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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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I passed out from a reputed NIT and joined a major Automobile firm in 2010. Pretty soon I realised that I am not very tech oriented and decided to go for MBA . CAT 2011 was my first attempt . I had prepared well , but marked few questions I was not very sure about to fetch a very high percentile . Then I wrote XAT without any preparation .Normalisation played its part in CAT and I got a dismal 94.2 %ile. XAT i scored 96% with balanced sectionals . Finally I had IIM K , XLRI - BM/HR and SPJIMR calls . I was sure that I would convert one of these 4 , and go on to quit my job and start my MBA journey . I did not put in much effort . Finally I was rejected in all the four interviews .

That was a low low period . I relaxed , laid back a little , changed my department in my company to feel some change and learn something new and went on to prepare again for CAT/XAT with a vengeance and focus after some time . Oct 30 2012 came again , the paper was tougher this time , but I sticked to basics and solved all doable questions , not taking much risk . Then wrote IIFT , SNAP and XAT in that order .

First result was IIFT . My score was 49.2 , and the cutoff for interview call was around 49.8 . Then the CAT result came and it was 97.7 . Nothing great , but I managed calls from IIM B/I/S/new ones because of balanced sectionals and pretty good acads .Then i got 99.6%ile in SNAP and had SIBM and SCMHRD calls. Then I scored 98.94 in XAT and had only HR call. Then XAT score was revised and my percentile changed to 98.26 but I got both BM and HR calls .

I put everything I had to convert the calls this time . Results started pouring in soon and I had straight rejects in SIBM and SCMHRD . Finally I had waitlist - 21 in SPJIMR -Operations , my first semi-sucess after total 7 interview rejects . Then finally the big day came and I had a straight XLRI-BM convert ( HR reject ). That was theday when I felt that justice is dont finally and all the toiling and hard work has paid off . Skipped IIM-I /S interviews. Then there was a NITIE reject . And finally a waitlist -1 in IIM Bangalore. Converted both IIM-B and SPJIMR finally . Also had a IIM-U convert . Joined IIM - B .

Quick tips for CAT :
1) Practice from test materials from coaching institutes . Its better to stick to one institute's material . I used TIME online sectional tests and reading material .
2) Take mocks and analyse properly .
3) Dont overstress yourself in the last 2 weeks . Practise just a fair amount of questions during that time .
4) Finally on the D day , although the stakes are high but the more emotionally disconnected u r fom the entire process , the better u will do .

And in the end , CAT is just a 140 minutes exam which cannot judge ur potential . Add normalisation across slots , and the process becomes random and pretty much luck based . So dont put all ur eggs in one basket . Focus on XAT and other exams as well. Take mocks for them , solve last year's question papers and ace them as well .

Its not neccessary but highly recommended to enroll in some coaching for interview prep . They helped me refine my answers and deliver in the interviews .

And finally , the preparation process which lasts more than an year from starting the CAT prep till the final results can get very mentally taxing at time. Key to succeed will be Practice + Patience + Perseverance . It will not be easy , but it will be totally worth it . Have faith and may the force be with all !!

  • 72 Likes   26 Comments
  • :clap:. 14 Dec '13.
  • Too good. Respect for you (y). 03 Jan '14.
RISE !!!!!!!!! IIM BANGALORE , 2013 -2015 https://www.facebook.com/ayachi.kashyap

Prepping for MBA isn't a fairy tale - My Story!


Finally I am making a post on this sacred thread... The thread which is always been source of inspiration for me ever since I came to know about this wonderful world of Pagalguy.

Well to be honest I have neither cracked CAT nor got admission into top B-school like IIM A/B/C or XL . After 3 season of preparation all I could manage is a single decent convert.

This story is not a fairytale like the most posted on this thread. This story is more about the struggles and lessons that I have learnt throughout the journey.

In this world, there are people that are born with great talent. And then there are people who have to fight an extra bit to make up for the lack of talent. I believe that I belong to later.

Early life- In the early days of my school life I was not a bright student by any stretch of imagination... This could be easily interpreted by the fact that I was never able to score more than 75% till class 10th...

Sometimes circumstances can completely change your outlook towards a thing. And I first realised this fact when I was in 9th standard... That was the time when my family were going through a very tough phase... My younger brother was diagnosed with a learning disorder... Since my parents were not able to give much time for my studies, I was sent to the tuition classes for the first time ... And that was the first time I started taking studies seriously... I was lucky that I found two very good teachers in next 2 years, who completely changed the way I took studies... Gradually my performance improved and I started scoring well... All the credit for that goes to them...

24th May 2003, the day class 10th results were out... I had scored 87%... And this was the first time when I saw my parents happy after seeing my result...

Suddenly I could realise that expectation of people around me had increased... 2 years back they were not sure whether I would get the marks which were required to take stream of my choice and now they were talking about IIT-JEE... It was much like comparing Irfan Pathan with Kapil Dev after string of good performance in couple of series...

Now the focus shifted from regular school studies to entrance exams... And I found it difficult to cope with the pressure... It showed in my class 12th result where my marks had taken a dip... Also I could not do well in engineering entrance exams where I scored just 34 marks in JEE screening and got a rank of 25278 in AIEEE...

For the 1st time my confidence got shattered as I could realise that I was letting down the people around me...I decided to take a year drop to give one more shot at entrance exams... Initially my parents opposed my idea but then somehow I convinced them...

IIT Preparation- I joined a relatively unknown institute close to my place in Delhi for the preparation... Month of October had come and gone by and I was still struggling in my preparations... That was the time I felt 'it is now or never'. I decided to devote myself only to studies. I cut down myself from everything, friends, sports, entertainment and almost everything. For next 6 months, every day I devoted at least 12 hours to study. Study and sleep were the only things in my daily schedule. And after couple of month of hard work, result started to show. I had almost double my mocks score. Things were going fine but still there was a small doubt in the mind. Whether I will be able to clear the final hurdle...

9th April 2006, the D-day... Ultimately the small doubt which I had about my capabilities proved out to be biggest roadblock between me and my goal... I was fully prepared with the entire concepts but the mental preparation was lacking.

8:00 AM,the bell rang for the exam to start. Exam that could change my life. First there was 2 hour physics exam, a subject which was my strength. Started attempting the paper, try to solve few sums but was unable to get them. Suddenly lost all the confidence. Clock was ticking and I was unable to solve even the easiest of problem... Around 30 minutes had gone and I had barely attempted a question. I started to feel that my dream would perhaps always remain a dream. Somehow I regained my composure and attempted the paper... As I came out of my exam hall, I knew I had messed up all my hard work... Went without any expectation to attempt the other 2 sections and they went like breeze... I learnt a very important lesson that day- No matter how much you prepare or study ultimately it is the mental strength which will make the whole difference on the D-day for any exam...

A month later result started to come out...


UPTU SEE- 363 rank, AIEEE- 7023 rank... And I missed IIT JEE by a question in physics (I had got 41, cutoff was 48)...

I decided to take admission in a government engineering college in Lucknow. The pain of missing out a golden chance was always there in the back of the mind.

CAT Preparation-

After 1st year of engineering I started to feel lost like a average Indian engineering student who feels that this is not I have expected from this course and perhaps engineering is not meant for me. However Life moved on and I started looking for alternatives.

The thought of MBA came to my mind during 3rd year of engineering. Few of my friends who were in final year of graduation were seriously preparing for CAT and I felt motivated seeing them. I decided to enrol for classroom coaching after the 5th sem...

CAT2009- It was in June 2009 when I first started my preparation seriously... Quants and DI was my strength and VA was my area of weakness. I started attempting mocks and could easily realise this fact... In VA ,at best I was one question away from the cutoff and the rest of the times I used to get very low scores (even single digit scores). I realised not being a reader was hurting me badly, since RC's are considered to be make or break section in VA. I started reading newspaper daily... Plus I used to read something that could really bind my interest (mainly sports related stuff)... Apart from that I also used to solve atleast 1 sectional test daily.

My performance in VA gradually started to improve as I knew my area of strength and targeted them (like I was good in verbal logic so used to make sure I get them right).

Just when I started to feel comfortable, my preparation got hampered as I had an eye infection due to which I had to leave my preparation for a month. All the momentum that I had gained was lost. When I resumed my preparation , I made the mistake of over burdening myself... During the dussehra break, I attempted around 10 mocks in around 10 days. The mistake I made was that I was not analysing them. As a result there was a huge variation in my scores. I was not learning from my mistakes and kept repeating them. I realised this fact and I decided to take a break from mocks and for 10-15 days just analysed my previous mocks performances. I could easily make out the error which I was making in the mocks.

One month was still left in the CAT exam. Slowly I started to gain the momentum. I made sure that I was not getting saturated my preparing excess. For the last one month, I mainly focussed on revising basics.

C-day: 6th Dec 2009- The first CAT of my life. There were much controversies which had surrounded the online CAT and there were apprehensions whether the test will get over smoothly or not. Learning from the IIT JEE debacle, I went there with confidence. Didn't much think about the other factors and remained focussed on my own performance.

Attempted overall 45 questions, with around 15 in each of the three sections.

Other exams- Had filled IIFT, FMS and NMAT as well... Didn't write XAT as the exam was clashing with end sem exam...

After few days ,result started to come out... Had performed dismally bad in IIFT and FMS... NMAT was also a disaster...

In between this, I got placed in Tech Mahindra.

After a long wait CAT result were out. I had scored 97.87%ile (VA-94.67%ile, DI-94.27%ile, QA- 95.45%ile). Got calls from MDI and IMT-G. The long wait from exam to results brought a change in my thinking. I thought about joining the job and delaying my MBA plan owing to personal reasons.In the end, I skipped both the calls. I also decided that I won't be taking the CAT atleast that year.

Introduction to world of Pagalguy -

Engineering college ended and I started waiting for my joining...It was the same time during which I become active on Pagalguy. Rahicecream who was one of the very active users then, became my first friend on this forum. CAT was still out of my mind but somehow I got hooked up to PG. PG becomes an addiction mainly due to its awesomeness.

Meanwhile, in September 2010 I got my Tech M joining at Pune. Training was a very short one there and quickly I was assigned to a project. Within 6 months, frustration started to creep in and I felt running away from that place. CAT was the option with which I decided to go.

CAT 2011- In the month of June, I started my preparation. Joined test series. Preparation along with office workload was a new experience. I realised that I needed someone who can be a source of constant motivation. One of my college friends who was working in Mumbai joined me in the preparation. We used to attempt sectionals/ mocks daily and then discuss it on communicator in whatever free time we got in office and on skype after returning home.

As preparation was going on, I joined some study groups which were active in Pune. It was through them I came in contact with deepak_pgi... He was the first puy that I ever met. Then PDT was formed and I was a part of it. It was there I came in touch with few other puys anshul_mechie, manish_harodia sir and thinkace, who were very active on the forum.

Preparation was going smooth... I didn't used to score too high in mocks(scores were majority in 90-95% ile range) but from the past experience I knew mocks score don't matter much.

Then came the C-day... Paper was on easier side... I attempted 52 (27 in section 1 and 25 in section 2).Accuracy in section 2 was always going to be a factor.

NMAT and XAT were the other two exams I was writing. NMAT went fine. XAT had a big surprise with decision making sections. When I came home and matched answers from various institute keys, I was getting around 38 overall with 11 in DM. According to institute that was enough to fetch both the calls from XL.

Then result started to come out. 1st one was CAT. I ended up with 96.80%ile which was even lesser than the previous attempt. Section 2 did the damage with 88.8%ile.Though with that score I still had slight hope of getting new IIM's call and IIT calls

3 weeks later, XAT result was out... It was an absolute shocker for me... I had scored 95%ile with 71%ile in DM (5.16 marks). One more mark in that section and I could have got both the calls.

The season ended with a lone NM call. After the XAT shock, I had made my mind to give one last shot. So didn't prepare much for NM call. GD-PI went below average. Didn't had much hopes from it.

