Tuesday, July 13, 2004

My CAT story - Inspiration (??!!) for the late starters

Please don't take these if you are real serious in preparation. If you are lagging in preparation, I guess this post will zap you up.

Starting problem:
I took the first CAT in 2001. I didn't know anything about CAT, the competition prevailing, and the type of questions that can be expected. I didnt know the USP of different institutions either. I took it just because I wanted to do something useful during the last of my college days. I already had a job in Oracle which made me as lax as a guy can be.

I remember taking 5 full time tests, at home, in total. Obviously the test bombed. I wasn't least expecting to get a call. Fortunately the scores weren't disclosed that time.

Second try:
I was too busy with the work, doing good stuff there. I was also enjoying a good reputation in the company, and most importantly I was enjoying the work along with a good pay. But since coding was something I didn't want to settle with in the long run, I wanted to take CAT in November 2004 with 3 yrs experience. This was in June 2003. Since there was 4 months left for Nov 2003 CAT, I just wanted to give a shot, a serious one.

I enrolled in IMS correspondence. I didn't take the full course because I had a real tight schedule in the company, and I was always thinking in the back of the mind that Nov 2004 CAT is for me. Materials started piling up every week, and didn't even touch. And then, one fine day - the usual enlightenment wake up - made me take the books. Then I joined PG, and closely followed the things here, and suddenly I wanted to give a full try.

I was overconfident about English, and I didn't spend a single minute for English apart from the 40 minutes in exam. This I suspect was a real mistake. I only concentrated (???!!) on Quants, and I was confident that DI will automatically come (Second mistake!)

I was never in the top 100s anytime. My usual IMS ranks were in the range 600 to 1000 kinds, with intermittent trespassing either sides. The highest I got was some 201 once. But take home tests (AIMCAT papers) were the real cushion. After evaluation most of the time I found that I was close to AIR 50s and 100s. Don't ask me why I didn't get such ranks in SIMCATs. I don't know. But then, I must add: SIMCATs really sucked. They were outdated - to say the least.

I guess I had a consistent average performance in both the CATs - the leaked one and the next one. I remember getting some 60+ in the leaked CAT. Low by all standards.

The 'real' CAT was equally bad. I remember getting some 50 to 55s, as per the IMS key. But people who claimed 60s and 65s got lesser than me finally. So, I really don't know what my score was. All I know is: I got 98.1 percentile, calls from L and I.

L interview was a nightmare (as posted in PG), the worst one can expect. I interview was cool, and naturally I'm in I now.

Wanted to post this for a long time, and got the time now - tomorrow is a holiday for us here. Some friends say I must have went according to my original plans and should have taken CAT seriously next year to get into A/B/C. But I'm in IIM-I, what the heck? Feeling satisfied.

P.S: I posted this PG, and wanted to capture this in my blog as well.


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