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Well getting to write down on this thread is an honor. It is a privilege which one earns after loads of hard work and success.....on the hindsight this would b a very long post….emotional …philosophical…motivating…and wld try humor where ever possible…as every1 my fav post here is of @the_hate and @prem_ravi ..both JOKArs
First of all my profile
Xth – 85%
XIIth – 86%
Grads – 69% (DCE)
CFA L2 candidate…Fin enthusiast …trader at Futures First….
So it all began in early 2010…I used to go to college with 2 of my frens in a pooled car…so v 3 wr having discussion abt MBA…pros cons etc etc…do v require it if yes which all cllg…one of my frens had all the info…so I checked all of it…CAT paper pencil to online version…infact in 2009 I did write an original CAT paper just to check my aptitude…it was CAT 2008…a 360 marks paper…I kno scoring decent enuf in QA DI…but VA was just below par…I think I scored a triple digit score but VA was single digit…so I knew then and there that VA is my nemesis…I had to work for it…so after consulting with my fren he told me to join CL early as we wr getting a handsome discount…so all three of us joined CL in May 2010…classes began in july…side by side I began doing norman lewis and reading hindu….i simply hated hindu initially…enjoyed doing norman lewis…so v 3 of us used to discuss vocab words in the car…so it began with a frisk pace…all wr enjoying it…suddenly v realized that only learning words will not get us anywhere…so v started buying novels…I kno I read all the novels from Paulo Coelho…as I found all of them inspirational…dan brown..sidney Sheldon…( blv me I never read anything except chetan bhagat..i hated reading novels )….so this is how I started reading…doing the books religiously…was going well…lets rollover quickly…
So in January 2011 the CL unproctored mocks went live…I thot of giving one…so in feb 2011 gave one…scored a decent 96%ile…but again the laggard being VA…I knew I had my work cut out…so kept working hard on VA…without real improvement…all this while I was a silent observer on PG…then the real CL proctored mocks started …I still remember the scores…
QA and DI 30 each…VA was 15…so total of 75…I had a OA of 95 but VA was only 70 odd…I suddenly realized RCs are a big problem…I got IMS VA material now and had their mock test series as well…started doing their RC book…slowly and slowly gaining confidence…the mocks on the other side wr not going great guns…but then their wr rumors CAT pattern is undergoing a change from being a 3 section test to being differently timed 2 section test…so QA combined with DI and VA combined with LR…I knew then and there that some part of my problem is solved…so I changed my strategy completely…now every coaching institute changed their mocks…but still there was a lot of confusion…leading to unhealthy speculation…I knew I had an advantage …I can maximize the score in section 1 and do my best in sectn 2 with the assurance of LR…now scores started going northwards…I started enjoying it…I still remember my final 2 CL mocks gave me 125 and 128…with VA being 99.7+…so I was confident 1 month b4 CAT …attempts wr pretty good as well…just 2 weeks prior to CAT v had a CL toppers workshop …wherein we underwent a rigorous 2 day schedule…and v practiced everything from QA to LR…so I was all set for CAT 2011…
Had booked oct 31 morning slot...morning meant i cldn't sleep the whole night...
QA DI – extremely easy attempted all…probably went thru the emotions…committed silly errors only to realize after the test…
VA LR – there had been news of VA being the most difficult…so I started with LR..did all 9…came on to VA…was difficult…but attempted all here as well..only to unmark 2 at the end…
So I was confident of doing well uptil the point the test had ended…when I came back home and was writing the exp on PG…all those questns started coming infront of me…I knew I had committed confirmed 4 silly errors…so the impetus was all on VA to sail me thru somehow…
All this while my placement season started in Aug 2011…till that had alrdy faced big interview rejections..mckinsey …big civil MNCs..but was still focused on CAT…I did not sit in ZS process coz that wld have interfered with my CAT prep…and it had its process very near to my CAT day…slowly my frens started getting placed…I never doubted myself one single bit…I knew I had it in me to crack big cos…so aug till nov I did not crack any jobs…nomura was supposed to come in dec 2011..but it did not at the last moment…so all this while I had also given IIFT NMAT and XAT…IIFT was poor…NMAt was good but score had other ideas…XAT DM was totally out of park for me…so last and final hope was CAT results…
11th January 2012:- 12 am CAT results declared…started getting calls from frens abt my result…but my dad told me that he wld check my result in the morning..so I was at my frens place…playing FIFA..still getting calls abt my results till the wee hours….finally in the morning I got my result…was completely heartbroken…
QA – 96.88
VA – 94.88
OA – 97.51
Messaged my frens …shut my fone down and slept for 3-4 hrs in the morning…got up at 11…reached home..dissapointed…seeing ppl on PG getting calls…fellow batchmates scoring huge…was completely broken…now I knew I had to get placed…all the pressure was on it…JP Morgan came in Feb…only to b not shortlisted by it…that time I cursed my luck…coz ppl who had profiles worse than me got a call…so after 2-3 days I got normal…I realized that it was only the first attempt..i can make it large next time…so got down to enjoying final few months in cllg…enjoyed it to the core…but my worst nightmares came true…did not get a placement till the very last (few cos rejected me I rejected others) …till then I had been motivating my unplaced frens that u will get a placement..dont worry…so it was ironical for me…so I enjoyed till may 2012…got down to work in june 2012... completely focused on CAT 2012…this time I had enrolled for TF and TIME…
This time I had a completely diff approach…I did not think much abt anything…just started working in a methodical manner…did not think what wld be the result..if I don't succeed etc etc…in the meanwhile UDT and DT 2012 wr being formed…I thot of being part of them…nominated myself for UDT 12…and few also nominated me for DT 12…got selected for UDT 12…had a call from @visionIIM-ACL …so there was another aspect now…new team players…started enjoying the process now…loving doing those mocks..discussing with fellow team mates…Omkarp raven_007 anupam fsog etc ...so v guys had a gala tym discussing every small thing and our captain was the most bakchod of them all...so in team conferences bakchodi was of prime importance...all this while mocks had been going on...initial ones wr good...lost steam in bw and finally picked up at the end...thou this tym i didnot give much importance to mocks...just used them to analyse...
