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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
Today the MBA entrance season conculded for me. I am now committed to a B-school and a decent one at that. I look back at the journey and it's been interesting to say the least. It all started in 2010, when I went to the IMS at Sohrab Hall, Pune and took a counseling session. I paid that female at the desk to enroll me into a 2-year MBA prep course which should lead me to the hallowed portals of a top 10 B-school. My study partner was my girlfriend, so it didn't work out so well. We sometimes went there, had a vada pav and came back without stepping into class. Those days were different; careers were the last thing on our minds. I later made up my mind to enroll into a Masters course in the UK, so CAT 2010 was attempted out of compulsion and boredom. Randomly marked the options and finished the exam in 3 minutes. Ended up with 15 Percentile. Giggled when I saw the score.
Came back to Delhi after graduating in April '11. Briefly flirted with GMAT. Joined IMS South Campus (Delhi) again, but hardly went for three classes. The girlfriend followed me to Delhi, and studying was still not on the top of our things to do. We talked a lot about our respective careers, but that didn't translate into any studying whatsoever. Went unprepared for the CAT, used my brain, ended up with 85 percentile. Came excruciatingly close to TISS, but missed out. Promised myself I'll be back to TISS soon. Hardly any calls, the season ended with disappointment and frustration. I went with what my heart said and started studying for CFA-Level 1. Cleared it soon.
This time, the girlfriend shifted base to Mumbai, so I thought I'd be less distracted and will write a kickass CAT. That assumption fell on its face soon enough. Teamed up with a close friend and started going to TIME at Connaught Place regularly. That time had a different feel to it, studying at libraries for hours at a stretch, then spending time at Khan Chacha discussing B-schools, the occasional beer at My Bar in Paharganj. First came the NMAT, three attempts, reached upto 207, narrowly missing the 209 cut-off. But NM being NM, glad I didn't make it there. Then the CAT, got too nervous in the days leading up to the CAT, had a very very bad quant section. Ended up with a very bad score (let's not get into it). IIFT was great, missed out by a mark or two again, heartbroken. SNAP was another disappointment. XAT was decent, felt I had done enough to clear the VA, DM and overall cut-offs for XLRI, but quant was going to be a close shave. Results came in, touched the 96th percentile, with 99+ scores in both Verbal and Decision Making, but a miserable 32 percentile in quant meant that XLRI was to remain a distant dream. I looked at my quant score and despite studying purely quant for 5 months, I ended up with that. I laughed repeating Ramadhir Singh's “Beta, tumse naa ho payega” in my head.
January started and the last days of Delhi winter brought with them some good news. First call was from SPJIMR, the girlfriend jumped when she saw. Then SIMS, then TAPMI, then SP Jain-MGB, then TISS, then MICA. The season held promise now. Travelled a lot during Feb and March, and loved every bit of it. Same suit, same shirt, same tie, everywhere. GDs and PIs were supposedly my strength, so I wasn't too tensed. Just touched down at Mumbai airport on the 14th of Feb when a friend told me that SIMS was in the bag. I wasn't happy, but it felt good to have a strange sense of relief. Coming back from a holiday to Goa, I found the IMT Ghaziabad interview on Feb 19 interesting and a lot of fun. (Read the experience here: JokaShoka s post in IMT Ghaziabad 2013-2015 GD-PI Experiences : PaGaLGuY Forums ). Then came TISS, the school with a difference. I spent days reading the planning commission's Yojana Magazine and articles on India's social problems.Must have read more than 200 essays in the days leading up to the process at the TISS campus. It was probably the most productive reading I was doing in months. 14th March came, I feel in love with the TISS campus, but my interview got over in a snap. No problems, but they just didn't give me any time to explain myself. Maybe they had already made up their mind.
On 21st of March, a friend got an email from IMT-G getting him PGDM-IB. From that moment onwards, frantic refreshing of my Gmail page started. Around the afternoon, I got an email from IMT-G saying I had been selected for the PGDM-FT 2013-15 Batch. I was overjoyed, ran downstairs to tell my parents, spent an evening with my girlfriend on Skype eating a congratulatory chocolate. The uncertainty, frustration and wait had ended, I had a top20 B-school convert in the bag. Researched a lot, spoke to so many people, and finally decided against MICA. TISS made me wait a lot, only to give me a bad kick in the “bread-basket”.
