Tuesday, October 29, 2013

CAT - The impending Doom of my life

Excellent day today. Nothing much to blog about. Woke up at seven in the morning, had my usual 'smoke', reached the test centre one hour before time and finished it by one'o clock. CAT has always eluded me. It did this time too. Well, it wouldn't be much of a narrative if we don't start from the beginning.

Ever since the beginning of this year, the pressure to give CAT this year was mounting on me. My parents wanted me to do it so that I would be better off during the later part of my life. At least, that's what they thought or still think. So, it was in April or something I gave some serious thought about giving another go at exam which has dumped me already. Twice. Never mind, I thought. After-all, even if I don't get into an IIM atleast I'll have something to wail away my 'leisure' time.

And it all began. I had to stop playing FIFA, stop blogging, stop going to my Guitar classes so that I can find time to prepare for this exam. And this preparation part, I heard someone once say that anyone who spends anytime above three months to prepare for CAT is a misfit. I agree. After-all, you don't need any Hi-Fi math or GMAT style English to crack this. The pattern for CAT does not go beyond a Secondary School Education. But once that 'misfit' cracks it, no-one ever thinks or talks about how long he prepared.

Verbal was an area of concern for me. So my first go was to buy a book that can help me improve my reading skills and one which will help me to answer questions based on context rather than meaning. My brother suggested me such a book and it was pretty good. In about a month's time I managed to read all the essays that were given in the book and it seemed both my reading speed and interpreting skill got better. But, 'better' is a relative term which need an absolute scale. To that end, I said to myself that my accuracy in Mock test papers will be a rather good measure my 'betterness' which will help me understand where I stand with respect to CAT.

The next step, I collected over 80 Mock question papers that my brother and I accumulated over the years. I didnt tread fast. I took my time in reading the RCs and understanding them. To my surprise, I had over eight five percent accuracy in finding (or should I say predicting) the answers. My brother, then, suggested me to reduce my reading time whilst trying to maintain the same level of accuracy. I tried to do it and that had a direct impact on my accuracy. It turned topsy turvy. Anyways, I didn't lose heart. I kept practising believing slowly over time I will be able to do that.

Meanwhile, I joined one of the coaching centers which means I had to lose my weekends to attend those classes. Well, CAT deserves it, was reaction. All of the classes were by Video Conferencing but there's has no instance where I had to leave the class with some kinda doubt in some question. The classes were neat, the study material was organized and the instructors were crystal clear. Like all coaching centers and 'How-to-improve-your-CAT-score' websites, they simply wanted us to practice, which I was already doing. I felt I am on track.

IIMs started issuing registration forms and I am one of the first ones to get that. I completed my registration on the same day since I don't wanna lose a center and date of my choice. The Instructor from my coaching class said it would be better if we give it on a weekday rather than on a weekend. He has a point, I felt. So without much thought, I scheduled it on a Tuesday.

With my Verbal prep going, I also made sure I brush up Quant so that I don't mess it up. I felt very comfortable even after a gap of two years and I was happy and confident that am still able to crack questions from previous papers without any trouble. I enrolled for AimCATs to get a glimpse of my level of prepration and my tentative score. When the first result came I was full of surprises. Not only I crossed the ninety nine percentile mark for the first time in my life, I missed the verbal cut-off by just one mark. Not bad. Not bad at all.

When everything seemed to go well, I had no worries except to not lose focus and continue my preparation without any break. I was able to do that too. But my score slumped in the next AimCATs. I was never again able to breach the 99 mark. I was troubled and called my brother (who has always given me great advice and showed me the right path in time of trouble) for a consultation. He said not to worry too much about the score and that my percentile would definitely increase in the final exam considering the number of students writing the exam. I felt good.

A couple of weeks before the actual CAT, I was pretty much done with every topic in CAT. I started to give mock tests on my own, solved the sectional question papers available and the went thro almost every set I had to ensure that I didn't miss anything. My scores seemed reasonable. I was even able to breach my previous highest scores a couple of times. The only concern being my Verbal scores shot up like anything while my quant scores stayed the same or came a bit lower on the 'Bad' side. Again, to my consolation, some of my friends told me that the actual question paper will be much easier in comparison and someone of my level would crack it hands down. Felt better.

Finally, the D-Day. The mock exams that I gave before the D-Day was extremely good. I thought am in good shape and if am able to repeat the same performance level, I would surely be able to bell the CAT this time.

But you know what? I completely fucked it up. Escpecially the Verbal section. I was neither able to attend the RCs nor the LRs. I had to leave an entire LR set. That is nine marks and without them I never would be able to get an IIM or any decent college for that matter. I wasted a complete year in which I could have played atleast 200 FIFA games, learned the G-Chord or done about a lot of blogging. Everything went for a naught. Sucker.

Not an Excellent day today. Ten paragraphs to blog about.

Yours Aye