About Jai Shrivastav:
Jai hails from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh and did his graduation in Computer science engineering from IPS Academy, Indore. His love for writing started when he decided to open up his personal food blogging page and connected the two cities Indore-Bhopal through the common love of food. His personal interests include playing Football (played nationals, state) and photography – contributed to a national award-winning magazine. At present, he is looking after the marketing division of his father’s business.
MICAT preparation guide from Jai
When and how did the idea to have “The MBA Degree” hit you?
During my engineering, I was actively involved in a lot of extra-curriculars. I started my blog, raised funds and started a concept, ‘Foodpreneur’ stories through which I met several first-generation entrepreneurs. I also
worked as a team head for Indore’s first social youth club where I organized various events, brought sponsors, and marketed the club. My internship in a start – up fueled my passion for management. In my 3 rd year of my grad I finally decided not to appear in the college placements and prepare for CAT.
How did you start with the preparation and what approach did you prefer?
It took me two attempts to finally get into MICA. For the first year, I started my preparation with TIME institute, attending regular classes to get through with my basics and gave mock tests regularly. Juggling with the college projects and the preparation, I was having a tough time keeping the momentum and ended up scoring a low percentile that year.
I was very clear that I had to get into the management field so it took no time to start my preparation again. I graduated so I had an ample amount of time to prepare. I enrolled in Iquanta (Online Coaching institute) and kick started my preparation right away. This time I also took mocks from 3 different institutes and that basically opened a large pool of questions. This time I followed this simple approach – give mocks on weekends, analyze them and work on the mistakes till the next week.
How did you prepare for MICAT?
MICAT is a very unique exam, apart from the aptitude section it has the writing section and Psychometric section. I knew the importance of writing section and hence started with the preparation early. I used to ask my friend to give me random pictures and then I would make a story out of those pictures. For the essay writing part, I selected debatable topics randomly and wrote a debate on that topic. The MICAT GK consists of a lot of question on logos, taglines and brands. So, I got this app – Quiz Up which covered the GK topic nicely. Also in the aptitude section of MICAT, my strategy was to pick up one or two sections and score as high as possible on that section. With this approach, I was able to score 54.42 (Highest around 60).
Which section did you feel would need the most work?
For me the toughest section was the VARC section. During my first year of my preparation I missed out on reading and that’s the only secret to get a good score in VARC. I realized this when I met a retired VARC faculty from Delhi. One needs to have an eclectic reading habit to ace this section. So, I read thousands of articles on various topics, by different authors, blogs and websites. By the end of my preparation, I had seen a significant increase in my mock Varc scores. And despite being one of the toughest sections in CAT 2019, I was able to clear the sectionals.
What was your “one getaway” to rejuvenate your energy?
The one getaway for me is the social media accounts of these B- School institute. Every time, I had a bad score, I just opened Youtube and watched videos of my favorite B Schools or went on Instagram to see Instagram stories of the students on campus. Those fun and exciting videos, always helped me to get back on track and kept me motivated throughout my journey.
Tips for our readers for the penultimate and D-Day?
After months of hard work into your preparation, I believe the day before the exam has to be day of relaxation. Watch movies, talk to friends or family and stay positive. There is a lot of pressure on the D Day but I have seen that the people who crack these exams are the ones who are able to keep their calm. Like in my first attempt particularly I was too hard on myself which led to my messed-up scores.
After the first inning (of all the examination part) ended, how did you start with the second inning (GD-PIPart)?
After the exams, I was quite sure that I will get calls from the B school and hence even before the results I started my GD-PI preparation. For the GD-PI, I gave importance on building my own opinion on various topics and sub topics. So, for every current affair news I had made a strong opinion and had several valid points to counter the topics. I further did my GE-PI prep with TIME, where I appeared for several mock GD and PI. For MICA I read extensively on the topics related to marketing and brand management.
Which all interviews did you gave and your strategy to choose the final Institute from the converts you had?
I was part of MICA, IIM Bodhgaya, IMT G, KJ, GIM, and TAPMI. Luckily, I was able to convert all of them. Being an engineer, I wanted an MBA college that would promote creativity and logic, a college that would help me to become a better manager. MICA was a perfect fit for me as it is the only B school with such credentials. So, it was a very easy decision for me to choose MICA (My dream B school).
Top 3 learning you have for our readers.
Time management is the most important thing in exam preparation. Make a daily and weekly timetable and try to achieve the target. Set targets and goals, I personally believe that can help anyone to get that right kind of
Work on building a strong vocabulary. All entrance exams now have a huge chunk ofvocab-based questions. One can easily score high percentiles (IIFT, XAT, SNAP, MICAT) with a good vocab.
Whenever an aspirant gets free time, try reading success stories published on different forums. Everyone shares a different approach towards the exam and you can pick some ideas from each of them and use in your
Top 3 things that aspirants should avoid
I have seen a lot of aspirants quitting the battle just 1-2 months before the exam. They start seeing low scores in mocks and they give out all hopes. There is this thing that mock percentile tends to fluctuate because of the fluctuation in the number of people appearing for the exams. If you have started the preparation take it till the
Take all the entrance exams with equal enthusiasm. Generally, CAT is the first exam that aspirants give and if it gets a little messed up, they stop their preparation for the next entrances exams.
Even if you have one dream college in mind, keep several options as a back up. It is very hard to predict a college just based on your percentile. Make an excel sheet of different college forms so that you don’t miss out on deadlines.
The unique MICA interview experience
My interview was at this beautiful campus MICA. It started with the Group exercise where we group of 7 had to make 3 memes on the topic – Home plastic waste. MICA interview goes deep inside your personality and get out the real you. My interview revolved around the likes and dislikes which I have mentioned in my SOP. I talked extensively on my love for sneakers and photography and a good amount of discussion on my dislike of Trolling in India. It then continued on what I had to offer as a blogger, on the new age marketing and the general mentality of Indian youths on social media.
3 Suggestions for MICA aspirants
The writing section part is the most important section of the MICAT. Take it seriously and start practicing the story writing section. Early preparation will also help in increasing the typing speed, which will save your time on
the D day.
For the MICA GE-PI call, it is equally important to score a high percentile in CAT/XAT. So make sure to score as high as possible in CAT/XAT along with MICAT.
Talk about you interests and show your creativity on the GE-PI. I have seen people carrying their work portfolio on the interview day. I myself had shown pictures that I have clicked, stories that I have written and posters that I have made to the panel.