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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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I first came across this thread sometime around May-June 2011. (Actually, to be more precise, I came across the eBook with the same name which contained a few of the many experiences posted here). Ever since then, I have dreamt of posting on this thread (and hoping that my post also makes it to the next edition of the eBook). But that dream (along with the dream of making it to one of the top-20 premier B-schools in India) took a big bad hit the day the CAT results were announced.....

But well get to that part a little later. First of all, let me give you a short introduction about myself. Right from my childhood, I excelled in academics. To cut a long story short, I passed my Class 10th & 12th with flying colours, did well in the Engineering CET and landed in one of the premier engineering institutes in Maharashtra. After graduating as a Mechanical Engineer in 2009, I got a job at a reputed engineering & construction conglomerate. Till that point, I wasnt sure whether to go for an MS or an MBA. On one hand, I was a technically oriented person so I thought an MS would be the right choice, but on the other hand, I knew that an MBA would better groom me to handle managerial roles.

MBA Season 2011: Around 15 months into my job, I got a sort of an epiphany and decided that an MBA is the right career choice for me. But the epiphany came in a little late because by that time the deadline for the CAT forms had already passed. The only exams I could give that year were the JMET & Mah-CET and just as I had expected, I didnt do well in both of them. After all, I had started preparations in November. But at least I got a hang of giving MBA entrance exams...

MBA Season 2012: To ensure that I definitely make it to one of the top-20 B-schools, I decided I would take the CAT, XAT, SNAP & NMAT. I purchased courseware from Testfunda, joined the SIMCAT series of IMS and studied for around 3-4 hrs daily. Whenever I would get time at work, I would read some articles on how to do well in CAT (my personal favourite being the articles by Arun Sharma). I also found some of the articles on Pagulguy (especially the ones by Ravi Handa) very useful. I went through the usual process of filling up exam forms & B-school application forms. I took 16-days leave from work (on the pretext of my cousins wedding) before the CAT. However, by that time, there was a small part of me that knew that a 99 or 100 %ile was out of the question, based on my performance in the SIMCATs. But I still kept my hopes up and decided to give the final CAT my best shot. On the D-day (or C-day to be precise),I ended up attempting 43 out of 60 questions and hoped this would be sufficient to get me at least a 95 %ile which I hoped would land me calls from the IIT schools of management (JMET was scrapped from that year).

Results 2012:
9th Jan 2012- Got a profile call from S.P. Jain, Mumbai (henceforth referred to as SPJIMR). Was excited about it but at the same time, I prayed that I would get at least an 85 %ile (which is the minimum score required to be eligible for interviews)
11th Jan 2012- CAT results were announced. I ended up with a shocking... wait for it... 85%ile. The first thought that came to my mind was GAME OVER... TRY AGAIN NEXT YEAR...!!!
Fortunately, my overall percentile and sectional scores were sufficient to get me an interview call from SPJIMR. I also did well in SNAP & NMAT (but not in XAT) so to summarise I had the following calls: SPJIMR, SIBM-Pune, SCMHRD, NMIMS-Mumbai & Great Lakes, Chennai.
GDPI: Now that I had 5 calls, I was confident that I would convert at least one so that I would not have to appear for CAT again next year. I put in every possible effort in preparing for the GDPI. I joined IMSs GDPI preparation batch, read a lot of current affairs online and from the newspaper, prepared answers to the usual interview questions (such as why MBA, strengths, weaknesses, etc.) and went for all but one of the GDPIs (skipped NMIMS as it is known for Finance and my interest was in Operations). All my GDPIs went well. As far as SPJIMR is concerned, I cleared Group Interview 1, appeared for Group Interview 2 and was shortlisted for Immersion.

