It’s a standard career path – after engineering do your MBA and then land a job with a multinational firm. I had that option. I got admission to IIM Bangalore. EE from IIT Bombay, 3 years at Larsen and Toubro being a sales engineer, almost a perfect career path. IIM Ahmedabad would have been perhaps slightly better though.
What happened? When I entered IIT Bombay’s electrical engineering department at the age of 16, I didn’t think of all these. All I knew was to do well, up to my full potential.
At IIT, I started practicing books like Test Your IQ (mathematical) and I was surprised. 50 questions, 30 minutes. I took about 10 minutes, about 45-47 answers correct. The book could not put in the curve because it ended at about 200 IQ. It appeared that I was perhaps among the highest IQ person. It was unbelievable. There in the class room the professors were teaching something, Narendra Karmarkar seemed to understand them all, most of my classmates seemed to understand parts of it. And I almost nothing. Luckily at IIT, professors gave you a passing grade, if you wrote something on the test paper. Therefore, some semesters I got all Cs, one B or something. 6.5 GPA seemed just safe. I graduated with 6.86.
This 200+ IQ seemed like a joke to me. Perhaps they wanted the book to sell well.
In 3rd or 4th borrowed sample GRE and GMAT tests and the result was the same. There were 5 sample GMAT tests. In all of them, in Quantitative sections, I consistently got 56 to 58 questions correct out of 60. What surprised me most was the time taken. They gave you 30 minutes for each section, I finished each of them in about 10 minutes 25 seconds.
Something didn’t make sense. My interpretation was that GMAC didn’t want to reveal actual questions and gave us sample tests with made up real sillly question.
Much later, when I took the tests, I realized they were of real difficulty levels.
In America when Princeton Review instructor, my OR professor, Cornell’s quant professor, Steve Evans of UC, Berkeley’s statistics department and others talked favorably about my abilities, I realized maybe IIT professors didn’t know a thing. And all my classmates were posers, getting 50%ile to 60%ile on GRE but pretending to be know-alls. Very typical Indians. And when Chinese laugh at them, they are hurt.
If IITs cared about proper education, it would have immensely helped me. But they were more interested in Narendra Karmarkar, who some one had told me in the first year, had taken JEE earlier and studied further. Now he is pride of India and there is no chance of investigating his background. If Einstein was born in India, and went to IIT, he would have declared to be mentally deficit, unfit for Microsoft job.