Aah.. Atlast, my marathon post has completed. Well, it is devided into several posts to fecilitate easy re...
Aah.. Atlast, my marathon post has completed. Well, it is devided into several posts to fecilitate easy reading. Hope it helps all CAT aspirants out there.
During my engineering second year I have decided to take CAT. Basically I dont know why i wanted to go that way. but some reasons I could think of are,
1. a very decent pay 4-5 lpa
2. comfortable life for me and my family
3. the challenge the CAT poses
4. I am tired with my tryst with technical courses
So, I have started gaining information regarding management education in India. Soon, I figured out the need to crack CAT to have any chances of entering into a b-skool. After some more investigation found that, lots of reading and good maths/calculation skills are necessary for cracking CAT. I have decided to improve my verbal abilty, communication skills and business knowledge to considerable levels before i can attend any coaching classes.
Subscribed to BW 3 year offer in late second year. then started reading reader's digest, India today and other books. All the while also tried to do reasonably well in my acads.
Came december 2001 and I have decided to go for coaching. There is no choice available in vizag at that time. So, joined in TIME for cat 2002 coaching. Daily in the morning 6-8 used to attend those classes and used to feel proud for doing something extra. In the first 4 months nothing improved. just classes and some sectional tests. Never ever we were tested with actual papers. Then came the summer vacation. Convinced my parents and stayed back in vizag so that, i can attend classes as well as take some tests. But I have absolutely no plan or no idea of the amount of work to put in to crack CAT. Neither i am sure about what colleges i want to apply and what is it i am looking for in the whole ordeal. 2 months were a breeze
Then the academic session started. not that i study for the exams, but we have to do 2 projects in final year, and the pressure is building up. Basically i like to do my work for myself. so, slowly i started takin my project seriously and by the time it was september, i had lost my position in mocks. ranks in AIMCATs camedown to 300+ and settled there. But I have always maintained them below 500. somehow i had a strong feeling that, i can crack cat if i maintain my ranks belwo 500. Apart from CAT, I have considered other options such as FMS, IIFT, XLRI, IRMA, NITIE and JMET. That is a cross section of colleges. But I was desperate to do mba right after graduation and applied to this many colleges.
Apart from the regular TIME Material, I have xerox'd some IMS papers and did them off and on.
Well, at last the d-day came.
as usual started of with verbal. But since my verbal is the weakest link of the chain, i spent considerable amount of time in that section and did almost 40 questions. By the time i am done with it, i was already 50 mins into the test.
quickly rushed to quant section. And if any one of you seen the CAT 2002 Quant paper, you know what i am talking here. that section was tough. But Quant is always my streangth. So, did it for full 40 mins and attempted some 27 questions there.
only 30 mins left. Started doing small DI sets. Again if you look at CAT 2002 DI paper, you know what are these small sets are. They have some 7-8 sets each with 3-5 questions. on any day, one can attempt 30+ there and get away with a score above 25 easily. But since i have managed to mis-manage my time, i could do only 19 in 30 mins. But, i thought that, i can score well there, because, in TIME AIMCATs 19-20 was always a very good attempt rate. Very less did i know that TIME AIMCATs DI/VA is very differant from original CAT DI/VA.
After the exam i felt that, i can get atleast 2-3 calls. All this illusions are result of my poor understanding of cat and lack of overall perspective. I have assumed that, i can get a score above 58 which is what TIME predicted as cutoff. Again this is due to my poor analysis of mocks/aimcats. I dunno what my accuracy is, what my strike rate is usually like....
... Contd in next post
Today the MBA entrance season conculded for me. I am now committed to a B-school and a decent one at that. I look back at the journey and it’s been interesting to say the least. It all started in 2010, when I went to the IMS at Sohrab Hall, Pune and took a counseling session. I paid that female at the desk to enroll me into a 2-year MBA prep course which should lead me to the hallowed portals of a top 10 B-school. My study partner was my girlfriend, so it didn’t work out so well. We sometimes went there, had a vada pav and came back without stepping into class. Those days were different; careers were the last thing on our minds. I later made up my mind to enroll into a Masters course in the UK, so CAT 2010 was attempted out of compulsion and boredom. Randomly marked the options and finished the exam in 3 minutes. Ended up with 15 Percentile. Giggled when I saw the score.
Came back to Delhi after graduating in April ‘11. Briefly flirted with GMAT. Joined IMS South Campus (Delhi) again, but hardly went for three classes. The girlfriend followed me to Delhi, and studying was still not on the top of our things to do. We talked a lot about our respective careers, but that didn’t translate into any studying whatsoever. Went unprepared for the CAT, used my brain, ended up with 85 percentile. Came excruciatingly close to TISS, but missed out. Promised myself I’ll be back to TISS soon. Hardly any calls, the season ended with disappointment and frustration. I went with what my heart said and started studying for CFA-Level 1. Cleared it soon.
This time, the girlfriend shifted base to Mumbai, so I thought I’d be less distracted and will write a kickass CAT. That assumption fell on its face soon enough. Teamed up with a close friend and started going to TIME at Connaught Place regularly. That time had a different feel to it, studying at libraries for hours at a stretch, then spending time at Khan Chacha discussing B-schools, the occasional beer at My Bar in Paharganj. First came the NMAT, three attempts, reached upto 207, narrowly missing the 209 cut-off. But NM being NM, glad I didn’t make it there. Then the CAT, got too nervous in the days leading up to the CAT, had a very very bad quant section. Ended up with a very bad score (let’s not get into it). IIFT was great, missed out by a mark or two again, heartbroken. SNAP was another disappointment. XAT was decent, felt I had done enough to clear the VA, DM and overall cut-offs for XLRI, but quant was going to be a close shave. Results came in, touched the 96th percentile, with 99+ scores in both Verbal and Decision Making, but a miserable 32 percentile in quant meant that XLRI was to remain a distant dream. I looked at my quant score and despite studying purely quant for 5 months, I ended up with that. I laughed repeating Ramadhir Singh’s “Beta, tumse naa ho payega” in my head.
January started and the last days of Delhi winter brought with them some good news. First call was from SPJIMR, the girlfriend jumped when she saw. Then SIMS, then TAPMI, then SP Jain-MGB, then TISS, then MICA. The season held promise now. Travelled a lot during Feb and March, and loved every bit of it. Same suit, same shirt, same tie, everywhere. GDs and PIs were supposedly my strength, so I wasn’t too tensed. Just touched down at Mumbai airport on the 14th of Feb when a friend told me that SIMS was in the bag. I wasn’t happy, but it felt good to have a strange sense of relief. Coming back from a holiday to Goa, I found the IMT Ghaziabad interview on Feb 19 interesting and a lot of fun. (Read the experience here: JokaShoka s post in IMT Ghaziabad 2013-2015 GD-PI Experiences : PaGaLGuY Forums ). Then came TISS, the school with a difference. I spent days reading the planning commission’s Yojana Magazine and articles on India’s social problems.Must have read more than 200 essays in the days leading up to the process at the TISS campus. It was probably the most productive reading I was doing in months. 14th March came, I feel in love with the TISS campus, but my interview got over in a snap. No problems, but they just didn’t give me any time to explain myself. Maybe they had already made up their mind.
On 21st of March, a friend got an email from IMT-G getting him PGDM-IB. From that moment onwards, frantic refreshing of my Gmail page started. Around the afternoon, I got an email from IMT-G saying I had been selected for the PGDM-FT 2013-15 Batch. I was overjoyed, ran downstairs to tell my parents, spent an evening with my girlfriend on Skype eating a congratulatory chocolate. The uncertainty, frustration and wait had ended, I had a top20 B-school convert in the bag. Researched a lot, spoke to so many people, and finally decided against MICA. TISS made me wait a lot, only to give me a bad kick in the “bread-basket”.
Calls: SPJIMR, TISS, IMT-G, MICA, TAPMI, SIMS, SP Jain-MGB
Rejects: SPJIMR, TISS
Joining: IMT-Ghaziabad Batch of 2013-15
My Two cents: Don’t make these exams an obsession. Don’t make it a purely capitalistic decision. Learn to laugh at your failures. What you end up with, might not have been your first choice, but once you make it to a B-school, make sure you take it by storm and use these 2 years to be who you want to be.
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 wa...
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.
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.
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 )
Hey puys! I am not a great writer and maybe not that perseverant as well as so many people on this thread have been. However , i think, owing to the sanctity of this thread and to contribute my least bit in fulfilling its purpose of existence, I still would like to give my experiences of CAT..however this is gonna be one marathon post (for which i apologize, because i still dont know what i am doing is right or not, but would definitely like to get ur opinions...however...only after i have made the entire background clear....)
Flashback (till CAT 2011)-
This is after my class 12th exams got over...I have been an ardent visual gaming fan...be it samurai video games, tekken large format consoles or the recent computer games..i have always had this one thing been intriguing me. So, i figured, why not make a career out of it... i had heard just like most of us that in India , engineers and doctors are paid heavily and u enjoy a luxurious life etc. etc. My parents, however had been very kind in never forcing me to do anything (infact my dad had warned me before itslef that science is a difficult stream and i should think about commerce...but being a kid then and having secured 84% in Xth with top two subjects being of maths (91) and science (86) , i figured... "I ACCEPT") So went in with science and screwed up my 12th with 68.8 percent on board and 3 long months of holidays standing right in front of me and no engg entrance exams done well on my part (because i joined coaching in 12th itself and had school + coaching from 7 AM to 9 PM...but excuses are for losers, arent they?) Fine, if engg is what it takes, I thought I would damn well become an engineer (but in computer science ONLY)...took a drop...went to KOTA ( :P) and then started preparing..working hours and hours and came into top 150 student which was a big jump from being 450th student when i entered these coaching classes....everything was going on smoothly...but then cam 1 month of terrible disaster...chicken pox..all studies gone haywire..(again, no excuses... it happens to everyone, right?)..so gave the exams......came to know about an entrance exam by SAE university and Assam university JV in India for getting admitted into Visual game designing and development...gave it...got 50% scholarship...but soon the happiness died out coz my dad wasnt convinced with the infrastructure as well as the conventional (B.A.) degree...and i dont blame him..he only wanted the best for me... results of engg exams came...cleared in a reputed private college and failed at all other exams so came the dilemma... I was offerred a non CS branch in the private college ....tried going to local engg colleges..."4 Lac plus donation and he can get into IT" was told to my father right on my face......i decided..i will go to the reputed private college because thts what i earned on my own rather than asking dad to donate money like water.. One good thing, I could upgrade my branch to CS in this college if i score a well GPA (above 9) as first year is common here...my dad loved maths (topper at his time)...and i almost had a killing ego for being very good at maths so i figured i will do well in engg (its maths and phy only rit?) in my first year and get upgraded to CS...hence came firs year...i became the guy who stayed in his room..or in his class..studyin all the time...being made fun of for not enjoyinglife in one of the most chilled out campuses of india...but then i had self beleif..i have my own reason for doing this, isnt it?..then came first sem result ...reached 8 GPA..went into 2 sem thinking ..i need to fight a little more and became a proper tensed 'geek'...result..on the very day before my Maths II exam...i fall sick...vomitting...and finally giving the exam...it was all over... i knew it when i gave the paper..dreams shatterred...its not meant to be...results came... i flunked in it... GPA..6.7... , ask for revaluation (internals - 40/50..which is excellent in engg..but in the exam, missed by a wafer thin margin).. immeidately applied for retest..passed...but as per rules...given the lowest E grade...and so my CGPA went to around 7.8...time came for upgrades.. and it turns out, i can get into 14 of the 16 branches but for CS and ECE..i was in a branch tht was considered as the lowest..being mocked off as well in college...i can take 13 other branches..hell..they r not CS...so i sat one night going thru the course content of this branch and CS to my astonishment i cleared quite a few misconceptions..CS was filled with programming, mathematics, circuits etc..and this branch with graphics, photoshop, advanced C++ (including animation) etc.... I had applied to get upgraded in 5 other branches but thought..this branch right here, has atleast some connection with gaming while all others r fancied and tough to crack as well...next day morning on the last day...asked for withdrawing from upgrades and persist witht this so-called "underdog" branch..when i was home , i knew i had hurt my dad for gettinf flunked in maths...and i wud be hearing a lot from him..he just said.. "It's Ok" and i saw tht dissappontment in his eyes...
I went bak...1400 KMs from my home to the college..now with a point to prove...studied hard and at the same point again had to cope up with the jokes of being a geek...however this time around i secured in every semester above 9.3 and guess what ? with the best grade (A+) in maths..hence went till 6 semester in engg...
I was topping charts and then came placements season in 7 semester...got thru 2 comapnies...but then came the harsh reality...low packages...recessions etc etc....got a notion again...MBAs are paid highly in India...gave CAT without any decent preparation in 2011 with a really intelligent friend of mine...she got 99.XX and almost all good colleges...for which i was proud of her as she hadnt been placed till then but had been trying so hard for her placement and CAT at the same time..I howerver stayed at 89 and consloed myself...i did this without studying....then came some happiness...i finally got offerred for an all expenses paid 8 semester research scholarship in Germany...tht made my parents proud like anything..first kid from the family to go abraod..and tht too on scholarship!..Did my projeect..came back and was given gold medal for being the branch topper at the convocation and was with those really few friends of mine who actually cared (and most of whom were not even from my branch.. but became my flatmates..and thorughly enjoying with them my last 1.5 years of engg)..
After a good German summer, the reality dawned upon me...enough of enjoyment dude...what about job now? I had given up one of the options already and the second one wanted me to join in september in ahmedabad where my aunt lived...my cousin..who was excellent in commerce and did her CFA as amongst toppers in ICFAI...she advised me..why dont u give CAT...i thought to myself..she must be kidding rit..CAT is not an option...i just returned in second week of june,,,and CAT will be in October..how much time do I have? besides I dont even know anything of commerce...but what other option do I have?..low paying IT job wont be what i want to get into (I am not a CS engg afterall and i dont know if i wud be able to excel there)...however during my stint at the college i ensured my interest of gaming was alive and participated in basic animation workshops of autodesk 3Ds max and other such advanced workshop...however it was there that i met a professor who taught us entrepreneurship development, who made me realise after looking at my interest in gaming to why not make an own enterprise in gaming? It just struck me...the positives..there have been so many children like me who would love to pursue this career...negatives...I dont have tht high technical knowledge, neither the resources nor the know how of how to do business as such?...realization...maybe its MBA afterall, I should go into International business or operations (being the only branch tht actually is universally applicable for any comapny and is involved in actual making and delivering of the product!)..maybe i can work in such a comapny...take some experience and at the same time get some capital as well!...but all this was too far ahead...its just 4 odd months and there are 2 lakh aspirants...i dont know if i can do this...so reluctantly, on my cousin's persuance...i joined this coaching institute which i hadnt even heard of...this institute ,was differrent..I had to give CAT my best shot however at the same point of time not only get engrossed in studies just like i did in my 2 sem in engg..so i had to be differrent as well...i wasnt knowing how to say it or tell it...but then during the orientation by COO of this institute...i just heard that word...i had to be "Street smart". I took a totally different outlool for CAT...while most people went after solving maximum questions...i went to knowing how to leave questions...(didnt have much time to prepare too right? ) i tried to understand tht at the end of the day, its not attempts that ,atter (it took me 15 online mocks to realise that) but actually the accuracy that matters. I tried to be hyper selective in studies...few topics are always less no matter how hard u prepare...5 major ones bein - numbers, PnC, Probability, Coordinate geometry and special coding patterns...similiarly verbal too required either very good grammer with lots of previous reading (which usually engineers dont posess)..like differences in advise,advice...ingenious,ingenuous etc ... or u should be good at LR and RCs...i knew reading novels is a luxury i cant afford and DI too had quite some logic driven caselets that are hard to crack...so what do i do..how can I be street smart enough here?? I decided... I shud ccover these topics superficially in quant (just basic formulas and already known techniques of remainder finding etc in numbers , patterns etc..because anywyas on that day , these clicking is anyone's guess)...and similiarly lay higher stress on parajumbles and do keep on readin 4-5 RCs a day ( coz they along with LR , which comes easy to engineers in most cases can make up approx 24 odd questions of section 2)...and as fro DI (which usually has 9 questions out of 30, I decided to do only first question of each set (making 3 questions) and just glance through other 6 questions and try only if i can create a proper link). The remaining quant , however, had to be thoruough..so i ensured i went through last papers and mocks i gave and kept myself reinforcing in time-work,TSD,Sequences, normal geometry,Quadratic,Inequalities etc. and these would make up approx 23 odd questions (including DI ones of course) and can happily glance thru other questions and try if i can do them or leave them peacefully.....
The D- DAy - 31 October...CAT 2012
So I had a perfect strategey..however CAT is known to throw surprises...this i learnt on the day of my paper...I went thru the quant section..and after 50 minutes of perseverance I realized.. I have just done 14 questions in quant section...so again i was faced with a dilemma...to got thru the guesses and do 5-6 more questions or to do 2- more questions and move to next section...my brain told former...and gut..the latter..(attempts vs accuracy...here we are again.. :P) so there i was , at the end of 1st section...i had made just 17 quant attempts ...then acme the verbal section and as always..owing to loads of RCs I had done...started off with 2 RCs..finished them off quite swiftly..and glanced thru grammer..answered 1-2 questions, went to LR...answered 2 sets but the third one was tricky...wasted 7-8 minutes and now there were choices...either the RC and 2 PJs left or this full logic set of 4 questions...time left- 8 minutes...fine..PJs started...completed both in 3 minutes...5 minutes for an entire RC!! This was gonna be challenging!..went thru...last 3 seconds...n finally attempted the last question in total disarray...came out realising I had made 24 attempts in verbal which seemed OK...however...then came the discussions..and it turned out everyone was happy..and i was hearing people saying they had made 55 , 53 ..etc attempts in my ears...i realized...my attempts ..17 + 24 = 41!!! So CAT will test my underlying principle beleif of Accuracy over attempts...and I had the bad feeling..I might have been wrong all along..
Results - 10th January 2013
There had been other exams and everything else I gave... i was prepared for the worse...what more could I have done with less than 4 months of preparation, I was atleast smart (or so I thought)...whatever it may be...I will accept it...I gave it my best shot..5 AM in the morning (i had slept at 2 becaus of anticipation) i get up by messages of people askin my results in CAT...and then keyed in the loogin at prometric - result -
Verbal - 98.56,
quant - 95.66
overall - 98.36
Was i amazed? U bet I was! Was it luck ? maybe ...Did my approach work? (Hell yeah! )
I was finally happy...this was amongst the most clinical preparations I had made.. I knew battle is far from over...thereare GDs n PIs n all...I also got thru NMAT with 211 score...SNAP hopwever was at 93.56...start the GD prep ..but that story is for some other time...as of now.. converts include
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
And this is how it all began.
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...
And this is how it all began.
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?
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
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.
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!
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
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/
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.
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
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 ……
There comes a time in everyones life when his whole life flashes before his eyes, all the trials and tribulations that he faced , all the ridicule, all the suffering, all the dreams. For an olympian it may be before his final run, for a cricketer , the final ball,for a soldier a fi...
There comes a time in everyones life when his whole life flashes before his eyes, all the trials and tribulations that he faced , all the ridicule, all the suffering, all the dreams. For an olympian it may be before his final run, for a cricketer , the final ball,for a soldier a final attack on an enemy post for me the moment came while staring at a computer screen which read CAT 2011. It was my day of reckoning , yes it will be my day.
Painfully introverted at a young age I took refuge in studies to mitigate my loneliness, I thought I could be a little happy if I managed to make my parents happy by doing well scholastically, but alas that was not to be. In class 6 I started having itching and watery eyes which made opening my eyes horrifically painfull leave alone studying. Infact by 14 yrs of age I knew more about doctors than a 25 years old person. Adding to my misery I started to lose vision in my left eye, thanks to an ulcer. A timely intervention saved it, but if that was not al,l I started to have painful attacks of asthma regularly. My only solace in those dark days was my parents and my elder sister who loved me unconditionally,and instilled a belief in me to never give up. Keep fighting is what I told myself as I struggled for each breath while studying the night before my class 10 maths board finals. I did well in boards , 83% was a decent one , but more fulfilling was the feeling of not giving up and an Extraordinary Determination award from my school to show for it.
Things started to look up gradually ,as I grew up. I became more confident as my disease started to retreat , IIT was always my dream but I never had the confidence to go after my dream, after all was I not ill, it was the biggest mistake of my life . I should have gone after it. Anyways I got into a good enginnering college and studied mechanical engineering , which I liked. Even though I still had slightly poor vision in left eye, due to my better health and lots of effort I became more confident and extroverted. I also got a job in a reputed public sector company.
The desire to get into an IIT never died in me , if not the prestigious IITs then the IIMs . maybe it was due to the desire to give my parents something to cheer about after the hardships they had faced for me. So began the journey for CAT 2006
CAT 06 : I was in the final year of my college , CAT was all I could think of , I used to give some section tests, even though i was decent in quants , my weakness was DI/LR. Verbal was always my strength , and I performed well in it.I was hardly managing to clear di/lr cuttoffs, verbal was never a problem. The D day approached I was confident that If I could clear the DI cutoffs , I would sail through. I wrote the test(it was a pencil based test back then), I quickly went home and checked the answer keys of various institutes, quant 48 out of 100 , predicted cutoff was 35 to 40, great, now came the dreaded part DI 28 out of 100 , predicted cutoff 25 to 30, thats borderline I thought, I had crossed the biggest hurdle, I am through, I was happy.I casually checked my verbal score grinning widely, after all it was my strongest area, 1 out of 100 , predicted cuttoff 18 to 23. I was devastated how could this happen to me . I cried and cried and cursed the CAT people . Final results confirmed my worst fears
Cat 06 overall 78 %ile, quant 96%ile, di 92%ile, verbal 36%ile( score 1 out of 100)
The dissappointment and a new job was enough ammunition for me to skip CAT 07.
CAT 08 : My health was quite good now and I was in one of the toughest areas in my jobs(in steel sector), but there was a sense of frustration creeping in my job, I was constantly criticised by my boss for flimsy reasons(atleast this was what I had felt) The job satisfaction had evaporated. Also CAT and I had some unfinished business. I became so disilusioned by my job that I ran away from the company and went to my home. I would never ever work for this stupid company , thats what I thought, I resolved to work harder for cat to get into an IIM. My mock scores were decent , but not extraordinary, but I kept on working , but the fear of failure and a possibility of being forced to join back if I flunked in cat was taking a toll, the pressure reached its pinnacle on cat day and I flunked the exam. DI proved to be my nemesis.
Cat 08 overall 94%ile, DI/Lr 65 %ile
CAT 09, 10 : Having been forced back to my job by circumstances , I started to work. The hoplessness due to my past , the rigorous work pressure and my sensitive health was starting to take its toll, I became depressed, ate very less and completely ignored my studies, I became weaker and weaker and had very little energy to study after such a rigorous shift , I slept for most of the time, trying to forget my dreadful job and repeated cat failures. As obvious I flunked cat 09 and 10, It was over I thought , cat dream was over for me. After my cat 10 results I even wrote a suicide note for myself, but the thought of my parents stopped me from taking the extreme step.
