One More Year Later..

Well, it’s been a year. One year since I had my tryst with destiny, CAT 2005.

Pre Mock Prep

I can recall every moment of that day and the months leading towards it. I consciously decided that I will not repeat any blunders on the preparation front which I had made for my CAT 2004 preps. I even bought the ‘Trisha’s Quant Book by TIME and worked out the entire book 3 times in hopes that my QA will improve. Did it? I still don’t know. I decided using the school type approach to solve them like I did last time would never help. I realized to do the ‘cool’ method, you have to know the basics 1st which I never could grasp. I worked out the entire TIME material from my friend and saw that my English improved significantly, especially the RC section. I never bothered with the Verbal Part because I knew I was a P.I.M.P there. DI was something I can’t understand whatever I did I never seem to show any improvement.

The Mockery

I will never forget the golden weeks leading up to CAT 2005, the TIME mockcat phase. Log on to pg.com Saturday night, look at the preopened TIME AIMCAT 60X threads and see the ‘best of luck’ posts and the angry moderator who would clean it up! I used to wait for my friend just outside Vivek’s & Co at 9:30, we would go on the bike to Loyola College to give the mock. We would endlessly discuss the strategy we would adopt if it was a 3 or 4 section paper, which section 1st etc. Once I got the paper, any strategy that I had adopted would be futile. I would invariably start with VA àRCàDIàQA. Once the paper was over, sit under the main tree at the center of campus and discuss the attempts, difficulty level etc. After 1 hour we would head back home, work out the remaining paper under test conditions. As always, the easy questions are disguised. Log on pg.com see the mind numbing scores of people: Eg in the DI section of a typical stud A/R/W/N : 30/24/6/22 .. Score checking is a nerve racking process, I would start with English 1st, be glad I made 40 attempts and got about 20+. Id never put up my DI/QA score as it would be default be less than 5. I would analyze the mock cat to the fullest on Monday. I made an excel sheet(cr. Chandoo of pg.com) with my entire strategy of that paper, mistakes made and new stuff learnt and what I should do/do not do in the next mock. This happened for every mock. I loved Thursdays when the results would come out. My avg percentile hovered around 80-85 at best. I would wait for the toppers to display their mind blowing scores: Anubhav Kaul, ConvSig, ExpHor, etc.. The Godly scores ranging in 60-80! Id recall the 2004 mock cat heroes like vikuboss2001, SuzyQ, Thussu etc..man, I loved to see such scores and dreamt when I would get the same. That I guess was a pipe dream. The only memorable mocks were when VA was a separate section, Id transform into a hyena and rip through that section. AIMCAT 614, I score 30 on 35 with 99.99 overall rank 4 and Chennai Rank 1. That’s the best I could get. QA and DI never seemed to progress.

C-Day

One look at the 90 question format told me that this is a hell of tough paper and I had already hung up my boots before the round began. I spent 50 minutes in Eng, and the balance in Qa and Di. DI went so above my head it reached the Stratosphere. Qa was a repetition of my Mocks aka disaster. All done, go to pg.com see a new post every 3 seconds. I knew I was out of the race even before I went on to the track looking at the scores posted.

Edit: Now that CAT 2006 has passed by, looking at the tough English, easy Qa and Di I realize the gravity of my error not to have given CAT this time. It seemed tailor made for
a guy like me. Ah well, atleast I will have a blast solving the paper and reading the GD/PI experiences of the studs on Pg.com @ the IIM’s. I thought this obsession of mine will wane in time, at least after making it into a BSchool. But I guess the scars of my saga with CAT run too deep and when they will heal is a question that can be answered only as time passes..

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