The CAT Journey – So In The End, Was It Worth It?
Final admit from the B schools are pouring in, many of us have converted, many of us are just looking at the sluggish waitlist movement. Amidst all this there are many of us who are heart broken and wondering, “In the end, was it worth it?“.
Let me tell you my story. To be honest this is not a story of a success or a failure; this is just a story of the journey.
Many of you might remember the euphoric moment when you decided to bell the CAT. Well, I remember mine, it was during my C2C induction program; sitting among the potential future leaders, freshly out of college, gleaming to “MAKE IT LARGE” and carefully listening to the “HOW THEY MADE IT LARGE” stories of corporate BIG BOSSES. This was 2017. By stalking the bosses on LinkedIn and painting the picture of IIM Calcutta in my head (I still don’t know why I wanted C over A or B) I decided to make it happen.
So the incessant session of bothering seniors who got through it, even who didn’t to know what went wrong for them, started. I started reading online posts, experiences, strategies, collecting materials and what not. For the first attempt I decided to know where I stand in the league of becoming a future IIM C alumni and CAT 2017 happened.
What was the result? 92.88 percentile.
Well obviously I didn’t imagine myself in IIM C with only 2-3 months of casual preparation. I still wonder how people who say they studied only 2 months, crack it. Well, I was no pantomath, I knew my limits.
Though things were interesting at office, I was designing the Signalling System of Kochi Metro and Lucknow Metro, but still the picture of 2017 induction hall and my dream of IIM C was afresh. So it started.
Year 2018, December.-
I joined a coaching institute. This time I was serious. The thing about being serious to achieve something is that it works well only if the voice is coming from self and not from the peers who are excelling in life. To be honest, I had both but needed the first one.
For starters, I prepared my first three month plan, tried to complete every QA and LR-DI topic till March 2018. I slogged in office till 8 p.m. and then at 9 p.m., I was there at my study table. It was difficult, indeed it was and I had to keep everything about CAT preparation a low key in office which I wasn’t able to do for long as one of my colleague saw me solving a question booklet in office. Bad at concealing :p
It was the month of February and the occasion was Undergraduate Convocation, I took 21 days leave from office (Long, right?) to go home after 7 months and the whole schedule of completing the syllabus till March as planned earlier flew in flames but not the spirit. Came back, revised the schedule and completed all the coaching module till April way ahead the coaching class. But this was just a starter, though a much needed one.
Later, I got my hands on Career Launcher Book on CAT Previous Year Papers from 1990–2018 and completed it in the first week of June.
I may sound like a studious guy but trust me when you will see my Instagram you will know I had my “fun” weekends too.
Month was June.
Then came the important phase of preparations. Test Series.
Joined TIME, CL and IMS and the dreaded time started, appear for mock, wait for rank, do the analysis and repeat. It was very difficult to manage time with 3 test series, I gave all the Proctored Ones. All in all appeared for 52 Tests till end. I used to write my evaluation on the booklet to compare it with my previous performance.
I remember everyday while walking to office, the only thing that used to play in my head, “WHAT’S LEFT?, WHAT ELSE TO DO?”. During lunch I used to come home from office (Since it was nearby) to appear for sectional tests.
There was only one thing that I wanted and I didn’t want to leave any stone unturned. I remember not being able to sleep one night to catch an early morning flight for Kochi for a Business Trip and appearing for an IMS Test Series the next day. I scored only 52 Marks.I guess I over burnt myself but it was a lesson being learnt.
But now when look back, I realize that the whole journey since 2017 especially the last year have been an exciting one. The things I learned, the experience I got, the people I met especially during mock Interviews and final Interviews and the way I managed my time have certainly been “Awe… wait for it… Some”, “Awesome”.
You might be wondering, at the end, was I successful?
In the end, was it worth it?
I told you in the starting that this is not a story of a success or a failure, this is a story of journey. My journey till 25th November, 2018, Slot 2.
Sometimes we have no control over the result but at the end we should be proud of ourselves.
Remember everything in this world is relative, so does how you measure your success.