does is test your 'basic' language and analytical skills.A majority of us would be able to answer most of the questions if given infinite time.So CAT just puts one under 'pressure' because you have 150 questions to answer in 120 mins.In a way,CAT just simulates the working condition one might face when he/she becomes a manager.So CAT does nothing but assess an individual's potential to work as a manager!So why prepare for it?

Again,look what happens when you prepare....(There are people who prepare for 2 years or even more!Please!Am not trying to demean their efforts in anyway!).......When you prepare for an aptitude test like CAT,you are continuously pushing youself to become something that you are actually not. You might even crack CAT.......but believe me!its not the 'real you' who has cracked it......you may not be able to reproduce such a result at all times!For those 2 hours you had 2 years of preparation.......you WILL NOT have 2 years to prepare for every two hours in your work as a manager!Preparation can only create a pseudo-aptitude to crack CAT on that day.....nothing more!It infact spoils the chance to assess ones 'real' aptitude!


Btw,..... I got calls from ACLIK.........n i did not prepare for CAT.Absolutely nothing more than the 2 hours i spent taking the test.

Well!I would love to read the responses!


i agree.. just quoting this post, bcos this has some truth it...

DONT prepare might be a misleading advice.. but i feel that if our basics in maths and english are good, then we need not prepare to crack the CAT ...

IIMs are conducting CAT to pick those candidates with good aptitude and emotional quotient.. only if our preparation helps us to improve our aptitude and thinking ability, it will help..

i see a lot of ppl just putting loads of hours in solving Qs .. they say they want to increase their speed or accuracy.. i think thats immaterial.. what matters is the improvement in their thought process.. inspite of so much preparation, whats the use in getting damn tensed during the exam?? cant those nerds PREPARE TO STAY COOL AND CALM?? being too serious abt "preparing" for cat, only leads to disasters in most cases.. IMHO, our basic ability and character influences our CAT scores more than the "preparation" for it..

Hello ppl..
Not sure how much of this post will help people but I wanted to put forward my view so be it :D
My Journey towards an MBA degree began with CAT 2006 and ended with CAT 2008. No i wasnt successful in securing an IIM seat and yes I did get into a tier 2 B School (as they call it). Yes I am NOT going to NMIMS Mumbai which conducts an exam which can be called a light hearted imitation of a math textbook and wren n martin put together ...(it really is puys so dont laugh) . And yes after having got 97.56 % in CAT 2008 and converted IMT G and IMI D i am taking up IMT G and not NMIMS...

But there my friend...the story ends. And here's where my 'All i wanted to say about CAT' begins..
As a person who is now out of the race, I can tell u quite accurately tell u what happened and how i did it. Lets begin objectively.

What i Did :
- I studied too much. I mean I had office for about 10 hrs everyday and den i used to come home and hit the material for 4 - 5 hrs. ALso, during the busrides to and fro, I used to solve papers. This went on pretty much for 4 months.
- I started expecting too much. Some of this prep paid off in the mocks and I started getting 98 above regularly. Quant i used to ace along with DI. VA wud be variable. On an average 85% above wud be my VA %ile.
- I started getting tense. WIth Great Expectations came tension. Killer in this situation.
- I wanted to finish too much too fast. I had finished 90% of the TIME material (except the test papers at the last). And i kept on goin till september. Fallacy - Revision and coolin of nerves not done :(

Result - DI screwed in CAT. 73.4x %. No IIM, MDI, NITIE SPJAIN etc etc etc....
Well, this is where i guess i start the real part of this so called essay.

