CAT 2018 toppers

CAT 2018 Toppers List will be released by IIM Calcutta in the 2nd week of January 2019 with the CAT 2018 result declaration. MBAUniverse.com will publish CAT Topper Interview with the toppers preparation tips for CAT exam.

 

CAT toppers list with 100 percentile has been on the rise for the last 3 years. A total of 20 candidates have scored an overall 100 percentile in CAT 2017 as against 16 two years ago. Two women candidates and three Non-Engineers are amongst CAT 2017 Toppers. To help CAT 2018 aspirants, MBAUniverse.com has gathered CAT toppers Interviews with the CAT exam preparation toppers strategy. It will broadly guide the CAT 2018 aspirants on CAT toppers strategy on how do toppers prepare for CAT; CAT topper online preparation strategy; last minute tips from CAT toppers, Role of Mocks in CAT preparation by toppers among others.  

 

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more updates on CAT Toppers.

  • Abhay Agarwal

    Exam score : 99.99 percentile

    Abhay comes from a modest family of small town of Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh where education facilities are not so equipped as those in metropolitan cities. Abhay completed his schooling from St. Mary’s School Bijnor (U.P.) and has held a consistent good academic record. He scored 86.83% marks in class 10 and 91.71% marks in class 12. Apart from devoting time to study, Abhay has great interest in reading novels and playing guitar.

     

    Abhay was studying in B.Tech (Biotechnology), Pantnagar University, Batch 2012-16 when he appeared in CAT last year. He scored 74.87% marks in his B.Tech exam and cracked CAT simultaneously with a high score of 99.99 percentile. Abhay converted his call to FMS Delhi, IIM Lucknow and other new IIMs who offered him admission but he preferred FMS Delhi.

    My exam prep strategy, experience & Advice
    For the benefit of MBA aspirants, MBAUniverse.com asked Abhay Agarwal about his preparation strategy and advice to do well in MBA entrance exams. Details follow

     

    Q. What was your preparation strategy for CAT 2015?
    A. My Preparation was primarily based on several Mock Tests and their analysis. I started regular and serious preparation from January, 2015. I used to build up my content by attending weekend coaching and studying a lot on my own. 
    I used to keep a check on my preparation by mock tests and used them to identify my weaknesses. By November 2015, I had identified and removed several of my weaknesses and had a dream run in the CAT exam.

     

    Q. How did you prepare for each section QA, VARC & DILR? What study materials and books did you use? 
    A. We all have a weak section and a strong section. When I took first few mocks, I realized that I was pretty decent in DI/LR. Not being overconfident, I used to regularly give sectional tests for this.

    But my English was pathetic and also I needed to speed up my calculations in Quant to be able to attend more questions in the given time. There were several speed tests that helped me in this regard. Study Material was available online and also I borrowed some of the Arun Sharma books from my friends.

     

    Q. Was there any particular section that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?
    A. Yes, I was weak in English. When the new pattern for CAT’15 was announced, I was demoralized because I used to escape English by attempting more of LR questions. But then it became a compulsion.

    I applied all my efforts in improving my English. I read 4-5 novels in a span of 1-2 months. I read novels which were not at all interesting. This reading habit helped me greatly in focussing on the RCs. I could then critically analyse the passage and could answer the questions properly. Although it took me many attempts in the mocks but finally English was one of my best sections in CAT’15 Result.

     

    Q.  How can candidates use Mock tests better? What is your advice?
    A.
    Mock tests can be a great tool for students. Merely sitting for a mock test of 3 hours is not the solution. A Candidate needs to analyse his/her performance very deeply as he can find his strengths and weaknesses in that analysis. Identify your weaknesses and never repeat them again. Learn from your mistakes. Find new and faster ways to solve those questions which consumed most of your time. Apart from this, There can be n number of problems specific to each candidate and answer to all those problems lies in that analysis.