Calls: SPJIMR, TISS, IMT-G, MICA, TAPMI, SIMS, SP Jain-MGB
Rejects: SPJIMR, TISS
Joining: IMT-Ghaziabad Batch of 2013-15
My Two cents: Don't make these exams an obsession. Don't make it a purely capitalistic decision. Learn to laugh at your failures. What you end up with, might not have been your first choice, but once you make it to a B-school, make sure you take it by storm and use these 2 years to be who you want to be.
Around two and a half years ago,I got hold of a pdf from Pagalguy titled AIWTSAC-10.pdf, and read it all in a day without break. And that day I thought that one day I'll share my experience. It has taken me quite some time to come to this stage, but I finally have. The satisfaction is immense after accomplishing something that was a mere vision years ago.
My love with CAT got kindled after I fell in love with IIM-A. I wanted to be a part of this red building and spend two years of my life in this prestigious institute. I would lie if I say that the love was cursory. (My desktop wallpaper, my chrome homepage, my assortment of photographs etc. etc.) The preparation began on a high note. It was a dream, and CAT was my means. I joined CAT coaching to gear start my preparation, like everyone does. And it helped me a great deal in understanding concepts and not merely mugging them, a transition from formulas to logic.
And then I faced a lots of odds, dillemas and tough decisions, but I was able to conquer every obstacle and come out well. (99.73%ile CAT) Now, the answer for this question, "How to prepare for CAT?"
1. Start by your fundamentals: This is a cliche, but as the saying goes, "the foundation of any building has to be strong". It pertains to both Quant and VA. I spent quite some time on this, and ensured that I knew my concepts to the core. This is the stage where proper coaching helps.
2. Start taking mock tests: There is a great deal of confusion about this aspect of preparation. An year ago, even I was brimming with a series of questions. But yes, mock tests do help, in their own way. Take every mock test as if it's your actual examination. I can still recollect the preparation I made before taking any mock. You have to be in a similar environment, and that is essential. And so does your time slots. Try to ensure that it matches with your actual CAT.And don't take tests for the sake of taking tests. These tests are not to tell you how good you are, but how you can be better. I used to spend hours analyzing these tests, and this analysis helped me taper down my strengths and weaknesses. In short, it means that you should try to know yourself better. Try to perform better in every test you take, but don't get disheartened by a series of low scores. You are lucky if you are scoring low. You will know your scope for improvement. And I was not among the 99%ilers in mock tests, who boast their high scores on forums. Percentiles in mock are not a gauge of the actual CAT.
3.Overcome your weaknesses: I faced a lot of problems in VA. In spite of a good command over the language, I made a lot of errors. But then problems are meant to be solved, all it requires is perseverance.Spend a lot of time knowing why are you making errors. It might take you weeks, but "DON'T QUIT". Immense help is available online these days. Try talking to people who have been in the same boat as you are. Spend a lot of time alone, and explore different ways. "Trial and Error" helps. In spite of Quant being my strength, I scored better in VA. But then who says, weaknesses stay forever. It is you who can transform them to your strengths.
4. Accuracy matters: I can really speak a lot on this. But all I need to mention is that I made just 40 attempts in CAT (18+22), which by all means is not a god figure. But I knew all along that these were error-free ones. Similar thing got replicated in XAT. Your performance hinges on ACCURACY. Anyway, the approach might vary in individuals, it being something highly subjective. But yes, it worked in my case.
5. The "C-Day": Go with a mindset that it is just another mock test. If you've been taking your mocks seriously, you won't face any problem in the environment as such. Get hold of your temperament. Life won't end if you don't make it. But give your best shot. Go with a fresh mind, adequate sleep and no pre-defined notions. CAT is notorious for throwing surprises. In my case, the difficulty surprised me. But then keep telling yourself that all these things don't perturb you. You can tackle any test: ; you have come well prepared.
6. Have Faith: I can't stress less on this. Have faith on yourself, and your abilities. Your past doesn't matter. All that matters is that you have an opportunity open. And it depends upon you as to how you grab it. It's certainly not easy, but then it's an adventure. With every small success you'll feel the enthusiasm. If you ask me, I still feel that those prep days were the best time of my life. My life had a purpose, an ambition. The people who have made it, are one amongst you. They aren't equipped with special abilities. No matter how mediocre you think you are, you can still bell the CAT.
