Simran’s story to XLRI
To all the non-engineer freshers, questioning themselves whether they’ll make it to the top b-schools or not, I did it. There are many others like me who did it, and I’m certain you’ll do it too.
I decided to start my preparations for CAT when I was in my second year of BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration). Hence, I joined the classroom program of TIME to be well prepared. Though I used to attend the classes, I had barely started self-studying.
I took my first Mock in March 2019 and it was an eye-opener for me. I read books & articles, but I realized VARC wouldn’t be a cakewalk. I structured my preparation schedule.
I started with the basic concepts of every topic, working on my weaknesses and honing my strengths. Once, the fundamentals were cleared, the next step was to take regular sectional tests and then analyzing them thoroughly. This helped me to comprehend what kind of questions I was most comfortable with and where should I pay more attention.
In July-august, I started appearing for mocks frequently. Analyzing mocks was a significant part of my practice. It took me 6-7 hours to analyze a single mock-test. This, in turn, not only helped me in rectifying my mistakes but also in keeping a watch on my speed and accuracy. These are considered to be the most crucial skills to ace any competitive exam.
A week before CAT-19, I was confident about my preparation having solved previous papers and mocks. But, it didn’t turn out the way I anticipated it to be. I panicked and ruined my CAT attempt, scoring around meager 90 percentile. XAT was my only shot and I worked rigorously on each section.
My key points on XAT Preparation are:
1. Solving previous papers for the Decision-Making section as it requires a lot of practice. This made me apprehend the type of questions asked and to acquaint myself with them.
2. I followed the Golden rule of “Mock assessment” for other sections. This helped me to analyze the areas that required improvement.
3. XAT has an additional General Knowledge section that requires a lot of reading and memorizing. I tried maintaining a note-book of the current affairs as well as the static- GK. Reading the newspaper daily was an important part of my preparation. I achieved 94.85 percentile in the GK section.
After all this preparation, I scored 95.92 percentile. I was uncertain of getting a call from XLRI. Be that as it may, I received my interview letter. And this was my opportunity to get into the Oldest and the most prestigious b-school of India. I started preparing for WAT, Interviews and Group discussions.
My key takeaways from Interview & GD preparations are:
1. The first and foremost thing I did was to brush up the subjects from my undergraduate. Being a fresher, there was a high possibility of questions being asked from academics.
2. The next thing is to improve the General Knowledge , so that the facts and statistics can be used in WAT and GD.
3. The Introspective/ HR questions should be prepared along with the behavioural questions.
I remember sitting with the 98-99 percentilers with stellar profiles and work-experiences. I felt that my chances of conversion are minimal. The group discussion went well however the Interview was grilling. It was inclined more towards the behavioral and the hypothetical questions. I distinctly remember that a panelist started strolling in the room. I remained calm and patient throughout the interview, but I was uncertain and had mixed feelings about the whole experience.
I’m elated to share that I’ve been selected for the PGDM (HRM) at XLRI, Jamshedpur!
I’m going to be a part of the most prestigious programme of the institute’s, ranked as the best programme in India and the Asia-Pacific region. A non-engineer fresher with a mere 95.92 percentile!
The hard work paid off.