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Journey to IIM
So my journey starts in 2008 when I buy a book for CAT preparation. Everyone was laughing at me that time as I was in 1st year of engineering in National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal. With no idea about the format, syllabus and question pattern of the toughest management test, I wrote the first mock CAT of my life in the summer break after 1st year. The result highly motivated me, as to my surprise, I had secured an incredible 99+ percentile.
I joined TIME in the 3rd year of engineering after getting a 30% discount through a scholarship test. TIME used to conduct classes in our college and the faculties were not the best to say. In the meantime, I kept my preparation on track by solving TIME materials. Then started the AIMCATs where I used to score a decent percentile. Finally I entered into final year, when I became officially eligible to write CAT and other management tests.
The examination days came closer and I put my best efforts to cover all the topics. That time, my placement had also started so I was under immense pressure to handle both the things at a time. I wrote IIFT, which was my first B-School entrance examination. I performed quite well but soon through the answer keys, I came to know that I missed the cut-off by 1-2 marks.
Then the day of result came close and I was enjoying my holidays in Bangalore with my parents. I was desperately waiting for the moment and it came as a shocker. I had secured an overall 96.77 with 99 and 97 in QA and DI respectively. But to my surprise, I got 71 percentile in VA.
But suddenly, IIM Kozhikode changed its criteria and I was shortlisted for the interview.
But I couldn't perform well in the interview due to lack of my knowledge about current affairs and I was rejected in the interview stage.
I joined Mphasis after my B.Tech and went to Mangalore for a training program. Then I went to NOIDA for a KT program. I again applied for CAT 2011 with an objective to perform better compared to last time. This time I applied to SPJAIN, FMS (through CAT) and MDI along with IIMs. I skipped IIFT and XAT as I had zero preparation. I came to Pune in the meantime and I didnt get any time for preparation. I wrote CAT with a half-hearted preparation. It never went well and as expected, I got very less percentile (in the 80s).
I decided to give my last and final attempt at CAT. This time, I made sure that I would not leave any stone unturned. I became part of Pune Fighters team and got valuable suggestions from other team members. The discussions were really helpful in my preparation. I joined AIMCAT and kept on changing my strategy with every AIMCAT to find the best possible option. Also this time, I started analysing the mocks seriously and I put most of the time doing the same. I didn't get much time to go through the TIME material as my job was really hectic. But suddenly, I was put on bench in the company and that, I thought came as the blessing in disguise. I continued giving maximum amount of time towards analysing the mocks, looking at the mistakes in AIMCAT and making sure not to repeat those mistakes in future. Guess what!! My percentile started rising up like Kohli's number of centuries. I was always comfortable in Quant, DI and LR so I never faced any sort of difficulties in these sections. But VA was still troubling me. So I made sure to practice RCs, Grammar, PJs and other VA stuffs every day. Eventually my hard work started paying off. I scored 90 out of 90 in the first section in 3 consecutive AIMCATs and also started clearing VA cut-offs regularly. These scores really motivated me and I got 99.7 percentile in the last AIMCAT with an AIR of 27 which was a real boost to my confidence.
Finally the C-day came. I attempted 47 questions and was quite confident of VA section as well. I also wrote IIFT and XAT and this time I applied to all the top 20 B-schools. Results started pouring in. It was 11th January and time was 3am. I tried and tried for almost half-an-hour and finally the much-awaited scorecard came in front of me. It was an okayish performance. I had got 98.28 in CAT with 98.66 in Section-1 and 92.68 in Section-2. I was quite happy with the result. Though I missed IIFT cut-off by a whisker, I got a decent 95 percentile in XAT. Interview lists started pouring in. I got calls from IIM B, K, I, S, 6 New IIMs, XLRI (BM and HRM), SPJIMR(Profile-based), NITIE, MDI, XIMB, IMT Ghaziabad, IMI Delhi.
