CAT 2019 Topper K. A. Althaf Who Made it to IIM-B says, “Dream Big & The Universe Will Help You”
Determination and Dedication together will help you to achieve your goals says K. A. Althaf who got admission in IIM Bangalore. Although Althaf is an avid reader and has good command over English, yet he did not want to leave any stone unturned and hence decided to join a personal mentorship program for his WAT-PI rounds. K. A. Althaf had studied Mechanical Engineering from NITK Surathkal, Karnataka. Being one of the CAT 2019 toppers, he got a call from IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Indore as well as XLRI (BM and HR), FMS and IIFT. Out of these, K. A. Althaf attended the interviews for IIM A, B, C, L and XLRI-BM and also received admission letters from all these B-Schools. Quoting his favourite line from the famous novel “The Alchemist” “When you want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”, K. A. Althaf further added that his dream was to get into IIM-Bangalore so without any further thought he accepted the same. He shares his success mantra for the aspiring MBA candidates who will appear for CAT 2020 in near future. Read the full interview by Careers360 to know more about the IIM-B admission criteria, selection process as well as how one should prepare for the selection rounds of IIMs.
Latest: IIM Indore release CAT 2020 admit card on October 28. CAT Mock Test 2020 has been released in online mode on November 5.
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Careers360: Congratulations on converting to your desired institute! How do you feel?
K. A. Althaf - IIMB has been my dream college for as long as I can remember. “When you want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” - My belief in this quote strengthened the day I received my admission letter from IIM Bangalore.
Careers360: What is the selection procedure at IIM Bangalore?
K. A. Althaf - IIM Bangalore has a comprehensive filtering process, which takes into account multiple criteria. A candidate’s overall academic profile, work experience, CAT score and WAT-PI are considered. The weightage split for each is - 25% for Class 10, Class 12 and graduation, 25% for CAT, 10% for Work Experience and 40% for WAT-PI.
Careers360: Please elaborate on your overall experience of the selection procedure at IIM Bangalore
K. A. Althaf - IIM Bangalore places heavy emphasis on academic performance, starting right from school. I put in the effort and hard work to ensure that I had a stellar record in place. The next step was to perform well in CAT and WAT-PI. I started my CAT preparation in January 2019. I took 50 mock exams and practiced every day - factors that enabled me to achieve a decent CAT percentile in my first attempt. My habit of reading the newspaper daily, backed by my decent communication skills, helped me crack the WAT-PI process.
Careers360: Which other B-Schools’ selection procedure did you appear for? How was your experience in other institutes vis a vis in the institute you have converted?
K. A. Althaf - I had interview calls from IIM A, IIM B, IIM C, IIM L, IIM K, IIM Indore, XLRI (BM and HR), FMS and IIFT. I attended the interviews for IIM A, IIM B, IIM C, IIM L and XLRI-BM and received admission letters from all these colleges.
The questions in the interviews revolved around my personal life, professional life and my take on certain current affairs. Overall, my discussions with the panelists were pleasant, highly engaging and thought provoking.
Careers360: What was your WAT/PI topic and how did you structure it? Did you find it easy or you had a difficult time writing / thinking about the topic?
K. A. Althaf - The topic for my WAT was “Deep discounting practices employed by e-commerce platforms are beneficial or harmful?”. It was an easy topic and owing to my habit of reading newspapers, I was able to add some statistics to the essay. I split the essay into four paragraphs – Introduction, Advantages, Disadvantages & My Opinion (The Conclusion).
Careers360: Did you get external help or join a coaching school to prepare for PI and WAT? When did you start your preparations for it?
K. A. Althaf - Reading newspapers, articles and having decent communication skills made WAT/PI preparation easier for me. However, I did not want to leave any stone unturned, so I joined a personal mentorship program by Power-prep. Additionally, I sought help from my friends studying at the top B-Schools.
Careers360: Do you think that WAT/PI requires some separate preparation apart from what you mentioned?
K. A. Althaf - Personally, I do not think any additional preparation is required apart from what I mentioned. The focus should be on approaching WAT/PI confidently. A word of advice, avoid being under-confident or overconfident during the interview at all costs.
Careers360: Please share the WAT/PI topics that you were asked during the admission rounds?