Kahaani Mein Twist: Now heres the part where my story differs from most of the other MBA aspirants stories. Once the GDPI results were announced, I was shocked to find that I was rejected by SPJIMR & SCMHRD, was waitlisted by SIBM and had only converted Great Lakes. Although I was happy about having a convert and the fact that I wouldnt have to continue at my dead-end job anymore, I was deeply hurt at not having made it to SPJIMR (truth be told, I had fallen in love with that college after having attended their Immersion program). Unfortunately for me, the course at Great Lakes was to start in April, and by that time even my SIBM waitlist did not clear, leaving me with no option but to pack my bags and board the train to Chennai.

Great Lakes turned out to be 1000 times better than what I had pictured in my head. The infrastructure (in terms of classrooms and hostels) was awesome and the professors were simply great. I was happy that I had taken this decision of joining Great Lakes.

About 3 weeks into the course at Great Lakes, I received an email from SIBM offering me admission to their PGDM program (since the waitlist up to my no. had cleared).Now you would expect me to jump for joy and head out to cancel my admission at Great Lakes. But nothing like that happened. I did not feel even one bit of happiness. I just ignored that email and continued with my life at Great Lakes. (To this day, I am not sure why I reacted that way.)

About a week before I joined the course at Great Lakes, SPJIMR announced an increase in its seats from 180 to 240. This was actually supposed to happen for the next years batch but thanks to AICTE, it happened this year itself. As a result, there was a tremendous movement in the waitlists and a small ray of hope for rejected candidates like me that the waitlist would get exhausted and the rejected lot would start getting calls. Unbelievably that hope turned into reality. A week after I received and rejected the SIBM offer, I got a mail from SPJIMR offering me admission to their PGDM program. I cannot find the words to describe the excitement and elation that I felt in my heart. It was after a very long time that I felt such ecstatic joy. I was afraid I would get a heart attack with all the excitement.

The long and short of it all is that I accepted the offer from SPJIMR, cancelled my admission at Great Lakes, flew back to my home in Mumbai and decided to pen my experiences on this forum.

1.Have confidence in yourself. If I was never confident that my low score would get me into SPJIMR, I would probably have not done well in the interviews.
2.Learn to handle the anxiety and stress after the exam results and GDPI results are announced.
3.Be patient. Waitlist clearing takes a lot of time.
4.Shit happens. Just because you get a waitlist or a reject doesnt mean theres something wrong with you.
5.Never underestimate any B-school just because it doesnt feature in the top-20 B-school rankings.
6.Most importantly, believe in things such as fate and luck.

Finally, I would like to end by stating a line all puys on the SPJIMR thread used a lot: Hope is a good thing, maybe even the best of things. Dont lose hope.

Arnold Pinto
PGDM 2012-2014(Operations)

  • #Respect :smiley:. 02 Aug '13.
Regards, PGDM 2012-2014 (Operations) SPJIMR
CAT 2008
The night before the exam, boozed heavily along with friends and partied out loud as the motivation for the exam had already dropped to zero after joining the company. ALmost forgot that I had an exam the next morning

On the C'day , went to the center with spinning head and hangover and vowed to never ever appear for CAT :sneaky: Somehow finished with the exam and came back home and slept. Didn't tally my answers with the keys available as it hardly made any difference. When the results were announced, reluctantly checked it as I knew I would perform pathetic.

WoILaaAAA !!!!!!!! I couldnt believe my eyes... had a 95+ score
At that score, I could get calls from decent colleges which I had applied in the fit of motivation in pre-employment days ... managed to fetch decent calls and converted 2 of them but decided against to join them as I was happy with the job I was doing.