As expected, I got a reject. My friend who was all along the preparation had converted NM. A month later he converted SJMSOM and left NM for it.

CAT 2012-

So it was time for one last shot. Life wasn't easy. Workload had increased so was the office politics.

Activity on PG had also reduced . Somehow I was not able to motivate myself. Month of July had passed and I was struggling with the mocks. Mocks score had taken an astronomical dip. 2.5 months before CAT, I decided to take a break. Went for the vacation for 2 weeks.

It was the time when different regional teams being formed on PG. It was then I first interacted with Abhishek aka dreamer87 who was a part of PDT. He was the one who kept the thread alive in the initial stages with his motivating posts. The improvement which he showed within a month was quite amazing. He and Anshul were the ones who really motivated me. Preparation was back on track thanks to them.

Meanwhile, when I returned from my break, my office had shifted to a different place. I decided to take as less work as possible in last two months of preparation and devote some time to preparation during office time. At the new office I met a college friend who was also giving a last shot at CAT. So I got a company with whom I can discuss about preparation in whatever idle time I was getting.

In a matter of month, fortunes seemed to change completely. I was feeling very confident... Perhaps was in the best form of my life

Finally the much awaited CAT started... Many of my friends who were done with it gave there review... CAT was bit tricky this time around... I had taken a 10 day off before CAT... Gave NMAT in this period just to settle the nerves...

At last the day arrived... 31st October 2012. I was in very relax and confident frame of mind. Paper started. Section 1 went like a breeze and I had attempted 24... Section 2 had one tricky LR set. I spend 15 minutes on that. Apart from that rest paper was fine.

The wait for CAT had started. In between gave other exam. Some went fine some were not upto the expectation. XAT turned out to be a disaster where I was getting a very low score in VA.

Finally it was result time. CAT website went down in the midnight. I stayed awake to check the results. After hours of wait I checked my result at 5:45AM and it showed 94.29%ile against my name with 96.20%ile in section 1 and 84.69% in section 2. This result was a huge set back as I felt that my best effort was not enough to get over the line. That was the time when I felt it was very difficult to motivate myself. Luckily I had people around me who gave me ample support at time.

So I decided to make most of any little opportunity that was going to come in my way.

Soon other results were out. I had messed up XAT with very poor VA score. Got 99.40%ile in SNAP and 219 score NMAT. So I had 3 calls. SIBM-P, SCMHRD and NMIMS.

Next stage was always going to be difficult as I considered GD-PI as my weak link. With average profile much work was needed to be done. Joined GD-PI classes where I got some valuable feedback from Manish sir. I discussed a lot with all the friends about myself and my achievements and analysing my strengths thoroughly, which I could project during PI. My friend who was in my office who was preparing with me helped a lot in zeroing in all the answers pertaining to PI that could have been asked.

Finally GD-PI started. SIBM was below average with bad PI. SCMHRD and NM went fine and I had some hope with them.

Then the final result time arrived. 1st was SIBM and it was a reject as expected. Then a week later got a reject from SCMHRD which meant that only one hope was left, NM.

5 March 2013- The day NM result was going to be announced. At around 6PM, saw the final result thread on PG. After trying for half an hour the result page opened and I saw 'Selected' on the screen. At last there was something to cheer about. Finally I got my 1st convert. Though it was not a big convert but it was the reward of all the hard work I had put in.

After much thinking I decided to join NM as I saw no point in continuing with a job I did not like. So perhaps this was the best time to pursue MBA if I really wanted to. Plus the fact , CAT is too unpredictable to rely on and with most of the institute only considering CAT score, it is always a gamble.

I dedicate this post to all who were there with me all the times, especially the tough phase. I realise that already this post is too long, so restraining myself to name a particular as the list of people who helped me at some point of time, is endless. Thanks to each and everyone who were the part of this journey that taught me a lot. Some of you have become integral part of life, and I hope this bond carries throughout the life.

And special thanks to Pagalguy for providing such a wonderful platform that has given so many friends and memories.

Before finishing this post, I would like share my learning to all who have the patience to read this long post.

1) Never ever make an exam the most important thing in your life- This is the mistake I committed during my IIT preparation. It is ok to give extra attention and study harder for an exam. But never take the failure in an exam personally. For months I could not forgive myself for messing up the IIT-JEE. This affected the way I performed in the initial days of my engineering.

There are people who left their job for CAT, which is not the right way to go about. Infact it puts extra pressure on you to perform.

2) If you are willing to learn then ultimately you would learn. Past doesn't matter much- Ultimately it is the willingness of a person to learn from his mistakes that graduates him. We have seen many example on this thread itself that how a simple person who is willing to learn can achieve great heights. Ultimately it is the extra effort that separates extra ordinary from ordinary.

3) Mocks score doesn't matter much - The biggest myth that people have in their mind is that if they are not getting good mocks score then it is end of road for them. Mocks is just to analyse where are you lagging and how can you improve. One of my friend who prepared with me never crossed 99% in any mock. But he crossed 99%ile twice in CAT. So mocks are just a way to build exam temperament.

4) Getting into a B-school is not the end - Getting into a good B-school is just a start. It is true that getting into a B-School could open up many options but it is not the only way to achieve success. There are people who are Non-MBA and they are more successful than MBAs. So it is all about making most out of the opportunity.

5) Lastly, circumstances never remains the same, 'Har underdog ka din aata hai' - Sometimes you never know what future has in store for you. A small incident can change your outlook towards the life. When going is tough just remain composed and wait for the right moment. You may struggle in our path, it is fine but at any stage you should not give up. Always back your abilities. What matters how you finish things off. Taking a small example before ending this post , Whenever MS Dhoni wins a game for his side, nobody remembers the dot balls that he had played earlier in his innings. What people remember is the last shot !!!!!

Though your dreams be tossed and blown. Walk on walk on with hope in your heart. And you'll never walk alone. You'll never walk alone...

[Note: This is a post on the user's CAT journey that has been captured in his own words. We have not edited it in any way when publishing it as an article. Cover image is from http://www.sitebuilderreport.com/stock-up]

  • 219 Likes   74 Comments
  • @PaceIsAce Awesome post bro :smiley: ..Very good to rea.... 16 Feb.
  • truly motivating post..GBU more... 17 Feb.
NMIMS (Core): 2013-15
William Charles @wcharles 25

@PaceIsAce Awesome post bro ..Very good to read posts like this on PG ... I am also waiting for the NM results on March 5th.. fingers crossed !!!

faithon GOD:) @Manpreet-Kaur 29

truly motivating post..GBU more..

Here's How I went from low scores and 44%ile in XAT to the XLRI 2015 batch...

XLRI(HR)Batch of 2013-2015: How I went about the interview preparation.

7 April 2013

At the outset,I am going to warn you that this post is going to be long and tedious.I am writing this piece not for my personal satisfaction,but for thousands of aspirants who are mediocre like me;who ruined their high school/graduation academics,and did not achieve anything significant in last 20 odd years of existence.I just want to tell you,all of you,who are reading this post is that YOU CAN MAKE IT if you are mad enough to burn yourself. I owe my success to many(MMDT-12 members: Sid,Rishi,Om,Harshil;Patrick Sir,Kamath Sir, Raghunath Sir),and it is my obligation to do my bit for others.

@Omkarp , @retry , @rishi1415 , @sid2222000 , @PatrickDsouza 

These are the people who made it possible for me.Their names should be here as well.

Hope,it helps...Giving back to PG.


A brief introduction about myself-

Name-Akshay Gupta
10th-79.6% (CBSE)
12th-67.6% (CBSE)
Graduation(SRM University,Chennai)--CGPA of 8.911 out of 10(Worked very hard in college;Hit gold here)-ECE Engineering.

I have no extracurricular activities to justify my High school debacle.It took me 2.5-3 years of extreme efforts to crack XAT entrance test(98.83%)—I will write a post later on how a person with 0 aptitude and no foundation cracked the toughest MBA entrance exam on earth.It's a myth that one can't learn aptitude.Infact,one can learn any Goddamn thing on this earth if one is motivated enough,and willing to go under fire.Now words come cheap,so let's have some statistics-

XAT 2011-44.22%

XAT 2013-98.83%

Once I reached this far ,I promised myself that I will force them to think 100 times before they reject me in an interview.

XLRI interview shortlist came on 17 Jan 2013.I was in Goa;I heard myself getting shortlisted for both interviews(BM and HRM).I left my friends,and came back to Mumbai the same day.Next 2-3 days,I was very tense on how to go about preparing for the interviews.There were millions of things to be covered,and I knew I have to give an exceptional interview if I have the slightest chance of making to the hallowed portals of XLRI. The ratio for XLRI convert always has been around 1:10 (For 120 seats in HR, they call 1200 people for interview). Also, this year because of goof up in marks, the ratio went on to become 1:13! 

Firstly,I benefitted immensely from keeler.drummer/Implex post on IIM C conversion(Pagalguy).I got in touch with few XLRI seniors,but it was rather demotivating because they all were special in some way or the other.I had to walk alone,and I had to find something special about myself.On 20 Jan 2013,I started preparing and asked one of our Mumbai Maverick Dream Team 2012,Harshil(Retry) to collaborate our efforts.

Material Used-

I made a fat notebook(Around 200 pages or more I really don't know but it really is fat! ),and everything that I used to see,read,hear…Any relevant detail,I used to put it in that diary.It had numbers,figures,charts,quotes,drew India Maps,world Maps,electronics diagrams,equations,world capitals,major sports…Some strange idea or thought.Everything.It was one thing that I kept with me even when I slept.The purpose was to devote last week on revising that diary.I answered 18 straight questions in numbers,figures and quotes in the HR Interview bcz I revised that diary 6 times.

General Reading--

Took last 8-9 editions of The Chronicle(IAS preparatory material,monthy magazine used by IAS aspirants),and marked all the important articles that can be talked about.Read each important article twice…Wrote all the numbers,figures,and made a small summary of each in my above mentioned diary.

-www.epw.in(Economic & Political Weekly) : It is a website which has extremely high quality content.The website uses articles by Phds(Doctorates) on their thesis.It can extremely taxing to read articles by them but you have to…Again numbers,figures,quotes in my diary of every article that I read.Wrote summaries.My each good article used to take me 30 mins in making notes,summaries,diagrams,charts,learning author names for references etc.

-The Hindu,The Indian express,Business Standard:
 I used to read Indian express and Business Standard completely everyday…Devoted 2 hours on these 2 papers everyday,and editorials in The Hindu…Again the same notes,quotes,numbers etc. I can cite one particular example-James H Buchanan died recently at that time,and I was reading about his obituary.I made notes about his economic and political theories,his nobel prize etc and I talked about him in my interview when we discussed corruption in India.

The Economist,Project Syndicate,India today,TIME,BBC etc- I used to use my TCS library to read articles in these magazines and make notes when I was tired doing the normal stuff…This exercise was mainly focused on international world.

TIME,Career Launcher etc
-I collaborated material with my friends from TIME institute,Career launcher etc,and used their material as well.

Competition Success Review year book 2013
-Marked all the major events and relevant static GK,and put it in my diary.My HR GD Topic was-UN the security council.I was the only one in 13 people who was throwing numbers about when it was formed,how it was formed,why it was formed,how many current members,General assembly etc etc…For eg-UN formed in 1942,during the 2nd World war,during the time of Winston Churchill(England PM) with 193 countries in general assembly,the latest being South Sudan comprises of 5 permanent veto powers etc etc…

I cannot remember or write what all I read and from where but I read,read and read till my eyes hurt to the point of watering and not opening.I hardly slept for 45 nights.

