All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. Walt Disney
This is your cute and lovely Funky Writer live from Mumbai (yes, its Aamchi Mumbai from Aamcha Pune), and it is going to be my first blogpost from the sapno ka shehar. With entrance exams just around the corner and being bogged down by the plethora of questions my classmates and juniors have on my quest to NMIMS, finally I have decided to address all of them. So folks, here we go!
Autobiographies and biographies are filled with abundant number of success stories, and every candidate wants to relive them, but does anyone think about the failures or hardships involved? People are just curious about the final destination, and not about the journey itself. TBH, it is the journey that matters the most, and if you’ve walked on the right path, you’ll tread on blossoms and not on thorns.
Some of the FAQs are:
- What was your score in NMAT? (Tumko to kabhi NMAT main interest tha nahi. Ab score kyun puch raha hai?)
- What were the sectional cut offs? (Kabhi kabhi na coaching ki websites check kia karo, acha lagega)
- How’s life at NMIMS? (Will answer this in a separate blogpost. Stay tuned!)
- What’s the average package that you’re gonna get? (Any fool can make money, but it takes a wise man to save it!)
- Is it worth it? (Nope, it is not. I paid 20 lakhs only to do networking.)
- Are you a PlaceCommer? (I am with the Literary club. Will this society accept me?)
- Yaar tune kaise kia? Tu toh topper hai tere liye to aasaan hoga. Mujhe bhi padha de!
Coming to question 7, bhai, agar itna hi aasaan hota, toh mujhe khud 3 saal nahi lagte isko clear karne ke liye. Ek hi attempt main ho jata!
I know you must have heard it a zillion times, but I’ll reiterate it anyway: Anyone can clear management entrance exams……
…………only if they choose the right exam for themselves!
That’ s right! The problem lies in the fact that we try to ace each and every test that comes our way. But let’s face the truth: not all of us are whizkids and are not capable of scoring 98+ percentile in CAT/XAT/MAT. So being smart helps you out more than working hard does.
Choose the exam that suits your personality, and choose your own method of studying, because one size never fits all of them!
This is India. We don’t get to choose our careers, and you’re talking about choosing an exam!
Well of course you can. The ideal way of clearing a test is to know your strengths and match it to the challenges the exam throws at you. If you don’t know yourself, then seek help. Parents are the best people to elaborate on your personality.
My father made me realise that exams like NMAT and TISSNET make my study a breeze rather than a hailstorm. Solving easy to medium questions gave me confidence, and NMAT is the best platform to provide you that liberty. It has easy to medium level questions to be solved under a competitive timeframe. The sections are easier than CAT, and if you are preparing for CAT, then you can easily clear NMAT, TISSNET and SNAP. The verbal section has good RC that are actually comprehendible and word meanings that you can actually learn. The Quant section too, is easy. It just needs your attention and practice. Logical reasoning is different than what CAT tests now, but is still way easier than that.
OKAY, SO NOW THE QUESTIONS:
What I did?
Practice makes a human perfect. I am a monkey though but still XD
Okay, jokes apart, I have been preparing for CAT since Nov 2015, i.e. 6th semester of B.tech. I had started with an aim of clearing CAT 2016 so that immediately after my graduation, I could jump into the management pool. But well, with a 70ish percentile, I went ahead into the sea of IT and Accenture welcomed me into the corporate world.
I did not give up. May 2017 and I landed in one of the Accenture offices at Pune with tons of Java and Oracle training. After the training, I got my first project that had night shifts. But despite of these little troubles, I still continued with my preparation, and this time, I crossed 80 percentile.
80 is nothing in today’s world. People with 100 percentile still don’t convert IIMs! He he.
Right, dude, but you don’t reach a 100 without an 80, do you?
But it was true. I was disappointed. I wasn’t learning much at office, they were converting everything into automation. My job as a manual tester faced a dead end. Though I was improving in my CAT prep, but the rate of improvement was meagre and marginal. At this rate, it would take me 3 more years to get a seat at XIMB! I thought.
I did not know what to do. Surely, there had to be some way out!