     

    Q.  Did you go to offline coaching centre? What role does a coaching centre play?
    A. I studied at Pantnagar University in Uttarakhand. There is no permanent coaching there but there was a provision of weekend batches of TIME. I used to attend those classes. I believe that while coaching can strongly guide a student, he/she should not be too much dependent on coaching. Coaching can only set a path for you. It is you who has to walk on it. So, Self-Study is very important along with coaching.

     

    Q.  Other than CAT, which exam did you appear?
    A.
    I appeared for IIFT entrance exam. I cleared the written examination of IIFT with 97.6 percentile and got a call for PI round. For MBA, I only appeared for IIFT and CAT. Apart from this I also appeared for AFCAT as I also wanted to try for defence services.

     

    Q. Which institutes did you apply for admission?
    A.
    I applied for IIFT, all major IIMS and FMS.

     

    Q.  Please share your strategy for the CAT Day. What was your last-minute preparation? How did you plan your CAT test taking?
    A.
    My CAT test center was Meerut and it took me almost a day to reach there just a day before CAT. I knew that I was well prepared but it all comes down to those 3 hours which can change your life. I did not prepare anything extra on penultimate day and trusted myself. The Realization of the importance of those 3 hours sent chills down my spine but I knew that key is to remain Calm. As my exam started, I was devoid of all the other thoughts and the only thing that mattered to me at that time was the question flashing before me on the screen. DI/LR was difficult but I kept trying and ultimately after 3 hours, I realized that I had performed better than any of my mock tests.

     

    Q.  Which B-school you decided upon and why?
    A.
    I ultimately was offered admission by IIML, FMS and other new IIMs. I decided upon FMS after doing lot of research on IIML vs FMS, and the factors that drove me in favour of FMS are its limited batch strength,  ROI among others. I wanted to build a profile for myself. Reviews from my seniors also gave me insight that FMS can help me in doing that.

    Also, as I stated, Limited Batch Strength at FMS is also a strong point. The Kind of opportunities I saw at FMS were exactly what I was looking for. ROI factor was also a major factor which helped me in finalizing my decision and each day I feel proud of myself for taking that decision.

     

    Q.  Any message you would like to share with the candidates preparing for CAT 2016. 
    A. CAT is not a tough exam but the impact that it has on careers of the students makes it seem tough. Do not be tensed about the outcome. Focus on the efforts. There will be several demoralizing moments but you need to get past all that. Be Confident. There will be several things to push you down and in this quest only the last man standing wins the battle.

  • Shashank Heda

    Exam score : 99.99 percentile

    Shashank belongs to Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan. He attributes his success to his parents and teachers. Shashank is a B.Tech in  Electrical Engineering (Hons.) with Minor in Computer Science from IIT Gandhinagar.  He had gained 11 months of work experience with Texas Instruments to his credit before joining IIM Bangalore. He loves sports along with his studies and has keen interest in Athletics especially in Sprinting & Swimming. 

    For the benefit of MBA aspirants, MBAUniverse.com asked Shashank Heda about his preparation strategy and advice to do well in MBA entrance exams. Details follow

     

    What was your preparation strategy for CAT 2015?
    I began CAT preparation in July 2015. In my case, apart from the test material, analysis of mock test results was a key source of learning throughout the four months before the exam

    How did you prepare for each section QA, VARC & DILR? What study materials and books did you use? 
    I referred the material that I received from my coaching centre for sectional preparation. A few mistakes many people do is referring to multiple books/material for a topic but the strategy should be comprehensive and not exhaustive.

    Also, one must not spend too much time on a single topic. Joining a test series helps a lot in analysing the areas that need more focus. Major resources for the exam include coaching centre material (to learn the theory), mock tests (to analyse section-wise performance and to improve time management) and chapter-wise mock tests.

    For interview preparation, reading newspaper, forming a rational opinion on important global/national events/policies, complete knowledge of recent happenings in the areas of your personal liking (for example, hobbies) etc. is helpful.

