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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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Whatever I wanted to say about the exam and the experience has been considerably watered down after the multiple rejects that I got initially. In over 3 years this phase, after the announcement of the written exam results, has been the toughest. When I had those bad results in 2010 and 2011, I knew it wasn't right and I was super confident I could do well next time. Now I used to enjoy doing the mocks and so writing cat again was not a difficult decision to make. But at the end of all this, when I have justified to myself that I was right regarding my CAT-cracking skills, I am tired. It has been really stressful.
A chronology of the events of my CAT journey would read just like any other. . So I'll just cut to what I really have to say which is very little.

The first thing is reservations. At first I thought they had no part in the selection of gen candidates. But when you see people with very low scores getting calls and converts, it becomes very frustrating.
It is difficult controlling the negative feelings (read envy/jealousy). It was a real test and I did my best. That leads me to my next lesson.

Be good and do good. I think this is all there is to it. Good begets good. So think good things and do good things and you will get them back. I'm sorry if this sounds very preachy but what do I do, it is always true and finally everything boils down to it.

Well, that is all i have to say.

Thanks for reading and good luck to all future aspirants.

Finally the day has finally come, when am about to post my most important journey in life till dateThe CAT

The Motivation
2006:I was about to enter an engineering college. I happened to meet a distant relative, an IIMB alumnus who was doing exceedingly well in life. The respect that he gained from others inspired me to do a MBA from IIMs(BLACKI in those days).I set my eyes on CAT and started preparing with whatever material I could lay my hands on. Then I happened to have a chat with him. He said "don't burnout so early .Take it easy".

Whiling Away
2007: Then I concentrated on engineering studies and whiled away the remaining time.

2008:I was in the 3rd year and joined TIME(herd instincts are too strong you see) super long term coaching for CAT 2009.I religiously attended each and every class.Then,I worked out most of the practice exercises and books.
2009: Mock season started.1st mock I scored 97.xx and in the 2nd mock scored a whopping 99.91 percentile. My friends started teasing me that I was an IIM material. As mocks continued, my performance fluctuated from 90 to 99.

The 7.5
I was not a believer in astrology in contrast to what I am now. It is said every human has to pass through 7.5 years of misfortune in his lifetime called "Elarai"(in Tamil meaning 7.5) authored by Lord Shani Bagwan. During 2009,minor health problems started troubling me. I wasn't able to concentrate on studies. This depressed me and anxiety started engulfing me.CAT 2009 came. It was the first shift to computer based test. No one was prepared for it - neither the IIMs nor prometric.CAT 09 was probably the most unfair CAT exam..wide allegations of glitches, extra time for some candidates, repetition of questions for later batches, re- exam for certain candidates and so on. I came out with 94.34 percentile and it was a shock to me. I felt I should have got more. Feeling of being wronged started affecting me. Got a lone SPJain call and was rejected outright after the interview. The emotions that went through me those days can never be explained in words.


With support from parents I made up my mind for the second attempt. Joined a job and was preparing simultaneously. This time I was prepared for any eventuality."Let me put in my best..am not worried about the outcome "those were my thoughts. My health did not improve though. This time I joined CL Proctored mock. I found the content of CL refreshing though there were only few exam takers. I was performing steadily in the mocks and then came the C day-CAT 2010.I did well with a decent number of attempts. Then came the results night.12 Am - 99.59 percentilewow..a careful look read Verbal99.95(awesome thanks to CL), DI 96.xx(ok) and Quant (85.53 ohgod not again).Lower score in a section got me an astoundingly low number of calls - Lucknow and newer IIMs only. I converted new IIMs but could not convert Lucknow despite what seemed to me a decent interview. Now the dilemma ,whether to take up what am offered or write the CAT again??No way am I going to settle for anything other than BLACKI (despite rebukes from my friends).

Season 3:

Certainly, I felt I was under bad spell of luck. I then went to an astrologer."Yes indeed, you are under "elarai",a period of dullness and misfortune. Your health and luck will certainly improve. Be patient" these were his words. I got back to routine, this time I stayed near my office so as to cut down on travel time and utilize it effectively. I told myself " this is your last attempt, do well..come what may be cool".My outlook started changing to positive,I became more relaxed and started enjoying my preparation. Joined CL mocks and started working on quants zealously. I realized I was good at Verbal and I don't need any preparation whatsoever. Had a decent mock season. Applied to various colleges for backup..I didn't want to continue in the job either, so backup was mandatory this time.CAT 2011 did well, but attempts were comparatively less as I was cautious.
Then came the results: 99.20 with balanced sectionals. Got call from A,I,new iims and host of other colleges.
Converts: Indore (joining),New IIMs,MDI,NITIE
So, thus ended my CAT journey and my health has also returned to almost normalcy.

Final word:

*First, stop giving too much importance to CAT. You are any day bigger than a single event in your life.
*Relax, be cool. More often than not, one who enjoys doing what he does and one who is not too bothered about the outcome emerges victorious.
*Be patient, you will in the end get whatever you are destined for. Famous dialogue that applies to life:"No force on earth can stop what is destined to be yours and no force on earth can give you what is not yours".
*What the CAT journey has given me is more than an admit to an IIM.It has taught me the virtue of patience, positive thinking and a changed outlook towards living life King Size.



I will write my experience in short.....
During my last year at IIT Bombay, i started preparation for cat, why, because my batch mates were doing so. joined ims and gave cat first time in 2008 (at that time it was paper based test). The results were disastrous only 80% scored. But through campus placement, got placed in one of the reputed steel company.
2009: First time online CAT. 2 months preparation. 85%.
2010: 1 week preparation. 78%
2011: No preparation at all. Just revised some mathematics formula. 97.5%. converted IIMK

I would say that to get success in CAT, u must have good preparation and lots of luck !!!!
The margin of error is very small.
Finally, every dog has its day !!!!!!


