I decided to write the CAT and do an MBA when I was in the 2nd year of my undergrad. I had almost a year in hand, at that time. I would attend classes but wasn't able to give much time to self-study. I took my first mock in March, and that's when it hit me that my preparation was definitely no-where near to where I had hoped it will be. I started giving more hours to my MBA exam prep. Though English and Logical reasoning were working well for me, Quant like for most Non-engineers was a nightmare. I worked on it and my scores started to improve by July-August, I had started scoring rather well in my mocks and things seemed under control. At around this point, I also had to make a decision as to whether or not to sit for college placements, our college doesn't allow students to withdraw from a company after being placed. I took the tough call and decided to not sit for placements, and focus on my exam preparation.
When the final exam schedule for my college was announced, I unexpectedly found that the exams were in the same week as CAT, which meant that I had an exam the day before and the day after CAT. By the time, I found out about this, there wasn't much, I could do to pace up my prep. I was elbow deep into internal projects and submissions for college, and I could not take any of these lightly.
After I came out of the exam center, I knew, that the lack of practice in the week leading up to CAT had gotten the better of me, the exam had not gone as well as my mocks had been going. I did not have much time to deliberate about what had happened as I came home, I still had 2 papers remaining in the semester final, I got to studying. However, I did realize, that if I can make up the lack of practice, I could do well in the remaining exams.
I started preparing for XAT with full might.
From around the 20th December, I was taking 2 mocks a day and analyzing them. One thing that seemed to work in my favor with XAT that unlike CAT which is a quant intensive paper (The DI-LR section is also, math dominant to some extent), XAT was a language intensive paper, in the sense that 2 of the 3 sections were language intensive, even though the quant section by itself, is said to be slightly tougher than CAT.
I worked hard on the decision- making section, which is said to be the make or break section of XAT. I solved the past year questions, and tried to gauge the rationale behind each solution, and then applied the same during my mocks.
The exam went well, and I was expecting the results to be favourable. When the results were released, I was pleasantly surprised. I had a 99.844 percentile. I started GDPI preparation from the next day itself.
I had my interviews for XLRI, in the first week of March. Most students in the panel had good work experience and some even had national-level achievements, and here I was sitting; a fresher. The GD and the Interview went well. A major part of my interview went discussing the research papers that, I had published and presented in the duration of my undergrad.
The Coronavirus delayed the final results by almost a month and a half. The results were announced on the midnight of the 20th of May, just as I was about to turn in for the night, it was surreal. I was ecstatic, the hard work had finally paid off!