And now for all those future CAT takers who are reading this, I wish you all the best. I have always been a silent reader of forums, and I wish that even my experience helps the people who will be taking the hyped exam in the years to come.
"Nothing can stop you, except you, yourself".
And now for your information, I have made it to FMS (It's not IIM-A, but a red building,nonetheless )
Update : The Journey continues...
It has been a great feeling to come back to this sacred thread after 2 years to finally give you all guys some updates. As my "Original Post" was about how an ordinary guy can achieve extraordinary results, the theme of this section of my post would be to hopefully share with you my genuine and honest experiences in what we call as one among the new IIMs - IIM Kashipur with a small tagline coined by me - "A startup of dreams!"
So well, yes there were dreams that I would wanna make it into an IIM... I finally did...the first day...feeling was great!! I am finally in an IIM. However, as I had visited IIM Ahmedabad earlier, I did realize that things here are going to be different, challenging and hence interesting...just the way I like it. The good thing was that this year the batch was more than 3 times the seniors strength and hence I was hoping the experiences I would gain would be far more enriching. And boy was I right!! (
So the first day I enter, I see this small but beautiful make shift campus (independent of any university though) where there were a handful of professors, a hint of newness and a texture of something big that this place would turn out to be in years to come. We had the official registration and welcome ceremony but what was the most interesting thing, and for which I must praise my seniors (who were just 2 batch of this campus and were instilling those activitites which are trademark of the IIMs and other major B Schools) was - The Induction. In all probability, all those who have been to decent B-schools already know what Induction is all about and for all those who will be joining in years to come, I am not going to be a spoilsport and hence would let you all experience this amazing activity in your respective B-schools. Trust me this will be an experience of a lifetime and therez a very strong reason why I am not divulging the same to u all!
Apart from Induction, there won't be any more suspense from my side in this installment of my post and I hope this post would help some of the puys who would be facing the New IIM Dilemma in years to come. So lets start with acads, being a lazy engineer, I was in for a shock with the amount of work that a student puts in a B-school. Its as if you are totally transformed into a workhorse! Assignments, quizzes, term exams, events, seminars, guest lectures, PPTs, committee selections, club selections and what not! U name it and that thing exists at IIM Kashipur. It is here that I finally understood what "student driven" campuses ACTUALLY mean. So as always, I went for the toughest committee (yes you guessed it right) and got through after a long and tedious process. To this day and for the life ahead, I am sure, what this committee has taught me (being a startup IIM without any established alumni pool etc.) would be something I would cherish forever. And as I was a lazy lad for pretty much the whole year I never got into any club as a core member (academic or otherwise). There were plethora of them - the committees - alumni relations, placement, corporate relations, mess, infrastructure & IT, academic etc and the clubs - Marketing, finance, Operations, Movie, quiz club, Photography club etc. So day in and day out I was handling acads and committee work as a regular student would be required to do.
The one reason why I joined IIM Kashipur was because I wanted to gain an experience of starting new things (yeah faff, I Know and so I never did anything for first two trimesters
Ofcourse the pressure of summer internship was mounting and with Marketing as one of my majors, landing up one in an FMCG was something that was a dream come true. The learning experience and the mistakes that I did during my stint at the company is something that will be a lesson throughout my life. Being a fresher, this was also my first actual corporate experience.
Finally the first year ended and came the juniors. This was the period when we were the driving force and experience of being seniors was something exceptional especially during the phase of Induction of our juniors. Subjects went past, GPAs moved like sinusoidal curves (
So yes, I know that there has been a huge hue and cry about whether the New IIMs can deliver the way old IIMs do? Who will go to this never heard of place called Kashipur? How good are the placements? What about my learning?? How are the faculties? Whats the ROI? What about exchage programs? What about my comforts, facilities and emotional bonding?
Well, If therez anything that I have to say, it has to be this - the new IIMs (whichever, they may be...my judgement is based on my experience in IIM Kashipur!) are an IIM for a reason. For any other private college, to achieve the results these IIMs are achieving (in terms of placements, Corporate events wins by their students, internatonal exposure etc.) would be a dream for even the first 10 years of their establishment. Granted, that there is a lot of scope of improvement but thats what startups do. They evolve. I couldn't have been any more satisfied than the experiences which I gained here cos for sure I will be using them when I am starting up my own venture. The news that this batch would actually shift to the permanent campus - a first amongst the new IIMs, that there have already been highest international final placements consecutively for two years during my stay amongst new IIMs and that highest international CTCs are pretty much touching the same figures of a few relatively older IIMs are all heartening to see with the fact that overall medians and top 25% and 50% landing up with great offers proving to be an icing on the cake. The never before taken intitatives of setting up our own community radio, a quiz right in the middle of the Corbett Jungle or creating a graffiti on a wall are all some crazy yet unique experiences that I might never have experienced in any other premier B School!
