Author: Tony Xavier

Why every WAT-GD-PI call-getter should write the IIM-B SOP

One of the things about preparing for a b-school personal interview, especially that of an old IIM, is that one struggles to find a structure to prepare for what can potentially be the most random 20 minutes of one’s life. I am sure my previous post, despite my intentions, would have scared readers rather than re-assured them. So let us see how you can bring some structure into your PI Prep.

Preparing for a pandemic PI

Now that the CAT scorecard is out, the time to start preparing for WAT-GD-PI has come. But how does one go about it? Especially in a year, or should I say season, such as this (somehow I feel that the New Year will truly start only when the mask becomes unnecessary, until then we are living in the pandemic’s orbit not the planetary orbit). From what we know so far some of the schools — FMS, SPJIMR, TISS, and IMT — have already announced an online PI and others such as IIM-K have scrapped the GD. I think we will not be too far off the mark in assuming that this year the only process will be an online PI — a bulk of the professors are not really young, spring chickens with tons of immunity to go around, so getting them to travel to different cities and conduct interviews even as the vaccine is getting rolled out is not a risk that professors and schools will be willing to take. And if it is …

A timing strategy for the XAT

  I never thought I will be doing a timing strategy post since the CAT has gone with fixed sectional time-limits for a long time now. But a reader asked for one for the XAT and thought it might not be a bad idea to do a short post on the same. I have always preferred a test without sectional time-limits since it tests a crucial quality required for management — optimizing resources to achieve maximum return on investment. In this case, the resources are your own skills and the investment is your time.  So how does one go about using the 165 minutes on the XAT?

How to crack XAT Decision Making – Part II

In the previous post ,we discussed how Decision Making can be the undoing of XAT aspirants and tried to understand the nature of questions that come up on the section. We took up two sets from the Decision Making section of a past XAT and discussed a structure to answer DM questions. In this post, we shall look at the remaining questions from that paper.

How to crack XAT Decision Making – Part I

One of the most tedious and inscrutable sections that you will find across all management entrance tests, Decision Making has been the nemesis of many a XAT aspirant. A lot of factors contribute towards DM possibly being the biggest stumbling block on the XAT. But none is bigger than the fact the amount of time any test-taker would have spent preparing for DM when compared to any other section is minuscule. This coupled with the dislike and unease most aspirants have towards reading, and the extremely subjective nature of questions ensures that DM ends up becoming the deal-breaker as far as the XAT is concerned.

How to plan your post-CAT prep for other exams

I hope the last week served its purpose, which was for you to process all the emotional side-effects of the CAT. Going by the response to the previous post, there seems to have been enough and more trauma that this year’s edition of the CAT has caused. The CAT is an indicator of what you CANNOT do, not what you CAN do The aim of the CAT is to eliminate applicants and not benchmark applicants, so given this you should understand that the CAT exam serves the needs of the IIM admissions teams more than the test-takers. So, in effect what is tells you is this — it puts really heavy weights in front of you especially the DI-LR section, if you can lift great if you cannot, hard luck. Until 2018, the other two sections were easy, I assumed it was by design to ensure a more equal playing field to applicants from diverse educational backgrounds (you cannot say you want educational diversity and shaft the non-Math students in the QA section). Last year, …

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 …