S. Sidharrth of Madurai who scored 95.8 per cent in CAT and got a place at IIM, Ahmedabad. Photo: G. Moorthy
“Not many from the south take CAT as they lack awareness”
For S. Sidharrth, scoring 95.8 per cent in Common Admission Test (CAT) and securing a seat in Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, is a dream come true.
Having worked as an associate software engineer at Fidelity Business Services in Bangalore, Mr. Sidharrth got the inspiration to take up CAT on seeing many of his colleagues write the test.
An engineering graduate from Thiagarajar College of Engineering here, he cleared CAT in second attempt.
“I had to balance work and studies. I spent six hours a day studying after work hours. Reading newspapers and keeping myself updated on current affairs helped me a lot. I took nearly 20 mock tests and assessed the results,” he told ‘The Hindu’ on Tuesday.
Effective time management and reading a lot to improve communication skills are essential to get selected for admission to the prestigious IIMs, said M. Vignesh and B. C. Someshwar from Madurai, who have secured places at IIM, Bangalore.
Mr. Vignesh, a graduate from Karunya University, worked at Accenture in Bangalore for two years before writing CAT. He got selected for IIM, Bangalore and IIM, Calcutta with a score of 98.85 per cent and has chosen IIM, Bangalore.
“I attended a professional coaching institute four weekends before my interview. Otherwise, I prepared for a year after returning from work. Reading editorial pages in ‘The Hindu’ helped me articulate stand on different issues,” he said.
Mr. Someshwar, another graduate from Thiagarajar College of Engineering and employee of KMPG in Chennai, scored 89.98 per cent in CAT.
“Reading magazines and learning new words are necessary, apart from proper coaching from experienced trainers. Minimum one year of preparation is sufficient,” he said.
According to Mr. Sidharrth, while cities such as Chennai and Tiruchi generate more graduates attending the IIMs, most southern districts, including Madurai, are not able to produce such students in large numbers mainly because of lack of awareness and motivation.
“We have good resources here, but the colleges should motivate the students better and give good exposure. I think it will only be a matter of time for the number of candidates from Madurai to increase. Students should start preparing from third year in college,” he concluded.