So booked 2nd nov afternoon slot this tym...to avoid late nite hiccups...slept decent enuf...
heard that QA is very difficult...but i knew QA is my strong part so if it is difficult i can make do with it...
QA - started the test and was a very nervy one...had a lot of speed breakers...did 27...was happy with it..
VA - had a diff strategy this time...1LR 1RC 3-4 VA questns...this done in 3 rounds...so did 26 in this..
overall pretty happy with the performance...was sure of sectn 1...and analysis said that i had atleast 25 correct in QA...cld have been 27 as well..so this meant 2 months of agonising wait...
again gave iift and xat only...got a call from iift..not really interested...XAT had a strategy in place...but this time managed to screw VA...
9th January 2013:- results wr declared at 3 am...again was at the same frens place..having scotch b4 the results...playing fifa yet again...so started the process with half awake ...took me 2 hrs to get thru...finally it paid off
that feeling came in my head...that elation...i had done it...told every1...got calls from xyz ppl congratulating me...was an ecstatic afternoon...slept only for 3-4 hrs yet again...
now the process started of getting myself enrolled in GD PI classes...with new found vengeance...started enjoying reading hindu now...without which i used to feel hopeless...stupid...
Calls - IIMC IIML IIFT FMS...
But who knew that storm was coming...IIMC PI was my best bet...first got a result from IIFT..rejected...next up was FMS...bad luck had a weird extempore topic..rejected...now was the time for IIMC result...rejected..completely shaken heartbroken...done and dusted forever..ppl said u will convert L..but i knew L PI was just a mere formality of rejecting me...
so mid april 2013...didnot knew where to go...being a fin enthusiast IIMC was my dream...all this while i had to prepare for CFA L1 as well...somehow got out of the storm...got the motivation and inspiration back...started preparing for CAT 2013...
All this while i had been helping my uncle with his work in his company...
joined IMS and TIME mocks...just gave mocks and analysed them...mocks wr again good..but this time VA was better than QA...outscored QA a lot of times...scored 99+ more consistently than ever...so had a well placed strategy...this time i was also nominated for DT and got selected..which meant more ppl to play with...all this meanwhile i got selected in Futures first...had a joining right after CAT..so was good in a way..i cld crack my first PI in life...dis tym took a middle slot
25th oct afternoon slot
Again we heard that QA was nightmarish and even few days VA was also nightmarish..so dint knew what to expect..so went in with a lot backing on it...kept calm initially...
QA- started the paper..knocked down 4-5 in 7-8 mins..so was pretty confident now...became a lil complacent...got one 4 set venn diagram singlet...only for it to b a wrng questn..wasted 4-5 mins...that is where my train got derailed...from there everything went downhill...a lil panic set in...got a 4set venn diagram DI questn...missed reading 1 value which meant i wasted another 5 mins...the last part of the paper was full of bouncers...so in th end managed 21 only..was disappointed to the core...
VA- took the baggage of QA to VA..started with LR...somehow solved it quickly..got a lil confidence back...then did 1 RC only to go beyond me...VA not comprehensible...all the thots started flowing thru my head now...missed IIMC 99.85 wasted...what wld fellow DT ppl wld think and what not...so half way thru i had hardly any attempts in VA..with all that stuff going on in my head..i knew i had screwed it..now tried the patch up work..said to me that i wldn't attempt unnecessarily...wld only attempt where i am sure..did all 9 LR confidently...VA was as hellish as it cld get over the 3-4 yrs of prep i had done...probably nothing cld have saved me except luck here...but somehow managed decent attempts with decent confidence..did 22...
Hmm started analysing now...had 2 confirm wrng in QA...VA no idea..was again it was all on VA to save me...again IIFT and XAT...thou applied to non-IIMs as well..MDI SP...
Had planned well for XAT this time...so XAT was good...
14th Jan 2014:- another defining day...had started trading by now...something i loved...so morning 9 am checked the results...and surprisingly was able to get thru the very first time..and it was a huge flop
so back to square one..my dream washed away in a flash...but having a job which i loved meant it didnot affect me too much...realised in a couple of days that i cannot b a JOKAr...destiny is not in sync with IIMC...but fortunately XAT saved me...got a XLRI or the very first time...had all 90+ sectionals this time...
i didnot prepare anything for GDPI..all the efforts i had put in last year gave fruits this year...
first up IIFT PI..got late ..stuck in a traffic jam...half way i turned back and came back home...now this thing hit me real bad...i started crying like anything...all those things came back...IIMC PI ..rejection etc etc..missing CAT 2013..cried for like an hr...with my mother consoling me...thou this helped me in a way that all those emotions went away in those tears...my father told me to go to IIFT and ask them to please give a chance in the second slot...and the person agreed..so got a chance...( to b honest i was not really interested..but as this time i had no GD PI practise ...so IIFT was a precursor to XLRI )..essay was amazing...GD dominated...PI blasted...i knew then and there i was getting an IIFT convert...had never been so confident in a PI..( till that point i had failed a dozen job PIs...4 mba PIs )...
XLRI PI...had a gd here...which was a disaster..had all hopes on PI...so started the PI with a smile..was pretty decent..had hope..
dis tym i didnot attach any emotions with the results...whatever i will get i will accept it...
mid march got an IIFT convert..not really interested..looking forward to XL results...
7th April 2014:- was in the middle of a trading session...with the markets being super active...checked the result and to my amazement got a WL 17...and i knew i had done it..i cld finally crack a top MBA cllg in india...my parents super ecstatic...told my fellow traders..and they said party party...but somehow after a week or so i realised that this is the end to a fitting journey...and i cld never be a JOKAr...with which i had so much hope...cried inside my head on missing that opportunity...but told myself that this is what god wants me to do..so lets make it large..lets get those coveted IB roles i have been yearning for...preparing so hard for...