Cat 09 : 79%ile cat 10 86% ile
CAT 2011 : It is said that dawn comes only after the darkest period of night. I had lost all hope of doing something worthwhile in my life I had resiged myself to my fate and moved on with life like a zombie, But then a miracle happened, sensing my dejection my mother came to live with me to my city. She was dumbfounded at first by my condition, but then she slowly started to give me the confidence I badly needed. She rekindled the memories of the fighter in me who had given his boards with a severe asthma attack and managed to come out triumphs. I started to feel good about myself again and started working real hard . I also slowly started to enjoy my job , but in retrospect I believe that was due to my new found confidence rather than the job itself. This time unlike my previous cat exams, I concentrated equally on all sections . I solved whatever questions I could lay my hands on. I think I must have solved about 100 full length tests by the time I took cat 2011. I instilled a sense of discipline and regularity in myself. Again life had a twist in store for me , first in the month of february 11, I met an accident in my plant in which I fractured my left foot. I still remember the pain running up my plastered left foot whenever in sat up to solve problems, but the fighter in me just would not stop. I rested only when my pain became unbearable or the swelling became terrifying.
I was progressing well , by september my mock scores were consistently on the range of 97 to 99 % ile
It seemed that I was on the right track but my past cat experiences instilled a lack of faith in my abilities, but these were demolished by the hope of my mother.
Fate played a cruel joke on me
15 days before cat I had a severe attack of asthma . I almost died , but managed to reach the hospital on time and was in the ICU for 2 days.Was this my end , I thought, lying inside the ICU. Apparently not, I slowly recovered and even though I was very weak I managed to reach Bhubaneswar for my exam.
The D DAY : I had seen it all , my previous cat attempts were enough for me to not get overly excited about my exam. But this time around I was calm , not at all nervous, I knew that CAT was not the end of the world , seeing death from so close had helped me put things in perspective, it just an exam afterall.
The test started, this time my hard work was seeming to pay off, I was solving one quant question after another, during practice I had exposed myself to so many questions that I was not at all uncomfortable, luckily for me DI was in the quant section and was slightly easier , these things helped me to do better in section 1.
In section 2 verbal was a bit dicey but I did not get perturbed and tried to focus on solving one question at a time . Atlast the relentless practice was paying off. I finished the most important exam of my life with a feeling of content. It was my best CAT so far, but will lady luck finaly shine on me , that was the question.
The night before the results I was nervous to say the least , another failure would have completely destroyed me , my mother saw my nervousness and calmed me down. On the midnight of 11 th january I checked my result, the server crashed due to the traffic and at 2 30 in the night I finally got an access to the website, I typed my name with trembling hands, followed by my date of birth. The pdf file gradually opened and what I saw was pure ecstacy.
99.40 % ile it showed
section 1 97.6%ile and section 2 99.18%ile
I blanked out for a moment. I had done it ,I had cracked cat, I had achieved it. I woke my mom up and told her the news. It was the happiest moment of my life, all my suffering was finally being rewarded.
I was not a failure, I had given my parents something to cheer about.
My journey of this cat was a long one and so is my post, I dont intend to bore you or boast of my achievement. I just want to help future aspirants in instilling the belief in themselves that whatever bad may happen to you dont lose hope. Afterall isnt the audacity of hope the best thing in life.
Rahulcctv123 : NITIE BATCH 2012- 14
CAT 2011 : Overall 99.40
Section 1 : 97.6
Section 2 : 99.18
Calls : IIML, IIM RRRKUT, FMS, MDI, NITIE, IITB, IITD, XIMB, IMT
CONVERTS : NITIE,MDI,IITD,XIMB,IMT
WAITLISTED : IITB
REJECTS : IIML, IIM RRRKUT, FMS
JOINED : NITIE, MUMBAI.
By this time, I had completed my B.Com. So was eligible for CAT. The first time I heard about CAT is when my mother advised me to take it. I searched more about the exam. Found out about IIMs, their illustrious alumni, the campuses they boast of, the respect an IIM guys commands from his relatives, friends or colleagues. Another target was set to get into IIMs. It was almost after 6 years, I was doing anything related to Quant seriously. Although didnt join any coaching or test series, because of lack of time during internship, secured a decent percentile of 95.xx. Didnt take any other exam. Still the main aim was to complete CA and not MBA. By the way, got a IIM S call, didnt apply to any Non - IIMs. Just wondered if a proper English Medium schooling would have helped more than a vernacular schooling to get better marks in Verbal Ability.
The internship was over. Meanwhile, the CA Final examination came. Cleared. Was happiest day in the life, not because of getting one of the most prestigious degree in India, but by the thought that now my internship was over and I will never have to open the CA books again. Filled the CAT Form again. Joined SBT 2010. Got to know about great people like Super Xero, the_hate Saar, Pendy Saar, Gabby Sir, Doc Saar. Learnt a lot from them. This time I applied to some other institutes like FMS, XLRI & S P Jain also. Meanwhile got selected in Futures First as a Gold Futures Trader in International Gold Market (COMEX). Sort of a dream job for me. The question of doing MBA again took a back seat. In no way, I was going to go for MBA in that year. Had FMS, K & SP Jain calls. Attended only FMS. Anyway, there was no chance I would have left FF experience for MBA.
PaGaLGuY has been really instrumental in my life. I got my first job (after CA) because of networking on PG. A Futures First guy on PG (Vivek.Varendra PGDT 200 forwarded my resume to the organisation. They called me for the selection process. Travelled all the way from Mumbai to Gurgaon. When I arrived at their office, saw a few IITians & NITians waiting for the process. Cursed myself for wasting few thousand bucks and time in the travel to a place, where I was any way not going to get a job with such a competition. Those who know FF, know about their Quant Heavy Selection Process, beating IITians was not my cup of tea. But I only thought so. At the end of the day, I was the chosen one. Felt satisfied that I have it in me to beat these IITians in a quant heavy process.
Futures First Experience was the Game Changer. Its full of IITians & IIMites. Everyone is intelligent and you have something to learn from everyone. The job is high pressure. Stakes are high. I was doing quite well. Not to boost of myself, but set a 1 lot pit record of more than 3k dollars in a day in the 5th month itself. Again beat my own record just after 2 months with more than 4K dollars in the 7th month. Markets were turbulent. America was downgraded by S&P;, a thing which didnt happen in the worst of the periods of 2008-09 had happened in 2011. Markets were volatile. Particularly Gold was playing havoc, with breaking all time highs. The environment was scary. After 8 months in FF I decided to call it quit, giving in to pressure.
I had to decide if I want to do MBA or not. I filled the CAT form. Came back to Mumbai and again joined the equity research department of the same brokerage firm. This time I was sure of doing MBA. This time or never. So filled top 10 colleges according to PaGaLGuY 2011 rankings. Cleared CAT with 97.12% with 89.97% in VA :oops:, enough to miss the IIM B Call by 0.03 percentile (remaining profile was as per their standard,may be better so the only hurdle was VA). Although received IIM I, IIM K & SP Jain calls. Meanwhile, XAT results were announced and received a XL BM call. Now I had 4 calls out of top 10 institutes, I needed to clear just one. The only strength I have is passion about finance field. My communication skills suck, my vocab sucks, my personality sucks and I am very bad at generic answers like Why MBA. So the task had been cut out to revolve entire interview about finance. First was S P Jain..a little bit of finance. Second was XLRI overall a decent interview but had just 97.8 %ile in XAT so chances were quite low. Then came IIM K, a very generic interview, in which I felt like walking out in between:sneaky:. The only remained was Indore.
Meanwhile, S P Jain results came in, I was waitlisted. XLRI came in and saw a reject and I was nervous. Second day after XLRI results I had Indore Interview. I was shievering. I had already screwed K interview. So this was my last chance. Actually nervousness helped, I became more desparate to convert this one. Also god listened to me and almost 80% of the interview went about financial. The moment I was out of the room , I knew if the selection considers only interview marks and not the CAT Percentile, this has to be a convert. K announced the list and I was again waitlisted at a high number. Anyway, after meeting those professors in K interview, I would never have liked to see their face again. Indore again give me waitlist. Meanwhile, S P Jain cleared and a few days back, Indore also cleared. So joining IIM Indore this year.
I am certainly not the best person to tell you how to write the CAT. I can just tell one thing that, its a circle. Prosperity --> Recession --> Depression --> Recovery --> Prosperity. Its applicable to economy. Its applicable to our life. You just have to survive the bad phases and make merry in the good phases !!
BSE Sensex was marching towards all time high and so was my life. But the future of both were in the dark clouds (okay exaggerating what happened to markets was worse than the life)
CA Internship. The most dreaded word in the CA Course. 42 months is not a joke. But if u want the qualification, u have to undergo this compulsory 42 months torture. I didnt join any Big 4 as I didnt want to start working 10-12 hrs per day even before completing graduation. So started working in a small CA firm in auditing & taxation. Like every other work, it was good for some time. But then redundancy started creeping in. Anyway, In audit, the end result remains the same irrespective of you do it sincerely or dont. Taxation I liked but didnt want to take as a career. Also when you ask your client, how much tax do you want to pay and then calculate his income accordingly rather than the other way round, you feel frustrated.
Meanwhile, the 2nd level exam (CA Inter) was done with and again secured an all india merit rank. Was not as happy as the first one but still it was a huge confident booster. By this time, my obsession for all india rank in CA exams died. The articleship continued and the life became more boring. Recession had creeped in. So overall mood was down.
BSE Sensex was daily making yearly low and so was me. But again, the fundamentals of both were strong and just a few good news were needed for both to bounce back.
Life had been good in childhood. Parents felt, their son should learn in his mother tongue (Not because they support sena or mns, but because both made it big in spite of their Marathi medium background). So joined a local Marathi school. Hardly used to be in the top 5 ranks in the class in the school exams, but always topped the school in every state & national level competitive exam came in my way. Just like every other Indian student, till ninth standard, everything was fine. No expectations from parents, relatives and most importantly from myself. :)
But then board exams for 10th standard came. Since I was not much interested in Acads, I knew , though I will do reasonably well but was not expecting any miracle. But the miracle happened and secured a merit rank in the Mumbai board. Topped the school when it mattered the most. And that was a surprise. The decision of choosing the stream one wants to pursue after 10th, is one of the most important decision in the life. I knew there exist 3 streams: Science, Commerce & Arts. Heard from people that one needs to study hard in science stream. So decision became easier. I had to choose between Commerce and Arts. Being a son of a chartered accountant, it became easier to choose commerce. At that time, I didn't know about CA etc at all. Neither the decision of taking commerce was based on the probability of IIMs giving extra marks to candidates from commerce background in their selection process. At that time, had not heard about IIM at all. :o
So just to minimize the studies, took admission in the one of the best commerce college in Mumbai. And 11th was a breeze of air. I really didn't have to study hard. Smiled at myself. 12th was also the same. Though a little bit more study than 11th , it was easily manageable. Then the reality started setting in. What did I want to do in life. Probably I had completed just 20-25% of the life, what about the remaining 75-80%? The news started coming in about my friends getting into IITs & NITs. Never knew the glamour associated with these institutes earlier. I felt, I have done a blunder by choosing commerce.:-( Seeing the friends who couldn't clear the first level of NTSE exam making it to IITs, I felt, being the NTSE holder, I had equal chances if not more to make it to these esteemed institutes. I felt I have done injustice to myself. Depression started creeping in.
Life is 100% Prespiration
I never found the CAT part tough. I was pretty good at QA/DI/LR and since VA was based on feel factor, I never needed to put in a lot of effort in prep for CAT. But now came the GDPI. A call is useless unless it isnt converted. XLRI...
Life is 100% Prespiration
I never found the CAT part tough. I was pretty good at QA/DI/LR and since VA was based on feel factor, I never needed to put in a lot of effort in prep for CAT. But now came the GDPI. A call is useless unless it isnt converted. XLRI had rejected me in the past and I knew the exact reasons and I had already made changes to my attitude. But, now what I needed was a hell lot of effort. I was always good at GD, essays and communications. I didnt want to take any chances and although.
I never believed in coaching, but for my GDPI prep, I joined Backspace Communication by Partha PPD at Kolkata. PPD is an IIM A alumnus and he taught me how to remain calm during the PIs. I also made some friends there who made it to top b-schools and we all were immensely benefited by PPD.
I did following for my GDPI prep :-
- Read TOI and ET every day.Also read the economists.
- Read NCERT 11th and 12th books for PCM, to defend my class 12th marks.
- Read Stats and lots of higher maths.
- Read 6 engineering subjects and did a lot of research on my work profile.
- Read a lot about marketing- almost read Kotler and a marketing blog.
- Read India Unbound, Argumentative India, The Goal, Liars Poker, Steve Jobs Biography and few other books.
- Read a lot about cooking to defend my hobby.
- Read the 2011 yearbook and became aware of all the events of last one year.
- Read GK, India, constitution, history and what not.
- Read about finance, Ops, HR.
- Made notes of every single thing related to acads and my profile so that I could revise them later
Most of the above things didn't help me directly but I was supremely confident because I knew that I was prepared in and out. Lastly, I was in a state of awakening all the time. 24*7 I was attending mock PIs in my mind, I introspected for days. I asked myself thousands of questions and always improvised my answers. Finally, I felt that I had developed the hard-working trait of my father. Doc and ThE_bmr helped me a lot with my SOP and I owe them big time.
Life is all about surprises
One day, I got a reply to my application to Futures First. I was shortlisted for the selection process, which was to be held around early Feb. I took a lot of help of ABCLIKS(Omkar) for this. I wasnt expecting to convert this considering that I had no connection to trading or finance. I prepared for 2 days and prepared smartly. I had good idea of the selection process and I thought of a good story to tell in my interview. I adapted myself for the process. There were 30 people attending the off-campus drive and one was to be selected. One by one, I cleared each round and in the final round, I was pitched against a CA, who also had trading experience. It was a lost battle but I tried my best and life is full of surprises. I cracked it. I was elated. I had a backup. I felt free.
Life is all around GDPI and Converts
I was really confident after cracking FF. If I could handle their stress interviews, I could handle anything. There was no scope of mistakes. I had to be perfect in each part of the process. IIFT was very short PI and I was doubtful but I was waitlisted, which would eventually convert. Nitie was good and again I was waitlisted, which would eventually convert. MDI was awesome, it was a convert but their selection process is a joke and a vestigial event.
Now came the big day, IIM C. I was very nervous but I did well in essay and GD. It was the only GD which I couldnt start and I didnt have a positive feeling about it. I was the last one to be interviewed and what I got was mere 9 mins of panels time, when initially they were interviewing for 30 mins. PI was too random and it appeared that the process was a formality. I knew that I had lost it. I was devastated. After all the effort, what I wanted was a fair chance. My heart filled with hatred and I vowed that this reject will be Jokas loss.
I had to give my best at IIM L and I did give. I was very happy with my essay, GD and PI performance. I feel proud of the way I handled the almost HR interview. Link : IIM L Experience
I knew that it was a convert but I had some doubts, thanks to my profile.
IIM results were out and I got rejected by IIM C. Reject by IIM L was a shock but after seeing the batch profile of IIM L present batch, I knew that converting it was impossible. I had little hope with the second list of IIM L.
I was all set to go to Nitie. FMS remained, but given the random GDPI process they have, I wasnt hopeful. I attended FMS process and it was 5 mins long. Thanks to my high CAT score, I converted FMS. I was elated. I made it to to top-5 b-school. Nothing can define the feelings I had at that moment. I am not a girl so I didnt cry.
Life is all about redemption
I went to FMS, took admission and was waiting for the classes to start. I was happy and I felt that even if I had IIM L convert, I would have joined FMS. Funny are the ways which the faith uses to test us. I convert IIM Lucknow in the second list. Again, came out the choicest of the words. With all the hoopla around IIM call criteria and converts, this is somehow the first reaction.
Slowly, I came back to reality. I had converted a big 4 IIM. One of the ABCL. All these years, the journey which I took was for this convert. The inception of the idea was an IIM tag. It might be too easy for someone else to choose FMS over IIM L, but it wasnt for me. I am a materialistic person and I was hungry for recognition, for brand, for a campus life. I was indebted to my parents and my father wanted me to join IIM L. He had forgotten that something like me screwing JEE ever happened.
Life is all about uncertainity
Now, I have joined IIM L. Unsure of what the journey ahead has in store for me. Presently, I am really happy. Not feeling insecure about my future with my lady. Soon, we will be engaged. Life will have its own ups and downs but one thing is sure that never, never will I give up in life. Never will I stop fighting. Competition is fierce, it always was.
If where I was can become where I am, then so will it become where I want to be.
Story is all about a happy ending
I want to thank my parents. It was never possible without the values they gave me. I want to thank my brothers and sisters, who always guided me. I want to thank my lady for always being on my side, for supporting me, for coping up with my temperament and for making me dream again in life. It all belongs to you.
I also want to thank Pagalguy for providing me the forum where I made such good friends.
Finally, I want to thanks the readers who stuck with this story till here.
If I can do it then so can you, just adapt as per the situations. Keep things simple and be optimistic. Being a cry-baby never helps because then one would never become confident as one always has to cry about something more which could have been had. Take mocks seriously and you need to crack a mock just once to realize that you have it in you. Then just focus on it. CAT is all about confidence level. If someone is calm and confident then nothing is impossible.
Start working on your profile and your weak areas. High percentile never ensures a convert. One reject can be blamed on luck but multiple rejects are ones own doing. Never ever give up. If you dont have the regret of not giving your best shot then whatever may come, you will be confident on D-day and during GDPI.
IIM Lucknow 2012-2014
CAT'11 : 99.87 (sec-1: 99.93 sec-2: 95.15)
Member : Pagalguy Dream Team 2011 and 2010.
Calls : IIM C, IIM L, FMS, XL PMIR, MDI, NITIE, IIFT, NMIMS
Attended : IIM C, IIM L, FMS, MDI, NITIE, IIFT
Converts : IIM L, FMS, MDI, NITIE, IIFT
* What we do in life echoes in eternity. *
Life is not all about CAT
This is it. I needed a plan B. I could see my one year getting wasted infront of my eyes. I wanted to improve my profile. I applied to few companies. Futures First being one of them. I started to focus on my work at TCS. I put in a ...
Life is not all about CAT
This is it. I needed a plan B. I could see my one year getting wasted infront of my eyes. I wanted to improve my profile. I applied to few companies. Futures First being one of them. I started to focus on my work at TCS. I put in a lot of effort and became a Project Lead in my very first project. In May, the Coolest Avatar' 11 was launched on PG. I was looking for something to distract my mind and something to add to my CV and so I made my mind on winning it. I put in a lot of effort, 3 weeks to be precise. Ultimately, injustice prevailed and I couldn't win it. (I am really thankful to team Puyrate for all the effort. In reality, we were the true winners.)
Coolest avatar was the best thing which happened to me in the year 2011. This blow brought me to senses and I felt cheated. I realized that everything is virtual and cracking CAT is only real. I used to spend way too much time on PG and it would be a waste if I am unable to crack CAT. A puy is a real inspiration only when he proves all his shared gyan true by cracking CAT, until then the gyan is only noise. I became inactive on PG and I had a lot of free time. I used all of it for my CAT preparation.
On the personal life front, things were not rosy. I was working in TCS and so was my lady. Her parents were putting pressure on marriage and it appeared that 2011 was the only year I had. My parents were also alone at home and my mother was having health related issues. I took the major step of convincing my parents to move to Kolkata, so that we could live together. Now, I had lot of responsibilities - preparing for CAT, Project Lead responsibilities at TCS, supporting my parent and enjoying life with my lady. Today, when I look back, I realize that I did hell of a job at multi-tasking.
I joined TIME and CL. I also got SIMCATs for free. Mocks were going fine and just because I was doing great at my Job, I used to feel a lot secured about everything. I was regaining confidence. Had it not been for TnT, I would have never joined DT'11 but finally, I felt that I owe it to DT'10. I had to redeem my honor. Again met some really very smart people, Smarep was the first one who had total faith in me. He always used to say that I'll do it. TnT was evergreen motivator and there was a time when my lady felt insecure due to the frequency of telephonic conversations, I and TnT used to have. In short words, we were addicted to CAT. Non-stop discussion on mock questions, performance, strategy, slot, chances. It was awesome.
Because of the new pattern of CAT, VA was no more an issue. I also solved a lot of GMAT material and memorized a lot of vocab. I also want to thank .Z. (kshitiz) for forcing me to join Simcats. But on the other hand, I was having serious trouble with Sec-1. I was rarely crossing 99 in sec-1 and I knew that in actual CAT, sec-1 is the only savior. Still, I kept faith and was in touch with the basics. I also knew that mocks percentiles are unrealistic because many people practice previous year mocks and get good at specific question types which gets repeated a lot in mocks. This leads to unrealistic percentiles and people tend to believe that they are prepared, when actually the basics aren't very strong and this is where all the game is in real CAT.
In between, IIM call criteria was released. IIM C betrayed me, it was also taking acads into account. I had to score atleast 99.8X if I was thinking of getting an IIM call. I started targeting 100%ile. Every single time, I told myself that the target is 100%ile.
People say that CAT is just a one day thing. I feel that CAT is a phenomenon. Life is divided between time before CAT and time after CAT. I have lived the CAT life 24*7. People become obsessed, temperamental, have fights, and decide major decisions in life just based on CAT. I would never say CAT is bigger than life but it becomes the biggest thing in life and it is then that a person, who is not born lucky, cracks it.
Life is all about D-Day
CAT'11 : Chose the 4th Nov, 2011 slot. It was Friday. One week before the day, I was very nervous and I caught fever. Appeared in an AIMCAT and a SIMCAT on two days before CAT and I couldn't clear any sectional in any of them. I went to write CAT with zero expectation but as someone said to me that I am overtly optimistic. In one particular Procmock, I had scored single digit AIR and I knew that I had it in me.
Section 1: 1st question, could not solve. 2nd question, could not solve (read it wrong.) 5 mins passed with zero attempts. Felt the pressure. Asked myself to be calm. Took a deep breath. Solved 3rd question then 4th. Attempted all QA questions, except 3-4 questions. Attempted all DI questions. Had 17 mins remaining. Attempted rest of the QA questions except for one. 11 minutes remaining with 29 attempts. Revised all the questions. Last 2 mins. 1 question remaining. This question was from Probability. It was my weak area and I hadn't worked a lot on it, but I always used to analyze the questions from mocks, suddenly I recalled a method and the answer was one of the options and the method made sense. Marked the last question.
Section-2 : I knew that I had nailed Section-1 and I could bet 30-0 in it. Only if I nail VA. Started with LR and finished it in 17 mins. Now, I had 53 mins for VA. I went very slow and analyzed every single option. I was running out of time. I attempted 29 questions and then revised, then I unmarked one question in VA and then timer stopped.
I was happy with my performance. I also did well in IIFT and XAT. I applied for NMAT, thinking that in a particular season, one exam is bound to get screwed so let it be this one.
