1. Be absolutely sure why you want to do an MBA and does doing an MBA fit-in with your career plan.
2. Don’t confuse yourself with asking too many people; talk to few people then make your own judgement
3. Choose an institute for coaching (if required) where you get individual care. Remember everyone cannot go to an IIM; but you can definitely go to a premier institute if you have it in you.
4. Killer- instinct is a must. If your sectional scores are not improving every fortnight something is amiss.
5. Keep track of your scores (both sectional and mock cats) updated for ready reference for applications. Ask your mentor where to apply depending on your scores.
6. Short-list institutes for application based on your scores. Again, everyone can’t go to the IIMs. Check whether the institute profile matches your career plan or not.
7. Don’t lose focus; preparation for CAT must be your top-most priority.
8. Take all India mock-cats only as indicative; it is useless to take all – India mock cats if your scores are not improving relatively.
9. In any competitive examination you compete with yourself not with the Joneses. Sita can be the best Sita; she can’t be Savitri.
10. Set fortnightly targets for sectional score improvement.
11. Progress will be painstaking and slow; it won’t be in leaps and bounds. Persevere.
12. PRACTICE – PRACTICE – PRACTICE.
13. Stop conjecturing on the outcome; it is an area of concern. Focus on your area of influence. For the written examination
14. Read the instructions very carefully and follow them.
15. Select the questions judiciously. Do not try to overdo yourself.
16. Do not make wild guesses. If the paper is tough it will be so for everyone. You have to shine relatively.
17. There are about 20000 real contenders for top 4000 premium seats. All are equally likely to succeed. Spread your risk.
18. Be a contrarian. Go away from the crowd.
19. Believe in yourself and in God.
20. Nervousness immobilises. Use your nervous energy productively.
For the Personal Interview
21. Be very thorough with your favourite academic subject (preferably two)
22. Have active hobbies (no listening to music, etc. unless you are really an afficionado)
23. Know yourself well. Be comfortable with yourself (its difficult)
24. If possible, have work-ex
25. Fill the applications meticulously. Check, re-check, double -check.
26. Take part in presentations, group discussions, interviews from now.
27. Keep copies of all form sent by you.
28. Choose your area of specialisation and show a path to and from it in your life
29. Whatever you write in the forms and say in the interview must be logical
30. Be smartly dressed, but not flamboyant
31. Be polite, assertive; not aggressive.
32. Treat the interviewers like GOD
33. Be logical, not emotional
34. Highlight your strengths; blunt your weaknesses
For the GD
35. Read ET/ Business Standard daily
36. Read Business Today/ Business India regularly
37. Read Outlook / India Today regularly
38. Read Competition Master/ Success/ Refresher regularly. Nowadays many exams have GK sections
39. Improve your general awareness – it takes time
40. Watch News on TV; get things from the horses mouth.
41. Have an opinion on everything – it matters
42. Be clear and analytical
43. Speak substance, not quantity
44. Make your presence felt
Contributed by Moheet Gupta, XLRI Alumnus (BMD 1993). CAT/XAT trainer for last 15 years (ex-IMS), Kolkata 9830231975, firstname.lastname@example.org