My preparation for next stage started as I knew, it would never be easy to crack the IIM interview stage. I tried to cover all current affair news, watched news channels to improve my communication and wrote 3-4 essays daily. I joined TIME as well as one more institute in Pune for GD-WAT-PI preparation. And the mock PIs really helped me in analysing my own performance. In the meantime, I was forced to shift to Chennai from Pune as I was on bench. But I had all my interviews in Mumbai, so I had no other option but to leave my job.
I attended all the interviews in Mumbai and was satisfied with almost all of them barring a few ones. I converted (in the order) IMT Ghaziabad, XIMB Bhubaneswar, IMI Delhi, IIM S (WL), NITIE (WL), IIM Ranchi (HR), MDI Gurgaon, some of the new IIMs and at the end, IIM INDORE. I still remember 20th May it was. Time was 6pm. I was in my relative's house in Bhubaneswar. I saw a post in PG that IIMI has declared the final result. My hands started shaking as I had lost all confidence after rejection from IIM B, K, XL, SP.
And it said "CONGRATULATION"!! I was just delighted to see the convert and I was on cloud nine. Finally my dream of joining an IIM came true. I joined IIM Indore.
I had never thought of writing down these experiences, but thanks to inspiration from some close friends in IIM, I wrote this post. Hope it will inspire the aspirants in future, and then only the point behind writing this post will be justified.
All the best to everyone for future endeavours..
Dear puys, sorry for the long, irrelevant post in this sacred thread. This is neither a success story nor an inspiring one :(
Here I am, sitting like a fool at an Airport as I write this. Feeling devastated, demotivated & dejected to say the least with my CAT result consistently for the 4th time. Do not even know what went wrong. My dreams will remain dreams forever.
Gave CAT on Oct 24th morning slot. Attempted 23 in QA (max 4 wrong) & 24 in VA (sure of all 9 LR) & ended up getting 87 in QA & 80 in VA. Was expecting 99.5+ to say the least. I was in complete disbelief looking at my result. Saw it for more than 100 times & still could not believe the same. Someone from the same slot attempted only 11 in VA & ended up getting 95 %ile in VA (not doubting his/her abilities though). Some other guy attempted 4 in QA & got 80%ile. How the hell can this happen??? Is accuracy the only thing that matters in CAT??? It would have been much better had I attempted only those 9 LR in that case
CL's most likely projected percentile gave me 99.6 & their percentile predictor gave me 98.X & 97.X in best & worst case scenario. Never scored less than 90 in any of the Proc Mocks. Avg AIMCAT score this season was 95+ & finally ended up getting 87 in CAT
Was down with viral fever for a week. Unfortunately, had to give my GMAT & XAT in the same week. Got screwed in XAT. GMAT only 680. Nothing, literally nothing had gone right for me this year.
Now, suddenly life for me seems to be full of regrets - Not joining new IIMs, not converting XL call last year despite scoring 99.7 & everything else. Do not even know what to do now. The journey ends here. Will not be giving CAT or XAT anymore.
For me, XAT & XL - Respect forever. CAT, IIMs & normalization - hopeless
Made many good friends during XL ping days. @ayushnasa @anshul_mechie @dhruvwali @bhaduriarchit @superchiku @cricketfreak @leo12all @lio17 @CatEngg @conquerer1 @Toughluck2009 @Ibanez @sid2222000 @missionCAT13 @tarun1110 @jhaavinash @raven_007 @ANS13 @jai89 @achyut1989 @_Robin_ & many others. Sorry if I missed mentioning few of you. Thanks a lot for all your support & belief in my abilities. I will not give up. Will write a post again in this thread once I achieve something substantial in life. All the best for your future !!
Finally, I've relatively spent more time on PG than on FB since I joined. Thanks PG for all the memories!!
So this is a story of an average General Male Engineer.
Many of you won't know me but i have been following Pagalguy since my final year of engineering and i have learnt a lot from you puys. More than you could imagine and for that a huge Thank You to all at Pagalguy.
