Biswarup

From 70% In CAT 2018 To 98+% In CAT 2019 – A leap of Faith Ft. Biswarup Ghosh

By Get Inspired, Guest Posts No Comments

The other day I was reading the CAT journey of Biswarup, a CAT’19 98+ percentile, and an incoming SJMSOM MBA student. While reading his preparation strategy, I happened to get a moment of epiphany. It was about what does CAT crackers have in common. I will share it at the end of this article, but first, let’s go through Biswarup’s journey in his own words. He was humble enough to allow me to share his journey on “The CAT Talk.”


I am Biswarup Ghosh, a software engineer with 3.5 years of experience in IT. I have recently converted two of the most coveted B schools of India- MDI GURGAON and SJMSOM, IIT BOMBAY. Finally, I have taken admission into SJMSOM, IIT BOMBAY.

Profile:

10: 9 | 12: 8 | B.Tech: 8 

Work experience: 34 Months until December 2019 with TCS.


My CAT Journey:

It all started back in 2018 when I decided to prepare and take the CAT exam seriously. I was doing self-preparation and took test series of CL and IMS. My preparation was going in the right way, and after initial setbacks, my mock scores also started improving. I was hopeful that I would be able to do well in the exam. Fast forward to the D-day, I panicked and underperformed. I ended up getting a mere 70%. It was a shocker as well as an eye-opener for me. I was feeling hopeless and even doubted myself whether I would be able to score well in the upcoming year, even if I prepared well. I pulled myself up in a couple of weeks or so and decided to give one more try.

This time I decided to start early. I wanted to join a coaching institute, but keeping in mind my office hours and time needed for self-study, I felt that online coaching would be the best option for me. That’s when I decided to enrol for the iQuanta online course, and I was part of the first batch that started in late January. I had also enrolled myself for the test series of TIME and IMS. Fast forward to the D-day, I was able to keep myself calm and cool, I didn’t panic, and my exams went smoothly. I knew that my exam had gone well, and I was elated when I saw my results. I had secured 98.03%(VA-89.87%, LRDI-98.44%, and QA-97.94%) in CAT 2019. This journey taught me that PERSEVERANCE, SELF BELIEF, and NEVER GIVE UP ATTITUDE can take a person a long way in life.

A few pointers about my preparation strategy:

  1. Resources used for CAT: I was an iQuanta classroom student. The tricks, shortcuts, and doubts solved there helped me in my preparation. Other than that, I relied on the mocks of IMS and TIME. I also used Arun Sharma, Time materials, and past year mock/cat papers.
  2. No.of Mocks taken: I took close to 30 full length mocks, and around 10-15 sectional tests of all three sections.
  3. Time management: I had to manage both my office as well as my cat preparation. I used to read articles or solve RCs while travelling to the office. Even during office hours, I tried to solve a few sums/few LRDI sets whenever I got time. During my free time, I used to go to the library. My target was to put at least 2-3 hrs daily for my preparation.

Read: From Completing B.Tech In 6 Years To Making It To An IIM At 27, Rohit’s CAT Journey Of Courage And Intent


GD-PI preparation strategy:

I joined IMS for my GD-PI preparation. GDPI is all about knowing to communicate and speak fluently and clearly, knowing everything related to yourself, hometown, hobbies, current affairs, and a little bit of economics/statistics.

Message to the CAT aspirants:

Read 2-3 articles daily, solve 2-3 RCs daily. It will improve the VARC section. For LRDI, try to solve 2-3 sets daily, preferably from past year mock papers. For QA, try to solve 20 sums daily. Analyze mocks properly and make a point not to repeat the same mistakes. If you take a mock for 3 hours, analyze it for at least 6 hours. It is the most important part. I maintained an excel tracker to track my mock scores and see the areas where I was lacking or doing well.


I, being an engineer, had always dreamt of being a part of the IIT ecosystem. It has been a dream come true for me, and I couldn’t be happier. Finally, all those hard work and struggle has paid off 🙂

And yes, the journey is more important than the destination.

Happy learning!


I hope Biswarup’s journey has inspired you to keep going.


What do CAT crackers have in common?

As I said in the beginning, I would share a few points that generally CAT crackers have in common. So, while I was reading Biswarup’s journey, I realized the following points about CAT crackers in general.

  1. They cover basics from the material of any coaching institute.
  2. They solve previous year mocks and CAT papers.
  3. They take around 30 mocks.
  4. They analyze mocks religiously.
  5. They are persistent in their preparation.

