CAT Strat, Motivation
Comments 89

What after a horrible CAT?

Be it the day of the CAT or be it when the final admits results come out it is not easy to be a mentor — on one hand you are happy for students who crack the exam and get an admit and on the other hand you are also tinged with sadness for those who have a bad test day or fail to convert. The toughest thing was always to meet a student who is happy, knowing that the one waiting outside is sad. So with the years one develops a certain equanimity since one cannot be so happy that one is not able to empathise with the ones who are having a hard time and one also cannot get so bogged down by sadness that one cannot partake in the joy of the successful.

In some cases students just disappear, somehow they take it very personally, that they have failed, they have failed even after reading all the blogs and all attending all the sessions, they feel almost as if they have let me down. And I am left wondering, whatever happened to that guy. The others thankfully come down to meet me or reach to me through the blog comments even if it is just to feel lighter instead of heavy and burdened.


There are two things about cliches — they are dead boring since they have been repeated so often but at the same time, they are also true, so are all the cliches about failure, I won’t repeat them but I will attest that they are true.

In one of the recent posts, I spoke about how every one has to face a test and how heroes in myths are defined by overcoming obstacles. The thing about myths is that they rarely show heroes failing at a task spectacularly — they only show heroes’ failings or weaknesses (Rama in the way he treated Sita post his rescuing of her).

But if we look at real life successes, almost every spectacular success has had a a big failure or inability as well. I am not linking failure to success or calling it a pre-requisite.

All I am saying is, everyone fails, so do not go beating yourself about it.


There is nothing to be gained from self-flagellation

The first reaction understandably is to hit oneself with an emotional sledgehammer and of these the worst one is — I am useless, I am not smart enough, I suck, I do not have the skills to crack this exam, no matter what I do it will not change a thing.

Firstly, I will be happy if you are telling yourself all of these in anger rather than through a bucket of tears since anger with oneself can be a very good motivator.

But whether you are telling yourself these things through anger or through tears you need to quickly move from “I suck” to I suck at this particular aspect of CAT, from being emotional to being strategic.

  • This was the first time I took an entrance test and I was overwhelmed by it
  • My reading speed was the biggest hindrance when the paper became tough
  • Before the test I did not talk myself through what I was going to execute during the three sections
  • Before the test I did talk myself through things but everything went out of the window once the test started
  • I did not hunker down and solve 2 DI sets but flitted from set to set
  • I could not solve tough QA questions from Arithmetic, my level plateaued at easy and moderate questions
  • My technique to solve evaluative RC questions was not really upto the mark

My favourite story when it comes to dealing with doubts about one’s ability is Brian Lara’s answer when questioned about being McGrath’s bunny (he has got him quite a few times), Lara did not talk about the number of centuries he scored against Australia or the single-handed manhandling of a peak Australian team over an entire series, all he said was — someone from the opposition has to get me out sometime, right?


Evaluate the extent of damage and your options and view things in proportion

The right lens to view things should not be through your success or failure at CAT but in terms of your prospects of doing an MBA from a premier b-school.

Just like the extent of damage in a war varies across the various battlefronts, the damage, if any, to your MBA dreams, varies across different profiles.

Who are the aspirants who are worst hit?

Those who already have 4 years of work-experience and had a horrible CAT are the worst hit since another shot at the CAT and the 2-year MBA is effectively ruled out; they only have the rest of the exams in this season to make it count. (It is not that you will get rejected, you can still get an admit into a 2-year program but the number of recruiters looking at a 5-year profile will be fewer; you will still be able to get the career growth you are looking for in your domain)

Those who have three years of work-ex will still have a marginal shot at the CAT next year but to stay close to the average profile in a b-school (having 4 or more years of work-ex will make the profile a bit of an outlier) they should crack one of the remaining exams in this season.

Those who have 2 years or fewer have work-ex have nothing to worry about as far their MBA dreams go, they are well and truly alive, you can still get there, not when you wanted to and in the way you wanted to but you can still get there.

Some of you might wonder whether you have it in you to take another shot. We you do not have another option.


Roger Federer played from 2012 Wimbledon to 2017 Australian Open, 17 Slams, without winning a single slam, being stuck at 17, losing to players who were not in the same league as him. At every single slam during those five years my friend and I would talk, just before the semis or finals, about how well Fed was playing, the new things that he was inventing — the SABR (Sneak Attack By Roger) — and as usual the crazy points in the matches until then, only for him to lose again.

There were articles asking why he was still playing. I was supporting him saying that it need not be #1 or nothing, as long as he is easily making finals and semis and believes he can win he should play since he is still ranked in the top 4 and since unlike in a team sport, he is not delaying a transition or eating into the prime years of a youngster. In effect, even I had ruled out the chance of him winning again, I was happy that he was competing well.

Federer is great not because he has won 20 Slams but because he believed in himself so much, believed in himself through four years of heart-breaking failures, four years of aging and his body breaking down in 2016, while others were catching up with him.

I am sure no victory tasted sweeter to him than the 2017 Australian Open when he finally won a Slam again. (I have never felt more elation at the end of a sports match than while watching him win the 2017 Australian Open)


All of you are so young, this exam season is still young, you have enough time to acquire the skills your skills to crack the CAT at another shot (if required).

Cut all the negative voices out of your head, your own voice, that of your parents as well, if necessary (since all most Indian parents seem to care about is the timing of your wedding and how another shot affects that).


They will release the paper with your response soon and based on that we will release a tool to calculate your score — this can cause another meltdown, it is never easy to actually see the marks if you know you did not do well do not try to find out, let the results come out when they come out.


Some of you might be raring to smash the other tests to smithereens, and others might be feeling out of gas and motivation to pick yourself up.

The latter, please give yourself a break, do the things you like to do, eat the things you like to eat, and relax for the rest of the week, restart next Monday.

There is little you can do right by pushing yourself without a break or good rest and being a bunch of ragged nerves.


Getting ready for the next event

It is not easy to crack the test on your first or second attempt unless you are on the top of your game for at least 10 to 15 mocks with additional reserves to handle a tougher-than-usual paper. I cleared the test on my second attempt.

Even those who have set their sights firmly on the old IIMs will be taking a few more tests, at least the IIFT exam and the XAT. Now that you have the CAT monkey off your back go ahead full-throttle on these other tests.

Even if you have decided on another shot at the CAT and IIM-A, give the other tests you have registered for seriously, crack a final admit to IIFT, NMIMS, SIBM, or even XL and then reject it. — achieve something this season and set yourself higher goals for next year.


Some of the comments to this post are very good and some of you might find an echo of your performance, current state, and questions in them.



P.S: The picture with this post is not of Federer but of Marin Cilic (crying) after he lost the 2017 Final to Federer.


“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

89 Comments

  1. Arjun says

    Hello sir.

