Meet Shirish Kumar (name changed) who scored 99 percentile but still thinks he may not get a call from IIM after all.
Shirish Kumar was one of the estimated 2 lakh students who appeared for CAT 2010.
The 26-year-old lecturer at a promient engineering college in Mumbai scored 99.1 percentile in the second online version of CAT and could've well been over the moon.
However Kumar isn't expecting any calls from any of the major IIMs because he couldn't make the sectional cut.
His sectional scores are as follows: Logic: 98.97 percentile, Verbal: 97.02 and the bummer, Quant: 91.72.
"I believe you need a higher sectional cut off to get a call. My Quant score will definitely come in the way of getting admission into one of the best IIMs," he says. "I do hope to get a call from the newer IIMs but I am not entirely sure of that either."
Needless to say Kumar is disappointed but is now looking forward to appearing for the Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (CET) so he can get into Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management in Mumbai.
He hasn't however given up his hopes entirely.
"Maybe I'll appear again for CAT next year. I just need to work on my Quant," he says, "During this time I will be able to get six more months of work experience."
Work experience according to Kumar is crucial since it gives one an understanding of how the industry works and more importantly, an edge over the others when getting selected.
"The IIMs consider work experience very seriously when they make the calls. There are specific marks for it. Unless you're extremely smart, work experience counts," he says.
Kumar completed his graduation in electrical engineering from the same college he is teaching at and went on to do an MS in VLSI (Very-large-scale-integration) from the University of Texas at Austin.
He returned to Mumbai and says that he plans to stay and work here for personal reasons.
Kumar says, "There aren't a lot of jobs in my area of specialisation here. I figured that an MBA will help me get a good paying job in Mumbai itself."
This isn't the first time he's appeared for CAT but the online avatar has been a far different experience.
"I had appeared four years ago and scored about 98 percentile but did not get a call from any of the IIMs. Appearing for CAT online has been quite something. On paper, it was simpler to do calculations because all the data was before you. Now you physically have to take down all the data on a rough sheet and work on it. That can be time consuming."
The one lesson that Kumar takes out of all of this however is that he has to work real hard on Quant, which was his weak subject even during CAT 2006.