About myself(THE WHOLE UNIVERSE SURROUNDING ME)--Used Wikipedia and google maps to read about India and world in DETAIL and make notes(I drew India Maps and world maps to remember what all places are where)…Our History,all civilizations-Vedic,Indus Valley,Mughals,British,Mauryas etc etc…Geography-Rivers,lakes,Mountains,terrain,oceans,weather,temperature,winds etc.

Politics-NDA,Congress,PMs,Presidents,Parliaments,Upper house and lower house…Its no of members,How they are chosen,States assembly etc.Our neighbours,Our area,Human development Index,Asia,World…Everything.

-My name,My family,History of Guptas,History of ChandraGuptas,Kalidas,Aryabhatta…Keep branching out.Each link will take you to the next link.From Guptas to history of Chandraguptas to Kalidasa(During this empire,he wrote),from kalidasa to his works,from his works to why he was special,to Ajanta and Ellora,from there to Allahabad ,from Allahabad to Kumbh Mela from kumbh Mela to its size,no of people,area,recent news etc,from Kumbh details to Mythology/religion,from religion to Islam,Buddhism,Science…Wars……………..PHEW!Keep branching out,and anticipate questions what else can be asked.

-My job,TCS,TATA…Tata sons,their history,remembering each year and name,Major businesses,Which countries and what,How,Recent developments,Major competitors etc…Everything

-HR-HR verticals,companies,HR course structure,favourite subjects,How HR works,Major HR professionals,Recent HR trends,learnt everything about best HR firm in the world ie. MERCER-how,when,why,what,who etc…Numbers and figures.Everything.

Hobbies-I developed reading habit to improve my verbal in last 3 years or so.I had read 75 plus books,and I researched each and every book and categorized it into fiction and non-fiction,and put the list in my interview folder.Also,I read a large number of good non-fiction books(Around 32 non-fiction books) i.e Amartya Sen,Mohd. Yunus(I converted HR bcz of this),CK Prahalad,Malcom Gladwell,VS Naipaul,Joseph Glitz,Frijita Kapra,Stephen Hawking,Larry Collins etc.This had to be my strength…Something special about me.I wanted to drive interview on my reading habit,so I prepared it like crazy.

Academics-My engineering scores are mind boggling after my 12th ,so it appears to be a farce.I bought a foundation book on Electronics and Communication engineering,and prepared from there.I had great difficulties initially but by the end,I was thorough on major areas. 

I am tired of writing all this,but this is not even 1% of what all I did…I was so so so desperate to make it that I could have died preparing for XL.I left nothing on luck,and I was a time bomb waiting to be exploded

Just to give you a brief glimpse of my interview:

-Prof1-Akshay,we made you wait so long for this interview.You are the last person…You must have been very bored and tired by waiting for more than 3 hours.

Me-No,Sir.I am feeling very upbeat.I was preoccupied with the newspaper,so it was not an issue at all.

Prof1-What newspaper were you reading?Was it provided in the reading hall?

Me-Sir,newspapers were provided in the waiting hall but I used Business Standard that I brought from my home.

Prof1(Hmmm)So is BS your favourite newspaper?

Me-Sir,I try to keep myself abreast of the latest happenings in the world.

Profs 1,2,3 together…K,so what did you read today?

Me-CAG reprimanding UPA for a new scam.

Profs 1,2,3 together…This CAG is a foolish organization.They have brought the whole country to a halt.They make exaggerated claims.Bureaucrats fear making decisions…Nothing is happening in this country.

Me(Took Chairman name because I wanted to show my knowlesge) Sir,You are talking about Vinod Rai ,the chairman or CAG all together?


Me-Sir,They estimated 1.28 lakh crore loss based on the 3G auctions that took place in 2010…Sir,their claims are not of out thin air or notional.

Prof2-But the country is not able to work.

Me-Sir,then you would say the same thing about judiciary…The current judicial activism.You cannot use corrupt means to get things going.Everyone is quiet in room.

Prof3-First they said 1.28 lakh crore loss then they changed to 2000 crore loss…What is this?

Me-I thought for 5-10 seconds…Sir,irrespective of the figures and numbers,there was something wrong that happened.If CAG wouldn't have brought it out in notice then things would have gone the same way.This cannot be the excuse for civil servants not to work.

Profs 1,2,3(Impressed).

Prof2-This essay of your's on India…What are you trying to say?

Me-Sir,It is not the corruption;the bureaucracy;the red tape that affects our country…It is our attitude.For eg: I am a 24 year old boy who has not voted even once.So Am I correct on my part to blame others?We should look within ourselves before looking outside.

Prof3(Staring at me-Interested and curious)

Etc etc etc…I cannot write everything……….

Prof1-So you read?Do you know what is a booker prize?

Me-Sir,the first booker prize was given in year XXXX…Definition of Booker Prize…I started counting the names of Booker prize winners from 1971.

Prof1(Irritated)-No no no…What 1971?Tell us some latest Indian booker prize winners.

Me-In 2006 the booker prize was won by Kiran Desai for her work The inheritance of loss.She is the daughter of Anita Desai,another renowned author of Games at twilight. In 2008,Arvind Adiga won the booker prize for The White Tiger:it is a black humour genre;There is something also called as Booker of the booker prize which is given once in 25 years to the best of the booker prizes;It was won by Salman Rushdie who writes on Magical realism and is famed for Midnight's children which is about post Indian independence condition till emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi.

Prof1- VS Naipaul,Salman Rushdie,Amartya Sen,Malcom Gladwell,George Orwell…You read all crazy authors.Starts laughing aloud.

Me- There is a very thin line demarcating a genius and a crazy person,Sir.


Prof1-Hmmm so you read a lot.What one book would you suggest as an HR?

Me-Sir,I would recommend,”Banker to the poor by Mohd. Yunus”.It is a book by a nobel prize winner who founded the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.It is a book that tells you how a sustainable business can be developed from the section neglected by the corporate sector.For reference,we can use CK Prahlad work on Bottom of the pyramid theory or James H Buchanan about development economics.We can also talk about Amartya Sen paper on Nutrition and development that he presented in 1998. 

Prof2(Amazed)-What do you know about Microfinance (related to Grameen bank that I talked about in my last answer)?

Me-Sir,the 2005 Krishna crisis?

Prof2-No,something recent.

Me-Sir, the 2008 Malegaon report?

Prof2-No,something more recent.

Me-Sir,the SKS microfinance scandal in 2010?

Prof2(Disgusted and irritated)-No more recent.

Me-Sir,the 2011,Microfinance bill?

Prof2(Expression for is this guy mad?)-No more recent.

Me-Sir,the AP crisi s in 2012?

Prof2(Shocked)Yes…Tell me about it.

Me-Sir,the NABARD and state banks work…Cuts me in between.

Prof2(Gave in)-Quiet.He thought for 2 mins to ask me something that I wont be able to answer,and then asked me the rate of Microfinance that the institutes charge in India.

Me-Sir,I don't know but can I make a logical guess?Proff3-Nods.Me-Sir,since the poor people have no option but to resort to the money lenders if Microfinance institutes don't provide them money so,I think, they would take benefit of this position.The money lenders charge outrageously high interest,so MF too would charge something around 14-15%.As per the govt. priority sector lending norms,govt. banks are supposed to provide loan to poor without any collateral of about 10% out of their earnings but the banks hardly follow it.This gives MF to create a monopoly and charge high interest,failing the whole objective of microfinance.

All three professors show respect to me…

The portion that I have written above lasted for just 5-6 mins,and my interview was of 21-23 mins.I completely overwhelmed,all of them,all the time.They were shocked,impressed,irritated at the same time.

In the end,professor3 says to me(Very slowly and appreciatively),”Do you want to say something that would increase your chances of candidature?”

I thought for 30 seconds(bringing all the pain,all the insults,my parents' faces,my disfigured body into my memory,the sacrifices that I have made,living every single day with the fear that I will never make it…I am not cut out for the cream),and said on the verge of tears,”Sir,I have made mistakes in my life…My 10th and 12th scores are very low,but…If you see my engineering scores…The kind of work that I have done…The kind of books that I have read…I have really improved in life,Sir…I have really improved.”

Colour of the Prof3 face changed,and he couldn't speak anything for 2 mins…He just looked into my eyes,and NODDED!

I knew that I had nailed it at that very instant…Nothing could stop me.

Note-I was extremely fluent that day,and I used quality words and expressions because of extreme reading for 45 days.I wrote a poem on EUROZONE CRISIS 2 days before the interview to show my creativity and writing talent,and improved my essay on VS NAIPAUL that I had written 1 year back…They really liked both.My GD was exceptional too,and they talked about that in interview.I put in index in my folder,marked stickers of different colours,arranged things in a very organized and neat & clean way.I did everything that I could meticulously.Everyday around 8-9 hours and 15-16 hours on weekends saw an average guy getting through.

“When determination wins over fate,honour comes calling.” 

Aks Gupta,XLRI Batch of 2013-2015.

Some of my most motivating songs.Pay attention to their lyrics-

1) Eminem: Lose yourself

2) Fort Minor: Remember the name

3) Nike commercial: Rise and Shine

Amazing Inspirational Videos. It will motivate you like crazy-

1) Mateusz M on youtube (Dream, why do we fall etcetera)

2) Eric Thomas on youtube

[Note: This is a post on the user's CAT journey that has been captured in his own words. We have not edited it in any way when publishing it as an article. Cover image is from http://www.sitebuilderreport.com/stock-up]

  • 727 Likes   324 Comments
  • motivating..... 03 Jun.
  • Respect man, totally impressed by the way you kept yourse.... 07 Jun.
vijay Karan @vijaykaran 34

Respect man, totally impressed by the way you kept yourself motivated yourself throughout the preparation.

So, finally writing the post I was eagerly waiting for since CAT 2008.

A brief background: I'm an engineer from a family of modest means. After 10th, I was confused about which stream to take because my family had an Arts background and nobody had an idea about a career in Commerce/Science. I scored highest marks in Science in class X board exams and decided to take science. The lack of knowledge struck again when I was in class 12th as I had no idea about what to do after 12th. A friend of mine filled forms of entrance exams. I filled them too but couldn't make it to any college. Somewhere I believed that if I give one more attempt, I'll clear it. I dropped one yr and asked my parents to get me into a coaching. We were not financially good and my parents insisted me to join B.Sc. as the coaching fee was huge. I urged them to give me one chance. I joined coaching and next yr made it to DCE in electronics branch.

The life in college was totally different. Here, ppl used to wear trendy clothes, drive bikes and cars, buy latest mobiles, go for movies, trips etc. i.e. the things money can buy. This was different from school where one can take 2 pairs of uniforms and wear them till they fit you, without being left out, because everyone wears same dress. Over time, I was able to cope up with it, but one thing kept coming to my mind that to be happy and enjoy life, one needs lots of money. One day, I heard some of my classmates saying that to earn huge money, one can do MBA from IIMs. IIM grads earn tons of money and live a luxury life. In final yr, I secured a job with decent salary. That done, I asked my parents to get me into MBA coaching so that I can crack IIMs. As my father was still the only bread-winner for our family, he was very reluctant to pay huge coaching fees. But I insisted that “since everyone is doing it, so I will do it too”. This I would say is one big mistake I made during my career. On my persistent requests, my father gave in and got me into coaching. I directed all my efforts towards CAT, appeared for CAT 2008 and got a lone call from IIM-K. I was elated and told everyone in my family abt it, but they didn't had any idea abt what it means, except a huge investment (in terms of fees).

Before going to the interview, someone told me that I should buy a formal suit to make a good impression. But when I thought about asking my parents for money to buy me a suit, I got scared that they'll get angry. So I picked the best winter jacket I had, got it dry-cleaned and went for GD/PI. When I reached the venue, I saw that everyone except me was actually wearing a formal suit. I felt bad, but couldn't do anything about it. Nevertheless, I gave my best in GD/PI and returned home, without any hope of a convert.