Life is all about results
CAT 2011 : 11th Jan. Server was as expected down. I could literally listen to my heartbeat. Kept on refreshing the CAT site. Suddenly, the page started loading and a pdf opened.
Overall 99.87%ile (Sec-1:99.93 Sec-2: 95.15)
I had killed the CAT. Yes, I did it. For few people this moment is meant to shed tears of joy. I, on the other hand, was using choicest of words for CAT, Prometric and Normalization. After all this pain, I did nail those %*^&^$^#&%&%. I woke up my parents told them the results. The happiness on their face was priceless. I called everyone and got calls from many. It felt so good to see the happiness people shared.
I also did well in IIFT, XAT, NMAT(although, this was the one exam which I did screw.)
Life is all about calls
IIM A didn't give me a call. I never expected a call from IIM BIKS, and hadn't applied to the new IIMs and ABM programs of IIMs. Now, I was depressed, it was so painful that after all this effort and awesome percentile, I won't get IIM calls. As per my nature, I composed myself and convinced myself to crack any call I had. I had forgotten about IIMs, when in the evening, I got a call from my lady. I heard only "You got IIM C and IIM L call" and I went blank. It was heaven. I was desperate to convert my calls.
I also got call from IIFT, NMIMS (didn't attend) , XL HRM (didn't attend, OMR screwed my QA, so no BM call), MDI, Nitie, FMS.
There was the Cat, there was an aspirant, there was normalization. Story en..d.
It aint over yet.
This isnt a story which would inspire you to take a bhisma pratigya of Bhagwan jab tak CAT na crack ho jaye, seet-geeta ki taraf aankh utha ...
There was the Cat, there was an aspirant, there was normalization. Story en..d.
It aint over yet.
This isnt a story which would inspire you to take a bhisma pratigya of Bhagwan jab tak CAT na crack ho jaye, seet-geeta ki taraf aankh utha kar nahi dekhunga , or to become a maggu, or to leave everything on faith, but this is a story which confirms the fact that Billi ke ghar der hai andher nahi and is an eye-opener for all those cribbers who blame it on just luck for not making into IIM after all these years.
Let me put it this way. Its a Hard work wont go unrewarded forever Ver 2.0 story. (Courtesy : r11gupta)
Below is my profile and I cracked IIM Lucknow. I dedicate this story to people who are under-confident because of their bad profile.
10th : 90.2% ICSE
12th : 61.0% CBSE
Grad : 85.2% B.Tech from a random private college.
Work-ex : 20 months TCS.
Extra-currics : Have some but had no proof for them during the time of GDPIs, so almost nil at that point.
Apart from that PG Dream Team 2011 member, PG Coolest avatar 2011 runner-up.
After FMS 2012 interview, I and TnT were returning back to Kolkata. When our discussion came to AIWTSAC, none of us was too keen on writing one, considering that our journey was nothing extraordinary, but I stated that I would write my AIWTSAC, if I convert IIM Lucknow. That would be something extraordinary. So, here I am wasting server space of PG.
Life is 100% intelligence
I was born in a lower middle class marwadi businessman family. Home environment was of studies and studies, to prove this, consider that my elder brother cracked IIT with AIR 729, one elder sister is University Topper in M.Com and almost a CA and other elder sister is a doctor. I never knew what fun really meant. Got cable connection in class 9th and never had a videogame. My father is the most hard-working person I have ever known and my mother is most strong-willed person I have ever known. Sadly, I didnt inherit any of the two godly traits.
Till class 10th, I used to feel that I was born smart. I still hear the stories about how little I used to study and yet I used to perform great in exams. I allowed complacency to plant deep into me at a very early stage. I used to feel that with my smart preparation and good memeory, I could crack anything. With barely a fortnight effort, I pulled off a 90% in 10th. I was on cloud 9, my father put me back to ground with one statement, Your elder brother had scored 1% more with 10 times the effort you put in, but world will value him more. Little, did I know that my father was true, I was yet to meet really smart people.
To add, the greatest sin was already committed. My fathers theory was :-
1 IITian son + 1 IITian son = 2 IITian sons
And I was deported to Bansal Classes, Kota.
Life in Kota was the best part of my life. It was a big leap of faith. I got so lost that I completed a circle and found myself again.
Continuing with my old habit of optimizing time, I appeared, almost unprepared, in the first test at Bansal Classes, topped Physics. Got a under 20 rank in second test. Realized too early, that I was a born IITian and got complacent.
Life is 50% perspiration 50% intelligence
All the unfulfilled dreams of having fun, wanted a bonus bonanza. I started playing LAN games, watching movies, noticing girls and I also started bunking classes. Gradually, I stopped going classes and my results dipped. There were phases when I wanted to make things right but I realized that I wasnt as smart as I used to think or rather world is full of smart peoples who are also hard-working. I created a reality distortion field and convinced myself that I need only six months prep to crack JEE and Class 12th boards can be cracked in a week, same as class 10th. Long story short, I flunked JEE, studied night before the board exams and scored 61% in 12th (barely passing PCM by 2-3 marks). There was an abyss,1 light year of shit and then me.
I was in shock for months. The smarty pants of whom everyone in the family was proud, had turned into a bozo. My ego took such a hit and I got so under-confident and pessimistic, that I used to think of applying for clerk jobs. I could still perform magnificent during the high times but those times were rare. And after a year drop, I ended up in CSE branch of KIIT University. Uncertain of my future and hating my life to the core.
Life is 100% uncertain
Except for few people who ended up in college through AIEEE, everyone else was very happy with their life and was proud to end up there, so they all were in a vacation mode. I never got into acads but managed decent grades because of the below average competition at my college. But, I did read a lot. There were times when I would read Wikipedia for hours. For the complete first year life was black and white and there werent any subtitles. I was flowing with the stream when came the high tide. I fell in love and got committed to my lady. Now there was a motive, a zest to bring back the life onto track.
Not because that I had made it big in life, but just because my life had moved on a bit, I started to become the old person I used to be. My biggest strength is that I make Darwin proud. I can adapt to any situation. I introspected and realized that I had become emotionally very strong. The wind that had swept past me had made me fierce and hungry. I was gradually developing the strong-willed trait of my mother. Old habits die hard and I looked for the shortest route to freedom. The answer was IIM. One tag to wash all the dirt away. Boley to Ganga naha lena. People told me that I was insane and had no chance because of my profile. I always thought that there is one college IIM C which doesnt give a damn about pasts and I will target that. With such little hope, I started my journey.
Life is all about CAT
Now that I had some aim, I was in search of accomplice. Of the few smart people that ended up in my college, one was Ranjeet aka ThE_bmr. Since, our aims were similar we became good friends. My first mock, with zero idea about syllabus or exam pattern, was CAT 2008 paper which I downloaded from TF. I ended up with 148 marks and balanced sectionals. IsLife 100% intelligence?; nope I had my demons under control. I never liked the idea of coaching classes so I never joined one. I was appearing in mocks and was performing decent. I knew about PG though ThE_bmr but I rarely followed it. I just knew that there was this PG dream team which had awesome people.
CAT'09 : 98.01 No calls (had applied only for IIMs)
XAT'10 : 98.11 Calls: BM and PMIR. No converts.
FMS'10 : 297 marks. (no call)
JMET : 7XX AIR. (didnt apply anywhere)
Got placed in TCS as one of 252 other bricks on the wall from my college. Damn, I hated my life.
I attended XL interviews. I was a noob and I was so defensive of myself because of my past failures that rejects from XL were no surprise.
Life is all about hanging an IT tag around the neck.
I had experienced the monstrosity called Normalization in CAT09. I had seen the unexpected and brutal CAT result of DT2009. Was this uncertain CAT, a really good idea? I didnt want join TCS and I needed a concrete plan. College was over and I was at home preparing for job interviews. Got some rejects and I again realized the importance of hard-work over the years. Luckily or unluckily, my laptop broke down and I was in Kolkata to buy a new one. I came across TIME centre and involuntarily I went inside and got myself registered for AIMCATs. First mock after months and I scored 99.23%ile. The monster within had awaken from the sleep.
In between, I joined TCS and I used to hate every single minute I spent there. The life I had which I hated and the one which I dreamt of were my motivations. Now, I needed some other people with similar aim of cracking CAT. I got a string of 99.xx in mocks and The_bmr suggested me to apply for DT and UDT. I got active on PG and tried my best to help puys. I posted my nomination on UDT and after that I got my first DT nomination from Alex_Mahone (thank you sirji), who edited his original nomination post. Finally, I made it to DT 2010. I was elated. I felt as if I had achieved something after a long long time.
Season was bumpy and I made the mistake of joining only AIMCATs. I used to get dejected by my mock performances and since AIMCATs were of single flavor, I kept on getting worse and lost confidence. On the brighter side, I made some good friends- TnT, target_cat2010, DOC, techgodajay, .Z. etc. DT confy was fun and I still cherish those hours. DT11 never had the bonding which DT10 had.
CAT 2010 : I had appeared on 14th Nov, afternoon slot with DOC and TnT. Paper was very tough. I got the I am screwed feeling, the moment I came out of the exam hall. Results got leaked and I got 91.XX overall with 55.XX in VA. Normalization, thou art a heartless b***h. DOC and I were screwed in a legendary way. Because of my past deeds, I had developed a very high threshold and I was amused by my results. There was no pain but only the deep desire to take revenge.
My life, co-incidentally, has followed bottom-up approach. During my engineering days, with some like minded friends Amit & Aakash, I started a magazine Living in the City which still stays our best baby. Immediately, af...
My life, co-incidentally, has followed bottom-up approach. During my engineering days, with some like minded friends Amit & Aakash, I started a magazine Living in the City which still stays our best baby. Immediately, after that venture, I thought of doing an MBA because I always felt that any good business model needs some special skills to replicate it, so that it can work without your physical presence. I discussed about MBA Prep with some seniors and friends and joined IMS Meerut as a student in Jan 08. Found myself comfortable in Quant/DI/LR but always felt lack of confidence in Verbal. Decent Scores in Mocks with an avg. of 91-92%ile but Verbal remained a bottleneck for me.
Those who say luck do not matter; I have a lively example to seal your beautiful lips. In 2008, Verbal Section had odd 40 question while just 25 each in DI and QA, which gave an extra advantage to people who had VA as their forte, still I managed my score in early 90s with some bad 4x.xx %ile in VA Section while 95+ in other two sections. It was the time when I feared to attempt VA and devoted VA Time to other two sections. Somehow, I was lucky and I have converted IMT-N and SIIB in that season, my heart kept saying IIM it should be and I refused the offers.
Came summers of 09 and I was a graduate by now. Started delivering sessions for Quant and DI at IMS and other prep institutes and joined an advertising co. as my Infosys joining was due in Jan 2010. Starting putting efforts on my weaknesses, the phase was beautiful. I came to know about some online forums like PG, TG and started prep in a different way. During that preparation I developed habit of reading non-fiction and biographies; I met some really wonderful people like Simran, Aaquib, Subhankar and many more during same o9-days. This was a beautiful phase of transformation and learning.
CAT experimented this year too and we had to hunt CAT with Mouse, it became a Computer Based Test. I got some 92.xx but harbinger of satisfaction was my sectional scores were balanced with 8x.xx in VA and 95 around in rest. Joined Infosys in Jan 10, already had calls from IRMA, XIMB and GIM as I scored 97.xx in XAT 10 but due to my hectic schedule, distant places, non-availability of flights and many other such excuses, I could not go to attend these wonderful calls and my efforts went void.
At Infy, Mysore days were hectic, but pleasant. It was an opportunity to understand a huge business system for the first time and that too being so close to it. It was an exciting exposure to understand cross-state cultures, JAN-10-LC3 was a mere reflection of the nation we feel proud to live in. Fascination of sky scrappers and beautiful building at Infy could not lure me for a long. My MBA dreams were mine and I was living them every moment. Regret of not attending IRMA, XIMB calls was also creating pressure on me. After my training ended, I got Mysore but I swapped to get shifted to a city where I can prepare for CAT, where I can join the coaching to be regular and Pune was the city, destiny chose for me.
When, I shifted to Pune, it was Jun 2010 and just had a dream with which my mind and soul were inundated; it was the dream of getting into one of the best b-school of the country. Started preparing, but as unexpected, project work, team mates and everything around did not support at all. I continually gave it a hard try. Stole my time from everything I did just to prepare, futile. I just joined a test series as full time coaching was not possible when you work for 12 hours a day. Life was taking me on a rollercoaster ride. I started becoming unhappy as my work was coming between me and my dreams, I was so lost from myself. Came October, I took CAT and applied for sabotic leave, not joined Infy for many months because I knew that I have spoiled yet another CAT and cannot last longer, if I follow the conventional way. Everybody forced me and I rejoined Infy in January and started working there again. This was a period when I went mad about my dreams and read more than 70 books in 2011. When I was in Pune I was either kept myself busy in reading books or hanging out with friends or managing my business. I finally decided to wait till July, time when I completed my bond period with Infy and I immediately resigned.
It was the toughest decision but family and friends supported and I finally moved on. I came back home to prepare and with a wonderful team, we managed our business in parallel. When I study, walls, chair, table, and laptop everything sensed like it was Deja-vu for me. I prepared in the same way in 2009. I joined TIME CP class room programme to stay regular and hence, I traveled every weekend to attend classes there. I also joined CL Test Series for benchmarking. It was a lot to learn there even after I took CAT thrice. Vocab was still a problem for me as I have never felt comfortable in mugging things, so, I developed my own way and built a vocab base of 1500+ in few months. Mocks were also decent with distributed %ile in 70s, 80s and 90s and scored even 99.xx several times.
Life was on stake, it was a now or never situation and I filled forms of all good colleges except MDI (biggest mistake of my life). The D-Day, Nov 4 11, appeared, nothing special, it was alike all previous CATs but I followed one guru-mantra which I feel helped me somewhere Treat Mocks as Real CAT and Real CAT as Mocks. Felt well after CAT but you cannot predict a girl and CAT, so nothing on my expectations board, I just tried to put my best efforts in hunting the animal.
Then the season of results, calls and converts knocked the doors. CAT ditched many potential candidates, expected and unexpected happened on the same day. Felt bad for all my friends with whom I prepared, no difference in the prep methodology but I and few other friends were little luckier this time. Experience of attending GD/PI was awesome. It gave me opportunity to learn, travel across the nation, meet different people and find the keys to open the doors for my b-school.
Dropping the idea to join my dream b-schools like IRMA and XIMB was indeed difficult but I chose the option to join Marketing Mecca IMT.
My journey had nothing special. It is a simple voyage of a common boy who dreamed to launch himself. Life always takes a toll and there are no free lunches. Even, if its out of your hands, life keeps a balance and bestows what you dream but in exchange it takes away assets you already own.
I believe that there is a risk of slipping when you walk, falling when you fly. There is a risk in everything we do but not taking risk is the biggest risk.
It was my decision and I will stand on it, what ever toll life may ask for!
Roads ahead are waiting for the traveler inside me and I am ready to drive the vehicle I dreamed to own for last four years.
PS- To all those friends who are aspiring for this year, my warm wishes to you. May you get what you aspire for! And I really apologize, if this long read was not worth your time.
G\o d s p e e d
CAT - 96.9 %ile ( QA - 95.3%ile, VA - 95.15%ile)
IRMA - 88.25%ile
IIFT - 43.2
TISS - 44.5/100
XAT - Disaster in 70s
Total GD/PI Calls - 22
Calls Attended -15
Final Converts - 13
Rejects - 2 (TISS, IMI)
Closest Calls - IRMA, XIMB, IIT -Kgp, M, DSE, IMT G
Joining - IMT-G
My journey towards CAT and an admission is almost a straight driven process.. No twists and turns worth mentioning.. but would like to post the experiences in one of the sacred links that helped me immensely during my preparation.
It all started off as discussions with m...
My journey towards CAT and an admission is almost a straight driven process.. No twists and turns worth mentioning.. but would like to post the experiences in one of the sacred links that helped me immensely during my preparation.
It all started off as discussions with my frnds who were aspiring to pursue their highers and were seriously preparing for them. Being already placed in my 6th sem at Infy, neva dreamt of other job ( Infact knew very less how the life of a software engineer looks then .. was just happy to be placed and get a salary.. a typical mindset :nono:) . Paid for TIME coaching series along with couple of my room mates.. It was an awesome time , in fact the most happening time of my grad days.. College used to be shut down generally due to telangana agitations.. If at all college is opened, classes are a rare thing to happen..late night gossips..parties.. discussions..what not !! weekends to TIME classes and mock exams.. I have a passion towards competitive exams since school days.. so never took exams easily.. Mock scores ranged around 85-98 percentile.. Skipped some of the classes but never took easy on mocks.. Trust me, ANALYSING the mocks is a very crucial thing that definitely helps to improve(pehla gyan )
CAT went online that year.. but after the exam i was confident of scoring the similar way as in mocks.. It was 95.64 % and got a call from IIM-S.. I guess my strong acads also helped me in securing my 1st IIM call ( i still remember the day it happened ). Then enrolled for TIME GD/PI preparation.. It was a time when things started moving from OK to worse.. As said, was having a high time with frnds and completely neglected the preparation owing to sheer over confidence.. It was only when i dinged the interview that i realised how much i've gone wrong.. It might sound silly but wasnt that easy for me to get over the reject.. I felt i've let down myself by wasting a year long preparation with negligence and over confidence
Then went on to join Infy in a month.. Leaving some frnds at Hyd and taking some along with me to Infy :-P
Life @Infy is beautiful .. Seriously, ppl tend to say that it gets heavier with books , exams again.. but believe me , u get ample time to do all the stuff u would luv to do.. I would always say if u r a fresher, dont miss a chance to start ur career at Infy.. (Note the point "start" ). Got a call from IIM Ranchi in the middle of my training sessions.. attended but could not make it.. Dropped the idea of writing CAT2010 as i thought of giving myself some time to think and plan properly
By April 2011, became an active member in my project team @Bangalore.. It was a nice team to hang out with, being the junior most guy among them.. The only problem was with the timings as we were supporting applications for an US client we had to work in their timings
Now that i've got settled into a project, applied for TIME mock series again and to start off , the points i wanted to improve upon were
1. To increase the score compared to previous attempt.
2. To prepare simultaneously for the GD/PIs which i neglected last time.
Initially it was tough to adjust the timings as working from 2-11 PM for couple of weeks, 10 PM to 8 AM for another week.. and then manage time to write a mock almost everyday, analyse.. Go thru PG links for preparatory stuff.. Even referred Intermediate books for basics .. Go thru couple of newspapers, editorials and then get some time to sleep during daytime.. After an initial struggle, got habituated to the timings and managed time to prepare( after all it was in my interest that im working hard .. doosra gyann). As days marched by, preparation became intense and by the end of September , it was so intense that myself along with my roomie were reading random links and materials whatever came our way
The D-day came and was quite dissatisfied with the way i had given it ( probably bcoz of huge expectations that i had put on myself). Gave other exams as well IIFT, XAT.. But with a feeling that If i get a good score this time, i shudnt screw the GD/PI process, continued to keep track of newspapers and stuff( teesra gyann) .. When the results were out, it was around 12 PM in the night and we were able to open the link by 1 PM and i was like with the results.. It was 98.95 with both sections above 98.. quite relieving in fact..
The calls started coming in .. and finally after sorting them out. was like.. B,I,S,new IIMS,FMS,MDI,NITIE.. Got an IIFT call also.. which was my 1st interview of the season..
Was quite excited and continued my preparation.. Started attending the interviews .. I felt some interviews went awesome, some good, some disastrous .. The interview panels i met were like AWESOME.. It seriously surprised me that they knew almost everything on this world( atleast i felt that ) .... But my excitement started to drain when the results started to pour in.. with outright rejects even from those colleges where i felt the interview went properly..
Rejects do make us strong.. but initially it is always depressing..U need to take it.. same was the state of my mind too.. The way in which some of my frnds supported me thru out this is something i'll always cherish..
Finally after an year long anticipation, it was an MDI convert, which im gonna take it without a second thought..
If i was asked during my under grad, i would have said in a premature manner , 'no college other than an iim, ain't not gonna join' .. but now after getting into the process of preparation, discussions with peers,seniors and of course pagalguy.. im not going to leave an opportunity studying at MDI... after all what i need is quality education and peer group which am sure gonna get there:clap:
Things i want to pendown in my complete prep :
1. Work pressure always seems to be a hurdle for employees but, trust me, u need to start at some point so as to be in the race.. and start it ASAP.
2. Continuity is crucial in any prep.. Don't miss any timelines that u plan for urself.. just treat them as a pill specified by a doctor.. never miss it
3. Analysing the mocks is as important as taking the exams.. if not more..
4. No matter how ur exam went, don't lose ur track in preparing for GD/PI.. with this normalisation and stuff we never know what's in the store..
5. U get a call, convert it.. Don't let overconfidence take over you..
6. After so many rejects in GD/PI i aint gonna guide in that process there are many able puys here to help in that case :) but just one thing.. stay calm and believe in urself thru out the prep
PS: I believe am not that bad at interviews and fared well this year too :banghead::banghead: .. but we never know it in an interviewer perspective.. Stay strong and all the best for every1's preparations.. All the best
I owe a lot to this forum for such wonderful preparatory stuff.. and wonderful ppl guiding in every stage of the preparation.. Thanks PG :)
MDI 2012-14 it is
The Engineering situation
Well, everybody did that so gave AIEEE and enrolled myself in NIT Kurukshetra in 2006. I was a kind of bookish boy with little extra curics in school.
I started reading novels in...
The Engineering situation
Well, everybody did that so gave AIEEE and enrolled myself in NIT Kurukshetra in 2006. I was a kind of bookish boy with little extra curics in school.
I started reading novels in the first year and discovered the world through them. Reading became a habit, rather an obsession with me. Again, I skipped extra-curics, but did only co-curics. In the 3rd year, the engineering situation started bothering me. The technical profession seemed too stiffling to me. The though process is limited to the answer of yes/no.
Gentlemen, start your engines!
Lets begin with MBA preparations! Joined weekend classes in CL-CP. Was literally dejected everyday as saw people solving questions in micro-seconds. Still I trudged along and managed good mocks culminating in 96%ile in CAT. IIFT and XLRI did not call. Got SIBM-P call, didnt attend as I had a cushy job with an investment bank.
Making the history to repeat itself
2010 and I gave CAT again. 75%ile !!! Got calls from IIFT and XLRI. GDPI went so bad, that I would have myself rejected me. IIFT came up with results and my doubts were confirmed when I got a straight reject. Pinning my hopes high on XLRI-BM meant that the failure would hurt even more, as another reject was in store. Depressed and dejected. It may sound silly but the movie, Scent of a Woman kind of changed me. The ending speech by Al Pacino about integrity and a strong character inspired me.
The preparation conundrum
I worked to build my personality alongwith preparing for exams. The only thing that would occupy my mind is how to develop a robust, ethical and a wise thought process. This would help me not only clear my exams, but in the GDPI process also. Then in 2011, I gave CAT, XAT and IIFT. CAT again was below expectations 90%ile but XLRI and IIFT again called.
