Five years in the making… Part 2 of 3

Part – B

Left for Bangalore with a heavy heart after a fun filled final phase of the final year and a 2 month merry making stay at home. However, was excited as a new beginning beckoned and on top of that Bangalore was the mecca for CAT aspirants too as there were many other like minded people pursuing their MBA dreams there. Got settled there and enrolled for 2 mock series – Time and CL. Apart from that Pagalguy prep threads and chats with fellow Puys kept me updated.

This reminds that this was the year I applied for Regional DT’s and managed to get into Bangalore and Kolkata Dream Teams. This was crucial to my journey as this kept me motivated, in touch and hence, afloat in the journey. Star studded Bangalore meets were always awesome with the likes of @kill4iim  (IIM A), @Roger.Federer   (IIM I), @techgodajay   (IIM C),  (Our beloved mod & GMAT acer), @phdis  (IIM C), @mossad  , @shagils  ,@anshul_mechie  (XLRI), @seba_catrpillar  (MDI), @himspuy   being a regular part of the meets. Seba da and Roger sir’s were always there for me and I found my much needed mentors in them. I remember me and @seba da having gala times going for bike rides to have tea at a far off place (the name of which I dont remember right now) where we would meet @himspuy  and enjoy chit chatting. Those were the good days when I come to think of them now ?

KDT was also a integral part of life that year. @nishant_88  , @allan89  , @DEBJITNAG  , @s_k_  , @pratskool  , @GANESH87  da were all very supportive and regular confys helped us a lot

Mocks version 2011

As stated above enrolled myself into 2 mock series – Time and CL. I have to admit that I used to have a hard time keeping up with mocks. This was basically due to the fact that I had to shoulder a new responsibility of the job and this hardly left any time for mocks during weekdays which often led to taking multiple mocks on weekends and there were days when I had to take a few during training sessions. People may wonder why take mocks during training sessions. I did this for a reason, it helped improve my concentration a lot which would prove crucial later on.

There were quite a few invigilated mocks and owing to the remote location of the TIME center I often had to travel around 10 kms to take a mock in a place which had no AC and was quite noisy. Again had to manage that coz taking the mocks in an invigilated environment was important for me. I remember the constant honking outside the center owing to the presense of a bus depot. 

The mocks per se started going reeli well for me tho and my scores starting improving with time. 99+ was a regular feature now in both the test series mocks. Gained a lot of confidence and ironed out the creases which had existed in 2010.

Here is a snapshot of the mock season:

Season 2011

This time around I decided to take only 3 exams – CAT, XAT, CMAT

Booked the CAT slot from my office itself in the 1st half of October. This time I was much more confident about myself and was pretty sure of getting a good percentile. 

Went to the center, completed the registration process and started the test on time. QADI was breeze. Answered around 27 questions in good time and moved on to VA and boy I was in for a surprise. It was the tufest VA I had ever encountered till that tym. However, I kept my calm took the single questions first, finished them off and moved on to LR and managed 2 sets of moderate difficulty quite well. The third set was a bouncer and had to let go. 2 of the RCs were easy to read but had tough inferential questions and 1 RC was over the head types. Somehow managed to attempt 24 questions but somewhere deep down I knew VALR hadnt been that great. 

Another new thing that happened this year was that I cudnt sleep before the exam. An advice from a fren reeli helped: 

Red Bull and a Cold water bath ?

But again the effect of these things vary from person to person. I had to take the risk on the D – Day but I would strongly recommend people to actually try this for a mock or 2 and then onli apply the same on D day ?

XAT was another fun filled ride. Had gone to Goa with college frenz to celebrate new years. Returned inebriated a day before XAT which ensured that I had very limited specific preps for XAT. With a stomach upset gave XAT and wasnt expecting anything as all the coaching instis predicted a DM disaster for me ?

I dont remember much about CMAT other than the fact that the center was a bloody 30 kms away from my place and the results werent favourable either ?

The Result came by and as expected VA bombed but QA kind of saved the day:

CAT 2011:99.33%ile(QADI:99.82%ile,VALR:86.85%ile )

XAT was a pleasant surprise tho:

XAT2012:99.31%ile(QADI:95.xx%ile,VA:98.xx%ile,DMLR:93.xx%ile )

A point to note about XAT is that XAT keys are quite different from the keys tht coaching instis release. Hence, it is not a gud idea to get tensed up or relaxed after calculating ur scores via the coaching insti keys ?

