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First of all a thanks to PG and all of us pagals for making my journey to IIM Lucknow a memorable one!
My story is as follows:
CAT 2006 --> If I have to describe it, I would call it a suicide mission. It wasn`t easy for me, as I had lost my dad and my family and I were still coping with it. I knew I was ok in QA and DI, English was something which would let me down and that is exactly wat happened on 19 November 2006. What a paper! English really kicked my a** with me managing 44%ile. Even DI was screwed up, with my saving grace was Quant. Week after week, I came face to face with a disaster until January 21 2007 - FMS gave me the sole call of the season. However, it seems i was not ready and didn't convert the call. End of season 1.
CAT 2007 --> Now yours truly has been working with Evalueserve. Gr8 start, acing everything, including English. Mocks were going well, except for DI. I didnt give too much heed to it as I wanted to crack English. Come 18 November 2007 and wholla - QA - 98.04%, EU - 97.97%ile but DI - 56%ile. And this marked my season, my luck was not on my side. No calls and end of season 2.
CAT 2008 --> This was the season, yaa toh is paar ya uss paar. Job was becoming mundane and I started to sulk. So the pressure was dugnaa and I had to make it this time. The mocks were going good but in the last month i was screwing up and did not want to complete the trilogy by messing up QA this time. So I asked for advice from experienced PG ites and practised like anything in last two weeks. The end result - 4 calls CLIK, MDI and IMI. Also, I tasted success in other exams as well - IIFT, FMS (again ), JMET - 1294 (did not apply) and NMIMS (gave exam for FMS practise).
Now joined Malay sir's classes. After going to his classes, I came to know that a person like me (INTROVERT, SHY) can dominate a group, influence an outcome and demand respect. Interviews went well with success in IIM L, K (W/L 9), MDI and IMI. In IIM C, I committed the blunder of becoming adamant about a question which I had done wrong.
So I am going to join IIM L.
1. Believe in yourself, if you believe you can and you should get it, dont waste time and go for it. It is for you to decide when to say you had enough.
2. Practise un-attempted mocks two weeks prior to the D-day.
3. In case CAT goes online, start reading articles on net.
4. Never become adamant, be patient in an interview and always take hints from the interviewer (trust me, I learnt this point the hardest way)
In the end, just out of the context, I would like to say this to future aspirants, batchmates and seniors - Our country expects something from all of us and she deserves it. She is in need and we must deliver. No matter what we do in the future, we must keep her in our priority list.
This is something I have understood from Malay sir's classes and I hope many of us develop such feeling towards our country.
All the best puys, go get your dreams.
MY CAT Story- Sorry for this long post:lookround:. I thank GOD with all my heart to give me the chance to post in this sacred thread.
My first acquaintance with CAT
I came to hear about this CAT way back in 1997-98(I was in class 9 , I think:) when my brother came home one day with a brochure and paper in his hand- it was a test being conducted by IMS for scholarships for the CAT prep course. I was good in maths. So just went through that paper of IMS but, oh! ,I was unable to solve more than six-seven out of I think 30 questions. Then my brother told me the shortcut to a few difficult ones- and lo , they appeared to be cakewalk after the explanation. I became interested. :
Like many making it to top B-schools I am also from an engineering background, but there is a twist. After my class 10, I wanted to study commerce(as my whole family was into that line) but was forced to take science(the typical Indian mentality-science->eng->job) .However, after my 12 board exams I could not give the eng entrance exams(call it my callousness or lack of preparation). I took admission in B.Sc (physics). But people in my locality(including friends) used to taunt me for not making it to engineering(as if it was the end of the world for me). After B.SC I took admission in B.Tech in Jadavpur University(the course was only for B.Sc. degree holders). My acads were pretty good.
