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Success Stories

The Common Entrance Test (CET) topper
Posted on : 20-10-2010 Source : The Career Guide

 The Common Entrance Test (CET) is a competitive exam conducted for the purpose of admission of students to the first year or first semester of full time courses in Medical, Dental and Engineering Courses in professional colleges within every state in India.

 The professional colleges in the state offering such courses are affiliated to the state-run universities, and admit students through the CET annually. The Common Entrance Test is increasingly becoming popular among Indian aspirants as it allows the students to apply to different colleges across the country. Thus the Common Entrance Test increases the choice of the students and also helps them save valuable time. Common entrance examinations are held to admit students in almost all the professional courses such as medical, engineering, MBA, MCA, Pharmacy, law, nursing and others. Students from States like Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat appear for the CET as a path, leading them to their career goals.

Candidates seeking admissions into different professional courses should not miss out checking the CET calendar and its details so that they gather information about medical, engineering, MBA, MCA, law, pharmacy, nursing or other entrance exams.
The student communities are abuzz with CET. The young aspirants are ready to gallop onto the peak of their careers, saddled by CET.
A few students have been approached and asked to share their views about the CommonEntrance Test. A short Tete-a-tete with topper Tejas Jasani.
Tell us something about your background.
I have completed my Electronics Engineering from Sardar Patel College of Engineering, Mumbai. I have worked with IBM India Pvt. Ltd. as an Associate System Engineer for six months and for another six months with Career Launcher India Ltd. as an Academic Executive.
In terms of academics, I have been a consistent performer and have been rewarded with scholarships from Sir JRD Tata Trust and Sir Ratan Tata Trust. I have also focussed on extra-curricular activities during my academic life. I am a Karate Black Belt from Shotokan Karate, an art that I have been practising for about 13 years. I have been the Finance In-charge of the Electronics Students Association of my college, and have offered active participation in inter-collegiate festivals. My interests include touring, trekking and teaching.
What is your goal in life and why did you want to pursue Management?
I have short, medium and long-term goals. Short-term goals are related to knowledge building in the field of Finance as well as General Management, and getting a job in a reputed company. Medium goals relate to growing with the company and acquiring expertise in varied fields. Long-term, though not very specific, could be starting my own enterprise.
The answer to "Why MBA" is very subjective. I relate it to certain activities in my academic life where I found myself inclined towards Finance and Management. Also, MBA gives me a broader perspective of the business and expands my career opportunities.
How did you prepare for CET?
With MBA in mind, I had started preparing for CAT in August 2005. I took CAT 2006 (96.67 percentile) and CET 2007 (99.3 percentile). That was the last year of my Engineering and I couldn't manage to get into a good B-school. Considering my progress, I was offered a job at Career Launcher, where I started by solving doubts of students. This helped me sharpen my basics, and as I gained confidence, I also started taking a few lectures for Quant and DI. Once the fundamentals were in place, cracking CET meant developing speed. For that I took a number of Mock Tests. More importantly, I analysed my strong areas and developed strategies to optimise my scores. With a lot of practice, the right strategies, and luck on my side, the 99.99 percentile at CET was possible.
Please enumerate the difference between CET and other management exams.
CET is different from management exams like CAT and XAT in terms of the difficulty level. While these exams focus on intelligence, CET focuses more on speed, accuracy and quick decision-making. Hence, the difficulty level in CET is much lower compared to CAT or XAT. Unlike other exams, CET does not have sections, and hence, there is only one Cut-Off (overall). It does not include a general awareness section which is present in a number of management exams. To a large extent, it gives equal opportunities to students from different fields to achieve good scores.
What is the difficulty level of CET as compared to CAT?
The difficulty level in CET is quite low as compared to CAT. Having said that, the number of questions is more and accuracy required is higher.
What were the salient features of your CET preparations during the last 30 days to CET?