In the mean time, my sister got married and my father had to take loan for the expenses. I also started looking for better-paying off-campus jobs. But due to recession in 2009, I couldn't find one. On 6th May 2009, I got a phone call from a person with south Indian accent. He told me that you were waitlisted and have now cleared it. Do you want to join IIM-K? I was filled with joy to the brim and said yes. I asked him what do I need to do now. He told me that he'll send me joining form and I'll have to send it back along with the first term fee. I told my family that I've finally made it to an IIM, and now our future will be good. I got a lukewarm response. I knew my family was under a financial burden and needed my help. During next 4 days, I thought a lot about it and felt that it was my responsibility to help my family rather than pursuing my dreams. I decided to join job instead of MBA. I sent a mail to IIM-K that I want to withdraw and seat may be offered to next candidate. But I kept my dream alive, that once my family gets financially stable, I'll give CAT again.

I joined job and started earning. Also, during job, whenever I got time, I tried to solve some questions from my old coaching notes. Over time, our financial condition stabilized. Then I decided to give exam again and appeared for CAT 2011. But to my shock, I didn't get a single call. I was shattered that if I can crack CAT once, how's it possible to not get even one call at another attempt. I gathered myself and appeared with full effort in CAT 2012. This time I got calls from IIM-L,K and new IIMs. I appeared for their GD/PI processes and my performance was Ok.

After results are out, till now I've converted IIM-K, Rp, Ksp, U and some other colleges. I'm happy that my efforts have borne fruit and I was able to achieve what I had aspired for years ago. After passing from IIM, I may get a good-paying job in an MNC. There will be hefty pay-checks down the line. The future seems very bright.

But if I take a break from the present state of bliss and take a look at my journey and of many others like me, I see large no. of people in our country who are poor. Figures and stats about such people make good points during GDs, but for them, it is a reality. My grandparents were poor farmers and my parents struggled a lot to establish ourselves in a metro city and give us good education. With this education, we have moved ahead and improved our lives. But what about those unlucky people who are still uneducated, who still find it difficult to get a square meal for their family. At the end of race for placements, CV points, coveted profiles etc. during and after MBA, I'll be working for firms who will hardly contribute to improve the lives of poor people. There will be high work-pressure to make a rich company richer and a richer one the richest.

I struggle to find an answer to how will my work post-MBA help the underprivileged people. The success which I desired so eagerly seems shallow now. Moreover, once you enter the rat-race, it'll be very difficult to come out due to loan payments, family responsibilities and the peer pressure to maintain life-style. There may be ppl who can contribute to society through the MBA route also, but as my personal calling, I don't find it to be the right path for it.

This brings me to the conclusion of my post. After a lot of deliberation about what to do, I've decided to drop the idea of MBA. It doesn't fit into the kind of work I want to do all my life. Better give this seat to someone who need it and will make a better use of it for his/her life. I've decided to go for civil services and contribute back to the society. The salary may be very less compare to that of an MBA and I may not get the kind of life-style I always desired, but it'll at least enable me to bring meaningful change in other people's lives. I'll help them in overcoming the difficulties which I faced during my early years. The only regret will be of not listening to my inner calling earlier and doing what everyone else was doing, and losing a lot of time in this pursuit. The MBA dream rests in peace.

“Standing at the gates of IIM, life seems ironical. One step inside, and there's the tag of Winner. And one step outside, the tag will of a Loser." #IronyOfLife

  • 199 Likes   42 Comments
  • HI , your story is heart touching,,,, personally even i f.... 11 Jun '13.
  • First of all , HATS OFF to you sir.. Happy to be living a.... 08 Sep '13.
IMT Ghaziabad @catnlyiimb 197
HI , your story is heart touching,,,, personally even i feel to help the poor of our country, try to give education to all, but it dosen't mean that once you are in the rat race you cannot come out of it, hardly 3 years and u can pay back the loans, and then living a simple middle class life you can spend the rest of the money for the upliftment of the underprivelleged , I have many examples in my life , who work for the poor and live a simple life when they can afford luxuary. But Getting into civils you earn lots of power , and to maintain that u need to have lots of leadership qualities and courage , or you will be shattered by the corruption in the system. I sincerly request you to join IIM-K , then give CIVILS if you want. life dosent give 3 chances for the same success , you got 2 and its better u grab it.
Sivasankar S @shivsankz 58
First of all , HATS OFF to you sir.. Happy to be living as a normal guy around a really great soul in this same country... I too have the same goals as you.. But I am planning to choose a different path to attain ur greatness.. Thats the difference.. I believe firmly that money alone can serve ppl in this current scenario arnd us... So I thought of pursuing an MBA from an elite bschool earn as much as I can and serve too as much as I can... But many ppl question my path... Cant I really achieve my lifetym goals If i choose this path... Puys any advices ????

Today the MBA entrance season conculded for me. I am now committed to a B-school and a decent one at that. I look back at the journey and it's been interesting to say the least. It all started in 2010, when I went to the IMS at Sohrab Hall, Pune and took a counseling session. I paid that female at the desk to enroll me into a 2-year MBA prep course which should lead me to the hallowed portals of a top 10 B-school. My study partner was my girlfriend, so it didn't work out so well. We sometimes went there, had a vada pav and came back without stepping into class. Those days were different; careers were the last thing on our minds. I later made up my mind to enroll into a Masters course in the UK, so CAT 2010 was attempted out of compulsion and boredom. Randomly marked the options and finished the exam in 3 minutes. Ended up with 15 Percentile. Giggled when I saw the score.

Season 2011

Came back to Delhi after graduating in April '11. Briefly flirted with GMAT. Joined IMS South Campus (Delhi) again, but hardly went for three classes. The girlfriend followed me to Delhi, and studying was still not on the top of our things to do. We talked a lot about our respective careers, but that didn't translate into any studying whatsoever. Went unprepared for the CAT, used my brain, ended up with 85 percentile. Came excruciatingly close to TISS, but missed out. Promised myself I'll be back to TISS soon. Hardly any calls, the season ended with disappointment and frustration. I went with what my heart said and started studying for CFA-Level 1. Cleared it soon.

Season 2012

This time, the girlfriend shifted base to Mumbai, so I thought I'd be less distracted and will write a kickass CAT. That assumption fell on its face soon enough. Teamed up with a close friend and started going to TIME at Connaught Place regularly. That time had a different feel to it, studying at libraries for hours at a stretch, then spending time at Khan Chacha discussing B-schools, the occasional beer at My Bar in Paharganj. First came the NMAT, three attempts, reached upto 207, narrowly missing the 209 cut-off. But NM being NM, glad I didn't make it there. Then the CAT, got too nervous in the days leading up to the CAT, had a very very bad quant section. Ended up with a very bad score (let's not get into it). IIFT was great, missed out by a mark or two again, heartbroken. SNAP was another disappointment. XAT was decent, felt I had done enough to clear the VA, DM and overall cut-offs for XLRI, but quant was going to be a close shave. Results came in, touched the 96th percentile, with 99+ scores in both Verbal and Decision Making, but a miserable 32 percentile in quant meant that XLRI was to remain a distant dream. I looked at my quant score and despite studying purely quant for 5 months, I ended up with that. I laughed repeating Ramadhir Singh's “Beta, tumse naa ho payega” in my head.

The Calls

January started and the last days of Delhi winter brought with them some good news. First call was from SPJIMR, the girlfriend jumped when she saw. Then SIMS, then TAPMI, then SP Jain-MGB, then TISS, then MICA. The season held promise now. Travelled a lot during Feb and March, and loved every bit of it. Same suit, same shirt, same tie, everywhere. GDs and PIs were supposedly my strength, so I wasn't too tensed. Just touched down at Mumbai airport on the 14th of Feb when a friend told me that SIMS was in the bag. I wasn't happy, but it felt good to have a strange sense of relief. Coming back from a holiday to Goa, I found the IMT Ghaziabad interview on Feb 19 interesting and a lot of fun. (Read the experience here: JokaShoka s post in IMT Ghaziabad 2013-2015 GD-PI Experiences : PaGaLGuY Forums ). Then came TISS, the school with a difference. I spent days reading the planning commission's Yojana Magazine and articles on India's social problems.Must have read more than 200 essays in the days leading up to the process at the TISS campus. It was probably the most productive reading I was doing in months. 14th March came, I feel in love with the TISS campus, but my interview got over in a snap. No problems, but they just didn't give me any time to explain myself. Maybe they had already made up their mind.


On 21st of March, a friend got an email from IMT-G getting him PGDM-IB. From that moment onwards, frantic refreshing of my Gmail page started. Around the afternoon, I got an email from IMT-G saying I had been selected for the PGDM-FT 2013-15 Batch. I was overjoyed, ran downstairs to tell my parents, spent an evening with my girlfriend on Skype eating a congratulatory chocolate. The uncertainty, frustration and wait had ended, I had a top20 B-school convert in the bag. Researched a lot, spoke to so many people, and finally decided against MICA. TISS made me wait a lot, only to give me a bad kick in the “bread-basket”.

Final Verdict



Joining: IMT-Ghaziabad Batch of 2013-15

My Two cents: Don't make these exams an obsession. Don't make it a purely capitalistic decision. Learn to laugh at your failures. What you end up with, might not have been your first choice, but once you make it to a B-school, make sure you take it by storm and use these 2 years to be who you want to be.

  • 51 Likes   20 Comments
  • Cheers and all the best to you too buddy :smiley: :thu.... 27 May '13.
  • @JokaShoka Yes , that is what has calmed my nerves somewh.... 27 May '13.
IMT-Ghaziabad PGDM-FT (2013-15) 
.-.-.-.-.-..-.-.-.-.-.-. @wheresthebell 742
Cheers and all the best to you too buddy :thumbsup:
.-.-.-.-.-..-.-.-.-.-.-. @wheresthebell 742
@JokaShoka Yes , that is what has calmed my nerves somewhat

How I beat my VA weakness and scored high in CAT verbal!!


Well, not all endings are as happy as you daydream about them. It happened with me as well. But none the less, it is a success story.

It started with the fifth semester of my engineering. Like most students, I joined coaching classes for preparation. Like most engineers, strong at quant. I was weak in verbal, perhaps from my schooldays. I had scored 67/100 and 69/100 in english in my tenth and twelfth; very average marks. Reading was highly recommended. Sermons for hours on the importance of reading were showered by my verbal professor. And I started reading. I had been reading Economic Times since my fourth semester. Then I added Project Syndicate, The Economist, and Stanford's Philosophy Encyclopedia. A tip: Never read the economist from their site. Go to some torrent site and download it there. Also, I did 'Word Power Made Easy' by Norman Lewis. By and large, the fifth semester was quite cool. Also, I got introduced to pagalguy, but I wasn't active at that time.

Exams ended and started preparation in the vacation in full swing. More reading, more solving. The sixth semester was also very hectic for me. E Week at E CELL and online publicity of my college cultural festival kept me tied up for the entire February. Yet, I managed to carry on my preparation. Then college continued as usual. But now I had to focus a lot on preparing for placements as well. An advice to all fresher MBA aspirants: First get placed. You never know what might turn out for you, so better reduce your risks. Semester six exams ended.

This vacation was full of studies. Being in electronics and telecommunication engineering, one doesn't have job opportunities in this sector. Hence, I had to study computer science subjects as well. Along with that, mock tests started. And as a lot of people might have told you, concentrate a lot on mocks. More on this later. Then, I fell sick and was hospitalized for a week. Well, this resulted in a loss of a chance for a really good company (read pay package ). But I got placed later in a nice profile. Then I went at full swing on CAT prep.

Mocks became extremely important. TIME mock tests are really good. I became wiser with every passing mock. But I could never cross 95 %ile. I used to be disappointed every time when I either made a lot of errors or scored low. But, I kept learning from my mistakes. And irony happens as well. I used to get all parajumbles correct before studying them and many wrong after studying them. Strange, isn't it? Practice, practice, and practice became mantra. Learning from more mistakes was more important.