The Motivation for taking CAT
During engineering , I became bored with the useless subjects taught and then I decided I want to do something else. I was also seeing my friends(who had taunted me, going for CAT'06) thus giving me the feeling that the job was not satisfactory. It was during this period that the CAT frenzy was catching everyone. I was also one of them . But I did not start studying for it in the final year. I skipped a few offers from PSU's like EIL,ONGC just to sit for CAT(these companies make you stay at sites in remote villages). In 2007 I took up a job in a software company (just to stay in a city as I wanted to prepare fort CAT). However , at that time I was not confident. In the office (though enjoyable in the beginning as you earn ur first salary) , I was just slogging. I was a good programmer(as per college standards) but over here I was just slogging , trying only to save my job. The colleagues were not very helpful ( thinking themselves to be the bonds)and I could not understand the system(nobody helped me ,they were very busy every time ) . It was then that I decided to take CAT seriously, as I found that it was the only way out from this f**king place!
Also, the desire to move away from the technical field resurfaced and the old love-commerce- came back to me. I would specialise in Finance: if I make it to a good B-school( away from this coding shit)
I joined Career Launcher in Gurgaon in Dec'07. I utilised each and every moment I got. In my office i used to carry my study materials and I used to study whenever I got time. I started hating my job as the opprtunities were limited. I used to get up at 7 in the morning and studied for 2 hours. I office I tried completing my work asap and sat down to solve a few QA/LR questions. In the evening, after I reached home, I sat down for 1-2 hours before dinner and then at 11 p.m to solve CAT papers. In my office my peers and colleagues came to know about my prep and soon my position in office deteriorated. It became a hell for me. But still i had just one goal in mind - CAT'08.
In June'08 the mock cat series started. In my first mock I scored 90 %tile. Good enough start for a first timer like me. But soon the situation changed . Instead of improving the scores declined hovering between 85-90 % tile in the subsequent tests. I started feeling less confident and the fear of failure crept in. Added to that the situation in office was killing me. I did not know what to do if I failed in CAT. In August I bought the last years test papers of IMS and TIME. In the night from 11p.m-1.30a.m. I usd to solve the papers . But the performance was not satisfactory:banghead:. QA was my strongest followed by DI/LR and then VA/RC. However, i was constantly scoring poor marks in QA. I still remember that the 3rd mock was my best when I scored a good 120 out of 300. But still the percentiles never improved. I was frustated. I started talking to people who had CAT experience- they told me that you need atleast 95 %tile in your mocks. I was nowhere near. But then , my brother helped me(though he never appeared for CAT:cheerio:). He told me to ignore the performance in MOCKS and just concentrate on the various kind of problems - the variety- as the real CAT is totally different from the MOCKS. This piece of advice worked. I was no longer worried about the 80 odd percentiles that I was scoring - though I was always trying to improve.
During my classes in Career Launcher I met a guy called Pankaj:cheers:. We started discussing about CAT as he too was in the same boat like me - not scoring well in mocks. He joined the TIME test series and gave me the TIME MOCK papers. That was of great help as I found that I was doing well in the TIME papers - which were closer to the actual CAT. It gave me some confidence. I took a break - I did not appear for 2 mocks in September. I worked on a strategy. Initially I was devoting time in the order 40/40/40 for the three sections and then 30 minutes for the section which could maximise my marks. This was not working for me. So simply I put 50 mins for each section. This worked well for me in a few mocks. So I decide that I am going to stick with this strategy in the D-day also. Even after the breaks and strategising I failed in the subsequent mocks to score well . I decide that I am not going to appear for any more mocks. I was still not sure which section was my strongest- as the marks were always varying.I started solving whatever Mock papers I had with me for the next few weeks. I slowly came to realise that accuracy is THE most important in CAT. In the next few tests that I took I attempted a very few questions and aimed for accuracy. This worked.;)
Meanwhile, in office , I was not performing to my potential and my situation was real bad. I did whatever was assigned to me but that vigour was lacking. My one time favourite-coding was like a tasteless thing for me. I just slogged .:sneaky:
The Final Preparations
In October I realised that if I stay in my office I would never be able to give CAT well. So I decided that I would go home -to kolkata. I left for home just before Diwali in October'08 stating jaundice in my office. Once in home I started dedicatedly preparing for CAT. In the morning I used to go through the materials and then from 11 a.m to 1.30p.m I used to solve one paper. In the evening I followed a similar routine. I decided that accuracy is the one that I am going to aim for in QA and DI. In English it was just the opposite- i would aim for speed.:grin:
CAT'99-04- These papers were different. The questions were relatively easy but the no. of questions were 50 in each section. I could solve these papers and scored consistently around 120 out of 300. This gave me some confidence.