- Dont give a s h i t about anything...just enjoy the journey..u will sail thru...
- CAT is not for weak hearts...it is an animal where in victory lies beyond ur imagination and u have to again and again face its wrath...
- Dont put everything on one xam...keep ur optns open..which i hardly did...
- Ur ultimate competitor is u..urself...if u can achieve ur own targets than no 1 can stop u...
- In the end follow ur dreams...try to better urself with whatever u have...i have a dream which i will achieve for sure...
i know what difference this MBA prep has brought in me...giving that first GD in 2010 wherein i cldnot speak a word to being dominating the GD takes a lot of effort and energy..my vocab was poorer than a 5th class kid...worked my a s s off ...i never had good communication skills ...worked on them during all these 3-4 yrs...improved a hell lot...i know what my level is now..bring the best of orators and i can challenge them..that is the kind of confidence i have now...had i got thru the first time i wldn't have ever improved so much...so in 2014 i have a purpose in life...a purpose i will achieve for the humanity..i love helping others and will keep doing so for my fellow indians...
"What happens ..happens for the greater good"
PS : please forgive my grammar..which has been as bad as it can be..i am working on my writing skills..but in this modern technological world it will take an eternity to improve...
PPS : i will add few links later on which are my creations on PG...
1. Addressing QA concerns - http://www.pagalguy.com/forums/cat-and-related-bschools/pagalguy-underdogs-team-t-83956/p-3594201/r-3744389 (written by me)
2. Addressing VA concerns - http://www.pagalguy.com/forums/cat-and-related-bschools/pagalguy-underdogs-team-t-83956/p-3594201/r-3742911 (written by omkarp)
ppl who deserve a mention
XLRI BM 2014-16
Well, the story begins in the summer of 2011, when my penultimate yr at IIT KGP was just over, with lots of emotions flowing over graduation of BTech friends (I was a dual degree student).
It was summer of 2011. The endsems and 4th yr project presentations were just over. CL had come to KGP with CAT test series at throwaway price(Rs 499. incl all proc & unproc test series, test gym, etc). Even TIME was offering test series at like 1.5k. So, I registered for both the mock test series, along with few of my friends. Back then, why MBA was very vague. Maybe it was the craze. So, we gave a few mocks, compared scores with each other, and we had a list of those who were good in VA(a couple of those who were good in VA cracked CAT 2011, and one of them has graduated from IIM C(my best friend) while another one from IIM B), a few who were good in QA(myself) and a few consistent ones but averaging out in both sections.
Mistake 1: Over reliance on TIME mocks for analysis.
P.S. In my opinion (obs over 2011-2013), TIME is awesome for LR-DI-QA,, For VA-RC:: CL, IMS
Mistake 2: Not a thought put into what I wanted as my career (which cost me 2 yrs)
So, the false confidence given by TIME mocks, and my failure to do micro-analysis of verbal part cost me CAT 2011, with shocking VA performance (CAT 2011 QA:99.6x %ile, VA: 7x.xx%ile)-Got calls from IIM-K etc.. skipped it. [Yeah I hadn't give any other exams like XAT etc-XAT 2014 was my 1st & last XAT].
And over reliance on CAT to rescue me led me to be careless in my placement, and get placed @ hell of an place.
Well, I went on with the core job that I got through placement, which was at a very remote place of Pipavav (even the nearest proper medical facility or shop was like 45 min away then, that too if I was lucky to get a lift).
Mistake 3: Going on with the job without having a career plan, and not trying for a better off-campus one.
Life at Pipavav was a torturous one.. skipping the details..
Took CAT 2012 just like that, and the results reflected... similar performance as that of CAT 2011 (actually worse perf in 2012's VA than that of 2011).
I finally quit after 7-8 months of job, and had finally decided to go for CAT full throttle, and pursue other good job opportunities after quitting. At this point, it was too large a risk, for I was not sure if I could crack CAT 2013 and if I did not, the stakes were very high for a screwed up career. It would have taken 3-4 yrs just to bring it back on track. Plus I was too arrogant to have not considered how quitting job before finding a better job was a mistake which will haunt me in any job I sit for, in future.
After initial 1-1.5 month of quitting job, once my sister's marriage and all were handled, I started applying for job in analytics as well as carried on my prep for CAT. Well, as I got to hear, the off-campus season was just over for big companies and I had to wait 4-5 months for next round, and the smaller ones took load with my leaving of prev job, etc, and the infinite loop of increasing gap and decreasing options continued.
Meanwhile I carried on with my CAT prep, registered for CL & IMS(whose VA-RC sections really helped me), did a micro-analysis of VA-RC sections, maintained a full track record of mistakes, why those mistakes were made, and how not to repeat them. Even if I was in a desperate position, I was pretty sure the weakness at a very basic level, which I had in RC and all, no coaching centre could handle, unless I was lucky to get guidance of some teacher who understood my issues. The thing was that I was doing good in mocks, like those of previous times. But I had screwed up previous CATs. So, i kept confidence in my sincere preparation. I set weekly goals and tried to achieve and improve as a whole. I made reading and comprehending quality materials a habit.(For starters, articles from thehindu.com, aldaily.com ....). The entire time of my preparation, I was keeping in mind the situation I faced in CAT 2011 VA. What if i get that type of paper this time. That fear as well as the difficulty I had faced in CAT 2011 VA-RC kept me motivated.
At the same time, it was very frustrating not to get a proper job. [I was getting offer from random areas like IP analyst or core mechanical areas, where I did not want to go, bcoz it was not sitting with my long term career.] It was really tough to continue prepration with the frustration, as well as no reliance on CAT results case. Still I carried on, as a last ditch attempt at CAT, having decided that it was to be my final attempt. I also applied for XAT.