Then came the D Day: 21 October, 2012. I was chilled, never panicked a lot. The test started. Quant section's first question puzzled me. But I didn't panic. Then was a DI set whose table I couldn't decipher. “Never mind”, I said to myself. Then I kept solving continuously. Reached the last question and solved it as well. Saw the number of attempts, it was 24. I was a bit satisfied. Then, I came back to the first question, and it clicked me. It was a no brainer question, I did a facepalm then. However I couldn't solve the DI set and other two questions. Total attempts: 25

Then came the verbal section. Selected an RC to start with and solved all questions. Then I kept on solving questions. I never studied phrasal verbs and hence I skipped 3 questions on them. I dared to attempt the only one grammar question I had in my paper. Had a different kind of logic question but I was prepared for it as I had followed PG well. More on this later. I read another RC, but I could attempt only one question as I wasn't sure about the other two. Total Attempts: 24

Then came the result day. I slept after being awake till 4 AM. Woke up in the morning checked the result.

QA: 99.83%ile

VA: 91.82%ile

Total: 99.48%ile

Overjoyed! Made the cut in the first attempt.

Now, all I want to say about CAT:

1. Reading helps a lot. More than for aptitude tests, it helps for GDPI. During GDPI training, I had got this feedback during the initial sessions: you have content; you need to work on presentation. You don't see your language improving overnight but you will feel the improvement later.

2. Mocks and analyzing them is extremely important. I never scored beyond 95%ile in my mocks but I scored a 99.48 in CAT. It is more important to make your own strategy and learn from your mistakes than scoring.

3. Follow PG once the window starts. Any anomaly in the question types can be detected by people's discussions. Very few people reported reasoning based DI sets and sequence related logic questions. I got a sequence based logic set. So, follow PG well. And if CAT takers are asked parajumbles and paragraph completion on first day, then they cannot ask paragraph summary on the last day. Following PG helps you know the question types asked in CAT.

4. Well, this is not a well researched opinion, but I would like to say that high attempts and high accuracy are needed to score in CAT. I believe all my 25 correct attempts in quant only might have fetched me a 99.82%ile in it. Once a person told me that he concentrated a lot on accuracy in his first attempt, but it didn't work out well for him. In this next attempt he concentrated a lot on attempts, and he scored a 98+. And somehow it is logical that normalization acts on your raw score which can be increased by more attempts. I need not say that they need to be accurate.

5. Number of attempts can be increased by practice and accuracy is a function of expertise you have developed. This expertise is not related to your practice. I was naturally good at quant; hence I didn't need that much practice. Also, concentration while solving matters a lot.

6. You need to reach the height in your preparations after which all you need to do is concentrate while solving the test. I reached that peak few days before CAT. After that NMAT: 230 or 99.7%ile. IIFT: 57.67/100 (good score) XAT: 97.63%ile CMAT: 294/400. AIR 440 (96/100 in Quant, 85/100 in verbal, 76/100 in logic) I want to mention that I scored 98.23%ile in verbal in XAT. One of the most difficult verbal papers in the history of XAT. And if you remember my average marks in English in my boards, this was a huge improvement. Moral: nothing is impossible.

7. The most important thing: CAT SUCKS. It's highly non transparent. You don't know how they normalize. Then there are thousands of rumors on what matters in CAT. You need to be lucky as well as hardworking at the same time. I have seen quite a lot of good people not getting good percentiles in CAT. CONCENTRATE ON OTHER ENTRANCE EXAMS. DO NOT RELY ON CAT.

As usual, I expected some old IIM calls. But I had no calls from the top six IIMs. Some wanted 80% in graduation without normalizing when I had 78%. But by and large DIVERSITY CURSE had hit me. After all I am a male, fresher, and engineer. I was interested in these four calls: XLRI, FMS, IIFT, and MDI. I wanted XLRI very badly but it was a bad PI and hence a reject. FMS was also a reject, I converted IIFT, and MDI.

Well, life's hard. You don't always get what you daydream. With two calls from really big colleges and rejects from both, I felt shattered. We always forget that we hear only a lot of success stories, for example, this thread, but there are many other failures as well. Not everything is smooth, and not all success stories end at IIM ABC. But it all depends on you, what you make out of the opportunities that come your way. Determination, discipline, and the correct attitude matter the most.

Joining IIFT! u000b

[Note: This is a post on the user's CAT journey that has been captured in his own words. We have not edited it in any way when publishing it as an article. Cover image is from http://www.sitebuilderreport.com/stock-up]

  • 106 Likes   24 Comments
  • congrates brow. 02 Feb.
  • @devansh1221 What is Stanford's encyclopedia of philosophy ?. 10 Feb.
Rishab Bansal @RB15 2

@devansh1221 What is Stanford's encyclopedia of philosophy ?

Around two and a half years ago,I got hold of a pdf from Pagalguy titled AIWTSAC-10.pdf, and read it all in a day without break. And that day I thought that one day I'll share my experience. It has taken me quite some time to come to this stage, but I finally have. The satisfaction is immense after accomplishing something that was a mere vision years ago.

My love with CAT got kindled after I fell in love with IIM-A. I wanted to be a part of this red building and spend two years of my life in this prestigious institute. I would lie if I say that the love was cursory. (My desktop wallpaper, my chrome homepage, my assortment of photographs etc. etc.) The preparation began on a high note. It was a dream, and CAT was my means. I joined CAT coaching to gear start my preparation, like everyone does. And it helped me a great deal in understanding concepts and not merely mugging them, a transition from formulas to logic.

And then I faced a lots of odds, dillemas and tough decisions, but I was able to conquer every obstacle and come out well. (99.73%ile CAT) Now, the answer for this question, "How to prepare for CAT?"

1. Start by your fundamentals: This is a cliche, but as the saying goes, "the foundation of any building has to be strong". It pertains to both Quant and VA. I spent quite some time on this, and ensured that I knew my concepts to the core. This is the stage where proper coaching helps.

2. Start taking mock tests: There is a great deal of confusion about this aspect of preparation. An year ago, even I was brimming with a series of questions. But yes, mock tests do help, in their own way. Take every mock test as if it's your actual examination. I can still recollect the preparation I made before taking any mock. You have to be in a similar environment, and that is essential. And so does your time slots. Try to ensure that it matches with your actual CAT.And don't take tests for the sake of taking tests. These tests are not to tell you how good you are, but how you can be better. I used to spend hours analyzing these tests, and this analysis helped me taper down my strengths and weaknesses. In short, it means that you should try to know yourself better. Try to perform better in every test you take, but don't get disheartened by a series of low scores. You are lucky if you are scoring low. You will know your scope for improvement. And I was not among the 99%ilers in mock tests, who boast their high scores on forums. Percentiles in mock are not a gauge of the actual CAT.

3.Overcome your weaknesses: I faced a lot of problems in VA. In spite of a good command over the language, I made a lot of errors. But then problems are meant to be solved, all it requires is perseverance.Spend a lot of time knowing why are you making errors. It might take you weeks, but "DON'T QUIT". Immense help is available online these days. Try talking to people who have been in the same boat as you are. Spend a lot of time alone, and explore different ways. "Trial and Error" helps. In spite of Quant being my strength, I scored better in VA. But then who says, weaknesses stay forever. It is you who can transform them to your strengths.

4. Accuracy matters: I can really speak a lot on this. But all I need to mention is that I made just 40 attempts in CAT (18+22), which by all means is not a god figure. But I knew all along that these were error-free ones. Similar thing got replicated in XAT. Your performance hinges on ACCURACY. Anyway, the approach might vary in individuals, it being something highly subjective. But yes, it worked in my case.

5. The "C-Day": Go with a mindset that it is just another mock test. If you've been taking your mocks seriously, you won't face any problem in the environment as such. Get hold of your temperament. Life won't end if you don't make it. But give your best shot. Go with a fresh mind, adequate sleep and no pre-defined notions. CAT is notorious for throwing surprises. In my case, the difficulty surprised me. But then keep telling yourself that all these things don't perturb you. You can tackle any test: ; you have come well prepared.

6. Have Faith: I can't stress less on this. Have faith on yourself, and your abilities. Your past doesn't matter. All that matters is that you have an opportunity open. And it depends upon you as to how you grab it. It's certainly not easy, but then it's an adventure. With every small success you'll feel the enthusiasm. If you ask me, I still feel that those prep days were the best time of my life. My life had a purpose, an ambition. The people who have made it, are one amongst you. They aren't equipped with special abilities. No matter how mediocre you think you are, you can still bell the CAT.

And now for all those future CAT takers who are reading this, I wish you all the best. I have always been a silent reader of forums, and I wish that even my experience helps the people who will be taking the hyped exam in the years to come.

"Nothing can stop you, except you, yourself".

And now for your information, I have made it to FMS (It's not IIM-A, but a red building,nonetheless p)

  • 53 Likes   18 Comments
  • 95.8% Xth. 19 Dec '13.
  • how much does profile matters for IIM-K,I,L,S?. 11 Sep '13.
Calls: IIM A,C,L,K,I,New IIMs, XLRI :HRM,BM CAT: 99.73%ile Converted: FMS, IIM-L,K, New IIMs, MDI
how much does profile matters for IIM-K,I,L,S?

                                               Update :  The Journey continues...  

It has been a great feeling to come back to this sacred thread after 2 years to finally give you all guys some updates. As my "Original Post" was about how an ordinary guy can achieve extraordinary results, the theme of this section of my post would be to hopefully share with you my genuine and honest experiences in what we call as one among the new IIMs - IIM Kashipur with a small tagline coined by me - "A startup of dreams!"  

So well, yes there were dreams that I would wanna make it into an IIM... I finally did...the first day...feeling was great!! I am finally in an IIM. However, as I had visited IIM Ahmedabad earlier, I did realize that things here are going to be different, challenging and hence interesting...just the way I like it. The good thing was that this year the batch was more than 3 times the seniors strength and hence I was hoping the experiences I would gain would be far more enriching. And boy was I right!! ( )

So the first day I enter, I see this small but beautiful make shift campus (independent of any university though) where there were a handful of professors, a hint of newness and a texture of something big that this place would turn out to be in years to come. We had the official registration and welcome ceremony but what was the most interesting thing, and for which I must praise my seniors (who were just 2 batch of this campus and were instilling those activitites which are trademark of the IIMs and other major B Schools) was - The Induction. In all probability, all those who have been to decent B-schools already know what Induction is all about and for all those who will be joining in years to come, I am not going to be a spoilsport and hence would let you all experience this amazing activity in your respective B-schools. Trust me this will be an experience of a lifetime and therez a very strong reason why I am not divulging the same to u all!

Apart from Induction, there won't be any more suspense from my side in this installment of my post and I hope this post would help some of the puys who would be facing the New IIM Dilemma in years to come. So lets start with acads, being a lazy engineer, I was in for a shock with the amount of work that a student puts in a B-school. Its as if you are totally transformed into a workhorse! Assignments, quizzes, term exams, events, seminars, guest lectures, PPTs, committee selections, club selections and what not! U name it and that thing exists at IIM Kashipur. It is here that I finally understood what "student driven" campuses ACTUALLY mean.  So as always, I went for the toughest committee (yes you guessed it right) and got through after a long and tedious process. To this day and for the life ahead, I am sure, what this committee has taught me (being a startup IIM without any established alumni pool etc.) would be something I would cherish forever. And as I was a lazy lad for pretty much the whole year I never got into any club as a core member (academic or otherwise). There were plethora of them - the committees - alumni relations, placement, corporate relations, mess, infrastructure & IT, academic etc and the clubs - Marketing, finance, Operations, Movie, quiz club, Photography club etc.  So day in and day out I was handling acads and committee work as a regular student would be required to do.

