XAT’s 96 percentiler’s journey to XLRI | Aiswarya Padma B

Aiswarya Padma B| XLRI 2020-22 Batch

About Aiswarya Padma B:

Aiswarya Padma B is a fourth year Applied Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering student from College of Engineering, Trivandrum. She is a Grace Hopper Celebration India 2019 scholar, which focuses on empowering and developing women in technology. Always looking to seize any opportunity she gets, she has coordinated and organised several events in college. She is also the founding member of the Women in Tech wing of IET CET chapter. Chess and sudoku are some pastimes she finds challenging. 


I had enrolled at T.I.M.E Trivandrum during my 3rd year of engineering, focussing on CAT preparation. I attended the weekend classes regularly, and revised sectional topics, important formulae and so on. Sometime in January 2019, I started giving mock cats, AIMCATS offered by T.I.M.E and I found myself making careless mistakes, conceptual errors and so on. It was a long journey, preparing for CAT 2019, but although I wasn’t able to perform well for CAT 2019, it all paid off in my XAT attempt, where I scored 96.986 percentile. 

GD-WAT-PI Process

After I was shortlisted for both BM and HRM GD-WAT-PI processes, I started preparing for it intensively. I attended a lot of mock GDs and WATs at T.I.M.E Institute. I also gave 3 mock interviews with various faculty at T.I.M.E before attending the original process. I made sure that I  was familiar with the whole process of GD-WAT-PI, the DOs and DON’Ts during a group discussion, the format of writing a 1 page essay for WAT and the type of questions that could be asked for the interviews based on my profile. 

I also joined the various GD-PI preparation groups on WhatsApp, where all the aspirants stayed connected with each other, sharing tips and interview experiences as and when they got over. I had to focus a lot on my current affairs and GK as I wasn’t prepared in that area at all. I also used this time to focus on behavioural questions, related to my profile. I reached out to my seniors at college, who had converted XLRI in 2019, and they helped me prepare as well, guiding me through the whole process. 

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As I interacted with other shortlisted aspirants, I realised that my percentile was on the lower side, and that I had to put in my best for the GD-WAT-PI process. This made me work harder on the same. After my HRM and BM interviews, I was fairly confident about my BM interview but I didn’t feel good about my HRM interview. I kept having this thought in the back of my mind that I had not impressed the panel much. 


On May 15th, XLRI put up a notice on the website that XLRI Jamshedpur results would be declared on May 20th. Every day after 15th, I woke up counting the number of days left for the results. Finally, on May 20th, I checked my results early morning at around 6 am, and as fate would have it, I had converted HRM and was waitlisted at 11 for the BM program! I couldn’t control my excitement, I ran up to my parents’ room, woke them up with the good news, then down to my grandparents and it all felt too good to be true. I spent the whole day jumping about with a huge smile on my face, replying to messages of congratulations from friends, relatives and my mentors. I was sure of converting BM in the subsequent list and I did. I can’t thank my parents, mentors and T.I.M.E Institute enough for believing in me and motivating me through my journey. Now, I can’t wait to get to the campus, and start living the 2 amazing years, XLRI has to offer me!

Few Tips

The important takeaway I have from my experience is that whatever happens, try to remain calm and get through it patiently. Despite my preparation for CAT, I lost my cool and let tension and stress get the better of me, and my palms were sweaty through the whole exam. After CAT, I realised that if I let that happen to me again, I may lose yet another chance at studying in one of the best b-schools in India. On the day of XAT, I was chilled out, not one thought of stress crossed my mind, and I was able to attend it to the best of my abilities. The rest of the things have a way of working out for you, as long as you remain calm and that’s what happened to me. 

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Analyse mock tests, strengthen your basics, concepts and read a lot of articles online and give your exam with the best of your efforts. This should be able to give you a rough idea about the selection process at XLRI. All the best to all the aspirants out there!

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