    Was there any particular section that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?
    In my case, the scope of improvement in VARC was more when compared to other sections. Thus, I spent more time in solving passages and did detailed analysis of that section’s result in each mock test.

    How can candidates use Mock tests better? What is your advice?
    The mock tests make it very easy for a person to find his/her areas of improvement. Advice from my experience:

    -CAT pattern changed in 2015 and the total time available for each section was restricted to 60 minutes. Formulate the strategy as per the CAT format for the year. In my case, the focus was to reach the last question of the section by the time 60 minutes allotted to it were over. It involved attempting/skipping a question (and coming back to it later if time permitted) after estimating the time the question would probably take.

    -Analyse the mistakes in each section. Identify the gaps. Go back to the test material if you are not able to solve questions from a particular chapter (conceptual issues are seen mostly in QA and sometimes in VARC).

    -Check if all ‘Easy’ and ‘Medium’ difficulty questions were attempted. There might be something wrong with time management/question selection if most of the questions that were attempted belong to ‘Difficult’ or ‘Very difficult’ section. This would imply that the time spent in solving two ‘Very Difficult’ questions could have been better utilized in solving three ‘Medium/Easy’ nature questions.

    -Concentrate more on weaker areas. Look for the problems that were of ‘Easy’ nature and took more to solve time than usual. Learn the approach to solve them. This is because arriving at the answer in minimum possible time is more important than just finding the answer.

    Did you go to offline coaching centre? What role does a coaching centre play?

    I received test material from my coaching centre and joined its test series as well but did not join the regular classes. Personally, I feel that the most important aspect of a coaching centre is its faculty and peer group. For any doubt/problem, try resolving it with peers, if any to save time. Otherwise, make a list of your doubts and interact with the faculty. Concentrate more on learning the approach than arriving at the answer.

    Other than CAT, which exam did you appear?

    None

    Which institutes did you apply for admission?
    I applied to IIM A, B, C, K and L.

    Please share your strategy for the CAT Day. What was your last-minute preparation? How did you plan your CAT test taking?
    Last minute preparation involved revision of complex QA formulae. I feel that no preparation is needed for DILR and VARC on the CAT day as there is not much that can be done for those sections in short-term.

    Test taking plan developed over the time through analysis of mock test results. The focus was not to cover each question of the section in the specified order but to reach the last question of the section by the time the duration for the section ended. For a few candidates, the exam centre may not be the first preference that was filled in CAT form. Plan the travel in advance to avoid last minute anxiety about reaching the centre.

    Which B-school you decided upon and why?
    I chose IIM Bangalore among the final converts (B, C and K). To decide a B-school, I would suggest participating in city meets held by each B-school after the final results are released. Also, interact with seniors/alumni to find the best fit.

    Any message you would like to share with the candidates preparing for CAT. 
    For CAT exam, do not focus on a particular subject/topic. Be ready for surprises related to change in CAT format and most importantly, keep calm and believe in yourself.

  • Rahul Gupta

    Exam score : 99.98 percentile

    An Electrical Engineer from IIT Kanpur, Rahul worked for one year as a Software Engineer in Samsung Research and Development Institute Bangalore before cracking CAT 2017 with 99.98 percentile and finally getting into IIM Calcutta.

     

    Rahul hails from Faridabad in Haryana. His father is a Software Developer, mother is a housewife and younger brother is a student of IIT Delhi.

    Q. What was your overall preparation strategy for CAT?

    A. When I decided to do MBA, first thing I did was to look at the syllabus of CAT. I realised that it was not a test of knowledge but that of aptitude and speed. Hence, to get familiarity with the type of questions and to build speed, the best strategy that I could think of was to give a lot of mock tests and analyse them thoroughly. This helped me a lot in identifying and curbing mistakes that I made in different sections.