But CAT -05 onwards the pattern changed . CAT had become difficult and I also had difficulty scoring well in these papers. But then my strategy was - accuracy in QA and DI and speed in English. I was doing comparitively well. Remeber , at this time I had no way to know my relative standing as i had stopped taking mocks from mid October.:oops:
Just a few days before CAT I stopped all paper solving and just concentrated on brushing up the basics- according to my brother's advice(his advice always helps me:cheerio:). I was prepared for the D-day - I knew that I had to perform otherwise there was no way out for me( I would be ridiculed in office as everyone knew I was preparing for CAT).
I had to do it on 16th Nov 2008.
The D-day-16th Nov'08
I went to the examination hall . Settled down . I brushed up in my mind - accuracy in QA/DI and speed in English. The paper started.
I began with my strongest section Quant. It began well .I progressed well and I knew that I was doing them right. I skipped a few. After 45 minutes I found that I have done only 10. I scanned the Quant section again- Ha there it was -on the lines of a sum in the TIME test series a geometry problem and then another. 50 minutes up I had done 12(got all of them correct. Whew!)
DI/LR- Got the simplest set right at the beginning(lucky !).5 minutes and three done , but then DI was not so easy. 50 minutes gone and I had done 11.
English- Oh! 40 questions. I adjusted . I fixed my target . 2 RC passages and rest EU/VA. 50 minutes gone and i had done 22.
Came out quite contended. Felling good about QA and LR/DI but skeptical about English section.:oops:
Came back to office . Had a brawl with my manager- I just hate this job. Attended the other exams -SNAP,IIFT,NMIMS and XAT. Then came the results season. IIFT (missed by 1 mark). Tension was creeping in for 9th Jan(the CAT results day). Then it came . Wow! I had three calls B,I and L( I thanked GOD heartily). Great! Now I can go the office with pride.On 10th came the Snap results. Managed calls from SIBM(pune & bangalore).,SCMHRD and SIIB. NMIMS(I missed by 8 marks). XAT-disaster. But these did not matter any more.I started my GD/PI prep and ultimately conquerd IIM-Indore.
The hard work payed off. I resigned from office on 10th April itself- the day the IIM results came out. But surprisingly, the peers who had doubted my abilities now congratulate me and look to me with respect. Even my manager! Wow! I love it . Just waiting for my notice period to end and say bye-bye to this office and job.
My tips to CAT aspirants
1)Make a strategy- it is very important. What works for others may not work for you.
2)Identify ur weak areas and strong areas. Work for ur weaknesses but don't ignore ur strong ones- remember ur strong areas will give u the edge.
3)Make a routine and stick to it. Never ever deviate from it - however tired you maybe.
4)Don't let the Mocks rule you- remember doing well in mocks doesn't guarantee you anything. Moreover,mock CAT and CAT are totally different.Performance on your D-day matters.
5) Finally believe in yourself and GOD. You are the best Judge of your abilities and GOD is the best judge of your efforts.
CAT is most an adventurous thing that happens suddenly in the middle of a boring life for most of the people. Like for many my story is also a similar one. Having decently scored in both 10th n 12th and then securing admission in a Decent Engineering college, I thought now after so many years, life would ease out. My parents always told me that it is the last hurdle clear it. I tried and cleared that realizing that as per their expectation one more needs to be fulfilled and this time people said it was really the last one (God Knows). After completing my engineering got a job in a Decent MNC. I had a profile of Sales and Marketing, company given Ford Ikon, I thought that MBA is not required for me. Many of my friends in the company were preparing but i never thought i will ever prepare for CAT. Many oldies in the company also told me that. In the first year I thought the same way.After around a lil over 2 years I was really sucked up with my job. Really wanted to run away. Then I thought of giving CAT. If I would clear CAT I would be the amongst the last ones from batch to go into MBA. This was infact my last chance coz if I did not, i would ve been a married man .
