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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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So after numerous visits to thsi wonderful thread , I finally get to put my post
in here as well..

My story begins in Lucknow where I studied at one the city's n probably the country's well known n prestigious school: La Martiniere College.
When I was in std 3rd , I vividly remember one fine morning we got a call..Dad
answered it ..and he almost jumped wid joy at what he heard from the other end..he jus said "Vikas ne dil khush kar dia"...
( Vikas is my cousing bro , 10 yrs elder to me)
Vikasda ( as i fondly call him ) had cracked JEE and secured a seat at the prestigious IIT-Delhi.I can still remember the joy on my dad's face as my uncle
broke the news to him. Its not dat I had decided from that day that i would pursue
engg, its jus that moment had a big impact on me. I was quite average at studies
and never made any attempt to do well. Got a 78% in 10th and was
dissapointed.Still remenber dat Dad took me to school dat day and he was not very
happy at the result..not dat he said anythng but the feeling of joy was not
there.My uncle even suggested dat i consider taking accounts as it was not
compulsary dat i take science.
I took up Science and in std 12th n again dint bother to study..result..another 76%..
Whereas a lot of my frnds cracked IIT or RECs...I jus gave JEE and dint even clear
the screening. I was so very lost at that time..
I decided to take a drop and prepare for IIT, got enrolled in a few coaching
institues and again my life started to drift. I would relegiously attend all
classes but beyond dat i did not put much effort. Once in a while i did some
studies but not much.
During this period once my uncle visited me and he observed my routine n told my
dad that" he has not yet realised the imp of this period".
I was pretty upset wid my Uncle and dint take it seriously.Now I look back and
realise how careless I have been .

The exams came and they went...I knew IIT was
out of question had faith on AIEEE..but I got a rude shock wen the rank against my
name read 17597...all hopes of a decent engg college vanished. Moreover in the
State level engg exam (UPSEAT) I had got a 7xxx rank which again was quite
pathetic. In AIEEE i got SASTRA Tanjore , a deemed university and Biotechnology
as the stream. However , at UPSEAT i got a hitherto unknown college : Inderprastha Engg College...Got into Elec n Comm n thot I will work hard and get a good position. I had no faith in the college as it was just in its 4th year , but I had
no other options.I was again lagging at studies in college where after 2 bad years
I gave up on studies. Since the placement scene was terrible I had decided to take
a shot at the CAT n go for MBA, From the third year I started my prep n wud go
for weekend classes of TIME. I used to to take the local train (EMU) and reach Connought Place for the clases... I was pathetic in the beginning but moved to 90.xx percentiles later on.However at the end of my third year of engg, I got placed in Birlasoft . It was one of the happiest days of my life. I felt so relieved..but with that I lost the fire for CAT and stopped studying at all..what a fool I was CAT 07 came n I got a dismal percentile..something in the sixties..I wasnt bothered..had dreams coz of the job in hand :). In d frst year at job I partied wid frnds , travelled n jus wasted tym....just kept drifting with time..

In 2008 when I thought of giving CAT ..again I did not prepare but some
good fortune saw me switch to JP Morgan Chase, Mumbai.
Next year was very tough as I had loads n loads to do..So 2009 also went by..no CAT again.

This year the work load was less and one day I was browsing through you tube where I came upon a video of "Life at IIM A"(YouTube - Life at IIM A) . I was spellbound by that video and my desire to crack the CAT was rekindled. I started using the QA thread in PG and got study material from TIME . Thru PG I made frnds like Sara,Atin ,Manoj n Sai at the Mumbai study grp thread. We met every weekend and wud solve 2-3 AIMCATS. I did not want to leave anything, so I joined Byju for QA n DI. I used to be up late at nights practicing and solving AIMCATs n would go groggy eyed to office. I started carrying my material to office and soon everyone in my team came to know about it.But most of them supported me in my endeavour.I downloaded the audio word list and wud listen to it while going to sleep.Months went by and every weekend without fail we used to meet and solve papers...crack jokes..have food together...It was one of the most enjoyable phases of my life..felt as if I was in college again..:)
I took two test series ..CL n tIME. I was miserable in CL but slightly better in
TIME. Normally scored 88-92 range but on six occasions I got a 95 plus percentile
n 4 times inexcess of 98. These scores kept my morale up.I gave CAT,FMS,XAT and JMET. Chose a middle slot for CAT n took a week off before my date. I kept getting reviews from my frnds n it was evident dat as days were passing the level of paper was increasing becoming diff specially the DI section.I deliberately chose th eevening slot so as to avoid any issues..I could hardly sleep during the prior night.reached the centre way too early and went for walk.
The paper started with me going for the VA section first. I chose an RC and started
reading it..halfway through I remembered to check the number of ques and to my
horror there were jus 2 for this RC. I kept my cool and went ahead wid the RC and
the section. Moved to DI then..DI was very tricy and I cud jus about answer 13-14
ques wid a few guess thrown in as well. Next up was QA again went decent 15-16
attempts.Overall I felt I cud have done a little better. Then the results got leaked in an bizzare manner nd i had secured 99.27 percentile wid the follwing break up
I waited for the results but something within me said it was going to remain d same. Was dissapointed as IIMs cvhanged their criterai again nd I managed gd pi calls from IIM Lucknow, MDI and NITIE, with final converts from MDI and NITIE . In the end I would like to dedicate my admission and results to my dad and was so proud d day when I called him and told him about my score...my entire family was so happy for me ..
I owe a lot to PG and the various friends I made here..PG rocks !!!
Puys put your 100% in your effort and I am sure you will get the desired results



This is NOT a CAT story. I am not a 99.xx percentiler and am not an IIM convert. But still I feel DESTINY has some plans for me...

I had always been a good student, but never quite the studious type or the genious type. I was(and maybe still am) a fairly intelligent guy. But things had gone haywire when I decided to join an XYZ engineering college. Prior to that, I had a 91% and a 93% in my boards. But, as I did not make it to any of the IITs and did not get my prefered specialization in the NITs (I wanted Computer Science and nothing else), I had to join there.. and promised to work hard to crack the IITs next year. I got so engrossed with college life that I forgot about IITs altogether.

And then, the unthinkable happened. In my second year, I got a supple.. and in a paper, which I knew I had written well. Never to have failed a single exam in my school life even, it came as a rude shock. I took a long time coming out of it, began performing miserably in my grades, and honestly, the future did not look too bright for me. I was writing entrance exams for Bank Clerical jobs in 3rd uear, as I saw many of my seniors failing to get an on campus placement owing to recession. For me, job security was essential. I got through SBI as an assistant. Although I would not take up the job eventually, it gave me a little confidence. Maybe I was not totally useless after all..

Luckily, I had found someone during this time who stood by me, thick and thin. My summer internships were on, and thanks to her encouragement, after many years I did exceedingly well in something. I also cleared my supple. She is one of the main reasons I could achieve whatever little I did. After her graduation in Bsc Botany Hnrs, she wanted to do an MBA, which would help her get a fairly good job in a biotech firm. Some of her friends were writing the May MAT exam, and she decided to give it a shot. But being from Botany, she needed help in Quant. Rephrasing that, she needed me to help her. She did quite well in MAT, but finally decided to go for Msc from Calcutta University. Being somewhat amused at her good performance at such short notice, I decided to give the September MAT a chance. I needed to know where I stand, more than anything else. After writing the exam, I was not totally satisfied with myself. So, I forgot about MAT, and studied sincerely in college. Good grades seemed vital to me getting a placement offer.

Couple of weeks later, the MAT results came out. I got a 98.4 percentile. Whoa! With no preps, and with no tutorial classes. I thought of applying to CAT, but the registration window was already closed, or was it? In a weird turn of events, since the no. of applicants saw a decline in 2010, the IIMs decided to extend the registration window. I got a second chance. But all the centres nearby were already booked. I finally found a place, 4 hours away from home, where I wrote my CAT exam eventually. It was the same place where I had done my summer internship. :)

But then, I had to concentrate back on my college curriculum. I was working with a team on a project (rather had to do 99% of the work myself), and also organize events for the college. In the middle of it all, CAT 2010 happened. It went OK. But before I could catch a breather, my semester exams were approaching. Honestly speaking, MBA wasn't the 1st thing on my mind back then. I had to score well. I had to get a job.

After the semesters were over, TCS came over to our college for an on campus recruitment drive. I made it! I was an ASE internee and was very happy indeed.
The very next day, CAT results were out. I wasn't aware of it, and was awaken by a friend in the middle of the night. I checked the results, not knowing what to expect. Sure, I am a good student, but am I that good?

I had scored a 96.98 percentile. (Very skewed sectionals with the highest being 99.91 in DI) but nonetheless a 96.98 percentile!
But wait, I had to apply to some Bschools to make use of the CAT score, right? SHIT!!
The entire night, I couldn't sleep. I went through all the websites of all top Bschools accepting CAT scores. The last dates for applying were way over.
Oh wait, there was one! The only top bschool who were still accepting applicants was IMT.. probably asking more applicants for their other campuses. The other institute I applied to was BIM Trichy.

The post CAT situation was one of the toughest things to deal with. To be shortlisted for stage 1 of IIM K, only to realize that almost everyone else had been shortlisted too, to missing out on stage 2 due to some random indexing of marks.. geez, I thought 91% and 93% were pretty good. They thought not.
So IIM dreams went out of the window. Anyway, it was a long shot.

Even IMT added new twists to the selection stage with the VI and what not. I got an IMT G call, but days before it, my grandmother expired, I met with an accident, and broke a tooth. But I knew that I had to do it this time. The WCT went as expected. In the PI, I did not give mugged up answers. I just answered them truthfully, to the best of my knowledge.

Recently, IMT G results were declared, and I have made it in the first list. Also, I have converted BIM Trichy and have scored my highest GPA yet in the last semester. I feel destiny has plans for me. It has plans for every single one of us. But its upto you to keep fighting to make your OWN DESTINY.

Gourab Ganguly,
PGDM, IMT Ghaziabad
2011-2013 batch

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Hello Friends,

Finally, thanks to my friend Satwinder I came to know about this thread in PG.After seeing his and others' posts I too felt that I should write it all down.