Attempt 1 - Cat 2010
It was the time for Placements and many of my friends were giving MBA exams and i thought what the heck, lets give it too. So, for my first attempt i just gave CAT and XAT and it was mostly a non serious attempt by me. I was placed and so just gave it for fun. It was my first experience giving an online exam but since I am a gamer, it wasn't that much of a challenge for me. XAT was a different battle altogether. The day of the score and I score a 99.56. I still remember the moment and the feeling of joy of getting a high percentile. I hadn't researched much and hadn't applied to any colleges either. Immediately i thought i would get calls from IIMs and I threw a huge party for the batch. This was like one of the highest point of an otherwise average life. But i was in for a shock. Not one of the IIMs gave me a call for interview. I was stunned and depressed. The sins of my past came back to haunt me. It was like someone lifting you up and then dropping you with double the force.I gave up on my doing an MBA and joined the job i was offered.
Attempt 2 - Cat 2012
Fast forward to 2 years later and here i was, totally frustrated with my job which was going nowhere and no scope of growth. The only way out was an MBA and so i thought CAT would be the answer. But owing to my bad academics I wasn't that confident. I thought maybe my work ex would give me an edge. So, round 2 started with full force. Gave Mocks and Practiced any free time i could get. This time I was nervous on the D-Day as this was make or break for me. I was almost on the verge of resigning with no other prospects at hand. I was ready to join any college but for that i had to score first.
This time, I apply to CAT, XAT, IIFT, NMAT and SNAP. Applied to all colleges in top 15 except JBIMS and SP Jain because of obvious reasons. So, all exams went well and i got a percentile of 99.38 in CAT. I thought maybe with my work ex i could get a call this time round. AND i got six calls from IIMS.
Yeah, from the new ones(Ghanta wala smiley nahin hai kya). Luckily i got calls from IIFT,FMS and SIBM too. Also scored a call from XLRI and XIMB and the IITS. With my percentile, as usual i browsed Pagalguy and came to know i could convert the new IIMS with a decent GD and PI. So, first thing i do is read about GD and PI experiences on Pagalguy. The first interview was for XLRI and it went well. Trust me no matter how well you prepare, the performance on the day counts. I gave a very bad GD which was a fish market. Made just one entry and was an audience for the rest of the battle between two fellow aspirants. After this one of the most random interviews ever. I was asked the difference between Tornadoes, Hurricanes , Twisters and so on. 5 mins of my 15-20 min interview on that. Gave some confident answers which i still don't know if they were correct. As this was one of the first, i was filled with confidence. Came out thinking that XL was off the list because of my poor GD. Anyways next on to XIMB and the new IIMS. XIMB was a blink and miss interview and the new IIMS was taken just for the sake of taking. By now I was not doing well in interviews as I didn't have a good one at XIMB and with my bad Acads i guess i was getting more and more depressed.
The main setback came during the next set of interviews which were IIFT, SIBM, NMIMS, FMS and MDI. Gave IIFT SIBM and NMIMS over three days and FMS and MDI in two days. Now, NMIMS basically asked me why i bothered turning up and SIBM interview was just average. The IIFT one was a setback. Waiting in line and being the last one to go, I was asked about the last movie i saw and the major learnings i got from the movie. The rest of my 15 min interview was based on the movie. After getting out, I was generally cursing myself of the pathetic attempts i was giving. I was already spending a lot of money on traveling and stuff but the major turning point came for FMS. I missed my flight to Delhi and then had to book a 15k round about flight to Delhi which had 4 stoppages and after a night full of waiting and flying, reached Delhi 2 hours before my interview. All this while i kept thinking is this a sign that was being shown to me to give up on this dream. My interview for FMS was on the first day and there was a lot of mismanagement that day and i was fearful of missing my flight to Kolkata for the MDI interview (2 times in 2 days would have been a record i think). Enter the Interview and i can say it was the worst interview of my life
Now, back to my fruitless job and the results come out one by one. I was totally depressed by this time and i kept getting reject calls adding to my depression
To all aspirants I will say this, you can't do anything now about your acads, something about your gender and nothing about your field of study. You can't judge what an interviewer will ask you or how your panel for the GD will be. All you can do is have confidence in yourself and never lose it. I lost mine and went through some serious dark phases. Try not losing yours. Life will keep hitting you and you just have to get back up. It all sorts out in the end. If i can get into a decent B-School, anyone can. Just have faith in yourself. And also CAT is not the end of life. (there are other exams too )
P.S. To all the members of PagalGuy , thanks for all your posts and experiences which has benefited many members like me. I know there is not a lot about interviews or GDs(there are many others with better interviews and GDs whereas mine were all fails), i hope it helps atleast one puy gain confidence that if a noob like him can get in, so can I.
