XAT 2020 Topper Aiswarya Padma B Who Scored 96.986 Percentile Says, “Adherence and Hard Work Betrays None”
XAT 2020 Topper Interview, Aiswarya Padma - 96.986 Percentile: Interminable hard work and dedicated attitude towards situations will surely lead to success. Aiswarya Padma Balaji who scored 96.986 Percentile in XAT 2020 is a student of Applied Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering from College of Engineering, Trivandrum. Aiswarya suggests that having done the groundwork as well as having strong command on basics are key factors for any MBA aspirant who is aiming to land up in any of the prestigious management B-Schools across the country. In an exclusive talk with Careers360, Aiswarya shares her experience about the road to XLRI Jamshedpur. Read the full interview to know the success mantra given by Aiswarya Padma Balaji. She further added that giving a lot of mocks for the GD-WAT-PI process is equally vital as giving mocks for CAT/XAT exams. Read the complete conversation if you are aiming for XLRI and interested in knowing about its selection process, dos and don'ts and other such details.
Careers360: Congratulations on converting to your desired institute! How do you feel? Please tell us a little bit about you.
Aiswarya Padma B - Thank you so much! I feel very excited! I still can’t believe the fact that I converted XLRI. It’s been a wonderful journey so far, I’m an Applied Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering student from College of Engineering, Trivandrum. I started preparing for MBA exams in my 3rd year of engineering, enrolled with T.I.M.E Trivandrum for CAT coaching.
Careers360: What is the selection procedure at XLRI Jamshedpur?
Aiswarya Padma B - The exam to be given for XLRI admissions is XAT, which takes place on the first Sunday of January every year. Based on the exam difficulty, cut offs are posted in the third and last week of January along with the interview shortlist. Once you are shortlisted, you can attend the GD-WAT-PI process in the city and date of your choice, based on the options given by XLRI. From over 75,000 XAT test takers, about 4,000 students are shortlisted for the GD-WAT-PI process, and the final results are announced usually in April.
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Careers360: Please elaborate on your overall experience of the selection procedure at XLRI Jamshedpur.
Aiswarya Padma B - After giving the XAT exams on January 5, 2020, I awaited the results anxiously and once it was declared, I found out I had secured a 96.986 percentile. I was happy I had given my best, but I was still unsure of receiving interview calls as my percentile was on the lower side. Two days later, I got two emails inviting me for the BM as well as HRM interview processes and I was so elated to have been considered for the same.
My GD-WAT-PI processes for HRM and BM were scheduled for March 8 and March 10 respectively and I started preparing intensively for the same as I wanted to give it my absolute best. I reached out to my seniors from college, who had converted XLRI, and T.I.M.E mock GD PI preparation, for help and they guided me through the whole process
After the interviews, I was not very satisfied with it but I waited with a lot of hope for the final results. On May 20, when it finally came, I was so happy and excited to see that I had converted XLRI-HRM and was waitlisted at number 11 for XLRI-BM. I was sure of converting the BM program in the subsequent movements and now that I have, I feel so blessed, happy and excited for this journey that awaits me at XLRI! My parents and mentors have been a great support throughout and my seniors were the best, just leading me and holding my hand throughout it.
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?
Aiswarya Padma B - My CAT percentile was very low, as fear and stress got the better of me. I only had calls from XLRI for the HRM and BM programs.
Careers360: What was your PI topic and how did you structure it? Did you find it easy or you had a difficult time writing/ thinking about the topic?
Aiswarya Padma B - My topics were as follows:
For HRM topic was “Should recruiters look at social media profiles of candidates in order to recruit them?”
For BM topic was “Are Gandhian principles relevant in Business Management?”
We were a group of eight students for the GD. We were given 5 minutes to structure our points and note them down. As soon as the interviewer asked us to start, I grabbed my chance and initiated the GD (for both BM and HRM) with my strongest point and guided the discussion that way. It was a good experience as I had prepared for this with many mock GD-WAT-PI offered by T.I.M.E and was comfortable with it. After the GD, we were asked to summarise the discussion as WAT, in 10 minutes. I was also familiar with essay structures and found it easy to finish it within the stipulated time. Giving mocks for GD-WAT-PI helps a lot for this as they help your mind in thinking and structuring points in a limited amount of time and it helps for the final process as you’re already accustomed to the process.
Careers360: Did you get external help or join a coaching school to prepare for PI? When did you start your preparations for it?
