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- CAT Is No Longer As Popular As It Used To Be
- You will be successful in life irrespective of whether you crack CAT or not.
- No One Will Care About Your CAT Preparation 10-20 Years Down The Line.
- You Are The Master Of The Exam, And Not The Other Way Round.
- Episode 1 - Always Overestimate Yourself - Ankit Doshi: https://bit.ly/31E6lus
- Episode 2 - Building on Strengths vs Worrying About Weaknesses - Ankit Doshi: https://bit.ly/3qpHCUY
- Episode 3 - Cut Your Losses - Know When To Give Up - Ankit Doshi: https://bit.ly/309kT4y
- Episode 4 - Dealing With Envy - Ankit Doshi: https://bit.ly/3n9oHfr
- Episode 5 - Making Choices - All I want Is... Everything - Ankit Doshi: https://bit.ly/3D3sEaV
Translated Transcript Of The Video
Hello, the CAT exam will take place in just a few days, and we are receiving a lot of questions on our social media handles. So, I thought it’s a great opportunity for me to share my experience with you all. Do you feel you’re giving CAT a lot of importance and it’s taking a toll on you? And that there’s a fear of not being able to crack CAT? If yes, then I feel that maybe this video will be of help.
The first thing is I didn’t clear the CAT in my first attempt. So, to that extent, even I am a repeater like the many hundreds of you watching this video. I did not have the best attempt - and it was not because I didn’t prepare diligently. I think that a lot of you are not able to crack CAT, despite preparing for the exam. The problem is not with your preparation - the problem lies in over-preparing and putting a lot of stress in your head about CAT.
When I took the CAT for the first time, I had put myself through a lot of pressure because, back then, I used to feel that if I couldn’t crack CAT, then everything would fall apart. But in reality, nothing changes if you can’t crack CAT. If you don’t crack CAT, then it doesn’t matter to anyone. It doesn’t change your life in any way. If you’re going to be successful in life, then you’ll be; irrespective of whether you crack CAT or not. You may be happy to know that 99.99% of the people in the world never even wrote the CAT exam. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t happy, or successful in their lives.
So, the first thing is that if you don’t do well in the CAT exam, then it doesn’t matter. The second thing is that you’re the master of the exam, and not the other way around. It so happens that we plan our entire lives around this exam. I feel that there’s no need for this. The fundamental principle you need to understand is that CAT is a means to an end, and not an end in itself. CAT is not the destination. Even if you’re thinking of any particular B-School, you shouldn’t look at it as a goal. Your goal in life should not be to get into an IIM. It’s another route for you to do something in your life through the B-School.
There are lots of ways to be successful in life, or to get ahead in life. And clearing CAT and joining a B-School is just one of them. It’s not the be all and end all. It’s important for you to understand this at this point of time, so that you don’t put yourself through unnecessary pressure. No one has sent a spaceship to the moon by cracking CAT. If you look at all the billionaires in the world - not even 1% of them wrote CAT. There are very few leaders in the world, who have created an impact or brought changes in the world, who even heard of the CAT exam. So, it really doesn’t matter whether your performance is good or bad in this exam. Don’t let the exam get into your head, and don’t get psyched.
I have a problem with the entrance exam system. I feel it is somewhat a zero-sum game where 2.5 lakhs aspirants write the test and 5-7,000 of them will make it to top B-Schools. This only tells us that, in our country, the demand for good-quality education is way higher than the quality of institutions and the teachers that are available. This also means that our economy needs to grow more. And also that our undergraduate education is so bad, that students need to go for higher education in order to bag a high-paying job.
You will be amused to know that CAT is not even that popular anymore. The number of test-takers when I took the CAT in 2008, and now in 2021 has remained more-or-less the same. This goes on to show that a lot of youngsters have figured out that there are a lot of different ways to be successful in life. The huge salary figures that you see on the placement reports - only a handful of people in India get such a salary package. The probability of going to a top B-School and earning an INR 40-50 lakh salary is in itself very low. So, don’t put yourself through that pressure from now on.
But I am saying that you shouldn’t put in the effort or stop planning for the exam. You need to give your absolute best, and keep yourself ready to seize the opportunity coming your way. It’s just one way out of the many ways that are there for you to succeed in life.
The reason why you’re pursuing an MBA is more important than pursuing an MBA. When you introspect on this, then things will become very easy for you, and you will be able to make the best use of your MBA. There’s a very popular question in every B-School application form and during the personal interviews on ‘Why MBA?’. People cook up stories to answer this question, because a 20-22-year-old may not know what to do with her career. But if you reflect on this, then it’ll only benefit you. You may even realise that you don’t even need an MBA degree to achieve your goals.
So, how did I turn around my second CAT attempt? I considered my second attempt as a puzzle. I stopped thinking that I was appearing for an exam, or that the stakes were very high. I started enjoying the preparation process, and that helped in improving my confidence. I had also kept my ego aside. Previously, whenever I couldn’t solve a particular problem or a section, I used to take it very personally, and keep obsessing about it. It didn’t help me in improving my scores in any way, but wasted a lot of my time and used to result in a drop in my confidence level.I then stopped thinking about these things.
10-20 years down the line, when you’re running your own company, or working as a CXO at a company, or farming at a farmhouse, no one will care about your CAT preparation. It’s all like levels in a game - you need to clear the CAT, then you have to clear the B-School Admission Process, and so on. The final level will be to be eventually successful in life.
So, consider the exam as a short-term interesting puzzle that you need to solve. You don’t know what’s going to happen on C-Day and you need to have a plan and prepare for it. My best wishes with all of you! I hope you all ace the exam. I hope you take the exam with a positive frame of mind, and you enjoy the process. But, do remember that nothing is going to disproportionately change in terms of your future if this exam does not go the way you wanted it to go.