I am from a small town Ramgarh, a place 50kms. away from Ranchi. I studied in a nearby school DAV,Barkakana. It was not a very great school if I talk about cracking IIT-JEE, AIEEE,CBSE-PMT or other entrance examinations. However one thing which I loved about my school is it was the place where I was first introduced to competition as early as in class 6 ( Thanks to our class teacher).I was always considered to be one of the best students in my class , coming within top 3 in each and every exam I wrote till class 10th.

However, after scoring a decent 92.2% in 10th Board, I became over confident of myself. I started thinking that I had done it all. I lost focus on studies. The first terminal exam of class 11th proved it. I scored a meager 47 in Physics and it was the same story in other subjects as well. I wasn't bothered and had the feeling that I would manage in the next exam.The next was not so different from the first. I was depressed.

Ramgarh , at that time, didn't have any coaching center or good teachers. Most of the teachers were marks-centric. "If you have good marks , you are much better than the rest out there" was a feeling which was inculcated among us from our childhood. I couldn't cope with that pressure and went into a mode of depression.
Thanks to God that one of the most memorable teacher, Mr.B.N.Mishra sir, came to that place. He was a Physics teacher and guess what, he turned my perception completely towards studies. I started loving Physics more than anything else and ended up scoring 97 in the Board exam.

Unfortunately, my lack of base and depth in class 11 was strongly reflected in almost all the entrance exams I appeared for. I was treated as an outcast even in my school. It really feels bad when due to your non-sense your parents had to endure all the humiliations and sarcasms made by others.
Luckily I qualified WBJEE, had a rank of 5722 ( not a good rank but compared to my other performances this was like heaven), and entered into a private engineering college in Kolkata.
My first two years were quite ordinary , classes,practicals and session end semesters. It was only during my 6th semester that I began to wonder what am I going to do after this. Would it be that clichd IT job or something different.Most of my friends had enrolled in different CAT/GATE preparing institutes. I felt that I should first take a few classes in either of the two and then would decide whether I would go for CAT or GATE. I went to IMS with some of my friends the first day.I wasn't enrolled but knew that no one would know about it. That class was a turning point in my life and perception.

That class was taken by one of IMS Kolkata's best Quants faculty.However in that class he didn't teach anything related to studies. He just gave gyan about what he had seen about students and how many don't even have the idea why they wanted to do an MBA ( the same question " Why MBA" was almost a must in all interviews). I was shocked as I realized that I too didn't have any idea about why MBA.
It took me two full weeks to realize after I consulted a lot of people including some educational consultants.And I was back in that class.
As usual the simCATs and all started.I did well in the first few but slowly me results started deteriorating. I didn't understand the reason. So i went and consulted our maths faculty at IMS. He analysed my results and said suddenly "Do you think you have done it all?". I was speechless.The same thing which had happened to me in class 11 was again coming back to me--> A DISASTROUS FEELING OF COMPLACENCY. I was too ashamed of myself. I felt that am I such a dumb that even I don't realize from my mistakes.
My thinking changed. I started preparing sincerely again but this time it ws mingled with respect for others. That indeed helped me when some of my batch mates who couldn't do better in simCATs taught me a lot of things , a lot of stuffs. I appeared for the exams and finally made it to FMS. (My old school called me one day to speak about all this in the morning assembly)
This is all about me.I don't write much but couldn't resist the temptation to put it down before you all.

On an important note, there will be many who will try to obstruct you from achieving your goal. You will face a lot of criticisms like " YAR ITNA PREPARE KARK KYA UKHAD LEGA."," ACCHE COLLEGES TUMHARE BAS KI BAAT NAHIN"etc.But if You are true to yourself and you are sincere nothing is impossible. You don't need to be an IIT or NIT always to make it to IIMs or FMS or XLRI and others.
Best of luck to the future aspirants

PS:- All credit goes to my parents who were always with me during the most difficult times.


Hello puys.. mine is a typical middle class dream, i will be as concise as possible in writing this.

It was in engg that i realised the need for an MBA,

CAT 08:- joined IMS in prefinal year of engg.. i was confident of my skills in QA and VA, but was intimidated by DI--i cuoldnt think..my reasoning sucked..:(..not at par with the class..i tried everythink to focus more on MBA.. classes being on sunday i used to walk miles after a heavy non veg feast in hostel but it was okay for me..mujhe lagta tha me kuch bada kar raha hoo..:) i even gave a presentation on PRoduct marketing in engg college..:).. gave CAT..couldnt clear DI..gave FMS/JMET but was slapped on the face.

CAT 09:- done with engg in May 2009..had got placed in 2 companies but kisi ne joining nahi di..i didnt worried..thot god has given me opp to study and clear cat..now by gods grace i had a very good frnd who forced me to go to IMS and apply for ACE batch but fees was something that i didnt want to ask my dad..we went, told sir that i cudnt clear DI..so wanted some concession..he set up a paper for us to get the waiver..i cleared..got in the ace batch..:)... here i learnt the depth and variety of QA and DI. But this jobless thing was pestering me a bit..it was 5 months that i was jobless but somehow tries hard to conc on cat..guys the peer pressure was high this time..filled forms of all exams.. finally in nov got joining..now this training period is one where we need to put in our 100% & get thru else we get sacked ...a day before my cat i was studying RDBMS and all software stuff i slept at 3 am(big mistake) after revising some basic QA stuff..so on my cat day..i went office..cleared the rdbms test..rushed to cat center..wrote cat
But again i was proved incompetent, not only by cat but Xat/fms/jmet also

CAT 2010:- i decide to go for the kill this season, so joinied TS of time. I used my time in ofc quite effectively..read a lot..ET/hbr blogs/economist ..gave ol tests and what not..tired from ofc..i used to take a sutta break aftr returning 4m ofc at 10 pm,,and pay visits to the awesome QA and DI threads. I also studied DI and reasoning from tiem books...small things never bothered me..like reward points or appreciations or partys or outings..i did this..but all to a minimal..so this year i did everyrhing from writing a test at 6 am at tiem center in a state of hangover to studying ol stuff at ofc. It was business to me all the time..now i was ready 4 the revenge

Results:- calls from IIM ACSIK RRRT
IIT B-D NITIE and FMS too...i was booming with joy but the onus was on me to convert atleast one..with huge calls comes huge pressure..
RRRT and IIT D i didnt attend..
IIM AC and FMS straight rejects

converts:- IIM KS NITIE; WL in IIT B, I awaited

My key takeaways:- 1. cat is such a bitch..emotions ke saath likho to yull definitely flunk ; but if you are cool and stoic you are on your way towards bcuming a manager..so chill
2. during preps dont get too hard on yourself..take time to relax..coz this is the time when you get to think clearly..pep talk with frns helps
3. no other way than to increase your level of preps..it should be wide extensive and also selective intensive
4. never worry about mock scores or about competition..you have to give your awesome best..and believe me the job gets done..

The race has just begun..the problm with rat race is even if we win it we are still a rat:cheerio:

Cheers and atb..

PS :- i was in love during engg days..but i guess no love stories allowed here...kisi aur din..koi aur thread me

3rd Attempt
In about a month or so, I was positive again, though still very introspective. I had the confidence of getting good calls and I wanted to now improve my personality, if not change it altogether. Around this time, there was set back in love life. That helped. I was less afraid of rejection. There was a day when I cried in the office, then in the toilet, then in the bus, then at the bus-stop, then got hungry and stuffed myself. But this is personal so lets move on to MBA again.
While I had and have very close friends, there number can be counted on fingers. I am social and lively but only in my friend circle. I made attempts to get comfortable talking to strangers. I knew I had to get better with people. I consciously tried to talk and socialize more. I bought bright colored clothes to get comfortable with the lime light. My dressing sense is pathetic and I requested my friends to do shopping for me. (I have no intention of buying my own clothes ever again). Thanks to my new found obsession with networking, a friend asked if I had got back to books again. I said a dreamy no. He used some fear psychology to get me back on track. Things like, every minute that you do not prepare, you are letting your percentile dip did had an immediate effect and I agreed to attend a demo class by Byju. I had no intention of doing any coaching, but with nothing productive to do on weekends, I agreed.
Byju Ravindaran is a founder of Noesis Coaching that has recently seen exponential growth in its popularity based entirely on the excellent pedagogy provided by the teacher, Byju.
I went to the demo class by Byju. It was a session on Permutation & Combination. He taught a method to solve the given question using a Stick and stones or zeros and ones method. It was totally new, insanely easy to understand and could be applied to solve questions from other topics too. Half way through the class, I was restructuring my finances. After all I had to pay the fees of Noesis Coaching. I joined it.
I persuaded a few of my friends too to attend a demo class of Byju and they all joined it. Days whizzed past after that. We looked forward to our coaching classes on weekends. On week days, I stuck to my old song of solving a few questions before I could sleep like a baby. I am naturally inclined towards scalability. So I made formal notes with actual questions and their solutions (from my coaching class) and typed them in a word file for future reference.
My project work in office was stimulating. It concerned development of a revenue system for an airline company. However, the client was easy going. I was able to derive satisfaction from my work as well as work towards CAT. My friends, who joined the coaching, and I often worked together and motivated each-other. The bonding was also good for my personality for the interviews that were to happen later.
Soon the notification for exams started to come. My excel file from last year for tracking form filling, test dates; budget etc came in handy this year too.
The exam season was staring us in the face now.
I gave the NMAT online exam to get started. It went fine. The next was CAT. I got adrenalin shocks at the prospect of closing on my last years performance. I knew it was dicey. I prepared my best but not everything was in my hands.
CAT came and went. I was satisfied with my performance but not overtly happy. I felt I had done enough to cross 98 but not necessarily 99. After that we had some or the other exam every week. I prepared for each test in the preceding week.
The night before every exam, Kush and I went walked to the Byjus coaching center. It gave us a lot of energy and calmed our nerves.
Only a few days passed before the results started coming in. I did best in SNAP, had a score in CAT high enough to expect MDI/NITIE calls. In JMET, I did fairly and could expect a couple of IIT calls. I did not clear cut-off in other exams. XAT was the worst performance. Overall, I had enough to prepare for GD-PIs. Eventually I had NITIE, MDI and SIBM-P calls-again. This time I prepared extensively for the GD-PIs. I researched about all that each college looked for in potential candidates. I rephrased my answers to highlight different aspects for each. The content remained the same. E.g. for NITIE, I highlighted my final year project while for MDI, I prepared for current affairs and got ready for a likely stress interview.

