“I solved all the questions of my strong domain in the first go” – Anurodh Tak, XAT Topper
Anurodh Tak, a student of IIT, Kanpur from the batch of 2012 has joined XLRI this year in the Business management programme. After passing out from IIT, he joined Reliance industries Limited as Inspection Manager. After working in Reliance for about 20 months, he moved on to the role of a Business Analytics Associate in ZS Associates. Meanwhile he also wrote XAT and other management exams. With a 99.96 percentile in XAT 2014, he chose to join Business Management, 2014-16 batch in XL.
1. How did you manage your time while studying for XAT and the entire gamut of entrance exams, given that you had a full-time job?
Having spent the full day at job, I only had late hours and weekends to prepare for the entrance exams. I started studying in full swing at around the start of September last year and kept a track of my progress. A typical day of my routine was dedicated to the job till around 7 in the evening followed by the next few hours for preparation. Knowing the importance of having a good score in all the sections in XAT, I distributed my efforts uniformly across sections. Also, I utilized my 90 minutes of travel every day to improve my vocabulary using a mobile app, which, I realize now, was a very fruitful idea.
2. How did the IIT experience help you in test prep? Was Quant Easier? Did the IIT experience help you in subsequent rounds as well (GD-PI)?
IIT experience helped me widen my thought process horizons in general but had no other edge in Quant or Verbal than any other engineer. Quant was tricky in XAT 2014, it should not be called easy. It required smart thinking in addition to the traditional methods of solving. An open, stress free and fresh mind is sufficient for that. In the subsequent rounds of GD and PI, any direct question did not come up which hinted / was directed towards IIT as such.
3. What was your verbal strategy? Any tips on essay writing?
I focused more on my strong sections (LR and CR) and increased my devotion for the weaknesses (vocabulary and RC). I used a mobile app to act as my handy vocabulary guide and used it throughout my day (bus travel, walking). I read the editorial of Economic times to improve my reading comprehension and practiced a lot of RCs online as well. I used the list of current topics available online and practiced essays.
One should learn to properly structure an essay before attempting to write one. I used to write my thoughts in points before actually starting with the write up.
4. What do you think you did right during test prep? What was it that you did right on the Test Day?
Version 1: There are a few things that really helped me ace this test:
a. Keeping a track of the progress
b. Practicing a lot on the topics of my weakness
c. Solving a lot of sample papers and online tests and critically analyzing the performance
d. Taking a break from study a week before the exam to be focused on the larger picture and be calm
Version 2: I planned my way to study, kept a track of my progress, learnt from my mistakes. I spent ample amount of time on analysis my test performance to find out my own strengths and weaknesses to improve in the future tests. During the last week before the exam, I stopped adding anything to my knowledge and tried to focus on my key areas of strength and weaknesses to strategize in the best possible manner.
At the day of exam, I tried to be as stress free as possible so as not to jeopardize my performance. I kept calm during the exam and solved all the questions of my strong domain in the first go, leaving the others for subsequent rounds. This helped me minimize the negatives and get good scores.
5. Did people keep telling you to do an MBA directly after IIT? Was it a deliberate decision to work for a couple of years
before doing an MBA?
As such, I did not have any pressure from anyone, it was my choice to work for a couple of years for a good amount of hands-on experience in the technical domain, have an idea of how the business world is actually functioning and then go for the formal learning program to add on to the experience.
6. How did you prepare for GD and PI?
I had two more friends who had calls from different B-schools, we made a group and prepared on the GD topics as suggested by different sites (one of them being pagalguy.com). For the PI, a senior of mine who graduated from IIM-L helped me by taking mock PIs and then giving feedback. I kept myself updated with the current happenings in the country and the world.
7. How did your interview (XLRI) go (just provide a brief description of the contours of the interview)? What was the aspect of your GD/PI prep that helped the most?
My interview revolved around basics of metallurgy (being a metallurgist) and some simple but tricky puzzles. There was a brief discussion about my hobbies as well. It went for around 10 minutes. During the GD, I pitched in for about 3 times, making a new point every time. I think that helped me a lot clearing the whole process.
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8. What do you think are the attributes required in a candidate to get final admits from XLRI?
Strong knowledge and clear understanding of basic concepts of our domain surely make you stand out of the herd. Clarity of thought, strong quantitative and verbal skills and a bit of strategy and decision making is a plus as it helps in taking the edge in the written exam as well as the interview.
9. Any idea on what will be your plans after MBA?
Working in the finance domain has always been at the top of my mind and heart. Though, taking a final call on it is a pending task, which I would complete only after having information about all the possible domains, after the first year courses.
10. Any other tips/recommendations for aspirants?
Plan your way to victory..!!
There should be a goal to kick the ball!! J J
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