In the last thirty days, I relied more on practice. I tried to increase my attempts, and tried to identify areas where accuracy could be improved. I took 3-4 Mock Tests every week in the last 30 days. Though I had a strategy which was working for me, it is advisable to try out different strategies during practice, and figure out which one works the best for you.
What was your strategy for the CET exam day?
On the exam day, I did not solve a single sum, nor did I go through any material. If you haven't gone through something till the last day, it is anyway not going to fetch you marks in the exam. It may only increase the tension which can be detrimental. I had a good sleep. Got up early, had a healthy breakfast and read the newspaper. I was confident that I will crack the exam. I just had to say to myself that if I tried my best for CET, I will get the best results if I am destined to get into JBIMS. I will give it my best shot. Also an important thing, it is very normal to feel nervous on the day (in fact it is also important to some extent). Just accept it, and don't let it affect your focus.
CET also involves lot of speed, any special strategies?
If a question takes more than 1.5-2.0 minutes, it is better to guess the answer and move ahead, because even if you get to the answer, the time spent is not worth the marks scored. Identify your weak areas. When I say weak areas, these are questions which take more time to solve. Keep these questions to the end and start solving the paper from start to end. For example, I kept Visual Reasoning, Syllogisms and Series questions to the end in that order. It is not advisable to choose and answer questions. It wastes a lot of time. Going in a sequence is much faster.
Any change in preparation strategy in hindsight?
Not really. A strategy is as important as your belief that it will work for you. Don't copy strategies blindly. Form your own strategy, because you are the best judge for your strengths and weaknesses.
List the 5 most important preparation points with 30 days remaining and some mistakes to avoid.
1. Practice.
2. Do not over-practice.
3. Get your fundamentals right.
4. Set targets for number of questions to be solved.
5. Identify the strategy that works best for you.
How is life at JBIMS?
Life at JBIMS is like a lavish buffet. It offers you a huge amount of opportunities in all fields. Whether it is -
1) Academics.
2) Extra-Curricular Activities: Inter and intra-collegiate events like "Prayaag" and "Strategym".
3) Industry Interaction: Frequent Guest Lectures and "Samanvay".
4) Practical Assignments: Summers and Off-Summers.
If you have a quest to learn, JBIMS has a platform for you.
Among its contemporaries, where do you place JBIMS?
I would place JBIMS right among the top B-schools of the country. The reason being it has an excellent intellectual infrastructure with the top-120 students of the 75,000-odd students appearing for CET. It has one of the best libraries in the country. The faculty at JBIMS is among the most experienced people from the corporate world. It's location in the heart of the financial capital gives incredible opportunities for industry interaction.
Can you give an insight of the factors that affected your choice of college?
In order of importance: -
1. Reputation.
2. Student Quality.
3. Placements.
4. Location.
Any strategies you would like to advice to this year's aspirants?
Apart from the strategies that I have mentioned, it is important to note that the difficulty level or the pattern may change. It is important to be dynamic, keep your cool, and be confident.
Give some advantages which JBIMS enjoys over other colleges in its league?
1. Location.
2. Freedom and Responsibility.
3. Quality of Faculty.
How was your experience in the CET Group Discussion and Personal Interview (GD&PI)?
Group Discussion (GD):
1. Group of 14 students.
2. Three Panel lists.
3. Semi-circular seating arrangement.
4. Topic selected: "Management Education in India is a Luxury".
5. Duration: About 15 minutes.
It was a very calm Group Discussion. Everyone had an opportunity to speak, though only 4-5 aspirants made substantial points. I introduced a number of new points which were then discussed by others. All in all, I was satisfied by my performance. However, I scored only 13 marks in the GD.
Personal Interview (PI):
Every candidate is asked to fill-up a form giving his personal details. The form is the same each year. Most of the questions in the interview are based on what you right in the form. My interview was a very comfortable experience. It was the first interview of the day. There were no stressful questions. I was allowed to prove my points. Some general questions, like "Why MBA", "Why Finance", and some questions based on work experience and academics were asked. I scored 15/17 in the PI. No answer is right or wrong in an interview. It is only your confidence and belief that is tested along with your communication skills and smartness.

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