Well, finally i got an offer of online marketing analyst at a Pune based startup (Finally the break
I was not realising how much out of touch I was getting on with QA-DI-LR. I just relied that they were my strengths and I can rely on them on the C-Day.
Then arrived Oct 20, afternoon. I had heard that QA was tougher than prev yrs. But as luck had it, my neighboring girl's system did not start for 1st 1 hr. I can understand her situation and really sorry for her. But the technical guys were busy consoling her or talking regarding the issue on phone, there itself. With my concentration breaking regularly, I found that I had attempted only 16 qns, with 15 min left. I found 3-4 of the 30 qns un-attemptable unless I had come across them previously. I took my chances in the remaining questions, took guess at a couple of questions (both the guess turned out to be worng, as soon as I came out of the exam center). So, here was my attempt at QA:24, where I was sure that i had 22 correct, but was not satisfied with my performance(because of the panic attack over last 10-15min of QA-DI section).
Then came the VA-LR section. Typically i attempted VA 1st with a clearer mind, then LR. But the prev night I had thought about it and keeping in mind that 1 of LR sets was typically very tough and lengthy this time, I decided to change my sequence (LR 1st, then RC, then rest). The CAT was to be my 1st mock in that sequence. Thankfully, I was able to attempt all LR, even if out of touch. took me 5min,10min and 15-20 min for the individual sets. Then I went on to RC, PJ etc. My practice in RC areas and a clarity of thought owing to my rigorous understanding of basics made it pretty clear regarding the solutions. Out of 10 qns, I attempted 4 confidently. In other 4, I could see clearly how the answer was zooming onto last 2 options, with different, but correct reasons, with slight inherent assumptions. AT that moment, I thought as to: Yeh dono answers mein se kaunsa answer galat ho ta I would be shocked more; I trusted my instinct and took my chance. Ultimately, I ended with 24/25 attempts.
But somehow I was not confident on my QA performance, and there was still a great chance that VA may betray me yet again. I was pretty sure that I must have screwed some-how, and was praying ki at least I get sufficient percentile to get calls from at least 2 of ABCL. Well, my parents, friends (incl. @scrabbler saan) kept me motivated that all is not over even if I screw up CAT, and to chill on, since I had given my best.
I had lost all my energy for XAT prep. Still solved prev yr qn papers as mocks: 1 per weekend not to get out of touch. At the end of XAT. I found that I had screwed up GK and was at boundary level on VA.
Well, I had made up my mind that my next 1-1.5 yrs are going to be spent at the start up.
Then came Jan 14. I heard that the results were out. Waited for 1-2 hour. Made up my mind that i would not be shocked if i was rejected yet again. Well, I opened my CAT result page. and the result stood at:
QA-DI:99.62%ile, VA-LR: 99.6%ile OA: 99.92%ile.
I was so stunned that I called a couple of my colleagues to check the result and pinch me.
Hard work, blessings of my parents and support of my friends who kept me motivated, finally worked.
So my 2 cents for CAT aspirants:
1. Don't put your career at stake on cracking CAT. Cracking CAT is as slippery as holding a cat.
2. Prepare thoroughly for CAT, with proper micro-analysis, but have a back up career option ready, and that too a very good one.
3. Be clear on why you want MBA and what you want with your career.
[Edit*: A tip for aspirants for whom VA section is weakness: Apart from other stuffs, Make reading quality materials a habit. There is no short cut here. I had made it a point to read articles from thehindu.com, aldaily.com, any philosophical/psychological but related to interesting stuffs (and reading it with the aim of understanding what the author is trying to say, how his approach is, etc), daily atleast 1-2hours a day. And once a while interesting stuffs help or else there is a high chance of leaving reading altogether. A clear mind for actually comprehending is also a necessity. Plus nothing should be skipped if not comprehended properly. Initially the speed may be slow, but it will keep increasing with time, and that will never be a concern,
Though it may not guarantee sucess, but it will be a great help in improving the reading stamina, comprehension, ideas,knowledge etc.
Plus its not like you read for a month and expect result. Make it a habit You will observe the change after a relatively long duration, say atleast after 6-7 months. But again, the habit once made, should not be left, even after the CAT is over. You will get a lot of insights, knowledge, etc.
Additionally, it will be of latent but great help during WAT-GD-PIs, if u r like- 'I dont care if it does not help me in my IIM/XLRI/IIFT/FMS/... goal'... ]
All the Best.
IIM B [PGP 2014-16]
*Hoping to make it big, now that I have got a great opportunity, and a chance to bring career on the track I had wished for..
*IIM B WAT/PI experience:
Well I always wanted to write on this thread and finally the day has come. It feels amazing when I think of my struggle for years and that today I am writing about it. My story is not a story of hard work but perseverance. So here it goes:
The Life before CAT
I hail from a very ordinary environment. I was born in a small village with no proper access to education. But even as a child I used to dream big. I did my class 10 and 12 in a not so great vernacular medium schools with decent score. Then came the most fruitful event of my life-my best friend. It was because of him I took engineering entrance test without any preparation and made sure that at least I get into a decent engineering college. I did well there to get good grades but never got around learning anything. It was him again who told me that he was planning to take the CAT 2010 and I too registered for the same.
CAT 2010-Beginer's Game!!
I got enrolled in TIME and started preparing. I enjoyed solving QA but dilli bahot dur thi. I had no idea what colleges to apply to. I did not have any strategy as to how to go about CAT paper. My VA was pathetic to say the least. Anyways, D-Day was 8th November. I started off with DI and man It was hellish. Did not give up..marked some questions and moved to VA. There too made lots of guess and attempted all the questions. Then came QA and attempted around 75% of the questions with good accuracy within 25-30 mins(did well here). Came back to DI made some more educated guesses. I felt I did well even after making guessed attempts (was a novice u see). I think I forgot about the result date and may be got a dream that results are out and woke up at 7:30 AM in the morning to check my result. CAT surprised me:
QA-98.3 VA-94.xx DI-91.xx Overall-98+
It was beginner's luckJ. I got congratulatory messages from many people asking how many IIM calls I got. But to my surprise I did not get any.