    This was my third attempt and after getting 85 percentile (81, 88, 73) in first and 86 (98/55/60) in second I have again screwed up CAT this year as well I am expecting around 99/85/70 percentile section wise. My acads are 8/9/8 GEM with 15 months work ex by this December

    I don’t think I have the aptitude to make it to a top5~10 B School. Of course , I will be sitting for XAT this year but I don’t have high hopes. I do have a high chance of clearing SNAP cut off for SIBM Pune, since I made it last year as well . However, I checked it’s fees and it would be around 25~27 lakhs and that doesn’t even include the living expenses! I don’t think ROI wise, SIBM Pune is worth it when you consider the ongoing world recession (which has a good chance of hitting India too ).

    My question is -should I take up SIBM Pune this year , or give one more attempt, even though it’s not gonna bear any better results than it already has?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Arjun,

      Do not look at the starting salary since the whole RoI is over a longer period. So from that perspective, SIBM is as safe a bet as you can get and I personally know people (not just students) who are doing quite well.

      Also, the economic climate is a temporary thing. When the sub-prime crisis happened in 2008, even IIM-A students bore the brunt and IMS had 10-15 MBAs from top schools (even IIM-A invited us for placements). But no sooner did the crisis blow over than everyone left and found jobs in the sectors they liked.

      So, do not worry, take up SIBM!

      All the best!

      Like

  2. narayanan21 says

    Sir, I’m a fresher (graduated on 2017) with no talkable work experience, this was my 3rd attempt and didnt do the best,not even near my simcats. Till now i’m comfortable in my verbal scores(expecting above90%ile) but dont know about dilr and quants. I couldnt digest the fact that i underperformed and still couldnt get over it. Feels like the world turned dark.

    Like

    • Hi Narayanan,

      I know of a student who was in more or less a similar predicament with respect to age and career options post his graduation. He eventually cracked SNAP, made it to SCMHRD (not for HR) and is doing quite well for himself right now, he would have finished his MBA 3-4 years ago.

      It is just one exam among many others and the goal is a great career, which is still very much on the cards, so remove the CAT albatross that is hanging around your neck, take the week off and restart prep for the other exams.

      You can wait for the darkness to completely lift for every sun eventually comes over or start walking and meet it mid-way.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

      • narayanan21 says

        thank you so much for your reply sir, will put in efforts to come out of this phase and focus on the other exams.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jinay says

        hey sir my acads are really bad
        10 it is 59.88
        12 it is 56
        bcom 65
        are there any chances of iift xlri?

        Like

  3. Sravani says

    Sir, this was my first CAT attempt, I had decent VARC and QA sections but DILR I’m worried if I will be able to clear cut-offs (Slot 2). My profile is as follows:
    10th (CBSE) – 93%
    12th (AP Board) – 93.4%
    Grad Microbiology Major (Pune Uni) – 78%
    Post Grad Microbiology Major (Pune Uni) – 9.36/10
    Work ex (Pharmaceutical domain) – 2 years
    I’m currently 27 years old and am married, female.
    Although I am giving other tests, I wanted your opinion on whether I should retake CAT next year, and considering my age/profile, will I be able to crack Tier I B-schools?

    Like

    • Hi Sravani,

      As work-ex and not age is the key parameter, you can take another shot at the CAT without any issue.

      You can also look at programs such as the BL at IIM-K that are 1-year programs and give you good outcomes.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

      • Sravani says

        Hello Sir,

        Thank you for answering my query.
        Regarding, the BL program at IIM-K and similar programs, they require more than 3 years of work-ex. Would you suggest I work another year and then apply to these 1-year programs through GMAT/GRE rather than retaking CAT?

        Like

      • Hi Sravani,

        If you are keener on doing a 1-year program than a 2-year program (if that fits into your current life stage better) then take the GMAT/GRE after working for another year and look at the premier 1-year programs.

        If spending two years is not an issue, then you can take the CAT next year and keep the GMAT/GRE for the year after as a backup.

        Hope this helps,

        All the best!

        Like

  4. Hello sir,

    This was my third attempt. First attempt (95PR), Second attempt (86PR), in this attempt I am doubtful about sectional cutoff. Upto December 31, 2022, I will have 41 months of work experience. Should I attempt CAT next year?

    Like

    • Hi Jay,

      If you take it next and crack it by the time to begin the program in June 2024, your work-ex will be close to 60 months which will make you an outlier in the batch, translating into fewer firms to apply to since the sweet spot for the firms will be 0-3 years work-ex.

      I would suggest taking a shot at ISB and other 1-year programs via GMAT.

      Take the CAT only if you are fully hung up over the CAT and would not mind having fewer firms to aspire to.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  5. Shubham Pandey says

    sir i took my first attempt in 2021 without any preparation just registered and took the exam and this is my 2nd attempt with 100% preparation but sir during the exam my mind became stuck but somehow i attempted VARC section (4RCs and 3 para summary questions) but in DILR i couldn’t solve a single due to wrong selection set and my strategy did not work in this section and in QA i solved 7 questions overall i attempted 18 questions but i am not sure about the 100% accuracy of those varc questions. Now i again want to give cat even i have submitted the form of other non-cat entrances. So what should i do sir plz guide me

    Like

  6. Kshitij Kumar says

    Hi Sir..

    This was my 2nd attempt.I gave my 1st attempt last year without any preparation and converted some CAP IIMs. I thought of giving it one more try as I had 10 months of work ex. last year and was confident about improving my score. But I completely messed up DILR (slot 3) section this year. Also I switched my job this year in July and was not able to prepare well due to long working hours (14 15 hours) in my new company. I am worried that I might score less than previous year. I have IIFT NMAT and XAT but I am not able to focus.
    I am thinking of quitting my job and prepare for GMAT and next year CAT. My profile is 9/8/9 GEM with 22 months work ex. Is quitting the job a good decision because I think I will not get much time to prepare for next year if I continue this job?
    Please guide me.

    Like

  7. RAHUL S says

    Hello sir,

    This year was my 2nd attempt with full preparation but due to the system problem and pressure handling, the execution to pick the right questions went wrong, so feeling that I may score around the 90+ percentile. I am also preparing for OMET also.

    10th – 85%, 12th – 85%, 7.25 CGPA Bachelor of Commerce, Total Work experience – 29 months as on 31st Dec 2022 (Started my own firm), Category – NC OBC.

    Sir, I have three questions for you – 1. If I can’t able to convert Baby IIM then is it better to join IMT G, IMI Delhi & XIMB, or the New IIM? OR to give another shot for CAT. 2. I had worked for 18 months in one of the private companies and due to my sudden resignation, they didn’t give me the experience letter. I just want to know if I get selected for any IIM or other b-school, whether the admission team and placement team will consider these 18 months as work experience? 3. If I give it another shot for CAT, can I reduce my work experience by not showing the above 18 months’ record?

    Thank you.