The IIFT process went exceptionally well. Essay, GD and PI all went well. In the PI I realised the importance of building thoughts through knowledge. We discussed about globalisation and other economic phenomena. It was great. XLRI-HR interview was also good. They asked me to solve the Eurozone crisis from an HR perpective! I say, this GDPI season went rather well.
The day came. IIFT results were to be announced. I was doing the same thing for 2 years. Bored. Hopeful. Scared. And confused. My father broke the news that I have been selected into IIFT-D!! Come on, a person who got straight rejects once knows the importance of a straight convert! I could savour the taste of victory and resigned then and there! Then came another good news. I got a waitlist in XLRI-HR, not that it matters as I dont want to study HR.
The very thought of doing what I have always wanted is what motivated me. I thought that I may drop a year and try again for IIMs, but hell, CAT is just a day in the bigger scheme of things.
The aspirant reading this, yes my friend, you, strive to become wise, think of a contradictory viewpoint and challenge everything. Think like a leader now to become one in future.
But well get to that part a little later. First of all, let me give you a short introduction about myself. Right from my childhood, I excelled in academics. To cut a long story short, I passed my Class 10th & 12th with flying colours, did well in the Engineering CET and landed in one of the premier engineering institutes in Maharashtra. After graduating as a Mechanical Engineer in 2009, I got a job at a reputed engineering & construction conglomerate. Till that point, I wasnt sure whether to go for an MS or an MBA. On one hand, I was a technically oriented person so I thought an MS would be the right choice, but on the other hand, I knew that an MBA would better groom me to handle managerial roles.
MBA Season 2011: Around 15 months into my job, I got a sort of an epiphany and decided that an MBA is the right career choice for me. But the epiphany came in a little late because by that time the deadline for the CAT forms had already passed. The only exams I could give that year were the JMET & Mah-CET and just as I had expected, I didnt do well in both of them. After all, I had started preparations in November. But at least I got a hang of giving MBA entrance exams...
MBA Season 2012: To ensure that I definitely make it to one of the top-20 B-schools, I decided I would take the CAT, XAT, SNAP & NMAT. I purchased courseware from Testfunda, joined the SIMCAT series of IMS and studied for around 3-4 hrs daily. Whenever I would get time at work, I would read some articles on how to do well in CAT (my personal favourite being the articles by Arun Sharma). I also found some of the articles on Pagulguy (especially the ones by Ravi Handa) very useful. I went through the usual process of filling up exam forms & B-school application forms. I took 16-days leave from work (on the pretext of my cousins wedding) before the CAT. However, by that time, there was a small part of me that knew that a 99 or 100 %ile was out of the question, based on my performance in the SIMCATs. But I still kept my hopes up and decided to give the final CAT my best shot. On the D-day (or C-day to be precise),I ended up attempting 43 out of 60 questions and hoped this would be sufficient to get me at least a 95 %ile which I hoped would land me calls from the IIT schools of management (JMET was scrapped from that year).
9th Jan 2012- Got a profile call from S.P. Jain, Mumbai (henceforth referred to as SPJIMR). Was excited about it but at the same time, I prayed that I would get at least an 85 %ile (which is the minimum score required to be eligible for interviews)
11th Jan 2012- CAT results were announced. I ended up with a shocking... wait for it... 85%ile. The first thought that came to my mind was GAME OVER... TRY AGAIN NEXT YEAR...!!!
Fortunately, my overall percentile and sectional scores were sufficient to get me an interview call from SPJIMR. I also did well in SNAP & NMAT (but not in XAT) so to summarise I had the following calls: SPJIMR, SIBM-Pune, SCMHRD, NMIMS-Mumbai & Great Lakes, Chennai.
GDPI: Now that I had 5 calls, I was confident that I would convert at least one so that I would not have to appear for CAT again next year. I put in every possible effort in preparing for the GDPI. I joined IMSs GDPI preparation batch, read a lot of current affairs online and from the newspaper, prepared answers to the usual interview questions (such as why MBA, strengths, weaknesses, etc.) and went for all but one of the GDPIs (skipped NMIMS as it is known for Finance and my interest was in Operations). All my GDPIs went well. As far as SPJIMR is concerned, I cleared Group Interview 1, appeared for Group Interview 2 and was shortlisted for Immersion.
Kahaani Mein Twist: Now heres the part where my story differs from most of the other MBA aspirants stories. Once the GDPI results were announced, I was shocked to find that I was rejected by SPJIMR & SCMHRD, was waitlisted by SIBM and had only converted Great Lakes. Although I was happy about having a convert and the fact that I wouldnt have to continue at my dead-end job anymore, I was deeply hurt at not having made it to SPJIMR (truth be told, I had fallen in love with that college after having attended their Immersion program). Unfortunately for me, the course at Great Lakes was to start in April, and by that time even my SIBM waitlist did not clear, leaving me with no option but to pack my bags and board the train to Chennai.
Great Lakes turned out to be 1000 times better than what I had pictured in my head. The infrastructure (in terms of classrooms and hostels) was awesome and the professors were simply great. I was happy that I had taken this decision of joining Great Lakes.
About 3 weeks into the course at Great Lakes, I received an email from SIBM offering me admission to their PGDM program (since the waitlist up to my no. had cleared).Now you would expect me to jump for joy and head out to cancel my admission at Great Lakes. But nothing like that happened. I did not feel even one bit of happiness. I just ignored that email and continued with my life at Great Lakes. (To this day, I am not sure why I reacted that way.)
About a week before I joined the course at Great Lakes, SPJIMR announced an increase in its seats from 180 to 240. This was actually supposed to happen for the next years batch but thanks to AICTE, it happened this year itself. As a result, there was a tremendous movement in the waitlists and a small ray of hope for rejected candidates like me that the waitlist would get exhausted and the rejected lot would start getting calls. Unbelievably that hope turned into reality. A week after I received and rejected the SIBM offer, I got a mail from SPJIMR offering me admission to their PGDM program. I cannot find the words to describe the excitement and elation that I felt in my heart. It was after a very long time that I felt such ecstatic joy. I was afraid I would get a heart attack with all the excitement.
The long and short of it all is that I accepted the offer from SPJIMR, cancelled my admission at Great Lakes, flew back to my home in Mumbai and decided to pen my experiences on this forum.
1.Have confidence in yourself. If I was never confident that my low score would get me into SPJIMR, I would probably have not done well in the interviews.
2.Learn to handle the anxiety and stress after the exam results and GDPI results are announced.
3.Be patient. Waitlist clearing takes a lot of time.
4.Shit happens. Just because you get a waitlist or a reject doesnt mean theres something wrong with you.
5.Never underestimate any B-school just because it doesnt feature in the top-20 B-school rankings.
6.Most importantly, believe in things such as fate and luck.
Finally, I would like to end by stating a line all puys on the SPJIMR thread used a lot: Hope is a good thing, maybe even the best of things. Dont lose hope.
The night before the exam, boozed heavily along with friends and partied out loud as the motivation for the exam had already dropped to zero after joining the company. ALmost forgot that I had an exam the next morning
On the C'day , went to the center with spinning head and hangov...
The night before the exam, boozed heavily along with friends and partied out loud as the motivation for the exam had already dropped to zero after joining the company. ALmost forgot that I had an exam the next morning
On the C'day , went to the center with spinning head and hangover and vowed to never ever appear for CAT Somehow finished with the exam and came back home and slept. Didn't tally my answers with the keys available as it hardly made any difference. When the results were announced, reluctantly checked it as I knew I would perform pathetic.
WoILaaAAA !!!!!!!! I couldnt believe my eyes... had a 95+ score
At that score, I could get calls from decent colleges which I had applied in the fit of motivation in pre-employment days ... managed to fetch decent calls and converted 2 of them but decided against to join them as I was happy with the job I was doing.
Quite an eventful year... CAT went online and the dynamics of the CAT prep changed and so did my loyalties towards my company and the job :biggrin:
The job was taking huge toll on me with erratic and long working hours. The night shifts were the icing on the cake. I decided that I was meant to get better things in life and fastened my seat belts again for this year. My normal routine was ...
10 PM to 8 AM - Office ,
10 AM to 3.30 PM -coaching classes,
5 PM to 7 PM - mock tests,
8Pm to 10 PM dinner and sleep and
10 PM back to office with bloodshot red eyes.
But I was determined to crack it this time and was giving my 100% and didnt care for the extra hard work and beatings I was getting physically due to this routine. On the days of evening shifts and weekends, I used to complete the quota of sleep which I used to forego on the other days. My flatmates and friends used to beg me to take rest or else I would break down and burn out in midway. But I had decided that till the time my body is permitting me to give my 100%, I won't budge and step back. Faked a month of jaundice in the office just before the CAT and gave final touch to my preps and appeared for CAT which was in a new avatar this time. The paper went on smoothly and started preparing for XAT which was my next target. Slogged heavily for XAT and on the day of exam, went to the temple before leaving for exam. XAT as usual was a super tough nut to crack and I faltered at many places in the exam and forgot about the differential marking in the mid of the paper. Somehow completed the paper and gave up hopes for that particular year.
On the CAT results day, the server was jammed and had to wait for 4 hours before finally seeing a score of 97. Was happy that atleast would get a couple of calls which I did get by virtue of my score. Screwed up royally in interviews and could only convert IMT-G . At that time IMT-G , with its student unrest over DCP program and strikes and all was looking like a bad option to invest money in. SOme of my friends in IMT-G also advised me not to go there as the situation might become worse. On the other hand, XAT gave me a delight by showing me a score of 98.8 on the computer screen .......
XL called and I went berserk :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
I knew cracking XL would be super tough as its famous for its stress interviews. I joined CL boot camp to prepare for them but was never really comfortable with the idea of stress
On the interview day, the worst nightmare came true when I was asked technical questions about my academics, was mocked left,right and center mercilessly by the panel. Though I tried my best but was not at ease completely and the doors of XL were closed then and there for me.
After the debacle and humiliation by XL panel, the rage inside me further grew up. Switched my company and joined a firm which was excellent in terms of work culture and pay structure as well. But the MBA bug was still itching in my mind and finally decided to again prepare for the CAT one last time. The relaxed work environment and my talent to keep off the work and assign it to others helped me to get plenty of time for preparation which I utilised in boozing and socializing .... somewhere in July, I realized that it was about time and I should stop fooling around. So there started the final journey towards CAT. Cutoff myself completely from the social world and devoted time for books and quizzes. Joined Byju and that helped me a lot for the pathetic quant skills which I had developed in last 3-4 months
Again managed to fudge the last year's fake medical repords by photoshop (changed the year) and claimed a medical leave of 3 weeks Fudging medical reports in an year is risky but doing it the second time is herculean but wo kehte hai na "everything is fair in love and war " :grin::grin:
Kindly do not try this ... even if you try that, do it at your own peril :nono:
The C'day arrived and gave a decent shot by all means. I was satisfied with my performance and was expecting a good score. FMS , i was screwed and missed IIFT predicted cutoff by 2 marks. XAT.... the insane paper was a nightmare and I tore the paper the moment i csme out of exam hall. That was the toughest XAT in the entire history of XAT exams .... and everyone felt the heat.
The next few days were spent in catching up with forgotten friends whom I ignored during preps, partying and fooling around.
The shock of my life came with the CAT results when the screen displayed a score of late 80s
Past two outings in CAT 2008 and 2009 gave me some hopes to improve in 2010 but a score such as this was totally unexpected. Normalisation did me in and now I understood why every year there is wide outcry after CAT results.
I was doomed. Family, friends , colleagues everyone started inquiring and here I was shamelessly uttering the sub standard score.
After a few day, XAT results came out and it was 94.xx% on the screen. That was a little consolation after the CAT results but on reading closely, the score in DM which happened to be in 60s spoilt the fun. As expected XL didnt call me due to my low sectional score in DM despite getting a higher percentile. Managed calls from GIM, XIMB and XIMB HRM, KJ Somaiya, TAPMI.
Converted all except XIMB and joined KJ Somaiya after proper evaluation of the options and analysing all the parameters and I am happy to say that I made the best decision of my life :):biggrin:
In this way, a long journey came to an end only to be replaced by another journey in a B School and life thereafter.
I would suggest every puy reading this post to never ever get bogged down in your life during a lean phase. If you get conquered, your life will never ever be the one you wanted. Struggle, struggle hard and you shall emerge as a winner. Even if you don't win now, the journey of that struggle would make a man out of you and you will be the winner of life.
Never Quit... Never Ever
All the best
Though I am not an IIM call getter nor an XL person but wherever I am, I owe a lot to PG and this thread because the motivation tha...
Though I am not an IIM call getter nor an XL person but wherever I am, I owe a lot to PG and this thread because the motivation that infused in me after going through this thread was nowhere replicable.
I would start my journey from the early years of my graduation where-in, I initially struggled to keep pace with my peers not because they were more studious or smarter than me but because I had built my sand castles about myself which were washed away on the very first semester of B.Tech when I got a back in a subject with a minuscule CGPA on cards but on the other hand my very own friends were boasting their 7+ and 8+ scores. I had to pick myself up because there was no other option left.... I understood that its either perform or perish because that was the rule of the jungle is - "Survival of the fittest" .
After clearing the back paper in the summers of 2nd year, I somehow managed to avoid further backs and supplementary exams till sem 3 when I realised that despite giving my best efforts, I am still reeling under low scores and that my friends is a terrible terrible feeling. When you see people who work less harder and smarter than you getting rewarded and you despite giving your best efforts are ending up becoming a 5 point someone , the situation is heart breaking and depressing. As a result of all this, I went into a shell wherein I went into acute depression.... stopped talking to people and friends, stopped going out as there was no fun left in me and all sorts of depressing activities which could clearly give the hint to the outside world that something is wrong with me. My friends tried to catch up with me but as I was in my shell, I hardly told them anything which would make me feel further bad and low in front of them.
One fine day, I woke up and promised that this can't be my life forever. If I want things to change, it would be who would initiate that change. I started getting out of the shell and returning back to normal. In that particular semester, I won many extracurricular events in and out of the college and scored a 7+ GPA to be just eligible to appear for the placements
I remember once in a casual conversation with friends, someone was mocking at me because of my lesser CGPA and how that would affect my chances in getting placed. The reply I gave, I believe I would never ever be able to forget in my life. I replied, "To hell with your CGPA scores, at the end of 4 years, amongst all of us, I would be the one who will be working for a bigger brand name with a higher pay than you guys" ..... That aggression changed many a things in me and my life.
My room mate who was the branch topper and used to look down on me in every sense, and used to give me wrong advice on every step was really astonished to see the recovering me :)
The companies started coming in the end of the 3rd year and I got placed in 3 companies back to back. All my friends who were wither scoring more than me or used to boast about their CGPAs at some time or the other, were either left unplaced in the 1st round or were placed in the same company as mine. That alone boosted my confidence and increased my hunger of racing ahead than my peers. After 4 years, I was placed in 3 companies and was quite relaxed and suddenly nemesis struck
RECESSION .... SUB PRIME Crisis .... GLOBAL MELT DOWN became the buzzwords ... and as a result all the 3 companies in which I was recruited delayed their onboarding. The future here was again uncertain and I decided to prepare for CAT. Filled the form in Aug and started preparing. But luck and destiny had something else to offer. In those tough times in the job market, the world's biggest software company conducted an off campus and my college was invited to participate in that. Though I had made up my mind for giving the best shot for CAT but my parents coaxed me for the process and I went. There were around 400 people and the company selected only 18 out of them.... and surprisingly, I was one of those 18
At that time,the reply which I gave to my friend that day echoed in my mind and it was a feeling of instant accomplishment.
Within 2 weeks I joined the company and the CAT preps went for a toss and so was the motivation level as I already was earning handsomely :)
A chronology of the events of my CAT journey would read just like any other. . So I'll just cut to what I really have to say which is very little.
The first thing is reservations. At first I thought they had no part in the selection of gen candidates. But when you see people with very low scores getting calls and converts, it becomes very frustrating.
It is difficult controlling the negative feelings (read envy/jealousy). It was a real test and I did my best. That leads me to my next lesson.
Be good and do good. I think this is all there is to it. Good begets good. So think good things and do good things and you will get them back. I'm sorry if this sounds very preachy but what do I do, it is always true and finally everything boils down to it.
Well, that is all i have to say.
Thanks for reading and good luck to all future aspirants.
2006:I was about to enter an engineering college. I happened to meet a distant relative, an IIMB alumnus who was doing exceedingly well in life. The respect that he gain...
2006:I was about to enter an engineering college. I happened to meet a distant relative, an IIMB alumnus who was doing exceedingly well in life. The respect that he gained from others inspired me to do a MBA from IIMs(BLACKI in those days).I set my eyes on CAT and started preparing with whatever material I could lay my hands on. Then I happened to have a chat with him. He said "don't burnout so early .Take it easy".
2007: Then I concentrated on engineering studies and whiled away the remaining time.
2008:I was in the 3rd year and joined TIME(herd instincts are too strong you see) super long term coaching for CAT 2009.I religiously attended each and every class.Then,I worked out most of the practice exercises and books.
2009: Mock season started.1st mock I scored 97.xx and in the 2nd mock scored a whopping 99.91 percentile. My friends started teasing me that I was an IIM material. As mocks continued, my performance fluctuated from 90 to 99.
I was not a believer in astrology in contrast to what I am now. It is said every human has to pass through 7.5 years of misfortune in his lifetime called "Elarai"(in Tamil meaning 7.5) authored by Lord Shani Bagwan. During 2009,minor health problems started troubling me. I wasn't able to concentrate on studies. This depressed me and anxiety started engulfing me.CAT 2009 came. It was the first shift to computer based test. No one was prepared for it - neither the IIMs nor prometric.CAT 09 was probably the most unfair CAT exam..wide allegations of glitches, extra time for some candidates, repetition of questions for later batches, re- exam for certain candidates and so on. I came out with 94.34 percentile and it was a shock to me. I felt I should have got more. Feeling of being wronged started affecting me. Got a lone SPJain call and was rejected outright after the interview. The emotions that went through me those days can never be explained in words.
With support from parents I made up my mind for the second attempt. Joined a job and was preparing simultaneously. This time I was prepared for any eventuality."Let me put in my best..am not worried about the outcome "those were my thoughts. My health did not improve though. This time I joined CL Proctored mock. I found the content of CL refreshing though there were only few exam takers. I was performing steadily in the mocks and then came the C day-CAT 2010.I did well with a decent number of attempts. Then came the results night.12 Am - 99.59 percentilewow..a careful look read Verbal99.95(awesome thanks to CL), DI 96.xx(ok) and Quant (85.53 ohgod not again).Lower score in a section got me an astoundingly low number of calls - Lucknow and newer IIMs only. I converted new IIMs but could not convert Lucknow despite what seemed to me a decent interview. Now the dilemma ,whether to take up what am offered or write the CAT again??No way am I going to settle for anything other than BLACKI (despite rebukes from my friends).
Certainly, I felt I was under bad spell of luck. I then went to an astrologer."Yes indeed, you are under "elarai",a period of dullness and misfortune. Your health and luck will certainly improve. Be patient" these were his words. I got back to routine, this time I stayed near my office so as to cut down on travel time and utilize it effectively. I told myself " this is your last attempt, do well..come what may be cool".My outlook started changing to positive,I became more relaxed and started enjoying my preparation. Joined CL mocks and started working on quants zealously. I realized I was good at Verbal and I don't need any preparation whatsoever. Had a decent mock season. Applied to various colleges for backup..I didn't want to continue in the job either, so backup was mandatory this time.CAT 2011 did well, but attempts were comparatively less as I was cautious.
Then came the results: 99.20 with balanced sectionals. Got call from A,I,new iims and host of other colleges.
Converts: Indore (joining),New IIMs,MDI,NITIE
So, thus ended my CAT journey and my health has also returned to almost normalcy.
*First, stop giving too much importance to CAT. You are any day bigger than a single event in your life.
*Relax, be cool. More often than not, one who enjoys doing what he does and one who is not too bothered about the outcome emerges victorious.
*Be patient, you will in the end get whatever you are destined for. Famous dialogue that applies to life:"No force on earth can stop what is destined to be yours and no force on earth can give you what is not yours".
*What the CAT journey has given me is more than an admit to an IIM.It has taught me the virtue of patience, positive thinking and a changed outlook towards living life King Size.
During my last year at IIT Bombay, i started preparation for cat, why, because my batch mates were doing so. joined ims and gave cat first time in 2008 (at that time it was paper based test). The results were disastrous only 80% scored. But through cam...
During my last year at IIT Bombay, i started preparation for cat, why, because my batch mates were doing so. joined ims and gave cat first time in 2008 (at that time it was paper based test). The results were disastrous only 80% scored. But through campus placement, got placed in one of the reputed steel company.
2009: First time online CAT. 2 months preparation. 85%.
2010: 1 week preparation. 78%
2011: No preparation at all. Just revised some mathematics formula. 97.5%. converted IIMK
I would say that to get success in CAT, u must have good preparation and lots of luck !!!!
The margin of error is very small.
Finally, every dog has its day !!!!!!
Season '08: This time I was in college. Result 78%ile. Got BITS Pilani convert but could not join because my University were late with their results and I was the one who had to face the brunt of this.
Why less CAT score? Possibly because I had bitten off more than I can chew. I referred too many resources than I could handle. And in the end everything messed up.
Season '10: I was in Infosys, Pune by this time. There were times when there was loads of work and then there were times when it was all a cake walk. But yes, for an average mind like me the preparation demanded some sacrifices. I managed get a SCMHRD call and Infrastructure management course convert this time. Later I decided not to join the course.
Why no success this time too? I had put all my eggs in one basket. Had thought that some particular exams and a particular format only suits me and hence didn't even tried for those papers.
Season '11: Now or never was the mantra this time. Had put all my efforts in whatsoever way possible. Be it studying till late and sleeping on the couch to get up early or leaving office early on pretext of going home and instead heading towards to library. I missed Diwali also that year so that I can stay back and prepare well for the last leap. Eventually I scored 97 in CAT with 99.6 in QA and 62.9 in VA. This skewed combination made me a reject piece for many colleges who were going for sectionals. In XAT I scored 95. But I had applied for almost all of the decent colleges and got around 5 calls.
Last word: Finally I got a convert to 1 year PGP course in Great Lakes, Chennai. I will not go for any surrogate brand building of my college on behalf of my experience but honestly will say that after coming here I realized that I have made a correct decision of joining Great Lakes. The itch of missing 1 year and quality teachers is no more because of my diverse peer group and superb faculty. So in the end everything turns out for the best is what I could understand. That accident made me a much stronger person and also much patient one. I deliberately chose not to discuss what all I referred for my preparation because every person have its own set of requirements and level of competence. On a broader level, I followed Arun Sharma books and some PG threads. I scored around 50-60 % in TIME and no where could relate myself to the difficulty level of tests. Actual papers are a lot easier than what comes there. One PG thread on tips and tricks of Quant helped me immensely. Just be creative in your preparation and devise new ways on how you can exert yourself more and more. Being always positive and hopeful for the future helped me digest that kind of highly unexpected VA score... I cannot miss but to mention one of the biggest motivator for me throughout my journey and that is Love. Yes... this emotion when implied constructively can bring miracles to lives. Though that particular person will not be my life partner but as my favorite quote says:
"Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart".