A post almost 5 years in the making.. I have been meaning to pen this down for quite sometime now and guess better late than never
Resuming from where I had left things off...
The first exam of the new year, XAT turned out to be bad for me, lack of any real practice showed, did decent in sectionals, but couldn't maximize my score in any section, and hence expected myself to miss-out on XL call. FMS as expected, was bad, speed has never been my ally, and this fact remained unchanged during FMS again
And finally I get to write on this Sacred thread!
I had followed this thread before and after seeing the posts and what stalwarts like Hate sir went, this is nothing. But nevertheless, everyone has his unique experience and I would share it here.
It began in the third year. I heard about MS and MBA and the usual "sirf Engg se kuch nahi hoga". I myself wanted to do something more after Engg. and started weighing for options. It began with people joining classes for MS and MBA. Having done a lot of enquiry, I decided that I would prefer staying in India and the cons of MS were more for me than pros. I looked at the option of MBA and heard about CAT. I knew maths was my forte and I'll give a shot at CAT. I had absolutely n idea what happens in MBA then. I just wanted to give it a shot. I joined TIME and started preparing.
I came across PaGalGuy through guess what? Orkut I joined Pagalguy on my Birthday and must say I was reborn then. What I was about to see was something spectacular in itself. People are fancied by many different things, what fancied me was "The Official Quant Thread". The time when Subhakimi, topper@iitb, himspuy, suja, maskedmenace, Naga Sir, Chill sir, ATDH and all graced the thread. And I was stunned the way they used to solve problems. Then I came across people like Doc and I thought people try achieving so much in life, and I am I mean, there is so much more to do! There are so many levels above!Soon I got addicted to Pagalguy. I was obsessed to solve the questions first for that precious Thank. It might sound silly but it use to matter me a lot. Loved those times when Thanks and Groans used to exist. I gave GRE before CAT. I scored a 1340, which was decent but not good enough. I was asked that the score is still decent and I should go for MS, but I had made up my mind on MBA.
I gave CAT without fear as I knew this was just the first attempt. Apart from that I gave XAT and CET. XAT 2011 was probably the toughest XAT and I scored merely 70 percentile. My LR DM was around 40 %ile. Cat score came and was surprised to see 94.xx. My mocks score never were that good and I didn't expect such a big change. But I hadn't filled any other form and ended up with zero calls. I got placed in Pune meanwhile. Then came the CET result and I scored 99%ile. Again this was not enough for getting JB. Although my expectations were raised with this, I thought I can probably give another shot and do better. And the very next day I got a KT. The first KT of my life! I was devastated. The fear of losing everything came across my mind. I might have lost my job and I realized the value of that job. The paper did get clear, but I decided not to go for CAT 11 as I wanted to confirm my job and give 100% in training so that am not thrown out from there.