As pointed out by GT, this was from the pig that has been in the mud. Its been a great experience.
Eventually, I would join NITIE this year. Do not judge it by its website, its sarkari and in Mumbai.
Sorry for the abrupt end, I am tired.
Last words-
I feel its not hard work that gets you MBA seat, its rather the mind-set. The idea of- being flexible, compassionate, optimistic, open, trying, initiating, taking responsibility and focusing. If there ever was a shortcut to MBA, its this- become very big hearted.

1st attempt- CAT-88, XAT- 82
2nd attempt- CAT-98.61, XAT- 88, SNAP-112
3rd attempt- CAT-98.15, XAT- 72, SNAP-132

instinctive fist: The MBA dream- The Journey
2nd Attempt

This year was tougher. Realities of recession, job and responsibilities had begun to sink in. There was no job outside; it was disheartening to see juniors and unfortunate peers stranded in the real world. We too had no projects. The initial euphoria of doing nothing was lost to boredom. I came to office, browsed, looked over my shoulder for any project and then take a tea break. At home, I repeatedly did my thing of opening the books, solving a few questions and reading newspapers. I had nothing better to do. There were some personal milestones-lets skip them, they are personal.
Eventually I got a project with HUL after almost 6 months on bench. I had to go to client site near ITPL, Bangalore. I had my first taste of client expectation and real quality work. I was working solo on a dashboard for middle managers. It was lengthy and repetitive more than challenging. But the atmosphere there and my curious brain ensured that I did it well. I had my first taste of success with client compliments and a Team spot award. Another very interesting part was that most of the people working there were from top notch MBA colleges. There was a brief period of a month when I helped an IIT-M internee with his project. Such an environment ensured that my body alarm didnt let me have a sound sleep without solving a few questions. . It was around June that I joined IMS crash course program. It was an attempt to keep my focus and not to lie around on weekends. The crash course certainly didnt help in any other way than keeping me occupied. Days passed and I attended the mock tests. There were sporadic tests where I got 95+ percentile, otherwise I kept doing well in all section- taking two sections per test at a time.
Slowly the exam months came nearer. I wanted to go only to a top college. While IIMs qualified for it by default, for other colleges, I visited their site, collected placement and other info and made a list of my to apply colleges. . It is a tedious process to keep track of all application forms, test dates, individual test preparation etc. As a model aspirant, I maintained an excel file for all this.
Between filling online applications, sending out forms by courier, getting documents attested, mock tests and office work, time flew by. This was the first time that CAT went online. The exam was spread over several days across various centers with computer facilities. Each day there were two slots- morning and afternoon- to choose a time for oneself. There were a lot of apprehensions and reservations about the normalization process. For the things that are not in hand, its best to look beyond them. I focused on my job of giving my best in all the tests.
The day of my CAT was a good one. Things looked up; I had taken a leave but went to the office for lunch because my center was close to my company. I had fruit salad for lunch and reached the center about 2 hours before time. There were nervous faces around. I blanked my mind; went through the entry process, and reached my seat. It was spacious. I felt at home. I dozed and checked out the crowd as I waited for about an hour at my desk. Finally the exam did begin. Once the exam started, fortunately, I had nothing on my mind. I went through the paper doing all that I could. I usually move across sections without finishing any. I find that easy to do. And before I knew, it was all over. I was happy with my performance that made me chirpy throughout the day. But there was no time for any breather. For the next few weeks, we had exams on all Sundays.
Posts CAT, there were exams with a life of their own. I had to get accustomed to them asap. I took one exam at a time. For the test lined up the next Sunday, I solved mock papers, looked broadly at the pattern and the cut-offs, got tuned to the best balance between accuracy and speed. The other exams IIFT, JMET, SNAP, FMS and XAT- went by.
Slowly, the results started coming in. IIFT, JMET, FMS, XAT- I failed to clear cut-off in all of them. I cleared JMET but the rank was too low to get any call. The only consolation was SNAP. Through SNAP, I only marginally cleared the cut-off for SIBM-P. In GK section, I got the exact marks as cut-off. Anyways, a call is a call. I started preparing for the GD-PI. Soon the CAT results were declared. I couldnt believe when I saw my score. I had scored 98.61 overall with 90+ percentile in all sections. I couldnt sleep the night after. My MBA dream looked just a few steps ahead. Against my expectations, this was just the first among several surprises to come my way.
We eagerly waited for a call of interviews from the IIMs. To be realistic, I expected a couple of calls, didnt care which ones among the BLACKI. One by one, the call list began to come. I did not find my number in any of them. Later, we came to know that the IIMs dramatically changed their selection criteria. Each IIM (except C), took into account non-test credentials before giving out calls. Thanks to my low 12th board score, I missed getting any calls. There were people with just 90 percentile who got calls from the IIMs, thanks to their great board scores. The relevance and the pain of reservation quota also hit me. Almost 50% of seats were not for the general category. Instead of providing assistance to the under-privileged, the government had devised this process (of reservation) to bring the goal to the aspirant, rather than making the aspirant fit enough to reach the goal. There was nothing that we could do. There were some people with 99+ percentile without any IIM call.
Two elite colleges- NITIE and MDI- decided to call based only on the CAT score. I made the cut for both of them. Hence my list of colleges stood at SIBM-P, NITIE and MDI. Later I had another call from IIM-Raipur, a new IIM.
I do not intend to take it down so will summarize that I did not qualify for any college. It was a steep learning curve though. There was a case where I had done well and rejected while in another, I was literally ravaged in the interview. It all seemed unfair. I usually take a couple of days for cribbing; I probably took about a couple of weeks this time around.

For me, it's been a case of perseverance. I am not a genius but I endlessly love chasing what I want for myself :cheerio:

I have tried to pen down my MBA Journey :drinking:

1st Attempt
I joined TIME mock test series. This was also the time that we were doing our internship in MindTree. It was a tumultuous time. We, the bunch of people working in a company for the first time were very excited. The work load was also great. We all had to make individual Java projects that had to work. Still, it was fun. Looking back, it was probably my best part in MindTree. It was also a time when we installed CS (Counter Strike) on each system. Most of us played it most of the times. Sometimes during a lecture too or during a pep up talk, HR, Fin, Ops talks. Of course the usual suspects were the ones who did most of the work or so they seem to portray. As is the case, studious junta never did any better than we the CS freaks. We played our heart out forming clans and taking up weird names, and our projects did turn up really good too. The best project that I liked was Ruchirs. Simply put, he had to make a chat application like GTalk. And he made it. Now if Ruchir could do that, then of course we could do ours too. After all MindTree was the first company on campus and they got the opportunity to pick the best, arguably the best. And over this period of mauj-masti and some serious work, I was not even sure if to prepare for M.Tech or MBA. The fact that M.Tech needed some serious study and with MBA I could change jobs easily and the (fake) glamour associated with MBA, tilted the scale in favor of MBA.
To get started I bought a couple of books on Quant and DI. I do not enjoy forming a group and chit-chatting or finding ways to impress every girl, so I had enough time in my hand after I returned home from office every day. Back home, I use to solve a few questions in the slow school style. While Tanmay, Ruchir, Gaurav, S2 gossiped or watched IPL, I joined them only when they were having serious fun or to add fuel to any discussion that would be ensuing. On Sundays, Ruchir and I went for our mock tests with TIME. On our back home, we discussed how we made silly mistakes or shared tricks of the trade- my tricks and his trade. This basically summarizes my preparation in the first year. Between work-load, fun and new money (read first paying job), I squeezed in a few hours of question solving.


I have come back to this thread umpteen number of times to draw inspiration whenever I needed to remind myself that Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost . I would say this thread has become a collage of human emotions where people pour their heart out from a sudden note to their most proud moments, its just more than pure information.

Coming to my personal story, I was a student who took academics pretty seriously and consistently ranked in the top 3 throughout school. Then after my 10th board results, the IIT bug bit me and meanwhile a family friend who always remained my idol couldnt make it. Of the 2 years of IIT preparation, due to some circumstances I decided to concentrate mainly on 12th (the logic was to try for IIT next year if the need arises but 12th is only once). Though I managed to get great scores in 12th, my world came crashing down when I missed screening by the minimum possible score. Deeply dejected, I managed to do decently at AIEEE and MH-CET and finally decided to join NIT Surat Electronics.

The consistency level continued in college especially for the first couple of years. Meanwhile, my idol cracked CAT and managed to get into IIM A, having secured a BLACKI. That set the tone for my future, though I didnt want to emulate him exactly but having promised myself of giving a decent shot at IIM (having repented for not doing the same for IIT). I joined IMS in August 2006 for their classroom course. Always having loved Maths, I was very comfortable at coping with QA and DI. Verbal was the one which I knew, if not bettered, can prove to be my Achilles Heel. The preparation continued, tried to concentrate mainly on QA and DI and hoping to just clear VA cut-off. Meanwhile July 2007 brought with it a lot of things, Simcats started and an awesome friendship was about to blossom over the years (Actually the friendship blossomed much more than that and we both are engaged to be married soon ď Š ) Coming back to Simcats, all through the season prepped minimum but religiously solved and analysed every simcat. Never missed a QA cut-off, rarely a DI cut-off but many a times missed the VA cut-off (even managed a negative score in VA). But whenever I cleared VA, I managed a national rank in Top-50. Thus, VA was going to be the kingpin. While my friend consistently figured in the Top-20 nationally with minor glitches some times here and there.

CAT 2007- Took centre at Mumbai. On the CAT day was calm and composed for the exam, the paper started as planned in 1.5 hrs cracked QA and DI. Now I had 1 hr to clear VA cut-off. Attempted 17 Questions in VA and hoped to get atleast 9 correct. Meanwhile, after having declared that she wont check her score, she forced me to check my score which told me that VA was again dicey and could be a spoil sport but %tile was 99+. Results came and exactly the same thing happened, got an overall %tile of 99.62 with 72%tile in VA. No calls nothing. Had IIFT , SPJain, SIBM though. XAT and FMS were also ruined due to VA. Meanwhile, my friend got calls from C and K, and she converted C (and is a Jokar)

Didnt attend some interviews and didnt convert some, it was more because of the belief that if I could work on VA in a year or so, I could do it.