PagalGuy family a big thanks to you for all you kind support and making me reach the place where I am today.
Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any help to the fellow junta.
Home | Soka Gakkai International (SGI) : My biggest source of inspiration
On facebook : gajendra.singh
Have been reading all posts on this thread for the past one week ...
The stories here are truly inspirational to say the least, So, I sincerely thank all of you for sharing your stories on this thread ...
After reading the posts, I was in two minds, whether to post on this...
Have been reading all posts on this thread for the past one week ...
The stories here are truly inspirational to say the least, So, I sincerely thank all of you for sharing your stories on this thread ...
After reading the posts, I was in two minds, whether to post on this thread or not !! ...
Does my Story even qualify to be called a success story ?? Wouldn't my post look silly among all these stories of IIM converts & other top notch B School converts ??
Bt finally, I thought : "Cat isn't only about IIMs or the ones who converted it, Its also about those who didn't .... Their experiences, Their stories, Their journeys are equally important "... :p
SO, Here it is : "All I wanted to Speak about CAT & My Life"....
A few pointers :
1. I did not make it to a top B School .. :banghead:
2. I Did not even get an awesome percentile in CAT ..
3. My story is not for those who believe in themselves, Its for those, who don't ... (If I can make it, ANYONE can)
Phase 1 : The BEGINING ...
In School, I was among those students who are always among the Top 10 in the class, but never in the Top 3..
To be Honest, I hated studies, bt used to get by, so I was quite satisfied with my performance ...
For all of us, School life Culminates into the Board Exams, So Am jumping to that part :
RESULTS DAY :
My Expectations : Exams were decent, So expecting around 80% (I was in WB board)
Other's Expectations : He will get around 80 % ..
Result : 70.25 % :banghead:
My Reaction : How can this happen ?? I cant believe it ... :banghead::banghead:
Other's Reaction : Don't lose heart, many students from your school have scored below expectations... Maybe its not your fault, try harder nxt time ...
Phase 2 : Downfall ...
According to me, the next two years after class 10 are the most crucial phase in a students life, its a phase that can either make or break your career .. Unfortunately for me, it did the latter .. It was a dark phase in which everything that could go wrong, went wrong .. I had no focus, no aim, no ambition.. So it was No Study, No preps & no planning .. The future wasnt looking bright at all... :sneaky:
RESULTS DAY :
My Expectations : GOD, pls give me 60 % .. They ask for 60 % everywhere ...
Other's Expectations : Dont know what to expect :w00t:
Result : 59.6 % :banghead:
My Reaction : I AM SCREWED ... :banghead:
Other's Reaction : HE IS SCREWED ....
One more point, my brother had studied Btech from a local clg & was placed as software engg in an IT major .
So, a career in IT (which u guys whole heartedly detest) was my dream ...
Bt one needs to be an ENGINEER for that ..
WBJEE RESULTS : NO RANK ...
AIEEE : Scored -16 (negative) (dont remember the rank thankfully)
IT dream will remain a DREAM forever .... :w00t:
PHASE 3 : The TUNNEL ..
As I had anticipated, everywhere I went for admission, they wanted atleast 60 % ... So, dreams were shattered, Ego was crushed & depression set in ...
Finally, I got admission in a C-Grade college affiliated to a B-Grade university (Quoting NAAC ratings here) in a stream I had no interest in .. Basically, I had no interest left for anything .. I had given up hopes of a good career .. I had given up hopes of redeeming myself .. I HAD ACCEPTED DEFEAT ...
I was never interested in my subject & never tried to do something amazing in that, Surprisingly enough, the results were not bad ...
PART 1 RESULTS :
My Expectations : I Dont Care anymore
Other's Expectations : We should not expect anything from him .. :p
Result : 66.6 % overall .. 70% in Honours (In my university that is nothing short of excellent... For the first time, I was among the TOP 3 of my class)
My Reaction : I still Dont care ...
Other's Reaction : Hmmmmmmmm ... :w00t:
PHASE 4 : The LIGHT (or the CAT)
While I was in college, I came to know about the CAT, the IIMs, the pattern of exam, blah blah ...
The eligibility was 50% in Grad, so, I was eligible .. I saw it as the LIGHT at the end of the TUNNEL .. I had to reach the light somehow ... The TUNNEL was too dark for me ... I wanted to redeem myself .. I wanted to FIGHT BACK ... So, the CAT journey began ...
I enrolled with CL in classroom program...
Learnt the concepts (I think self study helped more than classroom)
The MOCK season was about to start, I thought that it would provide me a parameter to judge myself, how good i am .. Can I make it somewhere .. etc...
MOCK 1 : 98.23 %ile
I started to believe in myself ... bt was this a fluke ??
MOCK 2 : 96.xx %ile
The belief was strengthened .. I felt that I do BELONG ..
MOCK 3 : 97.xx %ile
IIMs, here I come ...
Bt after the initial hurrah .. MOCK scores decreased a bit, bt I was generally in the 90-96 zone.. with the occasional 98s.. or the occasional 80s ... :sneaky:
Seeing my performance, i was confident of making it to a B School (I was not aiming for only the top, any clg in the top 50 will do jst fine)
I knew that VA was my strength(I never scored below 95).. QA was my weakness ... So, worked on it .. Wanted to keep QA over 85-90 ... VA was my strength, so 95 %ile overall did not seem a distant dream ..
C - DAY (November 13, 2011)
My target was to score half of the total marks, in the mocks, it generally fetched above 95 .. 98+ sometimes ..
I was quite happy with my performance ... Was confident of crossing the halfway mark (90/180)
Later on, came to know that paper was much easier than previous years, so the percentile at my score may be much lower than expected ... Was kicking myself for not attempting more questions .. :banghead:
RESULTS DAY : (LIGHT or DARKNESS ??)
My Expectations : Pls GOD, give me 95 %ile ... with my profile its tough to convert a colg at below 95 .. Pls GOD ... PLS
Other's Expectations : He might just make it :w00t:
Result : 89.83 %ile (QA-85.85 .. VA- 89.97 ... Verbal betrayed me when it mattered the most) :banghead:
My Reaction :
Other's Reaction : Not bad (for him atleast)
PHASE 5 : Will I make it ?? (anywhere)
Despite the below expectation percentile, I got a few calls ...
Calls : SCMHRD, XIMB(HR), TAPMI, NIRMA, MICA ...
Near misses : IIFT (41.xx) .. NMAT (206 .. sectionals cleared)
Was very underconfident during the GDPI preps ...
My profile is nothing special .. NO CLARITY OF GOALS ... Achievements in life ...
Had mixed bag of experiences ...
The reject at MICA hurt the most (I wanted it badly) :banghead:
The XIMB profs were not at all interested (3 min interview) :sneaky:
Among all the rejects, I managed to Convert NIRMA & got waitlisted at TAPMI (expect a convert later) ...
After all this, I thought long & hard about the course of action I should follow ..
Should I try CAT 2012 ?? Should I join NIRMA/TAPMI ?? (Is it really the light that I was looking for ??)
Finally, I have decided to join NIRMA ...
Maybe its not a TOP college ... Maybe , its not my DREAM college either ... Bt nevertheless ... Its not bad either .. I believe that if you have it in you, you will succeed & it dosent matter whether u go to IIM or some unknown clg ... Lets see what the future holds ...
The NIRMA phase : (yet to come)
My Expectations : To Build the base for a good career ...
Other's Expectations : Who Cares !!
Result : (Space Reserved)
My Reaction : hopefully
Other's Reaction :
I would like to end my post with a quote from someone else's status update on FB (I copied it) ....
"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.
p.s: i still want my fairy tale ;)
Cheers Guys ... ATB ...
A good MBA experience is about a lot of things. A lot of things apart from the XY.Z figure where X,Y and Z are numbers in our immediate placement stat. (any case, most people end up with the same X from a good Indian b-school, and there is way too much worry about the Y and Z).
A good MBA experience is about the things we will read or the films we watch in our evenings when we come back from work. It is about the way we will spend our weekends and if things like helping out a NGO and visiting old age homes seem boring in comparison to parties at pub. MBA experience is about the way we will react to things happening around us. It is about the challenge to stop being ordinary, to stop being a conformist, to stop being a person whose choices were determined by society. It is about being a person who had individual choices, passions and a life of his/her own.
A good MBA experience is about the atmosphere in which our children will tomorrow grow. It is about the importance we will give to the career of our better half. It is even about the kind of things we would choose to do once we retire from a professional life. It is about the respect of education and its role in creating out an individual who will be an asset to the society. It is about the general satisfaction and happiness of living a life you are proud of, a feeling which numbers do not capture, a feeling which has a great value, probably the greatest value for those who realize it.
Of course, not denying that it is also about performing well in the office, and getting well rewarded for that. This point may not have come in the end, I do not wish to under emphasize the importance of this aspect. But for too long, this 'one' point has been seen as the heart and soul of MBA-output. For our own good, wish we saw things from a broader perspective.
This is a time when so many people make choices about the place of education that they would want to choose from the available options (read converts). Having been very active on PG for a over two years, and having interacted with many such people for the past 2 years, I have found it immensely frustrating how very few people show a keen interest in knowing about the overall experience that a college can possibly offer. Having completed the course, I feel that the parameters of choice by majority are not enough. Think broad, think deep
A good MBA experience is about a good life, a truly good life. It is about several things that I mentioned above because:
It will affect all these things in the future, for several decades that most of us are likely to live. Never under estimate the power of a 'good MBA experience'. I know this sounds filmy, but then the experience can often be as exciting as the most exciting of the films. Go ahead and experience it!
P.S: Like several others, I do realize that I owe a lot to the college that offered me my MBA education. On this note, would express my humble thanks to it
Anyways, I'll share my interview for IIM C here:
My Cat Journey:
Title is under consideration
I am writing the post as I sail through my summer internship in a German company and wait for my mentor to come.
What a journey it has been. I wind the clock one year back and see myself overjoyed b...
I am writing the post as I sail through my summer internship in a German company and wait for my mentor to come.
What a journey it has been. I wind the clock one year back and see myself overjoyed by my converts. Sacrificing the last 1.5 years of fun filled graduation had finally paid off. I was not joining an IT mass recruiter and was going to pursue MBA. . . .
I was sitting on 5 converts out of 14 calls. I still feel that a better profile would have improved my number of converts. But, one thing was sure, I was going for MBA this year and was not going to allow IT companies to put a stamp on my head stating "IT work ex". I was never an IT guy and more of a field person. Roaming in streets on my bike was my favourite time-pass. Had I not decided to give CAT in my final year, I would have been a "Biker" (feels like Steve McQueen while saying this)!!!
Anyways, what kept me going was the urge to stay away from IT jobs. . .:sneaky:
So here is the flashback. . . . .
"Dad, get me a bike. I want to do MBA." This sentence indicated that I am going to sacrifice my guitar, movies, bike trips and potential girlfriends. My college would have got a rockstar if I would not have been preparing for CAT. :drinking::drinking::splat::splat:
My friends noticed the change only one month after I stopped hanging out often with them. My best ones remained with me and others also remained with me :). I am good at Public Relations . . . !!
So, I joined Endeavor Coaching Classes as it had 24x7 open reading room (that is what I said to my Dad). Highly inspired by Parasharan Chari, I started preparing for CAT rigorously. Started skipping college and featured in the "Not-A-Good-Student" list of college faculties. It did matter a lot as my final exam results would depend on them. My priority would be concentrating on CAT and interviews as I had already assigned the responsibility of passing me to my faculties . . .
Preparing for Mock exams and solving the bulky material provided me confidence that the first Mock test out of 25/30 tests will fetch me not less than 95%. Without even giving the mock test, I started dreaming (ya, I day dream sometimes). First mock 95%, slow improvement will fetch me 99.xx% in CAT. No one can stop me from being a part of those coveted colleges.
But, alas !! 63.17% was the score displayed after I completed my Mock 1 . Yes, I still remember my score. Devastated, I ran to the center head. "Sir, raita fail gaya score pe !!". He told me to take a chill pill and go watch a movie, this is just a beginning.
I did not listen to him. Did not sleep and bunked the college next day. I realized that I was over-reacting. I should actually watch a movie.
I felt relaxed and started preparing for other three scheduled Mock tests. yeah, keeping your head cool helps a lot !! The results were 95%, 98% and 96% respectively in the next three mock tests. Did it make me happy? No, but indeed satisfied. The only aim now was to maintain the score till the D-day.
With fluctuating scores, I indeed managed to the upward side of 90% more often. Mock SNAP, XAT, JMET, IIFT, FMS etc went good if not great.
As far as I remember, my first exam was IIFT. Screwed up royally.
Second exam, FMS. Same thing. Managed to clear cut-offs according to previous years but was damn sure that this year cut-offs would go high. So, another gate slammed in my face.
Considering IIFT and FMS as dry run, the following exams went decent and was expecting many calls out of it. In CAT, my Quant and DI section went good, but was not sure of verbal.
Finally verbal proved to be the villain and I was left with CAT percentile which would fetch me tier 3 colleges calls. JMET fetched me 3 IITs calls and SNAP fetched me 4 calls including SIBM Pune and SCMHRD. NMIMS also called me after I was able to smash the cut-offs in both the attempts.
The shock of my life came when I missed XLRI pathetically by 0.05%. The sad thing was that XAT 2011 was so tough, that I was not expecting anything out of it. But when I got good percentile, XLRI was just a whisker away, but out of reach. .
I missed IRMA cut-off by 0.046%. Life could not have been more cruel. Trust me missing by 4-5% is much more preferred than missing by 0.046-0.05%.
My journey towards transforming from 'an MBA aspirant' to 'an MBA' started.
So, I had a total of 14 calls. The interviews ranged from being advised to "come back next year" and also "we will see you in the batch". I was also accused of supporting a murderer when I appreciated work of CM Narendra Modi in Gujarat .
I had prepared rigorously for the group discussions and interviews. But, my profile was average. Finally, I had 3 direct converts and 2 wait-listed which eventually converted. Out of the 3 direct converts, one was "Goa Institute of Management" which I eventually decided upon to join.
I did not join the IT mass recruiter and as I write this, I feel a sense of relief when I imagine myself tangled in codes and jostling with repetitive programs. .
As I sit in the marketing department of a manufacturing company (non-IT :)) pursuing my summer internship, I am filled with enthusiasm. The profile which I have got as a summer trainee, would be my dream job profile.
I will never join an IT firm. This post will be a testimonial to my stand. But, God forbid I get an IT job, please pray my Boss does not read this Post :biggrin::biggrin:. . !!!
At the end, I would like to say that 'expect the unexpected'. After the toughest XAT examination of all the times, I never, even in my day dreams, expected a convert in a B-School through XAT.
PaGaLGuY has been and still is a vast source of inspiration and motivation for me. PaGaLGuY for me is not just a website, but a community. .
Signing off . . !! Wishing best of luck to all the aspirants. May you get what you want. . .
The humble Beginings:
I am born and brought up in Ahmedabad. Right from school, I was above average in studies, never the extra-ordinary kinds. I used to be around 10th in class size of 40 students. But I had particular interest in maths and used to do well in it.
In around 7th standard (2001), I came to know that someone from our society cleared CAT and he became the talk of the town. I was told that speed and accuracy in Maths is extremely important to crack it. And there was the start of a dream that I would one day crack CAT and go into IIMs. In the next 2-3 years, while interacting with some MBA grads, they seemed very smart and this reinforced the dream to get into IIMs. (Yeah, they now seem crazy reasons to do an MBA). Living 2 kms away from IIM-A and passing by it many times made the feeling much more stronger.
At that time, I believed taking up commerce would be good after 10th, as it will help in MBA. But then I read a article in a newspaper which suggested most of the IIM grads are IITians. And so, I decided to study for JEE ( Yeah, that was probably the most stupid reason, one could study for JEE. 8 years later, I think how immature, I was then. :grin:)
The Kota and IIT-JEE AND AIEEE
Even though, I had a stupid reason to study for JEE, It was strong enough. I enrolled into Bansal Classes, Kota and moved away from my hometown. Ofcourse, I realized in kota that people can crack CAT even without getting into IITs. But now that I had spent so much time and money, I worked hard. After slogging hard for 2 years, The D-Day came. The JEE was completely objective this year for first time (2006). I screwed it up completely. 20 days later, AIEEE was there, it went well. So, as expected, I secured a very good rank in AIEEE(1703) and failed in JEE. I got admission into IIIT-Hyderabad. :)
And now, that I realized that my notion that "getting into IITs would help me getting a seat at IIMs in future" was absolutely absurd, I was not at all disappointed with JEE result and took up engineering in IIIT-Hyderabad.
Engineering and CAT-2009 Prep
I always knew that I wasn't really made for the technical stuff. I didn't like them very much. At the end of 2nd year, I decided to start prep for CAT. I knew that was early to begin but I really wanted to get into IIM, and in particular IIM-A. I used to dream every single day, that during my stay at IIM-A, I would have home-cooked food at weekends (campus being just 2kms away from my home). I worked very hard, took such electives which required little effort, so that I could spend more and more time in preparation. My mocks used to vary from 95-99.5. In the last few days, mocks percentile went down. I was worried, but not disheartened. I knew all that matters was the final performance.
CAT 2009 D-Day
It was the first time, it went online. So, there were quite many issues sorrounding it. Thankfully, my experience was pretty good. I started with Quant, did well, DI was very easy, English was very confusing and I was not confident while marking the answers.
Since this was online, there was no way of knowing/guessing the scores before the official results.
The CAT-2009 results and Aftermath
After a long wait, results were out.
I scored: QA: 99.9 DI: 99.4 VA: 86.1 OA: 99.72
I was actually not so dissapointed seeing the low verbal score. I knew there would be no A and C calls, but I expected calls from other IIMs seeing the last year's trend. But alas, destiny had some other plans. None of the IIMs called me, because of my not so extra-ordinary academics/ no work-ex and I got calls only from MDI-Gurgaon and SP Jain.
I was rejected from SP Jain in the first round after horrible interview, but managed to get selected into MDI-Gurgaon.
At that time, I had got a job at Factset Systems. So, it was a choice between MDI-G and Factset.
Finally, some thought, I decided, I won't let go of my dream to get into IIM. I wanted to have one more chance. And I joined Factset Systems as a software engineer. This was probably one of the best decisions of my life.
( This does not mean that I consider MDI any lesser college. Infact MDI-G is one of the best colleges you can do an MBA from. One of my friends did it and his job profile in marketing is similar to what top guys at IIMs get. It was just I wanted IIMs badly)
Seeing the last year's results, I had decided to work for atleast 2 years before going for MBA as I wanted to get some points for work-ex in selection criteria. So, I decided to skip CAT-2010 and directly appear for CAT-2011. Experience at Factset was really good. I started liking the technical stuff and there was good work-life balance. I did lot of other stuff. I got associated with Art of living, volunteered for a lot of courses there, volunteered with NGO "Ashray Akruti", led a group in hyderabad "We-the-Change", read a lot of books and worked over a B-plan simultaneously. This 1 year was extremely good and I learnt a lot during it. It all gave me a much more insight of myself and what I really want to do in life. I was now much more clear on why I want to do MBA.
CAT 2011- Prep
So, After enjoying for a whole 1 year, I started the prep again as planned in May 2011. Giving CAT once before helped. I remembered most of the stuff and did well in most of the mocks (>99). I worked hard in English, started reading a lot of stuff, improved on grammar. During the last 2 months, suddenly the mock scores dipped. I decided, it was now or never. I took last 3 weeks holiday from office before CAT and worked very hard, used to solve a mock daily. I was much more confident now.
Again, Quant and Logic were pretty easy and english was a bit dicey. I was more prepared this time but still found english confusing. I attempted 59 out of 60 questions. The overall feeling after it was if I manage to clear English cut off, I would be able to get some calls.
Results - CAT 2011
Finally, results came. The scorecard read
Section1( QA+DI) : 99.75
Section2 ( VA +LR) : 97.3
And I was dumbstruck for a moment. The efforts paid off and to my delight got calls from A,C, L, I and FMS.
This time, I didn't want to miss the bus. I prepared hard. I worked on acads, which I hated even during college times, I read a lot on interests and hobbies, read about a lot of current affairs. Filled up the forms very diligently, at times drafting the answers multiple times before writing in final form.
The first was L. I forgot to carry a watch. And completely mismanaged the time in essay, couldn't conclude the essay. GD was pretty okaish and in PI, I was grilled on technology and some international economics, of which I had no idea about. When I came out of PI, I knew this was a sure reject.
One month later, it was IIM-C. I was much more prepared now. Essay and GD were average. Interview experience was horrible, I somehow managed to fumble in all questions they asked, about hobbies, acads and work-ex. I got extremely tense during the interview and that affected the whole interview very negatively. I was completely dejected after the interview. Next day, It was Ahmedabad interview.
With the 2 extremely bad interviews and iim-A interview the very next day, I started loosing confidence. But soon, I thought, that if I do well in Ahmedabad, nothing else will matter. I got the confidence again. I wrote down the important questions and their answers in a notebook, so that I don't fumble in the interview.
Next day, just before leaving for IIMA interview, one of my friends at IIM-B advised me to revise the personal questions just before the interview. I kept the notebook( in which I had written answers last night) hurriedly.
Process started. The essay was bad. Just before the interview, I went through the notes in my notebook. I was called in for PI. The panel was extremely chilled out, I was somehow very confident today and PI was awesome. The best, I have ever given. 15 of 20 mins concentrated on the business plan that I worked on, and I explained every answer in detail using block diagrams on paper. After the interview, I realized that most of the stuff that I talked about in the interview was in my notes. That was probably, what made the difference in the experience. So, overall, it was bad essay, but good PI.
The first to come out was C on 11th April. I was rejected. I expected this, but still I was a bit sad. Increasingly, I was getting anxious about Ahmedabad result, which was to be announced on 16th April. I was getting more and more pessimistic each passing day.
In anxiety, I couldn't sleep on 15th night. Finally slept at around 6 in the morning. After some time, I recieved a call with my flatmate from office on other side "Bhai Badhaai ho.... Ho gaya tera Ahmedabad mein". I woke up like a spring. I didn't believe him. Opened laptop as fast as I could, logged in and got the message
"Congratulations. You have been selected for PGP in IIMA ". I was stunned. I just looked at the message for some time before coming back to my senses. And finally, the dream that I saw from last 12 years came true..
And it all made sense to me finally. Everything happens for a reason. Right from CAT 2009, when I didn't get call from L/I/K, to when I chose not to appear for CAT 2010 and work on B-Plan, to the bad interviews of IIM-C and IIM-L, all of which helped me to get into my dream college IIM-A.
That reminds me the line from Om Shanti Om "kehte hai agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaaho toh poori kaynath tumhein usse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai " ( It is said, that if you a love something very much, the whole world conspires to get that to you ). That is so apt over here.