CAT 2009
Quite an eventful year... CAT went online and the dynamics of the CAT prep changed and so did my loyalties towards my company and the job :biggrin:
The job was taking huge toll on me with erratic and long working hours. The night shifts were the icing on the cake. I decided that I was meant to get better things in life and fastened my seat belts again for this year. My normal routine was ...
10 PM to 8 AM - Office ,
10 AM to 3.30 PM -coaching classes,
5 PM to 7 PM - mock tests,
8Pm to 10 PM dinner and sleep and
10 PM back to office with bloodshot red eyes.
But I was determined to crack it this time and was giving my 100% and didnt care for the extra hard work and beatings I was getting physically due to this routine. On the days of evening shifts and weekends, I used to complete the quota of sleep which I used to forego on the other days. My flatmates and friends used to beg me to take rest or else I would break down and burn out in midway. But I had decided that till the time my body is permitting me to give my 100%, I won't budge and step back. Faked a month of jaundice in the office just before the CAT and gave final touch to my preps and appeared for CAT which was in a new avatar this time. The paper went on smoothly and started preparing for XAT which was my next target. Slogged heavily for XAT and on the day of exam, went to the temple before leaving for exam. XAT as usual was a super tough nut to crack and I faltered at many places in the exam and forgot about the differential marking in the mid of the paper. Somehow completed the paper and gave up hopes for that particular year.

On the CAT results day, the server was jammed and had to wait for 4 hours before finally seeing a score of 97. Was happy that atleast would get a couple of calls which I did get by virtue of my score. Screwed up royally in interviews and could only convert IMT-G . At that time IMT-G , with its student unrest over DCP program and strikes and all was looking like a bad option to invest money in. SOme of my friends in IMT-G also advised me not to go there as the situation might become worse. On the other hand, XAT gave me a delight by showing me a score of 98.8 on the computer screen .......
XL called and I went berserk :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
I knew cracking XL would be super tough as its famous for its stress interviews. I joined CL boot camp to prepare for them but was never really comfortable with the idea of stress
On the interview day, the worst nightmare came true when I was asked technical questions about my academics, was mocked left,right and center mercilessly by the panel. Though I tried my best but was not at ease completely and the doors of XL were closed then and there for me.

CAT 2010
After the debacle and humiliation by XL panel, the rage inside me further grew up. Switched my company and joined a firm which was excellent in terms of work culture and pay structure as well. But the MBA bug was still itching in my mind and finally decided to again prepare for the CAT one last time. The relaxed work environment and my talent to keep off the work and assign it to others helped me to get plenty of time for preparation which I utilised in boozing and socializing .... somewhere in July, I realized that it was about time and I should stop fooling around. So there started the final journey towards CAT. Cutoff myself completely from the social world and devoted time for books and quizzes. Joined Byju and that helped me a lot for the pathetic quant skills which I had developed in last 3-4 months
Again managed to fudge the last year's fake medical repords by photoshop (changed the year) and claimed a medical leave of 3 weeks Fudging medical reports in an year is risky but doing it the second time is herculean but wo kehte hai na "everything is fair in love and war " :grin::grin:
Kindly do not try this ... even if you try that, do it at your own peril :nono:

The C'day arrived and gave a decent shot by all means. I was satisfied with my performance and was expecting a good score. FMS , i was screwed :banghead: and missed IIFT predicted cutoff by 2 marks. XAT.... the insane paper was a nightmare and I tore the paper the moment i csme out of exam hall. That was the toughest XAT in the entire history of XAT exams .... and everyone felt the heat.
The next few days were spent in catching up with forgotten friends whom I ignored during preps, partying and fooling around.
The shock of my life came with the CAT results when the screen displayed a score of late 80s
Past two outings in CAT 2008 and 2009 gave me some hopes to improve in 2010 but a score such as this was totally unexpected. Normalisation did me in and now I understood why every year there is wide outcry after CAT results.
I was doomed. Family, friends , colleagues everyone started inquiring and here I was shamelessly uttering the sub standard score.

After a few day, XAT results came out and it was 94.xx% on the screen. That was a little consolation after the CAT results but on reading closely, the score in DM which happened to be in 60s spoilt the fun. As expected XL didnt call me due to my low sectional score in DM despite getting a higher percentile. Managed calls from GIM, XIMB and XIMB HRM, KJ Somaiya, TAPMI.
Converted all except XIMB and joined KJ Somaiya after proper evaluation of the options and analysing all the parameters and I am happy to say that I made the best decision of my life :):biggrin:

In this way, a long journey came to an end only to be replaced by another journey in a B School and life thereafter.

