Tarzan Applicants – From One MBA Entrance Exam to Another- Alternative Mavericks

Rajvi was excited. This was the best CAT exam she had undertaken and she felt ecstatic about her performance. The questions were tricky but she could see through the guile and charm of the questions. As she stepped out of the entrance hall, she felt confident about her performance.  She decided not to bother preparing with the rest of the exams – She was going to prepare for GD/PI, brush up on the general knowledge, read through the mounting piles of editorials in The Hindu, start prepping up on her engineering subjects, focus attention on that neglected job front too… there is just so much to do now… She can’t afford to let this slip by. The CAT has given her the confidence that she can tackle XAT and other exams now.  Better she focuses attention on the next phase of the game lest she loses this chance.



Enough and more candidates fall victim to this irrational exuberance.  Great performance in one exam is not a guarantee of a call because it is all relative.  You may have scored 99.50% in the CAT but if there are enough candidates with 99.51% or more – you will be cut out. This is how the game is played.  How others perform in the exam is not within your control.


Yet, there are enough factors in your control to make a difference and it is your job to optimize those factors. Think of Tarzan – He swings from one tree to another.  He doesn’t control the trees branches’ length; he doesn’t know if the branch has the strength to carry his weight, he is not in control of what creatures he will face; he does not have a clear path mapped in his head. He swings freely in the general direction he wants to go and somehow manages to reach his destination.


Despite the number of uncertainties, the dude is in control. He has mastered his techniques and timing, he has the muscles and physique to improvise if a branch gives away. He has the stamina and the confidence to manage the situations.  While he cannot control his environment, he has complete control over his own abilities – and sometimes that is all what is needed – no more and no less.


A Tarzan applicant gets 3 things perfectly – Timing, Muscle and Stamina


Every Tarzan applicant understands the importance of peaking their performance at the right time. There is a moment to swing on to a branch, a moment to hold on and a moment to leap onto the next branch.  Each moment must be precise and synched perfectly to enable movement forward.  Similarly, Tarzan applicants have to understand the right moment to keep tackling a question, the right moment to let go a question and the right moment to switch off.  How do you know which is the right moment?


Let your muscles tell you. By the word ‘muscle’ – I don’t mean those bulging biceps and triceps but the muscles of your brain. That subconscious brainpower which fires during the exam and answers questions which even you didn’t know you could answer needs to kick in. Keep practicing till you can’t do it anymore – and then push some more. It is called muscle memory – train it to the point where you just automatically know when to hang on and when to let go.

And lastly, your stamina – it is not a sprint, but a marathon. You have to keep going for months. You need to sprint when others tire out. And sprint faster when others sprint. If you are not one of those geniuses with incredible IQ levels – you have to slog it out like the rest of us. Even superheroes have to train for hours.


The race is long and hard. Most of you would have finished with the CAT and are preparing for the next exams. Double up and start leaping towards your destinies.


Happy Hunting, Tarzans

– Raheel Shah


Raheel did his MBA from a well-known institute of management in western India. He believes that everyone is a genius but if you measure a fish by its ability to climb a tree, you will find the fish to be pretty dumb!!


About Alternative Mavericks

“Alternative Mavericks”, weaves different stories to present unconventional view points which challenge the readers to not accept everything at face value. Raheel has completed his MBA from IIMA. He loves working on new ideas and is constantly coming up with new ways to solve old problems… Add Raheel to your Canvas by going to raheel.insideiim.com

Read everything about IIM Ahmedabad here