It has been rightly said by someone - A man is a product of his choices! And I beleive whatever tough decisions I took (in terms of joining a new college in contrast to joining an established one) have all worked well in my favour and have made me what I am today - a confident B-school graduate now rearing to go for his next stint - the ground where an excitement of altogether differrent level awaits - The Corporate.
I would like to thank all those who read this update fragment patiently till the very end and would suggest them to make some adventurous choices (ofcourse thats just my opinion) and learn somethin new while you are at it..
A participant of IIM Kashipur - PGP 2013-15!
The Original Post
Joined: IIM Kashipur PGP 2013-15! (A startup of Dreams!!!)
Hey puys! I am not a great writer and maybe not that perseverant as well as so many people on this thread have been. However , i think, owing to the sanctity of this thread and to contribute my least bit in fulfilling its purpose of existence, I still would like to give my experiences of CAT..however this is gonna be one marathon post (for which i apologize, because i still dont know what i am doing is right or not, but would definitely like to get ur opinions...however...only after i have made the entire background clear....)
Flashback (till CAT 2011)-
This is after my class 12th exams got over...I have been an ardent visual gaming fan...be it samurai video games, tekken large format consoles or the recent computer games..i have always had this one thing been intriguing me. So, i figured, why not make a career out of it... i had heard just like most of us that in India , engineers and doctors are paid heavily and u enjoy a luxurious life etc. etc. My parents, however had been very kind in never forcing me to do anything (infact my dad had warned me before itslef that science is a difficult stream and i should think about commerce...but being a kid then and having secured 84% in Xth with top two subjects being of maths (91) and science (86) , i figured... "I ACCEPT") So went in with science and screwed up my 12th with 68.8 percent on board and 3 long months of holidays standing right in front of me and no engg entrance exams done well on my part (because i joined coaching in 12th itself and had school + coaching from 7 AM to 9 PM...but excuses are for losers, arent they?) Fine, if engg is what it takes, I thought I would damn well become an engineer (but in computer science ONLY)...took a drop...went to KOTA ( :P) and then started preparing..working hours and hours and came into top 150 student which was a big jump from being 450th student when i entered these coaching classes....everything was going on smoothly...but then cam 1 month of terrible disaster...chicken pox..all studies gone haywire..(again, no excuses... it happens to everyone, right?)..so gave the exams......came to know about an entrance exam by SAE university and Assam university JV in India for getting admitted into Visual game designing and development...gave it...got 50% scholarship...but soon the happiness died out coz my dad wasnt convinced with the infrastructure as well as the conventional (B.A.) degree...and i dont blame him..he only wanted the best for me... results of engg exams came...cleared in a reputed private college and failed at all other exams so came the dilemma... I was offerred a non CS branch in the private college ....tried going to local engg colleges..."4 Lac plus donation and he can get into IT" was told to my father right on my face......i decided..i will go to the reputed private college because thts what i earned on my own rather than asking dad to donate money like water.. One good thing, I could upgrade my branch to CS in this college if i score a well GPA (above 9) as first year is common here...my dad loved maths (topper at his time)...and i almost had a killing ego for being very good at maths so i figured i will do well in engg (its maths and phy only rit?) in my first year and get upgraded to CS...hence came firs year...i became the guy who stayed in his room..or in his class..studyin all the time...being made fun of for not enjoyinglife in one of the most chilled out campuses of india...but then i had self beleif..i have my own reason for doing this, isnt it?..then came first sem result ...reached 8 GPA..went into 2 sem thinking ..i need to fight a little more and became a proper tensed 'geek'...result..on the very day before my Maths II exam...i fall sick...vomitting...and finally giving the exam...it was all over... i knew it when i gave the paper..dreams shatterred...its not meant to be...results came... i flunked in it... GPA..6.7... , ask for revaluation (internals - 40/50..which is excellent in engg..but in the exam, missed by a wafer thin margin).. immeidately applied for retest..passed...but as per rules...given the lowest E grade...and so my CGPA went to around 7.8...time came for upgrades.. and it turns out, i can get into 14 of the 16 branches but for CS and ECE..i was in a branch tht was considered as the lowest..being mocked off as well in college...i can take 13 other branches..hell..they r not CS...so i sat one night going thru the course content of this branch and CS to my astonishment i cleared quite a few misconceptions..CS was filled with programming, mathematics, circuits etc..and this branch with graphics, photoshop, advanced C++ (including animation) etc.... I had applied to get upgraded in 5 other branches but thought..this branch right here, has atleast some connection with gaming while all others r fancied and tough to crack as well...next day morning on the last day...asked for withdrawing from upgrades and persist witht this so-called "underdog" branch..when i was home , i knew i had hurt my dad for gettinf flunked in maths...and i wud be hearing a lot from him..he just said.. "It's Ok" and i saw tht dissappontment in his eyes...