Puys - remember 1 thing very carefully. A school doesnt make u or break u. Yes it does give u an 'initial' edge over others by the brand image, but then that is all. Having been in the industry for measly 18 months but having interacted with ppl from IIM C grad working in Hong Kong, IIMA grad workin in Mumbai, NM grad workin in Mumbai, IMT senior frm my college (NIT Allahabad btw) I reached a conclusion - derived from all what they said. At the end of the day, all that matters is whether ur able to deliver the goods. If ur a Product manager, r u able to meet the demands of the customer frm the product and incorporate it in the product for better sales ? If a financial manager, r u able to crunch those numbers and come up with good assesments of investment opportunities for ur clients (just one of the thousand jobs)..
the answer to these questions is of paramount importance. the brand, image and all that, cease to exist.
Cuz, just think about it - the books r the same, the content the same, the principles taught the same, the problems t solve in the industry - same.....
Hence the only thing that matters is how well u grasp the situation and act accordingly - how well u manage. And believe me puys, at this age (average age of 23 of all MBA aspiants and 1st yrs) its pretty difficult to un learn and relearn anything. By this age, ur thinking process and analytical thnking and reasoning have matured. U r what u r mentall by 23 or 24. SO from now its WHO U R that matters.....the MOST.

yes it does matter where ur from...cuz lets face it. If half of indian industry is from IIT/IIM or both then they wud certainly go for their juniors - cuz they knw that if they were gud their juniors wud be good too...
But then, that is where it ends. After that, after the 'creamy layer' has been recruited and the 'tier 2' ones r recruited too, there begins that fight - for which ONE HAS TO BE PREPARED. this test is even more difficult than any exam (CAT is like child'splay if u think of it). Cuz in this test, u r tested on ur ability to slog ur ass off, ability to think and analyze, and ability to present and communicate - OVER A PERIOD OF TIME.

This is what we shud be prepared for. the exams ? naaaaah. they come n go....like the rain every year.
But eventual success - that eventual seat as the CEO, MD, Chairman. - that wud remain longer.....the memory wud last longer....the sweet taste of success wud last longer....

Here's wishing that all PUYS reading this and the ones not reading this turn out to be the next bright face of the Indian Industry.
All the best !!!
U better be good.....cuz am competing

The theory of asymmetric information in economics hinges on the fact that economic transactions are often carried out between parties where one party is better informed than the other.

A person applying for a job knows exactly what his capabilities are and how intelligent he is but in order to make sure that his employer has the same information as he does he has to provide a credible signal of his intelligence, dedication and perseverance. The ability to sit through three years of lectures embodied in a degree is a signal of endurance even if it doesnt actually increase your productivity or intelligence it signals to a company that you have the ability to work hard.

Only those who find it easiest to give up an extra hour of TV and devote their time to their books get the higher grades and hence convey to the interviewer their ability of working hard.

The best known signal in todays day and age is an MBA. To obtain this stamp of an MBA one has to take the CAT. This is where my question lies: is it necessary that those who find it easiest to tick the right answers in CAT are those who should be recruited by firms as they are good managers?

My story is not one of hard work but one of luck. CAT was a rather easy deal for me given that I have an engineer from IIT for a father (and thus maths flows through my blood) and a gold medalist in English for a mother (VA came naturally too).This does not mean that I did not need to work at all for CAT- I worked and I worked hard its just that it was easier for me.

So, this brings me to a question I was asked in a mock interview: You were well prepared for CAT but are you well prepared for an MBA? The answer is I really dont know.

Which brings me to the other aspects of luck which have helped me get this far:
  1. A nice addition of 5 marks to my DI score from God only knows where..attempted 9 questions with one mistake for sure and got 36 marks-just enough for an A call.
  2. A man who was sitting next to me on the metro while I was solving a geometry question who snatched the paper from me coz he was frustrated that I was not being able to crack the question he solved the question explained it to me and got off at the next stop-without me being able to say thank you. The important point here is that something conceptually very similar appeared in the actual CAT paper.
  3. A lady I met on the bus who looking at the CAT material in my hand started asking about the exam, my college, etc. and finally ended up telling me that her son went to IIM-A, was from the same college as me and that IIM-A was the best place ever. Her exact words were beta wahaan jaa kar life ban jaati hai.This did not help me per se but it sure was a sign.
  4. The fact that the IIM-A crieteria changed to incorporate school marks-would have never made it had his not happened.
The point I am trying to make here is that I was plain lucky and that I am well aware that in exchange for this happiness I will have to pay a price later on in life.