     

    Q. Please share your preparation strategy for VARC section in CAT `

    A. Since this section tests you largely on your comprehension, it helps a great deal if you are familiar with varied topics like philosophy, science, business, technology, sociology and even art. I made it a daily habit to read at least an hour on different topics from various sources like newspapers, books and magazines. I also used to learn meanings of 5 new words daily in order to improve my vocabulary.

     

    Q. How did you prepare for Quantitative Ability (QA) section?

    A.  This was my strongest section, as is the case with almost all engineers. The topics that come in quant are of 10th standard level at best, hence knowledge was never an issue. Only issue was timing which I improved considerably by solving more and more mocks. While analysing the mock tests, I made it a point to keep in mind any tips or tricks that could be used to solve a particular question quickly.

     

    Q. What was your preparation strategy for DILR Section?

    A. This section tests your stamina and perseverance as you have to make sense of a large amount of data in order to answer the questions. Hence, I used to do one set each of DI and LR daily in order to build that stamina. Also, some sets can be deceptively tough or deceptively easy, hence you should be able to choose quickly which sets to attempt. Sometimes, this can prove to be the game changer.

     

    Q. Was there any particular section/area that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?

    A. I was troubled a lot initially by DILR section as I had not encountered these kind of questions before in my life. My speed and accuracy both were below par. The turning point was when I came across ‘The Great Book of Puzzles & Teasers’ by George J. Summers. This is a very fascinating book and contains similar questions as in DILR section. This book piqued my interest towards DILR, I started practising more and as a result, the scores improved.

     

    Q. What role did Mocks play in your success? How many mocks did you attempt before the exam?

    A. Mocks play the most important role in determining whether you end up scoring 90th percentile or 99th percentile. During preparation, there comes a point when everyone is well versed with the syllabus. The differentiator is speed and the ability to choose questions on merit. This skill can be honed by giving more and more mocks. I used to give one mock every weekend. Hence in 4 months of my preparation, I gave around 20 mocks.

     

    Q. Did you self-prepare or attend a coaching centre and why?

    A. When I decided to pursue my MBA dream, I was working in a software job with not much free time on my hands. For a start, I decided to blindly attempt a past year CAT paper. I realized that it was a generic exam and I knew almost all the topics that were being asked. A look at the CAT syllabus strengthened my belief. Thus, I decided to enrol for an online test series and gave tests every weekend. Fortunately, it turned out to be more than enough.

  • Saransh Garg

    Exam score : 99.98 percentile

    Saransh belongs to Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.  He scored 9.6/10 in class 10 and 90.6% marks in class 12. Saransh has completed graduation in civil engineering from NIT Warangal with a score of 7.19 out of 10. Saransh preferred to join FMS Delhi to other IIMs and B-schools that offered him admission.

    Apart from devoting time to study, Saransh has great interest in Cricket, Football, Texas Hold’em poker and watching TV shows. He attributes his success inspiration to his mother, Cristiano Ronaldo – the renowned football player and his willingness to get recognized.

    My exam prep strategy, experience & Advice
    For the benefit of MBA aspirants, MBAUniverse.com asked Abhay Agarwal about his preparation strategy and advice to do well in MBA entrance exams. Details follow

    Q. What was your preparation strategy for CAT?

    A. I came to Delhi for 40-50 days in June-July and I sat through all the Quant modules at ‘Alchemist’ which gave me a base. I started reading to increase my reading speed.

    From September to November, I gave 20-25 mock tests. Each mock paper had different kinds of questions and solving 20-25 of them covered almost every type and pattern, which was essentially helpful for DI-LR section. I had 2 friends who were also preparing for CAT and after appearing in a mock paper, we used to discuss every question and compared the timings. This gave me an idea about my weak areas and while discussing, I sometimes got to know faster way of doing a similar problem. Also my strategy was to kill any kind of nervousness or impatience involved by giving mocks so that it feels normal on the Judgement Day.