Then in July 2007, joined Futures First and loved the job there also had a friend, senior, colleague (whatever u call) named chilu who became my partner in the quest for CAT. Meanwhile, I got first hand experiences of the Life at IIMs through my friend. This time, worked very hard on VA specially RCs, Paragraph completion and Summary sentence etc. religiously followed the Simcat analysis modus operandi. I started reading versatile and diverse writings etc to aid my VA abilities. All along in the Mocks was concerned only about VA cut-offs and managed to clear most of the time though could not match my QA and DI scores of yesteryears.

CAT 2008- this time took Ahmedabad centre and half of my office giving CAT at my centre. This time it seemed as a balanced paper but could not be sure of DI though, but managed to do decently in the paper overall. I promised myself not to check the scores at all. Then one fine day was sitting in office, when IIM C released the correct answer list, ran back to my place checked the answers and realised I had done decently in VA and rest too. Came to know from my friend that I had missed the DI cut-offs for C by 1 mark. When the result came, a friend told me the scores from office, 99.28 it was calls from Ahmedabad and Bangalore. I was estatic as well as puzzled as why others didnt find me fit enough to be called. Also got call from XLRI and MDI and SPJain. Now was in 7th heaven, though I knew it would be very difficult, IMS Ahmedabad did their best to support me, though I couldnt devote enough time for GD/PI.
All my interviews were not bad but they were not extra ordinary; extra ordinary not in terms of impressing them but in hindsight I realised how immature or under-prepared I was. I fumbled while answering basic questions and could not convince them about my passion. Though I managed to convert MDI, it was largely due to my %tile. I decided to wait for one more year and go at it again.

In the meanwhile, I actually got into a relationship and we were quite serious about each other from the outset. Then in about couple of months some personal problems struck and it was not able to focus on CAT 2009. Though I knew how important it was for me, but it was a mix of less focus and complacency. I got my worst score here and couldnt muster a call from any where.

The next year I decided this would be my last ditch attempt, its now or never. I shifted base to Mumbai and joined a 9-6 job which would give me more time for preparation etc. My girlfriend also moved to Mumbai from Calcutta. Though I was preparing for CAT, as a back-up option I decided to apply through GMAT for MBA and Master in finance. I gave my 1st GMAT in August, was not happy with the score and again prepared and gave in late October scored a decent 710. Barely a month for CAT to go, I again started analysing mock tests etc. I was again having same kinda jitters in VA. So I strengthened VA and DI in the final few days. Last week before the CAT was spent in solving a few papers.

On CAT was pretty relaxed, though had a bit of nervous energy, the paper was ok. I could sail through DI. QA was manageable but VA was dicey. Then I had a great paper in FMS while XAT was so so. In between from November till January was neck deep in application procedures to various universities etc.

On 11th Jan 2011, The results were due next day and actually went to sleep with having known that results were out but the site was overloaded, tried to give numbers to a few friends for checking my result. I woke up early morning on 12th and when I checked the result, I was again dejected, scored a paltry 97.2 with 80.75tile in VA. Told my parents that it was all over and would concentrate on application abroad. Though having talked to couple of friends, I realised I may get a single IIM call based on work-ex and academics (actually hoped 1% that Indore or Kozhikode may take mercy). Then went directly to office in the after noon, was checking through pagalguy, randomly started checking the lists for any luck and couldnt believe my eyes when I saw I had a call from IIM Bangalore (It was almost like Godsend, till last year the Cut-off VA at IIM B was 90%tile, this tear it was 80 and I had 80.7 ď Š ). As all the results poured in had IIM B,I and S, XLRI- both, SP Jain and MDI, and many foreign B-school interviews.

This was the time when I decided to put everything I have got into the preparation. Never along the way that my %tile was less for it to convert. It was just a chance and I had to give my 200%. Joined a Corporate trainer for GD/PI and believe me his methodology helped me transform my raw ideas into something very polished. Had an argument with my superiors at work over leaves etc, I took a leave till my B interview and really slogged during that time. After the interview I had confidence that atleast I had given my 100%.

After having my core interviews very early (XLRI- 21st,22nd Feb and IIM B- 24th Feb). the wait was long and tough. During this period I went through my interview countless number of times, analysing them, sometimes thinking I would get selected and others times I would think its a reject. In between I had got engaged to my beloved Jokar

Finally on 17th April just before the IIM B results, XLRI had given me my 1st Big convert. It made me little relaxed for the next day. On 18th April 2011 at 2.30 pm, I punched in my details and saw one of the most pleasant sites that I could see my whole life. IIM B had opened its gates for me and finally I had managed to get what I had dreamt off.

I am not writing this because its a happy ending for me, its just that even its this inspires 1 Puy to move forward and never throw in the towel, then my purpose would be served.

Some of my experiences:-

Never try to hide your weaknesses, rather consolidate your strengths and work harder on your weaknesses
Clearing the Written is only the 1st step; the tougher battle is the GD and the PI. I made the same mistake in 2008 and was lucky enough to be given a chance for redemption
Be frank in interview, because they dont judge your thought process (unless its illogical), they judge your clarity of the thought process and how deeply have you thought about it
Mock Interview are very essential because they give the feel of that environment and makes it more easy to adapt in the actual interview
Finally, I would say an IIM select/Reject does not define your Life and its not be all and end all of Life. Its just the start, Picture Abhi baaki hai Mere Dost, IIM just makes sure that you are like a Kapoor/Khan in the Bollywood and you may have a Blockbuster Debut. Its you who decide whether you are Uday Chopra or Ranbir kapoor


my post is not for 100 or 99 percentilers.Its not for those who are expecting converts after doing everything right.Its for those who have been late in their preparations and have never lost hope for CAT.

This was my 4th attempt.
With just 95.47 OA and 68 + both in DI and qa and 99.93 in VA ,I thought my life was finished.But lo and behold I converted IIM Kozhikode,IMT ghaziabad and IMI.I didnt attend a single coaching class for GD/PI.I didnt prepare for even 1day for CAT 2010.I just had an awesome profile and verbal knowledge...I wont be modest abt it......English has been my passion and English made me get thru in all MBA interviews.I never attended any of those workshops where u r told to mug custom made answers and forget abt GD sessions.

But today,I am extremely proud of myself.I Did it.I made it.I made it when I was at the lowest point in my life.I have attended all my interviews among great tensions and depressions for personal reasons.Ab mujhe khud par vishwas hai ki chahe life me kuch bhi ho jaaye I can deal with it.
People laughed at me,insulted me,told me to forget it .....but I kept my dream alive for 4 years......4 years of personal dilemma,hating my own self but in the end I won when I had the courage to forgive myself.In the past 6 months,i told Life ,fate and destiny to be as harsh as possible but they kant defeat me.My only solace was God and my intended better half and parents....and 1 of my dear friends who always told me that I will get thru....Thanks to all of them.

People ,in this sacred thread,I just want to tell all future wannabes.....If a girl like me ,who had no support for coaching,material,gd/pi workshop etc can do it all on her own...the u 2.If u just and just hold onto ur dream when everything seems dark,u will win.If u just hold ur chin high and tell all others to go to hell,if u just hav the courage to be urself in ur interviews ........u will do it.

I remember in IIM K interview...I kudnt answer 7 qs in a row but the smile was still there....the chin was still held high....the hope had not faded....it was the 8th question 'Why Mba' that made me get thru IIM K wherein I impressed the panel with all that I had it in me.

Remember,if u can still hold ur head high and be brave and keep on working even when life has dealt u the most fatal blow...just hold on,u will succeed.

Today,my parents still have tears in their eyes.....but these are tears of pride......my father is the happiest man .I am the first woman engineer and the first IIM graduate in all 7 generations of my family.For many of IIM convertess,its all abt fat pay package that they wud earn but for me it was the very question of my life,my pride,my existence ......

With God's blessing,I can finally proclaim that my battle with CAT has been won and no matter whatever comes in my life...I will deal it with the same spirit that I had exhibited in the past 6 months.

All the best to all future aspirants especially those of u who are giving CAT again......I know all that u ppl have been thru and sincerely hope U all make it to the best of the colleges in the country.

Warm and Best regards
Vidisha(Ice Princess)
IIM Kozhikode Class of 2011-2013

  • 76 Likes   10 Comments
  • @ice_princess Lucky for you your 8th question was why mba.... 25 Aug.
  • Inspiring story. Thanks for posting and helping others(at.... 25 Aug.
Budokai 001 @Budokai001 1,375

@ice_princess Lucky for you your 8th question was why mba, Mine was a massacre at IIM-K interview ,They were asking about laplace,fourier and stuffs i didn't remember .. And cheers, I didn't go to any damm coaching centre as well to listen to their standard stuff  Enjoy IIM-K \m/

ateev mehra @onlyhuman 2

Inspiring story. Thanks for posting and helping others(atleast me) get motivated.

Satwinder Says
Reserved for Scene 3

It was great to see your last two posts, I dont know why you have reserved it, is it because you dont have time now to tell the whole story now? or it is just because there is a future story awaiting which you cant really script just now?

Whatever be it, I too always get inspirations, goose bumps, and all sorts of excitement when I read the posts in this sacred thread. And the only keyword that I can associate with guys who write here is ATTITUDE.

And till the moment I lack that too much, no inspiration stays with me for more than two days, and as a result, for the last 4 years of my CAT journey I am wandering somewhere far behind the dream figures in CAT that will make me through.

But I too feel like reserving this place, for a story which might pop up next year...



TILL MAY 6th, 2012, 6:40 PM

Scene 3- The CAT and the Nihon Angle

If you want advise for cracking CAT, you can read the hundreds of posts here, written by those who have got into IIMs. I will refrain from giving any tips. Will mention this in short. I initially bought and prepared from Arun Sharma. Solved the past question papers from 2004 to 2008. I joined IMS coaching center while I was in third year. That was another big mistake. I did not learn anything from the classroom coaching which I did not know. However one plus side was that I got to make a few new friends. But soon enough I started to find the classes extremely irritating. There was one Maths professor who used to bring +2 Maths books, write down the formulas on the board, and then proceed to derive them. After a few months, I stopped attending classes. I waited impatiently for the mocks to begin. One big disadvantage I faced was lack of company while preparing for MBA competitive exams. Just a handful of students were interested to pursue MBA from my college, and most were not serious about it.

