The journey for CAT 2018 started on May 22 2018. I enrolled with TIME, IMS and CL on that very day and set a target that I will convert IIM Calcutta or FMS Delhi in April 2019. The very next day I gave my first mock and scored 82 marks with 36 in VARC, 22 in LRDI and 24 in Quants. I spent the next whole week on noting down the subtopics of Quants and Lrdi, assessing my reading and comprehension and identifying various question types which feature in VARC. I knew my strength lies in Verbal Ability and had to make sure that I bell this section to clear the CAT. I worked on my reading speeding for the next one month by reading random articles from various websites so that I am used to reading 6 different passages and solve 24 RC questions. This enhanced my speed and comprehension ability which also boosted my problem-solving ability in LRDI. Simultaneously I also identified my strong and weak areas in Quantitative ability. By June 22 I had a set plan ready which I had to follow religiously till November 25 2018 a.k.a D Day. We soon got to know that IIM Calcutta would be the host IIM and set the CAT, I made an assumption that Quantitative ability will be a really difficult section as IIM Calcutta is known for its rigorous mathematics-oriented curriculum and I started to work accordingly as QA was my weakest section of the three. After careful analysis my scores pushed into the 150-160 zone, after 2 consecutive mocks I was happy with the improvement but the streak continued for 6-7 mocks and I was unable to figure out that what is going wrong with my strategy that I am still in the 98-99.4 zone, was just not able to breach the barrier. Then i started to use PG to look for like minded people and get some tips from them as to how i can improve my scores. I came across posts of @abckl_123 @SmileyKRK @madscorer @ZappAttack @rohitcd @aabhasm1996 who would have massive scores in simcats and aimcats, brief discussions on PG with these guys helped me gain some insight into improving LRDI and evetually my scores improved to the 180 zone. I had reached the month of october by now, D-Day was just 1.5 months away and i decided to up my game and improve my strategy and mock analysis. I came across @ronniem1996123, consistent mock topper and to be CAT 100 percentiler. We has grea discussion regarding mock strategy and specifically VARC. I decided to analyse each and every option of RC's to know as to why a particular answer was correct and why an answer was wrong. This approach helped me push VARC scores in the 75-80 range by november second week. Now i just needed to finalise my strategy and make minor changes to optimise time. With the help of the Mock paper given to us by IIM Calcutta i recognised the usefulness of question paper mode, it helps you read the RCs and question in one go, second thing was that i realised i am very fast with TITA based question in LRDI and slow with question which had CBD and none of these. I integrated this in my final strategy and implement them in Simcat 15 - OA 206 and Simcat 16 - OA 204. I gave my final mock on 18 november and after seeing the 204 i knew i was ready to take the CAT head on.
D Day: I was in the afternoon slot and was completely relaxed on D day, we had to wait for one hour before the paper started, i adjusted my seat, keyboard screen distance and reading method i.e covering both sides of eyes and ears so that i can read with full concentration.
VARC : This section had a small surprise as instead of 6 RC's we had 5 of them, they were lenghty and the questions felt a little on the higher side. VA section was equally difficult with extremely difficult Paja jumbles and odd man out.
I was able to attempt 32 questions and it shook my confidence a little as i had never attempted less than 34 questions in any mock.
LRDI : As expected this section was diffcult, i spent 5 mins and went through each and every set, identified all the doable questions and started with set number 8 but i got stuck midway and had to redo the whole set. 31 minutes passed and i just had 4 attempts, this shook my confidence even more but suddenly a surge of positivity came in and i closed my eyes for a minute, with 28 minutes to go i picked the 2 choice of set and finished it in 5 mins, third set in 6 minutes and 4 set in 12 mins. Now i had 16 attempts in 55 minutes but i wasnt sure of them as i solved them in one go itself. i started to scan through my leftover doable questions and came across a very easy venn question which was solvable via options and i immediatedly marked it. I had 17 attempts in 59 minutes.
QA : I was totally shaken by my performance in the previous sections and was thrown under the bus by IIM Calcutta with an extremely difficult Quants section. In 30 mins i manged 5 attempts and in the next 30 another 8 attempts.
I was totally dejected by my performance and decided to relax for a week and prepare for XAT, but IIM C had a surprise waiting. They released our answer sheets along with answer keys. I saw that i had scored 170+, then i was just awaiting the final result by IIM Calcutta which came on 5 january 2019.
CAT 18 : VARC – 87.62 | LRDI – 53.03 | QA – 34.57 | OA – 175.22
CAT 18 : VARC – 99.95 | LRDI – 99.73 | QA – 93.74 | OA – 99.71.
On that very day i got the much awaited shortlist from IIM Calcutta and eventually by SPJIMR, MDI, IIM Kozhikode and FMS Delhi.
Next two months was spent reading newspapers, making HR answers, learning about the various colleges, developing opinions, understanding current affairs, work experience, undergraduation courses and GDs/PI's.
I had a very smooth experience with SPJIMR and IIM Kozhikode.
MDI and IIM Caclcutta were 25 and 40 minute long stress interviews.
On 12 April i received my rejection from IIM Calcutta and i was completely broken and was just sitting in my room when a voice inside me said red, i saw the poster of FMS on my wardrobe and thought that what am i doing, wasting time for something which is in the past while i have my FMS interview in 3 days. I shut myself from all social media and spent the next 3 days studying for 17 hours each. On 16 April i reached the Red Building of Dreams and i felt such a strong vibe for it that i knew i have to make it here at any cost. I perfomed at my optimal levels in the GD, Extempore and PI. On 24 April i got the admit from FMS Delhi and at last the Dream was fulfilled.
I would like to thank the extremely talented, hardworking, intellectual bakchods i have met in my life
THE DT 2019 :
and many others
So its a wrap atlast, the journey was phenomenal but its just the beginning.
Time for Phase 2
THE RED BUILDING OF DREAMS
FMS DELHI 2019 – 2021.