How to crack PI-WAT: “Clarity of goals post MBA is important for clearing PI”, says Tanuj Makkar of IIM Lucknow
Vikas Gaur, 17 Mar 2018, #CAT
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How to crack PI-WAT : Tanuj Makkar, one of the toppers of CAT 2016, believes in the long-term benefits of an MBA degree and how he can leverage the strong alumni network at IIM in his favour. Tanuj, who topped the exam with 99.45 percentile, is currently pursuing the management program at the prestigious management school- IIM Lucknow.

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Tanuj put together a regular study plan that allowed him to practice WAT on a regular basis and employed an effective time management strategy for this. “I think the most important factor for clearing the PI is the clarity of goals post MBA. If one is sure about what he/she wants to achieve from MBA and that is articulated to the interviewer, then the rest of the interview should be a cakewalk” says Tanuj. He also carries a working experience of 37 months at the world-renowned financial firm, Goldman Sachs. In this interview with Careers360, Tanuj talks about his preparation days and how smartly he balanced his professional and academic life while preparing for the exams. Read on to know more.

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Careers360: What is the process to get selected and secure a seat in IIM Lucknow?

Tanuj: The selection procedure includes a written ability test followed by a personal interview.


Careers360: Please give us a deeper insight of your overall experience during the selection procedure.

Tanuj: It was a seamless experience for me to attend the IIM Lucknow process. The process started with a written ability test where the topic of the test was “Net Neutrality: A boon or bane”. This was followed by a personal interview. The panel for the interview consisted of two people who were both professors at IIM Lucknow. The interview started with questions like “Why MBA, what are your short-term and long-term goals” and then it delved into specific questions about my profile and work experience. The interview lasted for 20-25 minutes and ended with a candy.

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Careers360:  Did you appear for selection procedures in other B-schools as well? How was it different from that of IIM Lucknow?

Tanuj: I appeared for IIM-K and SPJIMR apart from IIM Lucknow. The IIM-K interview was similar to IIM Lucknow interview, but it was more along the lines of a stressful interview.


Careers360: What was your WAT topic and how did you structure it? Did you find it easy?

Tanuj: My topic was Net Neutrality. It was an easy topic as it was very much in news at that point of time.


Careers360:  How should one approach a WAT topic, if s/he does not have any knowledge about it?

Tanuj: The person should try to attempt the question given the limited knowledge around the given topic. The institute is looking to see how one manages even when you don’t have much idea about the topic. So, one should try to write about general content around the given topic in absence of strong points.


Careers360: What must be the approach for WAT? What are the do’s and don’ts that a candidate should keep in mind?

Tanuj: There should be a structure for the WAT and clear points should be written on both sides of the argument.


Careers360: How was your personal interview experience? How big was the panel and what were your feelings while facing them?

Tanuj: The panel consisted of 2 people and they were very friendly to me.


Careers360: Among all the interviews you have appeared in, which one was the best and why?

Tanuj: Among all the interviews, the interview at IIM Lucknow was the best for me. The reason for this is the interview questions were quite relevant and were asked in a well-structured manner. Unlike other interviews, the interview at IIM Lucknow consisted of questions concerning my recent initiatives at my organization. The interviewers were trying to gauge my interests instead of stressing me over some core technical questions.


Careers360:  What were the questions which you found most tricky? What was your response to them?

Tanuj: The interviewers asked me - “Why do want to do an MBA when you are already earning a salary that is comparable to one you will get at IIM?” My answer revolved around the long-term benefits and how I can leverage the strong alumni network at IIM.


Careers360: Quite impressive! What factors or qualities, according to you, are sought by the PI panel in a candidate?

Tanuj: I think the most important factor for clearing the PI is “the clarity of goals post MBA”. If one is sure about what he/she wants to achieve through MBA and that is articulated to the interviewer, then the rest of the interview should be a cakewalk.

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I got 93 percentile in cat and 78.7/82/80 in class 10/12/grad can I get a call for spjimr and which colleges can I get?

ashutosh gupta 13th Nov, 2019

Hi harshit

Your CAT score is good. And your past academic result is decent too. You can fill the form for spjimr and baby iims with 93%ile. If you have work experince of minimum 2 years you can go for profile based admission. In profile based admission your past academic records, graduation score are given high prefrence for cut-offs.


which entrance exam score in IIM college consider other than CAT

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 13th Nov, 2019
CAT is conducted by the IIMs in rotational method. In a way the conventional way to get into an IIM is through CAT because CAT is the brainchild of the IIMs. Having said that, IIMs accept GMAT score but only for 1 year MBA program and that is for Working Executives and the prpgramme is called Post Graduate Program for Executives. Apart from that no other score ks considered for admission to IIMs.

where is books of CAT is available

Mayank Chowdhary 12th Nov, 2019

Use word power made easy by Norman Lewis, Abhijit Guha Quantitative Aptitude and Arun Sharma book. Go for high school English grammar and composition by Wren and Martin. For verbal reasoning, go with Pearson by Nishit Sinha. Use Quantum CAT by Sarvesh VERMA too. If possible try to have TIME or CAREER LAUNCHER books too, they will help you a lot. And where these books are available toh they are there in the market, you can search them in the stationary book shops near you. And if not available, then they are available on amazon too from where you can order. Thank-you.


cat cut off of nit trichy????

Rahul 13th Nov, 2019

NIT Trichy, ranked 30th in MBA, is one of the finest educational institutions of India. This department offers 4th best ROI in the country. In order to get admission in NIT Trichy, you need to have atleast 90 percentile in CAT if you're from general category.


how much score required to get 95 percentile in all thre sections in both easy and tough paper

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 12th Nov, 2019
For you to score overall 95 percentile, you need to score atleast 85 sectional percentile. This means your score in QA, VARC, DLR should be nothing less than 85 percentile separately.
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