Bu then, why do many people fail even after following the above points?

I feel that’s because they don’t take the leap of faith that Biswarup and many others have taken. Not everyone takes courage to keep going despite the setbacks. And as I always say, CAT is more about the intent than it is about the talent. It is all about patience, persistence, and perseverance.

So, take a leap of faith and keep going!


Read: From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate


Links to some of the resources that Biswarup used for his preparation.

  1. Previous year papers
  2. iQuanta Online Course
  3. TIME mocks
  4. IMS mocks

If you need any guidance from Biswarup, you may connect with him on Facebook.


Read: From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional


Related Articles:

  1. From Completing B.Tech In 6 Years To Making It To An IIM At 27, Rohit’s CAT Journey Of Courage And Intent

  2. How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?
  3. I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
  4. Life Won’t Change Unless You Change!

  5. From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
  6. Learn To Fight Alone!
Mistake

Mistakes that a CAT aspirant should avoid! Ft. Atishaya Jain

By CAT Preparation, Guest Posts No Comments

In this article, Atishaya Jain, a CAT 2019 99.84 percentiler and IIM A convert, has impeccably articulated the mistakes that a CAT aspirant should avoid.

Mistake


A brief about me:

I am a General/Engineer/Male candidate. While writing CAT, I had 17 months of work experience. I had graduated from IIT Mandi with a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering. CAT 2019 was my first attempt, and I managed to score (189.4/300) and 99.84 percentile. I am joining IIM Ahmedabad this year.

My sectional scores were as follows:

Verbal (50.48 score & 95.47 %ile)

DILR (64.61score & 99.86 %ile)

Quant (74.03 score & 99.76 %ile)


Following are some of the mistakes that most aspirants make and we will analyse today how small changes can make a huge difference.

First Improve your accuracy and then increase the number of attempts :

It is not important to solve all the questions. You need to resist yourself from this mentality. You are attempting this test to get selected and not prove your calibre to someone. If you closely look at the above analysis, you can easily see that attempting 20 questions with 90% accuracy gives you a better score than attempting 30 questions with just 60% accuracy. So focus on doing more questions correctly rather than doing more questions. This strategy has two-fold advantages.

    1. You have to attempt fewer questions. So you get more time per question, and hence you have a higher chance of making most of your attempts correct. While practising mocks, try to use this technique. Target at least 85%+ accuracy.
    2. Since you are attempting paper without pressure to solve all questions, you tend to have a cool mindset. Trust me, it makes a lot of difference in your performance on D-Day.

A word of caution: Make sure that your accuracy is high. If you don’t have good accuracy and still you solve only 20 questions in a section, you might end up with a very low score.

CAT is the game of time. Improve speed without losing accuracy.

Once you have a grip on the accuracy, try to push your limits by offsetting boundaries. Try to solve a one-hour mock in 55 minutes. Initially, you will make more mistakes as you try to solve the same number of questions in lesser time. But gradually, your speed will improve, and you will develop a habit to stay with the clock, if not ahead of it without losing your accuracy.

Don’t Fall in love with questions:

A lot of aspirants have a habit of sticking to one question for long. You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone. For example, In the Quant or DILR section, if you can’t crack a question in 1–2 minutes, move on. Let me share my experience with CAT 2019. While attempting the DILR section, I couldn’t solve the 1st passage in 2 minutes, so I moved to the next one and kept doing so until I reached the 6th passage. By the time I cracked my first DILR passage, I had spent 15 minutes and had 28 questions left.

Don’t carry the regret of one bad section to the other:

As I was saying, I had completely messed up my timeline in the DILR section. But rather than panicking, I spent my next 45 minutes to identify and solve seven good passages with more than 90% accuracy, seven minutes for each passage of 3 questions.

Picking the right question to solve is an art and a huge game-changer.

Imagine yourself solving an RC, and having spent 8–9 minutes on trying to solve it and still not able to answer even a single question. Now that’s when the panic kicks in. It means that you have picked an incorrect question as per your strength and weakness.

A pro Tip: After solving a mock, keep a record of the topics whose questions you are still not able to solve even after revision. That is your weakness. And look out for questions you didn’t have to make a lot of effort in solving. That is your strength. On the exam day, select questions or sections that match your strength. There will always be 60% of questions relating to your strength. Solve them first.

A word of Caution: Don’t spend a lot of time selecting the right set of questions. It is instinctive and comes with habit/ practice.


Take good care of yourself and have sound sleep and food. Good Luck.