K. A. Althaf - IIM-B, IIM-C, IIM-L, XLRI had WAT.
IIM Bangalore Topic: Deep discounting practices employed by e-commerce platforms are beneficial or harmful?
IIM Calcutta Topic: Academic pressure, expectations pushing kids to the brink. How can you tackle this issue?
IIM Lucknow Topic: Ease of doing business and ease of living cannot go together.
XLRI Topic: Ecologists can make good managers
IIM-A on the other hand had an Analytical Writing Test (AWT). It assesses your ability to articulate and support complex ideas, construct and evaluate arguments, and sustain a focused and coherent viewpoint.
IIM Ahmedabad WAT Topic: “Gujarat State education board mandated that all the students respond to the attendance call by saying ‘Jai Hind’. This was done in order to inculcate the value of patriotism since childhood.” Discuss how logically convincing you find this argument. In your discussion, you should analyze the argument's line of reasoning and use of evidence. It may be appropriate in your critique to call into question certain assumptions underlying the argument and/or to indicate what evidence might weaken or strengthen the argument. It may also be appropriate to discuss how you would alter the argument to make it more convincing and/or discuss what additional evidence, if any, would aid in evaluating the argument.
Careers360: Are there ways to handle a situation when one has no answer to a question during PI?
K. A. Althaf - Not knowing the answer to a question during PI is not a crime. The only way to handle it is to be honest and confident. Bluffing in an interview is frowned upon and if caught, your chances of converting the call could drastically reduce.
Careers360: How must one approach a WAT/PI topic? Could you share some Dos and Don’ts for the same?
K. A. Althaf - Read the topic multiple times and understand it thoroughly before you put pen to paper. Take 2 to 3 minutes to structure your thoughts and make bullet points on the rough side of the worksheet. There are two key ways to approach a WAT topic -
PESTEL (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental & Legal) – Assess the topic in these six aspects.
Binary approach – State the advantages-disadvantages or positive-negatives and conclude by expressing your opinion.
In the worst-case scenario, if you are unable to employ either of these approaches or are completely unaware of the topic, then use your creativity!
A few Dos and Don’ts by K. A. Althaf:
Take some time to structure your thoughts
Maintain legible and neat handwriting
Structure your essay into different paragraphs (Introduction, Body and Conclusion)
Carry a whitener in case you have to strike off what you wrote
Finish 2 minutes in advance and proof-read the essay
Do not scribble on the worksheet.
Do not exceed the word limit
Do not write on the space that is not allotted for writing
Careers360: Is there a particular kind of time management strategy that should be added to the candidate’s skillset? Will it help in writing a complete structured WAT?
K. A. Althaf - You should be aware of the time throughout the WAT. When in doubt, ask the invigilator about the amount of time left on the clock. Finish at least 2 minutes in advance and proof-read the essay.
Put your pen down immediately when the allotted time is over and make sure that you have concluded the essay. An essay without a conclusion is considered incomplete. More often than not, the panelists taking your interviews are the ones evaluating your essay. A bad essay creates a bad first impression of the candidate.
Careers360: How did you feel when you faced the interviewers during the PI? Please share a few details like the size of your panel and your overall experience.
K. A. Althaf - I felt excited and was confident during all my interviews. It is a common misconception that the interviews are mostly a Q&A session with the panelists. In reality, the panelists want to have a conversation with you and get to know you better.
In my IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Lucknow interviews, there were two panelists each and in my IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta and XLRI interviews, there were three panelists each.
Careers360: Which interview turned out to be the best one? Enlighten us about the finest one according to you.
K. A. Althaf - According to me, IIM Calcutta interview was my best. It lasted for just 12 minutes, keeping me on my toes the whole time. I was asked questions about my drinking habit, Islamic scriptures, a hypothetical workplace problem (how would I handle a situation wherein my manager comes inebriated for a client meeting), academic background and current affairs. The switchover among these diverse topics was abrupt and I had to think on my feet the whole time.
Careers360: What about the questions which you found difficult to answer? How did you reply to those?
K. A. Althaf - I was challenged with many opinion intensive questions at IIM A and IIM L interviews, a few of them being:
What is the relevance of the National Anthem in inculcating patriotism among Indians?