    Q. How did you prepare for each section QA, VARC & DILR? What study materials and books did you use? 
    A. For QA, I sat through all the modules in my coaching. Then I solved some chapters in face-to-face CAT to practice previous year questions. Then I gave mock papers and analysed my mistakes and speed after each paper. I used TIME material for formulas in different chapters.

    For VARC, the question paper pattern changed a lot from 2014. There were 24 RC questions. So I started reading articles from different domains to increase my speed. For practice, i relied on mock papers.

    For DILR, I solved face-to-face CAT for previous year’s questions. There are 8 sets of DILR and you get 60 minutes to solve them. So while giving mocks, I focussed on not spending more than 7-8 minutes on a single set.

    Q. Was there any particular section that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?
    A. I was weak in VARC as you can see my sectional percentile scores. I overcame this through practice and reading.

    Q. How can candidates use Mock tests better? What is your advice?
    A. The sincerity while giving a mock should be such as if it’s the final CAT paper and there should be no internal and external disturbance for those 3 hours and you should only focus on the screen. Taking Mock in actual test condition will eliminate nervousness; will help greatly in time management; and will give you a lot of confidence. Post mock analysis is extremely important, or else you won’t improve. Lastly, you should give the same mock untimed (without the 3-hr restrain) to realize whether to work on speed or content.

    Q. Did you go to offline coaching centre? What role does a coaching centre play?
    A. I went to Alchemist Delhi for a crash course. It gave me a belief and confidence that I can score a high percentile. Also, studying with other students help you realize where you are and how much who have to work to be the best.

    Q. Other than CAT, which exam did you appear?
    A. I appeared only for CAT exam.

    Q. Which institutes did you apply for admission?
    A. Apart from CAT, which in itself is an IIM application form, I applied for FMS Delhi.

    Q. Please share your strategy for the CAT Day. What was your last-minute preparation? How did you plan your CAT test taking?
    A. For preparation of the CAT day, I started taking mocks aligned with my CAT timings so as to be more comfortable on the final day. This may seem strange; I appeared in my CAT exam wearing a track pant and a loose t-shirt to go along with slippers to make it like an absolutely regular day for myself. My plan to take CAT was to attempt as many questions as possible (I attempted 92-93) and not getting stuck on a question for more that 2 minutes. While there was a 15-minute wait for the paper to start, I was singing “waving flag” in my head to remain calm and motivated.

    Q. Which B-school you decided upon and why?
    A. I decided upon FMS Delhi. My first priority was IIM-A which I could not convert but post that I prioritized FMS as it is one of best b-schools of India.

    I considered the feedback provided to me by alumnus from my graduation college, NIT Warangal who had gone onto study in IIM C, IIM L and FMS. Also, I believe that the exposure you get in Delhi is better than others.

    Q. Any message you would like to share with the candidates preparing for CAT 2016.
    A. I would ask all the candidates to remain calm and confident. Do not give up because it’s not as difficult as it looks. Read as much as possible. Also, learn to say no to a question and move to the next as time available is less. Focus equally on all the sections and lastly, I wish good luck to all.

  • Nishant Gupta

    Exam score : 99.97 percentile

    An inspiration for IIM aspirants with non-engineering back ground, Nishant Gupta is a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts- Economics) from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University. He not only cracked CAT 2015 with 99.97 percentile but also converted the call to many top B-schools including IIMs and decided to join IIM Bangalore. 

    Post his graduation Nishant decided to have some work experience and before joining IIM Bangalore, had to his credit a 24 Months work experience at EXL Services in Business and Financial Research.  Nishant  belongs to Delhi and has keen interest in politics, likes Debating and  listening to music.

    My exam prep strategy, experience & Advice:

    For the benefit of MBA aspirants, MBAUniverse.com asked Nishant Gupta about his preparation strategy and advice to do well in MBA entrance exams. Details follow

    What was your preparation strategy for CAT?
    This was my first attempt at CAT. I had always planned to work for 2 years before going for MBA. I started preparing for CAT in November 2014 through coaching. However, I seriously started studying for CAT from March 2015.