    Like

    • Hi Rahul,

      To answer your questions:

      1. I am not sure IMT-G is a good option at all, unlike say XIM-B, which is much better. So it all depends on the specific set of colleges under consideration since each of the newer IIMs is at a different stage. So, if I were you, I would focus on the exams and leave these calls for later.

      2. Admissions teams will need proof of work-ex and all you need is the offer letter and salary slips (or bank statements) as long as you have that you do not need an experience letter.

      3. I would advise against hiding work-ex since you will lose valuable points that you will get for work-ex.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!

      Like

  8. Ranjith G. says

    Hi Tony,

    Hope you are well.

    About me
    I am Ranjith
    Work ex 27 months till the point
    BE Mechanical Engineering
    NCOBC
    10th 9.2 CBSE
    12th 98.75%
    UG 85.6%

    This was my 4h attempt. Though I didnt prepare well for the past 3 attempts, I religiously prepared for this one. But all my efforts went in vain. It was my dream to get into the ABC. I couldnt attend a single set in DILR. I tried to hold my calm but after 25 mins and no questions in my bag I lost hope. I gave up and my strength was quants. After knowing 0 attempts in DILR, I didnt have the mindset to do in QA.

    I am totally upset that all my efforts went in vain. But eventually with time I would get better. I dont want to give up on my dream. After some rest I would like to start again because i feel i deserve to crack this exam. I feel I have all the potential to makeit.

    Any comments Tony?

    Like

    • Hi Ranjith,

      Honestly, when I hear people say ABC I feel as if somewhere there is pressure that they put on themselves for no reason. In reality, though, there is only a small set of super-niche jobs both on and off campus, that one gets only at ABC or that are limited to only the ABC brand. What is more, those super-niche jobs are anyway open to super-niche profiles, which are far fewer in number than the number of people who I hear saying ABC or nothing. This swatting aside of LIK, along with other premier schools, despite the fact that the profile itself does not qualify for the niche ABC jobs is something that I find both extremely silly and infinitely stupid.

      I hope by now you got the moral of the story — look at things from the larger perspective of which colleges can give you a good headstart for your career given your profile — I am sure that list and your dream will expand beyond ABC.

      And once you fix that thing in your head, you will find the right mind space to crack the exam.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  9. Anonymous says

    Sir, I will complete 3.5 years of work experience in December this year. This year I had prepared the most out of all my previous CAT attempts and unfortunately I think it was my worst performance.
    It is a terrible feeling. I am unable to sleep or wake up without having the thought of how I screwed up my shot at CAT. I feel miserable right now and I have lost the confidence in myself. I have applied for other exams, but I am in lot of self doubt whether I will be able to convert the other exams. D-Day is still haunting me every minute of the day. I was an IMS student for the past couple and this year had enrolled for test series only. I tried my best to manage work and studies took a month long leave from work but I feel I failed miserably. Its truly disappointing. I am unable to understand what went wrong and what could I have done better. I am in a tight position right now as my work place now knows I am about to leave to pursue MBA in the next few months, my work ex on the verge of completing 4 years. I am blank as to what I should do.
    Though I have applied for other exams, I am not sure I’ll be able to convert. Will the 1 year MBA programs hold equivalent value as the 2 years programs? Should I try my chances at GMAT right now or maybe prepare better and then take a shot for Global MBA programs after a couple of months? Or is there a better to get myself back on track?

    Thank You.

    Like

    • Thilak SN says

      same, cat came in between my semester exam, I spent the past year preparing for cat earnestly, i scored well in mocks and as well in past cat papers, i was confident about the exam, but on the exam day all my hardwork and efforts went down the drain, i could only do varc properly, messed up every other sections, i cant sleep or focus on anything, i couldnt study for my semester, i feel completely devastated. i dont have the motivation for other exams too

      Like

    • Hi A,

      As of now, you should only focus on one thing — the remaining exams since if you crack say an XL, all of your current predicaments will seem like a thing of the distant past.

      After every failure people get stung by it and think what if I fail again and then start dreaming up worst-case scenarios and backups.

      Think about it — there are enough 1-year programs starting with ISB and international programs that you can apply to via the GMAT and for which your work-ex is optimal or even just about beginner level. But this can be a plan after this season ends, you can apply to programs starting in 2024.

      Nothing is lost, the previous times you did not give it your all, so they do not actually count, this time you gave it your all and failed, so basically, you failed in your first attempt, and very few succeed in their first attempt.

      Pick yourself up and start prep for the remaining exams.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  10. Saket Singh says

    Hello Sir,
    I don’t know how should I start this, I completed my grad in 2022, took a year drop and prepared hell hard, consistently scored 96%Tile in every 3rd mock and overall average of 92%Tile. I thought I will make it into IIM A, coz being a non-engineer if I screw up something here and there still I will get around 98.5%Tile depending upon my capability. Count down began, selected right passages, started nailing them down, suddenly I lost control my mind wasn’t able to process anything, somehow I managed myself to get atleast decent attempt, moved to LRDI, since it was my strenght I thought I will manage, selected wrong passage, wasted 7 mins and everything became a downward spiral, I lost control, I took questions too personally, I don’t know, I cried, I screamed, I am feeling I am worthless stubborn.
    I take things damn too seriously, damn too emotionally. I don’t know how should I focus on other exams, I don’t know how should I not make IIFT & XAT life and death situation, coz if I make it life and death I don’t know sir,
    Please help me out sir, I am feeling inferior to my friends to everyone, I am a very public failure coz everyone knew I will make

    Like

    • Hi Saket,

      Back in the year 2000, everyone in my college and in my test prep institute thought I would crack the CAT, there was no doubt since I was more or less always in the top 5. I knew when I stepped out of the exam that I would not get a call since I barely did anything in the QA section.

      Everyone thought I just missed it whereas I knew I had missed it by a mile.

      I took the test again the second time around and did exceptionally well, getting 4 calls out of 6.

      I think the reason I did well in my second attempt (taking a year drop) was that I prepared hell hard and gave it my all in my first attempt, in the second attempt I only needed to work on the delta.

      Right from back when I was preparing to when I was teaching very actively, I have seen only a small percentage, perhaps less than 20, of first-time takers cracking the CAT.

      So you are not alone, many talented aspirants have been in this situation before.

      What matters is how you deal with what has happened and how much faith you have in your abilities. Even after failing spectacularly, I did not have any doubts in my capabilities, I knew that QA was my weakness and I need to work on it.

      Before my friends were all leaving for their MS or going to join their jobs, one guy asked me — What if you do not crack it this time also? Why not take the GRE and look at MS as a backup. My answer — the question of not making it did not arise in my mind until you mentioned it now.

      One should never look at oneself through the eyes of others — not just tests but everything else as well.