There was. Daddy made me realise that each child has his/her own capabilities, and if not CAT, then why not NMAT? Why look at NMAT as if it is a secondary exam to CAT? Why not focus on it wholeheartedly as an individual exam?
And so, NMAT became my CAT. I purchased the NMAT by GMAC book and solved it from cover to cover. I was also a part of the weekend coaching classes at IMS. I took their NMAT test pack and practiced all tests. I solved and resolved all the questions. I treated the book and the IMS site as my Holy Grail.
Not to mention, I scored 210 in NMAT 2018 and today I am here at NMIMS Mumbai in the MBA core program of 19-21. It was a close call: 209 was the cut off! But it doesn’t matter, because our target is to bag a seat, and not top the exam. (Well, that’s a separate luxury not everyone can afford, so, I’ll stick to my original intention of writing this story)
You need to spend an adequate amount of time with your books, study material and the tests. The SIMCATs and the All India Test series are very, very important. Practice and understand where do you lack. During the initial days of preparation, practice all types of questions. Try to understand where and why are you failing to solve. Is it a particular type of question? Or a chapter that is bothering you? Get your doubts cleared, and keep practicing.
THIS IS NOT UPSC. You need not learn everything. During the initial months of preparation, get a knack of everything that is on your plate, but then towards the end, you need to be selective about the greens, grains and the meat. Focus on your strengths, because power shall give you confidence. If you feel energized about certain sections or questions, gulp them down in such a way that you get them right every time. You would feel like studying more and more when you have more correct attempts, and in those moments of absolute energies, focus on your weak areas.
*Could have written an article on TISSNET as well but scored just 72 when the cutoff was 74. (sigh)*
Choose your exam carefully, because this act can save 1 whole year of preparation. And to choose well, you need to be thorough with your syllabus, your concepts and all your exam patterns. Choosing does not mean that you blatantly ignore other exams, it simply means that you shift your attention to one exam specifically, yet keep learning for other tests side by side.
Some fast facts on NMAT: https://www.imsindia.com/mba-entrance-exam/NMAT/structure.html
How I did?
By more practice!
There is never enough time for oneself when you are a bachelor, a full time employee and an MBA aspirant, all at the same time. To make sure that you have time, you have to make time. You won’t get extra hours from office, rather, overtime shall become a norm for you. (Just wait and watch)
First of all, make a realistic timetable that you’ll religiously adhere to. The timetable should be followed at all costs.
Secondly, check out your style of learning. I love to learn from videos. Someone might love to read from hard bound textbooks. Your style plays a very important role in keeping your mind CAT driven even though your body is too tired to take tests.
Go through this to understand your style: https://www.learning-styles-online.com/overview/
Thirdly, stay with people who make you happy, surround yourself with awesome colleagues, and eat good food that makes you happy, too. For a peace of mind, it is important that you study in an environment that is stress free and makes you feel at home. (This is for the working professionals who do not stay at home. For people who do, parents are more than enough. You’re halfway there, bro!)
I used to wake up early, get dressed up and then study. After reaching office by 8.30 a.m., till 9.30 a.m. I used to go through some word meanings or solve sums at the cafeteria. I tried to ensure that not a single minute of the day goes wasted. During weekends, I had my coaching lectures. So, I kept my weekends for reaching weekly targets.
(You too, can make a target like completing a math exercise every day.)
And, it’s okay to do bad in mock tests, or perform worse than others, because the key to success is consistency and not a high score once in a blue moon. We’re average people and we’ll try our best to move on. We’ll set our own realistic limits and we’ll show the world how it’s done!
Work hard, but party harder! I am a big party person. After a long day at office and mind boggling coaching sessions, the mind tends to get cluttered. So, it is important to give space to recreation as well. (I went out for dinner or movies almost every Saturday night :p)
Finally, my dear juniors, if you do not have a work ex or have a few months of work ex, it’s all right. You can’t have a tailor made personality for MBA. You are what you are and your experience sets you apart from others. Your achievements, hobbies and extracurriculars play an important role in your selection. So, make sure that you are well versed with your deeds. Never forget your passion. Success shall follow suit!
If you’ve any other queries, shoot on the comments section. I’ll be glad to help. I love you all 😀