How I Managed To Ace TISSNET – Rushikesh Kulkarni – TISS Mumbai Joinee

Can you give a brief overview of TISSNET? Also could you tell us the overall difficulty level of the test?

TISSNET is probably one of the most unique admission tests conducted across India. What sets it apart from the others is the higher weightage given to General Awareness (40marks) as compared to Verbal and Quantitative aptitude.  The overall difficulty level is not very high, especially in the Quant and Verbal sections. The preparation that the average MBA aspirants take would enable them to answer these two sections with ease. However, General Awareness remains the most challenging for many candidates.



What was your overall test taking strategy? What was your test taking strategy for individual sections? (Math, Verbal and General Awareness)

Considering the time limit (100 minutes for 100 questions) plus the online nature, I focused primarily on getting used to the online Q&A format. (As I was preparing only for TISSNET, I was not familiar with the online format which might not be the case for other MBA aspirants.)

Quant: This was my weakest section so I solved questions of all types from all the sub sections. For instance, the 4-5 types of Time Distance Speed problems: two trains, a train passing a platform, a pole and so on. I used the most basic book by Mr. R. S Agarwal. Once I cleared my basics, I focused on accuracy and then moved on to increasing my solving speed. General arithmetic should be your focus area.

Verbal: I took no special preparation for this section, although basic proficiency in written English, along with a good vocabulary, should help.

General Awareness: Answered in detail in the next question.



How did you prep for TISSNET and for how many months prior to the exam?

I spoke to those who had cleared TISSNET (not just from HRM&LR, TISSNET is a common entrance test for all courses of TISS) and got a basic idea about the aforementioned aspects. The sample test paper uploaded on also helped get a clearer picture. Once I had some clarity, I simply practiced quant questions online (available for free of cost) for about a month before the exam.



What was your Strong and your Weak Section? How did you prepare for it?

The strong section was Verbal as I like reading and blogging. The weak one was quant, I cleared my fundamental and practiced a lot of questions online.



How did you prepare for General Awareness section in TISSNET?

After reading the experiences of candidates (successful and otherwise) on various websites (Quora, Pagal Guy) I noted the following points:

 It is not general knowledge but awareness: (Sections of the IPC in the news)

 It is impossible to prepare it comprehensively. (Statistical data of various reports)

 It will be the deciding factor in your qualification as Verbal and Quant are relatively simpler for those attempting CAT.

With these limitations in mind, I ensured that I read the paper (Indian Express, though The Hindu, Mint are good alternatives) daily and looked out for interesting facts. I also thumbed through Manorama Yearbook whimsically during the last few days. Pay attention to the timelines of Indian History, basic Geography of India, Economic terminology and pay special attention to the daily news relating to social issues both at the national and international level. The latter will not just help in TISSNET but also in the GD and PI.



What was your strategy for the D-Day and what do you think you executed the Best on the D- Day?

My only strategy was to remain calm and composed during the entire period of the exam. I knew General Awareness could be answered the fastest followed by Verbal questions so I finished those sections first. I allotted maximum time for quant and tried to attempt all questions. Not having negative marking is a huge plus point and you can guess some answers logically, which I did towards the end. I was satisfied with the execution.



How did you prepare for other rounds? GD-PI- WAT?

I tried to get an overview of the process and nature of these rounds by speaking to alumni/senior students and also by reading interview transcripts uploaded on Pagalguy/Quora. Personal interview is highly personal. Expect questions about your own profile, why HR, why TISS and so on. Ensure that your reasons to take up a course at TISS are clearer to you in the first place. After that, try and articulate them in as lucid a way as you can.

Apart from this, I read up on the following concepts which seemed to appear in many of the interviews.

 Labour Movement: Trade Unions, Labour Laws (Basics), Labour Law amendments (covered from the Frontline)

 Leadership and Motivational Theories: Youtube, Wikipedia – do the most common ones. But try and apply them in real life, make relevant associations so it doesn’t appear like you have mugged up the jargons.

 Current affairs relevant to HR: The TERI Case, Tehelka case, Vishakha Guidelines and the legislation that followed, Labour law amendments and impact, Maruti Factory case and so on.

For GD, as I was already reading the newspaper I didn’t do any special reading. I just thought for a moment before writing down the short essay that we were supposed to write before beginning the discussion. During the discussion, I focused on listening rather than on simply making my point. I also tried to remain cordial and not worry about the marks and performance. Treat it like a purpose driven discussion and results will be good. I was quite inspired by the mature discussions held on Rajya Sabha television (India’s World and The Big Picture are my favourite). Reading the newspaper is the most beneficial in my opinion for this round.



About the Author: 


Rushikesh Kulkarni is a 26 year old itinerant. He is the  founder of Breakfree Journeys and is a Bombay boy who is a part of the TISS HRM & LR Batch of 16-18.


Saranya Mukherjee is pursuing her Masters in Human Resources Management and Labour Relations at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Previously she has worked as a French language teacher for two years. In her free time, she's either travelling or hatching a new travel plan


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