      The only thing that matters is your conviction in your abilities, your awareness of your areas of improvement, and your commitment to the task in the face of failure.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  11. Paras Thakre says

    Hello sir
    I did my graduation in 2021 and took a gap year to prepare for the CAT Examination but I messed up this time.This was my first attempt
    I am considering to get workex but I’m am confused where to work as I have family business as well
    Please help me out sir , should I take up a job or work in family business?

    Like

    • Hi Paras,

      Join your family business only if

      1. You will do it formally — experience letters, salary slips, bank statements etc.
      2. You will actually learn stuff as well as achieve things there

      Do not join it because you will get time to prepare for CAT.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  12. Aryan Dubey says

    Hi Sir,
    My academic background 10th-90%, 12th-81% and BMS finance-9.53 SGPA.
    I graduated last year 2021, started studying for OMETs did not give CAT first mistake, while all this discovered an health issue and spent the year recovering it and could not convert any good colleges.
    This year I did a 3 month internship and dedicated all the time to CAT and did end up making a few silly errors and have paid the price of not actually clearing 85 as my expectations, I am not sure how well did I do in the other sections, I plan to give SNAP and XAT. I am not really sure if this is the right war I am fighting in.
    I am confused if I should take up a job after my exams or what next…

    Thank you sir, your blogs have really been helping me and motivating to not stop especially the RC techniques.

    Like

    • Hi Aryan,

      I think you should wait until the actual results come out instead of guessing and worrying about the results.

      Do think too much at this stage apart from prepping for the other tests.

      Incase things do not work out this season, get a job and prep again (you cannot afford more gaps).

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  13. Hello tony,
    About me

    This was my first attempt for CAT and I am expecting a score of something around 55-57(Very low, I know). what percentile should I expect after normalization? Am I still in the race to land in a decent college?

    Like

    • Hi Shubham,

      We will not have any idea until we have data about how other people performed since the paper is different every year.

      IMS usually releases a percentile mapper after students enter their scores once the response sheet is out.

      Until then just prepare for the other tests.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  14. Divisha_rstg says

    Hello sir,
    First of all thank you for all the VARC sessions that made this section my stronghold.
    I have 4 months of work ex, I quit my job to prepare for CAT and performed decently in mocks.
    But in CAT’22 Slot 3 I made an error in the only DILR set I solved in the given time, which cost me 4/5 questions attempted, thus I won’t be clearing the sectional cutoff for DILR by any means.

    I will be appearing for NMAT, SNAP and XAT but have absolutely zero non-CAT preparation. Should I join NMIMS or SIBM Pune if I manage to convert, or should I retry next year?
    10th- 10 CGPA
    12th- 96.8
    Grad- 8.01 CGPA (76.77%) (Arta graduate, econ hons)
    4 months of work ex as an HR Manager

    Like

    • Hi Divishta,

      As far as HR goes SIBM gives great opportunities and so does NMIMS for all other streams.

      If you get into one of those I think you should join unless you feel that there is still a lot of scope for improvement in your skills to crack the CAT. Also, you need to take up a job if you are planning another shot since you cannot have a super long gap.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  15. yamini rushita says

    hello sir
    Im yamini rushita
    10th(CBSE)-9.4
    12th-93%
    grad( bcom)-89%
    Im a semi qualified cost accountant and drop out CA student
    have a 1 year gap in academics
    my cat did’nt go well unfortunately and i have applied for nmat as well and trying to gear it up as much as i could but i dont see a pretty much good colleges other than nmims which accept nmat score
    what else could be done sir?
    which all colleges should i apply for?
    my nmat exam is on 15th december

    Like

  16. Aditya Dubey says

    Hello sir
    I am Aditya Dubey
    i took a gap year for my cat prep straight after my undergrad, but cat didnot go as expected. should i take one more gap year or hunt for a job and i have also registered for IIFT and xat. what should be my approach from here on.?
    acads- 10TH – 9.2 cgpa
    12TH- 71%
    bcom – 72 %

    Like

    • Hi Aditya,

      Finish this exam season first and start looking for a job after the XAT. If you get calls and admits, great, else work and prep again.

      But yeah, no extension of gap year or internships.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  17. Anonymous says

    Hello,
    Writing this as am anxious for my son.
    He has had good acad scoring 90% + in 10th, 12th and Grad – non engg. (One year acad break after 12th)
    After working for 6 months, Took break from employment last Dec to get himself full year for CAT preparation. Scored 98 – 99s percentile consistently in Mocks. However CAT did not go as he expected, attempted 39 Qs overall (19 Varc, 8 DILR and 12 Quant). Main frustration- he mis-read a line in DILR 3rd set costing him easy 4-5 Qs and in quant he missed one Q by a second to do save and next after selecting the answer as it was timed out and got auto submitted.
    Though as you suggested to look ahead and give best in other exams like NMAT, SNAP, IIFT, XAT, is what we told him but he seems to have lost the purpose of studying.
    He knows this is the last attempt, he already has many breaks.
    He is not studying any thing any further, just whiling away time in mobile since CAT.
    Today after much persuasion he gave one mock of NMAT in which he scored 220 which is not enough. There is no analysis available for NMAT mock, so he says he has nothing more to do, except for giving one more mock tomorrow before the NMAT exam on 2nd Dec.
    Pls counsel what and how he should be doing.
    Regards
    Anonymous

    Like

    • Hi,

      Sometimes it is best not to worry and let them find their own way out because the mental flip can be made only by them the kids themselves. Knowing that your parents’ eyes are also on you adds unnecessary pressure.

      The gap after his 12th, which I am assuming was for JEE, is not a big deal at all and he can always work and prep next year. The situation is far from an all-is-lost situation.

      I think 220 is not a bad place to start from. He needs to find a way to get 10 marks more. This post has a detailed analysis of scores and colleges via NMAT https://crackingcet.com/2022/10/13/my-nmat-2022-experience/

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  18. vinit says

    hello sir!
    I feel that I have not done well in quants, don’t know about varc and dilr.
    I am mainly worried that after graduating last year, giving a whole year to cat preparation, and still have not done as I expected (though scores have not come yet). And also worry that I am around 23 this year and a gap of one year , how will manage to get MBA from a good college, plus so many things going on . I started blaming myself that I have not done most of the things at right time or earlier. I have done 4 years of engineering, take the decision to an MBA, and gave it after a year of preparation still not up to the mark. I am trying to boost myself for OMETS and hope to do well.

    Like

    • Hi Vinit,

      The faster you finish your MBA, the sooner your parents will put pressure on you to get married!

      It might seem like there are so many things going on but these are just what-if scenarios in your head.

      In reality, there are only a few things that are really going to happen — NMAT, IIFT, SNAP and XAT.

      And your job is to orient and prepare for them.

      Think about it, won’t all these many things going on not disappear if you have an admission from NM-Mumbai, IIFT-Delhi, SIBM or XL?

