2 CAT Attempts, And A Journey To HelL – Ramraj Nagar

I believe Commitment, Attitude and Hard Work is the key to Success.

I will start from the very beginning. I am from a small village in Rajasthan and did my schooling (till 10th) from the Govt. school of the village. At my place, Hindi was a luxury and English was an alien language and still is. I completed the schooling in Hindi medium. First time away from the home Like many other students went to the Education City of Rajasthan ‘Kota’ for the IIT-JEE coaching and appeared for the IIT twice (2010 and 2011) but could not make it. Appeared for the AIEEE 2011 and the result was AIR 5282. Got the admission in NIT Trichy and this was the turning point in my life. This place taught me many things and completely changed my personality from Introvert to extrovert. VASURA (College gang) helped me a lot in improving many things during these 4 years. Graduated from NIT Trichy in the year 2015 and placed in Tata Motors. This was the dream come true for my family. I was satisfied with the job offer I had received through campus placement and who was least interested in pursuing any PG degree.


Fast forward to 2016, when I started preparation for CAT’16, but I did not prepare well. I was so confident that I should get good percentile in QA and DILR. I appeared without any good preparation in CAT’16 and ended with 83.80 in CAT’16 meagre percentile in VARC (71.36) And QA (82.14). I was very disappointed after CAT’16 due to the poor result and I realised the overconfidence and lack of consistency were the reasons behind the failure. I asked following questions to myself:

  • Is this my best performance
  • Am I satisfied with my efforts

I thought that I deserved much better than this and I should learn from the failures and move on.


I was determined to overcome the failure, I analysed my performance in CAT’16, found some grey areas to improve, and started working on them from April’17. As I was not a regular reader, so VARC section was the biggest challenge for me. To develop a reading habit and speed, I started reading a newspaper (The Hindu) and usually gave 2-3 hours to the newspaper. This activity not only developed my reading skills but also helped me to improve my General Knowledge, which is very much required for the next stage of selection process. I was preparing for CAT’17 parallel with the job and I thought of leaving the job and concentrate on the preparations. However, after analyzing the pros and cons of both, instead of leaving the job, I should manage my time in a better way and should give 3-4 hours per day to the preparations during weekdays (for me it was Mon-to-Sat) and 8-10 hours on Sunday. For my CAT’17 Strategy, you can refer to this link.


My exam centre was in Nashik although it was the third Choice for centres, so I had to travel from Pune to Nashik for D-Day. My exam slot was afternoon slot (2:30 PM to 5:30 PM) and had to report at 1:00 PM. Thanks to the office hours and preparation schedule, My body clock was well adjusted to the time slot. I was bit nervous but confident that it’s my day. All I need to be calm and have to give my best.


IIML declared the result of CAT’17 on 8th Jan. When I logged in to check my result it took few seconds to load the page and it was Dhak Dhak moment for me and the result was Overall 98.44 Percentile, VARC:95.93, QA:97.67, DILR:96.06

I was happy with the results but also knew that only job was half done.

I got calls from IIM B, K, L, MDI-Gurgaon, NITIE, FMS and New IIMs and converted IIML, K, NITIE, MDI-HR and waitlisted for IIMB (34) and FMS(48).

I am going to be part of HelL.

You can find my interview experience of HelL here.

I learned following things from the CAT’17 Preparation phase:

  • Commitment, Attitude and Hard Work is the key of Success.
  • Never give up, learn from the mistakes and move on. Do not repeat the same mistake twice. Here I would say Practice and Persistence is the key to crack CAT.
  • There is no substitute for Hard Work. Work Hard to achieve your dreams.
  • You are unique, so you have to find your own way of success.
  • Time management and Selection of questions on D-Day will differentiate you from others.

Ramraj Nagar

Ramraj Nagar IIM-L PGP 2018-20