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Expert Suggestions on Preparation for Computer Based CAT-09

"B-School Diary : Snapshots from IIMB"

- by Prasar Sharma*                     


Believe it or not... I'm back!!!

It's vacation time at IIMB. Yes! We actually have them here. And yes, it also means that I have completed one term. And YES also that I am now looking forward with extreme fear to that morning about 20 days away when we get our grades. RG shall rear its ugly head and we shall see the results of the immeasurable volumes of CP that so many of our mates indulged so desperately in.

And for you poor uninitiated souls, here is Episode II of IIM Jargon...

CP: In the 'modern U Shaped lecture halls' of the IIMs, Class Participation is the mantra that all our 'revered' kings of RG cling to.

It's an extremely sick concept. We, the members of the Learning Mode Society - we can't even sleep in class. Instead, we must spend an hour thinking up of weird, pointless crap that we can throw up in the guise of fountains of logic. The vagueness of the whole concept stems from the fact that it inspires you to indulge in pointless blabber and still earns you marks. Yeah... our marketing course actually had 15% of grades devoted to CP!
It started of as a way of getting people to share experience, gain it and to basically contribute to the value-add. But sample this...

Date: Duh! Happens everyday in some form or the other.

Place: IIM everywhere. Stats Class

PROF: ... So what this essentially means is that the area under the curve between the upper and lower limits is 95%...
(... before the prof has had his say... RG King has shot up his hand... the prof hasn't even noticed him... but he believes that it is his birthright� so...)

RG KING: ... Sir, so that essentially means that by basic calculation and by innovative application of mathematical logic and by the ... (the class is groaning) and by applying acute analytical skills, we can actually make some interesting conclusions (... by this time even I have woken up). The conclusion that I have reached through my mental ability (... my mouth is gaping wide open... ditto the rest of the class... even the prof is getting there) without the aid of a calculator ... in continuation of what you were saying and consequent to your piercing insight and with the aid of my razor sharp number skills ... is that (... the prof is now scratching his head trying to figure out what he had done!!!) the area under the curve but outside the limits can actually be calculated and is in fact equal to 5%!!! (... he looks around like a satisfied cat after having eaten a mouse... people gape at him in horror... he thinks they are awestruck... even the prof... so much so that he has actually fainted.... wait till I tell him that there are no marks for CP in Stats!)

As NBC would so proudly say... NOW YOU KNOW!

(By the way NBC is nothing sinister�. yet for the uninitiated it stands for the National Broadcasting Corporation).

If class was horror... then the last two weeks were pure terror. What else would you call sleeping regularly at 6 in the morning for almost a week!
(In case you didn't read the first part: I usually go to sleep much earlier, at 4 in the morning). And the culprits were those "group projects". They actually wanted to get us used to working in groups... make us feel comfortable about it. Did they succeed? Less said about it the better. You really have to wonder about this: In engineering college, we wrote one project report in 4 years, which was hardly worth the paper that we wrote it on. At IIMB, we have had to do 4 such projects in one term. What has been even worse is that we actually had to work on them this time round. And as if that wasn't torture enough, we had profs mailing us now and again telling us about more and more assignments to do and presentations to make. The end terms were a week away, I hadn't studied a word. And in these tough times, when I needed inspiration... that golden piece of advice from my seniors kept replaying in my head...

"So what if you screwed up till now... the end terms have the greatest weightage... you can cover up in them!"

OK! Advice accepted. From where do I get the time?
"You'll be a manager soon... manage it dude!"

But before you could even say 'try'... Placecom struck. We actually had to file resumes and fill forms for something like 25 companies despite the fact that we had projects to do and exams to write. But that wasn't too bad either till you realized that the Summer Placement season was here. The companies were now going to lineup at the holy abode of the future Gods of Management to lap up the "best talent". Now I was really depressed! In case you are still wondering why, go back to the part in the inverted commas!

And while the carnage was happening, there were still 5 exams to write. Three of these were open book. In case you are an IIM aspirant - WIPE THAT SMILE OFF YOUR FACE! An open book exam is usually what is usually called an "open challenge" by most normal people. When a prof says that his exam will be "open book", you can safely assume that the next thing he'll do is swagger down to his office, lock himself in and have the laugh of his life!

"60 more suckers!!!!!!"... I am afraid that this is what you must decipher the real sentiments from... the 'truth' is quite unprintable.

But then when you are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea... you will always choose - open book. Because that means that depending upon how much more fun loving the profs in the other sections are, you are likely to get a night of sleep and the other sections a free night out with Philip Kotler's epic work on Marketing!

The bodies keep piling up, until the day when you get the break that you so desperately needed. 15 days of pure (?) ecstasy. What an event to look forward to. Just imagine that you will get to spend a few days at home after 3 months of terror. Every day shall dawn with you desperately checking the college mail account for short lists for the summer placements. Each day shall take you closer by one to the day you shall return back to the grind.... O! What a lovely future!

Dear Diary, it was lovely talking to you again tonight. One month after I last talked to you. I have begun to believe that I can actually survive this place. I have begun to develop that confidence. But, then I'm not sure how long that will last - Summer Placements happen next week!


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