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  19. Arshdeep says

    Response sheet was released today, I knew after CAT that I screwed up but was still hopeful that will score 90 percentile, looking at scores today, percentile seems to around 70-75. The marks I got were worse than my worst SIMCAT score. Broken and hopeless, no clue what to do next?

    Graduated in 2019, left job in June 2022 to prepare for CAT, gave CAT 2021 without studying for a single second and scored 87 percentile last year. This year after preparing for 1 year scored less than last year. Very demotivated, depressed, clueless. Please guide what should I do now?

    Like

    • Hi Arshdeep,

      A few people have told me this — that they did well in their first attempt which they took just like that and scored lower when they prepared. This can just be put down to exam day pressure.

      What you need to be able to do is figure out exactly what went wrong.

      For example, I did the Slot 1 paper, and in DI-LR I was able to solve 6 questions across 2 sets, in the QA section yesterday I was able to select the 11 easiest questions correctly without actively teaching or taking tests — very low compared to my colleagues who teach regularly and have their natural strengths in these sections but I guess still good enough to clear the cut-offs. Wherever my solving was not smooth or wherever I needed to solve again, it was linked to rushing the reading or not processing all the conditions properly.

      What I am trying to get at is that you need to figure out what you did wrong, and most of the time you will find that in the hurry to solve more somewhere you would have slackened on the process. One can get demotivated or depressed only if one gave it one’s all during the match and still the result does not go your way (NZ in the ODI World Cup Final, or Federer in the 2019 Wimbledon). It might seem frivolous that I am using sports examples but their disappointment and disillusionment will be no less than any of us, if not only more so, and we do sit and make fun of them (KL Rahul for example)

      All you need to do now is to ensure that you correct whatever mistakes you made during the 120 minutes of CAT, put it behind you, sometimes forcibly forgetting a bad experience is a good idea, and focus on the other tests.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  20. kshitijwarang says

    Hello Sir,

    My profile:
    10th: 93.17% (ICSE)
    12th: 87.8% (CBSE)
    Grad: 8.18 (73.89%)
    Work ex: 26 months (31st December 2022) in Web Development.
    CAT 2021: Slot 3 (95.6), XAT 2021: (97.772)
    CAT 2022: Slot 2 (Marks 70, Expected 96. xx)

    Although I have taken CAT before, this was my first serious attempt. I was hoping to get a 99+ percentile based on the SIMCATs and the previous CAT score. My scores in VARC and DILR (28, 27) weren’t up to the mark but I lost the plot in QA and managed only 15. It is heartbreaking, as I thought this was my strength and had scored a 99 sectional percentile without any prep in 2021.

    I had started with the aim to get into one of the top 15 B-schools (according to the 2-2.5x current salary) criteria which doesn’t seem likely now. I had the chance to interview for XLRI last year but wasn’t selected, I converted IIM-Vishakhapatnam.

    I have registered for XAT, IIFT, NMAT, and SNAP. The only exciting opportunity for me is XLRI but I am already disheartened by last year because I thought I had done well in the interview for XLRI.

    I have some doubts regarding XLRI’s selection process:

    1. What is a good score to get into XLRI?
    2. What role does the profile play?
    3. Is the GK score important?
    4. What can be done to improve in DM section?

    About taking the CAT next year,
    1. If I decide to take the CAT again, what are the cons? Will my work ex be a hindrance?
    2. I think I underestimated the effort that is required to crack the CAT, what is a realistic prep time estimate?
    3. The other option for me is doing an MS but I don’t fancy doing a coding job for the next 10 years before getting into a management role. Would you suggest giving the GMAT to look for opportunities outside of India?

    Like

    • Hi Kshitij,

      With respect to XAT, you can find all the posts to answer your questions here — https://thecatwriter.com/category/xat-strat/

      Academic profile plays an important role as well as the interview with respect to alignment to the program.

      With respect another shot at CAT:

      1. Work-ex will not be a hindrance it is fine.
      2. Honestly, it comes down to only the delta of improvement that you need, which is completely dependent on your skills. I barely prepared for my second attempt apart from religiously taking and analysing mocks.
      3. If you ask me, those with good skills are much better off doing an MS and finding a job in the Valley. I just got back from a vacation there, the quality of work and life is way superior. Most of my friends have not even done an MBA since they have enough managerial responsibility and get paid more than if not as much as what MBAs do.

      My advice — after this exam season, prep and take the GRE by June end, then start CAT prep, join the best school you get.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

      • kshitijwarang says

        Hello Sir,
        First of all, Thank you!
        Following the strategies you mentioned in the article, helped me get a 99.28 percentile in XAT, though I didn’t fare well in the DM section 😅
        I have gotten into SPJIMR and waiting for the XLRI results.
        Since I have some time on my hands now I want to figure out the best way forward for my career. Do you have any articles/resources for life in&after BSchools?

        Like

      • Hi Kshitij,

        We will be doing a session called “How to make the most of your MBA” somewhere in May once the results are out.

        I think the best thing to do now would be to work on the physical and mental aspect of things. I would suggest taking up some major fitness goals with two goals: get fit so that you hit the campus in prime physical condition, develop a routine and learn pranayama, meditation and basic strength training techniques, so that you are able to continue it once on campus.

        People usually focus on “what and how” to do but forget to work on “who” is doing it, once the “who” is in really good mental and physical shape, the “how” will always be executed perfectly.

        Hope this helps,

        All the best!

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Anonymous says

    Hello Sir,
    I want to start a Creative and Cultural Business with the theme of putting Indian Art and Craft in Luxury Products (Working more on the theme).
    In my research I’ve come across some options: MBA/PGDM in General Management / Entrepreneurship / Business Management / Brand Management.

    I have to do it from India.

    CAT was average.
    Preparing for IIFT, SNAP, XAT and MICAT (for Brand Management).
    I have two queries:
    1. Is MBA for business development worth the 2 years? If yes, then what should I specialize in?
    2. How is PGDM at EDII, Gandhinagar?

    Like

    • Hi A,

      Business is business and the different kinds of MBA, barring HR, are just a way for schools to differentiate themselves and attract students.

      So, in my book, there are only two kinds of MBA: PGDM/Business Management and HR.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  22. Nipun Kumar says

    Sir, thank you for your support, it was really heartwarming to read your blog. My anxiety is just gone now.
    I wanted to ask you that I am a B.com 2021 graduate from symbiosis, Pune. I didn’t apply for placements back then, I am the elder son in my family, and no one was there to guide me, so basically, I grew up freely without any future plans. I was too casual and always lived in the moment. But now it’s been 1 year and by next year May (2023) it would be nearly 2 years of gap.
    Sir, in between I even left hope for doing an MBA because I thought I have lost my chance as I have gap and no work-ex at the same time, but recently I found a spark within me and started my preparation which was not enough for CAT, but now I am targeting SNAP, and I would be happy if I got SCHMRD or SIIB or SIBM Bangalore any of them. I am giving my best and I am confident enough to crack SNAP with at least around 90 percentile this time. But still my inner voice always raises a question that would I be able to convert these decent B-Schools or not, because of my 2 years of gap (by 2023) and no work-ex, but still, I neglect this and study, which is so tough because you don’t see any hope out there. But still, I have decided to find it out by myself, and fight till the end.