CAT 2011- The Learning!!
This time round I only enrolled myself for Mocks. I used to take mocks very seriously but committed the biggest mistake of not analyzing them. I scheduled my D-Day on the last testing day of CAT. I attempted 57 out of 60 questions. And because of my last guessing game success I guessed many questions in VA except LR. Results this time around again surprised me:
I had no clue initially about what happened but I was completely lost. Did not know where to go or what to do. I could not even cry as I was not ready to accept this score. Many of you who have gone through this phase of CAT may be able to understand what I went through. Meanwhile, I was already placed in TCS. Life became a drab. I was not able to be myself with anybody. Just wanted my pain to go away. It was as if my wings had been clipped away and I was falling to meet my fate on the ground. This failure taught me a lot about a lot of things- about myself, my life, my ambition, my dreams, family& friends, Career and what not.
CAT 2012- The fighter in me!!
This year, for the first time in my life, I started making strategies for CAT. After much contemplation I joined a classroom study for VA. Learned a lot about where I was getting it wrong in VA and RC. Meanwhile, I was tagged in a support project in TCS. I had to do morning shifts and night shifts like a CHAUKIDAR. I was not learning anything at my job. My health also started deteriorating. I was finding it very difficult to cope with the study and my job. Mornings used to start with a plan that I would study this and that but after reaching home from office I was too drained out to do anything constructive. However, I used to push myself to take at least a sectional test or a mock because I enjoyed taking mocks. This time I analyzed the mocks and formulated a strategy and was banking highly on accuracy. In some of the mocks I touched 100% accuracy.
I booked a slot on 29th October. Started off pretty well in quants. Solving everything with 100% accuracy. I thought I solved good amount of questions. I looked at the timer- 11 minutes left. Then came the disturbing moment, I counted the no of my attempts. It was 17 out of 30. Panicked big time. I could see all the dreams shattering. I had wasted a lot of time in double checking each and every question that I solved. I wanted to just run away from there as I thought I had screwed up everything. Could not solve any further. I reached a mental block. Even 2+2=4
QA-97.5 around (with 17 attempts..damn..why dint I attempted 2-3 more)
VA-88.xx Overall-96 around
But XAT came as a saving grace. Scored 98+ and got both BM and HRM calls(XLRI). Prepared to the best of my knowledge and abilities. However, did not know the level of competition and my communication skills were pretty ordinary. Got over with interviews and I thought I did decent in HRM call. Results came and I was surprised again and again- was not even waitlistedL. Everyone whom I knew converted were special in some way or the other with strong profiles. I thought my dream to make it to one of the elite B-schools of India was over. May be I was not cut out for the cream. But I had already come a long way and I do not know the art of giving up. Because I am the kind of person who would always regret not achieving what I dreamt of. I could not have turned my back on this. I decided if it would take eternity to crack I will wait till eternity.
CAT 2013: How to spell Happyness !!
This time I made notes of all the important concepts. Wrote down any new type of problem that I came across. Worked on my speed along with accuracy. It started paying dividends. I was frequently scoring 99+%tile in mocks of IMS. Enrolled for test funda too and was getting 99.5+ tile(low user base). Took CAT again and solved 21 QA questions(QA was tough as compared to previous years). Now comes VA..started off with a RC and moved to LR. But man LR was even tougher than what I faced last year. But enough was enough. I was not going to panic this time..not anymore. I kept my cool and started solving .Soon I realized it would take eons to solve such lengthy LRs. So solved each and every LR from options and I was 100% confident of them. But lost a lot of time doing that. Solved other VA questions. Total 19 in this section and I was sure of 17. Took IIFT and XAT seriously too. Scored 55.xx in IIFT with 21.33/25 in QA. Waited for CAT results and my streak of getting surprised did not end:
VA-97.6 QA- 95.3
I did not feel anything but surprised. At least was content that got calls from IIFT,MDI,NITIE,IIMK/I/New IIMs. Prepared religiously despite my constant night and morning shifts. And then one of my dream colleges NITIE gave me a call for the interview. I was happy that NITIE does not have WAT (I suck at it) and that It has most fair process of selection based on only performance in GD/PI. GD was okay and PI was going well till they started asking technical questions that were not even in my b.tech syllabus. I guess they were trying to check my thought process. However, I overwhelmed them with questions pertaining to my job and achievements in life. I honestly told them about the difficulty I faced in my life because of low family income, no proper environment and access to education and despite being from a vernacular medium school I did well in my graduation(B.Tech-92.5%). They were impressed with my attitude.
After so many failures and rejects I saw my name in the merit list of NITIE. Straight convert (merit within 50).
When I look back these years and reason out where I could have done better is attributable to two things:
1. I did not take proper guidance from any experienced persons as to how to go about CAT. I lost first 2 years because of this as I had no idea what cat was about. I used to guess a lot without proper strategy.
2. I should have devoted more time in getting acquainted with new concepts and problems than only taking mocks after mocks and wasting free time(I am a crazy fan of Hollywood movies)
But at the end of the day CAT is somewhat luck game to some extent at least for a mediocre guy like me. And taking unnecessary pressure and making CAT obsession does not work out too well. Emancipate yourself from the fear of losing and you would do well. Now, I just want to be some where I can do something concrete with my life. Life has a nice way to teach us learnings from our actions. After all a simple guy from a village with big dreams did get his share of Happyness.