The one reason why I joined IIM Kashipur was because I wanted to gain an experience of starting new things (yeah faff, I Know and so I never did anything for first two trimesters ). However in the third trimester I realised that so many intitatives were already taken up by my batchmates - new clubs like literary club, Music club, Biker's club (with support of our beloved director who himself is a kickass biker!) had sprung up already. So then, I thought of trying to implement a few ideas of my own which were a legacy in other cherished B-schools. The first one was that of creating a yearbook, to which the literary club happily obliged by making me an honorary member. However, more than me it was the efforts of the people in the club that actually made the yearbook happen for our seniors and started off with the practice for years to follow. Then, there was an idea of an annual b-fest called Excelsior which was a daunting task at that time itself and focused on the case presentations and simulation events of business. I really loved the idea but discussed with its initiators something much more bigger and grand to be called the B-fest of IIM Kashipur in the next year which included excelsior as a part of it. And behold, it was in 2014-15, for the first time IIM Kashipur organised Agnitraya - festival combining sports, culture and business all together with performances from Sunburn campus and other film stars as jury members being the highlights of the event.  The last intiative - the closest for me was that of founding an academic club along with 5 other really passionate people - the HR club of IIM Kashipur which obviously did the regular club activities that all clubs were supposed to do but was also the only club of IIM Kashipur to galvanize and organize the Annual HR summit outside Kashipur  - in Delhi... a big challenge in itself that also revived the event for the years to come! It was a tremendous experience to handle speakers, logistics, event management etc remotely from a place called kashipur to organise an event 220 Kms away in Delhi.

Ofcourse the pressure of summer internship was mounting and with Marketing as one of my majors, landing up one in an FMCG was something that was a dream come true. The learning experience and the mistakes that I did during my stint at the company is something that will be a lesson throughout my life. Being a fresher, this was also my first actual corporate experience. 

Finally the first year ended and came the juniors. This was the period when we were the driving force and experience of being seniors was something exceptional especially during the phase of Induction of our juniors. Subjects went past, GPAs moved like sinusoidal curves ( ) and then the pressure of final placements started to get over me. The people I was competing with were the best of the best. The friends of mine, were all equally anxious coz this was the time when dreams finally turn to reality. This is the defining moment of one's professional career. Something every parents want their children to kick-start on a high! However, life wasn't easy at this juncture. Companies came and went by, every next disappointment much more shattering from within than the previous one but with just a smile on my face.. I carried on. It was after some struggle that finally, I got to hear the good news in the month of January. I had been placed! It was a dream come true. I had got into one of the major marketing brands of the world with a decent double figure salary and a good leadership profile. What more could a graduate want?  While my own placement was done, I knew the job is just half done. I went back towards toiling hard and trying my every bit to excel in acads and committee work that I was entrusted with. If there were any friends that I made during this college, most of them were from this very own committee of mine and the ones that I would cherish forever. I knew each and every member of it was trying everything they could possibly do to get results and that finally taught me what teamwork is all about.!

So yes, I know that there has been a huge hue and cry about whether the New IIMs can deliver the way old IIMs do? Who will go to this never heard of place called Kashipur?  How good are the placements? What about my learning?? How are the faculties? Whats the ROI? What about exchage programs? What about my comforts, facilities and emotional bonding?

Well, If therez anything that I have to say, it has to be this - the new IIMs (whichever, they may be...my judgement is based on my experience in IIM Kashipur!) are an IIM for a reason. For any other private college, to achieve the results these IIMs are achieving (in terms of placements, Corporate events wins by their students, internatonal exposure etc.) would be a dream for even the first 10 years of their establishment. Granted, that there is a lot of scope of improvement but thats what startups do. They evolve. I couldn't have been any more satisfied than the experiences which I gained here cos for sure I will be using them when I am starting up my own venture. The news that this batch would actually shift to the permanent campus - a first amongst the new IIMs, that there have already been highest international final placements consecutively for two years during my stay amongst new IIMs and that highest international CTCs are pretty much touching the same figures of a few relatively older IIMs are all heartening to see with the fact that overall medians and top 25% and 50% landing up with great offers proving to be an icing on the cake. The never before taken intitatives of setting up our own community radio, a quiz right in the middle of the Corbett Jungle or creating a graffiti on a wall are all some crazy yet unique experiences that I might never have experienced in any other premier B School!

It has been rightly said by someone - A man is a product of his choices! And I beleive whatever tough decisions I took (in terms of joining a new college in contrast to joining an established one) have all worked well in my favour and have made me what I am today - a confident B-school graduate now rearing to go for his next stint - the ground where an excitement of altogether differrent level awaits - The Corporate.

I would like to thank all those who read this update fragment patiently till the very end and would suggest them to make some adventurous choices (ofcourse thats just my opinion) and learn somethin new while you are at it.. All the best guys! May the force be with you!

Signing Off

A participant of IIM Kashipur - PGP 2013-15!

                                                The Original Post

Joined: IIM Kashipur PGP 2013-15! (A startup of Dreams!!!)

Hey puys! I am not a great writer and maybe not that perseverant as well as so many people on this thread have been. However , i think, owing to the sanctity of this thread and to contribute my least bit in fulfilling its purpose of existence, I still would like to give my experiences of CAT..however this is gonna be one marathon post (for which i apologize, because i still dont know what i am doing is right or not, but would definitely like to get ur opinions...however...only after i have made the entire background clear....)

Flashback (till CAT 2011)-

This is after my class 12th exams got over...I have been an ardent visual gaming fan...be it samurai video games, tekken large format consoles or the recent computer games..i have always had this one thing been intriguing me. So, i figured, why not make a career out of it... i had heard just like most of us that in India , engineers and doctors are paid heavily and u enjoy a luxurious life etc. etc. My parents, however had been very kind in never forcing me to do anything (infact my dad had warned me before itslef that science is a difficult stream and i should think about commerce...but being a kid then and having secured 84% in Xth with top two subjects being of maths (91) and science (86) , i figured... "I ACCEPT") So went in with science and screwed up my 12th with 68.8 percent on board and 3 long months of holidays standing right in front of me and no engg entrance exams done well on my part (because i joined coaching in 12th itself and had school + coaching from 7 AM to 9 PM...but excuses are for losers, arent they?) Fine, if engg is what it takes, I thought I would damn well become an engineer (but in computer science ONLY)...took a drop...went to KOTA ( :P) and then started preparing..working hours and hours and came into top 150 student which was a big jump from being 450th student when i entered these coaching classes....everything was going on smoothly...but then cam 1 month of terrible disaster...chicken pox..all studies gone haywire..(again, no excuses... it happens to everyone, right?)..so gave the exams......came to know about an entrance exam by SAE university and Assam university JV in India for getting admitted into Visual game designing and development...gave it...got 50% scholarship...but soon the happiness died out coz my dad wasnt convinced with the infrastructure as well as the conventional (B.A.) degree...and i dont blame him..he only wanted the best for me... results of engg exams came...cleared in a reputed private college and failed at all other exams so came the dilemma... I was offerred a non CS branch in the private college ....tried going to local engg colleges..."4 Lac plus donation and he can get into IT" was told to my father right on my face......i decided..i will go to the reputed private college because thts what i earned on my own rather than asking dad to donate money like water.. One good thing, I could upgrade my branch to CS in this college if i score a well GPA (above 9) as first year is common here...my dad loved maths (topper at his time)...and i almost had a killing ego for being very good at maths so i figured i will do well in engg (its maths and phy only rit?) in my first year and get upgraded to CS...hence came firs year...i became the guy who stayed in his room..or in his class..studyin all the time...being made fun of for not enjoyinglife in one of the most chilled out campuses of india...but then i had self beleif..i have my own reason for doing this, isnt it?..then came first sem result ...reached 8 GPA..went into 2 sem thinking ..i need to fight a little more and became a proper tensed 'geek'...result..on the very day before my Maths II exam...i fall sick...vomitting...and finally giving the exam...it was all over... i knew it when i gave the paper..dreams shatterred...its not meant to be...results came... i flunked in it... GPA..6.7... , ask for revaluation (internals - 40/50..which is excellent in engg..but in the exam, missed by a wafer thin margin).. immeidately applied for retest..passed...but as per rules...given the lowest E grade...and so my CGPA went to around 7.8...time came for upgrades.. and it turns out, i can get into 14 of the 16 branches but for CS and ECE..i was in a branch tht was considered as the lowest..being mocked off as well in college...i can take 13 other branches..hell..they r not CS...so i sat one night going thru the course content of this branch and CS to my astonishment i cleared quite a few misconceptions..CS was filled with programming, mathematics, circuits etc..and this branch with graphics, photoshop, advanced C++ (including animation) etc.... I had applied to get upgraded in 5 other branches but thought..this branch right here, has atleast some connection with gaming while all others r fancied and tough to crack as well...next day morning on the last day...asked for withdrawing from upgrades and persist witht this so-called "underdog" branch..when i was home , i knew i had hurt my dad for gettinf flunked in maths...and i wud be hearing a lot from him..he just said.. "It's Ok" and i saw tht dissappontment in his eyes...

I went bak...1400 KMs from my home to the college..now with a point to prove...studied hard and at the same point again had to cope up with the jokes of being a geek...however this time around i secured in every semester above 9.3 and guess what ? with the best grade (A+) in maths..hence went till 6 semester in engg...

I was topping charts and then came placements season in 7 semester...got thru 2 comapnies...but then came the harsh reality...low packages...recessions etc etc....got a notion again...MBAs are paid highly in India...gave CAT without any decent preparation in 2011 with a really intelligent friend of mine...she got 99.XX and almost all good colleges...for which i was proud of her as she hadnt been placed till then but had been trying so hard for her placement and CAT at the same time..I howerver stayed at 89 and consloed myself...i did this without studying....then came some happiness...i finally got offerred for an all expenses paid 8 semester research scholarship in Germany...tht made my parents proud like anything..first kid from the family to go abraod..and tht too on scholarship!..Did my projeect..came back and was given gold medal for being the branch topper at the convocation and was with those really few friends of mine who actually cared (and most of whom were not even from my branch.. but became my flatmates..and thorughly enjoying with them my last 1.5 years of engg)..

CAT 2012

After a good German summer, the reality dawned upon me...enough of enjoyment dude...what about job now? I had given up one of the options already and the second one wanted me to join in september in ahmedabad where my aunt lived...my cousin..who was excellent in commerce and did her CFA as amongst toppers in ICFAI...she advised me..why dont u give CAT...i thought to myself..she must be kidding rit..CAT is not an option...i just returned in second week of june,,,and CAT will be in October..how much time do I have? besides I dont even know anything of commerce...but what other option do I have?..low paying IT job wont be what i want to get into (I am not a CS engg afterall and i dont know if i wud be able to excel there)...however during my stint at the college i ensured my interest of gaming was alive and participated in basic animation workshops of autodesk 3Ds max and other such advanced workshop...however it was there that i met a professor who taught us entrepreneurship development, who made me realise after looking at my interest in gaming to why not make an own enterprise in gaming? It just struck me...the positives..there have been so many children like me who would love to pursue this career...negatives...I dont have tht high technical knowledge, neither the resources nor the know how of how to do business as such?...realization...maybe its MBA afterall, I should go into International business or operations (being the only branch tht actually is universally applicable for any comapny and is involved in actual making and delivering of the product!)..maybe i can work in such a comapny...take some experience and at the same time get some capital as well!...but all this was too far ahead...its just 4 odd months and there are 2 lakh aspirants...i dont know if i can do this...so reluctantly, on my cousin's persuance...i joined this coaching institute which i hadnt even heard of...this institute ,was differrent..I had to give CAT my best shot however at the same point of time not only get engrossed in studies just like i did in my 2 sem in engg..so i had to be differrent as well...i wasnt knowing how to say it or tell it...but then during the orientation by COO of this institute...i just heard that word...i had to be "Street smart". I took a totally different outlool for CAT...while most people went after solving maximum questions...i went to knowing how to leave questions...(didnt have much time to prepare too right? ) i tried to understand tht at the end of the day, its not attempts that ,atter (it took me 15 online mocks to realise that) but actually the accuracy that matters. I tried to be hyper selective in studies...few topics are always less no matter how hard u prepare...5 major ones bein - numbers, PnC, Probability, Coordinate geometry and special coding patterns...similiarly verbal too required either very good grammer with lots of previous reading (which usually engineers dont posess)..like differences in advise,advice...ingenious,ingenuous etc ... or u should be good at LR and RCs...i knew reading novels is a luxury i cant afford and DI too had quite some logic driven caselets that are hard to crack...so what do i do..how can I be street smart enough here?? I decided... I shud ccover these topics superficially in quant (just basic formulas and already known techniques of remainder finding etc in numbers , patterns etc..because anywyas on that day , these clicking is anyone's guess)...and similiarly lay higher stress on parajumbles and do keep on readin 4-5 RCs a day ( coz they along with LR , which comes easy to engineers in most cases can make up approx 24 odd questions of section 2)...and as fro DI (which usually has 9 questions out of 30, I decided to do only first question of each set (making 3 questions) and just glance through other 6 questions and try only if i can create a proper link). The remaining quant , however, had to be thoruough..so i ensured i went through last papers and mocks i gave and kept myself reinforcing in time-work,TSD,Sequences, normal geometry,Quadratic,Inequalities etc. and these would make up approx 23 odd questions (including DI ones of course) and can happily glance thru other questions and try if i can do them or leave them peacefully.....