Aiswarya Padma B - I had enrolled at T.I.M.E Trivandrum for CAT coaching, and they also helped me with the mock GD-WAT-PI process. I started my preparation in January itself, as soon as the XLRI shortlist was declared for the GD-WAT-PI process. I had also reached out to my seniors from college, who had converted XLRI the previous year, and they helped me a lot with my preparation.
Careers360: Do you think that PI requires some separate preparation apart from what you mentioned?
Aiswarya Padma B - The GD-WAT-PI process requires a lot of preparation as it carries a lot of weightage for the final results. The preparation is actually a process of self exploration, where I found and answered a lot of questions about myself, as behavioural questions play a very important role. Apart from the mocks offered by T.I.M.E, I made a set of questions for myself and answered them. Kept restructuring them and preparing myself for all types of questions they could ask me about me. I also worked on current affairs, GK and so on, related to my profile and fields of interest. I worked on my resume too during the preparation time, gathered all relevant certificates and so on.
Careers360: Are there ways to handle a situation when one has no answer to a question during PI?
Aiswarya Padma B - There is nothing wrong in saying “I don’t know”. Despite my intensive preparation, I was not able to answer 2-3 questions during my interview, and I did not even think of improvising as I didn’t want to look like I was giving an answer for the sake not answering it. I genuinely told them I didn’t know, and they proceeded onto the next question. There might be ways to improvise and give smart answers, if you are a person that can do it smoothly, but I didn’t want to risk things going sideways because of the two or three questions I did not know overshadowing the rest of my performance.
Careers360: How must one approach a PI topic? Could you share some Dos and Don’ts for the same?
Aiswarya Padma B - I think giving a lot of mocks for the GD-WAT-PI process is just as important as giving mocks for CAT/XAT exams. We must practise writing short 1 page essays, efficient communication, speaking in a group and so on. Most of all, we should be able to answer questions about ourselves. During GD, we will be given 5 minutes to gather our thoughts, and we must note down all points that come to us then, structure it into good sentences and time each point according to the discussion flow.
Some of the DOs -
Note down all points during the time given before GD
Try to speak and express unique points during the GD
Keep your calm during the process
Try to initiate and conclude the GD if possible
Speak at least once during the GD, because if you remain silent, they have nothing they can evaluate your GD performance on
Some of the DON’Ts -
Do not get stressed or tensed on seeing the interview panel or on entering the GD room
Do not interrupt others while speaking
Do not repeat points
Do not hog the discussion. Give others a chance to speak
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 PI?
Aiswarya Padma B - Time management does help the interviewer understand the candidate as it is an essential skill for MBA. Whatever skill set that you add, also think of 1 or 2 instances where you portrayed that skill as it can help you explain the skill set if it comes up during the interview.
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.
Aiswarya Padma B - I was tense as I waited in the waiting room for the GD-WAT-PI process. But after my GD, I felt that I had done well, so I eased into it. Both my HRM and BM panels consisted of three professors. I felt very scared during my HRM interview as the panel wasn’t very comforting and all my answers didn't seem to satisfy them. I left the room without saying “Thank you” as I felt too tense.
During my BM interview, as it was Holi, and also because I was the first person to be called in, I felt optimistic. I wished the panel good morning and Happy Holi! I was comfortable throughout the whole interview, I caught a smile or two from the panel and that gave me the confidence to go on. I left with the very hearty “Thank you!” to them, hoping that I had shown them that I had what it took to make it to XLRI.
Careers360: Which interview turned out to be the best one? Enlighten us about the finest one according to you.
Aiswarya Padma B - My BM interview was the best one I faced. It was on the day of Holi and I was the first person to be called in. I entered, happy, optimistic and hopeful, wished the panel a very good morning and happy holi! I was able to answer the questions confidently, it was mostly based on the points I had given during my GD, about Mahatma Gandhi. In the end I was asked about a famous personality, with the same name as mine, and I blurted out a wrong answer by mistake, at which point they all started laughing. I corrected myself in the end and was able to end the interview gracefully, with a “Thank you!”.
Careers360: What about the questions which you found difficult to answer? How did you reply to those?
Aiswarya Padma B - I was given a few analytical questions based on my GD topic and I found myself thinking for about 40 seconds about the answer, during which I was silent. The interviewers were patient enough to give me time to structure my thoughts and answer it. But it was unexpected as I was not prepared to answer such questions. But, I never lost my cool, I took my own sweet time to answer it and was able to do it to the best of my efforts. I was also not able to answer 2-3 questions as I didn’t know the answers, but I did not try to improvise or come up with a bad answer, so I honestly told the panel that I didn’t know, after which they moved onto the next question.
Careers360: In those situations, was the panel easy or harsh on you? What should one do when s/he has no answer?