Few lines from a movie that describe the Happiness I am feeling right now: (Dedicated to my best friend
"I don't know if I will have the time to write any more letters, because I might be too busy trying to participate. So, if this does end up being the last letter, I just want you to know that I was in a bad place before I started high school, and you helped me. Even if you didn't know what I was talking about, or know someone who's gone through it, you made me not feel alone. Because I know there are people who say all these things don't happen. And there are people who forget what it's like to be sixteen when they turn seventeen. I know these will all be stories some day, and our pictures will become old photographs. We all become somebody's mom or dad. But right now, these moments are not stories. This is happening. I am here, and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful. I can see it. This one moment when you know you're not a sad story. You are alive. And you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you're listening to that song, and that drive with the people who you love most in this world. And in this moment, I swear, we are infinite. "
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Convert IIMK..after much deliberation I have decided to go with K. NITIE will always hold a special place in my heart for believing in me and giving me first convert of my life
IIM KOZHIKODE PGP18(2014-16)
Ok guys ! Finally I'm down to writing my CAT experience and the entire journey here on this sacred thread. It's a long journey and a long post, so please bear with me.
So, it all began with open mock test conducted by IMS way back in 2009. I always wanted to do an MBA as I discovered early on in my engineering course that it is not something which I really like. Coding was something that didn't come naturally to me. I knew I had to get out of it. I was in my second year of engineering and wanted to test what is my current level of preparation and how far I need to go. I decided to write that mock. Scored 78 %ile in it. I felt that the CAT is still far off, and didn't think too much about it. In hindsight, that was a big mistake. The mock had showed my real place and it should have been an eye-opener. Since I was the student of a top NIT, I somehow felt that doing Math would be a piece of cake, and English, bah! who needs to study for it..! Then came the final year of my engineering and I was busy in the placement process. I gave CAT just for the sake of giving it. Result - 60 %ile. Yes. 60 ! I was so embarrassed by my score that I told my friends that I didn't appear for the exam that year. That day was indeed a low point in my life. I saw some of my friends getting 99+ percentiles and it hurt really bad. REALLY bad. But what was really scary was the gap that existed between my score and the target score. I belonged to the GEM(General Engineer Male) category with 75% in Xth and 84% in XIIth. Almost, down and out !
Sometime during the last month of my engg, I fell ill.
Bangalore was the place where my real training for CAT started. I had joined a coaching institute as soon as I landed there. My focus was to put in all I can into CAT preparation. While others were enjoying their weekends, I used to be sitting at home studying. I made a plan to tackle CAT. I knew I need to get my basics right. I picked up Arun Sharma and a Arihant book for Quant. Finished both of them cover to cover, each and every problem within 3 months. That was THE most difficult part of the preparation. When you are a beginner, the target looks very daunting at first. But I persevered. Since I was just beginning my CAT preparation, I didn't want to get demoralized by getting another poor score. I decided not to give CAT that year.
I knew that I had to crack CAT this year itself. This was the honeymoon period at workplace and I knew that I can afford to put all my energy into CAT without focussing on the job for at least 11 to 12 months.
Then came June and I started acing mocks. I became a part of the UDT on PG thanks to the good mock scores I had been getting. It was an amazing group of mock maulers, and remained my inspiration till the end. The second mock I gave - AIMCAT 1319, I scored 99.85 percentile. I knew that I'm getting closer to the target. But was very much focussed towards the actual CAT exam. But sometime near the end of the exam, I started floundering. My mock scores started dipping to early 90's and so was my confidence. Finally the CAT day arrived. The quant section was OK. The VA/LR section was disastrous. I got stuck in one LR for about 20 mins and still couldn't solve it.
After the CAT debacle, I had become somewhat disillusioned with the whole CAT process. I started to explore a lot of opportunities both inside and outside work. I didn't touch anything related to CAT for a few months. I felt that one of the main reasons of my failure last year was that I had overdone things and so was taking things lightly. Took a few mocks during September/October. Got 99.9+ percentiles in all of them. I knew that I still had it in me.
Then came the result day, 14th January,2014. I got up at around 10'oclock after my brother told me that the CAT results are out. I opened my CAT score and was dumbfounded. I had scored 99.90. YES. 99.90.
So this is my journey of CAT. From 60 to 99.9. I've always believed that the hard work you do should never be equated with success/failure. If you are bettering yourself even by an inch everyday, then your hard work is a success. Inch by inch, step by step, always keep moving forward. Success, in terms of end results, is never in our hands, that depends a lot on destiny/luck/karma or whatever you call it, but a failure is guaranteed if the effort is missing. If you can detach yourself from the result and enjoy and love the journey, it would be very fruitful in the end. I never took CAT preparation as a burden on myself. And that is what mattered in the end. A lot of people don't sincerely want what they really want to achieve. This is where they give up when the going gets tough. You have to love the journey, you've to love doing the mocks, the problems. Only then you'll not give up when the times are tough.
And lastly, never be afraid of failing. Instead, find out why you failed at the first time and then try to rectify your mistakes. There is a famous quote that I always keep in mind -
"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."
I would also stress on the importance of remaining positive throughout the whole journey. If you don't do well in a mock, well, it's just a mock! Not the CAT exam! Instead of being negative and brooding over it, It would help if you find where your mistakes are and how can you avoid them the next mock you give. Small things, but they matter more in the end.
So that's it folks! All the best to everyone who will be taking CAT in the future !
After ABC rejects finally converted !! :-D #Satisfied #LifeTimeAchievement :)
Journey to IIM
So my journey starts in 2008 when I buy a book for CAT preparation. Everyone was laughing at me that time as I was in 1st year of engineering in National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal. With no idea about the format, syllabus and question pattern of the toughest management test, I wrote the first mock CAT of my life in the summer break after 1st year. The result highly motivated me, as to my surprise, I had secured an incredible 99+ percentile.
I joined TIME in the 3rd year of engineering after getting a 30% discount through a scholarship test. TIME used to conduct classes in our college and the faculties were not the best to say. In the meantime, I kept my preparation on track by solving TIME materials. Then started the AIMCATs where I used to score a decent percentile. Finally I entered into final year, when I became officially eligible to write CAT and other management tests.