I have been visiting PG often and was always the one who was benefiting from the immense source of knowledge PG is. Finally today I have got the opportunity to share my MBA journey and what all I put into it and what I got. I passed out of school in year 2004, then dropped a year for IIT preparation. Couldn't get into a good college but met with a major accident. Went into a coma and had multiple fractures. I am sharing this for a reason which I will share later. Obviously the year went for a toss and I had to settle with a college I never thought that I would ever be joining. College started and the motive was clear from the first day that I need to go to a college of my choice which will give me the kind of education I deserve. The feeling of getting full one year got wasted hit me the most. I appeared for management entrance exams in the year 2008, 2010 and 2011. The first time I gave the CAT I got 78 and this year I got 97. During all this course of time I had joined TIME test series during '08 season and '11 season.

Season '08: This time I was in college. Result 78%ile. Got BITS Pilani convert but could not join because my University were late with their results and I was the one who had to face the brunt of this.
Why less CAT score? Possibly because I had bitten off more than I can chew. I referred too many resources than I could handle. And in the end everything messed up.

Season '10: I was in Infosys, Pune by this time. There were times when there was loads of work and then there were times when it was all a cake walk. But yes, for an average mind like me the preparation demanded some sacrifices. I managed get a SCMHRD call and Infrastructure management course convert this time. Later I decided not to join the course.
Why no success this time too? I had put all my eggs in one basket. Had thought that some particular exams and a particular format only suits me and hence didn't even tried for those papers.

Season '11: Now or never was the mantra this time. Had put all my efforts in whatsoever way possible. Be it studying till late and sleeping on the couch to get up early or leaving office early on pretext of going home and instead heading towards to library. I missed Diwali also that year so that I can stay back and prepare well for the last leap. Eventually I scored 97 in CAT with 99.6 in QA and 62.9 in VA. This skewed combination made me a reject piece for many colleges who were going for sectionals. In XAT I scored 95. But I had applied for almost all of the decent colleges and got around 5 calls.

Last word: Finally I got a convert to 1 year PGP course in Great Lakes, Chennai. I will not go for any surrogate brand building of my college on behalf of my experience but honestly will say that after coming here I realized that I have made a correct decision of joining Great Lakes. The itch of missing 1 year and quality teachers is no more because of my diverse peer group and superb faculty. So in the end everything turns out for the best is what I could understand. That accident made me a much stronger person and also much patient one. I deliberately chose not to discuss what all I referred for my preparation because every person have its own set of requirements and level of competence. On a broader level, I followed Arun Sharma books and some PG threads. I scored around 50-60 % in TIME and no where could relate myself to the difficulty level of tests. Actual papers are a lot easier than what comes there. One PG thread on tips and tricks of Quant helped me immensely. Just be creative in your preparation and devise new ways on how you can exert yourself more and more. Being always positive and hopeful for the future helped me digest that kind of highly unexpected VA score... I cannot miss but to mention one of the biggest motivator for me throughout my journey and that is Love. Yes... this emotion when implied constructively can bring miracles to lives. Though that particular person will not be my life partner but as my favorite quote says:
"Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart".

PagalGuy family a big thanks to you for all you kind support and making me reach the place where I am today.

Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any help to the fellow junta.


Home | Soka Gakkai International (SGI) : My biggest source of inspiration

On facebook : gajendra.singh


Hi Guys ....
Have been reading all posts on this thread for the past one week ...
The stories here are truly inspirational to say the least, So, I sincerely thank all of you for sharing your stories on this thread ...
After reading the posts, I was in two minds, whether to post on this thread or not !! ...
Does my Story even qualify to be called a success story ?? Wouldn't my post look silly among all these stories of IIM converts & other top notch B School converts ??
Bt finally, I thought : "Cat isn't only about IIMs or the ones who converted it, Its also about those who didn't .... Their experiences, Their stories, Their journeys are equally important "... :p
SO, Here it is : "All I wanted to Speak about CAT & My Life".... :w00t:
A few pointers :
1. I did not make it to a top B School .. :banghead:
2. I Did not even get an awesome percentile in CAT ..
3. My story is not for those who believe in themselves, Its for those, who don't ... (If I can make it, ANYONE can)

Phase 1 : The BEGINING ...
In School, I was among those students who are always among the Top 10 in the class, but never in the Top 3..
To be Honest, I hated studies, bt used to get by, so I was quite satisfied with my performance ...
For all of us, School life Culminates into the Board Exams, So Am jumping to that part :

My Expectations : Exams were decent, So expecting around 80% (I was in WB board)
Other's Expectations : He will get around 80 % ..
Result : 70.25 % :shock: :banghead:
My Reaction : How can this happen ?? I cant believe it ... :banghead::banghead:
Other's Reaction : Don't lose heart, many students from your school have scored below expectations... Maybe its not your fault, try harder nxt time ...

Phase 2 : Downfall ...
According to me, the next two years after class 10 are the most crucial phase in a students life, its a phase that can either make or break your career .. Unfortunately for me, it did the latter .. It was a dark phase in which everything that could go wrong, went wrong .. I had no focus, no aim, no ambition.. So it was No Study, No preps & no planning .. The future wasnt looking bright at all... :sneaky:

My Expectations : GOD, pls give me 60 % .. They ask for 60 % everywhere ...
Other's Expectations : Dont know what to expect :w00t:
Result : 59.6 % :banghead:
My Reaction : I AM SCREWED ... :banghead:
Other's Reaction : HE IS SCREWED ....

One more point, my brother had studied Btech from a local clg & was placed as software engg in an IT major .
So, a career in IT (which u guys whole heartedly detest) was my dream ...
Bt one needs to be an ENGINEER for that ..