As I write this, I just saw that I have got a reject from IIM-L PGP but convert from IIM-L ABM. And I have my IIM-I and FMS interviews scheduled later this month. But it hardly matters now. :biggrin:
So, I am all set for spending next 2 years at WIMWI, the icing on the cake being the proximity of campus to my home(2 km). My brother says "it as an epic homecoming after 8 years ". And ofcourse, my parents are extremely happy:grin:
This brings the end to my tryst with CAT but a beginning of a new phase of life. The journey has taught me a lot of things but the biggest thing that I leant was to "Dream Big" and just go for it madly. Sooner or Later, you will definitely achieve it.
In everyone's life there comes a point when you stop to reflect back on your life. I realized that I had no career in IT, my friend's business had failed. It was high time that I took control of my life and follow my dream of doing an MBA. So I started preparing ...
In everyone's life there comes a point when you stop to reflect back on your life. I realized that I had no career in IT, my friend's business had failed. It was high time that I took control of my life and follow my dream of doing an MBA. So I started preparing for CAT again. This time CAT was going to be conducted online. So I used to solve papers in the office. Even on weekends I used to go to office to take mock tests. I was back on track and was confident that I could crack it this time. I did pretty well on the D-Day and was hoping for a few calls. The results were declared on 28th Feb and I got 98.5% with decent sectional scores. But no IIM calls. Ohh no wait.. Just when I had given hopes of any IIM call, Indore realesed its list. My name was there. I was delighted, elated, excited (can't think of any more adjectives). I called my parents and my brother (gudakesh) to give them the good news. And yes.. I got calls from MDI and SPJain again.
The essay part was easy and I guess I wrote a prety good essay. Then came the PI. My desparation to convert my lone IIM call, fuelled my nervousness. To worsen the situation, the panelists asked questions related to my acads, and I either answered "I don't know" or "I don't remember". It was not as if I hadn't prepared the acads, but the kind of questions they asked were very strange and I had no answer for them. They asked a few more questions and then gave up. Towards the end of the interview I felt like crying. I wanted to beg them to leave me. It was a very short interview and I came out knowing that I had blown away, the one chance to get into an IIM. I did perform well in the SJPain interview, but was not selected and MDI again gave me a long W/L.
IIFM or RGIPT??
While the regular preparation for CAT was going on , I came to know about RGIPT and the placements it had for its maiden batch. Most of the companies which had turned up were OIL PSUs. I found it interesting mainly because by this time I was fed up of the private job and wanted the peaceful life of a PSU. Moreover by this time I was put under a different manager (still on bench though) and boy he was a true a**hole. An M.Tech from some XYZ college, he was Hitler's re-incarnation. He was the kind of person whom you would never ever want to meet or associate yourself to in your life. I had some altercations with him and I knew that I would be asked to put down my papers during the next review. This plus the fact that I saw no future in IT, made me apply for IIFM and RGIPT. Oh, I forgot to mention that I was selected for the MBA programme at IIFM in 2008, but didn't have the courage to take the bold step. I have always been fascinated by wildlife and nature. Probably I hould have joined back then.
"Whether to join IIFM or RGIPT ?", was the next big question which I had to face. Finally on the D-day I decided to take the safer option and joined RGIPT. Meanwhile during the annual review at the office, my manager asked me to put down my papers, which I readily did . I was more than happy to get out of the boring IT job and the dreaded place (Gurgaon :sneaky:) , which had sucked life out of me.
Meanwhile in August, while I was at RGIPT, IIM Raipur came out with their notification for the commencement of their first batch. I thought that maybe God had given me a second chance to get an IIM tag. I prepared well for the interview but as usual was rejected.
Life was going smoothly and peacefully at RGIPT. I had managed to make some very good friends and everything was on track. But then old habits die hard. There were a couple of friends at RGIPT who were going on the yearly ritual (called HAJ-Cat) and I decided to join them. So on the last day of the sale of CAT form I asked my dad to buy a form for me. I managed to get my voucher a day before the test date. A night before the exam I just revised some quant formulaes.
I was very calm before and during the exam. I had no pressure to perform and probably this worked in my favor. I treated it just like another aptitude test. This test marked the end of my CAT journey. It didn't matter to me whether I got any calls or not. I was pretty satisfied with my life and was at peace with myself.
On the morning of Jan 12th, I got a call from my brother. I was half asleep when he said that the results were out and I had scored 99.05%. I said 'ok'. It didn't matter anyways. At max I would get a call from IIM I, which I was not very interested in joining any more. I was more excited for my brother who had got 99.44%. At around 11 am, my brother called again to say that I had a call from wiMwi. "What the f**k", I said. How on earth can I get a call at 99.05 when the past cutoffs have been 99.3+?
To top it all I also got calls from L and I. I was the talk of the town once again, with everyone congratulating me and asking me the dates of my interview. I devoted a lot of time to prepare my acads this time. I revised my engineering subjects along with the subjects that I had studied at RGIPT.
I had my first interview of the season on March 13, (not a Friday) and it was the biggest one:A. I was undecided whether to tell the panelists that I had quit my job last year to prepare for CAT or to tell them the truth. I decided to be truthful. Needless to say that I was very nervous and as a result the interview didn't go very well (yet again ).The panelists asked me some tricky question from Eco and Accounting. I managed to answer very few of them. At the end I asked them to see a portfolio of pictures which I had clicked. They glanced through the pics and said 'Nice' :). It was a desparate effort on my part to leave a good impression.
Thus ended the most important interview of my life till date. When I came out from the room, I knew that I stood no chance and that I had somehow managed to blow away the last chance to realize my dream of studying at WIMWI.
I had no hopes of making it to either A or L (it didn't go well either), and so I went back to focus on my MBA courses.
April 18, 2011
It was around 10 am and I was writing my end term paper, when my phone rang. I knew that the results were going to be out today (courtesy my brother) and at best I was hoping for a W/L. Since I was in an exam hall, I couldn't pick up the phone. Then an SMS came. My heart beat increased. I figured out that it must be my brother who has seen the result and is anxious to tell me. I couldn't resist the temptation to read the SMS and took out the phone with the invigilator standing next to me. I opened the message and it read "Pack your bags to go to the dry state J. It was infact from my brother. I felt numb and sat there for a few minutes motionless. I took permission from the invigilator to go to the washroom and from there I called my brother and my parents who were more delighted than me.
Thus ended my CAT journey which was marred with lots of failures but thankfully it ended on the right note. I dont want to preach anything except that work hard and leave the rest to luck.
I was never a topper during my school days, even though I used to put in a lot of hard work. Maybe I was never a topper material. Class X results were below my expe...
I was never a topper during my school days, even though I used to put in a lot of hard work. Maybe I was never a topper material. Class X results were below my expectations with English playing the spoilsport. The IIT bug had bitten me while I was in class X and so I didn't pay serious attention to the subjects taught in Class XI and XII. I used to bunk classes in order to study JEE level phyics, chemistry and maths in the library. Somehow I managed to get a decent score (78% by 2001 ISC standards) in my Class XII exams despite getting 59% in English. There were rumors that the English paper had been checked by teachers at La Martinere:sneaky: and hence the scores were so low.
I managed to clear the screening (AIR 3000), but faltered in the mains (AIR 5200). I guess it was chemistry that played the devil's role. The next one year was spent brushing up the knowledge. I got enrolled in the one year programme at FIITJEE, Delhi , but had to leave the programme midway because of severe health problems. I sailed through the screening and was on cource to get a good rank in mains. But then fate had other plans in store. A couple of weeks before the mains I got severe eye infection. The infection was so severe that I could barely open my eyes. They were bloody red with frequent discharges of pus from my eyes. My dad took me to the best eye specialists in town, but the infection didn't go away. I took the mains exam with very low vision and a severe headache (due to the infection). During those days the mains exam was comprised of three papers (Physics, Chemistry and maths) of two hours duration each. I managed to score well in Chemistry and Maths, but during the Physics paper, the headache was at its peak and I barely managed to cross the cutoff.
The results were decleared in a week's time and I managed to scrape through with an AIR of 3782. I was happy but not delighted, because I knew that with three years of hard work, I deserved a much better rank. Anyways, I took admission in ISM and then later joined IIIT A (in second counseling).
The CAT bug
I wasn't always inclined to do an MBA. When I joined IIITA, I wanted to do an MS from some good university abroad. When I was in the second semester the results of CAT 2004 were declared and one of our seniors who was a 100%iler became the talk of the town. I said to myself "I also want to be famous like him". That is when I decided to crack CAT. Thus began my quest to conquer CAT in 2004. I bought WPME (word power made easy) and memorized it by heart. I bought a few other books and solved them. I didn't attend any classroom programme coz I felt that the classes won't be of much help.
Mocks and Mockery
By the time the mock tests for the finale started, I had mastered VA and DI. I was a bit slow in QA which brought down my overall percentile in the mocks. I managed to hover around the 95-99.xx mark in the mocks. I was stated to be the next one headed to IIMA from our college. Everyone around me was confident that I would crack CAT. Somewhere deep inside I knew that I could do it. Hence I took my placements very lightly, thinking that I anyways would be going to an IIM. I did not study a word for the placements (played AOE and CS) while other students revised DS and OS. Somehow after a few rejects I managed to get selected into Patni and Flextronics. I probably got selected because they asked very basic questions and for the tricky ones I confidently said "I haven't revised it". Anyways placements came and went away. I didn't sit for big firms like Google and Yahoo (I wouldn't have got selected given my level of preparation). Then came the D-day, I guess it was Nov 15/16 2006. I tried to get a good night sleep, but kept rolling over from one side to the other. With every passing minute, I became impatient to try and get some sleep. There are times when you feel sleepy but just can't sleep (it is very frustrating). Somehow I managed to get a couple of hours of sleep in the morning. I took a bath and left for the centre with my friends. I was quite confident that I would crack it. Then came the paper. I used to start with VA, my stronghold and boy it was one of the hardest VA section in CAT's history. There wasn't a single easy question in the section. I devoted a good amount of time in the section, dealing every question with great detail. Then I moved to the DI section, my second strongest section. DI seemed very easy and straight-forward. I did it quite easily. QA was the easiest of the lot and the questions again were very simple.
After the exam I knew that if I cleared VA cutoff, I stood a very good chance of getting calls from IIMs. The keys came out in the evening. There was a buzz around the campus with everyone comparing their answers with different keys. Most of my batch mates were missing the cutoff in VA. I started, said a small prayer and sat down to compare my keys. I started with VA and managed to get 28, which was well above the predicted cutoff. Then I moved to DI and a lightning struck me. I was getting only 32 while the predicted cut-off was 40+. I was dumbstruck, speechless . It seemed like a joke. "It can't be true", I said to myself. I somehow composed myself to check my QA section and it turned out that I had performed the best in my weakest section.
Days went by and I was hoping that somehow I would get two more questions right in DI so that I would clear the cutoff. I was hoping that the CAT guys would allow me to shift my extra marks from QA to DI (crazy idea). Meanwhile IIFT came and went and in December I completed my B.Tech (ours was a .5 batch). On 2nd jan, the CAT results were declared. My heart was thumping at the rates of knots when I entered my registration no. I will never forget what i saw. VA - 98.8 QA - 99.7 DI -71.6 OA -98.89
I sat in front on the computer screen, not knowing what had happened. My hopes of getting into the IIMs had dashed. Luck had betrayed me at the most important juncture. I could sense the grief in my parent's voice. Even they were hopeful that I would bell the CAT. XAT was on 4th Jan and I somehow managed to sit through the exam. Somehow I faltered in the VA section and missed the sectional cutoff by 1-2%. FMS came and went by. Meanwhile I joined Flextronics in Gurgaon as a S/w professional. Though I am an IT engineer, I never liked coding or any other similar geeky stuffs. I had no plans or interest in becoming a coder or a tester or whatever they call it.
Love Pangs and CAT 2008
During the training at Flextronics, I got into a one-sided affair with a girl. I kept CAT on the back-burner and took a deep plunge into the ocean of love:nono:. But then the ocean suddenly dried and I fell on my face. Apparently she had mastered in handling boys and was handling many other affairs simultaneously . I was just her object for fun at the office. Anyways, I went through a lot of pain, sorrow and grief. I somehow composed myself in October, but it was too late. I took a few mock tets , but I knew that my mind was not in the right place. I managed to get 98.2% with all sectionals >90%, which fetched me a call from MDI, which I royally screwed and got a very late W/L. Meanwhile I also gave XAT, FMS and IIFT but didn't get any call. Ohh , I also had a call from SP Jain for Marketing profile. I did very well in the interview and was confident of getting a final convert, but it never came.
Entrepreneurial bug and CAT 09
After two CAT failures, I realized that it was not in my destiny to study in an IIM. Meanwhile to take my mind away from the girl at my office (the one who was a multi-tasker ), I started concentrating on my friend's startup. Since I had no work to do in office (I was not interested either) I used to travel to Delhi during working hours to help my friend. Cat was out of the window. That year I just filled the form because of my parent's pressure. It turned out to be a disaster. I barely managed to cross the 90% mark. But due to my decent score in XAT (some 97%), I got a call from SPJain again. Only to be kicked out in round I of the interview. Thus my third season of CAT also ended on a sad note .
Golden quote form 'Bladerunner (1982)', something that gave me strength throughout my journey to CAT and beyond.
CAT O'09 : The Pehla nasha
My first stint with CAT started out in my last year of graduation, when I saw p...
Golden quote form 'Bladerunner (1982)', something that gave me strength throughout my journey to CAT and beyond.
CAT O'09 : The Pehla nasha
My first stint with CAT started out in my last year of graduation, when I saw people cramming packages and discussing the AIM CATs. Though, being a CSE student I was deeply into the technical aspect of IT and ITeS, the number of 00000's behind the packages of IIM grads published boldly in news daily caught my eye.( Also a lot of prodding from parents left me with little option than to go for CAT.) Come September 2009 and I had jumped on the CAT bandwagon. Joined the nearest coaching center's weekend classes and was bombarded with assignments. Life became a never-ending routine involving long hours of metro rail travel and sitting in 4 hour long sessions. College exams went from good to okay to barely passed as I found an excuse to not to study.
I always felt that it's when you decide to win you actually win. In 2009 I had not and I did not. The mocks I gave reflected the dismal situation I was in. CL mock results came with a graphical analysis and a smilie representing your score and mood. My smilie was always sitting sad at 70 -80 %ile . And as it happened frequently, I stopped seeing my scores and gave mock just for the heck of it. I registered to PG but never logged in twice that year.
The day arrived, I gave the exam and to no surprise I was again at meager 89%ile. Though I was happy that I scored better than mocks but in fact it was a lie to me. There are no 80%ilers in CAT. Not expecting anything and being at onset of placement season in college I resigned the MBA Idea. Converted a job offer and went to Goa for a fortnight of beach and booze :cheers:. I was living life of a typical Indian c-u-m-pooter engineer. Work on weekdays and booze on weekends :drinking:, life was easy until there were talks of fresher's being laid off due to coming recession. Insecurity started digging in and further education started to look like the only way out. GATE was too tough and GRE was uneasy. It was early October when again the CAT insect started buzzing in my head.
CAT O'10: The fluke
Got myself engaged into the hectic schedule of packages and mocks scoring lowest ever. I could barely manage 70 %iles. Life was coming to a halt. I remember the words of a guy who was in Board of Directors of some Top notch college, "Life mein mediocre ki jagah nahin hai, ya to Daud bano ya phir Kalaam!" and I was at that time another IT guy with nothing new to offer. It was the time of depression, peer pressure at the highest (my cousin getting shortlisted for IAS twice:sneaky:) and me searching for Govt. jobs in Employment news:nono:. Every Monday I'd be standing in some queue of bank depositing fees for a job offering as low as 12K in some cases.
I had spent no time for preparation and CAT was becoming a forgotten dream. The Day of CAT arrived and I chickened out. Yes, I forgo CAT 2010 just because I thought I can't take another low score. I went for XAT, SNAP and other low graded colleges. I got scores all averaging around 80-90%ile but never took interest in these colleges. My parents too resigned to my idea and we all thought its job for me for the next 2-3 years more. CAT 2010 ended and left me in shambles when I heard many of my colleagues had made the cut to IIMs and other colleges. Even more depressed and tired I had turned to frequent use of toxics to get high.
CAT O'11: The reconnaissance
It was June 2011 and the work of IT industry slowly seeped in. I was doing the same non-technical thing day after day. Though pocketing a good salary but the work satisfaction was into negative. Meanwhile, I saw how experienced and good natured employees get treated like rugs when they don't go bootlicking their managers. That was the wake up time for me. It was then where I decided to take control of my life. I stopped going out with my colleagues. No movies, no lunches and no weekend trips = no friends. I was now the most asocial person on the entire floor. People started ignoring me and I wasn't called for birthday parties and movies.
This time too CAT seemed to be a tough nut to crack and with better sense prevailing I checked for other options. Regular MBA after 2 years in IT will add me to the pool of crowd so I searched for other avenues. IRMA and a couple of other institutes popped up in search in pagalguy.com. A bit of research on PG left me wanting more of such institutes.
I asked for 15-20 days off prior to MBA 2011 season since it takes 4 hrs to travel to office and leaves me 2 hrs / day to study. Initially my manager agreed on the condition that I take up graveyard shift and I did. I spent 3 hrs in morning solving previous year material that I had for the next 3 months. A month prior to CAT 2011, I was ditched and my leaves were denied. I was told I could get at max 10 days leave from office. I still remember the conversation with the manager and how he indirectly told me to f*ck off if I had any problems. Nevertheless, I made full use of night shift, which includes from solving packages and reading novels to getting a nap. CAT 2011 arrived and I gave it a good shot, did well in LR, VA but missed a couple in QA, DI. As for the results, I had crossed the 90%ile barrier but was lagging at 92%ile. CAT dreams had ended for me that day.
Post CAT'11 : The awakening
With other results pouring in, I had plenty of options to go for(SNAP, XAT and others). With GD PI's lined up I took up night shifts voluntarily. Worked in night and gave GD/PI's in the day. Also,I went for IRMA, a college with a different perspective for MBA and I loved it. Did well in GD but PI was average. The serene and calm campus swept me off and I decided if not in IRMA its no MBA for me this year. For the next 2 months I ate, sleep, dream IRMA. (Watch the movie 'The Secret' and you'll know what I mean.) My chances of getting to IRMA were meager since I belong to Delhi and being from IT background, offer no mix in the quality of students. The results were announced and I had 'won'. I just read "Congratulations " and went blank. First time ever, I had achieved in life what I wanted not what fate got me. I'd be joining IRMA this year and hope to do well and do something for the society.
As for office, I resigned few days back to the shock of manager and that too before my bond period expires. Though I have lost many friends in the course and been named 'the-nightshift-guy' I take it as a reward for my efforts.
As SRK had said "agar kisi bhi cheez ko dil se chaho to puri ki puri qayanaat tumhe use milaane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai." I had asked for MBA with a difference and I got one.
The journey of CAT showed me that to achieve what you can and want to, you have to give 'everything'. I let go friends, relatives, day-shifts, movies (no movies since last 4 months), parties and not one but 2 prospective girlfriends. But, believe me the journey is all the fun, results will be forgotten but not how you achieved it. All those moments would be lost, like tears in rain but not the feeling of what made them special.
Not the end.. but a life with a meaning begins from here. I hope to post life@IRMA and life after IRMA too. Best of luck to all the aspirants.
Opening this thread after almost 3 years gives me goosebumps. I have read every heart touching story out here. The most famous ones, and the ones hardly read but I have read them all and motivated myself in some way or the other convincing myself that I was bo...
Opening this thread after almost 3 years gives me goosebumps. I have read every heart touching story out here. The most famous ones, and the ones hardly read but I have read them all and motivated myself in some way or the other convincing myself that I was born to do this.
A brief Intro: I come from a typical Indian middle class family trying to make ends meet every month. Seeing the lack of money maybe burned a desire right from my childhood to make it big. IIT was the key to this lock. As confident as I was, I overlooked things and failed to qualify for screening. My parents didn't have the money or patience to fund for another year of my education. I just went for the best college I could get in my own state. But the dream of entering an IIT had gotten to me so badly that I thought I wouldn't mind if it was for B.Tech or M.Tech. So instead of going for CAT in final year I rolled over it for M. Tech., Wasted 2 valuable years but in the end realized this was not what I wanted to do after getting 98 perentile. Yeah, I was THAT stupid (a lot more to come in this area). But after joing the scammed company (Satyam) and without appraisal for 2 years. I decided it wasn't fair. So CAT it was.
It started out as an experiment in 2008 with my girl friend. Maybe you give your best shot when she is trying to put your aptitude to the test, I don't know, but I got a percentile of 98.9% without any preparation whatsoever. TIME offered a discount for class room coaching. Discounts always catch the eye of an Indian. So I went for classes. And then it started, the magical world of CAT preparation. The AIM CATs on Sundays, the cross checks with the Key and the flauntings of the percentile on Pagal Guy. Was part of the toppers counseling that TIME conducted in Hyderabad with special focus on city toppers . I just LOVED all this. I didn't really have a weak section as such. I always chose which section I wanted to nail. The only regret I had though that I got into CAT very late. It is hard to focus on studies when your friends are getting married/engaged/having babies. But nevertheless I was doing quite well and the applications opened one after the other.
Now this part of my life is called being stupid, I was so damn confident that I didn't have a plan-B in place. Infact I was stupid enough to check only IIMs A/B/C in the application form and leaving out I/K/L ,and filled out XAT too. I was sure I would bell and nail the CAT :-D. All I wanted was the D Day to come before I got too old. And so it came. It was tricky mainly because there were 40 questions in verbal and only 25 each in QA and DI. But I wanted to remain unpeturbed. This was too big an occasion for freaking out. With butterlies in stomach I breezed through VA and DI and also QA in no time. I just couldn't wait to know how others did(afterall that is what matters right). Watching the faces in exam hall and seeing the people discuss outside how tough it was, I smiled to myself. But I had to check the key before I acted a jackass. With hands shaking and mind bursting I sat down to check answers with TIME, CL and IMS. All the of them read the same QA-42, DI-42, VA- 57/62/52. I was to get a projected percentile of 97 and above in every section and an over all of 99.6. Is this THE dream score or what. Blimey, these were moments where I dreamed nothing short of IIM As hallowed portals every night before going to bed. I went to the old shops of hyderabad and bought magazines like TIME, India today, the week and what not of past 2 years . I wanted to EVERYTHING and nothing short of it. I remember taking the magazines in a big heap in a gunny bag home. :-D
I was so happy doing all this that I skipped writing XAT and was partying with my girl friend in Mangalore. (Talk about being a moron)
It was actually the day before the results were to be announced. But as my fate would have it, I got to know my results that very day. I was working in night shifts and was all alone in the building with the security. I opened pagalguy as usual. To my utter surprise I saw people posting hall ticket numbers and others responding with their results. I checked the calender, thinking maybe I over slept a day, but no, I was right, the results werent supposed to come that day. But I couldn't help but post my hall ticket number on the forum. Then in a minute came someones reply. It read QA- 42, DI- 19 , VA-57. OA- 118 a percentile of 97.89. A cold piece of ice was jammed right into my heart and twisted and turned. I could feel it contracting into a ball and failing to give me energy. Some part of me said the guy who posted is a farce, this cannot happen. Some part of me said, well the QA and VA scores are mine and my full name is displayed, this had to be true. It was only when I saw this with my own eyes that I believed even this could happen. I was supposed to get a score of 42 in DI but got 19. Period. Did I miss the order of marking the answers in he OMR, Did the system not scan some of my answers? Did the IIM people saw my jackass attitude on the application form (filling only A/B/C) and decide to ditch me? I have no clue to this day. But all I knew was that I couldn't change a thing. I remember crying on the floor of the office that day. I didn't know what to do. I didn't take XAT. Didn't apply for MDI, IIFT nothing. There in a flash of a moment my whole year of hard work had evaporated into nothing.
