I come from perhaps the most common species of Indian B school aspirants. A BE by graduation and a software engineer by profession. I have studied and worked in Mumbai all along. My 10th and 12th was in CBSE board. I did my BE in IT from Vivekanand college. I worked with TCS for 2 years.
Name: Abhishek Pandey
Written Percentile: 99.99
GD+PI+PAR score: 13+16+5 (1 work ex)
Final Rank: 4
Current Status: Pursuing MBA @ JBIMS in the First Year
1) Tell us something about your background.
I come from perhaps the most common species of Indian B school aspirants. A BE by graduation and a software engineer by profession.
I have studied and worked in Mumbai all along.
My 10th and 12th was in CBSE board. I did my BE in IT from Vivekanand college. I worked with TCS for 2 years.
2) What is your goal in life and why do you want to pursue Management?
My long term goal is to setup an organisation that adds value to everybody involved and the society. Pursuing management is a logical step towards that goal. I wish to develop skills and the attitude required to succeed in the corporate world through an MBA.
3) How did you prepare for CET?
I had prepared for 7 other management exams before CET, so for CET I only focussed on CET specific strategies. I had joined a coaching class for CAT, and for CET I took the mock papers. I also took the mock papers of other classes.
4) Please enumerate the difference between CET and other exams management exams ?
CET is largely a speed test, with the average time to solve one question as 36 seconds! The focus is largely on “endurance”. It has much more variety than its counterparts.
Contrary to popular belief, a high degree of accuracy is required in CET. Of course one cannot rely only on accuracy in this test. Even if you feel you have cracked 100 questions in the first 60 minutes, the race is only half complete!
5) What is the difficulty level of CET as compared to CAT?
These are two entirely different types of tests. CAT tests the candidate’s ability to pick and choose and then doing the chosen questions with complete exactness. Whereas CET is a test of endurance. CAT is divided clearly in the three sections, with the pattern and the number of questions changing practically every year. With roughly 100 seconds to solve one question (even if one attempts all the questions!), the questions should obviously take more time to be finished.
On the other hand, CET is fully focussed on logical reasoning. It tests the candidate’s ability to handle pressure with his analytical and logical skills. Its questions are not so lengthy when viewed individually, but with such a huge variety and no sections, it is surely a test of sound judgement.
6) What were the salient features of your CET preparations during the last 15 days to CET?
Since I had largely seen the results of my other exams I was very much aware of my strengths and weaknesses by then. So my last 15 days went to work on the weaknesses. I also tried to practice as much CET specific questions (Visual reasoning, i/p o/p machine, verbal logic and reasoning specific questions) as possible.
7) What was your strategy for the CET exam day?
No experiments. Just tried to finish what I was comfortable with the first. I was able to finish first 100 questions in the first hour, which comprised mostly of logical reasoning questions.
Fortunately took a break in between to study the remaining questions. Saw that the “close” questions (fill in the blanks) had appeared in the very end. Since that was a very scoring section for me, and very less time consuming as well, I went on to attempt it before the lengthier questions. Then I proceeded to speed quant and verbal logic questions. In the end I was able to attempt 185 questions properly.
8) CET also involves lot of Speed. Any special strategies for that aspect?
There are fundamentally 2 types of CET takers. One is the candidate who has attempted most if not all of the management entrance exams, attempting CET in the end. The other is the one who has focussed exclusively on CET. I fell in the former category. So my strategy and practice for speed was not different from the other exams that I had taken.
The simple way to do it is to practice with improvement intent. One can take an exercise booklet of a particular topic and try to finish the same 25/30 questions of each exercise in lesser and lesser time with more and more accuracy each time.
9) Any change in preparation strategy in hindsight?
Not at a fundamental level. Perhaps one can focus more on CET specific questions if he is not comfortable with them.
10)List the 5 most important preparation points with 15 days remaining and some mistakes to avoid.
1> Keep on building your speed. If you can finish reading a passage at 300 words a minute, move on to 400, if you are already at 400, try getting a 500. There is no limit!
2> If you have material specific to CET, first finish that before trying to master mock papers. If you don’t have it, try to get some from your friends.
3> Analyse your performance at every stage. Whether it is a 25 question exercise or a full length mock paper, don’t lose the focus of improving. Also, getting the same marks in two papers is not necessarily a good indicator. Try to measure the performance in mock papers with respect to others.
4> Finish one class’ mock paper before jumping to other papers.
5> Lastly, keep your cool. It is just an exam; those who clear it find that life at a b school is a different nut to crack.
Mistakes to avoid:
· Don’t judge your performance before the paper is over. The exam is not over till the invigilator collects the paper from you. Don’t lose heart if the paper is different in certain aspects. If it is different for you, it is different for everybody
· Don’t be complacent. If you have got a good rank in one mock cet, it might not necessarily mean that you will get good score in the final. Keep practicing.
· Don’t think that the actual CET paper will be exactly like class X’s mock paper. There will be variations in the difficulty levels and number of questions in the real paper. So try to practice as many papers as you can.
11) How is life at JBIMS?
Active! Hectic! Interesting! Since students get a lot of non-academic exposure along with the academic one right from the word “go”, one gets to improve upon his behavioural tendency and act at a maturity level akin to a corporate.
Within just one semester we have done so much. It has been a roller coaster ride. The opportunity to develop and learn never ceases. To experience more of this phenomenon one has to be inside JBIMS. These words will not do justice to the experience.
12)Among its contemporaries, where do you place JBIMS
I rate JBIMS very highly. In terms of return on investment, the quality of intellectual development and the alumni network it is way ahead of the new IIMs and the likes of FMS and MDI. Perhaps in the recent times IIM A,B,C, have risen in ranks, but JBIMS is fast catching up. It is definitely the place to be if one needs to enter the Indian industry with a comprehensive insight.
13)Can you give an insight of the factors that affected your choice of college
For me, the reputation of the college, quality of faculty, quality of peers and the industry’s view of the b school are very high. It is a bonus if the college is easy on the pocket.
14)Give some advantages which JBIMS enjoys over other colleges in its league?
Location. The top stalwarts in the industry don’t have any difficulty coming to the college, even on working days.
Due to this, industry stalwarts with an inclination towards teaching also find it easy to fulfil their desire to interact with students. This results in practical learning rather than a bookish knowledge.
Dedicated Alumni network. Be it interactive sessions, knowledge sharing or workshops, our alumni works ceaselessly and tirelessly. Even in this short span we have had the privilege to interact with alumni from the first batch of JB.
15)How was your experience in the CET Group Discussion and Personal Interview (GD-PI)?
My GD PI centre was JBIMS only, so I had an added incentive to perform well. Given that I had converted a few other colleges, I had to convince the faculty that I would like to be in Bajaj rather than the other colleges.
The GD was on the topic “Women make better managers”. The group had 4 girls and 5 boys. As expected it turned into a debate, with a few boys making the mistake of generalising women and putting them in bad light based on their personal experiences. I tried to give direction to the GD by focusing the group on the required topic, viz, reasons why women make better managers. I would rate the overall GD as average, as there were not many new points coming and there were a lot of repetitions.
The interview was much better. It was largely based on the form that we were supposed to fill right before the process. The soft copy of the form is available on the DTE website and it is highly recommended to prepare the answers well before the final day. The interviewers commented that I was very “independent” and logical based on my answers.
They asked me all types of personal questions, about my background and work experience. They also asked me “why mba” and other such run-of-the-mill questions. They asked me to justify the event that I had written was the most important in India’s history in the last decade. The interview lasted about 20-25 minutes. In the end, they seemed very satisfied, and said “very good”. Homework paid.