AIEEE : Scored -16 (negative) (dont remember the rank thankfully)

IT dream will remain a DREAM forever .... :w00t:

As I had anticipated, everywhere I went for admission, they wanted atleast 60 % ... So, dreams were shattered, Ego was crushed & depression set in ...
Finally, I got admission in a C-Grade college affiliated to a B-Grade university (Quoting NAAC ratings here) in a stream I had no interest in .. Basically, I had no interest left for anything .. I had given up hopes of a good career .. I had given up hopes of redeeming myself .. I HAD ACCEPTED DEFEAT ...
I was never interested in my subject & never tried to do something amazing in that, Surprisingly enough, the results were not bad ...
My Expectations : I Dont Care anymore
Other's Expectations : We should not expect anything from him .. :p
Result : 66.6 % overall .. 70% in Honours (In my university that is nothing short of excellent... For the first time, I was among the TOP 3 of my class)
My Reaction : I still Dont care ...
Other's Reaction : Hmmmmmmmm ... :w00t:

PHASE 4 : The LIGHT (or the CAT)
While I was in college, I came to know about the CAT, the IIMs, the pattern of exam, blah blah ...
The eligibility was 50% in Grad, so, I was eligible .. I saw it as the LIGHT at the end of the TUNNEL .. I had to reach the light somehow ... The TUNNEL was too dark for me ... I wanted to redeem myself .. I wanted to FIGHT BACK ... So, the CAT journey began ...

I enrolled with CL in classroom program...
Learnt the concepts (I think self study helped more than classroom)
The MOCK season was about to start, I thought that it would provide me a parameter to judge myself, how good i am .. Can I make it somewhere .. etc...

MOCK 1 : 98.23 %ile
I started to believe in myself ... bt was this a fluke ??
MOCK 2 : 96.xx %ile
The belief was strengthened .. I felt that I do BELONG ..
MOCK 3 : 97.xx %ile
IIMs, here I come ...

Bt after the initial hurrah .. MOCK scores decreased a bit, bt I was generally in the 90-96 zone.. with the occasional 98s.. or the occasional 80s ... :sneaky:
Seeing my performance, i was confident of making it to a B School (I was not aiming for only the top, any clg in the top 50 will do jst fine)
I knew that VA was my strength(I never scored below 95).. QA was my weakness ... So, worked on it .. Wanted to keep QA over 85-90 ... VA was my strength, so 95 %ile overall did not seem a distant dream ..

C - DAY (November 13, 2011)

My target was to score half of the total marks, in the mocks, it generally fetched above 95 .. 98+ sometimes ..
I was quite happy with my performance ... Was confident of crossing the halfway mark (90/180)
Later on, came to know that paper was much easier than previous years, so the percentile at my score may be much lower than expected ... Was kicking myself for not attempting more questions .. :banghead:

My Expectations : Pls GOD, give me 95 %ile ... with my profile its tough to convert a colg at below 95 .. Pls GOD ... PLS
Other's Expectations : He might just make it :w00t:
Result : 89.83 %ile (QA-85.85 .. VA- 89.97 ... Verbal betrayed me when it mattered the most) :banghead:
My Reaction :
Other's Reaction : Not bad (for him atleast)

PHASE 5 : Will I make it ?? (anywhere)
Despite the below expectation percentile, I got a few calls ...
Near misses : IIFT (41.xx) .. NMAT (206 .. sectionals cleared)

Was very underconfident during the GDPI preps ...
My profile is nothing special .. NO CLARITY OF GOALS ... Achievements in life ...
Had mixed bag of experiences ...
The reject at MICA hurt the most (I wanted it badly) :banghead:
The XIMB profs were not at all interested (3 min interview) :sneaky:

Among all the rejects, I managed to Convert NIRMA & got waitlisted at TAPMI (expect a convert later) ...
After all this, I thought long & hard about the course of action I should follow ..
Should I try CAT 2012 ?? Should I join NIRMA/TAPMI ?? (Is it really the light that I was looking for ??)
Finally, I have decided to join NIRMA ...
Maybe its not a TOP college ... Maybe , its not my DREAM college either ... Bt nevertheless ... Its not bad either .. I believe that if you have it in you, you will succeed & it dosent matter whether u go to IIM or some unknown clg ... Lets see what the future holds ...

The NIRMA phase : (yet to come)
My Expectations : To Build the base for a good career ...
Other's Expectations : Who Cares !!
Result : (Space Reserved)
My Reaction : hopefully
Other's Reaction :

Finally :
I would like to end my post with a quote from someone else's status update on FB (I copied it) ....

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.
Delicious Ambiguity."
p.s: i still want my fairy tale ;)

Cheers Guys ... ATB ... :cheers:


This comes, not when I am about to join a college but when I have passed out of one. There is a particular reason why I am posting it in this thread, and I would specifically come to it in the end. CAT and further performance in personality rounds will give one the choices, an important aspect of the CAT would also be the choices one makes from the various options that one has managed with these performances. These views of mine are mostly addressed to various people in a position to make these choices, though most B-school students and alumni would relate to it.

A good MBA experience is about a lot of things. A lot of things apart from the XY.Z figure where X,Y and Z are numbers in our immediate placement stat. (any case, most people end up with the same X from a good Indian b-school, and there is way too much worry about the Y and Z).

A good MBA experience is about the things we will read or the films we watch in our evenings when we come back from work. It is about the way we will spend our weekends and if things like helping out a NGO and visiting old age homes seem boring in comparison to parties at pub. MBA experience is about the way we will react to things happening around us. It is about the challenge to stop being ordinary, to stop being a conformist, to stop being a person whose choices were determined by society. It is about being a person who had individual choices, passions and a life of his/her own.

