Which Is An Ideal Exam – CAT Or GMAT? – Hitesh’s Journey To IIM Bangalore
Hereby, I present my journey to MBA (It is the journey that matters and not the destination). I believe that this journey to secure an MBA Admit in itself imbibes various skills into candidates needed for the program.
I was interested to pursue my MBA in Asia (India, Hong Kong and Singapore) and hence I started with GMAT coaching after finding its way of assessment fascinating. In a group of three students, I came across the concepts being tested in GMAT and was able to understand them intrinsically through a well-molded delivery by my instructors at the coaching center, IMS. I had always found Reading comprehension tough and a number of techniques to get involved in the passage were taught at IMS. I improvised on it day by day and took a break of three months with GMAT preparation as I had joined my first job at Hyundai, which kept me busy.
Though I came out with a modest 690 in my first attempt in December 2014, I was not able to convert the ISB – Early Entry Option after getting rejected by the interview panel. My over confidence to crack the interview was clearly evident after the rejection as I had not prepared for the same and had ridden on the confidence of clearing three job interviews in the college. This is where I came to realise that every event in life has a different purpose and it is not at all recommended to take things in life for granted. I believe, everyone has such a point in their lives when you are being taught about the harsh realities of life.
Since I was working in Sriperumbudur with a 7am to 6pm, 5.5 days a week work life, I found it difficult to consult with IMS for my career progression. I had taken GMAT two more times during the same year and was not able to improve my scores.
(Attempt 1: 690 Q50V31, Attempt 2: 680 Q45V37 – Very unfortunate and Attempt 3: 690 Q50V33)
I had attempted CAT that year for the first time without any preparation and managed to score a 93 percentile, which was not enough to secure admission to any of the top institutes. I still find GMAT’s style of assessment more holistic than CAT. I have attempted GMAT thrice and CAT twice and I am of the opinion that GMAT tests endurance while CAT tests adaptability and agility.
If given a chance and the money, I still want to take GMAT for the excellent ways it tests a candidate, just for the sake of taking an exam.
I decided to apply on my own to three universities in 2016 – ISB, NUS and NTU out of which I had converted NUS S3 Asia MBA program. This was a great call of relief but also the program had its pros and cons.
Pros: The program is conducted in three different universities in Asia, an opportunity which I was always looking for and NUS has its own name in the league of business schools in terms of faculty and infrastructure. The average age of the program is 32 years, which meant I would be the youngest in the batch, an opportunity which I could convert into strength and also I can learn a lot from my peers.
Cons: The financial backbone needed to be strong enough as overseas MBA is always expensive for Indian Students and as I had no scholarships, I found the task to arrange financial assistance very tedious.
Fortunately, CAT 2016 results were announced and I had managed to score 97.86 percentile on my second attempt at CAT, all thanks to GMAT RC and Data Sufficiency Preparation. I found the DILR section in CAT very interesting as it needed me to apply the same skill as in Data Sufficiency Preparation in GMAT, but more extensively.
After multiple rejections in Indian and Foreign universities accepting GMAT scores, there was a chance in front of me where I couldn’t take any further risk. I enrolled in the GD-PI program in IMS, though it meant I had to put 18 hours a day for three days in a week plus the weekends. I took the call and began the WAT / Group Discussion Prep Courses at IMS. These sessions were very interesting and got heated up at times. This really helped us to form our own perspective on the events happening around us and deliver it with crystal clarity. I learnt that Hindi was not a national language and constitution of India recognises all official languages on the same scale. My first Personal Interview session with the coaching institute’s director was an eye opener as I was found myself dumb in many questions thrown out on me. He made me understand that I can pave my own road in an interview and it is up-to me on which ball I had to hit a sixer. This made me capitalise on my strengths in my profile and be aware of my weaknesses. Subsequent interview sessions helped me streamline my career goals and have a firm attitude towards attending an interview. The highlight of the preparation was the mock workshop which closely matched with the real time MBA interviews of b-schools and was organised very professionally. I appreciate the entire IMS team for organising an event of such a grand scale.
I would also like to highlight here that my job involved a lot of travel during these three years and I enjoyed visiting various auto-component manufacturing hubs such as Pune and Chandigarh for my work. These three years molded me well to undertake responsibilities and the journey to secure MBA admit augmented it beautifully.
I got calls from IIM B, IIM L, IIM Shillong, NITIE and IIT Delhi. I did not attend IIT Delhi and IIM Shillong interviews and had converted the rest of the three.
Once again, I would like to iterate that there will be tough moments and deadlines to meet but at the end of the day, life always will have better in store for you than you expect it to be – IIM B → The Place to B.