As per my conversation, I bought the material from CL and joined the test series. But my job kept on haunting me. Regularly I had to travel to other places, and could manage to give one one third of the tests. Self study was not happening. I had almost given up. Then my promotion was delayed by 3 months. Really bugged I thought I had enuf. Had to get some self discipline. But with just 1 month to go, odds were not in my favour. Bringing in some discliline I started giving roughy 1.5 hrs av daily. I tried to brush up formulas for Quant, increase my stamina so that I can sit for three hours and concentrate. I also ensured that I fill all the forms even ICFAI :grin:. Before the CAT took one week off.
My focus was on two things- 1. SHould know all formulas and fundas 2. Tried to get my speed right and that I can hold it for 2.5 hrs. Finally the D day came CAT 2008. Not very hopeful went for the test. Had always practice on a strategy. I started with Quant. Did well in attemping arnd 20 questions. People found it difficult but I found it pretty chill. Then DI. handled it well too. same arnd 20 questions. It was easy for all but DI has always been my strength. Finally came the most Dicy section VA. It was the section that could swing the things. ANd it really did. I saw the watch. I clearly rem that moment 12.58. Just 32 min and a bloody whole section left. My plans were hay wire. My real life quant was shattered. Such a big mistake. In the hurry started answering but could not focus. So it was guess work all the way. I knew I was screwing it up, but the urge in me forced to keep guessing. CAT was gone, then started giving other exams. But again job kept coming in. With great lies, setting, jugad was able to give the other tests. Mostly it was like Sat night I come back and Sunday I gave the tests.
After all the tests then was the time for results. CAT was the first to come. I din ve the time and guts to calculate my score. On the DAY was not able to check the result online. SOmeone told me to send an sms. With that you can check your percentile but cannot check your calls. I asked my frnd to do that. I was told my percentile 80 in VA :oops:, 99.77 in QA & 99.81 in DI, Overall 99.77. I was shattered. I knew that I would have no IIM calls. That was confiormed next day. So waited for other resutls. Similar near misses. 97.9 in FMS (98 was the cut off), 84 in NMIMS (85 Cut off), arnd 30 in IIFT ( Cut off 32). Managed to score decently in SNAP. Screwed in XAT & JMET. After a long wait finally managed to get calls from some CAT colleges also. My total calls were NITIE, MDI, IMT, SIBM, SCMHRD, Great Lakes and yea ICFAI too.
Started the interview season with SCMHRD. Was confidant on my GD skills. Did not do any preparation. Got kicked out in the GD itself. It was a real shock for me. Then again did all my consulting, a lil self practice. Finally in the end convertered all the calls except SCMHRD. Fianlly I decided jo join the best of the these institutes NITIE.
Now life has started out here but the hurdles are still not over. First came summers. Doing that in P&G.; now the next big hurdle would be a job and then after that the hurdles will keep coming. Guess will have to make these hurdles a habbit
Well ,Every Dog has its Day , and today people its mine
CAT well this three letter word has become more of an over hyped phenomenon ( truly just in my honest opinion ) . My tryst with destiny began ages ago in 2005 the first year i gave CAT. Yes i did the usual things , i went to IMS , I gave the mocks , I was never bad , but I dare say I was also never great ,if there was one thing that got me 99+ percentiles it was verbal . Well as I said I did the usual things , with the exception that things with the sort of unusual person I am , dont always stay very usual. I lost my mind in between and started believing DI would be my nemesis , I was horribily bad at calculation based DI though logic was my strength. On CAT day the IIMs seemed to have guessed my aptitude and 2005 was the year when the pattern for DI changed completely and CAT DI became less calculation based and more logic based , I got a 97+ in DI and a 92 overall.