A good MBA experience is about the atmosphere in which our children will tomorrow grow. It is about the importance we will give to the career of our better half. It is even about the kind of things we would choose to do once we retire from a professional life. It is about the respect of education and its role in creating out an individual who will be an asset to the society. It is about the general satisfaction and happiness of living a life you are proud of, a feeling which numbers do not capture, a feeling which has a great value, probably the greatest value for those who realize it.

Of course, not denying that it is also about performing well in the office, and getting well rewarded for that. This point may not have come in the end, I do not wish to under emphasize the importance of this aspect. But for too long, this 'one' point has been seen as the heart and soul of MBA-output. For our own good, wish we saw things from a broader perspective.

This is a time when so many people make choices about the place of education that they would want to choose from the available options (read converts). Having been very active on PG for a over two years, and having interacted with many such people for the past 2 years, I have found it immensely frustrating how very few people show a keen interest in knowing about the overall experience that a college can possibly offer. Having completed the course, I feel that the parameters of choice by majority are not enough. Think broad, think deep

A good MBA experience is about a good life, a truly good life. It is about several things that I mentioned above because:
It will affect all these things in the future, for several decades that most of us are likely to live. Never under estimate the power of a 'good MBA experience'. I know this sounds filmy, but then the experience can often be as exciting as the most exciting of the films. Go ahead and experience it!

P.S: Like several others, I do realize that I owe a lot to the college that offered me my MBA education. On this note, would express my humble thanks to it


Finally, posting on the sacred thread which has inspired many and will keep inspiring. . .

I am writing the post as I sail through my summer internship in a German company and wait for my mentor to come.

What a journey it has been. I wind the clock one year back and see myself overjoyed by my converts. Sacrificing the last 1.5 years of fun filled graduation had finally paid off. I was not joining an IT mass recruiter and was going to pursue MBA. . . .

I was sitting on 5 converts out of 14 calls. I still feel that a better profile would have improved my number of converts. But, one thing was sure, I was going for MBA this year and was not going to allow IT companies to put a stamp on my head stating "IT work ex". I was never an IT guy and more of a field person. Roaming in streets on my bike was my favourite time-pass. Had I not decided to give CAT in my final year, I would have been a "Biker" (feels like Steve McQueen while saying this)!!!

Anyways, what kept me going was the urge to stay away from IT jobs. . .:sneaky:

So here is the flashback. . . . .

"Dad, get me a bike. I want to do MBA." This sentence indicated that I am going to sacrifice my guitar, movies, bike trips and potential girlfriends. My college would have got a rockstar if I would not have been preparing for CAT. :drinking::drinking::splat::splat:

My friends noticed the change only one month after I stopped hanging out often with them. My best ones remained with me and others also remained with me :). I am good at Public Relations . . . !!

So, I joined Endeavor Coaching Classes as it had 24x7 open reading room (that is what I said to my Dad). Highly inspired by Parasharan Chari, I started preparing for CAT rigorously. Started skipping college and featured in the "Not-A-Good-Student" list of college faculties. It did matter a lot as my final exam results would depend on them. My priority would be concentrating on CAT and interviews as I had already assigned the responsibility of passing me to my faculties . . .

Preparing for Mock exams and solving the bulky material provided me confidence that the first Mock test out of 25/30 tests will fetch me not less than 95%. Without even giving the mock test, I started dreaming (ya, I day dream sometimes). First mock 95%, slow improvement will fetch me 99.xx% in CAT. No one can stop me from being a part of those coveted colleges.

But, alas !! 63.17% was the score displayed after I completed my Mock 1 . Yes, I still remember my score. Devastated, I ran to the center head. "Sir, raita fail gaya score pe !!". He told me to take a chill pill and go watch a movie, this is just a beginning.

I did not listen to him. Did not sleep and bunked the college next day. I realized that I was over-reacting. I should actually watch a movie.

I felt relaxed and started preparing for other three scheduled Mock tests. yeah, keeping your head cool helps a lot !! The results were 95%, 98% and 96% respectively in the next three mock tests. Did it make me happy? No, but indeed satisfied. The only aim now was to maintain the score till the D-day.

With fluctuating scores, I indeed managed to the upward side of 90% more often. Mock SNAP, XAT, JMET, IIFT, FMS etc went good if not great.

_______________________EXAM Time______________________________

As far as I remember, my first exam was IIFT. Screwed up royally.

Second exam, FMS. Same thing. Managed to clear cut-offs according to previous years but was damn sure that this year cut-offs would go high. So, another gate slammed in my face.

Considering IIFT and FMS as dry run, the following exams went decent and was expecting many calls out of it. In CAT, my Quant and DI section went good, but was not sure of verbal.

Finally verbal proved to be the villain and I was left with CAT percentile which would fetch me tier 3 colleges calls. JMET fetched me 3 IITs calls and SNAP fetched me 4 calls including SIBM Pune and SCMHRD. NMIMS also called me after I was able to smash the cut-offs in both the attempts.

The shock of my life came when I missed XLRI pathetically by 0.05%. The sad thing was that XAT 2011 was so tough, that I was not expecting anything out of it. But when I got good percentile, XLRI was just a whisker away, but out of reach. .

I missed IRMA cut-off by 0.046%. Life could not have been more cruel. Trust me missing by 4-5% is much more preferred than missing by 0.046-0.05%.

My journey towards transforming from 'an MBA aspirant' to 'an MBA' started.


So, I had a total of 14 calls. The interviews ranged from being advised to "come back next year" and also "we will see you in the batch". I was also accused of supporting a murderer when I appreciated work of CM Narendra Modi in Gujarat .

I had prepared rigorously for the group discussions and interviews. But, my profile was average. Finally, I had 3 direct converts and 2 wait-listed which eventually converted. Out of the 3 direct converts, one was "Goa Institute of Management" which I eventually decided upon to join.