I scored 93.98 percentile in the first Open SIMCAT. Although not that great a score, I still felt confident that I could do well later on. Mocks came and went. My scores ranged from 90-95, with an occasional 96 and lowest was 84. Towards the end, I lost focus and stopped concentrating on mocks. I got 83 and 84 percentile in the last two SIMCATs. I could not understand the point of solving extremely complicated mathematical problems. How could that be of any use for a Manager? However I did not lose my composure and selected a Sunday slot for CAT- 7th November, Second Half. Before that, I had my NMAT exam on 31st October, which was the first MBA entrance exam of my life.

One of my biggest qualities according to me is my ability to stay calm. Moreover I have a very high amount of control over my temper, and I almost never get angry or raise my voice. I have trained myself not to get affected too much by external interference. After all, we are just another species and with time we will all get wiped out too. Why put on too much pressure just for some exams? I feel very sad when I see reports saying that a student committed suicide after failing in an exam. Exams should NEVER be treated as a Do-or-Die situation. More important than winning is the ability of perseverance- Never to give up.

Thus I took my CAT in a calm manner. I did not feel tensed even once throughout the course of the exam, even though I did not have any job in hand. I found Quant tough as usual, and the other 2 sections moderate. Attempted some 43 or so questions with an equal distribution in all 3. I met one of my schoolfriends in the same slot as mine, whom I had not seen for 3 years. He is currently in his final year in Jadavpur University, Kolkata. I was unsure about my performance. Had a talk with my best friend, who had also appeared for CAT on the same day. He too said he was not very sure of his performance.

Other exams followed- IIFT, FMS, JMET, XAT. I met quite a few Puys in the exam centers, which were all in Kolkata. I remember having a nice discussion with Ashish before the IIFT exam. I saw Rito da in my FMS center. I knew I had done well in IIFT, FMS and JMET. FMS in particular, I was confident I would clear it as soon as I came out of the classroom. The huge crowd at the centers did not un-nerve me. My main strategy was simple- To solve as many questions as possible within the time limit. In FMS I had to keep in mind the 50 percentile rule, which helped. XAT was a different story altogether. I almost blanked out after seeing the paper. Lost focus and did a miserable job of it. Which was a bit disappointing as I was targeting XLRI.

As for placements, only one prominent company came to our college- TCS. I had already decided my career prospects and I was quite sure that I would not work in an I.T. company, come what way. My father tried to do everything such that I would appear for the interview, but I was adamant. I opted out of placements altogether. My priority was doing an MBA. And I am not the type of person who just wants to get a degree and a job by any means. If I want to become an Entrepreneur, I have to start by taking risks. By the end of the exam season, I was the only student in my college who had opted out of placements. One of my close friends, also opted out of placements in spite of the fact that his father expired recently. I admire his guts for doing what he wants to do. I always have extreme admiration for people who follow their passion instead of those who just run the rat race like confused mice.

The results arrived. I still remember the day when the CAT result was leaked: I did see my score and I got fixed feelings. I had an overall percentile of 96.54, with a division of 88.xx in Quant, 93.xx in DI, 94.xx in Verbal. That was quite on expected lines. However I was a bit disappointed that I could not score above 98. With my average acads, I didnt get any IIM calls. Later I saw many other people who got no IIM calls or just a few IIM calls in spite of getting more than 99 percentile. I personally know one person who got just one IIM call after scoring 99.7 percentile. Thankfully he has converted it. I got a call from IIFT, and was delighted. I still remember I had a semester exam that day, and just before the exam started I saw that I had got a missed call from Siddarth. At that moment I knew I had got an IIFT call. But of course, the best news was the FMS result. I was a bit apprehensive, but was glad to see my name in the list. I never calculate my score after an exam. But I was expecting to get somewhere between 380 and 400. However my actual score was 467, with 421 being the general cut-off. Now began the preparation for GDPI.

Of course I did not have much to prepare. My GK is good, and my knowledge of current affairs is also decent. I knew I had to focus on my strengths. My weakness was Engineering basics, in which I was quite poor. And everyone said that Freshers would be asked questions mostly from acads. I tried to revise a few subjects, but soon got bored and gave up. I appeared for the first GDPI of my life- IIFT, without much preparation. It went better than I had expected. Here is my experience in detail:


Then we had a large gap, and I got a few other calls too: NMIMS, MDI, IMT, IMI, IIT Kgp, IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur. I visited Mumbai for the first time in my life and attended the NMIMS GDPI. The HR one was great, and the core one was horrible. Finally I had my IIT Kanpur GDPI on 13th March, and FMS on 16th. You can read my entire FMS experience here:


I had a positive feeling after coming out of the interview. I felt as if I had made it. And then when I was returning home on 17th, I got a call from Appurv that I had been selected in the very first list of IIFT Delhi. I was extremely happy. Little did I know that another big news awaited me. Just the next day, when I hadnt even got over the fact that I had made it into IIFT, FMS announced its final results. And Anand called me up saying I had made it to FMS too. At that time I was with two of my best friends, and the feeling is hard to put into words. I did not cry, neither did I start jumping around or celebrating. I just took it as one step ahead towards my goal. MBA was never an end for me, just the initial step. In any case, my first goal was complete. I did not appear for MDI, IMT, IMI interviews. Now I am waiting and am eager to join FMS. And Doc Mod is going to be my batchmate. Two mods in the same year in a bschool: I think thats a first.

Finally from 26,632 state rank in WBJEE, I had come within 226 Whole India rank. Many people told me that I had proved myself. I replied-I havent proved anything to anybody yet. I just wanted to get admission in a top bschool and I did that. The actual battle starts after I have completed my MBA. Thousands of people join IIMs/XLRI, etc every year. How many of them do we remember? In fact most famous IIMians are the ones who decided to do something remarkably different, such as Harsha Bhogle or Chetan Bhagat.

The Nihon Factor

Many people ask me- How come I like Japan so much? That I even took the title of the Jap Mod. In fact I was even asked the same question in my IIFT PI. The fascination started from watching anime from an early age onwards. I started with shows such as Ninja Robots, and went on to Pokemon, Card Captor Sakura, DragonballZ, Naruto, Bleach, Death Note, Full Metal Alchemist, Fairy tail, and others. I still take time out to watch anime. I also read mangas online. I have read books on Japan, and have been amazed by their culture and life-style. I know some amount of basic Japanese, and I intend to learn it properly in future. Moreover, I can easily say that the biggest source of inspiration for me has come via Japanese anime. The story usually revolves around the Good Vs. Evil concept, and shows how we can overcome all barriers by truth, love, devotion, hardwork, confidence, team-work, forgiveness, persistence, etc. All traits that are required for managers too. I have always placed Integrity and Ethics above everything else. I try to stay on the right path all the time. Not to gain appreciation for others, but for my own sake.

I was watching an anime episode yesterday in which a person said-The biggest power of all is the Power of Hope. As long as you believe in yourself and the people you love, you shall always win. This quote literally brought tears to my eyes. Many people dismiss Superheroes as mere figments of imagination/fantasy, but for me they serve as the ultimate inspiration. To see characters such as Superman, Batman, Spiderman, X-men, Goku, Naruto, Ichigo, Natsu, etc fight for their friends without caring for themselves is what motivates me. To do good for others without caring for oneself is the ultimate sacrifice.

The best compliment I have received is that I inspire people when I interact with them. This is a big thing for me. If I can inspire and motivate others to pursue their dreams, it is a like a wish come true for myself. I do not like to see people in a depressed mood, down and pessimistic about the things around them. I do my best to charge or cheer a person when required. There are many such cases when people get extremely frustrated and hurt after being rejected. But I want everyone to realize that it is failures which lead us forward. I failed miserably after 12th, but that helped me become a better person. I still remember Shashank tell me this once -Aap to self motivated ho. Liken sab log waise nahi hote. Unko motivate karna parta hai. Which is a very true comment.

Finally, I come to the end of my mammoth post. Yes I understand that I did write/type a lot. In fact over 7000 words in all. However I wrote it all straight from the heart, rather than doing some logical analysis. I will write in this thread again after I finish my MBA. Will wait for that day to come. In the end, I would like to thank some of the people, without whose contribution I would still have been a nobody:

i)Allwin sir, for creating PG- without whom I would not be writing this and you would not be reading this.

ii)My parents- for their support and help throughout. I would have been nowhere without them.

iii)My best friends- Amitabha, Girish and Maitreya, who stood by me through all my difficult times.

iv)My school and college friends- Guys, your help and company is always appreciated. I would like to thank two people in particular, Sourav Dey and Kuntal for providing me an endless supply of anime, games and movies through my stay of 4 years.

v)My online friends- we may not have met, but be rest assured that your contribution mattered in every way. Be it facebook or gtalk, we shall always stay connected.

vi)Puys: All the Moderators who have worked incredibly hard taking out time from their personal life to make PG a better place. I will always appreciate your effort. Special thanks to Shashank, Raghav, Pallavi, Rohit, Apurv, Abhishek Chopra, Harshal Modi, Prem, Mahip, Nikhil K, Ryan Rahul, and others with whom I have interacted and had fun.
Community Leaders: Varun Saxena, Shruti Verma, Ankur Vohra, Varun Rajaram, Jaydev Doshi and others. Thank you all for your constant dedication and support and the way you have helped others on PG.

Madcapz: Anand J, Rito Da, Skr, Appurv, Keerthi, Anwesa, Ashish, Bhardwaj, Akanksha, Somaditya, Avneet, Neha Seth, Sakshi, Siddarth, Dhiresh, Naga Raj, Hari, Ranjeet, Lopa Mudra, Caartey, Subhankar, Rishabh, Tanveer, Vaibhav, and numerous other hardworking Madcapz without whom we could not do half our work.
Others: My first friend on PG- Manjushaa, am always glad that you took time to guide me. Then Gagandeep, Gudakesh, Mayank Rajput, Abhishek Mukherjee, Avinav Thakur, Neha K, Neha Chavan, Namita, Vikram, Pritesh, Akshay V, Priti, Biswajeet, Nimesh, Abhishek Bhatia, Ashwani, Prateek, Akshay Chaturvedi, Arshdeep, Seba, Rahul U, Drabir, Jimmy, Keerti, Krutika, Medhavin, Nishant, Sourjo, Sunny, Varnika, Prerna, Shirsho, Tarun, Omkar, and countless others.
Am sorry if I missed anyone. If you dont see your name in the list, feel free to PM me, and I shall update this post.

vii) God for obvious reasons.