Even after I gave it my best shot, some amount of tweaking up there has definitely helped. For those of you who have been hurt by similar tweaking I want to say that some other tweaking some other day will definitely work in your favour.

Coming back to what I started with, I have seen a large number of people on this site and this thread treating CAT as an end in itself. My perspective differs greatly from most of you (perhaps because I am too young) and for me CAT is just one stepping stone. If I fumble on this route I am sure there is another route to get to the same place though that route may be tougher and more painful but it exists.

My luck may wear out now and I may not get through A but the journey has been an interesting one. To those who make it : remember that on some other day you may not have and to those who dont : on some other day you may have got through. J
Well Abhisekh,
For people who think & feel that its easy to advice than to follow, read my earlier posts in the same thread & wait for my this year's all I want to speak about CAT post to understand
Believe me, you haven't lost anything till you are alive.

Hi Prem bhai thanks for such a wonderful and inspiring reply.
i am also undergoing the same situation as abhishek.....i am sick of my job want to get out of it.. i screwed the calls which i had got this year..and also the girl i like is leaving the company as she got admit in FMS...I was really depressed..but my friends helped me come to terms....... but i believe that i have what it takes to be a BLACKI and have decided to give CAT another shot... Next year i will surely write my success story on this thread.

p.s Sorry i may have violated the rules by posting here .But just wanted to share some of my feelings.
I had always dream to convert a biggy and post here...the sacred thread....but here is a total failure story of an idiot...why I'm posting here then? to motivate myself to go for one more try...to recollect myself and give my 100% one more time...
So here it goes:
now here I sit infront of you...waiting for IIT-B...I have given so many sleepless nights to my family...to all my friends....am jobless...don't know if I should go for it 1 more time? start hunting for job that seems to be a painful process? What if IIT-B accepts? It's no doubt a great b-school...But should i give 1 more shot? What if IIT-B rejects? What will I say to my girl's parents who are ringing her everyday with new offers of guys having 10L packages? If I've messed up my life so badly do I deserve to be a manager? I'm just an emotional fool who had fought really hard...can I do it 1 more time? I am totally clueless at this moment...crahed yet again....
I wish to thanks Banglaore dream team(esp shabadp and rssriram84) for supporting me...and BBBT...it was a pleasure being a part of the team...

I'll update my post with the final result and the final decision I take...