    My question to you is “Is it even worth preparing for SNAP for me, would my Gap + no work-ex drag me down even after getting let’s say 90 – 95 percentile in SNAP, I don’t have much hope for SIBM or Schmrd but maybe SIIB or SIBM-B, is it possible sir?

    I know I sound childish to ask this as it is subjective, but still, this is my self-doubt which I suppress most of the time, but sometimes I fail. Please clear this doubt for me Sir.

    Thankyou

    Like

    • Hi Nipun,

      There have been enough students with gap years, random career shifts, and extremely poor acads who have managed to get into schools such as SIBM/SCMHRD?NM etc.

      There are no negative marks for gap years. There is only one thing you need to convince the panel of — you have the aptitude and attitude to complete a course in management and work in the field.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  23. sagar180 says

    Hi Sir,

    Your blogs have been a constant motivation for me.

    2017 Passout with 87 /85 /74.23 acads and about 12 months of workex in my family business which unfortunately we have to shut down. I can’t perform well in this attempt sir. According to the response sheet Slot 1 (12/07/21 = 40) and a GEM. It is tough to accept this score. Is there any possibility of a good B-School sir with this score because I can’t afford another attempt.

    I am working hard for SNAP, NMAT, and XAT.

    Please can you guide me sir.

    Like

  24. Sir, i am a female fresher from IIT Jammu Mechanical Engg. ,( CAT 2022 was my first attempt. Yesterday I checked my score and I have got 70 marks(18/15/37) in slot 1. Dilr still acceptable but VARC totally betrayed me(I was expecting to score high in it).Sir, currently I am getting a job at LnT and besides that OMETs are remaining. Sir, how do I reset myself to prepare for the OMETs because right now I feel horribly disheartened as I worked hard and was preparing for a year for my first attempt while attending college.

    Like

    • Hi Anushka,

      This might be the first time you have failed but I assure you this will not be the last. Also, you are not the only person to fail, everyone fails, sportspersons, publicly so, while people make memes and ridicule them.

      All you need to do is know exactly what went wrong in those two hours and start prep for the other tests.

      The same thing happened to me, btw in my first attempt while in college.

      So, join the club!

      All the best!

      Like

  25. Vaani Oberoi says

    Hello Sir
    I did Bsc from DU, graduated this year. Didn’t take up any job and prepared for my first attempt in CAT. I could not score well. Also I didn’t register for any other exams yet, since my aim is to get into IIMs only. I also feel I won’t be able to crack XAT because I am well aware of my abilities, been an avg student, scored v low in CAT and XAT is tougher than it so no chances.

    1. I want to ask should i take up any job for 6-7 months, with my preparation, probably work from home or part time. As this would be my 2nd and last attempt and I dont think I have any option B if i dont do MBA from a decent college. Also don’t want to do full time job but also want to have some experience and learnings. Because I know I wont be able to study 12-15 hours even if I dont take up any job.
    Also planning to take up coaching again.

    2. What exactly should my next step be?

    10th- 86.5%
    12th- 84.5% (PCB)
    Graduation- 77%

    Like

    • Hi Vaani,

      I think the first thing you need to define properly is your goal.

      The three things you mentioned in your query are not aligned at all:

      1. I want to MBA only from IIMs
      2. I want to MBA from a decent college
      3. I am an average student.

      Decent colleges mean that the list is much larger than the IIMs. So firstly do not just think CAT and XAT, NMAT, SNAP, and IIFT should definitely be on your radar. A lot of my students as well as colleagues have graduated from NMIMS, IIFT etc. and have done very well for themselves, way more than decent.

      I do not know what you mean by experience and learning since there can be many things that give your experience and learning: pursuing hobbies such as music, marathon, trekking etc.; taking up social work; certifications in your area of interest; internship; full-time work-ex.

      You need to narrow down what you want to pursue. I would suggest working or taking up internships since you will learn more about your skill sets.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  26. Hello Sir.
    I am a hotel management pass out from the batch 2022. My acads are 83(10th), 83(12th) and 84(undergrad). I did not sit for my campus placements as I wasn’t sure that I will be able to manage my studies with my job. Hence I took a gap year and focused fully on CAT. I am also doing an HR internship with an NGO side by side. However, CAT didn’t go well according to my expectations. I am giving NMAT and SNAP next. If in case (fingers crossed) I don’t crack these exams as well I have decided that I will take up a job and repeat next year. I wanted to ask you what kind of job should I look for. Should I look for a job from a hospitality background or should look for others more corporate-related? Also, I am confused between NMIMS Mumbai Vs SIBM Pune. I have been reading stuff about it on Quora ( I know I shouldn’t but my anxious mind doesn’t listen XD) however some of the comments there are very negative. Hence it would be helpful for me if you share your insights on that as well.
    Thank You!

    Like

    • Hi,

      If you want to build a career in HR then both a job in hospitality or corporate will be fine — take up the job with the bigger brand name and responsibility.

      Both SIBM-Pune and NMIMS Mumbai have given great outcomes for my students and even childhood friends who have gone there. If you are interested in Finance then NM-Mumbai will clearly be a better bet, for Marketing NM will hold a slight edge, and for HR SIBM will be way ahead.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  27. Abhay Tiwari says

    Sir I have performed terrible in my CAT, I got 30s in my simcats but I did improve and scored 90+ in some simcats but after seeing my response sheet I dont think I am getting above 80 percentile on the other hand one of my friend dont even got single score above me in mocks is getting 95+ percentile I am happy for him but I am just fed up and full of self doubt what should I be doing now it doesnt feel like giving SNAP or XAT. the fear has taken place in my head, please guide.

    Like

    • Hi Abhay,

      While your friend might or might not have gotten lucky, you can clearly trace down what went wrong during the CAT:

      1. Did you panic because of new question types on Verbal?
      2. Did you end up unnecessarily trying every set for 5-10 minutes in DI-LR?
      3. Did you execute A-B-C approach in QA?

      If it is your first attempt then it is understandable since most people make these mistakes on their first attempt.

      While you might not feel like giving SNAP or XAT, I am sure if someone offers you admission into SIBM-Pune of XL, you will grab it with both hands.