I would like to end with my favorite quote:

If there is Evil in this world, it lies within the Heart of Mankind.


*Continued From the Previous Post

Scene 2: The college and the Pagal

Thus I joined an unknown college in my home town. And started hating it from Day 1. It is obvious from my previous post that I was a total misfit for Science, let alone Engineering. Worse, I had not got the branch I wanted, and the environment here was very unsuited for studying. I hardly met one person here who was serious with what he wanted to do in life. Most people were here just for the degree and placements. However I did make a few friends in first year, and somehow trudged on. One good thing was that there was negligible study load and I found soon enough that with minimum preparation one could score above 8 points, thanks to my board- WBUT. Initially we did have a few good teachers. But very soon, most of them left for better engineering colleges.

I had become a hardcore pessimist. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing here. I didnt even know why I was doing engineering. I decided to go along with the flow. It was then that philosophy and psychology began to interest me. I started wondering about all sort of things. Starting with this basic fact-Why are children forced to study subjects in school in which they have no interest in? Why should someone be scolded and beaten just because he or she could not score above 80% marks in Mathematics? Why should a child be forced to take up Science and Engineering, instead of being allowed to follow his passion? Why on earth should an Instrumentation Engineer be made to study Data Structures, and Mechanical Drawing? Why do we still follow the archaic system of rote learning even in engineering? Heck, I have seen students memorizing equations, diagrams, even entire Mathematical problems. And the ones who dont are the ones who cheat- Their speciality is to accommodate all sorts of papers in their attire: Starting from shirt to socks, and what not. Gradually a pattern emerged and I began to take a keen interest in Indian education system. I started a blog, and most of my articles were related to this. I opposed Ragging and reservation in colleges, via my blog. I could not find one person here who was doing Engineering because he wanted to. Most people just wanted a job, and were clueless as to why they were studying subjects they did not like. When asked most replied- To get marks and to pass. We are still not able to get over this marks syndrome.

Now for the personal part: I had rarely interacted with females throughout my life. I was in a Boys-only school till 10. But in college, I grew close to a girl. However things did not work out, and soon she started ignoring me. Moreover, I made quite a few mistakes which I should not have. I started doubting myself. Was I just trying to fool everyone and myself by trying to fake my identity? I was at an all time low. I felt alone and desperate here too. I hated most of the subjects. Rather I continued reading books and watching anime. I needed a turning point in my life, and finally I got one.

I still remember the day when the second semester results came out. I had topped my class with a GPA of 9.16. That enabled me to change my stream and get into what I had wanted- Computer Science. I was happy that I did not have to study all those useless Instrumentation subjects. I had believed that we would do something more practical than theoretical in Computer Science. Once more I was proved wrong. In the beginning it was a bit awkward adjusting to a new environment. But soon I became more comfortable. The subjects were also more interesting. But as time passed by, I grew frustrated with the methodology followed. Of memorizing huge amount of text from fat books and then vomiting in exams. This was not what I wanted. I did not try memorizing anything. But I was attentive and sincere in class. I tried to learn what I could. In school, I had made one record: I was absent once in 2 years. I continued this trend till third year. Initially I had the highest attendance. I used to attend class even when most students did not.

But slowly, I grew bored and fed up of engineering. I knew from day 1 that I was a misfit here, but still I had tried to adjust. However since scoring marks here was easy, I did manage to top in a few semesters, and my aggregate GPA till seventh semester is 8.92. There was no point in blaming the teachers. They were paid a meager salary of roughly around 12,000 per month. However , apart from one odd incident, I stayed clear of all controversies as earlier.

One day, I happened to pick up a book: See You at the Top, by Zig Ziglar. I found it quite interesting. Normally, I do not read Self Improvement books, but this one captivated me like nothing else I had read. It had lots of examples of people being successful in life in spite of having handicaps or facing difficulties. Just on the basis of their will power and hard work alone. They had the desire to win- the ambition to reach the top. That made me think. I thought-Everyone has a choice. We can choose to moan and complain throughout our life, and stay miserable, or we can think positively and choose to accomplish things. I decided that I would get rid of my pessimism and all of my negative emotions, including jealousy and greed.

Another inspirational video was The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. I started reading good books, including Non fiction ones. I read the biographies and autobiographies of several famous persons, including Akio Morita, Captain Gopinath, J.R.D. Tata, etc. I read a lot of books on India- India Unbound, Imagining India, Discovery of India, India After Gandhi, etc. I read as many different books I could lay my hands on. Apart from books, I began reading the Hindu and ET regularly, along with a host of magazines such as Frontline, India Today, Business India, Business Today, etc. And all of it helped me a lot. Trust me guys, there is nothing like reading good books and articles. I started writing a few articles too. My blog became popular, and people from all over the world started commenting on my articles.

I tried to climb out of my shell- Slowly but surely. Got support from few of my friends. I joined the College Literary Society, and I did some hectic work, typing out the Hindi articles. Two of my articles were published, one each in two editions of the magazine. However later on I had an argument with the Chief Student Co-ordinator and I resigned. I tried involving myself in some competitions and extra-curriculars. I would say that I am partially satisfied with my effort. I did attend a few technical fests in NIT Durgapur and other colleges, but could not win anything. I joined the Entrepreneurship Cell of my college, which is in collaboration with the National Entrepreneurship Network, and did some work there too. Our college had the record of being National Champions in the yearly Nen E-week competition three times in a row. I got interest in Entrepreneurship. Started reading articles on it. I found the books by Rashmi Bansal quite informative and useful. Another great book was the High Performance Entrepreneur by Subroto Bagchi. I believe that the true heroes of contemporary India are the amazing Entrepreneurs who work day and night in implementing the idea they believe in. I was quite impressed by the story of Prem Ganapathy, the founder of Dosa Plaza- It is literally a rag-to-riches story with lots of hard work and persistence involved.

MBA and Pagalpan:

Finally we come to the relevant part. I wanted to do an MBA even before joining my college. Unlike lots of engineers who take CAT at the last moment, without any proper consideration, I had a well chalked out plan about MBA. However I do admit that the major reason for doing an MBA, at that point of time, was money and fame. Plus one major reason was also the fact that I wanted to get into a Top Bschool at any cost. After falling so low, I badly wanted to rise back to the top. Moreover I was extremely frustrated with the company I had to share with in my college. The thing I appreciate the most in people is the ambition to do something big and good. Unfortunately the reasoning pattern of most people goes like this: Get a degree, Get into any job that comes your way. Do MBA from ABC Bschool. Get a high paying job, preferably in an Investment Bank or whichever company that pays you the most. Marry a high class girl. Have children, buy a house, car, etc, and get settled in life. If that is all what your ambition is, then I would say that you are extremely short sighted. Try doing something which interests you, for which you have true passion rather than just running after a high paying job or some fancy degree.

MBA in India is extremely over-hyped as many of you know. Some people think it is a Magical degree which can change their life overnight. Others believe it is Nirvana- which can help them transform their lives into something better. I would advise you do some proper analysis before jumping into the rat race to do an MBA. I believe that the biggest culprit is our risk-averse attitude for which everyone believe the only thing that matters in life is to get a stable job and earn lots of money. As Karan Bajaj has said in his book, 'India is a land of a Million Useless Engineers'. My dream is to visualize an India where every child has the freedom to pursue what he likes as a career. I do not believe in the argument that it is necessary for someone to do engineering in order to get a job. Thats pure rubbish. If you have the passion in something, you can earn loads of money by putting your heart and soul in it. You do not require any engineering or MBA degree to do so.

I joined Pagalguy in April 2009. I had never heard of the site earlier, and I came across it in a Google search. At first I was a mere spectator and I rarely posted. I came across this AIWTSAC thread, and I read each and every post posted here. I was fascinated to read the tales of so many people. However it also confirmed what I had feared: The pattern- IIT/Other Engg college->I.T.Job->MBA->Some Job which he has no idea about. This was the case in over 90% of the posts. The thing is people believe once they join a Top Bschool, their mission has been achieved. However their life has only just begun. I personally know quite a few people who are now repenting their decision of doing an MBA, as they had no interest in it. For me, getting into a Top Bschool was never the destination, it was just a platform to get on towards my ultimate goal.

Soon, I got attracted to Pagalguy and its features. I saw that I could get any information I wanted in the threads. Got to interact with lots of people too. Slowly I started becoming more active in threads. I started helping others too. And for the first time in years, I felt happy and content. One day I got a chance to interact with Apurv, and had a good discussion with him. He directed me to Rohit as I had some queries about PG meets. Thanks to their guidance, I was able to start PG meets in Durgapur along with madcapz Siddarth and Dhiresh. Though we had just a few meets, it was a great experience all the same. Moreover I got an opportunity to become a Moderator here. Soon I got to know, that I was the Youngest Ever Moderator on Pagalguy- which I believe is my biggest achievement till date. I had loads of fun with my senior co-Mods, Raghav-ji, Pallavi ji, and Doc Mod- Shashank. Had lots of interesting discussions with CLs- mainly Varun Saxena and Shruti. It was great interacting with other Madcapz and puys from all over India. Moreover, I consider myself fortunate to be given an opportunity to lead in an Online project- for the GDPI ebook, which also taught me lots of things. I had many other good moments in pagalguy, and this space is not enough to describe them all. I believe that PG has a major contribution towards whatever I am in life till now.

I guess by now, you would like to know about How I prepared for CAT and other MBA exams. That and the Japan angle will be dealt with in the final post.

Thank you for your patience.

*To be Concluded.
Note: Not a CAT crackers Post.