Well Abhisekh,
Let me just remind you of a few instances from your life which may help you in deciding, what is best for you...
Hope you remember those mock CATs in which you scored 99.9X scores when most of us fumbled & struggled to cross 95%ile. Hope you remember the day, when you left your ex organisation & still told me with conviction that,"Bhaiya, I have full faith that situation (life) will change".
Hope you remember the day, when you gave CAT, you know that you havent done well. From then, till you got your IIFT results, you were very sure about giving CAT 2009.
Hope you remember, what you told me/planned regarding the Job front. You deciding to take up part time/full time teaching Job..
Now coming to the part, I have underlined..
Do you really think that "you played a role in messing up your life". No my friend, not at all.
When your employer wanted you to leave, was it your mistake?.No dear..its a mistake of someone else which you are bearing.
When you didn't do well in the exam after having prepared so hard, do you think its your mistake... No, if you haven't prepared hard, then you must blame yourself. But having prepared so hard & having inculcated such a vast knowledge, today did you forget that you are already teaching a person with some disability?
Now coming to your personal life, Iam no one to comment. But as an elder brother, I hope its my responsibility to suggest/advice you something here. Now, for sure, your girl friend would also know what you are undergoing, she would also know, it will take sometime for you to reshape your own life. Having understood this, even you need understand that, in a marriage, two souls decide together. If she feels, she can wait for you, support you, help you by convincing her parents, and feel yourself as a blessed soul as you have got an understanding partner. If she doesn't, don't blame her. End of the day its her life, she has 100% rights to decide her life.Inspite she deciding to support you, GOD forbid if you cant marry her, just believe that its not written in your fate. Iam sure, everyone on this earth in his/her lifetime would have gone through atleast one love failure. That's life, accept it.
Having read the above lines, tell me where did you go wrong. Failures are a part of life. At times, we are so blessed, yes I repeat we are so blessed, that we face adversities, we get too many problems to solve at a time. That's when, we need to thank GOD for having given us such situations. If not these problems, what will help us to understand ourselves better.Thats when our mind works faster and better, always pushing us to find solutions to the problems. Once you successfully come out, look back at your past, you feel the sense of satisfaction, that you could handle even such worst things, the true sense of living.
You are not a fool my dear. Like any winner, you are tested, whether you can travel that extra mile to become extraordinary.There are so many, here in PAGALGUY, who have travelled that extramile, to achieve success & thereby setting example. You would have also met people, who struggle & strive for the so called success in life. Let me bring SUMANTH as an example here. Even with physical disability, how strog he is, in terms of dreaming about an IIM. You very well know, he is appearing for the 4th time...
As far as IIT results go, I pray GOD that you clear it and accept it. Even after you join IIT, if you heart longs for an IIM admission, go give CAT 2009. GOD forbid if you don't make it, You have your road clear in front of you, CAT 2009. For your survival, as you yourself told me, take up a part time/ full time teaching job & also start searching for a job in your domain.
I could have PMed abhisekh, but I wrote this post keeping some 10s of our friends/ younger brothers who would in a similar situation.
Whenever you face such problems, don't be dejected. Life is all about choices. Its easy to give up. Though its tough to hang on, the success when you meet after sometime would essentially prove you, how strong you are
Believe me, you haven't lost anything till you are alive.
Success retained me as a boy, but failure(s) made me a man IIM Calcutta - Class of 2012
I had always dream to convert a biggy and post here...the sacred thread...

...don't know if I should go for it 1 more time? start hunting for job that seems to be a painful process? What if IIT-B accepts? It's no doubt a great b-school...But should i give 1 more shot? What if IIT-B rejects? What will I say to my girl's parents who are ringing her everyday with new offers of guys having 10L packages? If I've messed up my life so badly do I deserve to be a manager? I'm just an emotional fool who had fought really hard...can I do it 1 more time? I am totally clueless at this ....

You have asked a lot of questions to which no one has the answers. You have also called this a sacred thread. I suggest you give this thread another reading. Then make a decision and put it across to your loved ones.

Ideally I would have PMed you, but I know for sure there are many who are asking the same questions as you. This is for them too.

Rock on!

From Failures in 2006-09 to converting IIM-C in 2010 - My Story (Part 1/3)


I had always dream to convert a biggy and post here...the sacred thread....but here is a total failure story of an idiot...why I'm posting here then? to motivate myself to go for one more try...to recollect myself and give my 100% one more time...

So here it goes:


Was in final year of my college...Had given GRE and had an admit from Denmark university...was ready to pack my bag and leave to denmark...was laughing at my friends who were part of this insane rat race....went to examination hall without even knowing CAT had maths and english in q's...did some timepass...thought to myself that maths was a joke...and verbal was something out of the world....didn't care to even check my results....after all i was flying out of this country....who cares for an MBA? but there was a hitch...i really liked a girl....had proposed...turned down....was trying to just hear a magical YES(she was still my good friend)...tried to convince her to say yes till March-07...before the college would be over...come May-07...i somehow got the reason for denial...she wouldn't consider someone who would be out of India...as her parents, family were here(it's all emotional stuff...but she had a valid point)...i had to decide...to stay back in India...take up a job in a s/w company that I had been placed into...or go to denmark and say bye-bye to my love....i chose the 1st one..

