I work with K-12 and college students on improving study-skills, leadership, and non-cognitive skills, and as an admissions consultant for MBA programs in North America and Europe. I did my undergraduate program from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur and MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. During the course of my academic and professional career, I have cleared several highly competitive entrance exams and contests. Some of them are:
These exams and competitions are extremely diverse in nature: whereas one lasted four hours, another lasted thirty-two hours spread over a year; whereas some were based only on objective-type questions, others were based mainly on essays and networking; whereas some were regional, others were international; whereas one had 180 applicants (it was still tough), another had 300,000. Through this experience, I followed certain study-techniques (some of them I discovered in the hindsight), and I can tell you intellect and genius are only remotely part of these. A person of average intelligence can do as well, or even better. I did it.