The D- DAy - 31 October...CAT 2012

So I had a perfect strategey..however CAT is known to throw surprises...this i learnt on the day of my paper...I went thru the quant section..and after 50 minutes of perseverance I realized.. I have just done 14 questions in quant section...so again i was faced with a dilemma...to got thru the guesses and do 5-6 more questions or to do 2- more questions and move to next section...my brain told former...and gut..the latter..(attempts vs accuracy...here we are again.. :P) so there i was , at the end of 1st section...i had made just 17 quant attempts ...then acme the verbal section and as always..owing to loads of RCs I had done...started off with 2 RCs..finished them off quite swiftly..and glanced thru grammer..answered 1-2 questions, went to LR...answered 2 sets but the third one was tricky...wasted 7-8 minutes and now there were choices...either the RC and 2 PJs left or this full logic set of 4 questions...time left- 8 minutes...fine..PJs started...completed both in 3 minutes...5 minutes for an entire RC!! This was gonna be challenging!..went thru...last 3 seconds...n finally attempted the last question in total disarray...came out realising I had made 24 attempts in verbal which seemed OK...however...then came the discussions..and it turned out everyone was happy..and i was hearing people saying they had made 55 , 53 ..etc attempts in my ears...i realized...my attempts ..17 + 24 = 41!!! So CAT will test my underlying principle beleif of Accuracy over attempts...and I had the bad feeling..I might have been wrong all along..

Results - 10th January 2013

There had been other exams and everything else I gave... i was prepared for the worse...what more could I have done with less than 4 months of preparation, I was atleast smart (or so I thought)...whatever it may be...I will accept it...I gave it my best shot..5 AM in the morning (i had slept at 2 becaus of anticipation) i get up by messages of people askin my results in CAT...and then keyed in the loogin at prometric - result -

Verbal - 98.56,

quant - 95.66

overall - 98.36

Was i amazed? U bet I was! Was it luck ? maybe ...Did my approach work? (Hell yeah! )

I was finally happy...this was amongst the most clinical preparations I had made.. I knew battle is far from over...thereare GDs n PIs n all...I also got thru NMAT with 211 score...SNAP hopwever was at 93.56...start the GD prep ..but that story is for some other time...as of now.. converts include

IIM KASHIPUR,VGSOM IIT Kgp ,DoMS IIT chennai, IMT G, TAPMI,SIBM-B,SSBM,LBS (fin), NIRMA,NMIMS (BM,CM,bang,Hyd but NOT core)...got waitlisted in NITIE(difficult to convert though),SIIB and still expecting results of - baby IIMs, IITs (except mum)

I dont know if this would help anyone, I dont know if MBA would help me later in my goal itself!.. however, i applaud ur patience for actually going thru this all but the only thing that i can tell as far as CAT is concerned is..guys its not that tough to clear cat..u only need to identify ur strengths and WEAKNSESSES as well (so that u can leave those questions just like there a few deliveries to be left alone in cricket)...I hope the future test takers excel in the exam (however, CAT is just the first step..but as the say "well begun is half done!")..I do owe my success to my parents who today are very proud of me , my friends at this institute who were there all the time besides me and worked for strainght long hours of morning 9 Am to evening 6 PM apart from our own individual studies...I am satisified with what I did..and once again sorry for such a lengthy post.. :P, I just hope it helps...and do give me ur opinions too

- hritik.sharma

  • 56 Likes   34 Comments
  • @ira123 : dont worry gal! Nervousness....confusion...its .... 03 Jan '14.
  • @ira123 : sprry bout that! Dont worry, had u not been con.... 30 Oct '13.
hritik sharma @Anonymous 401
@ira123 : dont worry gal! Nervousness....confusion...its all that which adds to the charm of this preparation...beleive in urself and u will excel for sure!!
hritik sharma @Anonymous 401
@ira123 : sprry bout that! Dont worry, had u not been confused, i wud have been surprised, CAT is one such paper which is the most unpredictable and if there's anyone who says that he has nailed the CAT, trust me, is most probably bluffing! Dont worry, u gave it ur best shot, m sure u will sail thru!
“My dad is never going to give my hand in your hand, if you do not do MBA.”
And this is how it all began.

The Reason:
I scrapped the idea of M.Tech and thought I would do an MBA. But, what does the abbreviation stand for? I knew I have to appear for CAT. I had a preconceived notion that CAT is one of the toughest exam conducted in India. But, how to prepare for it? From where I can start preparation? What if I try and fail? I was in 3rd year in an engineering college. I would be getting a job in an IT company. I would get a 6 digit salary per annum. Then why I need to go through this hurdle?

The Flashback:
I feel that CAT prep is not the hard work of one year. Rather, it is a preparation right from the starting of your childhood. That is where I lagged. I was not serious about my studies ever. I scored pretty well in my secondary, got 83.63% and the after-effect of my joy was seen on my higher secondary results-73.8%. Even till the first year of my college I was out of focus. In WBUT, it is tough to get CGPA anything less than 7.5 and I got 7.47 and 7.29 in my first two semesters of first year. But, someone, whom I still rate as my best friend I ever got in my life(so what that person is no longer exists in my small world) changed my life and I started getting more ambitious and scoring more to end my college life as a topper. I got 9.54 in my last semester and even though my first two semester's scores were so poor, I ended with the DGPA for my Engineering life with 8.69

The Dawn:
CAT 2008: Paper-Pencil based test. I appeared for it. Did not even know how many sections are there and what the meaning of percentile is. Still was able to solve few RCs, LRs, Quants. But, what the hell these people are asking in Verbal Ability? I left almost all of them very casually. After the exam was over, I was like “Oh! I have given CAT, the toughest exam.”After a few months got the result: 42.37 %ile. Now this is like aweeee! How could I get so less? It's definitely going to be CAT 2009. After all I have to be an MBA.

The Journey Continues:
CAT 2009: I started preparation in full fledged. I Joined Career Launcher, one of the best coaching institutes for CAT (at least in Kolkata). The weekend batch started and as the day was progressing, I was getting more confidence.CL park street was 3 hours distant from my house. Every Saturday I had to wake up at 5 am to catch up bus, then train and again bus to attend the morning class at 8 am and again on the next day evening classes till 9 pm and then returning home at 12 am. But, I liked it. Even sometime I had to attend some extra classes and I went straight to CL from college after travelling 4 hours. These days were definitely golden days of my preparation. Gradually the D-Day came and I was nervous. I could not sleep well as there was so much pressure. Moreover, it was an online test. CAT has become online from this year. But, it smoothly passed. I was confident that I would do well, at least get 85%ile+ as I already bought two forms-IISWBM, IFMR. I know these two are not IIMs. But, nevertheless not that bad too. This time around I also prepared for JMET and XAT. But, I always knew, it should be CAT which is going to save me. A month passed by. Result started pouring in.
CAT- 87.XX %ile, XAT-67.99 %ile and in both I got very poor score in Verbal. Still, there was some hope. I should get calls from the schools and I got them. I was in sky high. I knew I would do well in the interviews as I practiced so well. But, my fortune was not that great. Just few days before my interviews my mom was severely ill. She had back to back two major operations and whatever money my dad saved for my study was no more there and I did not have clear picture about bank loans. So, even after getting the calls I could not attend them, as I knew I could not make it this year. All my dreams were shattered. I lost all hopes. I joined IT industry to support my family. I had no other options. So, I decided for one more shot next year.

The Re-try:

CAT 2010: I did not join any mock test series this time. There was a lot of work pressure in my company. I could not even study hard as I used to study last year and in no time D-Day came. I still feel I was reluctant about MBA this point of time. So, I did not take it seriously. I did not appear for any other entrance test other than CAT. Finally it was the result day and I screwed it once again-61.XX%ile. I was shocked. It's true I did not work hard. But, my exam was not that bad. Still I got a call from IFMR, the only b-school I filled form. I attended the interview and I was grilled by the interviewers. They started asking me about very basic things on derivatives, limit, functions and I still remember I was not able to answer a single question. Each time I was silent, they were insulting me like hell. One of them just abused me “Kahan Kahan se chale ate hain namune”. I was still able to maintain my calm and had a smile in my face. Before I left, they asked me if I wanted to tell something even after this humiliation. I responded- “Sir, even Sachin Tendulkar gets bowled out on a day that does not belong to him. That does not mean he is not the greatest batsman in the world. It only means the day is not belong to him” and I left. I was so sure; I would not get a call. But, I was surprised to see I converted my first ever b-school interview. I was on sky-high. Finally, I am going to do MBA, the dream of mine. I was so happy. But, the entire scenario got changed. Suddenly, I came to know the reason behind my MBA is never going to be successful. So, I decided to leave the chance and rejected the offer. What would I do with an MBA, if the person for whom I was doing this will never be mine? It was around April-May-June. I will never forget those months. Probably the worst phase of my life. I detached myself from everyone. Everything seems so vague and untrue. Tears have dried up on my eyes. I was almost dead. I had nothing to do except crying each and every moment. But, I will never forget a friend who changed my life even in this worst phase- Dipanjan aka Love_CAT. I still remember his long phone calls in this tough time. He is the only one who convinced me to go for MBA once again; but this time only for myself!

