Here goes my preparation story………
I had been working with RIL since 1st August 2017 as a Shift Engineer in DTA CPP.(DTA Refinery, Captive power plant). I had completed my B.Tech. in Mechanical engineering from SRM University (Main campus) Chennai.
Problems faced :
My working hours mostly were in 12-hour shifts. The day shift started at 6am and ended at 6pm. The night shift would begin at 6pm and end at 6am. This was for a continuous period of 7 days working atthe plant. The next 7 days were spent working from home due to the upsurge of Covid in India from March 2020.The support extended by my family members and friends helped me to focus on work and simultaneously plan for my future course of action.
Strategy for MBA exams :
Importance of Time Management : After an arduous 12 hours duty it was indeed taxing to focus on studies during the working days.However,with a predetermined spirit I used to set aside 2 hours for my studies during those days. In those 2 hours, I aimed to solve and read English grammar-related topics or focus on solving DI/LR topics that had appeared in previous SNAP/NMAT papers. During the Work from home days, when the workload was low or almost nil for me, I made optimum use of time to compensate for the time lost during the working day. Here I focused on covering as many Quant topics as possible.Next I made it a point to practice topic-wise exercise tests whenever I could get time. Like any other MBA aspirant, I had focused my preparation towards cracking CAT till September 2020. I also made sure that I cover topics related to other exams like NMAT & SNAP under the Quantitative Ability and Verbal section, thereby making an exhaustive common preparation plan.
After September 2020 my strategy towards SNAP and NMAT changed. Solving Mock exams from various online platforms and analyzingmy attempts in SNAP & NMAT was a game-changer for me. I used to rectify my mistakes and made sure if any new or different topic appeared I append it to my formula/Revision book. I usually referred to Hitbullseye Quants formula book, Sarvesh Varma Quantum CAT for revising my Quant formulas and solving questions. For the VA section and vocabulary, I had prepared my own “LEARN FROM PAST EXPERIENCE” book which was neatly bookmarked and indexed. The last 10 pages of the book would contain the new and difficult words that I had encountered during my regular reading of newspapers and mocks.
Importance of Mocks : For Mocks, I had access to CRACKU test series and also gave free mocks at Hitbullseye, careeranna, ckcetking, learn4exam. In total for SNAP, I had given 12 mocks across different platforms apart from solving the previous year's SNAP papers (2006-2018). The difficulty level varied and this helped me to improve my attempt.I focused on cognitive understanding and my speed.
I had SNAP on 20th December 2020 & 6th January 2021. I gave 5 mocks before my SNAP attempts. I had scored around 90 percentile in the mocks till my 2nd SNAP attempt. I was confident about my speed with the mocks I had given as in atleast 9 mocks out of 12, I had viewed and attempted all the questions of the exam, and marked answers only those in which I was sure of.
Strategy for the exam day-My SNAP percentile: 95.2.
On the D-day, I made sure that in the first 10 minutes I complete the Verbal Ability section(15 Questions). In the next 25 minutes, I focussed on the Quantitative Ability section in which I faced a hard time initially.I was successful in eliminating 2 out of 4 options. I remained defiant and optimistic while attempting the LR section. I started my LR section after 40 minutes were over, and finished that section when I had just the last 3 minutes left. In those 3 minutes, I had a look at the 8 mark questions, in which I had cracked 5 questions correctly. The remaining 3 questions were of the Quant section which I had unmarked at the end.
Personal Interview, Written Ability Test, Group Exercise Preparation :
I had my WAT on 19th February and GEPI on 24th February 2021. I was mentally ready for the entire process to be online and I consider my typing speed as good which had helped me fare well in WAT. The long editorials of The Hindu newspaper helped me framing my structure for essay writing which is asked in WAT.
For Personal Interview preparation, I had enrolled at Hitbullseye. I am grateful to Shivani Tanwar madam for her insights from my mock PI performance. Apart from this, I was a regular reader of the Manorama yearbook and The Hindu newspaper to keep me updated with current affairs.
Here are a few tips that worked for me and I hope these may work for you as well:
- Do take the mock tests and solve previous year papers, analyze your performance.
- Never feel under-confident about poor scores in mock tests, they are just to practice and find out your weaknesses. Focus on speed and accuracy. It’s the combination of the two that helped me to score well in the SNAP exam.
- Read more and more to improve your performance in the Verbal section
- Never let your hopes down. After my CAT exam, I was down with Covid and I had just finished my mandatory 14 days recovery before my 1st SNAP attempt. As I was not satisfied with my first attempt despite my extensive preparation, I focussed more on mocks and stirred up my mental toughness to beat my laxity and weakness as I was still recovering from COVID-related weakness issues, before my 2ndSNAP attempt. Here I believe I had hit the jackpot. Always maximize your attempts in each exam.
- Skim through the paper(section-wise) and solve the easy questions in a particular section. Adhere to the self-set time limit for each section. Do keep 5minutes at least for revision at the end.
- If one has a good calculation speed, then it helps in the DI and Quant section. Therefore, focus on learning tricks to improve your calculations.
Don’t fear the grind, get through it and you will eventually see the light on the other side of the long tunnel.