What is your opinion on engineering coaching centres in India?
What is your opinion on the Citizenship Amendment Act?
I stated both for & against aspects for each of these questions and expressed my personal opinion in the end. I always kept an open mind when discussing such opinion-intensive topics. I paid close attention to how the panelists responded to what I said. It is crucial that you maintain a healthy conversation rather than a pointless argument.
Careers360: So in those situations, was the panel easy or harsh on you? What should one do when s/he has no answer?
K. A. Althaf - The panel was easy on me because I put forward my opinions in a polite manner. Whenever I had a difference of opinion with what the panelists said, I addressed it in a respectful manner by starting my response with the statement - “I completely agree with your viewpoints. I would like to pitch in another perspective….”.
As I mentioned earlier, not knowing an answer is not a crime. Being bold enough to admit that you are unaware of something requires a lot of courage and is something which is appreciated by the panelists.
Careers360: What were the most fascinating questions you were asked? Please share your answers too.
K. A. Althaf - I would like to share two such questions -
“So Althaf, you studied at NITK which is funded by the central government. After that you joined a private automobile firm and worked there for 3 years. Now you want to pursue an MBA. Don’t you think you’ve been wasting the tax-payers’ money for the past 7 years by completely changing your career-path now?” (XLRI-BM interview)
K. A. Althaf -: With a smile, “I am sorry but I would like to slightly differ with your opinion. The education and exposure that I received at NITK has molded me into a better person and equipped me to handle challenges in the future. Working at Bosch for 3 years for BS6 projects gave me an opportunity to contribute to our country in various aspects, two of them being technology and environment. I will cherish these learnings, upskill myself with an MBA and continue contributing to our country. I don’t believe I wasted the taxpayers' money”.
“Althaf, you’re a chemistry enthusiast (I had mentioned in my application that I won 3rd prize in the National Level Chemistry quiz competition). Name your favourite chemical.” (IIM Calcutta interview)
K. A. Althaf -: I thought for 10 seconds, looked around and said “Water is my favourite chemical”. Panelists - “Relate yourself with water”. I paused and thought again because my response to this would make or break my interview. “Water is adaptive. It takes the shape of the container you put it in”. Panelists - “So basically, you don’t have a personality of your own?”. I responded with a smile, “That is not exactly what I meant. What I meant was that I am very adaptive and no matter what situation you put me in, I will be able to come out of it with flying colours. I was completely thrown out of my comfort zone when I left India for a 3-month internship at Quebec, Canada. However, I was able to adapt to their culture, food, weather and people in a short span of time, making it one of the most memorable experiences of my life”.
Careers360: And finally what are the aspects or qualities that the interview board looks for in a candidate?
K. A. Althaf - This is a very subjective question. One can never be sure of what an interviewer expects from them. Nevertheless, to highlight a few aspects that I believe will come handy in the long run -
Presentability – a pleasant smile and formal attire
Communication skills – think before you speak, do not blabber and maintain a pleasant decibel level
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Questions related to CAT
which top colleges accept scores of exams snap, nmat, cat, mat, cmat, GMAT? also what are the eligibility criteria for GMAT exam and also which top colleges accept GMAT score and micat exam is conducted for which top colleges except mica
GMAT is graduate management admission test which is conducted by GMAC for admission of MBA in many countries, the eligibility criteria regarding this is as follows;
Candidates needs to be 18 years old or above,
Pass bachelor's degree in any discipline from a recognized university, those in the final year or working professionals too are eligible to apply,
Should have a valid passport,
As the exam is conducted in English, hence proficiency in the same language is required as well,
Candidate can take maximum of five attempts in a year, and overall 8 attempts for lifetime, and there has to be a gap of 16 days prior to retaking the exam,
Colleges in India accepting GMAT scores are as follows;
- SPJIMR Mumbai
- IMT Ghaziabad
- IMI New Delhi
- Xavier University Bhubaneswar (XUB)
- Great Lakes Institute of Management Chennai
- T A Pai Management Institute (TAPMI) Manipal
- K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research, Mumbai
- Goa Institute of Management (GIM) Goa
- Post Graduate Diploma in Management
- FORE School of Management, New Delhi
- Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management, Delhi
- BIMTECH Greater Noida
- MICA Ahmedabad
- IFIM Business School, Bangalore
