Following is a story of an IIM topper. I received this as a forward email, but it is inspiring and funny too …. Why not have a look at it .. may be it help you to grab the CAT
In March 2005 the CAT 2005 fever picked up in IIT. A lot of people starting doing multiple choice questions, lots of banners were put up, everyone was giving tests, topping at some coaching or the other. Initially I did not want to give CAT but the herd mentality is hard to break and hence I also joined Roots Education near IIT for CAT preparation (Roots definitely is a great place to go, not just for CAT but for overall development). Summer break came and I went to Yahoo! Bangalore for my internship and prepared for GRE there (Yes I am an extremely confused soul). After coming back I gave GRE prepared a little bit for CAT and went to give the exam.
CAT 2005 Exam:
The funniest thing happened during the exam, I wanted to start my watch so that it starts at 12 and I can measure the time precisely. The exam started and I forgot to start my watch. After 10-12 minutes I realized my mistake and started my watch and started rushing through the questions. I gave too much time to the English Section and barely gave enough time to Quant and Data Interpretation. When I came out of the exam I scored something in 50s. I attempted around 34 marks in English and scored around 24, I attempted 17 marks in Quant and scored 15.66 marks, and I attempted 17 marks in DI and scored 15 or something in it. Most coaching institutes told me not to have too much hope for callsII.
IIM Interviews 2005:
I scored 99.45 percentile and got interview calls from all the IIMs. I remember little details but I will try and capture them here. The IIM Calcutta interview was the worst. They asked me about my favorite course, I said algorithms. They asked me what NP Complete is and I did not answer it correctly. Moreover I argued that I was correct. The professor told me to go and read my books again. IIM Kozikode was a funny experience and in the end I told them that I do not want admission at IIM Kozikode. IIM Ahemdabad was again okay. In IIM Bangalore we started discussing about India and I said that in India things happen by chance and are not planned. It was a nice hot discussion. IIM Lucknow was also quite decent. In the end I was not expecting anything from IIM Calcutta and quite hopeful from IIM Bangalore and Calcutta. The result was that I got through IIM Calcutta and Lucknow and did not get through others. Quite Funny.
I did not join IIM since I wanted to work (and at that time I was supposed to go to US). However that is a different story.
I was almost in no mood to give CAT. But since some friends were going to get the form I also asked them to get the form for me. I remember while filling up the form my mom asked me why am I filling the form but the person I am I just said just in case (I know I do have some OCD)
This time I did not take any coaching. Did not take any practice tests basically did nothing. In fact I landed back from US on 18th November at 2 a.m. in the morning. I came home and slept, ate a lot of Indian food on 18th and went to exam on 19th. I think I was somewhat jetlagged. I also felt really funny and stupid while giving the exam having cleared it once. I don’t know how it happened but I did pretty well. I scored well in almost all the sections.
I scored 99.56 percentile and got interview calls from all IIMs again. This time the interviews were much more interesting. At IIM Bangalore they asked me a lot of things, few of them I remember. They asked me that “I want to enter management now leaving technical side, how can they be sure that I will not leave management later?” I just could not think of any answer and in the end I blurted what was coming in my mind that “There is not guarantee, in fact most probably I will leave management as well after 10-15 years as after that I should have enough money and would like to work for an NGO after that.” They also asked me “How do I justify government funding on my IIT education since I am leaving it now?” Again I was stumped and I became philosophical and said that “Nobody said life would be fair, IIT has an exam and on that day I scored more marks and was able to get in and there is no guarantee that another person would not make the same choices as I have made.” I did not expect to get selected at IIM Bangalore. In the IIM Calcutta interview they asked me why I did not join last year. I was able to convince them well. Overall a nice interview. IIM Ahemdabad was quite interesting. The professor quized me over testing and quality assurance. I explained what I had learned in the past one year. They asked me about my thesis project on having automated surveillance. They asked me why it was required and I said that because humans are expensive and can make more mistakes. At the end of the interview they asked me that I said machines are better since humans make more mistakes but a software is also written by humans and hence can have errors right? and I answered that because of this we have testing and quality assurance teams. We all smiled. IIM Lucknow was okay again. The result was that I got through IIM Bangalore, Calcutta and Lucknow.
This time I also got an H1b with my company but somehow going to US did not feel right and hence I am joining IIM Calcutta ( I know I am terribly confused person).
This has been my rendezvous with CAT. Overall a great experience. My advice to others, don’t study too much for CAT written test. If you study too much then you get tensed and that makes things worse. If you don’t study then no tension and better performance. IIM Interviews are a completely different story.
Prepare every portion of your life, specially college life and academics, and try and have a good reasoning of why you want to do an MBA. Most of all don’t lie, always say the truth because I feel when you say the truth then you say it with full confidence and that makes an impression on people. Be truthful, be confident, and go bell the CAT.