I would suggest every puy reading this post to never ever get bogged down in your life during a lean phase. If you get conquered, your life will never ever be the one you wanted. Struggle, struggle hard and you shall emerge as a winner. Even if you don't win now, the journey of that struggle would make a man out of you and you will be the winner of life.

Never Quit... Never Ever
All the best

Better late than never.... I always wanted to post my CAT story on this thread simply because it was this very place that kept me going when I felt down and out.
Though I am not an IIM call getter nor an XL person but wherever I am, I owe a lot to PG and this thread because the motivation that infused in me after going through this thread was nowhere replicable.

I would start my journey from the early years of my graduation where-in, I initially struggled to keep pace with my peers not because they were more studious or smarter than me but because I had built my sand castles about myself which were washed away on the very first semester of B.Tech when I got a back in a subject with a minuscule CGPA on cards but on the other hand my very own friends were boasting their 7+ and 8+ scores. I had to pick myself up because there was no other option left.... I understood that its either perform or perish because that was the rule of the jungle is - "Survival of the fittest" .
After clearing the back paper in the summers of 2nd year, I somehow managed to avoid further backs and supplementary exams till sem 3 when I realised that despite giving my best efforts, I am still reeling under low scores and that my friends is a terrible terrible feeling. When you see people who work less harder and smarter than you getting rewarded and you despite giving your best efforts are ending up becoming a 5 point someone , the situation is heart breaking and depressing. As a result of all this, I went into a shell wherein I went into acute depression.... stopped talking to people and friends, stopped going out as there was no fun left in me and all sorts of depressing activities which could clearly give the hint to the outside world that something is wrong with me. My friends tried to catch up with me but as I was in my shell, I hardly told them anything which would make me feel further bad and low in front of them.

One fine day, I woke up and promised that this can't be my life forever. If I want things to change, it would be who would initiate that change. I started getting out of the shell and returning back to normal. In that particular semester, I won many extracurricular events in and out of the college and scored a 7+ GPA to be just eligible to appear for the placements
I remember once in a casual conversation with friends, someone was mocking at me because of my lesser CGPA and how that would affect my chances in getting placed. The reply I gave, I believe I would never ever be able to forget in my life. I replied, "To hell with your CGPA scores, at the end of 4 years, amongst all of us, I would be the one who will be working for a bigger brand name with a higher pay than you guys" ..... That aggression changed many a things in me and my life.
My room mate who was the branch topper and used to look down on me in every sense, and used to give me wrong advice on every step was really astonished to see the recovering me :)

The companies started coming in the end of the 3rd year and I got placed in 3 companies back to back. All my friends who were wither scoring more than me or used to boast about their CGPAs at some time or the other, were either left unplaced in the 1st round or were placed in the same company as mine. That alone boosted my confidence and increased my hunger of racing ahead than my peers. After 4 years, I was placed in 3 companies and was quite relaxed and suddenly nemesis struck

RECESSION .... SUB PRIME Crisis .... GLOBAL MELT DOWN became the buzzwords ... and as a result all the 3 companies in which I was recruited delayed their onboarding. The future here was again uncertain and I decided to prepare for CAT. Filled the form in Aug and started preparing. But luck and destiny had something else to offer. In those tough times in the job market, the world's biggest software company conducted an off campus and my college was invited to participate in that. Though I had made up my mind for giving the best shot for CAT but my parents coaxed me for the process and I went. There were around 400 people and the company selected only 18 out of them.... and surprisingly, I was one of those 18
At that time,the reply which I gave to my friend that day echoed in my mind and it was a feeling of instant accomplishment.
Within 2 weeks I joined the company and the CAT preps went for a toss and so was the motivation level as I already was earning handsomely :)


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

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

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

Well, that is all i have to say.

Thanks for reading and good luck to all future aspirants.

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

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

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

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

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


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

Season 3:

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

Final word:

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



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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

On facebook : gajendra.singh


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

C - DAY (November 13, 2011)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

So here is the flashback. . . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_______________________EXAM Time______________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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