1) I have a poor academic record so I will never get a call.

2) What if normalization for difficulty levels across CAT slots goes against me?

3) What if they suddenly change the selection criteria which does not suit my profile?

4) They don’t know how to conduct an exam properly. I have heard in some centres machines don’t work at all.

5) They anyway want girls so there is no point studying so hard.

6) Reservations is the bane of the education system.  Without a caste certificate, these days you stand no chance.

7) I broke up with my girlfriend. Now, I am surely going to fail at the CAT.

8) They are putting pressure on me to get married. I can’t study for CAT properly.

9) I fought with my Dad on the morning of my CAT exam. I screwed it up.

10) University exams are clashing. I can always try next year.

 If you are going to be saying any of the above in the next one month, please save yourself the trouble of spelling it out loud. Just quote the number. I didn’t succeed at CAT because – Reason #___

Your reason doesn’t feature above? Let’s make a bigger list.

Anyone who allows oneself to give any of the above reasons to justify the possibility of not being able to crack the CAT, will surely not crack the CAT. Winners don’t make excuses.

Whether it is batting in a tense cricket match, running one’s own business or taking the CAT, I have always found being successful in it as an entirely psychological issue. It is the mind. It is the attitude.

People who crack the exam are ones who do it despite every reason mentioned above. It is difficult to score more than 97%ile and people who score it are truly among the best in the country. There is only one reason why people don’t crack it – They were not good enough on that day.

At this point of time, if your mind is exploring excuses to make yourself feel better, you may as well give up. The battle is lost.

Maybe it is also time to explore why you are taking the CAT. Why MBA? It is possible you are not good at it because it isn’t really what you like. This is a perfectly valid reason. I respect people who have the courage to pursue what they want. It is possible they are better at something else. They are more passionate about something else. It is okay to walk away. Walking away does not make you timid. Pursuing CAT or MBA because of the fear of what people will say if you walk away despite not really liking or wanting it is definitely timid.

So what do winners do?


Winners take 100% responsibility for their actions. They know that only they are to blame if they do not do well.

Winners respect the task ahead but do not respect it so much that it bogs them down.

Winners accept the fact they are going to be nervous and hence also prepare to deal with it.

Winners are always positive. They focus on what all can go right. They visualize and dream that they will succeed.

Finally, winners win because they want it badly.

How badly do you want to win?

– Ankit Doshi


The author is the creator of this website. He scored 99.7%ile in CAT and 99.5%ile in XAT when he took the tests 9 years back.

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P.S: Want to chat with the author of this article? Join him for a live webinar on 22nd November 2018 at 7 pm. You can watch the webinar here.

Ankit Doshi

Creator of InsideIIM.com