Read: CAT preparation strategy for the last four months


If you need any guidance from Atishaya, you may connect with him on Quora.


Note: I advise you read the following related articles to get a fair idea about the CAT exam and its preparation.


Related articles:

  1. How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?
  2. What Are The Best Books For Cat Preparation?

  3. How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?

  4. My Maths Is Weak, How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT Exam?

  5. How Do I Develop The Reading Habit?

  6. How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?
  7. Which Is Better – Online Coaching Or Offline Coaching?

  8. How Should I Prepare LRDI For CAT?

  9. Which Is The Best Mock Test Series For CAT? Can I Predict My CAT Percentile From Mock Test Results?

  10. What Strategy Should I Follow In CAT Mocks?

  11. How To Do CAT Mock Analysis?

  12. Why Do Students Fail In CAT?

  13. Which All Top B-Schools Give Very Less Or No Weight For Academic Scores?

Amar IIT Bombay

Why did I choose IITB over other MBA colleges? Ft. Amar Agrahari

By Guest Posts, Life at IIMs No Comments

I have been writing about the CAT exam and MBA for the last few months. In all these months, I have seen one common thing in the aspirants – a constant quest for knowing more about the b-schools. And so, I have started reaching out to my connections from different b-schools to request them to share more information about their institute on The CAT Talk. I feel it will help aspirants remain updated and can help them make an informed decision about their choice of b-school as and when needed.

Recently, I reached out to Amar, a current student of SJMSOM, Bombay. He scored 99.67 percentile in CAT 2018, and joined SJMSOM, Bombay, and having a great time there now. Being my junior for a few days at IIM Trichy, I know Amar as a very mature person. When I told him about “The CAT Talk,” he was happy to share his experience on this platform. 

So, let’s see what he has to say about his choice to prefer SJMSOM, Bombay to other MBA colleges.


I chose SJMSOM, IIT Bombay because of the following reasons.

Placement:

I think the placement is the primary reason for most of us to join a b-school. We all agree that most of the students who pursue an MBA want a good placement in a reputed company, and the SJMSOM placement record has been phenomenal in recent years. The average placement of SJMSOM is around 21 Lakhs.

Small Batch Size: 

SJMSOM, IIT Bombay has a batch size of 110 students (now, it has been increased to 152). I feel having a small batch size has an advantage as we get to network well with others in our batch. I can say that I know everyone personally from our batch.

ROI:

SJMSOM has one of the best ROIs in the country. Our course fee is around ten lakhs for two years, and an average placement of the batch is around 21 lakhs.

Ranking:

SJMSOM, IIT Bombay is one of the leading B-schools in India. NIRF ranking of IIT Bombay is 11. And this was also one of the points I considered for choosing the college.

Location:

I feel location matters, and as IIT Bombay is located in the financial capital of the country (i.e. Mumbai), it definitely has the location advantage as compared to other colleges in the country (Many people may disagree on this point).

Networking:

Networking is one of the essential factors in any MBA graduate life. And SJMSOM has a rich alumni base spread across a variety of industries. The icing on the cake is that we not only get to interact with SJMSOM alumni but also IIT Bombay alumni which I feel is really beneficial.

Interaction with others:

If you are at IIT Bombay, you interact with not only SJMSOM students but also students from B.Tech, M.Tech, Ph.D., Design, etc. and therefore you get the hang of diverse field which helps you a lot, also you make a lot of friends from diverse fields. Don’t miss the fact that you also get to interact with the brightest mind of the country.

Entrepreneurship:

If you feel you have a million-dollar idea and you want to open a company, then IIT Bombay is the right place. We have SINE(Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship), e-cell, e-club(SJMSOM) who helps you to build your start-ups and also helps in finding and meeting with potential investors.

Campus life and Infrastructure: 

People say that “Mumbai is the city that never sleeps,” and this phrase goes with IIT Bombay too. You will see students doing different activities throughout the day. With a lush green campus of over 500 acres, you can never complain about the campus life of IIT Bombay. Lake, hills, gym, Olympic size swimming pool, sports ground, cafes, restaurants, auditoriums, yoga rooms, indoor sports facilities, seminar rooms, technology centers – you name it, and we have it. Moreover, you also get to organize Mood Indigo(India’s largest cultural fest), TechFest, and E-Summit.


Aspirants often ask me why I chose IIT Bombay after getting a high percentile. I would like to say that getting a high percentile does not guarantee you a seat in the top IIMs. Every MBA college in India has different criteria for selection, which includes past academic records, diversity factor (gender as well as academic), extracurricular activities, work experience, etc. And we should also remember that CAT is just an exam to filter out good students, and your selection depends upon a lot of other factors (mentioned above).

