We are on the eve of SimCAT 1 and a lot of students (mostly first-time CAT-takers) are apprehensive, understandably so, about taking it. Over the years we have found the self-same reasons that induce this fear, and this post is geared towards addressing them.
The results of a few b-schools are out and even now I get a lot of queries that revolve around specializations — which specializations should I choose, I do not have any idea what my area of interest and so and so forth. This is not surprising since in India our strategy is simple — first crack the test, then see what is the best college your percentiles can get you and then finally start thinking about specializations! The funny part is that we do not seem to learn from our mistakes since this is the same policy we followed for our graduation as well and now want to do an MBA so that we can undo the mistakes of our graduation but without having changed our standard operating procedure!
In the previous two posts, we discussed the mindset and the tools that you would need for a successful retake. In this post, we will take a look at the specific things you need to do for each section and area.
In the previous post, we discussed the mindset with which one should approach a CAT retake; in this post, we shall look at a few more aspects with respect to a successful CAT retake. Since each one of you readers will have a different back story with respect to your first attempt and there will also be some non-IMS students among you as well, the focus of this post will be a bit wider.
Most of the institutes have given out their calls (or at least most of you know your chances) and many of you might be planning to retake the CAT. For some of you, it might be a case of almost getting there but missing out because of one poor section or just missing out on the overall percentile. For others, the CAT-day might have been a bad day at the office and you knew straight away that nothing much was going to happen. On my first attempt, I fell into the latter group — I knew I was out of my depth when I saw the Quant paper, there was no way I was going to clear the cut-offs. This despite consistently doing very well in the Sims leading up to the test. I decided to take another shot since I was very clear that it was not out of my league. This post, in three parts, is for all those re-takers who are NOT hoping to get lucky next time around but want to ensure that …
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 …
Every year in the March-May period, a lot of CAT aspirants contemplate quitting their jobs to prepare for the CAT, this post is outlines the things that you need to consider before taking that call.
At this juncture, it doesn’t take a magician to see what kind of anxieties aspirants might be going through. A small fraction of you have got the calls you want and are all excited and nervous about the impending interviews or the results of the same, others have GD-PI calls but are not sure whether the b-schools that have given them the calls are really worth it, and still others knowing that this year is done have hit snooze-mode till June. This post will primarily deal with the dilemma of those in between — to re-take or not to re-take the CAT. It is not an easy call to take but your task will become easy if you ask yourself the right questions and give the most honest answers you can to them.
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 …
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.