The examination days came closer and I put my best efforts to cover all the topics. That time, my placement had also started so I was under immense pressure to handle both the things at a time. I wrote IIFT, which was my first B-School entrance examination. I performed quite well but soon through the answer keys, I came to know that I missed the cut-off by 1-2 marks.
Then the day of result came close and I was enjoying my holidays in Bangalore with my parents. I was desperately waiting for the moment and it came as a shocker. I had secured an overall 96.77 with 99 and 97 in QA and DI respectively. But to my surprise, I got 71 percentile in VA.
But suddenly, IIM Kozhikode changed its criteria and I was shortlisted for the interview.
But I couldn't perform well in the interview due to lack of my knowledge about current affairs and I was rejected in the interview stage.
I joined Mphasis after my B.Tech and went to Mangalore for a training program. Then I went to NOIDA for a KT program. I again applied for CAT 2011 with an objective to perform better compared to last time. This time I applied to SPJAIN, FMS (through CAT) and MDI along with IIMs. I skipped IIFT and XAT as I had zero preparation. I came to Pune in the meantime and I didnt get any time for preparation. I wrote CAT with a half-hearted preparation. It never went well and as expected, I got very less percentile (in the 80s).
I decided to give my last and final attempt at CAT. This time, I made sure that I would not leave any stone unturned. I became part of Pune Fighters team and got valuable suggestions from other team members. The discussions were really helpful in my preparation. I joined AIMCAT and kept on changing my strategy with every AIMCAT to find the best possible option. Also this time, I started analysing the mocks seriously and I put most of the time doing the same. I didn't get much time to go through the TIME material as my job was really hectic. But suddenly, I was put on bench in the company and that, I thought came as the blessing in disguise. I continued giving maximum amount of time towards analysing the mocks, looking at the mistakes in AIMCAT and making sure not to repeat those mistakes in future. Guess what!! My percentile started rising up like Kohli's number of centuries. I was always comfortable in Quant, DI and LR so I never faced any sort of difficulties in these sections. But VA was still troubling me. So I made sure to practice RCs, Grammar, PJs and other VA stuffs every day. Eventually my hard work started paying off. I scored 90 out of 90 in the first section in 3 consecutive AIMCATs and also started clearing VA cut-offs regularly. These scores really motivated me and I got 99.7 percentile in the last AIMCAT with an AIR of 27 which was a real boost to my confidence.
Finally the C-day came. I attempted 47 questions and was quite confident of VA section as well. I also wrote IIFT and XAT and this time I applied to all the top 20 B-schools. Results started pouring in. It was 11th January and time was 3am. I tried and tried for almost half-an-hour and finally the much-awaited scorecard came in front of me. It was an okayish performance. I had got 98.28 in CAT with 98.66 in Section-1 and 92.68 in Section-2. I was quite happy with the result. Though I missed IIFT cut-off by a whisker, I got a decent 95 percentile in XAT. Interview lists started pouring in. I got calls from IIM B, K, I, S, 6 New IIMs, XLRI (BM and HRM), SPJIMR(Profile-based), NITIE, MDI, XIMB, IMT Ghaziabad, IMI Delhi.
My preparation for next stage started as I knew, it would never be easy to crack the IIM interview stage. I tried to cover all current affair news, watched news channels to improve my communication and wrote 3-4 essays daily. I joined TIME as well as one more institute in Pune for GD-WAT-PI preparation. And the mock PIs really helped me in analysing my own performance. In the meantime, I was forced to shift to Chennai from Pune as I was on bench. But I had all my interviews in Mumbai, so I had no other option but to leave my job.
I attended all the interviews in Mumbai and was satisfied with almost all of them barring a few ones. I converted (in the order) IMT Ghaziabad, XIMB Bhubaneswar, IMI Delhi, IIM S (WL), NITIE (WL), IIM Ranchi (HR), MDI Gurgaon, some of the new IIMs and at the end, IIM INDORE. I still remember 20th May it was. Time was 6pm. I was in my relative's house in Bhubaneswar. I saw a post in PG that IIMI has declared the final result. My hands started shaking as I had lost all confidence after rejection from IIM B, K, XL, SP.
And it said "CONGRATULATION"!! I was just delighted to see the convert and I was on cloud nine. Finally my dream of joining an IIM came true. I joined IIM Indore.
I had never thought of writing down these experiences, but thanks to inspiration from some close friends in IIM, I wrote this post. Hope it will inspire the aspirants in future, and then only the point behind writing this post will be justified.
All the best to everyone for future endeavours..
Dear puys, sorry for the long, irrelevant post in this sacred thread. This is neither a success story nor an inspiring one :(
Here I am, sitting like a fool at an Airport as I write this. Feeling devastated, demotivated & dejected to say the least with my CAT result consistently for the 4th time. Do not even know what went wrong. My dreams will remain dreams forever.
Gave CAT on Oct 24th morning slot. Attempted 23 in QA (max 4 wrong) & 24 in VA (sure of all 9 LR) & ended up getting 87 in QA & 80 in VA. Was expecting 99.5+ to say the least. I was in complete disbelief looking at my result. Saw it for more than 100 times & still could not believe the same. Someone from the same slot attempted only 11 in VA & ended up getting 95 %ile in VA (not doubting his/her abilities though). Some other guy attempted 4 in QA & got 80%ile. How the hell can this happen??? Is accuracy the only thing that matters in CAT??? It would have been much better had I attempted only those 9 LR in that case
CL's most likely projected percentile gave me 99.6 & their percentile predictor gave me 98.X & 97.X in best & worst case scenario. Never scored less than 90 in any of the Proc Mocks. Avg AIMCAT score this season was 95+ & finally ended up getting 87 in CAT
Was down with viral fever for a week. Unfortunately, had to give my GMAT & XAT in the same week. Got screwed in XAT. GMAT only 680. Nothing, literally nothing had gone right for me this year.