Lastly, I would like to say that rejections should not dishearten us and I always believe that I cannot change my past, nobody can, because it is not in our hands, but we should work hard for our future to be good.

Here are some of the pictures of my one-year stay at IIT Bombay:

Campus view from my room

Met with one of my favourite comedians, Kumar Varun

 

Avenues( SJMSOM Fest)

 

Also worked as the coordinator of India’s largest Cultural fest Mood Indigo.

 

Mood Indigo(one should really attend the event once in his/her lifetime)

 

When B. tech guys meet with MBA guys 🙂

 

E-Summit workshop

 

Mumbai is love 🙂

Debayan CAT journey

IIM after 3 attempts – The CAT journey of an average aspirant ft. Debayan

By Get Inspired, Guest Posts No Comments

Backdrop:

We see our CAT journey as one whose destination is a top IIM. IIM is a dream for many of us. We all want to get there. But the question is – how badly?

Many of us are very afraid of failure. We get so apprehensive that before even taking the exam, we start asking what would I do if I don’t pass the CAT exam. A few days back, one aspirant reached out to me and asked,

“Will I be able to clear the CAT exam?”

I said, “yes, you can. Prepare well.”

She asked, “You sure? I can make it to an IIM, no?

I replied, “For that, you need to work. You can’t just keep talking without putting any effort. Don’t be so afraid. Just put in your best effort. You will never regret it.”

From this conversation, I realized that many aspirants look for assurance that they will succeed if they try for the CAT exam. But unfortunately, life does not work that way. There are no guarantees. So, if you want something badly, you need to work for it madly with a conviction that your dreams will come true on the back of your hard work with patience, persistence, and perseverance. 

“Hard work never goes in vain. After all, life is more about the journey than it is about the destination.”

I realized it when I read Debayan’s CAT journey. He came through failures with unflinching grit. I found his journey very inspiring. 

He made one very important point, “know when to stop and move on, because your greatest success may not be CAT, but maybe something better waiting for you after CAT.”

This his me hard. I felt it could inspire many other CAT aspirants. So I couldn’t resist reaching out to him and requesting him to share his journey on ‘The CAT Talk.’ And he was kind enough to readily agree for it. So, let’s read his CAT journey of perseverance in his own words.


Debayan’s Journey: 

This post is to relive the beautiful journey of CAT preparation. I hope this helps every CAT aspirant who could not get through in the first attempt.
I took the CAT exam four times. Yes, four times.

So here goes my story.

Profile:

10th: 89.3%
12th: 89.2%
B.E. 6.42
Work-ex: 18 months

2016: The CAT journey starts

I was doing my chemical engineering from BIT Mesra. By the time I went into my sophomore year, I was sure I was not interested in Engineering and wanted to do an MBA. So I joined Career Launcher. I diligently attended the coaching for two years and a half but did not practice much. However, I rigorously took the CL mock tests. In my final year, I was busy with placements and stuff, and I was sure that this attempt would not get me my dream college. My aim was sweet and simple: ABCL/XL/FMS. That’s it. So I went for CAT 2016 with a cool mind. I took my exam and was wishing for a 90+ percentile. On the result day, I got the following surprise.

Debayan cat journey

I was on cloud nine. I felt wow. But I knew this was not enough for my ABCL/XL/FMS dream. However, I knew I was very close to my dream college. So I decided to give one more year for the CAT preparation.

Read: How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?

2017: The pursuit continues

I was not very disappointed. It was all going well. I joined Mu Sigma in Bangalore. I took up the test series of IMS, CL, and TIME. As one would expect, I could not complete all but took a good number of tests. I was confident because I had solved a lot many questions, especially in DILR. So I was ready for the show. Well, on the D-day, I Woke at 5 AM and left for my CAT centre that was around 45 km away. I took the test and got blown away by the DILR section. I knew CAT 2017 attempt was also gone. The percentile unsurprisingly plunged below the last year’s.

So that was it. I could not clear the LRDI cutoff for IIMs. So, I had no interview calls that year.

Read: From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional

2018: Do or die

I decided on the last attempt, one last shot at my dream. But I realized I may not be able to clear it with the hectic job. So, I took up a risk. I left the job and took up another job at a coaching centre back at Ranchi. For a backup, I also started preparing for CFA L1. So I was now working from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM, and then back at my PG, I was studying by giving equal time to CAT preparation and CFA.