2013:This time I had decided that I'll give all the entrance exams. Job was going good and I did find time to study along with work. First came CMAT. It was a decent attempt, but my biggest weakness was General Awareness( It had troubled me the most). Scored 254 odd and left it there itself. Then came the C Day. I had prepared well, but my last mock was a disaster. My mock scores had started falling and I was really disheartened at the end. I gave a simple TIME CR mock a day before to build up my confidence. I made decent attempt. Some 22 attempts in Quant and around 24 attempts in Section II. Section I I knew I had scored atleast 20 correct. Section II was always my nemesis. Gave the paper and was glad that one biggie was done. Then gave NMAT and was surprised the way I approached it. Came home, registered again and gave second time. Then gave SNAP and again just attempted 3 GK questions. I was that bad at GK. Finally came XAT and was expecting a 2011 type paper. But surprisingly was able to attempt a few this time. Finally gave CMAT in Feb.Results: The day CAT result came, I was in absolute shock. I couldn't believe my eyes that there were a few '9' in that result. Checked it again and again, did that from 4 - 6 AM. I was scared, nervous, excited. I had no idea what was going through my mind. I had expected a good score, but I didn't know what to do after that. And then came SNAP -97.99, XAT 96.xx, NMAT - 213. I had almost all calls, except SIBM and XLRI. Missed VA cutoff by 2. And didn't have NITIE as I was stupid enough to have ignored it. Nevertheless, joined TIME for further GD PI prep.
Interviews: My biggest weakness. I had zero, absolute ZERO knowledge of what goes around in the world. My hands were shaking in front of the interviewer at my first interview at TIME. I felt so bad that I know nothing. Made a point that day that I'll read. read so much that I'll know atleast the maximum possible till my last interview, which was by Gods grace MDI. Started giving interviews, knew was screwing most of them, but was happy that I was atleast giving those. I was improving, but still needed that extra confidence. Finally by April I had pretty knowledge of how to go about in interviews and how to be confident. MDI, was my last interview. In between there were results being announced, which was easily put into one line as "We regret to say that you have not been selected" Didn't lose heart and went for every interview hoping to improve.
April 14, my last interview at Dadar for MDI. I was confident and the GD PI went really well. And then came the day finally when MDI results were announced. MDI PGPM it was! So many rejects, but they were totally worth this single convert. Made my day!!
As some great one had his status: Hard work never goes unrewarded forever. And how true is that!
Just one advice:
Don't give up. If you are even at zero level, trust me the only way now is up. Personal experience. I had prepared for GD PI in those four months. If you want to achieve something, work hard for it and no one can ever stop you. Go towards the destiny, hold your heads up high!
P.S. I wanted to thank so many friends I had made at PG, but I'll just thank PG as whole. Thank you for coming in my life!
IIM BANGALORE PGP 2013-2015
So, finally writing the post I was eagerly waiting for since CAT 2008.
A brief background: I'm an engineer from a family of modest means. After 10th, I was confused about which stream to take because my family had an Arts background and nobody had an idea about a career in Commerce/Science. I scored highest marks in Science in class X board exams and decided to take science. The lack of knowledge struck again when I was in class 12th as I had no idea about what to do after 12th. A friend of mine filled forms of entrance exams. I filled them too but couldn't make it to any college. Somewhere I believed that if I give one more attempt, I'll clear it. I dropped one yr and asked my parents to get me into a coaching. We were not financially good and my parents insisted me to join B.Sc. as the coaching fee was huge. I urged them to give me one chance. I joined coaching and next yr made it to DCE in electronics branch.
The life in college was totally different. Here, ppl used to wear trendy clothes, drive bikes and cars, buy latest mobiles, go for movies, trips etc. i.e. the things money can buy. This was different from school where one can take 2 pairs of uniforms and wear them till they fit you, without being left out, because everyone wears same dress. Over time, I was able to cope up with it, but one thing kept coming to my mind that to be happy and enjoy life, one needs lots of money. One day, I heard some of my classmates saying that to earn huge money, one can do MBA from IIMs. IIM grads earn tons of money and live a luxury life. In final yr, I secured a job with decent salary. That done, I asked my parents to get me into MBA coaching so that I can crack IIMs. As my father was still the only bread-winner for our family, he was very reluctant to pay huge coaching fees. But I insisted that “since everyone is doing it, so I will do it too”. This I would say is one big mistake I made during my career. On my persistent requests, my father gave in and got me into coaching. I directed all my efforts towards CAT, appeared for CAT 2008 and got a lone call from IIM-K. I was elated and told everyone in my family abt it, but they didn't had any idea abt what it means, except a huge investment (in terms of fees).
