‘I Managed To Tick All The Right Boxes That Day!’ – Soumyodeep Basu (99.17%iler In SNAP 2016) On Cracking The SNAP – SIBM Bengaluru
Meet Soumyodeep Basu, a first-year MBA student at SIBM Bengaluru. Born in Kolkata and brought up in Mumbai, he completed his graduation in Civil engineering from the University of Mumbai in 2015. After having worked for some time in the construction sector, he decided to pursue his higher studies and opted for an MBA. He appeared for SNAP in which he scored 99.17%ile. He is currently in the second semester of his MBA and wishes to take up Marketing as his specialisation in his second year.
Did your educational background help you during your test prep? Did it help you in the subsequent rounds (GE-PI-WAT)?
To a large extent, yes. Being an engineer, tackling quant, DI and LR weren’t that difficult for me after some practice. Although in the subsequent rounds of GE-PI-WAT it didn’t really matter since most of the topics were either abstract or on current affairs.
What was your strong/weak section and what was your overall test-taking strategy?
I was good in the logical reasoning section and moderate to good in quants and verbal. Since the GK section in SNAP 2016 was based entirely on current affairs, it gave me an upper hand as I had been following the news for the last few months. Keeping the time and speed factor in mind, I focused on mental calculations.
What was your strategy for individual sections (Quant/Verbal/Data Interpretation/General Awareness/Reading Comprehension)?
I started with the general awareness section since it takes the least possible time-either you know it or you just don’t. And trust me, this section is the real game changer in SNAP. I then moved to the verbal and RC section followed by the LR and DI section where I spent some considerable time since it had a higher weightage. For DI, when you have large numbers in place, it is important to take rough approximations to save up time. In quant, I just aimed at maximizing my accuracy and avoiding silly mistakes.
What do you think you did right during test prep? What was it that you did right on test day?
Just remember that the more you solve, the better you’ll get. I focused on this principle throughout my test prep and solved as many questions as I could. Giving mocks was something which was very important as I not only got accustomed to the test structure but it helped me analyse where I was going wrong. On test day, I went with a cool mind and played to my strengths. My strategy was to solve the easier questions first with the maximum accuracy and then move on to the tougher ones. I’ll suggest to always have a strategy in place but also be ready to tinker your plan on the d-day.
How did you prepare for the group discussion? What was the topic and how did you tackle the GD round?
I started my GD preparation once I was done with all the competitive exams. The best way to go about it is to read all the important happenings occurred in the past one year. Topics ranging from politics, economics, technology, sports etc. are a must, though, most of the GDs that I faced had abstract topics. I also gave a few mock GDs which helped my confidence. The topic that I had in my SIBM B GD was “Science vs Religion”. Such topics give you the freedom to think out of the box and also test your presence of mind wherein you need to get the best possible points in place and not go overboard.
What resources did you use to refer while preparing for the essay writing?
I used to read The Hindu Editorials and any good article that I came across on the net since I wasn’t really into reading novels. Mostly, the essay topics that I got were abstract. In SIBM B as well, our GD topic itself was our essay topic.
How was the interview experience like? What was your preparation strategy and how did the interview turn out to be?
My interview experience in SIBM B was very good. Since I had given quite a few interviews in other B-schools as well, I wasn’t really nervous about the process and was confident about my chances. One needs to be well prepared for the general HR questions in a b-school. Questions like “Tell me something about yourself”, “Why MBA?”, “Why this B-school” sounds pretty generic but need a well-structured answer. One needs to be thorough with their profile since most of the times that is where the interview revolves around. In my interview, I was asked questions about my work-ex, some tricky riddles and on current affairs. I think I managed to tick all the right boxes that day!