It was that part of life where I was back in Ranchi when all my college friends were working across all cities of India. But fortunately, I made a wonderful group of friends in my new job and had some of the best moments. Anyway, I had my CAT on 25th November 2018 and CFA on the following Saturday. Whoooo! Big challenge! Yes, but I had to take it for my dream. Honestly, that was one hell of a week. I took CAT, flew to Kolkata, took CFA, and then I was waiting anxiously for the result. And when it came, it was a mixed bag.

That was it. I cleared the sectional cut-offs. But I knew that ABCL/XL/FMS was not happening. One week later, I cleared CFA L1 as well. I decided then.

“Enough of this great war,” I said to myself. I have given my prime years to this exam and chasing those golden campuses. And I think I had a great journey though I landed a little short of my target. 

I made up my mind to give my best at the interview calls I get. I got calls from New IIMs, MDI, IIT KGP, DFS, and DBE. Luckily, I converted all of those except MDI(PGP). Finally, I decided to join the college at the place where it all started – Ranchi. Also, IIM Ranchi is considered the best among the new IIMs.

My life as I see it now:

That was my story. A story of failure, of broken dreams, of almost being there but still, or maybe a story of moving on, maybe of perseverance or maybe of “Jo hota hai ache ke liye hota hai.”

Well, I still have regrets. Maybe, I could have practised more. I could have attended coaching for weaker sections. I could have given another attempt. Well, all I can say now is that this exam is a bit unpredictable. Undisputedly, hard work counts. But things may go wrong on the D-day. So work hard and give more attempts, but always have a back-up. And know when to stop and move on, because your greatest success may not be CAT, but maybe something better waiting for you after CAT.

So thanks to my learning from CFA. I aced the first two terms by being in the top-5 academically. I got a dream finance role in summers, which my BIT mates from old IIMs also could not bag.

Now, I am good to go. I am jovial at my happy place Ranchi, studying for my CFA L2 and MBA curriculum, and life looks better now.

Do I regret those years of the fight?

No.

Those years have given me a lot of life lessons and have made me much more capable of navigating through this MBA journey. So keep fighting. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Oh, Wait! I told I had four CAT attempts. But I have mentioned only three till now. How? HAHA. I gave my 4th attempt during my first year in IIM Ranchi. Just out of curiosity. No practice. No mock tests. I just woke up and gave it. Do you want to know the result? 😛

Debayan cat journey

Interesting enough?
Yeah, that’s how CAT is. This was my CAT journey.

Message to the CAT aspirants:

To all the future aspirants, I hope you get your dream college. I want you to fight for it till you want.
But if you still fail, remember “Picture abhi baki hai mere dost.”

Debayan CAT journey


Thank you so much, Debayan, for sharing such an inspiring CAT journey with us. I thank you on behalf of all the CAT aspirants who look for such real-life inspirational stories.


Read: From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate


I hope Debayan’s journey has given you some important lessons about the CAT exam, and more importantly, about life. If you need any guidance, you may connect with him on LinkedIn or Facebook.


Related Articles:

  1. From Completing B.Tech In 6 Years To Making It To An IIM At 27, Rohit’s CAT Journey Of Courage And Intent

  2. From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate
  3. How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?
  4. I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
  5. From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional

  6. From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
  7. Learn To Fight Alone!
cat journey

From completing B.tech in 6 years to making it to an IIM at 27, Rohit’s CAT journey of courage and intent

By Get Inspired, Guest Posts 2 Comments

Even before starting our CAT journey, many of us get worried if we don’t have a perfect profile – an above-average academic score, no gap in education, a decent work experience, and some outstanding achievement in some extra-curricular activity.

And then, I found a guy who did not have an above-average academics, completed his 4-year B.tech in 6 years, came through distasteful remarks because of his background, and struggled for a job.  He eventually got a good job but that didn’t satisfy him for long. The hunger within him galvanized him to try for a second attempt at CAT even when he scored an abysmally low score of 30 percentile in his first attempt. I feel his story is less about the academic background and more about courage and determination. His story is more about the mental strength that we all possess, but fail to realize.

When I heard about Rohit’s story for the first time, all I felt was goosebumps. I was very much inspired by his determination and never-say-die attitude. I am in awe of him because not many of us dare to reveal our vulnerability. He is mentally tough yet one happy-go-lucky guy who cherishes his life every day. His positivity, helping nature, and an ever-smiling face are some reasons why everyone on campus loves him.