      As I wrote in response to another student — this is neither the first nor not will it be the last time that you will experience failures or setbacks in life. Once that becomes clear you will find a way to move beyond what happened.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  28. Hello Sir
    First of all I want to thank you for being there for us, your sessions helped me to turn one of my weakest section into one of my strongest(VARC).
    So CAT response sheet was out yesterday, and I have calculated my scores. I am expecting around;
    VARC: 47 marks
    DILR: 0 marks (Really messed up this section)
    QUANT: 24

    TOTAL: 71 Marks

    I definitely can’t expect any calls from IIMs, so do you think I can get calls from any decent colleges with this score?

    Also, I have SNAP, IIFT and XAT coming up, so hopefully I might get something there. But besides that, what else should I do as in the colleges I should still apply for?

    Like

    • Hi Chinmay,

      As far as the CAT goes, I think you should wait for the official percentiles and take things forward from there. Good job on both the VA-RC as well as QA sections, it means you were able to execute your plans in VA-RC and did not get bogged down by poor DI-LR.

      Given all the exams that you are taking, you should be aware of the schools that accept these tests,

      As of now just get going on these exams, and I am sure you will do well, given that you did manage to do well in 2 out of 3 sections on the CAT.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  29. Mrigam Kapoor says

    Hi Tony sir,

    My score is less than 30. This is my 2nd. attempt, although this is my first proper attempt. My first attempt was back in 2019 without any prep just for experience, post that i graduated in 2020 and have 17 months of work ex. I quit my job in march this year specially for this attempt thinking this is the only chance and that i should go all in. However, it didn’t go as planned i took all simcats but could hardly score around 40s. I have been a winner till now in everything that i did from my acads to sports. But, this terrible performance and considering my age i will be 24 by feb. i don’t really know what step to take next. Have taken SNAP mock yesterday but again very poor performance in that as well. I have SNAP, NMAT, IIFT and XL lined up but honestly judging by the mocks i am doubting my ability a bit. My acads are-
    10th. 84%
    12th. 96%
    Grad- 9.1 CGPA.
    To be very honest i want to make it this time i don’t wanna prepare for another attempt.

    Thank you.

    Like

    • Hi Mrigam,

      I can empathise with what you are feeling since I have had students who have done well through school and college and suddenly find themselves a bit out of sorts when it comes to aptitude tests.

      What need to do is figure out where the problem lies:

      1. Is it the format itself: MCQs under time-crunch that you are just not able to come to terms with.
      2. Is it one or two sections where you feel that you can never reach this level.

      Either way, what you need to figure out is the tests and colleges that suit your level and skills the best. All of the Top 30 to 40 schools in India provide a great start, which is all you need since once you start working a lot of it will depend on how you perform on the job.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  30. Shashank Singh says

    Sir,
    I am scoring OA 40 in my cat this year, this is my first serious cat attempt I graduated last year in 2021 have a work ex of 6 months and then left the job for this attempt I dont want to like go for another attempt. My profile is
    X-83%
    XII-79.80%
    Grad-75.90%(Bsc. Agriculture)
    what should be next step. I have snap, xat and also planning to take cmat.

    Like

    • Hi Shashank,

      As of now focus on the other tests. Incase you need to take another shot then take up a job and prep.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  31. Shashank Singh says

    Sir,
    I am expecting an OA score of 40 I messed up bad planning to go for snap xat and cmat graduated last year in 2021 in Bsc. agriculture have 6 months work ex. what if I dont get into any college this year would it be right to prepare for next year.

    Like

  32. Manas says

    Sir,
    Do we apply the halfway to 100 formula on the percentiles predicted by IMS? ( Based on past data for predicted vs actual percentiles )

    Like

  33. Williams says

    Hi Sir,
    Hope you are doing good!

    I have 99.2% in 10th, 96.8% in 12th and 7.8 CGPA in my UG. I completed my bachelors in 2021 and have around 1.5 year work ex. This is my third attempt in CAT(which I consider to be pretty decent, except DILR) after ‘two’ not so great attempts. I checked with IMS score predictor and I am getting the below raw scores,
    VARC – 35
    DILR – 10
    QA – 22
    Overall – 67 .
    Approx. Percentile- 93.03%le.

    I am not sure if I’ll get any calls from IIM- ABCLKI with this percentile and with just 10 marks in DILR, would there be any sectional cut-off percentile for the above mentioned B-schools ?
    I am also appearing for XAT this year trying to give my best.

    Could you please share your thoughts on this. Would be really helpful.
    Thanks in Advance!

    Like

  34. Hi Sir, This is Rajkumar SA.
    I have been preparing for CAT 2022 since this june after resigning the job. The process of preparation has been smooth but not the exam day. I took CAT at Dhanalakshmi college of Engineering in chennai (Slot-1). There were too many technical glitches on the system provided at the exam centre. The PC malfunctioned periodically at the beginning after which the it got stuck at regular intervals throughout the test. The options that I chose reflected on the screen nearly after 10-15 seconds delay. This issue continued throughout the exam. All these external disturbance lead to a disastrous performance. I complaint about the glitch to the exam invigilator during the exam but of no use. Immediately after coming out of the exam hall, I have mailed to IIM-B regarding the issue. I got a automated reply mail saying that they would look into the issue and respond asap. But there were no response yet. Out of frustration, I called Toll free number given on 6th December. After introducing myself, I spoke about the issue. The immediate response the person gave was, “What could be done now, Rajkumar?” I was seriously stunned to hear that response from a reputed institution. After few minutes, the lady said that I would be responded by the concerned authority through mail. My Post-CAT day stress is much higher than the Pre-CAT days stress because of which my preparation for other exams like NMAT, IIIFT are getting disturbed. How should I proceed further sir?

    Like

    • Hi Rajkumar,

      Welcome to India. Every year there are glitches in the way the exam is administered across the country but there is rarely any recourse that test-takers have to get any form of redressal. This has been happening since the CAT went online in 2009.

      Our institutions are also after a point glorified govt. offices only.

      From what I know given the lower number of takers and the sheer fact that it is conducted by GMAC, the NMAT should not pose any problems (I have taken the GMAT and GRE thrice in different cities, the experience was perfect)

      The IIFT is also fairly reliable solely on the basis of fewer number of people taking it – TCS allots the better labs.

      I shah I could say anything profound but accepting, navigating and moving on from institutional chaos and mismanagement is part and parcel of learning to surivive here.

      Not sure if this of any help.

      All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Walter White says

    Sir,

    IMS student, based on various credible percentile predictors, I’ll be getting anywhere between 92-95 percentile

    Profile details :
    – ews
    – engineer, male
    – 83 / 58 / 57 ( 10th / 12th / UG )
    – 4 gap years ( no official verifiable work-ex acc to CAT criteria, but I’ve worked and have things to talk about in interviews )

    I’ll be getting CAP calls, assuming a decent interveiw, what are my chances of atleast 1 conversion on that list?

    Like

    • Hi,

      I think given EWS, your chances are decent.

      But as I keep telling my students, knowing the outcome does not change anything. You still have to go give your best shot.

      I can understand the anxiety but it’s best to prep for the interview and do things that make you happy.

