My CAT journey began way back in 2012. I was in the final year of under-graduation when I appeared for CAT for the first time. I got a decent score of 97.88 percentile but it was nowhere close to what is required for a GEM candidate to get calls. Confident that I would be able to do better the next time, I started working for a startup company called Bookpad. But, I had to put in long hours at Bookpad and in the first few months, I didn’t get enough time to prepare for CAT. Frankly speaking, I did not take my second attempt seriously. I took a few mocks in the last few days and appeared for the exam. Surprisingly, I got a percentile of 99.2. For the effort that I put in, I would say it was an over-achievement. But even then, I ended up with no interview calls from IIMs.
During my third season for CAT, with just a few months to go for the exam, I took what would be one of my best decisions. I joined an edu-tech startup called Cracku. Being a marketing associate and content developer at Cracku, I was constantly in touch with CAT preparation. To be very honest, I was being paid to prepare for CAT! I prepared quite seriously for CAT 2014. I spent tens of hours in taking and analyzing mock tests. After every mock, I would analyze what went right/wrong and tweak my preparation accordingly. I was growing in confidence every day. On the D-Day, I had a few nerves when I arrived at the test center, but they quickly vanished once the test started. The paper was unexpectedly easy and I did well. Or, I thought I did. After the exam got over and before the results came out, I was hoping that I would get a good percentile, in excess of 99.5. The results came out in the last week of December. I still remember the evening the results came out. I ended up scoring 99.09 percentile, lesser than that in my previous attempt and I was shattered.
I got a call from IIM K. I wanted to make the most of it. I prepared well for the interviews and was able to convert the call. However, I was not sure if I really wanted to join. To move on or try harder can sometimes be the most difficult choice to make. This was when, on one fine evening, I had a long discussion with Maruti, the CEO of Cracku. At the end of it, I was inspired to go for another attempt – the last one. It was a risky decision, but I was confident that it was the right decision. It helped me greatly that Cracku grew as a company, from a one-room office to become a trusted name in online exam preparation. Some smart people joined the team as content developers. It was a fantastic peer group to be in and I was very focused on CAT prep because of it. Also, I started to put in more efforts and believed in myself. I took mocks regularly and analyzed them. Preparing content for Cracku’s mocks also helped me fine-tune my concepts. Slowly but surely, I began to understand how the mind of a paper-setter works and I was well prepared with all the probable models of questions. On the D-Day, I was relaxed and confident, having put in all my efforts during the preparation. I did well in Verbal and Quant, but I was not sure about how I did in the DILR section. Today, the results have come out and I am truly humbled by it. I scored 99.94 percentile and it is indeed a dream come true. For all future CAT aspirants, my biggest advice is ‘Work hard and believe in yourself’. Hard work and perseverance will always pay. If I can do it, I am sure each one of you can do it too.
By the way, Cracku is hiring people for the role of Content Development. If you are interested, mail your CV to maruti @ cracku . in