I did not join the IT mass recruiter and as I write this, I feel a sense of relief when I imagine myself tangled in codes and jostling with repetitive programs. .

As I sit in the marketing department of a manufacturing company (non-IT :)) pursuing my summer internship, I am filled with enthusiasm. The profile which I have got as a summer trainee, would be my dream job profile.

I will never join an IT firm. This post will be a testimonial to my stand. But, God forbid I get an IT job, please pray my Boss does not read this Post :biggrin::biggrin:. . !!!

At the end, I would like to say that 'expect the unexpected'. After the toughest XAT examination of all the times, I never, even in my day dreams, expected a convert in a B-School through XAT.

PaGaLGuY has been and still is a vast source of inspiration and motivation for me. PaGaLGuY for me is not just a website, but a community. .

Signing off . . !! Wishing best of luck to all the aspirants. May you get what you want. . .

  • u too were from endeavor ahmedabad?? cool!!. 24 Apr '13.
Liked what you read? Visit my blog - http://lifearattle.blogspot.in/
hritik sharma @hritik.sharma 369
u too were from endeavor ahmedabad?? cool!!

This is probably the most inspiring thread on PG. I have read this thread for days and months and got more and more inspired each time. I always thought of writing on this thread once I become eligible. Now, that the moment has arrived, let me begin with my story. This might not be as good as some of the experiences on this thread, but still worth sharing. :)

The humble Beginings:
I am born and brought up in Ahmedabad. Right from school, I was above average in studies, never the extra-ordinary kinds. I used to be around 10th in class size of 40 students. But I had particular interest in maths and used to do well in it.
In around 7th standard (2001), I came to know that someone from our society cleared CAT and he became the talk of the town. I was told that speed and accuracy in Maths is extremely important to crack it. And there was the start of a dream that I would one day crack CAT and go into IIMs. :biggrin: In the next 2-3 years, while interacting with some MBA grads, they seemed very smart and this reinforced the dream to get into IIMs. (Yeah, they now seem crazy reasons to do an MBA). Living 2 kms away from IIM-A and passing by it many times made the feeling much more stronger.
At that time, I believed taking up commerce would be good after 10th, as it will help in MBA. But then I read a article in a newspaper which suggested most of the IIM grads are IITians. And so, I decided to study for JEE ( Yeah, that was probably the most stupid reason, one could study for JEE. 8 years later, I think how immature, I was then. :grin:)

Even though, I had a stupid reason to study for JEE, It was strong enough. I enrolled into Bansal Classes, Kota and moved away from my hometown. Ofcourse, I realized in kota that people can crack CAT even without getting into IITs. But now that I had spent so much time and money, I worked hard. After slogging hard for 2 years, The D-Day came. The JEE was completely objective this year for first time (2006). I screwed it up completely. 20 days later, AIEEE was there, it went well. So, as expected, I secured a very good rank in AIEEE(1703) and failed in JEE. I got admission into IIIT-Hyderabad. :)
And now, that I realized that my notion that "getting into IITs would help me getting a seat at IIMs in future" was absolutely absurd, I was not at all disappointed with JEE result and took up engineering in IIIT-Hyderabad.

Engineering and CAT-2009 Prep
I always knew that I wasn't really made for the technical stuff. I didn't like them very much. At the end of 2nd year, I decided to start prep for CAT. I knew that was early to begin but I really wanted to get into IIM, and in particular IIM-A. I used to dream every single day, that during my stay at IIM-A, I would have home-cooked food at weekends (campus being just 2kms away from my home). I worked very hard, took such electives which required little effort, so that I could spend more and more time in preparation. My mocks used to vary from 95-99.5. In the last few days, mocks percentile went down. I was worried, but not disheartened. I knew all that matters was the final performance.

CAT 2009 D-Day
It was the first time, it went online. So, there were quite many issues sorrounding it. Thankfully, my experience was pretty good. I started with Quant, did well, DI was very easy, English was very confusing and I was not confident while marking the answers.
Since this was online, there was no way of knowing/guessing the scores before the official results.

The CAT-2009 results and Aftermath
After a long wait, results were out.
I scored: QA: 99.9 DI: 99.4 VA: 86.1 OA: 99.72
I was actually not so dissapointed seeing the low verbal score. I knew there would be no A and C calls, but I expected calls from other IIMs seeing the last year's trend. But alas, destiny had some other plans. None of the IIMs called me, because of my not so extra-ordinary academics/ no work-ex and I got calls only from MDI-Gurgaon and SP Jain.
I was rejected from SP Jain in the first round after horrible interview, but managed to get selected into MDI-Gurgaon.
At that time, I had got a job at Factset Systems. So, it was a choice between MDI-G and Factset.
Finally, some thought, I decided, I won't let go of my dream to get into IIM. I wanted to have one more chance. And I joined Factset Systems as a software engineer. This was probably one of the best decisions of my life.
( This does not mean that I consider MDI any lesser college. Infact MDI-G is one of the best colleges you can do an MBA from. One of my friends did it and his job profile in marketing is similar to what top guys at IIMs get. It was just I wanted IIMs badly)

Seeing the last year's results, I had decided to work for atleast 2 years before going for MBA as I wanted to get some points for work-ex in selection criteria. So, I decided to skip CAT-2010 and directly appear for CAT-2011. Experience at Factset was really good. I started liking the technical stuff and there was good work-life balance. I did lot of other stuff. I got associated with Art of living, volunteered for a lot of courses there, volunteered with NGO "Ashray Akruti", led a group in hyderabad "We-the-Change", read a lot of books and worked over a B-plan simultaneously. This 1 year was extremely good and I learnt a lot during it. It all gave me a much more insight of myself and what I really want to do in life. I was now much more clear on why I want to do MBA.