Of late, many CAT aspirants have asked me questions about their profile, and I feel they are way too worried because they feel it is not a perfect one. So even before starting their preparation, they give up mentally. So, I requested Rohit to share his story on “The CAT Talk.” And as usual, he promptly came forward to help without thinking twice about anything. I feel this story could inspire many because it is less about the talent and more about the intent. And that is what is more important in the CAT journey.

So, let’s listen to Rohit’s story in his own words.


My journey:

Let me start with a little introduction about myself. I did my schooling from Sainik School, Kazhakootam, Kerala, which is a boarding school. I did my graduation from NIT Calicut in Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

Sainik School is known to make its students future-ready to join the armed forces. So by default, my aim initially was to join the forces. But God had other plans. I did not clear the NDA exam, and after my 12th, I didn’t have a backup plan.

My parents once told me, “Son, we don’t have a doctor in our family.” After listening to these words, my next aim was to crack the MBBS exam. I failed miserably in that exam also. Finally, I managed to secure a seat in NIT Calicut through AIEEE. I thought it would be a cakewalk from there on, but it took me six years to complete a four-year degree.

Some of the new people whom I meet usually ask why six years. I would say the main reason is my background. Back in school days, I was an average student scoring in the 70s, and my school focussed on the overall development of the students. So if you were the topper or the best cricket player, you would get the same respect. Only after coming to college, I realized how heavily our system is inclined towards academics.

At NIT Calicut, the constant distasteful comments from people around would pull me down. They might have passed those comments jokingly, but somewhere it did hit me. By the time I realized these things shouldn’t hinder me, it was too late. I already had many backlogs. And to be honest, when you take six years to complete your B. tech, it does take a toll on your confidence and mental strength.

Read: From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey

In 2013, when I was in my fourth year, I wrote CAT for the first time and scored 30 percentile. I felt ashamed of myself and decided never to write CAT again. Then I tried SSC CGL exam prep for a while. That also didn’t go as per the plans.

Finally, in 2015 December, I was sitting in my college canteen and speaking to this man ‘Vijayettan’ as he is fondly called by the alums of my college. He had been running our college canteen for more than 50 years. He was a great listener and always had time for students like me. We used to discuss everything from cinema to life.

That day, seeing me worried, he asked me what the problem was. I told him that all my friends were either working or doing their higher studies, and I was still sitting there in college, not knowing what future holds for me. He immediately took out his phone, called a person, and said, “Da this guy has studied Electrical Engineering. See if you can recruit him to your company.”

Initially, I thought he just joked, but within a few hours, I received a call from Suvire Electric Pvt. Ltd. asking me to come for an interview in Chennai. The alumni network indeed works wonders. Vijayettan had a friend from the 1979 batch pass out Mr. K Vijayaraj (MD of Suvire Electric Pvt Ltd). That’s when I understood the power of relationships.

After working for almost 1.5 years, I got a government job in 2017 in Naval Dockyard, Mumbai, through a written exam. I thought my life was set. I had a safe job, my engagement with the girl I love was about to happen, and everything was going right. But somewhere deep down, I was not happy with what I was doing. I didn’t know what to do. I had no motivation to work. To be frank, working in a Naval environment as Junior Engineer with superiors being either your juniors or batch mates from Sainik School did hurt my ego.

After contemplating for a few days, I decided to try for CAT for the one last time. So, while working in Mumbai, I started preparing for CAT. Life in Mumbai is truly hectic. I used to start at around 6.30 in the morning and would be back by around 8.30 PM. Then for around two hours, I used to solve questions.

In my preparation, I mainly focussed on solving previous year question papers and mock papers. I used 2IIM, a mobile app, as well as the website for my preparation. Mr. Rajesh, who is the founder, was really helpful. 2IIM would send me personal emails to keep me motivated. Whenever I used to travel in Mumbai local, I would brush up my Verbal with the help of the app.

On weekends, I used to take two mock tests. In my opinion, mocks analysis is more important than the mock tests. I secured 86 percentile in CAT 2018 and got calls from IIM Lucknow (PGPSM), IIM Shillong, and all new IIMs. I converted all IIMs except IIM Shillong. Finally, I secured admission in IIM Trichy and currently, I am about to start my second year of MBA.