The Comeback:
CAT 2011: I started the season with all my efforts. I Joined TIME, CL mock series. I was desperate to do MBA again, but for me, myself and my family. I decided to go home once in a month to give more time in my studies. I left my previous paying guest and was staying alone in a flat near my office so that I can give more time in studies. I was indifferent about anything outside. I can still remember, I had a session with Mr Gautam Puri(CL) on Park Street and I was getting late. I tried to catch a bus and it did not stop at the bus stop as it was fully loaded with crowd and I ran after it and somehow caught it with only one leg in the foot step and there was a truck standing beside the road and I had a clash with it and fell down into the road and got fainted. I was so lucky that I was not rolling into my right side. If that would have happened, I never got the opportunity to write this today. When I was awake, I was feeling severe pain on my lower abdomens. I was not able to walk properly. It was a dangerous clash and I was severely injured on my lower belly. My shirt tore off. I was bleeding. I did some first-aid and still went to attend the session. That is the kind of zeal I have for MBA. I knew God has not snatched away my life, so there has to have a reason and that reason is he wants me to see successful. He wants my dream to be fulfilled. He wants me to complete my MBA. In the mean time I got onsite opportunity twice and I rejected. This time around my project manager helped me a lot. My relationship with her was just like a bro-sis. I was infrequent in office this time around. She used to help me a lot even in my studies. I started reading, practicing quant problems in office; discussing vocabulary with her. My entire work load she evenly distributed among my peers. I can still remember just before 10 days of my CAT, she told me “Why you are coming to office? Did you forget you are having cat in 10 days? Go home and study. I will manage.” I am so much thankful to her. Gradually the D-Day came and I did well in quant once again. I Attempted 23 in quant. But verbal again played with me and I attempted only 16 questions - 9 from LR and 7 from verbal. I knew once again, just like every year, every MBA entrance exam; once again I screwed up my chances. The other exams came and went. So, Report Card Season 2011:
CAT: 95.86 with QA-98.XX and VA-77.XX
XAT 2012:50.28, SNAP – dinged, IIFT –dinged, NMAT-dinged.
I Got calls from IMT Ghaziabad and IMI Delhi. Interview went well. In fact, I was so sure I would get a call from Ghaziabad. I got converted in IMT Ghaziabad for DCP. But, I wanted to do finance. I was dinged from IMI Delhi; converted IMI Kolkata. But with due respect to both the colleges, I wanted something more. So, I decided for one more shot- A last try.

The Last Fight:
CAT 2012: Before I started my preparation, I made a promise to myself this is going to be my very last shot and I will not let anyone or anything to screw it. This time around I was trying to improve my verbal ability skills. I started reading books, reading newspapers daily. It helped me a lot. Then come the mocks. Enrolled with IMS and CL. Mock scores were far better than previous years from the mock-1 itself. I was becoming more confident. But, work pressure was increasing day by day. I tried my level best to maintain a balance between my work and my study. In the meantime I got another opportunity to go onsite. But, yet again I refused. I do not want to avail any shortcut to get money. I want to earn it. I want to achieve my goal. I want to enjoy my success. So what I failed four times. Who knows one more try and I am done! The D-Day was approaching. I decided to move on from my current company as I needed to study more during the last month before Cat. I wanted a new job desperately. Even I got one and decided to resign. Even if I would not have got the new job, I had to resign. I have given all my days, all my nights; left on sites; forgot friends and parties; did not celebrate birthdays. When people were busy in looking around beautiful girls rather hot chicks during Puja days, I was busy doing mock analysis. I have given everything this year as it was everything or nothing for me this time. I wanted to make sure that there is not a single thing that I could do and I did not do. Even I deactivated my facebook account to save time. Even I started not going home for months. I was all alone with my studies. Finally the day arrived- 31st October, my cat day. I wake up early and went to the centre. I was really feeling the heat of the day. Through pagalguy I already came to know quant section was getting tougher and verbal was moderate. I was still confident that I would do well. Started pretty well attempted 20 out of 30 questions in quants and started the second section. But, here came the pain. I stuck into one LR set and it snatched more than 45 minutes from me. Only 25 mins were remaining and I started doing verbal questions. I did 6 LR and 8 verbal questions. Then it was only 10 mins remaining and I had to make a call whether I would do RC or I would go back to the LR and again try it. I knew I have already screwed my second section. So, I can still screw it more. I Started the LR set that I could not solve earlier and finally solved all the 3 questions of the set. So, the risk got pay off. But, I knew it is never going to be enough as I always screw in verbal and since last five years I never cleared verbal cut off in any MBA entrance exam. Still I believe I am better than what I am getting on paper. So, with only 17 attempts on second section, I still hope to clear the cut off this time, whereas people on average have attempted 20+ in this section. Anyway, the other exams were yet to come and this time I was not lethargic at all. In the mean time I joined my new company. I tried my best and appeared for NMAT-all three attempts, IIFT, SNAP, and XAT. Although, some went good, some went bad, but still I believe the joy of clearing CAT is never going to be same for any other exam. So, for me if I am doing an MBA this year, that should be after clearing CAT.

Breaking Dawn part-2:
Now, standing in front of you people, just before my cat result, I hope to do my MBA this year. Once you are just a step away from your success, you tend to think negative things, get tensed. What if I fail? What if I succeed? What if I finish just before the finishing line? What I will do then? There is a very thin line between your success and failure. Only hard work won't put you on the other side of the line. You definitely need some luck. But, is it only luck? I don't think so. But, what if all hard work goes in vain? From the very childhood, we are taught "Fortune favours the brave!" Am I brave? Yes I am. But, will fortune favour me? Only fortune knows! 2012 A year of mixed bag- Awards, Failure, leaving on-site opportunity, job change, hard work, midnight oil burning, sacrifice, fight! Now, it's time for pay back! 2013- A warm welcome to you! Be mine! My lucky 13!!! \m/
I do not know whether I will fail once again or not. I do not know whether all my dreams will be destroyed by cruel destiny or not. But, one thing I can confirm, I have given my best shot; I have given my 100 percent. It does not really matter whether I would get a call from IIM, it does not matter whether I would get calls from any other top 20 institutes, but what matters is I have enjoyed my journey in these five long years. I have seen ups and downs. I have seen people changing their attitude with times you get success and you get failure. May be this is the end. May be I am going to get settled for something less than what I deserve. Maybe I'll not do an MBA in this life time. But, the journey I have enjoyed in last five years will always be with me till my last breath. I always wanted to write something on this holy thread since last five years and finally the long wait ends today. I read the best story in this sacred thread many a times - story of “the_hate”. It also inspired me a lot. Sometimes, I feel jealous of you. You have your “reason” throughout your journey and even after your success with you. I wish I had some luck of yours mate. I wish I had “the reason” of my MBA with me today to enjoy my success with me or to happily accept my defeat. But, not all your wishes get fulfilled. That is life.

Finally, I would like to finish this long story with a very short message to the readers. The message that changed my life:-
"Let me tell you something you already know. The worlds aren't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.You me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that!" \m/


Edited on: 17/04/13 Reason: A small update on results


CAT '12 : 95.20%ile

Calls: IMT Ghaziabad, IMI Delhi, NMIMS Mumbai, FORE Delhi

Converts: All

Joining: IMT Ghaziabad

All four calls, for which I appeared are converted! It looks 2013 is mine.

Finally, the long wait ends. After all my hard works, struggles, failures, pressures, broken dreams in last couple of years, finally I am through. Many a time my fate cheated on me. But I kept on fighting... fighting with myself. Many a time I have seen success very close and then lost the battle. But, I did not quit. The reason why I am still awake, the reason why I am still fighting, the reason why I am still alive. Yes, I did it. I will pursue MBA

When I read the first conversion mail, I started crying. I was not in me. I was not able to express my feelings. Still I do not know why I was crying. Anyway, this is not the end. This is only the beginning. Getting a chance is tougher. Sustaining in this rat race is the toughest challenge. I am happy to take the challenge!!!

P.S: Thanks to God, my family, my Grandfather(who is not here any more), my friends, specially Love_CAT who always stood by me even in my tough phases of life. I would like to dedicate this success to all of you who stayed beside me and yeah... also to the person who did not believe in my abilities. \m/


Signing off.
  • 98 Likes   16 Comments
  • All the best. :smiley:. 30 Apr '13.
  • If finance then i think nmims is a better option...overal.... 30 Apr '13.
PGDM Finance, IMT Ghaziabad
Omkar Parab @Omkarp 44,066
All the best.
saurav kumar @saurav205 1,189
If finance then i think nmims is a better option...overall cost i think will be more but nmims still a better option....btw congrats...inspiring....:)

Finally I am penning down my thoughts, my experience……. It is an attempt from my side to motivate and instill confidence into those who think that they can't do it.

I remember when I was preparing I needed inspiration and after every failure I had to find ways to motivate myself to get going……. cracking CAT/XAT was not easy for me for I was not the gifted one, I was just an average person and still am.

I never had the percentages which could help my case to stand out…… with bare 74.6% in X and 78.6% in XII I did what everybody else was doing i.e. took admission in engineering (some private college in U.P.). Before sending me to study engineering my father told me that 'don't get too comfortable here coz this is not a big deal, everybody is becoming an engineer you have to try to be something more' and with that thought I started my life in engineering college…… 4 years of pure bliss.

Coming onto CAT, during my engg. I was campus placed in 3rd yr itself n so all the tension and future worries were gone but I always wanted to do something more …… MBA was the easiest option at that time since one had to crack a simple exam called CAT in which they asked basic maths. So I decided to give CAT……

2005: my very first attempt at CAT n I managed to score 90 % without much preparation…….. WOW suddenly I was a celebrity in my college coz all those who joined coaching classes and studied day n night failed badly, only 1 person managed to secure more than me (94 % and he joined IIM L 2 years later)…… This first attempt 90 % gave me confidence that with some preparation I can do this, I can crack CAT……

2006: So there I went to delhi and joined a reputed coaching institute and delayed my joining, 6 months in delhi and I enjoyed life, my mock scores were not good but inside I knew that come D day and I will pass with flying colors but that was not to happen and I managed only 67 % ....... my confidence turned out to be my overconfidence and I went to Chennai n joined my MNC software company (on 16 Jan 2007)…..

My third attempt at CAT was while I was working in Bangalore. Here I met few like-minded people who became my pals in my pursuit to crack CAT. I was enjoying the city and my work and did not prepare much this time either and managed 92 %....... some consolation after 67 % that I can do it but need more hard work….. 1 thing that i realized is scoring 90 is easy but from 90 to 99 is a different story altogether......

My fourth attempt and by this time pressure was mounting from friends and family members, I studied hard and was sure that this is it, I am going to crack CAT …… D day arrived and with tons of pressure on my head I started the test…. 1 hr gone and I start feeling uneasy…… few more minutes and trouble starts in my stomach…… like 3rd world war is going on in my stomach, I had done only QA and DI sections and started VA, 5 minutes in VA and I can't hold it any longer ….. 15 minutes before the bell rings I left the examination and headed towards the loo ……… bad bad day. Result 91% in CAT..... Managed to get decent score in SNAP and bagged 2 calls….... Could not convert both…..

Disappointed, dejected, morale at all time low……

Fifth attempt: This was going to be my last attempt but I decided to try something new this time and not follow the beaten path, I did lots and lots of planning, identified my weak areas and started working on them…… tried meditation to improve my concentration, became a regular at PG…… for the first time I started prioritizing things and managing time better……. My social life went for a toss, no time wastage, I started using my time better, work at time of work and study at time of study, My manager and Team leader and friends also helped me…..

Mock results were good this time and I always managed 90+ %...... D day came and with full confidence I went in….. CAT was OK, XAT better, screwed JMET and SNAP…….

Results XAT 97.17 and CAT 97.34…… only 75% in VA which is hard to believe (prometric was tht u who screwed me this time)

Calls from XLRI PMIR, XIMB, Great Lakes and GIM……. Converted all 4 ….. took XLRI PMIR :)

Long story short………

X 74.6% XII 78.6% B.Tech 70.0%

No. of attempts : 5

CAT 2005: 90

CAT 2006: 67

CAT 2007: 92

CAT 2008: 91…….. rejected in GD/PI by SIBM Blr and SIIB

CAT 2009: 97.34 , XAT 2009: 97.17……… Converted XLRI PMIR , XIMB, Great Lakes, GIM

Currently alumni of XLRI ……

  • thanks for sharing your story...indeed it is inspiring....... 18 Jul '13.
AIW-CAT http://www.pagalguy.com/forums/cat-and-related-bschools/all-wanted-speak-about-t-2933/p-51356/r-3699659 My XL GD/PI exp http://www.pagalguy.com/forums/xat-snap-iift-and-others/2010-xlri-pi-experiences-bm-and-pmir-t-50632/p-1910499
ankur singh @ankur34 33
thanks for sharing your story...indeed it is inspiring....how much experience do u have?? and how did you find time for preparation while working?i am a cat aspirant and find it very difficult to prepare....

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