      All the best!

      Like

      • Walter White says

        95.32…fared better than the most optimistic prediction😅, have started pi prep…wanted to thank ims and you personally for the blog, hoping for the best✌️

        Liked by 1 person

  36. shradha agarwal says

    hiee Sir,
    shradha agarwal this side age 26 currently this is my second attempt on cat but this time i am not even prepared half the way but seeing question paper seems like if i prepare well it much easier to crack ..
    currently in a dilema whether to give cat again or not as i am not even have job but thinking of doing ui ux course and parents is after me either set your career or get married this is the last chance we are giving you really totally confused what to do next ..please guide me

    Like

    • Hi Shraddha,

      It is a tricky issue given your profile. I do not know why did you not prepare well this time.

      If your parents are giving you another chance then take another shot at the CAT next year. In the meantime do the UI-UX course and join a job.

      You cannot sit at home and prepare only for CAT.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  37. Rizwan says

    Hi Tony Sir, myself Rizwan, a mechanical graduate from VIT Vellore in 2020 and I would like to present my case in the form of a LRDI caselet:

    1. Profile:
    Academics- 10/9/9
    Extra Curricular: 2 national awards from SEBI (AIR 2nd) in 2022 and NIOT (AIR 3rd) in 2017 , respectively.

    2. Work-ex 1.5 years as an Inside Sales Executive (aka Business Analyst)

    3. Quit the job in Jan’22 and took up freelancing as a Math Expert and also took up stock trading alongside.

    4. Reason for quitting the job was some immediate medical emergency in the family that kept me occupied till the month of May and also the new role offered didn’t render much learning opportunities (documentation work).

    5. Started preparing for CAT (2nd attempt) from the month of June and might achieve ~99 percentile this time around.

    Questions:

    1. Having a gap year , how should I try to justify this during the interviews as the gap year was taken primarily to ace CAT but tbh didn’t prepare throughout (like 8 hours a day kinda stuff).

    2. Should I take up a job from January ’23 (alongside the interview season) uptil the start of the academic year in the MBA colleges or go for CFA L1 or any other valuable certifications (as per interests) for profile building.

    3. Could you recommend any certifications (like NISM, CFI etc.) that can bring a sparkle to the eyes of the interviewers.

    P.S I know this is a ‘C’ level set as per Amit Sir’s selection criteria but some deliberation over this would be of immense help.

    P.P.S Thank you for answering and you’re doing a wonderful job.

    Like

    • Hi Rizwan,

      You have laid out your queries fairly well.

      1. It works best to lay out the truth to the panel. Reason 1: family emergency. Reason 2: career transition to management and the things undertaken for the same such as certification programs. Thirdly, the side-hustles undertaken. Be sure to take supporting documents about the medical emergency (they have growled students in the past).

      2. No need to take up a job until the interviews are over. I would say starting your CFA L1 Prep is the best bet. You can use it to support the answer for your previous question as part of the plan transitioning to a career in management, you can segue into it from the stock market side-hustle, into which you can move using interest in Finance.

      3. If you start CFA L1 prep you are good to go. The NCFM certis do not bring a sparks but can serve as signifiers of intent.

      You have a great profile. All you need to show is that you are suitable for a career in management. I don’t think a year’s gap changes anything.

      Stop looking at yourself as a gap-year candidate. Instead think of yourself as the A-lister profile that you are given your scads profile and college. If you do not believe you are good no one else will.

      Hope the ~99 happened!

      All the best!

      Like

      • Rizwan Hita says

        Thank you sir, this is the perfect motivation I needed before the start of the interview season and yes the ~99 happened.

        Liked by 1 person

  38. Adith says

    Sir,
    I am 25 yo GEM , work ex of 3 years in TCS. I left my job in July to sit for CAT and OMETs. But Unfortunately Screwed up my CAT , NMAT and IIFT. My SNAP attempt is also low (39 attempted expecting around 34+ score). Only XAT left I am not confident. I am mentally disturbed. I dont know what to do hereafter. Considering the Economic situation , I am afraid Whether I would get a decent job. I am very much Ambitious to pursue MBA from a Premier Institute. I dont know how to proceed with my life. Please provide some suggestions.

    Like

  39. Chaitanya says

    Hi sir,
    Hope youre doing well.
    I am 23 years old currently and a GEM candidate, with work exp of around 21 months. I got 87%ile in CAT and not really confident about xat. I prepared approx 3 months this time so I’m sure this wasn’t my best attempt in terms of level of preparation. My query is whether I should join a tier-2 college or give another shot at CAT 23 based on my profile? And if giving another shot, is it advisable to continue preparing while working or solely preparing? Please advise regarding the same.

    Thanyou.

    Like

  40. Sanika says

    Hello Sir,

    Thank you for keeping this channel.I am writing to you as I am caught between situations where I feel completely clueless.I have a good profile and did my BBA from Symbiosis,My scores are 87.4/75/7.4 with a work ex of 3 years.Right now the last offer I received was 9LPA and I manage a team of 11 members,I left my job end of August and prepared for my CAT, reached a 88 percentile with slot 3 reasoning gone wrong,rest of the section were above 92 percentile with reasoning at 12 percentile.
    I am at a stage I can pick a tier 2 college and do my mba while on the other hand,I want to prepare again while working and it would definitely be a risky move.Currently I am not working and looking for a suitable job either way.
    What do you think I should do?
    Will I surpass the criteria of work ex more than 3 year?
    What challenges would I face?

    Like

    • Hi Sanika,
      I think you can easily take another shot. Do not worry about the work-ex part, all the rules about profile get a bit relaxed when it comes to women candidates since firms cannot afford to pick on the nitty gritty (such as total work-ex) given that total representation is lower than the men.

      You will not be too wrong in the whole situation if by tier 2, you mean schools out of the IMS Top 30 list. For example, it would not be wise to leave a SIBM, NM or SCMHRD (main campuses).

      If you do not have any admits from the IMS Top 30 list, then given your current salary profile, it makes sense to take another shot.

      Like

      • Sanika says

        Hello Sir,
        I plan on giving cat again but a lot of my close ones including my parents believe that scores might not necessarily increase.While I believe in myself and my hardwork, I have no support at this stage emotionally from anyone.
        any tips on making this journey a bit better?

        Like

      • Hi Sanika,

        I know it must be tough to not have support but you know how their stance might not be a judgment of your actual capabilities but other things they might want you to pursue. For someone, to know pass such comments they need to have taken the test themselves, cleared it and also know your capabilities inside out (You do not need to tell them this)

        So, unless it is from your mentors who know the test and your capabilities inside out, you need not give credence to others’ opinions.

        One of the big lessons in life that learnt from a book is to not take things personally.

        The world is rarely supportive. If anything this experience should make you stronger.

        Hope this helps,

        All the best!

        Like

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