I used my connections in TIME to get in touch with some people and the best advice they gave me: Accept it and move on. I felt cheated and violated and utterly helpless. I remember my beautiful parents telling my relatives proudly that I had gotten 97.8 percentile in CAT in my first attempt. I just didn't want to show my disappointment to them for they would feel worse and it was likewise for them. They wouldn't tell me how badly hurt they were. It was the most unusual 10 days for me. Some times I opened books but with memories as fresh as that, it was impossible to concentrate. TIME came up with another discount this year. Albeit small, still enough to make me enroll. AIM CATS didn't start until April and it wasn't fun any more. And with CAT going online in 2009, I started cribbing more and more. Who knows if my only chance had passed away.
This year I didn't open pagalguy, I didn't want to see all those calls people got and all those converts. I just wanted to stay away from everything that reminded me of CAT 2008. But AIMCATs were average, effort was not upto the mark. Having denied an offer to work from London office (where I could save a lakh per month) just to prepare for CAT didn't help the cause either. It was more like I denied to go to London to make a point than to actually prepare for CAT. But after a few set backs, I got back where I was. Riding the tide of toppers in AIM CATS and being one of the city toppers. The same toppers counseling and all. It felt nice. Except this time I didn't try to be a jerk and applied to ALL the top 10 colleges including IIFT and MDI and a few IITs. IIFT was the first. Did ok, but definitely not good enough. It was one of those bad days. CAT went very good. 20 questions in each section. It was a litle too easy, but so would it be for others. I remember solving 19/20 in quant, 20 in DI and ofcourse 20 in VA. Fingers crossed. I remember writing JMET well too, got a rank of 500 I guess just missing cut offs for IIT mumbai and Delhi. Same was with IIFT, missed cut offs by fraction of a mark.
Then came CAT. To be honest I was hoping I would get my own marks atleast, didn't matter if it was 99 or 90. The result read: QA: 83%, DI: 99+, VA: 99+ OA: 99 exact. No way in hell I could get 83%. I was in doubt for one question and 18/19 were correct for sure. This time I could not even verify. Wonderful aint it?
Hmm. Where did I stand? A big boot from all the IIMs obviously. So 3 results out and I was close to where I was after CAT 2008. :-D. XAT was the thin ray of hope. I got a percentile of 98.92 in XAT but in one section I had a percentile of 90 something and I missed cut off for BM by .5 percentile(WTF!!%). So all I had was good old MDI. Yeah I got a call, converted it and didn't want to wait until I have kids to join a B-school.
Life @ MDI and after: Here I did something unusual. I applied for internships in the most unique ways. I mailed CEOs of boutique IBs with exceptionally drafted cover letters all over Europe and US. I got 2 offers, both competitors. One based in US, Silicon valley (who asked me to come on a tourist visa and work illegally) and the other based in Munich, germany (who promised a job after the internship ended and legal documentation support). It wasn't a hard choice after all. I worked my ass off. With no difference between a week day and weekend. It was M&A; and I got to talk with some of the most inspiring CEOs. As inspiring as they were, their companies wouldn't sell for nothing. So my boss thought, when you don't have work why hire a new employee (although I have to tell you, my salary was like peanuts for him). He was more focussed that his associates shouldn't get free time at all (which they would if he hired me). But anyway I finished the internship In a bad and abrupt manner. But I had the experience which was priceless.
Placements @ MDI: When I say this, I guess I say this on behalf of every B-school student in the country. Placement time is the most depressing time in life at a B-school. Atleast for people from a middle class family who have education loans to pay off and have parents to support. I was no where making progress with my work search outside. As I understand looking for an internship is easy and less complicated than looking for a job. I bet you wont get a single response for a full time job even if you send 500 applications in Europe. That is the ugly truth of it. So MDI was the one and only hope for me. Right from the beginning it was made clear that placements would be worse this year. (recession ofcourse!). This combining with the fact that MDI is known more for marketing than Finance made it a cat fight for people who specialized in finance. Having 50% people specialize in finance and chasing a handful jobs, my odds were sucky even before it started. Add to that a full time work experience of 3 years in IT. The IT companies came first and it was the same question everywhere. You did your internship in Investment Banking, The role our company is offering is too low profile for you. It was as if I was being penalized. Although I convinced myself and others that I wanted to work in IT, things didn't pan out. I couldn't get placed in 3 whole of weeks of IT and consulting companies. Finally SBI CAPS announced its short list. I was there, so were 13 other people. SBI planned to take 2 people.. and I was one..
Will be an M&A; analyst at SBI Caps very soon..
With a thousand smiles,
Cut to Dec 2007: Joined Wipro Technologies in Bangalore through campus placement after graduating in Electronics and Instrumentation engg. Was happy to have landed a coveted job and was already dream...
Cut to Dec 2007: Joined Wipro Technologies in Bangalore through campus placement after graduating in Electronics and Instrumentation engg. Was happy to have landed a coveted job and was already dreaming about onsite opportunities.
Transferred to Chennai after training at Bangalore in March 2008. Things started to go downhill from here. Was put into a project with odd working hours and an odd manager to top it.
Slogged everyday and even weekends were spent in office cubicles.
Later, I realized that I had started to take my job very seriously which my manager exploited.
My Take: There are other things in life apart from slogging at work. Do not take it too seriously like I did that you cant focus on other activities. :)
In the meantime, thought of writing CAT and joined AIMCAT series of Time. Mock scores were always in the range of 60-90%ile. CAT 2008 was going to be the last paper based CAT and I wanted to crack it as I was nervous about the online pattern.
Jan 2009: CAT results out 94.68%ile. Damn.. most of the decent colleges like IMT and IMI set 95%ile as their cutoffs. Thoroughly disappointed that I missed them by a whisker. Got calls from IMI(HR), KJSOM and MICA.
Mar 2009: At work, had a tiff with my manager and was shifted to a different project for another client.
Was happy that I finally got into a decent project under a helpful manager. :)
Apr 2009: Rejected by KJSOM and MICA. Had disastrous interviews in both.
Converted IMI(HR) though.
Paid the initial sum and reserved my seat. Here, my mind started to play games.
Somehow, got convinced that I deserved something better and plus my current project was interesting. Also got caught up thinking that a minimum of two year work experience is needed for lateral placements in B-schools. So, having completed 17 months why not wait and gain some more experience.
So, I withdrew the amount I had paid a month before the course started and started preparation for CAT 2010 the first online CAT.
My Take : I was wrong. Two years is the criteria for laterals but if you are opting for a completely different sector post-MBA, then it will not be of much use.
Joined TIME AIMCAT series again as I was quite apprehensive about CAT going online. And again my scores were always in the range of 30 90%ile. Never crossed 90 despite working hard.
Nov 2009: Wrote CAT with about 44 attempts and was not sure what to make of it.
Jan 2010: Results out.. 94.30 %ile overall with my strength VA proving to be spoilsport. Great.. so what next was the question on my mind.
Deeply frustrated I told myself to work hard at office and at least get an Onsite role that all my friends had already got.
Felt like a loser seeing all my peers who had moved ahead in life. :banghead:
June 2010: Transferred to Bangalore to work directly at client office. Was convinced by my manager that I would be sent abroad after completing 6 months at the client place.
Little did I realize what I was heading into.. Worked as a contractor at client place and was loaded with work right from day one.
Too much of pressure at work meant that I spent long hours again at office like my first project. But, convinced myself that it was a question of six months.
Nov 2010: Wrote CAT 2010 just for the heck of it. Had got used to it now.
Dec 2010: My manager who had promised to send me abroad had resigned and joined another company.
With Wipro offering virtually no salary hike over 3 years of service, put in my papers at office. :D
Ah.. The satisfaction on putting your papers felt unbelievable.
Jan 2011: CAT 2011 results out.. 96.30%ile overall with DI at 58.xx%ile. Whoa.. That was a surprise..:o Had absolutely no expectations. Anyways, DI had killed all hopes.
Feb 2011: Joined new company in Bangalore. Was happy with salary raise (>90%). :D
Apr 2011: In a couple of months, realized that though I was getting paid well there was hardly any challenging work. Maintenance projects, I understood, were always like that.
Back to square one.. what was I doing with my life was the biggest question staring at me. :banghead::banghead:
Jun 2011: Finally, made up my mind to write GMAT and try for B-schools abroad.
Jul 2011: GMAT day - I realized that I had misplaced my passport. Had my DL and Voter ID cards as proof and thought it should be enough. But , at GMAT testing centre, was told that only passports are considered as proofs recognized by GMAC for South Asian nations.
11000 rupees gone down the drain.. Himmat nahi hui phir se 11000 kharch karne ki.. Sadme se bahar aane me waqt to lagta hai boss :banghead::banghead:
Aug 2011: Joined the last weekend classroom batch for CAT 2011 at TIME, Bangalore as was offered a huge discount based on previous scores. Thought it would also help for GMAT which I was anyways going to write. Also joined IMS SIMCAT who also offered huge discount. Scores varied from 50 to 99%ile in both of these.
My Take : TIME AIMCATS , I believe, were of a little higher level than what is asked in CAT especially in QA section. Felt IMS SIMCAT papers were much closer to actual exam especially the VA section.
Oct 2011: Resigned at work after lot of thought.. Had to serve three months notice period though.
Nov 2011: Wrote CAT for one last final time.. Final I repeated this to myself umpteen times before the examination.
Jan 2012: Finished serving my notice period at office.
11 Jan 2012: 98.99%ile in CAT 2011 with 90+ in both sections.. Refreshed page many times to confirm the score.
Got calls from six new IIMs, MDI, NITIE, IITB, IITD, XIMB,GL till now. Was happy and sad sad to miss out on all the old IIMs, happy to have made it at least to the others. But also understood that making it to the hallowed old timers would always be tough irrespective ofmy CAT score because of my acads at school. (80 and 72)
Am still hoping for an FMS call which is a dream college for me am an eternal optimist you see.. :)
Summary: 4 attempts it has taken me to get a decent score my only advice is to think hard before taking any decision rather than regret it later.
With 4 yrs of total experience in IT, am still faced with the dilemma if I should join any of these if I get through or should I look at GMAT (ISB etc.) which I am writing in April. Any pointers and suggestions will be appreciated. But, we will keep that to a later date as I still need to convert these calls.
Unlike most of the posts on this sacred thread pf pg, my story is that of an aspirant, who has been running after cat for past two years, preparing for past three years, and now looking forward to season 2012.
It all started with season 2009, when I was third year student at NSIT, ...
Unlike most of the posts on this sacred thread pf pg, my story is that of an aspirant, who has been running after cat for past two years, preparing for past three years, and now looking forward to season 2012.
It all started with season 2009, when I was third year student at NSIT, Delhi. I had joined coaching for Cat at cl cp center, solved most of the course material, finished the SIS tests by July, took all the mocks religiously, scored a maximum score of 97 98 in a few of them, fell down to 60s in few mocks too. But nevermind, decided not to give up. Came the season 2010, had an average Cat, expected somewhere b/w 95-96 after writing cat, only to be unaware what Normalization or wrong questions in a set can do to you ( I took exam on 31st oct, 2012 in morning slot, in case any of you remembers, this paper had three straight wrong/incomplete questions in DI).
Then came IIFT, and I scored a negative in gk, with an overall shameful score of 22-24. The next sunday was fms, the last fms exam conducted in its history. Managed a score of 385-390, was sure I had done above average, if not good enough for a call, only to be later realize people had actually raped the paper, with lots of them scoring in 420s.
Cat results were leaked on Jan 2, 2011 and I was one among the people who checked their results beforehand. BTW, i had managed only a meager 90.29 with a shocking 49 percentile in DI.
After all this, I finished with my college, had a decent placement in electronics domain, and joined the company same year in June, and have been working for same since last seven months.
In meanwhile, I had always thought of finishing my unfinished business with Cat in 2011. Started with preparation from scratch, enrolled with Aimcats, started taking aimcats. Scored 98 and 97 consistently in few mocks in beginning. Then came the shocker, suddenly with increasing pressure from office, my scores started to fall. Was managing 80-85 in mocks, and even scored in 60 in one of the aimcats. But throughout all this, I knew that what matters was my performance in cat, and not mocks (biggest illusion I was in).
Throughout the mock season, my scores oscillated, with 98 being my highest score in any aimcat (99.6 in quant in same).
Then came the big day, Nov 6, 2011. I had hoped everything would go as per my plan, I would do super good in my cat. Started with Cat, somehow felt the quant + di part was a bit difficult when compared to whatever inputs I had for previous slots. Tried my best to escalate my attempts maintaining accuracy. During the last minute I realized I had missed a percentage sitter which was ques 30 in my set. Nevermind, I had managed 23 attempts, and I knew they were reasonably accurate.
Then came the paper 2, English for sure was on easy side, with some confusing LR, and a wrong set again. Finally I was done with Cat 2011. Came back home, knew I had done an ok job in a relatively tough exam.
After Cat, i took IIFT and XAT, scored 37 in iift, not to mention could not get a call. XAT results are awaited. I have applied only for XLRI BM, and not expecting a score above 27 and ofcourse no call.
BTW cat results were declared last week. I have scored 96.80 with 94.xx in VA/LR and 95.xx in QA/DI.
And after all this hard work, and struggle, I am awaiting my first B-School call, which seems difficult this year too, may be I ll get an MDI call, but to convert it would be very very difficult at 96.80. So, I have decided to chase my dreams again in 2012 season, and return even better prepared.
Lessons Learnt :
1. Sometimes hard work isn't what you need, luck matters.
2. Do not stop chasing your dreams, I may have lost twice, but I am ready to put in all the efforts again, as someone at pg said ( and I ofcourse read ) "Burn yourself for an year, and you will be the king for your rest of life.
3. No matter how good you are in a particular section, it will be difficult to nail it on real Cat day ( happened twice with me, scored 95.xx in QA in both 2010 and 2011).
4. There will be ups and downs during your cat journey, never let the down phase impact your confidence.
Having said all this, I end my post, with a hope of apending this post next year after Cat 2012 results.
Thanks for bearing all this, and apologies for those who had expected a success story.
All the best puys , for whatever you aspire for.
Here goes my entry for this sacred thread...hopefully my story do some jus...
Here goes my entry for this sacred thread...hopefully my story do some justice to it...
CAT 2009...The Beginning of my Dream
Started CAT preparation with only one college in mind, IIM-A, way back in 2009. Took CAT 2009 in much venerable 6th December slot. My strength VA screwed me, as for the first time I saw a VA %ile less than 97. Missed IIM-A by 0.3%ile in VA, 1 mark in scaled score (Cut-off 73, my score 72). Was too disappointed but still thought of waiting for other IIM's to come out with their list. And to my amazement, not only CAT has changed from pen-paper to computer based test, but the belief of the very institutions conducting the exam was wavered in the authenticity of CAT. Every IIM came up with a weird criteria: gender diversity, cultural diversity, professional diversity, work-ex (at the time of call itself, previously work-ex used to be considered at interview stage by most of the IIMs), or what not. Anyways, got a call from IIM-K, IMT-G, and MDI on CAT based score. Moreover, since I had missed my FMS DI cutoff by 1 mark (I know some sheer stupidity did me in), that despite scoring 370 in FMS Jan 2010, I missed on my other dream college FMS. XL score 98.22%ile, same story, missed LR cutoff by 0.15%ile. JMET, took with a very casual attitude, reached centre late, rank 192. But didn't go for any IIT interview. After missing the cut-offs by slimmest possible margins, first time I felt depressed in my life. Didn't prepare for GD-PI, converted IMT-G, MDI WL (later converted I guess, never tracked the WL actually), IIM-K reject.
CAT 2010...Collecting shattered pieces
Joined a company fresh out of college. With a 14 hour schedule (5 hrs of travelling), didn't get much time to study. But strangely mock scores were simply refusing to go below 99.8%ile in CL and 99.5%ile in TIME mocks, mainly riding on VA scores. Brushed up some concepts in last few weeks. Again took the CAT, this time weekday slot thinking it may change something. But comes the CAT result, and if I was shocked to see my VA score last time, I simply smiled at the score of 79.9%ile. Again, couldn't figure out how I messed up VA. And look at the irony, had it been 80%ile, would have got 3 more IIM calls. But that's how the life has been. Got IIM-K call, SP Jain profile based call, thrashed FMS with 508 (never did any previous year paper, though every time I plan to do). Decided ki FMS to nikaalna hi hai. Prepared v well for GD/PI. May be best preparation for anything post my 10th class boards. Mock Interviews seemed all cakewalks with very kind and encouraging feedbacks, but may be in my zest to leave no stone unturned I took too many of them...But if there were more tests awaiting on personal front...I had a fight with my best friend...it broke my heart...and also at the same time...I was suspected of typhoid with recurring fevers...but the steeper the climb becomes, my determination gets even stronger...and so I continued...Took IIM-K interview in jolly spirits, went v well...but D-day was still to come..
Came the FMS D-day, I did a fine GD, controlled my desire to control the GD and walked away with a decent score. Thought now I will nail it. After all, interview and extempore were my forte. But what happened in those five minutes, I still feel that's the most unjust interview I've ever faced in my life, notwithstanding results. IIM-K's rejection was not a surprise as ratio for a general boy is too skewed, and tilted too much in favour of fairer sex (not cribbing, simply stating a fact. By the way, SPJain interview mein kis level ka discrimination hota hai wo maine suna tha, but first time dekh bhi liya). Anyways, even after screwing up FMS interview, I thought I will get at least 15 marks out of 30 and would sail through. But 18th March came as the worst dreams coming alive all together. WL 46. So frustrated, that when I went for MDI GDPI, dominated the GD in a brutal fashion from the word go. And started the interview in an argument fashion. Wait listed again. And, it got cleared again.
CAT 2011/GMAT/GRE...Life is strange and full of surprises
Moved on. Season 3. More importantly GMAT. Booked a slot for August end. But if fate hasn't enervated me enough, for worst I cleared FMS waitlist in 7th movement. Resigned from my company, when my appraisal was due. Went to take admission, submitted my certis, and was just submitting the fee, that a newspaper clipping comes about supreme court order - Stop the admissions for general candidates in UG courses. I tried telling them, this is not a UG course. But to no avail. Next 20 days were unimaginable. Managers asking daily whether you are going or not. And colleagues coming to congratulate you. Seems like fate is laughing on me. The days were spent understanding legal terminologies, reading previous SC and HC orders. But lost respect for slow judicial process as well as an incompetent FMS administration (reminds me of the admin of my alma mater, another DU college). When I realised that little enthu has left to do my MBA frm FMS, I collected back my certis. An admin staff member said sorry to me. As if it's going to change anything. Also, had to move the GMAT slot to January as I wasn't able to focus on anything...Leave aside taking the GMAT
I started again. Felt really difficult to keep my self motivated. Had no scope to study on weekdays. And on weekends, I felt like taking rest from such a hectic schedule. But I knew I will come back, not with a vengeance, but with a calmness. It had to be a top B-school, and if not older IIMs, XL, or FMS ( was still in two minds whether to fill its form or not), then after some more work-ex it would be ISB and other Ivy league colleges. I believed in myself, but more importantly I believed in my dreams. As someone said:
"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die,
Life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly".
And just the day I filled CAT 2011 form, a week later, HC awarded me the admission in FMS. But it was already so late that I didn't know whether to be happy or sad. Confused whether to join or not. Had this strong gut feeling that I would do well in GMAT. Also, CAT 2011 was going to be a 2 section paper with Verbal clubbed with LR, so Verbal fears allayed then and there. Finally, after lot of thinking, talking to my best buddies, talking to my mentors in TIME and CL and Malay Ray sir, I decided to join FMS. :)
Btw...funny thing is the two tests I booked (GRE and GMAT) when I was wait listed in FMS...I scored well in both of them with out taking even one single mock or any study watsoever. Also aced the Verbal of both Prometric and Pearson.
Season 2011: GMAT 770/800 (QA 51, VA 42), AWA 5; GRE Revised 329/340 (QA 168, VA 161), AWA 5; CAT 2011: 99.87 (QA-DI: 99.92, VA-LR: 96.25)...
Hopefully, GMAT score would be used in application for some advanced courses later on...
Season 2010: CAT (98.23%ile, VA joke), XAT (94.67%ile, couldn't comprehend), FMS: 508
Calls 2010: SPJain (Reject), IIMK (Reject), MDI (Didn't Join), FMS (WL Converted, FMS admin backtracked, Legal Recourse gave me admission...Wat a ride)
Season 2009: CAT (99.22%ile), XAT (98.22%ile), FMS: 371, JMET (Rank: 192)
Calls 2009: IMT (Convert), IIT-B (didn't attend), MDI and IIMK: (Attended half heartedly)
Btw...one tip to all CAT aspirants: Believe in that stupid line in Alchemist, "When you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true"
May be I wanted an MBA like one wants air to breathe...I "was" just way too crazy about it... :)
P.S. Updating the post...Got 99.87 in CAT...this is freaking awesome...finally it's proven again: "Hard work doesn't go unrewarded forever". And frankly, this happiness is billion times more than 770 of GMAT...
It all starts with my school. Throughout my life I have been an underdog. Right from my school days I was the 'dark horse'. That always kind of fuelled...
It all starts with my school. Throughout my life I have been an underdog. Right from my school days I was the 'dark horse'. That always kind of fuelled my inner desire to give my best. In the run up to the standard X exams, I was among the top 5-10 students in our school. But I was overlooked in favour of others. (I love my school though, without it would not have been even half the person that I am ). Finally I managed to shake off that dark horse tag and stood second in our school. An achievement for me not because of the numbers, but because of the effort and the satisfaction involved in doing so.
This continued in my XII days. I was nowhere near the top. I was going all out for the medical entrances (science still interests me ). To everyone`s surprise I stood 164th in Medical CET. Guess being a dark horse suits me
Fast forward to medicine. To be honest, I liked medicine. But I wanted to do something which would challenge my grey cells and involve application. I gave it a bit of thought and after consultation with parents, seniors and industry people decided to give MBA a shot.
This was a disaster. My fault. Not enough preparation coupled with bad luck.
Near misses XL, FMS. Some OMR marking errors in IIFT.
CAT was a disaster. Somewhere else in my nomination for MMDT I might have mentioned this. I do not want to talk about it because I do not want to sound like a sore loser. Anyway it does not matter, I got better testing conditions next season.
