A year ago I was a CAT aspirant much like all of you today. I joined the CAT Preparation -iQuanta group to complement my preparation efforts. I had also enrolled in the iQuanta course. After working continuously towards my goal for a year, I have finally converted IIM Bangalore!
Hence, I would like to share my journey and experience with you all so that you get a better perspective.
DISCLAIMER: My opinions are completely based on experiences. You can adopt whatever suits you the best. As very individual prepares under different circumstances.
So my journey started in 2015 itself when I was in my final year of B.Com (Hons.) from Hansraj College and prepared for CAT 2015 from Triumphant Institute of Management Education (T.I.M.E.), Connaught Place, touted as the best coaching institute! However, my net learning from there was unsatisfactory. I felt it was overly commercialized and their only focus was entirely skewed toward the more promising candidates (high scorers in mock tests).
I felt I can’t match up to the speed of my engineering peers in Quantitative Aptitude classes which formed a majority of the batch. This absolutely shattered my confidence and hence I shirked studying. I gave mocks and the scores weren’t motivating either. Around June 2015, I gave up preparation and attempted CAT 2015 to find out what my scores would look like without preparation. I got a decent 91%ile. I even got a call from IIM Indore and Shillong. I converted IIM Indore without any interview preparation.
This time my confidence was 10 times higher. I had decided that I will give my all in this attempt to conquer my dream business school. I had taken up campus placement and worked for a year. It was high pressure job, I couldn’t find enough time to study. Hence, I had quit my job after a year. I needed 3-4 months for CAT preparation with 12 hours of study daily. I took that time from July onward. This time around I did not take any coaching, relied completely on self-study! I knew Quantitative Aptitude was my weakest area, so I devised my plan to devote maximum time towards it and 20% to other sections initially!
Mocks are very important for CAT so I took all IMS, TIME & CL mocks.
For Quantitative Aptitude:
1. I first cleared my base with Dinesh Miglani’s YouTube Videos. They are awesome for understanding basics. I solved Arun Sharma quantitative aptitude alongside.
2. I enrolled for iQuanta online Quantitative Aptitude class which helped me solve the trickier questions in an easier way.
3. After completing a particular section, for e.g. – arithmetic or geometry, I solved it from time material. I tried to solve and read as many doubts posted on the CAT preparation – iQuanta group at the end of the day.
For Verbal Ability:
I solved 10 Reading Comprehension sets in a week from different sources like iQuanta Reading Comprehension Session and books every day. I practiced Reading Comprehension & Verbal Ability from T.I.M.E. Sectional Tests (gave 2 per week).
For Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning:
I solved past year paper sets and mock questions continuously, along with sectionals 2 per week. I solved questions posted in iQuanta ‘DILR’ sessions as much as I could to understand different approached and develop my own.
I gave ~40-50 mocks and never scored even 90 percentile in any of them! Ever! The scores and percentile were very demotivating but I never bothered too much about mocks. They were nothing but a test ground to build stamina, a place to try new strategies and refine them. Hence, you should use it as a learning tool to know what you can do better.
THE MAIN EXAM:
Keeping calm is the key. Stay calm; your self-confidence and belief matters. I could never solve even 60 questions in mock and I solved 75 in CAT!
This is the time when I felt that I missed again my dream Business School as everyone was busy congratulating the people who had 99.5x+. This was only about CAT. The winner is who makes it to the end!
A 3 hour long exam holds weightage but that isn’t all. I got a call from all IIMs other than Ahmedabad & Kolkata. I was ecstatic at getting a call from Bengaluru.
THE INTERVIEW PREPARATION:
I had put in all my efforts to convert my best call. I took guidance for Group Discussion and Personal Interview from Malay Ray classes which steered me in the right direction. The interviews were majorly focused on work-experience, academics and general awareness.
I converted IIM Bengaluru.
The entire journey to the final destination is not easy but it is worth the struggle!