All posts filed under: Motivation

How to manage work and prepare for the CAT

With the mountain called the CAT now in sight, most working professionals will be wondering how to mount another challenge to get into the old IIMs. The biggest obstacle in front working professionals will be juggling a job and prepping for CAT at the same time. Some of you in this situation will have decided to quit your job, hopefully only after having read my post on the same and having understood the implications of quitting.

CAT Retake: Resetting your head before you restart prep

I have always been a big believer in the principle that how we approach a thing — an exam, a project, a a relationship — the quality of our thoughts around the same, ends up determining the end outcome to a much larger extent than the actual strategies and the things we do since the mindset precedes all of these things. So, before I post the three-part series on how to prepare for a retake, I thought I should do a short post on the right mindset that you should get into before you set sail once again. Firstly, count only the “proper” attempts I have seen a lot of people talk about attempts as if they were carrying a huge cross — this is my third attempt — as if they have given their lives for this exam and it just does not seem love them back! Well, firstly unless you have taken at least 10 SimCATs, you cannot  legitimately say that you have prepared for the exam — it is not true love …

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 …

Getting ready for CAT D-day

You have about 3 days left and some of you might still be awaiting answers  to some questions such as should you listen to what happened in the earlier slots, what should you do if you know you might not get sleep Saturday night etc. Last year I made audio clip (initially shot as a video) that answered all of these queries, queries that deal specifically with the three days leading up to the test and all the pending questions. As promised I am also taking a stress buster session — Anything But CAT — along with my colleagues at 8 PM today. We will host five rooms where we will discuss specific non-CAT topics of interest: Cricket & Tennis, Football and other sports, Harry Potter & Fantasy Books, Music Room, Quizzing. I’ll be handling the Cricket & Tennis room along with Amit Sir and Param sir (and all of our other stalwarts will also be there in each of the other rooms). I am looking forward to evening sessions and interacting with all the …

Are you ready for a real test?

From very early on in our lives we are exposed (or subjected) to this word called TEST. As we enter the higher grades, the role that TESTS play or are supposed to play in our lives steadily increases. If we look back, for most of us, tests have always been part of a trinity, they have always been concomitant with two other things —  fear and prayer. At some point of time all of us, when faced with a test (including yours truly), have felt at the least a sliver of fear running through our bodies prior to a test and even the most unbelieving of us has muttered a tiny, little, prayer under our breaths.

A plan for the last leg

At this stage, I realise that all of you are suffering from a different set of problems that occur at different score-levels. It is quite tough to come up with posts for the specific score ranges that different people are in and it is absolutely stupid to come up with a do-this-everyday-for-the-next-30 days sort of a thing (if you even think that is possible then you are preparing for the wrong exam). This post is intended to help you devise the best plan for yourself over the next thirty days. Fix your desired set of colleges, tests, and percentiles While everyone should and still aim to get into the old IIMs, each of one of you should also have a clear idea as to what the good colleges are for your profile for you apart from the IIMs. When I say a good college for you, you should measure it in terms of the outcomes that will be commensurate with your profile at this stage. An MBA primarily amplifies your current profile, this means that …

My scores have plateaued, how do I push them north

We have about 40 days left for the CAT and the queries I am getting are reflecting the same. Aspirants have written to me saying that they have learnt selection —  the A-B-C approach and set selection approach for DI-LR and VA-RC and right now they have a different problem — scores have hit a plateau at their respective levels — 75, 90, 100, 120. And most are facing the same dilemma —  I don’t want to increase my speed and go below the current scores and get demotivated, but if I don’t increase my speed my scores will not go up, what do I do. I have from my end more or less covered everything that needs to be done. The catch now lies in how you are going about executing things. Based on my interaction with students across the years and also my own experiences of preparing for tests I will try and put forth things that you might be doing or are prone to but are not consciously aware of and that …

One of the many ways

A few mornings ago, at the end of holding a particularly strenuous Yoga pose, my brother let out a gasp and his back slumped back on to the mat, but it was one of those days when my mind was sharp and still like the tip of an archer’s arrow, and I went back to ground with an even breath and a straight spine, it was the first time it happened in a long time. Straight away in my ears, I heard the voice of Shaji, shouting at me from one end of a really large room – I only said relax, back straight! The yelling was from a warm morning in the year 2013. I had just moved to Chennai after taking up the IMS franchise for the city. I had taken a place very close to the miniature beach in Besant Nagar (or Bessie as the locals call it). On one of the very first evenings there I took a stroll around the beach and came upon this structure or building or rather …

How to manage your energy, stress, and anxiety during CAT Prep

Everything seems to have speeded up because of COVID, queries that I usually get as we draw nearer to the CAT — test-taking fear, stress, and anxiety — have now turned up in the comments section in early July itself. Due to the pandemic, a lot of CAT-19 aspirants also seemed to have let go of admits into schools they would otherwise have joined. So all of these retakers have got back to the SimCATs 2020 with a vengeance and that is evident in the high scores in the first few Sims. And they are desperate to see their best scores at the earliest. My personal take is that the notification of the CAT is still not out, we do not know when the test will be held this year. It might be delayed for all we know. And whatever be the case everyone is effectively condemned to a rat in a cage existence for the next three months at the least and that is being optimistic.  So what all of us need is to …