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Cracking KTH Master’s Challenge 2017

If you have read my previous post, then you probably already know how I ended up preparing for KTH Master’s Challenge. In case you haven’t, you can read about it here- “My Road to Sweden”.

But, if you’re wondering what am talking about, well then here it is. KTH Master’s Challenge is a competition that’s being conducted in India for the past 4 years. The competition has also been conducted in Indonesia during the past. The contest aims to seek the brightest minds in the country to pursue a Master’s degree at KTH Royal Institute of Technology with a complete tuition-fee waiver of worth approximately 2,300,000 INR.

In 2017, The competition was powered by Sqore, in partnership with Formulate IP who offered a 6-week internship opportunity to the winners. The contest was conducted for three programmes and one winner was chosen per programme.

Cracking KTH Master’s Challenge gave me the golden ticket to Sweden. I am truly grateful to KTH and Sqore for giving me this opportunity of my lifetime. Life went for a complete changeover after winning this prestigious award!

Exactly a year ago, I was preparing for KTH Master’s Challenge with about a million questions on my mind. Time flies indeed, the next version of the competition is just around the corner. And, I have already started receiving questions on my Facebook and LinkedIn, from the 2018 aspirants. Well, I was exactly in the same state a year ago, foraging the internet for some direction. So, I thought why not write a blog post about it. I hope you will find my experience useful. I will truly be glad if this post brings you at least one bit closer to winning KTH Master’s Challenge.

There is no substitute for hard work. – Thomas A. Edison

 

 

 

This is my most favorite quote, so much so that I have this stuck on the wall by my study space and yes, I do take the efforts to live by it. The feeling of that immense satisfaction and happiness you get after completing something with hard work and sweat is definitely incomparable. Moreover, when hard work goes in, success follows, or even if it doesn’t, you would have gained the learning and the invaluable experience. Likewise, just participating in KTH Master’s Challenge will give you a very enriching experience, because the competition not only gives you the platform to prove your skills across every sphere but also an opportunity to look deeper in analyzing your potential and interests.

Apart from the general registration and the final application procedures, the competition in 2017 had 3 tasks. Firstly, we had to take up three quizzes that tested our knowledge and skills in logical reasoning, knowledge of Sweden and KTH, and our academic background. Secondly, we had to write a case study, following which was to submit a motivational statement. Based on our performances in these tasks, five finalists per each programme were selected. After an interview process, three winner nominees were announced. The final winners were announced during the nerve-wracking award ceremony.

The Quizzes 

Like I mentioned, there were three quiz sections. Each section had a time constraint and we could only answer a question once. There was no option to go back and change it.

Section 1: Test in Logical Reasoning Skills 

Since I had given my GRE exam around that time, this section seemed pretty easy to me. The questions mostly tested our quantitative aptitude, verbal reasoning and logical reasoning of course. I think the main aim of this section was to gauge if you had the critical and analytical skills to just take up a Master’s course. The standard was definitely not like the ETS GRE, so you can relax about it. But don’t take it lightly, because this section can give you a full score like a breeze. 🙂

Section 2: Test in Knowledge of Sweden and KTH

Just as the heading suggests, the quiz simply tested us on some facts about this wonderful country and KTH. So, some simple googling will be just fine. Besides, it only makes sense to know the good things about your new home!

Study in Sweden” website has some amazing information to know more about Sweden in general. And trust me, I am so glad to have gone through it. Do explore KTH website to read about KTH, our sustainability goals, your programme etc. This will come of great help during the interview as well.

Other useful links :

Section 3: Test in Academic Background

Here is the hard part! This section had mostly numerical questions from the chosen programme. Most of the questions were easy and involved just some fundamental concepts. But, as I always tell, the tough ones decide the winner! So be prepared to tackle some difficult problems too.

Well, I think, one thing can be kept in mind is that these quizzes have a time constraint and are meant to be solved in a short duration. So, the key is to be sure that they can indeed be solved in an easy way. Just in case if you’re having a complicated way of solving it, then I advise you to take a step back and approach it a bit differently.

Approximation of numbers can get you closer to the answer much faster! Because they are all multiple choice questions, well mostly and also, I did notice that most of the options were numerically spaced apart. so approximation must work for the majority of the questions. It’s so much easier to calculate 10,000 x 10,000 than calculating 99,345 *98789, don’t you think? 😉

If you get stuck up in something, give a random entry and move on. The clock is ticking!

Last but not the least. If you have no clue about a question, then please do not skip it. Think intuitively and trust your instincts in choosing what you feel can be conceptually right. You never know, Luck might just favor you. 🙂

But, don’t bank much on the luck factor. The competition has a case study and an interview too! 😀 If you have a formula book, I would advise you to brush up your fundamentals and basic formulae before the exam. Do not give the test without any preparation. Take a good one week to analyze the competition structure for this year and prepare accordingly before giving it the shot. Plan it well and stick to the deadlines, please.

The Case Study

Case Study is the most interesting part. I got a really interesting topic, I bet you’d too. Do you know that examination system is quite different here in Sweden? you can actually carry a formulae book and even a handwritten note to the exam.  Few subjects might not even have a final exam, they will be graded by home exams, assignments, and labs. They do not test us in our ability to memorize but rather in our cognitive ability to analyze, to think critically and to apply the knowledge.

I hope now you know about what is expected out of you in the case study. So, give it enough time to read thoroughly about the topic. It will be a wise move to go through recent journal publications. Analyse different solutions, advantages, and drawbacks wherever possible. A diligent preparation is mandatory if you want to present an awesome case study.

Stick to the rules, the word limits etc. Remember, if you want to win, you got to submit a winning case study, so give it that much effort. Be crisp in your points, yet comprehensive as well. All the best!

The Motivational Statement

This is probably the easiest part.

Be yourself! 

You can point out few things like …

  • About yourself
  • why are you planning for a master’s degree?
  • Why choose this particular programme?
  • What are your achievements?
  • What are your short term and long term goals?
  • Why do you think you need this scholarship?
  • What difference can this make to your life?

Again, Stick to the rules. Don’t exceed the word count. Keep it honest and persuasive. The judges will have to easily read 1000 essays I guess, so make it sound interesting 🙂

The Interview

Attending a skype interview with a foreigner can be a very different experience. It was very new to me. I was nervous and excited at the same time. The cocktail of emotions can be a bit overwhelming but try to stay calm and collected during the process. Be prepared to face questions from your quizzes, case study, and motivational statement. Do read about recent technology advancements in your stream. It’s up to you to drive the interview to be interesting or downhill 😉 Well, it cannot be downhill because the programme directors will make sure you feel comfortable and the environment will be quite easy and casual.

I really think that this is the part where they are looking forward to seeing the person in you beyond academics. For the reason that your technical skills have already been graded, so, it is important that you be yourself and honest in the interview. It will just be a half an hour to one hour interview. Use the time well and show them that you’re passionate. 🙂

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure -Colin Powell

 

 

Well, that’s about my experience and the tips I can share with you to win KTH master’s Challenge. Forgive me for such a long post. I hope you will benefit. Leave your feedback in the comment section 🙂 If you want me to write about anything more, you can mention that to me in the comment section as well. All the best and good luck!!! May the prestigious Scholarship be yours! 🙂

Below are the links to few other blogs where you can find more useful information about KTH Master’s Challenge

Meet the winners of KTH Master’s Challenge 2017

KTH Master’s Challenge 2017 Prize Ceremony

Catching up with the KTHMC-2016/17 Winners – part 1

And here is a picture from 2017’s award ceremony held in bangalore

See you soon in a brand new post!! 😀