This is it, something which I have waited for so long. And now as I sit down to type, I am out of words. How do I start my post in this legendary thread? What is my objective behind writing this post? Is it just to share my experience, or is it something to inspire and guide others, or is it simply meant to be a post- One which you can sit back and enjoy reading. Now as I watch Fairy Tail and am busy with Assassins Creed 2 and Final Fantasy XII, I shall finally take my time to begin. I would request all of you to be a bit patient, as my story is going to be long. If you dont want to read a long post, feel free to leave anytime you feel bored. I do not have anything Earth shattering to write, and neither is my story absolutely unique in any sense. However I do hope that you can feel, to an extent, the same emotions which I did. I would like to thank you all for your time. And yes, this post is less about CAT, and more about my personal thoughts.

Scene 1: The Child-Hood

Year: 2003.

My father: So how much did you score this time?
Me: : 65%.
Father: You should be ashamed of yourself. See your friends. They have all scored above 80%.

Year: 2005
My Father: You have scored just 85% in your board exam and your rank is 39. You should be ashamed with such a poor performance. Even XYZ has got 88%.

Year: 2007
My Father: You have scored just 52 marks in Physics. Such a poor student as you cannot make it anywhere.

Year: 2010
My Father: You waste all your time playing games or watching useless cartoons and reading worthless books. You will not make it to any Bschool.
Me: I will prove you wrong.

I was a good student till class 7, always in the top 5 of my class. I attended one of the best schools in my town. I had been class monitor a few times, and had also led my House in the march past which took place while I was in class 4. Though I was very poor in sports, and I hesitated to take part in any outdoor game in school. However I used to play cricket or football for fun near my house. I rarely took part in extra-curriculars too. In fact, I had absolutely no idea that extra currics had any importance at all, till I joined my college. I was in fact shocked to see that extra currics had a big role to play in selections. In fact, I was a sort of a shy, reticent kid, who did not have many friends. I was unsocial, and I did not like mixing out with others, or going to parties, events, etc. I preferred to stay at home, and be on my own. And the fact that I was a single child did not help. I was a lonely kid, though I did have a few amazing friends.

I took solace in reading books. From early childhood, I was fascinated by books. While I was in class 2 or 3, I finished reading over 50 classics and was amazed to read about the characters of Robin Hood, Ben Hur, Long John Silver, Three Musketeers, etc. I read all the books I could lay my hands on, starting from Enid Blyton, and progressing to Agatha Christie, Sidney Sheldon, Robert Ludlum, Michael Crichton, etc. Till plus two, I read only fiction. But I read a lot. It was mainly due to my reading habits, that I developed a good vocabulary and knowledge. But I soon realized that knowledge is seldom given any importance in contemporary India. People give more stress to rote learning, marks, competition, getting a high paying job, criticizing and downgrading others. Anyone who tries to follow his passion is severely reprimanded, and sometimes even ostracized. In words of Doctor Manmohan Singh himself, Thinking out of the box is actively discouraged in India. Which is one major reason why India produces so few Nobel Laureates.

Coming back to my story, I always got above 80% marks till class 7. Suddenly in class 8, when the adolescence period started, I lost focus in studies. My percentage dropped to a all low 65. I could not cope up with Mathematics or Science. I have no excuse in saying that I was busy with sports or extra currics. I simply did not find Mathematics or Science or History or Geography interesting in any way. Though I did like English Literature. We had a few outstanding teachers in school, including one Maths Professor, Roy Sir, whom I consider to be the best teacher and one of the best human beings I have ever met in my life. He has inspired me as no-one else has. He used to teach mathematics in such a way, that even the weakest student could understand what he taught. He did not give any preference to any particular student. And contrary to many other teachers, Roy Sir awarded full marks to whoever deserved it. He taught me in Class 10. To give you an example, I had scored 43 marks in Mathematics in Class 8, and 47 in Class 9. And in class 10, I scored 95 marks in the first term, 87 in the second. Its not just about marks, but the truth is that a great teacher can inspire you and make you love a subject. Vice versa, a poor teacher can make you detest a subject that you originally found interesting. This is the truth in most cases- especially engineering colleges, where dearth of good faculty kills any interest that a student may have in pure science and research.

I may not have been interested in Studies or exams, but then I always tried to maintain a decent behavior throughout my school life. In school, I had received the Conduct and Application prize on numerous occasions . I was obedient and sincere. I never got into any argument, fight or controversy. I did not involve myself in any sort of mischief, not even minor ones. All these things naturally made me even more aloof than others. In fact, some teachers used to call me Brutus, the scholar , as I had the habit of strolling around the playground with a book in hand. Often I used to sit under a tree and read. I did not understand why people did things without knowing their purpose.

Career counseling is one major thing that is almost absent in India. And it is well known that most Indian parents force their children to study engineering or medicine, against their will. In my case, my father is an engineer, and though he never forced me to take up Science, I did it without a second thought. In fact, out of my 130 batchmates, over 120 took up Science. It was almost like a non-verbal consensus that we had to take up Science. At that time, the thought of doing something else did not occur to me. Moreover there were no Arts school in my town for boys. So I made the first major mistake of my life- Joined the Science stream, whereas clearly I had no interest, no desire whatsoever to pursue anything related to Science. My two biggest hobbies were reading books, and playing video games. I loved to immerse myself in a world of fantasy, cut off from the actual world. Lack of physical activity took a toll on my health and I was even hospitalized for a week. I have had several medical check ups done, and have faced various stomach problems. As a result I became somewhat of a frail guy. I also suffered from hormonal disorders. Many people made fun of me, ever since I was in school, and I grew up bearing all kinds of taunts and abuses. Being a reticent guy meant that I never fought back, not even verbally. I made a promise that I would never use any slang come what may, and till date I have broken it just once.

I passed my 10th board exams with 85% marks, and joined a school which I never wanted to join. St. Xaviers only had classes till 10th. Most of my Xaverian friends joined a reputed school, and even I took admission there. However for some reason which I could never understand, my father forced me to join this second school, which was very close to my residence. I know this may sound harsh from my side, but I have never forgiven my father for this abrupt decision. I totally despised and hated the two years I spent in this school. The teachers were simply horrible, and they mercilessly beat the students for any small reason. Yes you read that right- We were beaten like criminals in 11th and 12th. Most people react with shock when I tell them this. And thanks to such poor quality teachers, I lost whatever interest was remaining in Science, including Mathematics. I only liked Trigonometry, and some parts of Algebra. I abhorred calculus, and still do. I envied those brilliant students who could solve every Kinematics problem, and an Integral calculus problem was like a piece of cake for them. I still could not fathom why on earth was I solving KCL, KVL equations, and learning organic chemical reactions. I had no interest whatsoever in Physics or Chemistry. Computer Science was one subject which I liked though. And English was there. I was possibly the only student in Plus 2 who was still interested in English. Everyone else was busy preparing for IIT, AIEEE, WBJEE, etc. I enrolled for FIITJEE like most others and I could not make out anything of the material. I took only 2 mock exams and then gave up. I met a few brilliant guys in school, who are in IITs as of now. One of them has joined Google. I was amazed to see their dedication towards their subjects. Thankfully, my best friend too had joined this school, and if it was not for him, I would have gone mad for sure.

My father made me join 3 tuitions, and 2 of them were held in my house. Lots of students used to come during that time. Let me say this much, that I was not that bad in studies, even in Science. I used to usually score above 75%, and even managed a 81% in last term in school. But in spite of all the tuitions, studies, FIITJEE, etc, I failed miserably when it came to engineering
competitive exams. You can say that my heart was not in it. I got a measly 88,070 rank in AIEEE, and to my absolute horror, this was my rank when I clicked on my WBJEE result: 26,632. Most of my friends had done decently, getting under 20k in AIEEE, and within 2k in WBJEE. Quite a few from my class cleared IIT too. And I could not make it to a SINGLE college. Yes you heard that right, no NIT, and not even a private engineering college. To say that I was disappointed would have been an under-statement. Not once had I expected such a pathetic result. I had no plan B. I had absolutely no idea what I would do next. I started crying after seeing my result. Instead of consoling me, my father said that I had destroyed my own life, my career and his reputation. Teachers and friends started avoiding me. I was never that popular in any case, but it was now as if everyone from neighbors to friends were treating me as an outcast. I further shirked into my own cell. And I could not understand head or tail as to what was happening and why it was happening. My best friends got into NITs. I was in fact amongst those handful of students from my school who could not make it anywhere. Even one guy who had failed in Mathematics in school managed to get into a decent engineering college. There was one guy who got a better WBJEE rank without taking any tuition. I cannot describe how bad I felt at that time. I hadnt even given a thought to applying to any general course such as BBA, BCA, BSc, etc. In desperation my father started searching for forms of those colleges, which I am even ashamed to take their names of.

Finally, after a month or so, I got over this depression. I decided to drop one year and try again. There wasnt much alternative either. I got addicted to the internet, and orkut in particular. Made a few good online friends, some of whom I am in touch with to this day. It was mostly due to love of anime that I survived that tough phase and made some good online friends who shared this passion. However my father was against me dropping an year. Somehow I managed to take admission in a below average engineering college in the AEIE branch. I wasnt happy but I didnt have the courage to go against my fathers wish. How I wish that instead of joining that college, I had gone ahead and done BA or something instead in some other city. I would again regret that decision. Mistake number two- Check.

I will end this section with this incident: Our school had a copy in which every student was supposed to write down his AIEEE/WBJEE rank. A special programme was arranged to honour the School Toppers and those who made it to IITs/NITs/Other Engineering colleges. The parents of those students were honored with scarves. Almost everyone from our class was called. I was the only person left out. While others were awarded medals and prizes, I was nothing more than a mere spectator. I still remember having taken pictures of the class topper at his request, while he went on stage and got his prize. Thus the lonely small town guy faded away into oblivion.......................

And in his place took a person who had only one desire- To take revenge for all the humiliation and insults withstood.

*To be Continued.

Before I start my JUNK story (Junk may be the most commonly used adjective in Bangalore IT dictionary) you should know that I may be the fewer ones, who worked hard to fail and relaxed to win. Secondly, I have currently got a few converts, probably the best being IIM Ranchi. Finally, this is not about cracking CAT and getting into any IIM or premier institute, but its about how to analyze your life and learn the most out of it.

