Saturday, May 13, 2006

So, what about CAT?

Now that I have made it to the hallowed portals of the IIMs (though not quite in the grand way I wanted), quite expectedly (and annoyingly too!!) people come to me asking for tips, tricks, advices and guidance. And I tell them just what I believe myself---> that there are no magic formulae, no 'Just the right way of belling the CAT'.... in plainspeak, there is no substitute for hardwork. But throw in a bit of common-sense as well for we are humans, not mules. So we don't have to just slog our a**es off. We ought to analyse which are our favourite topics, know which chapter scares us the most, which section are we comfortable with.. and which we are not.

This has to be done at an individual level.... there is no common approach that works for all. The simple reason for this is that I am ME and YOU are, well, YOU. Develop your own strategy, test it time and again, fine-tune it and off you go! But be prepared to discard it the moment you realize that it's not working on the D-day... So much for the introductory gyaan. No, this post is not about CAT-gyaan (I guess you can have enuf of that from the coaching-centres, though I never went to one).

I can still remember my dilemma after CA PE-2 Exam in MAY2005. 'Should I join a coaching institute for CAT preparation?' All my friends (those who intended to take CAT2005) had joined coaching instis long back and were already pros in most of the chapters. My CA results were still not out and I was somewhat apprehensive about them. God forbid, if I flunk in CA then it wud be CA again in Nov... forget CAT-shat. So, I decided no CAT coaching for me. I enrolled for SimCATs with IMS and turned to my friend, philosopher and guide Moinak (aka Mayank Killa) for all the help I needed. Special thanks to you, buddy. In the meanwhile CA results came out. Though my performance was not spectacular, but All India Rank 39 was good enough considering how miserable I had been feeling after the exams...

I had told everybody around me that I was taking CAT just to get the feel of it and would take it again properly next year (after taking coaching et al). So, there was no pressure on me to perform as such other than my inner fire to excel always.

I knew VA and LR were my strengths... the SimCATs had taught me that. And I also realised that to scrape the cut-off in QA was a herculean task for me. I am dead scared of numbers and this fear made me go weak in the knees every time I thought about the D-day.

But slog I did... and like mad too...

That turned out to be good enuf.. 99.45 %ile is not bad.. plus if you have bagged BLACKI... :)

So, what was it that worked for me?

Was the paper tough? Yes

Was it tough only for ME? No

Those who correctly answer the second question will get there all right...:)

So then began the task of preparing for the next round of selection process... no risk-taking this time. Took proper coaching (I needed it 'cuz I am not much of a public speaker). The practice as well as the gyaan by Sandeep Sir did wonders to my personality... Special thanks to the TCC team. I also attended IMS Achievers' Workshop... that was helpful too...

So this is all about CAT that I cam possibly say. As you may have understood already, I am the last person to come to if you need any advice...

Neways, All the best to all those who aspire to make it big.. :)


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