Now, suddenly life for me seems to be full of regrets - Not joining new IIMs, not converting XL call last year despite scoring 99.7 & everything else. Do not even know what to do now. The journey ends here. Will not be giving CAT or XAT anymore.
For me, XAT & XL - Respect forever. CAT, IIMs & normalization - hopeless
Made many good friends during XL ping days. @ayushnasa @anshul_mechie @dhruvwali @bhaduriarchit @superchiku @cricketfreak @leo12all @lio17 @CatEngg @conquerer1 @Toughluck2009 @Ibanez @sid2222000 @missionCAT13 @tarun1110 @jhaavinash @raven_007 @ANS13 @jai89 @achyut1989 @_Robin_ & many others. Sorry if I missed mentioning few of you. Thanks a lot for all your support & belief in my abilities. I will not give up. Will write a post again in this thread once I achieve something substantial in life. All the best for your future !!
Finally, I've relatively spent more time on PG than on FB since I joined. Thanks PG for all the memories!!
So this is a story of an average General Male Engineer.
Many of you won't know me but i have been following Pagalguy since my final year of engineering and i have learnt a lot from you puys. More than you could imagine and for that a huge Thank You to all at Pagalguy.
Attempt 1 - Cat 2010
It was the time for Placements and many of my friends were giving MBA exams and i thought what the heck, lets give it too. So, for my first attempt i just gave CAT and XAT and it was mostly a non serious attempt by me. I was placed and so just gave it for fun. It was my first experience giving an online exam but since I am a gamer, it wasn't that much of a challenge for me. XAT was a different battle altogether. The day of the score and I score a 99.56. I still remember the moment and the feeling of joy of getting a high percentile. I hadn't researched much and hadn't applied to any colleges either. Immediately i thought i would get calls from IIMs and I threw a huge party for the batch. This was like one of the highest point of an otherwise average life. But i was in for a shock. Not one of the IIMs gave me a call for interview. I was stunned and depressed. The sins of my past came back to haunt me. It was like someone lifting you up and then dropping you with double the force.I gave up on my doing an MBA and joined the job i was offered.
Attempt 2 - Cat 2012
Fast forward to 2 years later and here i was, totally frustrated with my job which was going nowhere and no scope of growth. The only way out was an MBA and so i thought CAT would be the answer. But owing to my bad academics I wasn't that confident. I thought maybe my work ex would give me an edge. So, round 2 started with full force. Gave Mocks and Practiced any free time i could get. This time I was nervous on the D-Day as this was make or break for me. I was almost on the verge of resigning with no other prospects at hand. I was ready to join any college but for that i had to score first.
This time, I apply to CAT, XAT, IIFT, NMAT and SNAP. Applied to all colleges in top 15 except JBIMS and SP Jain because of obvious reasons. So, all exams went well and i got a percentile of 99.38 in CAT. I thought maybe with my work ex i could get a call this time round. AND i got six calls from IIMS.
Yeah, from the new ones(Ghanta wala smiley nahin hai kya). Luckily i got calls from IIFT,FMS and SIBM too. Also scored a call from XLRI and XIMB and the IITS. With my percentile, as usual i browsed Pagalguy and came to know i could convert the new IIMS with a decent GD and PI. So, first thing i do is read about GD and PI experiences on Pagalguy. The first interview was for XLRI and it went well. Trust me no matter how well you prepare, the performance on the day counts. I gave a very bad GD which was a fish market. Made just one entry and was an audience for the rest of the battle between two fellow aspirants. After this one of the most random interviews ever. I was asked the difference between Tornadoes, Hurricanes , Twisters and so on. 5 mins of my 15-20 min interview on that. Gave some confident answers which i still don't know if they were correct. As this was one of the first, i was filled with confidence. Came out thinking that XL was off the list because of my poor GD. Anyways next on to XIMB and the new IIMS. XIMB was a blink and miss interview and the new IIMS was taken just for the sake of taking. By now I was not doing well in interviews as I didn't have a good one at XIMB and with my bad Acads i guess i was getting more and more depressed.
The main setback came during the next set of interviews which were IIFT, SIBM, NMIMS, FMS and MDI. Gave IIFT SIBM and NMIMS over three days and FMS and MDI in two days. Now, NMIMS basically asked me why i bothered turning up and SIBM interview was just average. The IIFT one was a setback. Waiting in line and being the last one to go, I was asked about the last movie i saw and the major learnings i got from the movie. The rest of my 15 min interview was based on the movie. After getting out, I was generally cursing myself of the pathetic attempts i was giving. I was already spending a lot of money on traveling and stuff but the major turning point came for FMS. I missed my flight to Delhi and then had to book a 15k round about flight to Delhi which had 4 stoppages and after a night full of waiting and flying, reached Delhi 2 hours before my interview. All this while i kept thinking is this a sign that was being shown to me to give up on this dream. My interview for FMS was on the first day and there was a lot of mismanagement that day and i was fearful of missing my flight to Kolkata for the MDI interview (2 times in 2 days would have been a record i think). Enter the Interview and i can say it was the worst interview of my life
Now, back to my fruitless job and the results come out one by one. I was totally depressed by this time and i kept getting reject calls adding to my depression
To all aspirants I will say this, you can't do anything now about your acads, something about your gender and nothing about your field of study. You can't judge what an interviewer will ask you or how your panel for the GD will be. All you can do is have confidence in yourself and never lose it. I lost mine and went through some serious dark phases. Try not losing yours. Life will keep hitting you and you just have to get back up. It all sorts out in the end. If i can get into a decent B-School, anyone can. Just have faith in yourself. And also CAT is not the end of life. (there are other exams too )
P.S. To all the members of PagalGuy , thanks for all your posts and experiences which has benefited many members like me. I know there is not a lot about interviews or GDs(there are many others with better interviews and GDs whereas mine were all fails), i hope it helps atleast one puy gain confidence that if a noob like him can get in, so can I.
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