CAT 2011- Prep

So, After enjoying for a whole 1 year, I started the prep again as planned in May 2011. Giving CAT once before helped. I remembered most of the stuff and did well in most of the mocks (>99). I worked hard in English, started reading a lot of stuff, improved on grammar. During the last 2 months, suddenly the mock scores dipped. I decided, it was now or never. I took last 3 weeks holiday from office before CAT and worked very hard, used to solve a mock daily. I was much more confident now.

Again, Quant and Logic were pretty easy and english was a bit dicey. I was more prepared this time but still found english confusing. I attempted 59 out of 60 questions. The overall feeling after it was if I manage to clear English cut off, I would be able to get some calls.

- CAT 2011
Finally, results came. The scorecard read
Section1( QA+DI) : 99.75
Section2 ( VA +LR) : 97.3
OA: 99.78
And I was dumbstruck for a moment. The efforts paid off and to my delight got calls from A,C, L, I and FMS.

Interview Preps
This time, I didn't want to miss the bus. I prepared hard. I worked on acads, which I hated even during college times, I read a lot on interests and hobbies, read about a lot of current affairs. Filled up the forms very diligently, at times drafting the answers multiple times before writing in final form.


The first was L. I forgot to carry a watch. And completely mismanaged the time in essay, couldn't conclude the essay. GD was pretty okaish and in PI, I was grilled on technology and some international economics, of which I had no idea about. When I came out of PI, I knew this was a sure reject.

One month later, it was IIM-C. I was much more prepared now. Essay and GD were average. Interview experience was horrible, I somehow managed to fumble in all questions they asked, about hobbies, acads and work-ex. I got extremely tense during the interview and that affected the whole interview very negatively. I was completely dejected after the interview. Next day, It was Ahmedabad interview.

With the 2 extremely bad interviews and iim-A interview the very next day, I started loosing confidence. But soon, I thought, that if I do well in Ahmedabad, nothing else will matter. I got the confidence again. I wrote down the important questions and their answers in a notebook, so that I don't fumble in the interview.

Next day, just before leaving for IIMA interview, one of my friends at IIM-B advised me to revise the personal questions just before the interview. I kept the notebook( in which I had written answers last night) hurriedly.

Process started. The essay was bad. Just before the interview, I went through the notes in my notebook. I was called in for PI. The panel was extremely chilled out, I was somehow very confident today and PI was awesome. The best, I have ever given. 15 of 20 mins concentrated on the business plan that I worked on, and I explained every answer in detail using block diagrams on paper. After the interview, I realized that most of the stuff that I talked about in the interview was in my notes. That was probably, what made the difference in the experience. So, overall, it was bad essay, but good PI.

The first to come out was C on 11th April. I was rejected. I expected this, but still I was a bit sad. Increasingly, I was getting anxious about Ahmedabad result, which was to be announced on 16th April. I was getting more and more pessimistic each passing day.
In anxiety, I couldn't sleep on 15th night. Finally slept at around 6 in the morning. After some time, I recieved a call with my flatmate from office on other side "Bhai Badhaai ho.... Ho gaya tera Ahmedabad mein". I woke up like a spring. I didn't believe him. Opened laptop as fast as I could, logged in and got the message
"Congratulations. You have been selected for PGP in IIMA ". I was stunned. I just looked at the message for some time before coming back to my senses. And finally, the dream that I saw from last 12 years came true..
And it all made sense to me finally. Everything happens for a reason. Right from CAT 2009, when I didn't get call from L/I/K, to when I chose not to appear for CAT 2010 and work on B-Plan, to the bad interviews of IIM-C and IIM-L, all of which helped me to get into my dream college IIM-A.

That reminds me the line from Om Shanti Om "kehte hai agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaaho toh poori kaynath tumhein usse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai " ( It is said, that if you a love something very much, the whole world conspires to get that to you ). That is so apt over here.

As I write this, I just saw that I have got a reject from IIM-L PGP but convert from IIM-L ABM. And I have my IIM-I and FMS interviews scheduled later this month. But it hardly matters now. :biggrin:

So, I am all set for spending next 2 years at WIMWI, the icing on the cake being the proximity of campus to my home(2 km). My brother says "it as an epic homecoming after 8 years ". And ofcourse, my parents are extremely happy:grin:

This brings the end to my tryst with CAT but a beginning of a new phase of life. The journey has taught me a lot of things but the biggest thing that I leant was to "Dream Big" and just go for it madly. Sooner or Later, you will definitely achieve it.