    My preparation involved solving all the material given by TIME, solving some sectional tests towards the end, and giving lots of mock tests as I had also joined the test series. I wrote one mock test per week from May onwards. The biggest thing which helped me was constant practice.

    As I was working, I had very little time to study on my own, so I used to utilize my time on the Metro every day to work. Irrespective of whether I got a seat or whether the metro was very crowded, I used to make it a point to study Quant or DILR or Verbal. This helped me complete my syllabus and also figure out shortcuts to solve questions as I used to solve the Quant questions on the margins of the book.

    How did you prepare for each section QA, VARC & DILR? What study materials and books did you use? 
    QUANT: I solved all text book exercises, tried to do different sectional tests and extensively analysed mock tests. This was my weakest section so I devoted most of my prep time on studying QA. I also made notes of the concepts and the good questions I found so that I can revise them before the exam.

    DILR: This was a very volatile section for me in mocks, so I practiced a lot to reduce the volatility. This was the differentiating section in CAT 2015, so it was important to give due importance to this section. TIME advanced questions had a good mix of different question types. In addition, I tried to solve almost all practice tests for DILR to increase speed, identify the sets which should be attempted first, and understand different ways to solve.

    VERBAL: This was my strongest section from the starting, so I didn’t focus too much on VA. I solved a few RC and VA exercises, but not too many.

    Was there any particular section that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?
    I was weak in Quant and I tried to maximise my QA practice to overcome this weakness which I did also. Key was to make this as strong as possible, while maximizing my score in other sections. In the final CAT, while I got 95.8 percentile in QA, I got 99.6 percentile in DILR and 99.7 percentile in VA, both of which were moderately strong for me.

    How can candidates use Mock tests better? What is your advice?
    Mock tests were very important for me. One strategy I used was to give the tests on weekends, and then analyse them in the night after work when I could not do new things. This helped me utilize my evenings effectively and analyse the mocks.

    Did you go to offline coaching centre? What role does a coaching centre play?

     I went to TIME CP centre. It was an important component in my prep

    Other than CAT, which exam did you appear?
    I appeared for XAT in which I got 99.934, and I appeared for IIFT in which I got 98.57 percentile

    Which institutes did you apply for admission?
    I had applied to IIM A, B,C,L,K,I, FMS, XLRI BM, SP Jain, IIFT, MDI.I converted IIM B,C,L,K, XLRI BM, SP Jain and MDI. I didn’t appear in interview for IIM I and FMS.

    Please share your strategy for the CAT Day. What was your last-minute preparation? How did you plan your CAT test taking?
    On CAT day, my strategy was to ensure maximum attempts in VA, and aim for accuracy in DILR and VA. I did not do much last minute prep, just looked at previous year CAT papers and revised quant formulae. Formulae are also important as CAT 2015 had formula based questions as well.

    Which B-school you decided upon and why?
    I finally decided on IIM Bangalore due to its focus on holistic development and renowned faculty. I was very confused between IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta for a long time, but in the end, assessing fit is important. I chose IIMB as I felt it was a better fit for my personality, and I am very happy with my decision.

    Any message you would like to share with the candidates preparing for CAT.
    Stay focused, stay calm, and keep on working hard even if you get low marks in some mock tests. The process is an important life lesson, even if you don’t get into a B school of your choice. So enjoy it. You would always remember the memories you make on this prep journey, and once you become successful the memories become all the more special. Finally, remember that not getting into an IIM is not the end of the world. Many successful people in this world are non-MBAs

  • Krupa Bathia

    Exam score : 99.95 percentile

    Krupa Bathia has scored 99.95 percentile in CAT 2017 and converted call to IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta. She finally decided in favour of IIM Ahmedabad. After completing her B.E in Electronic and Communication from Dharamsinh Desai University  she worked for 3 years with Nokia Siemens and then did M.Tech in Microelectronics from IIT Bombay.

