CAT Is Not Only About Aptitude But Also About Time Management – IIM Bangalore Student

”Better Late Than Never”

I realised this statement through practical experience in life. It was 2014. I had to see the movie ‘Interstellar’ and that too in Prasad’s IMAX, talk about ‘wants’ (Wants – Marketing Jargon). And I had to let my parents know that I am going to Hyderabad. And in this manner, I came in touch with CAT 2014. The movie was a huge commercial success and I saw it twice. But little did I know that the result of the exam would shape my entire life decision from then on. I managed to get a 94.XX percentile in the exam. And I had done no preparation. This gave me the confidence that this is my cup of tea. And hence the journey of my life changed its direction.

I gave my everything to CAT 2015. Being from a manufacturing background where I had to work 6 days a week, it was a challenging task. But on D-Day, the nervousness took over the preparation and my score reduced to 92.XX. In hindsight, it was indeed clear to me that the exam not only tests the aptitude but also time management skills. Being from an Engineering background and working since the last 3 years, it was an important decision to take because of the high work experience. Nevertheless, I applied to CAT 2016 instinctively and due to the high work experience, I had targeted only one premium institute – SP Jain, as it has an option to shortlist based on profiles specific to past work experience. The usual parties and mundane office tasks continued after the exam and apprehension about results hadn’t crossed my mind at all till January 10, when I woke up to 35 missed calls, from friends and families. I got to know that the results have been released and with that sensation that everyone has when checking results, I could not believe my eyes to see 98.91 percentile written alongside my CAT Registration number. As if this amount of happiness wasn’t enough, I got the offer for an interview from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, which I had not even considered.

This story is targeted for those individuals who are considering giving up the race for CAT exam due to successive failures. It is to instill in them the confidence not to think of the results when appearing for the examination and have the perseverance to attempt the exam once again. The fact that we have seriously prepared since our past failures will someday bear fruit and that is what is going to help us in the future. One last thing I would emphasize on is not to have any expectations and give our best in whatever amount we can. Understanding that CAT is not just aptitude, but also time management coupled with knowing what questions to attempt and what questions to leave, coupled with a risk analysis of all the questions asked will definitely push our chances towards success. I am sure of that. I hope that I could convince you and I would like to end this excerpt with the same quote mentioned in the Title – ‘BETTER LATE THAN NEVER’.

Suchi Pattanayak

Suchi Sraba Pattanayak CAT 2016 - 98.91 Indian Institute of Management Bangalore PGP 2017-2019



Kumar Abhijeet

Nice One!! I need a suggestion.
I am in same position as you were last year as I am a 2014 b-tech pass-out and have been working with an IT firm for last 3 years. This year I converted XIMB, IMT And IIM Jammu but didn’t join any of these thinking I can perform better next year. My biggest concern is my experience. Will it be a negative point while admission or while placements in a top tier b-school? What is your personal experience regarding this?

Suchi Sraba Pattanayak

The admissions criteria for all B schools change year on year. But the thing that remains constant is the fact that IIM Bangalore always prefers people with high work experience. At least for IIM Bangalore, its not going to be a negative point. Apart from IIM Bangalore, there are also colleges like SP Jain, NITIE and ISB Hyderabad that are indifferent to people with high work experience. Regarding placements, high work experience is not going to affect industries like operations and supply chain. I hope this answers your query.


hi suchi
i have 83% in 10th , 71% in 12th and 78% in B.E. .I have heard that companies reject students with low academics.
can you please give me some information regarding this.