I had a job from campus ( A Chinese product based company ) , with a Chinese way of life. I did my internship and started working with them , my days and nights comprised of one thing code , code and more code ( for the uninitiated , code , is an abstruce language developed by human beings to keep themselves busy and occupied on lifeless but more intelligent forms of machinery(popularly known as computers) ) . Anyway , never gave CAT 2006 , while two of my best friends got kickass percentiles and went to MDI and IIM C , one went on to win the Aditya birla scholarship . Well what is its relation to me , well you can imagine rock bottom that my self esteem hit at that point , in case you cant , well I really cant help you can I
That was that , I prepared (yes again for CAT 2007 ) , again the same story , I would sometimes wake up at 3:00 in the morning and wonder what the hell am I going to do . That was that , CAT 2007 was another disastor. I realised one thing PREPARATION IS NOT FOR ME. I realised (or rather was made to realise by some friends whom I am now indebted to) that on any given day , given paper I can solve the number of questions i need to clear the cutoffs in each section all I need is the right ATTITUDE. I got depressed and managed to move around like a zombie. To beat it I got one call and one reject from SP Jain , I had no idea what was wrong.
Hence come 2008 I gave the GRE applied for MS and decided to end this obsession with an arbitrary exam which lakhs of people give each year,I wanted to do a Post grad, have a university life, live in a different country, experience, make my life interesting. The dollar surged against the rupee , the world economy was tumultuous , and the rest as they say is history. But sometime in between Yours Truly decided to fill the CAT form ( by this time I was programmed to do so : ) ).
I attended horse riding classes at palace grounds , went to one of my friends places to vegetate, went to an NGO to work on weekends , filled MS apps when thousands of people were taking and analyzing the mocks, I was living my life .
On Sat November 16th I was thinking hard if i should bunk a horse riding class and waste 5 hours of my time to give an exam I have given twice. Finally I decided to go , my room mate was at the same center as mine and didn't know the location well , I said what the hell , I will go with her. Again ,The rest as they say is history. This year of all , I got calls from IIM B,L,K,S with a 98.73 (OA) and 94+ sectional in all. Yes the one year I did nothing except relax and not take it to heart.
I got a MS accept, I got a promotion at work, I converted my B and K calls ,though L was a straight reject and one of my funniest interviews, I resigned from work ,all in chronological order.
And guess what I got to know about both my calls and my convert at IIM B through PG.
People can make all the difference ...
I owe a pair of JOSE headphones (originally it was BOSE that i had promised but then what the heck 350 $ no chance), a pair of chaddis ( not the pink ones ) to my friends that I had promised if I get through B.
For me this line sums it up ...
"A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance. "
One friend told me that we can never know the bigger scheme of things , and maybe even if we did we would never change it, though we think we would. Chew on it. Read about chaos theory, read albert camus, read marcel proust, Maybe the universe is meant to be in a state of chaos and any attempt to bring it to order is futile.
Cheers and God bless !
i am deletinmg this post..sorrry
I guess I can lay claim ...to writing here ... although I am gonna Join XLRI.
The day I could not get into IIT's and my claim to do so ...after dropping one year..( as is the usual fare in Bihar ...my native place) ..was successfully vetoed by my family ....
I had to get into IIM's ...That is the freaking way my mind perceives things!!
(I still maintain...that I was and am good enough for both the institutions( as so many of fellow puys and my peers are) ...People ..the way I see it is that.. this country of ours ...has such a large talent pool ...that we cannot afford to ..give IIx education to all the deserving people...so ...D day matters ...and a section of people get in ...and the rest ..are left ..back ...to pay ..what I call the "cost" that the bearers ...of a "developing" nation have to pay .. I am not complaining .. I love India.)
Well.. joined ..NIT Surathkal.(engg folks ..know about this better than "good" college )..after a fair enough performance in AIEEE 2004.
Turned out to be best decision of my life till date.
All other great things like ...an international size swimming pool, a private college beach ...a cosmopolitan culture ..and awesome placements apart ...this college is the best ..launching pad for higher studies. Consider this .. of my class of 34 students ...passing out ....15 straightaway went for MS in USA/Canada etc.
So after ... reading novels .... playing CS .. wasting time for 3 years in college ... CAT 2007 was in sight ...and I was damn confident.