Aiswarya Padma B - The panel was very patient and accommodating. They were not harsh on me, instead gave me a lot of time to give them a good answer. In cases I wasn’t able to answer, I told them I didn’t know, and they moved onto the next question. I think it’s not too bad to say “I don’t know”. But it’s not a strategy I recommend to be followed throughout the interview. As long as you are performing well and face two or three questions you don’t know the answers to, it’s okay to say “I don’t know”.
Careers360: What were the most fascinating questions you were asked? Please share your answers too.
Aiswarya Padma B - I was asked a lot of questions based on my GD topic, Mahatma Gandhi. I was also asked about the native place of Aishwarya Rai, a famous personality I share my name with. I was asked about a person that inspired me a lot to improve and develop myself as a person, and I answered saying it was one of my seniors from school that made me change my way of thinking and substantiated it.
Careers360: How different is an XLRI Jamshedpur interview in comparison to other top B-School interviews? Are there major differences? (If you have appeared for IIMs)
Aiswarya Padma B - I’ve not appeared for other interviews as I only had XLRI BM and HRM calls.
Careers360: How did you go about the preparations for PI? Did you search or look up some questions or practice mock PIs?
Aiswarya Padma B - I had enrolled at T.I.M.E Trivandrum for CAT coaching, and they also helped me with the mock GD-WAT-PI process. I started my preparation in January itself, as soon as the XLRI shortlist was declared for the GD-WAT-PI process. I had also reached out to my seniors from college, who had converted XLRI the previous year, and they helped me a lot with my preparation. I read up a few interview experiences and made a few questions for myself, which I kept on answering and restructuring during my preparation.
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Questions related to XAT
I want the full syllabus of XAT 2021. please help me as soon as possible. thank you
Xavier School of Management has not yet provided an official statement of the syllabus of XAT 2021, so what we can provide is the common syllabus which has been continued in the previous years and will be in the upcoming exams.
Please refer to the below mentioned link to have a detail about different subjects and its syllabus.
I hope it helps.
Out of MAT, CMAT, SNAP, XAT and IIFT, which is the exam whose result is accepted by more B-Schools and which of them should I prepare for, apart from CAT ?
Among these the most important exams you must prepare for is XAT and IIFT. XAT is primarily for the XLRI which is the best management institute for the MBA - HR in the country.
You should also prepare for the IIFT as it is the institute which calls students only on the basis of IIFT test score and do not care about the past academic performance.
Hope this helps. Thank you.
can we get admission through cmat xat and mat in pgdm in pr and event management?
In India there are various colleges which offer this course some are given below
National Institute of Event Management
Amity Institute of Event Management
King's institute tourism and hotel management institute
University of Technology and Management
Institute of Integrated Marketing Communication and Management
National Academy of Event Management and Development
So this are the colleges which accept CAT/MAT/XAT
Hope this helps
IF I HAVENT GIVEN ANY EXAM LIKE CAT,MAT,XAT E.T.C THEN , HAVE I ANY CHANCE TO GET A SEAT IN MBA
You can give the May MAT 2020 Entrance exam. Many colleges do accept May MAT Score. You can look for the IILM Lodhi road as one of your options. IILM Lodhi road is the oldest campus located in central Delhi. The alumni base is phenomenal which is a strong strength. The alumni of IILM are placed in a very senior position in the corporates that gives an advantage to the institute both in terms of placement, industry connections and engagement. Senior alumni conducting placement workshops, delivering guest lectures and guiding summer projects could be very useful to students with work experience and industry mentors. There are a lot of foreign partner institutes and semester exchange students from around the world make classes diverse and interesting. Faculty members have got both industry and international exposure which makes classes more interesting and relevant. With a huge alumni base of 12000+ with most of them at senior positions. The faculty-student ratio is the best here, a lot of one-on-one mentoring is provided to develop student personalities, CVs and also prepare them for the selection processes. We have some of the good companies on campus for SIP & placements like Amazon, RB, ICICI, Oppo, HDFC, Loreal, Khimji Ramdas, Modelez, Deloitte etc.
what is the success rate of CAT/XAT?
CAT and XAT exams are conducted every year for admission to MBA courses in IIMs and other top Bussiness schools of the country.
Every year around 2-3 lakh students apply for this exam for admission to premiere institutions of the country.
Sucess rate means the number of students passing the exam per 100 students who appear for it.
For CAT the success rate is around 2% i.e around 2 out of every 100 students who appear clear this examination.
However its better to focus on preparation.
Follow this link for more information on CAT and preparation tips