  • What were your acads sir? And insring to say the least. E.... 18 Aug '13.
Akshay gautam @akshay076 13
What were your acads sir? And insring to say the least. Enjoy WIMWI!
The Resurrection
In everyone's life there comes a point when you stop to reflect back on your life. I realized that I had no career in IT, my friend's business had failed. It was high time that I took control of my life and follow my dream of doing an MBA. So I started preparing for CAT again. This time CAT was going to be conducted online. So I used to solve papers in the office. Even on weekends I used to go to office to take mock tests. I was back on track and was confident that I could crack it this time. I did pretty well on the D-Day and was hoping for a few calls. The results were declared on 28th Feb and I got 98.5% with decent sectional scores. But no IIM calls. Ohh no wait.. Just when I had given hopes of any IIM call, Indore released its list. My name was there. I was delighted, elated, excited (can't think of any more adjectives). I called my parents and my brother (gudakesh) to give them the good news. And yes.. I got calls from MDI and SPJain again.
The Interview
The essay part was easy and I guess I wrote a prety good essay. Then came the PI. My desperation to convert my lone IIM call, fuelled my nervousness. To worsen the situation, the panelists asked questions related to my acads, and I either answered "I don't know" or "I don't remember". It was not as if I hadn't prepared the acads, but the kind of questions they asked were very strange and I had no answer for them. They asked a few more questions and then gave up. Towards the end of the interview I felt like crying. I wanted to beg them to leave me. It was a very short interview and I came out knowing that I had blown away, the one chance to get into an IIM. I did perform well in the SJPain interview, but was not selected and MDI again gave me a long W/L.
While the regular preparation for CAT was going on , I came to know about RGIPT and the placements it had for its maiden batch. Most of the companies which had turned up were OIL PSUs. I found it interesting mainly because by this time I was fed up of the private job and wanted the peaceful life of a PSU. Moreover by this time I was put under a different manager (still on bench though) and boy he was a true a**hole. An M.Tech from some XYZ college, he was Hitler's re-incarnation. He was the kind of person whom you would never ever want to meet or associate yourself to in your life. I had some altercations with him and I knew that I would be asked to put down my papers during the next review. This plus the fact that I saw no future in IT, made me apply for IIFM and RGIPT. Oh, I forgot to mention that I was selected for the MBA programme at IIFM in 2008, but didn't have the courage to take the bold step. I have always been fascinated by wildlife and nature. Probably I should have joined back then.
"Whether to join IIFM or RGIPT ?", was the next big question which I had to face. Finally on the D-day I decided to take the safer option and joined RGIPT. Meanwhile during the annual review at the office, my manager asked me to put down my papers, which I readily did . I was more than happy to get out of the boring IT job and the dreaded place (Gurgaon :sneaky:) , which had sucked life out of me.
Meanwhile in August, while I was at RGIPT, IIM Raipur came out with their notification for the commencement of their first batch. I thought that maybe God had given me a second chance to get an IIM tag. I prepared well for the interview but as usual was rejected.
A lottery
Life was going smoothly and peacefully at RGIPT. I had managed to make some very good friends and everything was on track. But then old habits die hard. There were a couple of friends at RGIPT who were going on the yearly ritual (called HAJ-Cat) and I decided to join them. So on the last day of the sale of CAT form I asked my dad to buy a form for me. I managed to get my voucher a day before the test date. A night before the exam I just revised some quant formulas.
I was very calm before and during the exam. I had no pressure to perform and probably this worked in my favor. I treated it just like another aptitude test. This test marked the end of my CAT journey. It didn't matter to me whether I got any calls or not. I was pretty satisfied with my life and was at peace with myself.
On the morning of Jan 12th, I got a call from my brother. I was half asleep when he said that the results were out and I had scored 99.05%. I said 'ok'. It didn't matter anyways. At max I would get a call from IIM I, which I was not very interested in joining any more. I was more excited for my brother who had got 99.44%. At around 11 am, my brother called again to say that I had a call from wiMwi. "What the f**k", I said. How on earth can I get a call at 99.05 when the past cutoffs have been 99.3+?
To top it all I also got calls from L and I. I was the talk of the town once again, with everyone congratulating me and asking me the dates of my interview. I devoted a lot of time to prepare my acads this time. I revised my engineering subjects along with the subjects that I had studied at RGIPT.
The D-Day
I had my first interview of the season on March 13, (not a Friday) and it was the biggest one:A. I was undecided whether to tell the panelists that I had quit my job last year to prepare for CAT or to tell them the truth. I decided to be truthful. Needless to say that I was very nervous and as a result the interview didn't go very well (yet again ).The panelists asked me some tricky question from Eco and Accounting. I managed to answer very few of them. At the end I asked them to see a portfolio of pictures which I had clicked. They glanced through the pics and said 'Nice' :). It was a desperate effort on my part to leave a good impression.
Thus ended the most important interview of my life till date. When I came out from the room, I knew that I stood no chance and that I had somehow managed to blow away the last chance to realize my dream of studying at WIMWI.
I had no hopes of making it to either A or L (it didn't go well either), and so I went back to focus on my MBA courses.
April 18, 2011
It was around 10 am and I was writing my end term paper, when my phone rang. I knew that the results were going to be out today (courtesy my brother) and at best I was hoping for a W/L. Since I was in an exam hall, I couldn't pick up the phone. Then an SMS came. My heart beat increased. I figured out that it must be my brother who has seen the result and is anxious to tell me. I couldn't resist the temptation to read the SMS and took out the phone with the invigilator standing next to me. I opened the message and it read "Pack your bags to go to the dry state J. It was infact from my brother. I felt numb and sat there for a few minutes motionless. I took permission from the invigilator to go to the washroom and from there I called my brother and my parents who were more delighted than me.
Thus ended my CAT journey which was marred with lots of failures but thankfully it ended on the right note. I dont want to preach anything except that work hard and leave the rest to luck.
My story is a bit different from the ones you had read on this forum (it's a cliche told by every story teller ;)).
Early Days
I was never a topper during my school days, even though I used to put in a lot of hard work. Maybe I was never a topper material. Class X results were below my expectations with English playing the spoilsport. The IIT bug had bitten me while I was in class X and so I didn't pay serious attention to the subjects taught in Class XI and XII. I used to bunk classes in order to study JEE level physics, chemistry and maths in the library. Somehow I managed to get a decent score (78% by 2001 ISC standards) in my Class XII exams despite getting 59% in English. There were rumors that the English paper had been checked by teachers at La Martinere:sneaky: and hence the scores were so low.
