Before you guys read my story, I would recommend you to make your own Bingo and get the best out of it.
First Attempt at CAT = First Failure Faced
What is this LHS = RHS? Hang on, before I explain you the context a quick tip for all the aspirants “CAT is more about having the right mindset than knowing the right concepts” and you’ll get to know once you read my story!
So, a quick flashback which will help you interpret the equation.
1) School Life: Always been in top 1% of the batch; represented class for 9 consecutive years; led the school as Head Girl for a year. Scored 95% in 10th CBSE Boards and secured a position at District Level. Took commerce along with computer science for higher education and scored 90% in 12th boards.
2) Professional Exams: Got scholarship from a well known CA coaching centre for CPT. Gave the paper and scored 157/200 (Yes, I passed with fairly decent marks) but dropped the idea of becoming CA. Why? Sitting in four walls and studying for 14+ hours, not my thing!
3) College Life: For the whole first year I wore a hat called nerd/geek/anorak. I was completely into academics and didn’t join any club or committees (probably because everything was new for me! New city, new people) but that helped me fetch merit scholarship (full fee waiver for a year) from the university. In my sophomore year, the dream of becoming an outgoing, spirited person even in college pushed me to try a variety of activities. I then served as a core committee member for the largest club of the university for the next two years along with being an organizing member for TEDxAhmedabadUniversity. Meanwhile, my academics were not affected because of my extra-curricular activities. I was ranked 4th out 440 students enrolled for the Bcom Program.
You must be wondering why I am boasting about myself. I am not a narcissist but the point is my life was 100% and 360 degrees successful till November 24, 2018. Yes, guessed it right it was D-Day for all the MBA aspirants (now you can make sense of the above equation).
Why I failed even when I worked so hard?
Undoubtedly my diligence and perseverance were right but in a wrong direction. I prepared myself for the test but not for the test taking. I failed to strategize and enjoy my journey and because of under-confidence I freaked out completely a night before CAT (Slept barely for max 3-4 hours) and got blanked while writing the examination.
What did I do after CAT paper?
Whimpered a bit and started preparing for IIFT and SNAP because I believe in this quote:
“I want to see what happens if I don’t give up”
Long story short, Got calls from IIFT (IIFT score 93.96%ile), NMIMS (NMAT score 212) and SIBM-B (SNAP score 97.19%ile) but managed to convert only SIBM-B.
How did I take my first failure ever? Was I afraid to face it?
Yes, I was afraid to face failure because I never had to do the same in the past. I didn’t prepare myself; all I thought was what I’ll do once I get this. I first appeared for CAT in 2018 and scored a meagre 77 percentile and then couldn’t convert any of the few good calls I had. For a few months, I was utterly disappointed and felt like everything was over. I wasn't expecting a very good score either, but such a low score sometimes forces you to doubt your capabilities and the exact thing happened with me. Deep down I almost lost the faith in myself and all those academically glorious years felt like a mere fluke. Half of the times I was even embarrassed to reveal this percentile among my peers.
I went into isolation and starting escaping people and reality by binging OTT platforms whole day and night.
More importantly, the thought of walking the same path unaccompanied by friends troubled me a lot hence without pondering much I convinced myself to join the college in that year but my father said
“Why are you settling down beta, give it another shot and I know that you’ll get into your desired college”.
And his faith and support helped me to foster self- confidence again. This time I was pretty clear in terms of my target and how to approach the exam. Four major pillars which helped me to ace the journey were:
1) Organized schedule from planning to prepare section wise content to scheduling mocks in all possible environment and with all possible moods.
2) Constant Motivation from the closed ones who really kept me going.
3) Study Group’s Symbiosis because “none of us is as smart as all of us”. So, find the right study group and keep track of everyone’s prep plan as “together we can do great things!”
4) Fun Breaks are as important as preparing content or giving mocks. Research shows that “When we work, our prefrontal cortex makes every effort to help us execute our goals. But for a challenging task that requires our sustained attention, briefly taking our minds off the goal can renew and strengthen motivation later on.”
These all were reflected in my mocks score (having average of 96%ile +) but unfortunately or fortunately I again freaked out a night before CAT and took sleeping pills at around 3:30 AM because I was allotted the morning slot. I tried to avoid all the negative thoughts about my first failure but failed “AGAIN!” and scored 89.6%ile only in CAT. But this time I took this failure positively and kept myself really calm and hopeful till SNAP exam.
Got calls from SP Jain (profile based), all baby IIMs along with IIM Shillong, NMIMS (NMAT score: 207 marks) and SIBM Pune (SNAP score: 99.16%ile).
When I saw my SIBM-P selection letter, I never had that type of feeling ever in my past probably my first failure made this win all the more sweet and helped me realize that Failures make us.
With head held high, I say that currently, I am a part of the MBA (Flagship) program at SIBM, Pune. The competitive and diversified #hillTop campus is shaping me for the future.
P.S. There are a lot of things that happened in between all these which I cannot pen down right now because tears have already started pouring out of my eyes.
But do remember,
Failing teaches you a lot more than success can teach. Having lots of successful moments definitely adds brownie points to your CV, but failures help you craft a beautiful journey towards your success, and that journey always remains close to your heart.
“FAIL” = First Attempt In Learning (Ultimately it leads to SUCCESS!)
Again, LHS =RHS so embrace the equation and keep learning!
Wish You All the best!!
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