- SOIL-School of Business Design, Gurgaon
explore more detailed information about GMAT at https://www.careers360.com/exams/gmat
check out the entire list of colleges in India accepting GMAT at https://bschool.careers360.com/colleges/list-of-mba-colleges-in-india-accepting-gmat?icn=college_listing_accepting_score&ici=GMAT_exam_view
SNAP is conducted for 60 minutes in MCQs format, each question consists of one mark, there is deduction of 0.25 marks for each incorrect attempt, the following sections are included in the entrance test:-
- General English
- Analytical & Logical Reasoning
- Quantitative, Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency
The colleges accepting scores of SNAP are listed below;
- Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development, Pune
- Symbiosis Institute of International Business, Pimpri-Chinchwad
- Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, Pune
- Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune,
- Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Bangalore
- Symbiosis Centre for Information Technology, Pune,
- Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Rangareddy,
- Symbiosis School of Banking and Finance, Pune
- LM Thapar School of Management, Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi
- Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences, Pune,
- Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management, Nashik,
- Lala Lajpat Rai Institute of Management, Mumbai, Mumbai, Maharashtra
- Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research Pune,
- Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication Pune,
- Symbiosis University of Applied Sciences, Indore,
- Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Lavale,
- Symbiosis Institute of Digital and Telecom Management, Lavale
- Shri Ram Murti Smarak International Business School, Lucknow
- Symbiosis School of Media and Communication
- Symbiosis Institute of Business Management,, Nagpur
- Om Bio Science and Management College, Haridwar Roorkee
check out our page at https://bschool.careers360.com/colleges/list-of-mba-colleges-in-india-accepting-snap to know more details regarding this.
CMAT is conducted for 180 minutes, and additional 30 minutes is allotted for optional section, there are total of five sections(one is optional) and each one consists of 25 questions for 100 marks as mentioned below-
- Quantitative techniques and data interpretation
- Logical reasoning
- General awareness
- Language comprehension
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship (optional)
for each correct answer four marks are awarded and in case of each incorrect attempt one mark is deduced,
The selection process mainly consists of three rounds:-
Written Ability Test,
Group Discussion, and
Some of the top colleges offering admission for MBA Programme through CMAT are mentioned below-
- JBIMS, Mumbai
- SIMSREE, Mumbai
- KJ Somaiya Institute of Management
- Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai
- University of Pune, Department of Management Sciences
- Xavier Institute of Social Service, Ranchi
- Welingkar Institute of Management, Mumbai
- Goa Institute of Management
- Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad
- Amity University, Noida
- Birla Institute of Management Technology, Greater Noida
Explore more detailed information about the complete list of colleges offering MBA through CMAT at https://bschool.careers360.com/articles/top-b-schools-accepting-cmat-scores
The list of colleges accepting scores of NMAT are as follows;
- SPJIMR, Mumbai
- School of Business Management SVKM's Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai
- VIT Business School Vellore,
- IBS Business School Hyderabad,
- K J Somaiya Institute of Management, Mumbai
- ITM Business School Navi Mumbai
- Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore
- GITAM Hyderabad Business School Hyderabad,
- GITAM Institute of Management, Visakhapatnam
- Alliance School of Business, Bangalore
- Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies Mumbai,
- Amity Business School Noida,
- Goa Institute of Management Poriem,
- Amrut Mody School of Management, Ahmedabad University, Ahmedabad
- ISBR Business School Bangalore
- Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies Hyderabad,
- Mittal School of Business, Lovely Professional University
- Centre for Management Studies, Jain University, Bangalore
- Bangalore, Karnataka
- Bennett University, Greater Noida
- Jindal Global Business School, Sonipat,
- IIHMR University, Jaipur
- Amity University, Mumbai
- Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida
- Galgotias University, Greater Noida
- BML Munjal University, Gurgaon
- Chitkara Business School, Patiala
- Woxsen University Hyderabad - Woxsen School of Business, Hyderabad,
- School of Petroleum Management, Pandit Deendayal Energy University, Gandhinagar
- Amity University, Noida
- School of Business, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun
check out our page at https://bschool.careers360.com/colleges/list-of-mba-colleges-in-india-accepting-nmat-by-gmac to know more details regarding this.
