MY CAT Journey

I started my career with dismal performance in mock exams. During my first attempt I did not join any coaching and gave only mocks. Scores did not remain consistent across mocks. Not analyzing the solutions of the proc mocks also made the preparation worse. I got 92.26 percentile. Not a decent score. I got a call from IIMK due to good acads. But did not convert it. Now when I introspect my interview I think the interviewer did justice in every manner by not taking me in. As the mantra of interview says that “Every interview is a sales process”. I did not highlight my strength areas in the interview.

Many of my friends converted calls in that year. I decided to take another shot at CAT. First I tried to jot down my areas of weakness. I soon realized that verbal ability was something that was taking a toll on me. And it was only due to lack of practice and not following up the solutions of the mock test. I started preparing for verbal ability by working on vocab. Barron’s GRE came in handy for the situation. Then I started practising RC passages. Quants was always my strength area. So I did not prepare much for quants due to paucity of time. I was working as IT Manager at Tata Steel.

In the last few days I gave a lot of tests and revised the solutions. I had also made a handbook of all important formulae and last-minute-tips. Managing between job and tests was not easy. But something that kept me going was that it’s an opportunity that comes once in a year and where you cannot be late to tap the opportunity.

Finally my results were in my favour. I got 98.36 percentile and got calls from IIM B,S,I,K, new IIMs. I also did my interview preparation in a judicious way. I went through the videos of mock interviews. Basically that helps you to know where the candidates can go wrong. I also gave a couple face-to-face mock interviews. Make sure that you face a couple of stress interviews also. And the mantra that “Every interview is a sales process” became my strategy. I converted IIM I,K,S. I was disappointed by IIM Bangalore results.

The point that I am trying to make here is that CAT is doable. But for that you need a good game plan, a proper approach and above all belief in your abilities. Knowing the problem area and leveraging on your strength is also what will comprise the pillars of learning at any b-school. Proper planning and self-determination helped me to convert not only CAT, but also other calls like IIFT, SPJIMR .

Remember that “When the planning is good, you can bell not only the CAT but also a Tiger”. Never give up and be a fighter to the core.

Asit Arunav

PGP 2013-15

IIM Indore.