I began taking mocks on a regular basis. I enrolled for TF, then TIME IMS and CL. I had a dilemma which i have mentioned here
I had decent mock scores, instilling in me the confidence of scoring well in CAT. On the C-Day I just did not think about what if this does not go well or anything like that, Just another exam. period. overhyped.
I think this helped me a lot. Whatever nerves I had disappeared in the first 10 mins. I solved close to 46 questions. I was quite sure that some of the QA questions were wrong. Later I cross checked it with my quant expert friend. (not sure what Prometric did with those )
I also did well in other exams. Got a nice feeling about SNAP. XAT was not good at all. But then came the biggest day. C Results Day. Saw a 99...then 99.23..Mixed bag? But I was happy as hell, coz I knew what can happen with normalisation (tried not to discuss this, but it came up anyway). Got calls from IIM L, I, A(ABM) and later Ka. Got a host of good scores in other exams. Best call was lined up on 23rd of Feb. Opening day. First day first show feeling. Opening batsman feeling.
Interview was again a mixed bag..did not know what to make of it.
However I had other calls apart from the IIMs like IIFT, MDI ,FMS, TISS, SIBM and NMIMS and MAH MBA CET to go. So a lot of optimism was still intact.
In the meantime INDIA won the WORLD CUP 2011. I thought IIM L ho jaega INDIA jeeta isliye(superstition anyone?).
11 Apr: 99.95 in Mah MBA CET. Thought of JBIMS as a backup if IIM L bombed. Safety net
18 Apr: ABC results were out.
18-onwards: Anxious wait. Was refreshing IIM L website and PG like a man possessed.
Finally, 21 Apr 2011. IIM L result link was on the page. Checked it. Read Congratulations.. Did not read anything after that, just shouted. Neighbours thought house was on fire and came rushing :biggrin:. Unforgettable moment to say the least. Immense pleasure in converting the best call I had.
2 years on, I had got what I had set out to. A real nice feeling.
I realised that the real fighter is the one who can get up even after being hit repeatedly. 'Never give up' is the way to go.
Life is not just about achievements or self glory, but it is more about making others happy.
PGP27- IIM Lucknow
Well, i was in the same place many of the readers are exactly one year ago... Seems like it has been not a long time since then that I am sitting at the other end penning down my experience. A brief profile of mine,
10th and 12th %age : 93+
Dual degree in CSE in IIT Kharagpur
Well, i was in the same place many of the readers are exactly one year ago... Seems like it has been not a long time since then that I am sitting at the other end penning down my experience. A brief profile of mine,
10th and 12th %age : 93+
Dual degree in CSE in IIT Kharagpur
I`d like to touch upon two things, very important things, which will help and according to me, the only ones which will to bell the CAT. - Practice and Confidence
I decided to take CAT in my 4th year (A dual degree is a 5 yr course). So, had lots of time to prepare. There was a series of mock tests going on in our campus by various coaching institutes to admit students at various discount offers. One friend of mine pushed me into attending one of these and I thought instead of wasting time in front of my laptop in my room, why not give an aptitude test. It proved to be very challenging and then I started noticing the CAT fever slowly gripping the campus. Till then, I ignored it, but since the test, I somehow took it a bit seriously. Summers came and went with the usual project work and internships. By the time the announcement of vouchers came for CAT in my final year, I already gave some 50+ mock tests offered by various institutes. However, i realized that I was lagging behind in certain areas. This was the time when I took things more seriously and strictly followed a test a day (Practice guys). I tried to cover all the models, kept working on and the final d-day came out. I had to give my test in Calcutta and picked a center near to IIM C campus with the idea that i can see the campus and also talk to some people already inside. I stayed with a friend in his room. I met a senior there, who told me that given enough practice, the only thing necessary on the day is Confidence. His words still ring in my ears. I couldn't sleep all night with all the anxiety. However, i managed to grab some sleep in the early hours, only to be waken up around 1 hr before the test by my friend. I rushed out, reached the center when 15 mins are left for the start of the test. They made me run through the entire formalities very quickly and was infront of the desk 2 minutes before the test. Be confident was the only thing which i kept repeating to myself. I thought DI and Quant went very good. However, i was not satisfied with my performance in verbal(Later came to know after talking to a few friends who gave CAT the same day that the verbal paper that day was pretty tough and I was actually in a better position). I took the train back to Kharagpur a bit disappointed and left everything into the hands of the almighty. Placement season came and went.. Got a good offer and accepted it. The day of results gave a sweet news to me with 99.6%ile. Shortlists and calls followed, and I got all 6 lists I wanted .. I earned the distinguished honor of being a BLACKI in the campus.
About the interviews, later sometime when the process starts.
Again, I would like to point out only 2 things.. Practice and Confidence. With these two arrows with you, CAT will not be as tough as it might sound.
Well I'm in no stage to preach to people. I still have a long way to go in my life and a lot to achieve. For one I've done everything till now in my life for myself. I want to reach a stage where I can give back to the society. I also am very new to my industry and have a LOT ...
Well I'm in no stage to preach to people. I still have a long way to go in my life and a lot to achieve. For one I've done everything till now in my life for myself. I want to reach a stage where I can give back to the society. I also am very new to my industry and have a LOT to learn here. Its very competitive, and either you are good or you are out. I also broke up a few months back and I guess an immdiate goal is to find a soulmate. So a lot of stuff still pending to do, But I still feel I have more experience than I had say 10 years ago, when I started off on this journey. So I can give a few takeaways I have from this journey.
A) Never EVER .. EVER.. give up on your dreams - However stupid you feel they are. Its only over when YOU feel its over. Till you don't give up, things do work out. Watch the movie - "The secret". In a nutshell that movie can be summarized in SRKs dialogue in Om Shanti Om. "Agar kisi cheez ko poori shiddat se chaaho, to saari qayanaat tumhe usse milaane ki saazish me jut jaati hai", i.e. If you love something with all your heart, the Universe conspires to give it to you. There are a lot of times during the whole fiasco called life mentioned above, when I almost felt like givng up. There were a lot of failures, a lot of Nadirs.. But I'm so thankful I did not. So don't ever give up on your dreams. Even if you are the underdog!
B) wake up.. as soon as you can - I don't know in what stage of life you are, but some people, like me, need a wake up call at times. My Wake up call was around the area where I flunked CAT the 2nd time. The realization was , I had wasted my IIT degree. Ofcourse the knowledge was there beforehand, but it sank in then, when I saw 1.5 yrs of a mediocre job in front of me. I mean, I had invested 2 extra years of my life to get into that place, and that place did give sufficient opportunities, but I blew them away by not being focussed enough. I did not know what I wanted to do, I did not even have a well prepared CV in placements, I didn't have a good CG to show and a couple of flunked courses. I had wasted a golden opportunity. Investment banks hired from IIT too, though in much smaller numbers than IIM. But the absolute best guys there made the cut. I know of people who were my batchmates at IIT, who are now 4.5 years into the industry I'm 6 months into. I'm essentially 4 years behind them in my career. OFcourse, you always compare yourself to your peers wherever you are, and this is not to say that I'm unsatisfied with my station in life. But still, I wish I had got the wake up call I got much later, at an earlier point. Once I did get the wake up call, I fought hard. For example, I sweated hard in IIMC against odds, be it academics or placements, because I did not want to waste my IIM degree like I did my IIT. The days after IIT were like a social stigma. I was in a very average job, whereas people I chilled out with in hostels, went to movies with, attended classes with and had dinner with were earning 3 times as much money as I was, handling much more responsibility. I even didn't want to talk to such people because it made me feel insignificant and an underachiever. I did not want to make a similar mess at IIM, so I woke up then, thankfully. If you are still in the unawoken stage, and chances are, many of you reading this have just entered/are yet to enter IIM, you can still make a difference. Just remember, getting into a good Bschool is not the End of your struggle. It is the beginning. Once you are in, sweat harder than ever, because your competition is top class. You might still land up pretty average on a comparitive basis if you just stop working hard after entering a Bschool.
C) Be honest. Be it an interview, an essay.. anywhere. If you have a story, be honest about it. If you make stuff up, they would catch you and it wouldn't be appreciated. But most of all, be honest to yourself. A lot of time we lie to ourselves. We actually manage to convince ourselves of things which aren't true, by repeating those things to a 100 people and to ourselves. We start living an alternate reality, a make up truth. We justify our failures to ourselves, putting the blame on external factors rather than ourselves. Never blame others for what's wrong in your life. Take ownership, responsibility, be honest to yourself about it, face it and Fight it!
As we filed into the audi, there was a hush in the air. Today the batch of 2011, IIMC would have its first real test. Summer placements were extremely important, especially for I-banking aspirants, for these companies largely hired through PPOs or Pre PLacement offers. Very few of t...
As we filed into the audi, there was a hush in the air. Today the batch of 2011, IIMC would have its first real test. Summer placements were extremely important, especially for I-banking aspirants, for these companies largely hired through PPOs or Pre PLacement offers. Very few of these visited the campus for Final placements. So if you had to become a banker, this was your best shot. The process started with the first lot of names being called out. I wasn't in it. IT was a little disappointing as this meant that I wasn't on any company's 'Hotlist'. Moreover, within the first 10 minutes, IB1 had already made 2 offers. They had mentioned in the interactions that they were looking to hire 4-5. The numbers were rarely fixed, because they could recruit more or less depending on the quality of students they met. A B and C schedule their summers to being on alternate days, for example Monday Wednesday and Friday in the same week, so that the panels flying from Foreign countries can finish their recruitments in one visit to the country. So if they didn't fill their Quota from one campus, the excess seats rolled on to the next. So with 2/5 of their seats gone, I felt I had done the right choice by preferring IB2. However, I still felt a sort of closeness to IB1, since they had been my first shortlist and had brought me back from the verge of hopelessness.
The second lot had my name in it and I was directed to IB2. The same gentlemen interviewed me, but unfortunately had made the one offer on his desk to the guy who had gone before me in lot 1. He said that he had no way to know if I would turn up or be lapped up by another IB. Now the thing with day0 is, there are some amazing CVs on campus, people who every bank wants. Banks typically want to go through their processes as soon as possible, making the first few offers in the minimal time, lest these 'superstars' get lapped up by their competitors. The banks are as tense as the candidates. They want their next crop of outperformers, and missing out on good people on day 0 might leave them at a long term disadvantage. As a result, most banks started their process in the morning and finished it way before lunchtime. And by lunch All banks recruiting teams and recruited candidates were at the Taj Bengal on adjacant tables.
The gentlemen said he felt truly bad for not having an offer left for me, and redirected me to a colleague of his interviewing for a different desk. I was a little perturbed, and the interview did not go too well. For one, it was not for markets but for IBD, which I wasn't interested in. I wanted to be a trader. Anyway, the interview didn't last too long. The Gentlemen again met me outside the interview room and said he would give HK a call and see if he could hire another intern. He asked me if I could wait for an hour. I obviously couldn't wait, as I would miss out on my other shortlists too. Time was a critical resource on day 0. I told him my problem very politely, and requested him to inform the placecom in case they wanted to make me an offer. In case I was still in the process I would accept it.
It was disappointing, to say the least. I saw day 0 evaporating in front of my eyes. I never had much of a chance anyway. I was redirected to IB1, and I thought I'd just go there and give it my best and leave the rest to god. When I reached IB1, I saw the batch topper coming out, shaking hands with the interviewer. He had been made an offer. The Company volunteer from 2nd year told me that 4 offers had been given till now, and they just might take one more. Now, they had around 10 people on their shortlist they hadn't interviewed, and they had one slot left. Ofcourse, the wouldn't interview everyone, but it was still a far shot. The company HR came to the company volunteer with a list, asking for a particular guy. That guy was more interested in consults and was interviewing with them. However, he was still in the process. IB1 badly wanted that guy, he was on their hotlist. The company volunteer handled the situation gracefully, telling them that he was busy with other processes, and asked them to interview me instead, telling them that I had a good reputation on campus. The HR looked at me and recognized me from the previous day. He seemed indifferent, and then, I think just for the heck of passing time, he said, fine we'll interview him till the other guy comes around. So basically, they had 1 slot left, had a guy in mind. What was I doing here, I asked myself. But I decided to try my luck nonetheless. The other options I had, well, would have been compromises really.
So I go into this room to the India head of the firm. His very presence was Awe inspiring. He started off very politely, making some light talk and asking my view on the market. The interview was more like a conversation and I felt very comfortable. Then came the expected Question. "So N*, what went wrong in 2001?" . I knew this was coming. This had haunted me from the very start. This was the question which made me uncomfortable and made me jittery whenever it came forth. And yet, it always came forth. I had paid a price for that bad score at various stages in the last 10 years. ENOUGH! I said to myself. I will not let this ghost haunt me anymore. I had to exorcise it. It was a now or never moment. Everything I had worked for the last 3 years.. THe CAT mocks, the CFAs, the GDPI Prep, the pain of failure, the ecstasy of success, the anxious on hold moments, the sweat and blood since coming to Joka, everything narrowed down to this moment. I just wanted to sign on that offer acceptance sheet lying in front of me on the table. So I decided to, for the first time in my life, be completely honest about what happened. I remember the interview clearly in my head.
Me (M) : Sir, I was in love with a girl. And my family came apart. A lot of problems you see.
IB : looking at me intently. Tell me more.
Me - Told whole story. as it happened. not sparing any details. And then I continuned
M : .. so you see sir, that's what happened, and inspite of that, the fact is that I'm sitting across from you on this interview table. The fact that I made it from that place to this table, I feel, says a lot about my character. I am resilient. I am persistent for achieving my goals. And that's why sir, I feel I would make a good trader. For nothing can knock me down. I can take a huge loss, and still come to office the next day and try to make a profit. I know I've not seen the worst in life yet. Maybe a lot more can happen in the future. But what I know is, I'd be man enough to face it. I'll not get bogged down in the face of failure. I'll never give up. I will always rise back again after I fall, I know this about myself. And Sir, I promise you, as much as I know myself, even if todays interview does not go as I hope it would, I promise you I will still enter the industry, some day or the other, for this is what I want to do.
IB : Giving me a nod. I like you N*. I really like your fighting attitude towards life. I feel it that you will make a good trader someday. Let me talk to my colleagues. He left me in the room alone. I felt extremely light. I actually felt nice. It was as if a huge load had been lifted off my shoulders. Even if I failed this interview, I felt I had exorcised the ghosts of my past.
He came in again after sometime. "N*, As you know, we were very impressed by this one person's CV, and the other 2 of my colleagues still want to interview him. As far as I'm concerned, I definitely want to hire you, but they feel its fair if we interview the other guy too. In the meantime, I'd suggest you interview with both of my colleagues just so that you could probably impress them too. I agreed, though I knew the other 2 interviews were just because they wanted to bide time till their hotlisted guy came over. I went through the motions, the interviews were more of Maths and Market talk than anything personal, so there were no awe-inspiring moments. Finally, when they got tired of asking me questions, they left me in the room and went outside and gathered. Now I could have probably left for my next interview with IB3, but I had seen a small ray of hope here and didn't want to leave it. THey had been my dream. So I decided to take a risk. I decided to go out and outrightly pitch myself. I approached them, and all 3 of them looked at me. I was very candid. "Sir, I know you are waiting for a certain candidate. But sir, as far as I know him, he is more interested in consulting firms. Whereas I, I have lived breathed and slept your bank for the last 1 month since you shortlisted me. Since I got to know about the world of Investment banking, I have wanted to be a part of it. Now this candidate you are waiting for might have better credentials than me academics wise. But even if he comes to you right now and accepts your offer, it would be because Consulting firms did not work out for him. Its because he got rejected there. You would be his second choice. Whereas I have been waiting here from the past one hour, ignoring my other 3 shortlists, because I so badly want to join you. However, I feel that its not prudent of me to wait any longer, so please tell me your decision. They looked at me shocked. They then asked me to go inside the room and wait for another 2 minutes while they discussed it. A few minutes later, the gentlemen who interviewed me the first, came in and said, "So N*, would you like Mumbai or Singapore?"
The story ofcourse, continues. But at that point I finally got over the shadow of my class 12th. Ofcourse, a PPO had to be secured. It was a tough ask, given the Situation in Greece during my internship, and the fact that 3 of the other guys of 5 that were hired from my campus by my IB were rank 1, 2 and 6 of our batch. I, during my internship time, was rank 25. HOwever, It so turned out that I worked really hard during my internship, and on my penultimate day, my boss took me for review, and told me he felt I would make a good trader, and offered me a Full time role. It was unprecedented, as typically PPOs were given in Early September, when all the internship cycles for the year were over. However, my desk felt I had done exceedingly well and were in no doubt they wanted to hire me, and thus the HR formalities were ignored and I signed the contract with them on the last day of my internship, thus fulfilling a dream.
The first few days at Joka were the absolute most fun I've had. Meeting new people, making new friends, new classes, new hopes, new dreams.. no more going to the office every morning, Awesome conversations on the dinner table at the mess.. the confidence, that I ...
The first few days at Joka were the absolute most fun I've had. Meeting new people, making new friends, new classes, new hopes, new dreams.. no more going to the office every morning, Awesome conversations on the dinner table at the mess.. the confidence, that I was amongst Achievers..
But soon, we ran into the the fundamental truth every Bschooler has to face in term 1. Summers is just a tad bit away. With all my enthusiasm I set about preparing my CV, and studying for summers. I also did quite well in term 1, given that I had already covered Accounting, economics and Statistics in my CFA. The other courses, BS and Marketing were more Theoritical in nature, and because I didn't have to study the other three, I could give them more time. Anyway, so I did really well in term 1 and got the 20th Rank in my batch. I also did a good job of preparing my CV. Not that I could improve on the points I had, the verification process at college was very strict and not a single made up point could go through. But I did my best to show the points I had in the best way possible. there was no way I could cover up the obvious gaps in my CV though. I have to thank the seniors who spent hours with me trying to ,make my CV look better. I must have met like 50 seniors and they were always selflessly helpful.
Placement season came nearer, and most free time was spent in the library studying for the interview. CFA 2 on my CV was like a double edged sword. I would be expected to know more than the average 1st year MBA student. That was something that could go in my favour if I answered the questions correctly, but which would go against me if I did not.So I revised the syllabus all over again just so that I don't mess up. I read other stuff more pertinent to markets, like Hull, Vault guides and what not. I also kept a daily track of news, read in depth blogs to the pertinent financial issues. Prepared personals. Did everything I possibly could. I would again reiterate, that The best thing about IIMC was, the senior junior bonding, and that helped a lot. You could literally approach any senior any time, to understand something, take their advice, or a mock interview.
THen the shortlsits started pouring in. Day 0 shortlists came before the process. day 0.5 onwards,the shortlists came during the process. The consults came first. I did not get a single day 0 consulting shortlist. People who got shortlists had huge grins on their faces, and were not trying to conceal it at all. They were the stars of the campus. Yes. It was always that way in the first half of first year. People had come in all charged up and with high hopes. Every single person on campus was an achiever in their own right. And the time before placements had been full of pressure. People spent nights preparing for it. Making their CVs, preparing for interviews, Attending company PPTs, all of this apart from regular classes, term projects, quizzes, assignments and exams! People were always short of time. As far as I look at my IIMC life wholistically, real friendships were forged only after summers. Till summers, everyone was competition.
So after my consult dream (not that it was a dream, it was always banks, but still, who doesn't like getting shortlists?) was shattered, I was despondent, but my friends boosted my morale was saying, that when the banks shortlists come out, I'll be the star. That did not turn out so when the first bank shortlist came out. I was shocked. BUt I thought well, maybe an exception. After that, as the bank shortlists started coming in, one every 2-3 days, I did not have any shortlist. 6-7 banks passed that way, and I was in disbelief. I even contacted the placecom to confirm if it was my correct CV going to the banks (as we had diff CVs for diff sectors, and I hadn't highlighted finance as much in the marketing CV, I began wondering if my Marketing CV was reaching the banks!) But it wasn't so. The correct CV was being sent. I almost gave up on preparation. I contacted a few seniors from IIT who were working in Banks, and they told me the reason was that banks looked at the 10th and 12th scores too. There was very little to choose from between candidates at summers time. Especially as our CVs were made before the First term result and therefore did not have term 1 scores/ranks.
So essentially, it meant the ghost of my 68% hadn't left me even though I had conquered the CAT and got into one of the top Bschools in the country. It was a mistake made in the past I just couldn't do anything about, and yet every step of the way, I kept paying the price for it. Be it IIT placements, IIM calls, IIM interviews, or now IIM placements. I was always left shortchanged because of that one mistake. Or rather, that one circumstantial result. I wanted to askthe banks the same question I asked IIMA. If I got 68% in class 12th, does it really matter, given that I cleared JEE and CAT and CFA2. But apparantly, everyone on my campus had cleared CAT, and a lot of them had cleared JEE too. I heard banks make excel sheets inputting 10th, 12th, and graduation marks, sorted them, and then eliminated the bottom few, thus making a sort of cutoff. Probably no one was even looking at my CV. I just got deleted on an Excel sheet.
Finally, when I had given up hope, as was the normal pattern in my life, a good news came calling. A certain top investment bank had shortlisted me. Moreover, they had a small shortlist, of just 20, whereas most shortlists were around 60-70. That just meant a better shot at selection. I was elated. I spent the entire night reading up about the bank. I wanted to ace this interview. It just might be the most important interview in my life. I wanted to be the best informed about their bank among their 20 candidates. The other 19 had multiple shortlists already. THey wouldn't be as focussed on this particular bank. I didn't bother that the 2-3 other banks after this one did not shortlist me. I was in love with this one. I did get 4 more shortlists, but 3 of them were from what were considered lower rung IBs on campus. 1 was from a good one, almost equal to the one I had. Lets call them IB1 and IB2 in the order that I got the shortlists.
So, placement day came, and till then, I was almost sure to prefer IB1 over IB2. Ofcourse it would also depend on who the banks wanted to interview (as in their 'hotlist' . Yes. just a shortlist wasn't enough) , but we had to fill a preference list too. The schedulers tried to optimize the process as much as possible so that the candidates and companies preference were both considered as much as possible. Anyway, so the day before day 0, we had an interaction session with the banks, each lasting approximately an hour, after which another one started, but the candidates who didn't have the next shortlist could further interact with the bank they were shortlisted with after the time slot. Here is where i Decided to make a difference. Those with multiple shortlists would have to move from Interaction to Interaction. I just had 5, and 2 which I was really keen on. So in the interaction of IB2, I created very positive vibes with the gentleman from HK who was to interview me the next day. We had an in depth discussion on some nuances of markets, which I was able to carry on very well with thanks to my good preparation. He was sufficiently impressed, and indicated that if I go to him tomorrow morning he just might give me an offer. IB1 interaction was later, and more informal in nature, but I impressed the gentlemen there too. Only, no hint was given as to the following day. So late in the night, I re-edited my preference to fill IB2 above IB1. I rolled around restlessly in my bed all night, and then the clock struck 6, and I had to get up for another extremely important day in my life.