I went bak...1400 KMs from my home to the college..now with a point to prove...studied hard and at the same point again had to cope up with the jokes of being a geek...however this time around i secured in every semester above 9.3 and guess what ? with the best grade (A+) in maths..hence went till 6 semester in engg...
I was topping charts and then came placements season in 7 semester...got thru 2 comapnies...but then came the harsh reality...low packages...recessions etc etc....got a notion again...MBAs are paid highly in India...gave CAT without any decent preparation in 2011 with a really intelligent friend of mine...she got 99.XX and almost all good colleges...for which i was proud of her as she hadnt been placed till then but had been trying so hard for her placement and CAT at the same time..I howerver stayed at 89 and consloed myself...i did this without studying....then came some happiness...i finally got offerred for an all expenses paid 8 semester research scholarship in Germany...tht made my parents proud like anything..first kid from the family to go abraod..and tht too on scholarship!..Did my projeect..came back and was given gold medal for being the branch topper at the convocation and was with those really few friends of mine who actually cared (and most of whom were not even from my branch.. but became my flatmates..and thorughly enjoying with them my last 1.5 years of engg)..
After a good German summer, the reality dawned upon me...enough of enjoyment dude...what about job now? I had given up one of the options already and the second one wanted me to join in september in ahmedabad where my aunt lived...my cousin..who was excellent in commerce and did her CFA as amongst toppers in ICFAI...she advised me..why dont u give CAT...i thought to myself..she must be kidding rit..CAT is not an option...i just returned in second week of june,,,and CAT will be in October..how much time do I have? besides I dont even know anything of commerce...but what other option do I have?..low paying IT job wont be what i want to get into (I am not a CS engg afterall and i dont know if i wud be able to excel there)...however during my stint at the college i ensured my interest of gaming was alive and participated in basic animation workshops of autodesk 3Ds max and other such advanced workshop...however it was there that i met a professor who taught us entrepreneurship development, who made me realise after looking at my interest in gaming to why not make an own enterprise in gaming? It just struck me...the positives..there have been so many children like me who would love to pursue this career...negatives...I dont have tht high technical knowledge, neither the resources nor the know how of how to do business as such?...realization...maybe its MBA afterall, I should go into International business or operations (being the only branch tht actually is universally applicable for any comapny and is involved in actual making and delivering of the product!)..maybe i can work in such a comapny...take some experience and at the same time get some capital as well!...but all this was too far ahead...its just 4 odd months and there are 2 lakh aspirants...i dont know if i can do this...so reluctantly, on my cousin's persuance...i joined this coaching institute which i hadnt even heard of...this institute ,was differrent..I had to give CAT my best shot however at the same point of time not only get engrossed in studies just like i did in my 2 sem in engg..so i had to be differrent as well...i wasnt knowing how to say it or tell it...but then during the orientation by COO of this institute...i just heard that word...i had to be "Street smart". I took a totally different outlool for CAT...while most people went after solving maximum questions...i went to knowing how to leave questions...(didnt have much time to prepare too right? ) i tried to understand tht at the end of the day, its not attempts that ,atter (it took me 15 online mocks to realise that) but actually the accuracy that matters. I tried to be hyper selective in studies...few topics are always less no matter how hard u prepare...5 major ones bein - numbers, PnC, Probability, Coordinate geometry and special coding patterns...similiarly verbal too required either very good grammer with lots of previous reading (which usually engineers dont posess)..like differences in advise,advice...ingenious,ingenuous etc ... or u should be good at LR and RCs...i knew reading novels is a luxury i cant afford and DI too had quite some logic driven caselets that are hard to crack...so what do i do..how can I be street smart enough here?? I decided... I shud ccover these topics superficially in quant (just basic formulas and already known techniques of remainder finding etc in numbers , patterns etc..because anywyas on that day , these clicking is anyone's guess)...and similiarly lay higher stress on parajumbles and do keep on readin 4-5 RCs a day ( coz they along with LR , which comes easy to engineers in most cases can make up approx 24 odd questions of section 2)...and as fro DI (which usually has 9 questions out of 30, I decided to do only first question of each set (making 3 questions) and just glance through other 6 questions and try only if i can create a proper link). The remaining quant , however, had to be thoruough..so i ensured i went through last papers and mocks i gave and kept myself reinforcing in time-work,TSD,Sequences, normal geometry,Quadratic,Inequalities etc. and these would make up approx 23 odd questions (including DI ones of course) and can happily glance thru other questions and try if i can do them or leave them peacefully.....