Gave some initial mocks...and all.. performed very well...and worked really hard ...like practised and all....
My college has a history kind of ..of sending 12-15 people to IIM's every year ...and all my friends believed I would also ...get in .
The biggest mistake around this time that I did was ... ignored ..my almost ...constant failure to ...cross sectional percentiles ..in any one section ...throughout the mocks season ..!!!
I thought ...ek din ki baat hai ..it will come good on the good day !!
I used to get good enough overall scores( 99 +- 0.1 percentiles ) ...so that was also fair enough!!
Screwed up DI in CAT 2008 big time. And it was the easiest section.
percentile : 96.57
I never got less than ..98.5 in mocks... but i was disappointed ...only with myself !!
I remember my Mom said to me the day results were out ...only this much ..
Does it matter ?? You know ..that you are good enough ...I know that you are good enough ?? Your friends know that ?? what else ?? How many times they will refuse ?? you have 4 months of final year ..enjoy karo "
I tried to forget ....enjoyed my last few days in college to the limit ...went home before joining my company.
It was around July 2008. CAT was again back to my mind. Still I did nothing. I dint want to overwork...I had a fair idea of things ...I was not so to say " weak" in any of the sections ..like ...none of the sections were like pulling me down ...I knew it was the day that mattered !!
So around August .. I joined ...IMS ..(decide to change ..it was...TIME in college) ... decent enough i felt .. but felt like more practice... So took Career launcher ...also..on saturday ... I must thank my two flatmates ...they r friends bk from college ...and they joined with me ..!!
IMS gives a good all around ... competition ...and Carrer Launcher's individual questions are really good.....sometime CL goofs up on setting a nice paper overall...too tough or too easy ...!!
Was performing well ....never below 98.5 .. in the later stages ...also ...came in below AIR 100 also many times.
I also realised three things :
1. Any student, however brilliant and balanced HAS to surrender himself to the demands of the exam pattern in front of him. You just cant be egoistic and hard headed.
2. Self analysis is the key. You can't survive such immense competition if you dont understand how does your mind behaves during a test. When does it need rest ?? When should you stop attempting a DI set ...and go back to a chilled out VA questions ?? Things like that !!
3. Accuracy In Quant and DI is the key. It serves you immensely if you can get the feel of balancing your attempts and their accuracy as per the needs of the paper ! Period !!
just went and gave CAT 2008. I knew as soon as I came out ki ...I had screwed it up ...As a principle, I never check my scores with online results and all...But pata tha ki ...Quant was screwed up ...again the easiest one !!
Had a call from IIFT meanwhile ... but heart was not there ... would not have joined even ...if I had got it..at least this year !!
So went home ...10 days .. came back ...Lots of work in office .. dint touch pen for one month ..till XAT ...4th Jan ..
Decided on 3rd jan after seeing last year's actual XAT paper of mine ..
Only one strategy ... forget it was XAT ... Convert XAT to CAT .. ignore all special types of questions ....choose CAT tyoe questions and solve them !!
The minute I came outta XAT, i knew ...it was good ....I would surely get a call!!
Finally got ...99.7
My mom was happier than I was ...hehe ...coz she had seen ...that ..I had screwed up quant again !! I just kept telling her .ki ..mummy ..luck bhi chahiye ...kaafi logon ke saath hota hai !! Its a one-day thing !!
Interviews...and all...no special preparation..
rejects from IIFT .. expected ... very bad interview ...because I was brutally honest ..all throughout the intrvw.
FMS .. god only knos ..why they rejected me .. 99.75 .. and a good gd/PI ...
xlri .. CONVERTED ...jOINING ..NTHNG SPECIAL ...they asked me ..some different questions ..which I could manage !!
Not IIM's but XLRI ..Fair deal ...considering ...how unlucky ..you can be ...on the basis ...of 3 hrs .. or ..one bad day at GD/ PI.
Pagalguy .. has been awesome throughout
.. I cant thank ....puys enough !!
The net result is
" Always ask yourself ...Do you want it that bad ??? "
"it" always listens and responds !!
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