Achieving success and making your dreams come alive, takes sweat, determination and hard work. Archita S, a student of IPM 2017-22 batch has proved these pearls of wisdom right by cracking IPMAT and acing the WAT and PI rounds with some help from her coaching institute, RIIT and her own perseverance.
The secret behind her success, besides her own hard work, is the faculty at her coaching institute who provided her with resources and cleared all her doubts. Archita also highlights the importance of mock tests and managing time, as it is one of the key aspects during the phase of IPMAT and WAT. “Taking mock tests one week before the exam- I did it on a daily basis”, says Archita. Keeping your mind calm and cool is the key to crack the PI, she adds.
Read the exclusive interview of Archita and her tips to ace the IPMAT exam of IIM Indore.
Excerpts from the interview:
Careers360: Please share something about yourself in terms of your academic and family background, your career goals etc.
Archita: I studied in ISC board upto class 12 and have always been a good student, according to my teachers. My father is a businessman and my mother is a homemaker. I have always been very clear about my career goals.
My dream is to land a Finance oriented job in Goldman Sachs after I graduate from IIM Indore at the end of the Five-Year Programme.
Careers360: Why and when did you decide to pursue IPM at IIM Indore?
Archita: The domain of finance has always interested me. I was planning to do my MBA after doing engineering. Later, I came to know about IPM course and as I was anyway going to do MBA ultimately, decided to pursue it. Besides, IPM gives a very strong foundation in management which otherwise would not be possible in case of a two-year MBA.
Careers360: Which other entrances did you appear for and what were your scores and percentiles?
Archita: I appeared for a few more entrance exams but they were mostly related to the medical field, such as AIIMS, IISER, NEST. My scores are:
IISER- SCB- AIR- 23
NEST- AIR 200
Careers360: How and when did you start preparing for IPMAT? Please share your exam preparation strategy in detail.
Archita: I started preparing for IPMAT after my JEE main exams. Although, I did not prepare much, but I went through the sample papers that were given in the website and also solved questions from Pearson’s reference books.
Careers360: Did you take coaching or did you prepare on your own? According to you, how important is the role of coaching institutes in cracking the entrances like IPMAT?
Archita: I did not take any coaching for IPMAT in particular but my entrance coaching institute (RIITS) provided me with resources and cleared my doubts. I believe that a coaching institute provides a healthy competitive atmosphere where you can constantly evaluate yourself and see where you stand. It enables you to improve yourself.
Careers360: Which books did you refer for the exam preparation?
Archita: To aid my preparation for IPMAT, I referred to the book called “Crack the IIM Indore IPM examination by Pearson.”
There are three books in the series, namely the Guide, Verbal Ability and full length test series.
Careers360: Did you take mock tests? When did you start and what was the frequency?
Archita: Yes. I started taking mock tests one week before the exam. I wrote mock tests on a daily basis to enhance my preparation in terms of accuracy and timing.
Careers360: Please share your experience of taking the test. Which was the easiest section and which was the toughest? What was the difficulty level of the test overall?
Archita: Overall, taking the IPMAT was a good experience. All the questions were solvable and had nothing to do with either the board exam pattern or JEE model. The only constraint was the time limit.
The easiest section for me was Verbal Ability. I finished that part with over 10 minutes to spare. Though the questions in quantitative part were solvable it was time consuming and I ran out of time. Besides a few questions did offer some challenges where I had to think properly to solve and that took up a lot of time.
It was an easy test in terms of the questions. But the time limit makes the test challenging. Hence my rating would be medium level difficulty.
Careers360: How many questions did you attempt from each section? What were the factors based on which you selected the questions?
Archita: I attempted around 25 and 30 questions from the Quantitative part and all the questions from the Verbal Ability section. I chose to attempt only those questions from from the Quantitative part which did not require much time to solve.
Careers360: Did you face any technical glitches at the exam centre?
Archita: No, the exam-taking process is quite smooth. The authorities make sure to keep it that way so that students can focus on their exam.
Careers360: Any special time management strategies that you would like to recommend for the aspirants while taking the test?
Archita: Yes, I would like to share something very important. I suggest all aspirants to read the question once. If they are able to get the logic behind the question then they must go for it.