I managed to clear the screening (AIR 3000), but faltered in the mains (AIR 5200). I guess it was chemistry that played the devil's role. The next one year was spent brushing up the knowledge. I got enrolled in the one year programme at FIITJEE, Delhi , but had to leave the programme midway because of severe health problems. I sailed through the screening and was on course to get a good rank in mains. But then fate had other plans in store. A couple of weeks before the mains I got severe eye infection. The infection was so severe that I could barely open my eyes. They were bloody red with frequent discharges of pus from my eyes. My dad took me to the best eye specialists in town, but the infection didn't go away. I took the mains exam with very low vision and a severe headache (due to the infection). During those days the mains exam was comprised of three papers (Physics, Chemistry and maths) of two hours duration each. I managed to score well in Chemistry and Maths, but during the Physics paper, the headache was at its peak and I barely managed to cross the cutoff.
The results were declared in a week's time and I managed to scrape through with an AIR of 3782. I was happy but not delighted, because I knew that with three years of hard work, I deserved a much better rank. Anyways, I took admission in ISM and then later joined IIIT A (in second counseling).
The CAT bug
I wasn't always inclined to do an MBA. When I joined IIITA, I wanted to do an MS from some good university abroad. When I was in the second semester the results of CAT 2004 were declared and one of our seniors who was a 100%iler became the talk of the town. I said to myself "I also want to be famous like him". That is when I decided to crack CAT. Thus began my quest to conquer CAT in 2004. I bought WPME (word power made easy) and memorized it by heart. I bought a few other books and solved them. I didn't attend any classroom programme coz I felt that the classes won't be of much help.
Mocks and Mockery
By the time the mock tests for the finale started, I had mastered VA and DI. I was a bit slow in QA which brought down my overall percentile in the mocks. I managed to hover around the 95-99.xx mark in the mocks. I was stated to be the next one headed to IIMA from our college. Everyone around me was confident that I would crack CAT. Somewhere deep inside I knew that I could do it. Hence I took my placements very lightly, thinking that I anyways would be going to an IIM. I did not study a word for the placements (played AOE and CS) while other students revised DS and OS. Somehow after a few rejects I managed to get selected into Patni and Flextronics. I probably got selected because they asked very basic questions and for the tricky ones I confidently said "I haven't revised it". Anyways placements came and went away. I didn't sit for big firms like Google and Yahoo (I wouldn't have got selected given my level of preparation). Then came the D-day, I guess it was Nov 15/16 2006. I tried to get a good night sleep, but kept rolling over from one side to the other. With every passing minute, I became impatient to try and get some sleep. There are times when you feel sleepy but just can't sleep (it is very frustrating). Somehow I managed to get a couple of hours of sleep in the morning. I took a bath and left for the center with my friends. I was quite confident that I would crack it. Then came the paper. I used to start with VA, my stronghold and boy it was one of the hardest VA section in CAT's history. There wasn't a single easy question in the section. I devoted a good amount of time in the section, dealing every question with great detail. Then I moved to the DI section, my second strongest section. DI seemed very easy and straight-forward. I did it quite easily. QA was the easiest of the lot and the questions again were very simple.
After the exam I knew that if I cleared VA cutoff, I stood a very good chance of getting calls from IIMs. The keys came out in the evening. There was a buzz around the campus with everyone comparing their answers with different keys. Most of my batch mates were missing the cutoff in VA. I started, said a small prayer and sat down to compare my keys. I started with VA and managed to get 28, which was well above the predicted cutoff. Then I moved to DI and a lightning struck me. I was getting only 32 while the predicted cut-off was 40+. I was dumbstruck, speechless . It seemed like a joke. "It can't be true", I said to myself. I somehow composed myself to check my QA section and it turned out that I had performed the best in my weakest section.
Days went by and I was hoping that somehow I would get two more questions right in DI so that I would clear the cutoff. I was hoping that the CAT guys would allow me to shift my extra marks from QA to DI (crazy idea). Meanwhile IIFT came and went and in December I completed my B.Tech (ours was a .5 batch). On 2nd jan, the CAT results were declared. My heart was thumping at the rates of knots when I entered my registration no. I will never forget what i saw. VA - 98.8 QA - 99.7 DI -71.6 OA -98.89
I sat in front on the computer screen, not knowing what had happened. My hopes of getting into the IIMs had dashed. Luck had betrayed me at the most important juncture. I could sense the grief in my parent's voice. Even they were hopeful that I would bell the CAT. XAT was on 4th Jan and I somehow managed to sit through the exam. Somehow I faltered in the VA section and missed the sectional cutoff by 1-2%. FMS came and went by. Meanwhile I joined Flextronics in Gurgaon as a S/w professional. Though I am an IT engineer, I never liked coding or any other similar geeky stuffs. I had no plans or interest in becoming a coder or a tester or whatever they call it.
Love Pangs and CAT 2008
During the training at Flextronics, I got into a one-sided affair with a girl. I kept CAT on the back-burner and took a deep plunge into the ocean of love:nono:. But then the ocean suddenly dried and I fell on my face. Apparently she had mastered in handling boys and was handling many other affairs simultaneously . I was just her object for fun at the office. Anyways, I went through a lot of pain, sorrow and grief. I somehow composed myself in October, but it was too late. I took a few mock tets , but I knew that my mind was not in the right place. I managed to get 98.2% with all sectionals >90%, which fetched me a call from MDI, which I royally screwed and got a very late W/L. Meanwhile I also gave XAT, FMS and IIFT but didn't get any call. Ohh , I also had a call from SP Jain for Marketing profile. I did very well in the interview and was confident of getting a final convert, but it never came.
Entrepreneurial bug and CAT 09
After two CAT failures, I realized that it was not in my destiny to study in an IIM. Meanwhile to take my mind away from the girl at my office (the one who was a multi-tasker ), I started concentrating on my friend's startup. Since I had no work to do in office (I was not interested either) I used to travel to Delhi during working hours to help my friend. Cat was out of the window. That year I just filled the form because of my parent's pressure. It turned out to be a disaster. I barely managed to cross the 90% mark. But due to my decent score in XAT (some 97%), I got a call from SPJain again. Only to be kicked out in round I of the interview. Thus my third season of CAT also ended on a sad note .


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