Calls: XLRI (BM and HRM), FMS, MDI, IIT B, New IIMs

Cudnt secure a call from any of the older IIMs due to the low VALR percentile.

The interview preps started and I joined both CL and TIME as i got gud discounts owing to my percentiles. Got grilled in some, some were relaxed. Got to know that GD’s and essays are my strength while Interviews were quite unpredictable. Again Seba da and Roger sir reeli helped me prepare. At the end I felt I had decent enough preparations and was ready for the real deal. Another point worth mentioning here is the fact that ITC reeli helped me prepare ?

I had put in my papers in jan itself after CAT results as I was ready to take up MDI (which used to give a lot of weightage to CAT scores) and the next 3 months were gonna be the notice period. There was not much work in office and I tuk full advantage of that.

Interviews started and first up was New IIMs. I still laugh when I remember how I just managed to almost miss it. First of all I wasn’t well that day and secondly I thought that the process was at 2 pm when it actually was supposed to start at 1 pm and I saw this at 10 mins to 1 just before I ws going in for a bath. Rushed and managed to reach just 5 mins late. WAT went off well but the PI was a disaster and I got screwed royally. Next up was MDI which went off quite well. Then came the big one XLRI. The XL BM PI was a dream run which lasted for 20 odd minutes with them asking me 60 rapid fire questions and I managed to answer almost all of them. However later on I realized that they had made up their mind beforehand when they said “Come back next year with more work ex“. XL HRM interview was however a comic affair due to multiple goof ups from my side. An hour before the interview my maid spilled tea on my 2 month old macbook and I was in no mood to go for the interview. After a good scolding from my mom I left 5 minutes before the allotted time and again managed to reach 5 minutes late. As I entered the room the professors commented “You should have come 5 minutes before the allotted time but you 5 minutes late.”. I managed to convince them that I had a personal problem and they let me enter. Post that they started searching for my profile sheet which was right in front of my eyes and so I told them the same. A senior prof got seriously pissed off and told me “You learn to mind your own business and we can mind our own”. Then there was mild earthquake during the GD which made us all wonder whether the shaking of the legs was due to nervousness or anything else. Post that the PI was okaish though I was taunted a number of times (“You are only 24 and you are teaching us”). FMS was another story and i got screwed as the profs quizzed me on MSE’s and MSME’s which left me thinking where did that come from! I knew I wont convert XL or FMS. As the results came out this was confirmed.

Converts: MDI, IIT B

I was highly disappointed that I cudnt my 2 best calls but there was also a sense of satisfaction that I had converted MDI. I was almost ready to go but then there was a fleeting element of doubt in my mind. I talked to a number of people and at the end I floated the idea to my parents. They were dead against it. I had sleepless nights. My mom asked me to join MDI atleast a 100 times during those 2 months when i was at home. People I didn’t even know properly taunted me “You are an over-confident brat“, “You are committing a mistake, a big one“. Some people even went to the extent of calling me a incompetent fool. Life wasn’t easy in that phase. I was facing opposition at home, I had left my job, my profile was not tht great either but i was simply not ready to give up the dream of getting into ABC that easily. These were pebbles, not boulders I told myself and decided to drop MDI. The day I withdrew the deposit from MDI was the day I decided I will not stop before I give all I have to it. This is my passion n i will live it! This is what I am good at and I cant give up on it so easily! I cant be just that one name on the list!

Then started the search for jobs. I was determined not to venture into IT again so I began looking for a job that engineers usually do not usually get. I visited NGOs, applied to marketing firms but cudnt find a way thru. Then one day recvd a mail regarding an opening of content author (Qa) at TF. Jumped on it and got the job. Thus my journey towards the city which never sleeps i.e. MUMBAI began ?

I can safely say that this was the most eventful year of my life till date and the decisions taken during this year changed my life to a very big extent. This was the year I got to know the kind of passion I possessed for MBA and the fact that I can be so passionate about something in my life. Everything in life revolved around MBA  ?

[Note: This is a post on the user’s CAT journey that has been captured in his own words. We have not edited it in any way when publishing it as an article. Cover image is from]