People often ask me if I did not have any apprehensions in my mind before starting the CAT preparation. To be very honest, this journey was not that easy for me. I had many apprehensions before starting this journey because of my profile. But then, my life partner, whom I had met in 2009 and got married in 2017, inspired me by her pep-talks. She has been a constant companion throughout my journey. Not only did she inspire me, but she also worked hard and converted IIM Kozhikode in 2018. She has just completed her MBA now. And I earnestly owe a great deal of my success to her.

cat journey

Advice to the CAT aspirants:

You must be very clear about why you are going to pursue an MBA, then everything will fall into place. What kept me going throughout my CAT journey was persistence and not settling for small wins. There will be times when you feel hopeless and lost, but turning negative things to positive is the key.


Thank you so much, Rohit, for sharing such an inspirational CAT journey with us. I thank you on behalf of all the CAT aspirants who look for such real-life inspirational stories.


Read: From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional


I hope Rohit’s Journey has fuelled your determination to crack the CAT exam. If you need any guidance, you may connect with him on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook.


Related Articles:

  1. From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional
  2. How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?
  3. I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
  4. From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate
  5. From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
  6. Learn To Fight Alone!
cat success story vedant

From 2017 to 2019 – The CAT success story of a tier-3 college Engineering graduate ft. Vedant Vyas

By Get Inspired, Guest Posts No Comments

One day, I came across Vedant’s CAT success story on Quora. As I read about his unflinching determination to crack the CAT exam, I got goosebumps. I felt it could inspire the CAT aspirants. So, I immediately reached out to him and requested to share his story on “The CAT Talk” so that many aspirants can get inspiration from his unwavering patience. And he has been very kind. He promptly agreed to share his journey on this platform.

I strongly recommend you to read his journey. It might inspire you and fuel your determination.

Vedant is an Engineering graduate from a tier-3 college who started his CAT journey in 2017. Let’s read his story of unflinching determination in his own words.


Prelude:

What is the meaning of a story? A story is something that makes you emotional, leaves an imprint on your brain, or just inspires you. So, here I am, sharing my CAT story with you, with a hope that it will fuel your determination to crack the CAT. The ones reading it are open to taking any interpretation from it, but for me, it’s the story of a journey of growth. Before we begin, just a small prelude.

I have done my BE in Mechanical engineering from a tier-3 college, i.e., neither IIT nor NIT. Yes, I am not a prodigy. I have learned everything on the way. I had been going through a rough patch before I started thinking of CAT. You can say that I was pretty depressed, but it is all the past now. So, let’s begin.

2017: The Journey Began

I had decided to appear for CAT after considering many things. I joined a coaching and started my preparations. At that time, I was looking at NITIE Mumbai as my dream college since I was very much interested in Operations and Supply Chain management. Meanwhile, I also got into a relationship. I worked along with my Engineering, but somewhere, that zeal, that passion was missing. No, my relationship had nothing to do with it. I gave my best shot.

Result 1- 93.26 percentile in CAT 2017

This score was not good enough for NITIE or any other college that is of a good repute. The next exam was Mah-MBA CET for getting admission into JBIMS. I decided that since I couldn’t get what I wanted, I might as well work towards the next preference. I studied again, this time in a more structured manner, and took the exam.

Result 2- 99.55 percentile in MAH-CET 2017

This score was also not good enough for getting into JBIMS. I had failed again. The next morning, I went out to my usual cycling exercise, but instead of enjoying it, I cried like a child.

Why was I aggrieved?

Well, I did not only fail to get a good score but also didn’t have a mature thought process. I was lacking confidence, belief, and hope. Being a Mechanical Engineer, I did not want to get into an IT firm. So, I did not like my job. I was not even close to the person I wanted to be. Everything that I didn’t want to happen had already happened. But I consoled myself, talked to my girlfriend, decided to join the company, and started preparing for another attempt alongside the job.

The second shot: 2018

I joined the company at Mumbai despite my fear of IT as well as my apprehension about how I would manage it. But I was determined to get out of this, no matter what. My girlfriend was along with me and extended her full support. All my plans with my friends had been cancelled. Till August end, I went out and enjoyed some weekends. But post that, it was all on hold. My girlfriend refused to go anywhere without me and was fully supportive of my need to study.

I used to get up early, study for an hour or so, and get ready for the office. There I would have breakfast in 15 minutes, and then, I would head to a place on the same floor as my workspace where my team lead or manager won’t see me. There I used to solve RCs and DILR sets for around half an hour till the time my team lead reached the office. Again, in the evening, I would study for around half an hour when my TL went for snacks. Following this, I used to shamelessly get up at 6 PM to leave like a government employee. Then head home, take a mock test, take dinner, analyze the mock, and sleep. This was my routine for 3-4 months.