My Life?
You may not find CAT or any CAT like temperament in me. Right from childhood, I was a semi-lazy guy, who liked doing what he felt was interesting. Else, who cares!!!! Being just a normal kid around the block, I was decent in studies, and being shy God made sure that I continued the way I was.
Matriculation was the first major milestone in educational life, and I topped my school in English although I was considered mediocre. What I did differently from school exams was used a gel pen and avoided scratches on the paper. I had a beautiful handwriting. The same answers started looking beautiful. My realization, dont underestimate yourself, based on some past performances. Try things differently, tweak situations for results. Everyone can rise from ashes like a Phoenix (as many saw in movie Harry Potter ;)).

Didnt do much in intermediate, kept getting out of focus from studies. But then, a good thing happened in during that period was, I realized that being a silent, shy guy never works better. Self-motivation worked wonders for me, I was an extrovert now, expressing myself, making new friends. My learning - you can work wonders inside yourself, if you have inner strength. Well that may be common, like you may have read in the Speaking Tree, but yes the stronger you are inside, the more smooth your outside world would be.

Engineering college was more of a fun time than career building and learning time. I did have a spark inside me, when I observed electronic equipments, mobile communication etc, I wanted to know more. I was not brainless, but people like me need some good initiators to show the way. There were almost none. Hence, lost any interest I had from the subjects, and spent rest of my days in college enjoying and playing computer games. Someone who thinks he/she is like I, needs to find that initiator in his life. Once who can keep the spark alive as I read in a Chetan Bhagats article.

After Engineering, I joined an IT firm like lots and lots of desi engineers. Surprisingly in the days of my IT industry training, I could follow each and everything the trainer taught, and performed exceptionally to my past standards. What I figured out, was that a good teacher is priceless to have. No doubts about that!!! If you can find yourself one, spend as much time as you can with him, and work like an ass. (Watch - A man without a face)
Journey to CAT?
Now, I started working in some software projects, and this was the time, I realized I wanted to do MBA although I was in love with programming. I started solving some aptitude questions and reading Norman Lewis. Disinterest again started hitting me, but I kept curbing those ideas and regularly worked on a routine. . Again, I worked extremely hard in this phase. I defied myself doing that. I used to slog 12-13 hours in office, go back, solve some CAT problems, slept hardly 6 hours. This continued for 5-6 months. I became one of the top performers in office, I got outstanding comments from my managers, lost my personal life working but the results were fruitful. I joined CL in 2009, prepared well within the time I got from the tedious schedule in office.
Then came CAT 2009, computerized tests for the first time, and Rudranil too for the first time. Result Screwed!!!! After preparing well, 85.xx!!! I thought I had attempted the exams well, but seemed like I was wrong. I realized this time, Dont kill yourself for something which takes away precious years from your life.

I was almost 3 years into software industry in 2010 when I gave CAT again. I had speculated a lot over that, since I also liked to program and stuffs. But finally a last try was not really bad, I thought. I decided to give a decent try, not over study, so that even if I fail, I will not look back and say I wasted this year too. In fact, 2-3 months before CAT I didnt touch any book because I was preparing for Job Interviews. Although I used to read enormous amount of novels and some newspapers. Apart from that, I would login to CL site and solve problems after I was back from work.
2010, 23rd Nov, I was running on high fever from past 2 days. Eyes red, head fuzzy, fever touching 101 deg.F I went into the exam hall. Even looking at the computer was making my eyes burn even more. Kept on encouraging myself so that I could concentrate. When I read the first question in QA, I knew the answer. I read the second, I knew how to solve it, and so on it went till I had attempted good number of questions. Never Say Die!!! There is always hope (Watch the nickelodeon animated series Avatar)!!!!

Then the results came out in midnight, 11th Jan. I was sleeping by then. Woke up next morning, went to office, and over there I opened the score sheet pdf. I rubbed my eyes twice and closed adobe reader and opened it twice to verify that I scored 99.8. I understood, that when things really look difficult, you need to sit back and clear your head, make yourself believe that there is nothing to loose. I did that to myself. I went in with the coolest head amidst high fever, and suddenly questions started making sense. Never take any win or failure to your head or heart. Win and failure can both be deadly killers.

But as some say, you can never leave your past behind. My 10+2 marks, and Grad College came to bite me back again, and I didnt get calls from a lot of IIMs. I managed to bag calls from IIM L, I, RRRT. Except IIM L PI, rest of the interviews, WATs, and GDs went on well. After IIM L results came out and I was rejected, then on I have converted RRT, and IMT G. Waiting for IIM I, if I can get some good news.

So, this is a story of taking things lightly but sincerely. As we all know, life is short, dont give away every bit of it to make a career. After all once we are gone, this all will be meaningless, isnt it? Every year, 100s of students get great percentile in CAT, and study in IIMs. Everyone has the capability, but for a treasure hunt to succeed, search should begin in right areas.(Read Outliers by malcolm gladwell)
Good Luck to all buddies!!!! ď Š

Rudranil Chakrabortty


My CAT story is not a typical very-intelligent-always-on-the-top-of-the-pile IIT stud effortlessly cracks CAT and goes to IIM A/B/C nor is it a story of how a Hindi-medium-educated-starry-eyed-small-towner toils and aces Verbal and eventually makes it into a biggie.
My CAT story is not about CAT at all, it is about the very valuable lessons that life taught me over the past two years; it is about how I learnt from my mistakes; it is about how life hit me, a more or less happy-go-lucky chap, hard and brought me to my knees and how I got up and persevered. So for the kind souls who wish to read on,

This is how it all began
It was 3rd year of Engineering. All the bright kids and the wannabe IIMers joined Career Launcher's full time coaching. I found myself doing pretty well in the class tests and stuff and was amongst the good performers of the batch. 3-4 months into it, placements started. It was a breeze for me. I picked up jobs in coveted companies, despite the recession and my mediocre GPA. This went to my head. Secondly almost everyone around me was telling me that fresher MBA was useless and that it was only the work ex guys that pass out with the sky high salaries. I ended up losing steam and not even applying for CAT and other exams. Come May 2009, I see guys who weren't performing half as well as me, had made it into XL, MDI, etc. The realisation hit me hard, ''Boy! I just made the largest mistake of my life.''

Lesson #1 - Do not let the little successes get to you head, you lose sight of the bigger picture.
Lesson #2 - Do not base important decisions on hearsay.
Season '09
My company joining was 1st September (thanks to recession). I made wise use of all the free time. I prepared really hard and started writing CL mocks. I used to clear all the cut-offs more often than not. I identified my weaknesses and worked on them. My overall performance was in an upward trend.
Joined my company in September. First 45 days were in the Head Office. New place, new friends, comfortable work hours (read training), first salary, a new relationship and I comfortably put CAT in the backseat.
I got posted in my site by October end and this is when life took a U-turn again. 14-15 hours of running around in the sun, 2 hours of travel in a rickety bus every day, ear-blasting heavy machinery and the fact that I was living in some godforsaken remote place made me rethink my priorities. MBA was the only way I could get out of all this mess.

Lesson #3 - Relationships and good times come and go.

I worked really hard for the next 1 odd month. Was quite confident about CAT. The other exams came and went. So Report Card Season 2009:
CAT - 98.72 with very nice splits. Calls from MDI and NITIE:cheerio:. Let me not talk about the IIM criteria, I could rant for pages if I get into that :).
IIFT - GK cut-off :(
SNAP - Was a breeze. SIBM Pune call.
XAT - Decision making section :(
JMET - Really regret not having applied.
FMS - Missed by a whisker.

Symbi and MDI interviews went very well. NITIE was a blur. There were 6 members in the panel and I kind of blacked out.
Eventually (after a lot of tense waiting for WL movements) I got MDI PGPM (HR in the first list) and SIBM converts. NITIE was a slap on the face, not even in the WL. I was fond of NITIE, so the reject was a shocker.

The Dilemma
I was not sure about going to MDI. Everybody around called me a fool for even thinking about it. But I handled the dilemma maturely (at least I like to think so now). The actual reason was, I'd secretly fallen in love with work. Although I used to crib big time about having to run around in the sun, the physical exhaustion and my harassing boss (the moment he came to about my MBA plans, his attitude towards me changed volte-face), I was actually enjoying the tough field work.
Work kept becoming more and more taxing. My typical routine was: get up at 4am study for 3 hours, leave for work at 8, come back by 11pm and got to sleep (on Sundays too). I found it really hard to live through all this, but sort of enjoyed the pressure. My mocks were going alright. I was improving every time. All work and no life did take its toll on me and as a result I lost an important relationship. But I gathered up myself pretty quickly and moved on.

Lesson #4 - Move on
The Halt
July 18 2010. I had entered the exam hall for TIME Aimcat when my mom's friend barged in, pulled me aside and told me that I'd lost my father. Life came to a standstill. I didn't even know how to react. Life had lost all meaning. CAT seemed trivial.
I somehow managed to muster courage and was at it again pretty soon.
July 21 2010 I wrote an Aimcat from home and scored an AIR 262. The days that followed were the worst of my life (work, CAT and my emotions). I lived like a machine.

Lesson #5 - Perseverance
Season '10
CAT - I knew I'd mauled Quant and DI. 99.98 in both but a paltry 89.xx in Verbal. I was happy with the 99.46 overall :).
IIFT - Cleared
JMET - AIR 283
FMS - Missed by a whisker
XAT - I knew decision making would do me in, it did :)

I'd learnt quite a bit about my work and had got some sectoral knowledge and stuff. I also knew why I required an MBA to strive in the industry. So the interviews were very easy for me.

Lesson #6 - Why MBA

Converts - NITIE (First List), IIFT (First List), IIM Trichy (First List), IIT-B (WL-5), IIM Rohtak (Second List), IIM Raipur (Second List). Didn't attend MDI.

The Present
It does sting a teensy little bit in one corner of my heart that I am not going to a big IIM despite all this. But its okay, NITIE is bigger.:cheerio::cheerio::cheerio: So that is where I am headed.

The Future
I do not know what the future holds in store for me. Whatever it does, wherever I reach, however much I accomplish in life, I shall always be proud of the little fight I put up to get into NITIE.

This thread in particular has been a huge stimulus for me. I almost can recite r11gupta's post from memory. So I'll wind up by quoting him, "Kill yourself for a year, and you'll be a God the rest of your life."



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