So now i could be considered...but all my career plans had crashed...I had to find a new one....didn't feel like pursuing technical studies in India...so CAT it was....


Serious preps started....

I delayed my joining of company from june to november....Maths seemed easy(yet again failed IIT attempt but strong in maths case)...In Sep-07...I got the YES....the most precious moment of my life.....everything seemed to be working good...scores started improving from 85%ile to 92%ile to 95 to 97 and finally to 99%ile in last 2 mocks....i was pretty confident to have a decent attempt....but finally my weakness...VA...had destroyed me...

QA-99.3, DI-96.x, VA-69.x, OA-98.45%ile

no calls even from MDI or NITIE because of low VA....

Had IIFT call which couldn't convert and rest exams were horrible....

In the mean time I had joined the s/w firm in Nov...Didn't like my job in first place...knew it was CAT-08....my final attempt....


I once again started working hard....analysing mocks properly.....made some friends in banglore who were really good...did group studies...mocks scores were sky rocketing high...even i was surprised to see my scoes...had maintained line of 99.x %iles...it was a flawless performance from my side....the parents of my girl had been pressurising her to marry...which sort of had made this attempt real crucial for me...I was dreaming of asking her hand as an IIM guy(I know it's geeting little bollywood style senti)...Come CAT...everyone...my family,friends had loads of expectations....but final day....i still don't know what happened....VA had very high weightage and it got to my mind...i crashed yet again....i knew this coming out of examination hall....and from my past performance....i knew I won't convert any other exam...had no hopes...

didn't know what to do...plus my job was becoming a nightmare...I hated every moment of it...finally I could bear no more...decided to resign from the job in december....

I fanatically searched for a new job and parallely wrote other exams as well...But there was no one looking for me in a time of recession....Got kicked from many interviews or the jobs were totally useless and I didn't join them...Then results started pouring in...I got IIFT, then NM, then JMET-372 and two biggies XL(99.51 %ile) and FMS both calls...I knew with so many calls..I will convert atleast one good one....stopped hunting for job and started preparing for the interviews..interviews went average with XL-BM going extremely well...

Results came...got dinged from IIFT...was expected...NM waitlisted at a low rank...FMS reject(both MBA and MBA-MS rejects)...but I knew XL was still there...

then came the bomb....XL reject(both BM and PMIR rejects)...not even waitlisted...

now here I sit infront of you...waiting for IIT-B...I have given so many sleepless nights to my family...to all my friends....am jobless...don't know if I should go for it 1 more time? start hunting for job that seems to be a painful process? What if IIT-B accepts? It's no doubt a great b-school...But should i give 1 more shot? What if IIT-B rejects? What will I say to my girl's parents who are ringing her everyday with new offers of guys having 10L packages? If I've messed up my life so badly do I deserve to be a manager? I'm just an emotional fool who had fought really hard...can I do it 1 more time? I am totally clueless at this moment...crahed yet again....

I wish to thanks Banglaore dream team(esp shabadp and rssriram84) for supporting me...and BBBT...it was a pleasure being a part of the team...

I'll update my post with the final result and the final decision I take...


updated on 13 May(2009) -

9 calls - 9 rejects. Still hunting for job...seems like won't get one...

am planning to join my family business....let's see...

these are really interesting times...behavior of people has changed a lot(both in +ve sense coz of calls and in -ve sense coz of rejects)...

but most importantly people(my family and friends) close to me have been great support....they have not changed..

and yeah...my girl has given me great support and courage...(she has convinced her parents somehow to wait for one more year..reason given - want to concentrate on career


I thank God for showing me this day....It has been wonderful(ironic but true!)....

Next update will be in 2010 when results pour in...

Hoping and praying I end my "story" on positive note...


Quick edit on 1st July(2009):

got 2 converts...NM and IIFT-K...good to have some converts finally 

got a decent job...

it's going to be next yr CAT for me..as promised next update after 2010 season results...

best of luck to all!

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

You'll never walk alone

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