There were times when I had to work late because it required so. There was no Diwali, no Navratri, or any other celebrations. While everyone else went home for the holidays, I toiled in that extra time alone at my rented house. That included mocks amidst the sounds of nearby Garba nights as well as fireworks. But I kept going. Then came the D-day. I went with all my might but was not entirely happy.

Result 3- 95.51 percentile in CAT 2018

Not good enough. Another flunk, but this time, it was different. My determination was too strong to let me break down. I still had another CET attempt. Somehow, I managed to get a long leave from my organization to prepare for my exam. I took mocks, analyzed every day, worked on my weaknesses, and solved my doubts. Whenever I felt tired, I listened to motivational talks and just kept going with the dream of getting success. And then, D-day came again.

Result 4- 99.94 percentile in MAH-CET 2018

I was overjoyed and overwhelmed. I cried, went straight forward to my girlfriend, and hugged her. We cried. She said, “We have to go to a temple. We need to meet him (Ganesh, one of her many friends).” After we met him, I called my parents and my sister. They were also overwhelmed. It was one of the best evenings.

Are you feeling happy?

Wait, the story is not over yet!

The application process started. Meanwhile, a piece of news came that reservations had increased in Maharashtra. I still hoped to get in. Many other things happened in between, which I won’t mention as it will just elongate the story. The final list came. The last admit for the general category was offered on 145 marks. My score was 144. Yes, I had missed it by one mark. I am not against reservations or anything, but fate had played spoilsport. Nonetheless, I was too determined to get knocked down.

I decided to leave my job and give one final shot at CAT.

2019: My final shot at CAT

I had left my job. As they say, as you go up, the troubles grow up. Apart from being unemployed, my sister’s wedding had been scheduled a few weeks before my CET result. The date was five days before CAT 2019. I was up for it. I decided to study till the last moment of the wedding. There was another issue. My mother had got a transfer, and she wasn’t with me till September 2019. So, I was partially looking after my 96-year-old grandmother, along with the appointed nurse. Although, she did not have any comorbidities, yet, at this age, every sense of her had reduced its efficiency. So, there was more or less a frequent recess to my studies.

I started my preparation. I used every inch of my brain to understand where I was lacking, and it was positively affecting my performance. Every morning, I would go for a cycle ride to stay motivated and keep my body active. I practised questions from the mocks consistently. I had no one to consult for my RC section, which had gone bad in the last attempt. So, I analyzed it myself, identified my mistakes, and kept going.

The guests started to arrive seven days before the wedding. So, I started going to the coaching centre, studied there, and gave my mocks also there itself. Two days before the wedding, I stopped and decided to enjoy the wedding as much as I could. After the wedding, in the remaining days, I took a few more mocks. But due to the fatigue, I got a very low score consecutively. That scared me.

Somehow, I kept my calm during the D-day and again gave everything that I could. I wasn’t very happy with my attempt. I felt I would score 97 percentile at most, but not more than that.

Result 5- 99.26 percentile in CAT 2019

That was it!

I had achieved a great score, but I thought I shouldn’t take any risk, and so, I started preparing for XAT. I thought, whatever I couldn’t do in CAT, I would do it in XAT.

But fate!

It again intervened. I got hospitalized because of Typhoid, and that devoured around ten days of my preparation. Once I recuperated, I took the XAT exam in a pretty relaxed way. I told myself that if it goes well, it is great otherwise, I would embrace my fate. After all, certain things are beyond our control.

Result 6- 99.933 percentile in XAT

It felt like hitting the last six of the World Cup that MS Dhoni hit. I had done it! The joy of clearing the first stage was surreal. It was a feeling beyond words.

The story ends here!

You might be wondering if it is really over?

What about the interviews and what am I doing now?

So, yes, I had interview calls from multiple IIMs and other top b-schools.

I eventually converted NITIE and XLRI. I will be joining the upcoming MBA batch at XLRI Jamshedpur.

cat success story vedant


Thank you so much, Vedant, for sharing such an inspirational story with us. I thank you on behalf of all the CAT aspirants who look for such real-life inspirational stories.


Read: Learn To Fight Alone!


I hope Vedant’s Journey has fuelled your determination to crack the CAT exam. If you need any guidance, you may connect with him on LinkedIn or Facebook.


Related Articles:

  1. From Completing B.Tech In 6 Years To Making It To An IIM At 27, Rohit’s CAT Journey Of Courage And Intent

  2. How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?
  3. I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
  4. From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional

  5. From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
  6. Learn To Fight Alone!
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