The D- DAy - 31 October...CAT 2012
So I had a perfect strategey..however CAT is known to throw surprises...this i learnt on the day of my paper...I went thru the quant section..and after 50 minutes of perseverance I realized.. I have just done 14 questions in quant section...so again i was faced with a dilemma...to got thru the guesses and do 5-6 more questions or to do 2- more questions and move to next section...my brain told former...and gut..the latter..(attempts vs accuracy...here we are again.. :P) so there i was , at the end of 1st section...i had made just 17 quant attempts ...then acme the verbal section and as always..owing to loads of RCs I had done...started off with 2 RCs..finished them off quite swiftly..and glanced thru grammer..answered 1-2 questions, went to LR...answered 2 sets but the third one was tricky...wasted 7-8 minutes and now there were choices...either the RC and 2 PJs left or this full logic set of 4 questions...time left- 8 minutes...fine..PJs started...completed both in 3 minutes...5 minutes for an entire RC!! This was gonna be challenging!..went thru...last 3 seconds...n finally attempted the last question in total disarray...came out realising I had made 24 attempts in verbal which seemed OK...however...then came the discussions..and it turned out everyone was happy..and i was hearing people saying they had made 55 , 53 ..etc attempts in my ears...i realized...my attempts ..17 + 24 = 41!!! So CAT will test my underlying principle beleif of Accuracy over attempts...and I had the bad feeling..I might have been wrong all along..
Results - 10th January 2013
There had been other exams and everything else I gave... i was prepared for the worse...what more could I have done with less than 4 months of preparation, I was atleast smart (or so I thought)...whatever it may be...I will accept it...I gave it my best shot..5 AM in the morning (i had slept at 2 becaus of anticipation) i get up by messages of people askin my results in CAT...and then keyed in the loogin at prometric - result -
Verbal - 98.56,
quant - 95.66
overall - 98.36
Was i amazed? U bet I was! Was it luck ? maybe ...Did my approach work? (Hell yeah!
I was finally happy...this was amongst the most clinical preparations I had made.. I knew battle is far from over...thereare GDs n PIs n all...I also got thru NMAT with 211 score...SNAP hopwever was at 93.56...start the GD prep ..but that story is for some other time...as of now.. converts include
IIM KASHIPUR,VGSOM IIT Kgp ,DoMS IIT chennai, IMT G, TAPMI,SIBM-B,SSBM,LBS (fin), NIRMA,NMIMS (BM,CM,bang,Hyd but NOT core)...got waitlisted in NITIE(difficult to convert though),SIIB and still expecting results of - baby IIMs, IITs (except mum)
I dont know if this would help anyone, I dont know if MBA would help me later in my goal itself!.. however, i applaud ur patience for actually going thru this all but the only thing that i can tell as far as CAT is concerned is..guys its not that tough to clear cat..u only need to identify ur strengths and WEAKNSESSES as well (so that u can leave those questions just like there a few deliveries to be left alone in cricket)...I hope the future test takers excel in the exam (however, CAT is just the first step..but as the say "well begun is half done!")..I do owe my success to my parents who today are very proud of me , my friends at this institute who were there all the time besides me and worked for strainght long hours of morning 9 Am to evening 6 PM apart from our own individual studies...I am satisified with what I did..and once again sorry for such a lengthy post.. :P, I just hope it helps...and do give me ur opinions too
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