However, if they unable to grasp the logic, then they should not spend time thinking about it. They must move on to the next question as time is very precious in IPMAT.
Careers360: What is the selection procedure for IPMAT at IIM Indore? Please explain stage-wise.
Archita: The first stage is the IPMAT which is an online test. The top 1200 candidates will be shortlisted for the second round of selection- IPM WAT and PI.
IPM WAT (Written Aptitude test) and PI (Personal Interview) occurs on the same day. The top 120 students would be selected for the course and a few others would be kept in waiting lists.
Careers360: Please elaborate on your overall experience of the IPMAT and the selection procedures that followed the written test.
Archita: Overall, IPMAT was a unique experience. The aptitude test tested the time management skills a lot. The written aptitude test was the easiest part.
What I found challenging was the interview that followed. The interview was a bit stressful but the rest of the selection process was very pleasant.
Careers360: How did you prepare for WAT?
Archita: I did not prepare much for WAT. We had to write long essays during school board examinations and I found that preparation good enough for WAT.
Careers360: What was your WAT topic? Did you find it easy?
Archita: My WAT topic was ‘Why should people in metro cities be encouraged to use public transport?’
I found the topic quite easy to write about.
Careers360: What was your approach towards the WAT topic? Did you follow any strategy as such? Tell us some Do’s and Don’ts for while taking WAT.
Archita: My approach was similar to what I did in my boards. I jotted down the points that came to my mind roughly on the side of the paper and elaborated it into paragraphs. Don’t spend too much time in planning the essay and keep a tab on the word limit.
Careers360: How should one tackle a WAT topic, if s/he does not have any knowledge about it?
Archita: The WAT topic would be something everybody is familiar with. In case it is not a familiar topic, think of any examples, daily life incidences anything that you can correlate with the topic and build your essay based on that.
Careers360: Do you think there are some time management skills required for a student to write a complete structured WAT?
Archita: Yes. The test-taker should plan his/her time accordingly so that they have enough time for planning and then to write it out. Without proper planning, the essay will not be a proper one.
Careers360: Please share your PI experience in detail. Was the panel easy or tough on you?
Archita:The PI experience was a bit stressful. They were not dominating and neither were they too friendly. There were three people on the panel and they covered a wide range of topics in the interview. They were neither easy nor tough on me.However, according to some of my fellow competitors, the panel was very tough on them.
Careers360: How did you prepare for PI?
Archita: I did not prepare much for PI. I looked up a few questions online that were asked for previous IPM interviews and prepared accordingly.
Careers360: What were the questions you were asked during PI? Please share your answers to them as well.
Archita: They asked me questions from Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Statistics and General Knowledge.
They were very basic level questions like:
Panel: “What is the lead of a pencil made of?”
I answered as ‘Graphite.’
Panel: “What is graphite made of?”
My reply was ‘Carbon’.
Panel: “Diamond and graphite are made of carbon. But they have different properties. What is this property called?”
‘Allotropy’ was my immediate answer.
Panel: “When you sit on a chair what are the forces that are acting?”
I replied to question easily by saying ‘Normal reaction force and your weight.’
Panel: Which law in physics enables you to ride a cycle?
Law of conservation of momentum -angular was my response.
Then I had to draw a few graphs of equations and their transformation.
Few questions on general knowledge like ‘name three woman chief ministers of India and their parties’, ‘Who is Elon Musk' etc.
And then there was the standard question - Why IPM? They also asked me if I had a back up option incase I do not get selected for IPM.
Careers360: Were there any questions which you were not able to answer? How did you tackle them?
Archita: There was a statistics question on the significance of standard deviation. I defined standard deviation for them and said that I don’t know its significance. They guided me to the correct answer.
Careers360: Any interesting question or incident which you enjoyed answering?
Archita: Not exactly. All questions were creative. They were trying to ask a lot based on the surrounding objects.
Careers360: What is your advice for future aspirants of IPMAT?
Archita: Do not get stressed during any level of the selection procedure. Be calm and keep your mind cool. This will enable you throughout IPMAT and the selection procedures.
In interviews, admit that you don’t know something rather than pretending to know about it.