I did not self attest my obc certificate in cat application. what should I do?
Hope you are doing fine! Below are the categories who get benefits of reservation in CAT -
- As per the Government of India requirements, 15% of the seats are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) and 7.5% for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates. 27% of seats are reserved for Other Backward Classes candidates belonging to the non - creamy layer (NC - OBC).
To avail the reservation benefits one must upload the catagory certificate at the time of CAT registration. In case of other mba colleges you might get chance to apply separately as many mba colleges take separate applications for admission after cat exam. But in case of IIMs candidates will be shortlisted for interview based on their application while registration for cat, during the selection process they need to produce the documents for verification. But in your case if you have not attached catagory certificate at the time of CAT registration you will be shortlisted as per general cutoff. Below I have provided you previous year cutoff for different IIMs.
- IIM Ahmedabad - 85 percentile
- IIM Bangalore - 85 percentile
- IIM Calcutta - 85 percentile
- IIM Lucknow - 90 percentile
- IIM Indore - 90 percentile
- IIM Kozhikode - 85 percentile
- IIM Amritsar - 85 percentile
- IIM Nagpur - 85 percentile
- IIM Sambalpur - 93 percentile
- IIM Trichy - 93 percentile
- IIM Raipur - 93 percentile
- IIM Ranchi - 93 percentile
- IIM Kashipur - 94 percentile
- IIM Vizag - 80 percentile
- IIM Udaipur - 93 percentile
- IIM Bodhgaya - 93 percentile
- IIM Shillong - 75 percentile
- IIM Sirmaur - 93 percentile
- IIM Rohtak - 95 percentile
- IIM Nagpur - 85 percentile
- IIM Jammu - 93 percentile
All the best :)
how to start the quantitative aptitude preparation topics for CAT exam?
Although there are many online resources for CAT 2022 candidates, for many of them, preparing for the CAT mathematical ability part is one of the most tough and challenging undertakings. The QA part is regarded by the majority of elite CAT scorers as one of the most unexpected and time-consuming. And for candidates without an engineering-related educational background, learning how to prepare for the CAT quantity ability is like cracking a hard nut.
For every detailed information on how to prepare for cat quantitative aptitude section, you can visit our site by clicking on link given below.
Hope this information helps you.
what is CAT exam? full information about it
The Common Admission Test is the full name of the exam. A prominent national MBA entrance exam is being taken. A computer-based test will be used to administer the CAT 2022 exam. A little over 2.3 lakh students are anticipated to sign up for the CAT 2022. At 20 IIMs and more than 1,000 B-Schools in India, CAT 2022 will be held for MBA and PGDM admissions.
For more information you can visit our site by clicking on link given below.
Hope this information helps you
Hello , i have completed btech but i have 3 supply and if i manage to complete all by next year & if the results are not published by the time pg entrance notification is out , can i apply for pg ? also write exam SSC CGL ?
Firstly you need to clear all your three supply, there are many universities which does offer admission provisionally as final year candidates too are eligible to apply, so you have to check out the exact details by visiting the official website, coming to SSC CGL you need to attain the required educational qualifications by the specific date as mentioned in the official notification, and unless you clear the supply, you won't be able to apply for the same,
When it comes to job profiles of SSC CGL, there are only three posts which have specific criteria pertaining to it which are as follows;
Assistant Audit Officer/Assistant Accounts Officer : essential qualification is bachelor's degree in any discipline from a recognized university, desirable qualification is ca/cma/cs/mcom/mba(finance),masters in business economics and masters in business studies
Junior Statistical Officer : Bachelor's degree in any discipline with 60% marks in maths at 10+2 level or graduation in any subject with statisics as a subject in all the three years of graduation.
Statistical Investigator Grade II ; Bachelor's degree in any discipline with statisics as a subject in all the three years of graduation.
Assistant in NCLAT ; The desirable qualification is passed degree in law from a recognized university,
Research Assistant in NHRC ; The desirable qualification is passed degree in law/human rights from a recognized university, a minimum of one year research experience from a recognized university is required.
Other than aforementioned posts, others only have eligibility criteria of passed bachelor's degree in any discipline from a recognized university.