Before going to the interview, someone told me that I should buy a formal suit to make a good impression. But when I thought about asking my parents for money to buy me a suit, I got scared that they'll get angry. So I picked the best winter jacket I had, got it dry-cleaned and went for GD/PI. When I reached the venue, I saw that everyone except me was actually wearing a formal suit. I felt bad, but couldn't do anything about it. Nevertheless, I gave my best in GD/PI and returned home, without any hope of a convert.
In the mean time, my sister got married and my father had to take loan for the expenses. I also started looking for better-paying off-campus jobs. But due to recession in 2009, I couldn't find one. On 6th May 2009, I got a phone call from a person with south Indian accent. He told me that you were waitlisted and have now cleared it. Do you want to join IIM-K? I was filled with joy to the brim and said yes. I asked him what do I need to do now. He told me that he'll send me joining form and I'll have to send it back along with the first term fee. I told my family that I've finally made it to an IIM, and now our future will be good. I got a lukewarm response. I knew my family was under a financial burden and needed my help. During next 4 days, I thought a lot about it and felt that it was my responsibility to help my family rather than pursuing my dreams. I decided to join job instead of MBA. I sent a mail to IIM-K that I want to withdraw and seat may be offered to next candidate. But I kept my dream alive, that once my family gets financially stable, I'll give CAT again.
I joined job and started earning. Also, during job, whenever I got time, I tried to solve some questions from my old coaching notes. Over time, our financial condition stabilized. Then I decided to give exam again and appeared for CAT 2011. But to my shock, I didn't get a single call. I was shattered that if I can crack CAT once, how's it possible to not get even one call at another attempt. I gathered myself and appeared with full effort in CAT 2012. This time I got calls from IIM-L,K and new IIMs. I appeared for their GD/PI processes and my performance was Ok.
After results are out, till now I've converted IIM-K, Rp, Ksp, U and some other colleges. I'm happy that my efforts have borne fruit and I was able to achieve what I had aspired for years ago. After passing from IIM, I may get a good-paying job in an MNC. There will be hefty pay-checks down the line. The future seems very bright.
But if I take a break from the present state of bliss and take a look at my journey and of many others like me, I see large no. of people in our country who are poor. Figures and stats about such people make good points during GDs, but for them, it is a reality. My grandparents were poor farmers and my parents struggled a lot to establish ourselves in a metro city and give us good education. With this education, we have moved ahead and improved our lives. But what about those unlucky people who are still uneducated, who still find it difficult to get a square meal for their family. At the end of race for placements, CV points, coveted profiles etc. during and after MBA, I'll be working for firms who will hardly contribute to improve the lives of poor people. There will be high work-pressure to make a rich company richer and a richer one the richest.
I struggle to find an answer to how will my work post-MBA help the underprivileged people. The success which I desired so eagerly seems shallow now. Moreover, once you enter the rat-race, it'll be very difficult to come out due to loan payments, family responsibilities and the peer pressure to maintain life-style. There may be ppl who can contribute to society through the MBA route also, but as my personal calling, I don't find it to be the right path for it.
This brings me to the conclusion of my post. After a lot of deliberation about what to do, I've decided to drop the idea of MBA. It doesn't fit into the kind of work I want to do all my life. Better give this seat to someone who need it and will make a better use of it for his/her life. I've decided to go for civil services and contribute back to the society. The salary may be very less compare to that of an MBA and I may not get the kind of life-style I always desired, but it'll at least enable me to bring meaningful change in other people's lives. I'll help them in overcoming the difficulties which I faced during my early years. The only regret will be of not listening to my inner calling earlier and doing what everyone else was doing, and losing a lot of time in this pursuit. The MBA dream rests in peace.
“Standing at the gates of IIM, life seems ironical. One step inside, and there's the tag of Winner. And one step outside, the tag will of a Loser." #IronyOfLife
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