After a meteroic rise in her CAT percentile (from 50 percentile to 96 percentile) we sat down with the ecstatic Sugandha Jain to find out what got her here and how her journey has been. The Agriculture Engineer hailing from Uttarakhand was candid and frank with her answers. She gave a lot of tips for the aspirants who are to take the same path as hers. Here is an excerpt from her interview:

Q. What is your academic background?
Sugandha: I am from Rudrapur, Uttarakhand which is where I did my schooling. I come from a
Sciences background. I have done my engineering from India’s first agriculture university, G.B. Pant Agricultural University. I graduated in 2017 and thereafter started preparing for CAT again.

Q. Why did you decide to do an MBA? What were your other prospects other than that?
Sugandha: I had always got my eye on an MBA degree. I did engineering just to gain some functional knowledge but in the long run I knew that I would go for an MBA. That is precisely why I went for a second attempt even though my score in the first attempt was really low.

Q. Was your first attempt a serious one or did you just give it to get some experience before you go in for a serious attempt?
Sugandha: Absolutely not! I gave the 2016 attempt wholeheartedly with a lot of preparation. It’s just that I couldn’t afford classroom coaching at that point of time so I had no guidance whatsoever. In 2017, I came across iQuanta. The fees was 1/4 th of a conventional coaching institute so I decided to join. Thus, in 2017 my preparation was very streamlined that is what made the difference.

Q. What was your reaction to your result in 2016?
Sugandha: I was really disheartened at that point of time. I mean with 50 percentile there is hardly any chance that you can improve it to a score which can fetch you a decent business school. I got only 25 percentile in Verbal Ability Section. I started believing that I should not do an MBA and that it is not my cup of tea. I was totally shattered.

Q. How did you take it from there?
Sugandha: A lot changed with the iQuanta CAT course to be honest. I took up the iQuanta CAT course which is conducted over 4-5 months period. It improved my verbal score tremendously. At the start of it, I was in the 30 percentile range but then towards the end of the course I was in the 90 percentile range. I connected with Verbal Ability Faculty at iQuanta. He gave a lot of tips and mechanisms to improve my verbal ability section. I followed them with full dedication. Specifically talking about reading comprehension passages, I changed my approach entirely. I included skimming and scanning techniques to my arsenal to tackle this section.

Q. Were there any lows in the journey where you felt like quitting?
Sugandha: Oh yes definitely, a lot of those too. While I improved my reading comprehension, I still struggled with other questions on paragraph completion, critical reasoning and others. I had decided that I would skip those questions entirely. I shared this with Rudra again. He told me to put this idea aside and just practice the questions being done in class. He took some extra classes just for my sake. Gradually, the phobia vanished and I rebuilt the self confidence that the 2016 results had shaken throughly. I attended the motivation sessions of iQuanta. The faculty would listen to our anxieties and other issues and then, take a real life incident from someone else’s life and narrate it to us. In the end, it would connect back to what we were facing. In that narration or anecdote we would find the solution to  our problems too. Finally I did my MBA from IIM Kashipur.
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