Thursday, November 23, 2006

LIFE changes after CAT

For most of the MBA aspirants, CAT is the only exam that can take them to their destination, as most of them want to do MBA only from the IIMs. And along with the IIMs, many other top colleges of our country take CAT for short listing students for their colleges. As a result CAT becomes this really “big” exam which everyone who wants to do MBA must crack. But if the exam is of so much importance, then why do we have it just once a year. How can the IIMs or any other college for that matter choose potential MBAs from just a two and a half hours exam? All of us agree that sometimes we do have bad days when nothing works according to the way we want and we do end up screwing our whole day, and even if we are potentially capable of performing better on the other day. And if IIMs in their defense say that students should be able to perform well on all days then I feel that is not possible. Even a Narayan Murthy or a Bill Gates can have a bad day! So I feel that they should have at least one more CAT in the year (and two more will be just fine) to select the right students. This can go a long way in reducing the pressure that the students face. They may say that by giving half an hour extra in the paper, the students were more relaxed but then trust me, for me (I took CAT) and for many others who took CAT, the extra half an hour didn’t really help. In fact, there was extra anxiety relating to the extra time that was given.

Before the CAT exam, you really want it to come soon and get over with it but now when the CAT is over, you feel there is a vacuum, a very strong feeling of emptiness and more than that the bad feeling that ‘oh I could have performed better’ because no matter what, we can never really be satisfied. And then if the CAT goes bad, you get a jolt because all the effort you put into preparing for the exam for months get tested in those very crucial two and a half hours. Isn’t the whole feeling of studying like crazy for more than two months, for those two and a half hours a bit insane? After it is over, you actually look at all the things (that you loved doing) you sacrificed. All those dinners, night outs with friends, those long hours of chatting on phone, that feeling of meeting new people (sometimes guys, may be a potential boyfriend), going for movies every week and basically just hanging out with friends till late in the evenings. Sacrificing all that and now after CAT, getting back to the same things which we enjoyed earlier seems impossible! Now sometimes I wish that CAT had never gotten over, and especially when it has gone bad, you cannot even enjoy the after CAT feeling as you are again at the same place where you were before you started studying for it and that big question ‘what to do next’ yet again looms over you.

Though we have more exams for other MBA colleges but they are obviously not considered as important as the CAT and that is primarily because of all the hype around IIMs. Frankly speaking, sometimes I just fail to understand all the hype around IIMs! Of course, you get an awesome start if you are from IIM but what after that? After the start, the only thing that matters is your ability to handle all the pressure in the corporate world, to think creatively and innovatively and to be able to integrate all the available resources and create a successful enterprise and I feel no two and a half hours exam that is held only once in 365 days can decide anything.

I’m sure by now you must have realized that I’m being such a critic of CAT because it didn’t go quite well but I seriously feel in the interests of many, some changes need to be made. And one can identify with me only if he/she has taken CAT seriously.

10 comments:

vijayantgovinda said...

Hi!
I read this post of yours! And i kinda sympathize wid you and kind of fell sorry for you too!
Well i sympathize wid you coz i myself failed to get into AIIMS by a mark, so i know the feeling, but i fell sorry coz of what you said abt CAT & abt competitive exams!
Well for 1 thing i totally disagree wid you that CAT shld be held twice! Why should it b! IIM is premium bcoz it is unreachable! if it is brought down or intake increased how will it remain the premium most institute! (1 st law of MARKETING- you dont have it, you want it!)
secondly the basic funda of CAT shld nt b forgot! The CAT questions if left to us medicos and engineers, can be solved in 40 minutes flat! CAT IS TESTING PATIENCE, PERSEVERANCE, PREPARATION, ABILITY, APTITUDE, STRENGTH, TIME MANAGEMENT, PRIORITIZATION and many other qualities! WHICH ARE ESEENTIAL FOR BCOMING AN MANAGER! AND AS SM1 SAID 'BCMNG RICH IS ABT BEING AT THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME WID THE RIGHT MIND; - so luck is always there!
So dnt lose heart, work harder and u will acheive ur dreams!
'for being extraordinary, you have to do smthng extra'
And i think following the GMAT format wld b much better bcoz it tests ur aptitude, and ur score is stats based, so does not change even if you take it 100 times!
BEST OF LUCK! CHOW!

Sugandha said...

hey i really appreciate what u've written, but CAT is not only held for IIMs but 100 other MBA colleges and some of them are among the best in India and if on that day, u're not able to perform, doesnt mean u're not fit for the IIMs or any other college for that matter! and the exam that was held this year didnt really check ur preparation and ability and i think the only thing that did matter was luck! n CAT has DI n english as sections only to prevent u medicos n engineers to crack in 40 minutes! the paper is good but i feel that since there are around 2 lakh people taking CAT every year, it can really put pressure on some n they should seriously consider taking it twice, which though is not very feasible. ya i wish we had GMAT format but then i guess we someday will have that too...
bestaluk 2 u too n thanks for the comment :)

sushant said...

wt hpnd.. results r out naa

Anonymous said...

hi sugandha!!! good to see people raising voices against the format!! i felt the same wen i missed it in 2005... but being the part of iims and the corporate world to say ... trust me its like two and half is hell lotta time to have a strategy going for a company.. and its not easy as di aur quants ... have faced the same our team was just given two hours by reliance capital wid anil in front of us to chalk out and change the present suggestions... just two hours.. and i m still an intern n not an employee.. wat if our team had a bad day 57lakh project...GONE... n it happens i agree.... but if cat r placed in front of guys twice or 4 times a year ... the seriousness of the examination will be lost and most of the guys might take the first attempt as just a dress rehearsal.. wat is the point wasting paper resources of the country....the whole idea of getting tough brains in will be defeated... ho knows one day u have the best of ur luck going and watever u tick goes correct.. n lemme tell u interviews are a cake walk .. u need to be a big hole not to crack them.. posted it as ano ... in no mood to make a new account.. anewayz my name is ashwin

Tuhin Chaturvedi said...

Well written...it s the essence of any person who swotted for cat and didn't make it.However,entry to the IIMs is a completely stochastic process,it may even give one the feeling of serendipity.Management is not the prerogative of "certain cliques" who clear an exams that is totally random and does not test anything but basic aptitude and "speed".

sAuRaBh sHeKhAr said...

Every second counts. the decisions are made in seconds.. 2 and half hours is more than enough for people to judge u whether u gonna make it or not.

Secondly if u beat the iims. u can assume to be confident to handle more pressure.. not tht u can but u get a boost.

sAuRaBh sHeKhAr said...

Every second counts. the decisions are made in seconds.. 2 and half hours is more than enough for people to judge u whether u gonna make it or not.

Secondly if u beat the iims. u can assume to be confident to handle more pressure.. not tht u can but u get a boost.

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sachin said...

not short of empathy by any means, as you may find out by my latest post.