     

    She has worked as a Research Engineer at Conduent Labs (Erstwhile Xerox Research Center) for two years after completion of her M.Tech at IIT Bombay.

    Q. What was your overall preparation strategy for CAT?

    A: I had enrolled in coaching, but I had taken weekday classes, so that I get weekends free to do self-study. The classes were from 7-9 am, after which I solved the questions for the topic that was taught that day for 1.5 hours. Weekends were for test taking and self-assessments. I took a mock every weekend and to prepare for that, I analyzed the previous mock, cleared the concepts were I had made mistakes and took sectional tests for those topics.

     

    Q. Please share your sectional preparation strategy for CAT? How did you prepare for

    • VARC: I have had a reading habit since quite some years now. So, I did not prepare much for this. The major learning came from the analysis of mock tests. From that I realized that I was weak in parajumbles and I solved a lot of questions for parajumbles and odd man out.
    • Quant: Here the strategy was to take a topic, get extremely thorough in that and make sure to attempt all the questions of that topic in the mocks. I used to prepare One or more additional topics every week and make sure to attempt all the questions from the topics done till now. In case I couldn’t solve any question, I used to go back to that topic and revise my concepts.
    • DILR: To ace in DILR, more than the number of sets, it is important to do variety of sets. So, I took all easy, medium and difficult sectional tests of the T.i.m.e test series and I also solved most of the questions of the DILR book of TIME

    Q: Was there any particular section/area that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?

    A:  I had a problem with leaving questions unsolved in quant. This would result in me spending more time on a particular question and hence my number of attempts in mocks used to be around 15. I then applied the strategy of going through the paper multiple times. At first go, I will solve all the questions that can be solved in around 30 secs. If any question took more time, I would leave that and come back and finish it. This ensured that I didn’t lose out on easy questions. Then I did round two and attempted all the questions that I knew and would take less than a min and then finally try to attempt the remaining ones.

     

    Q: What role did Mocks play in your success? How many mocks did you attempt before the exam?

    A: Role Mocks were extremely crucial for my success. I used those to decide the direction that my preparation should take. I attempted around 24 mocks.

     

    Q: Did you self-prepare or attend a coaching centre and why?

    A: I attended a coaching center, because I thought it made my preparation more systematic and also because the teachers there would be able to guide me better after seeing the mistakes I made.

     

    Q: Please share your strategy for the CAT Day. What was your last-minute preparation? How did you plan your CAT test taking?

    A:  Sleep before 4-5 CAT day is of utmost importance. I slept well for 3-4 days before the CAT exam. I also took mocks during the time of actual CAT till 2 days before CAT. 1 day before CAT I did not give any mock, I just went through my notes of concept and slept properly. For test taking I followed the strategy that I had followed during Mocks.

     

    Q: Your final message and tips for candidates preparing for CAT 2018.

    A: Continuous assessment of strong and weak areas and improving on the weak areas

     

    Q. Did you face any weak moment when you self-doubted your preparation and scared failure? Please narrate it, if so.

    A. During mocks, the number of quant questions that I was able to attempt was very low and that was a big worry factor for me. Less accuracy is a lesser problem than being stuck at one question and not attempting itself. I had to slowly learn to move on to the next question and not get stuck at difficult questions.

     

    Q. What kind of personal struggles/challenges you had to face while preparing for these exams?

    A. Convincing my parents for an MBA after a M.Tech degree was very difficult because of the age factor and a considerably good job with a decent pay and an excellent work life balance, but because I wanted to do it so much, they finally agreed

  • Saswat Gupta

    Exam score : 99.91 percentile

    An inspiration to CAT 2018 aspirants, Saswat Gupta cracked CAT 2017 with 99.91 percentile and got admission in FMS Delhi. A graduate from IIT Delhi in Mechanical Engineering, Saswat appeared in XAT 2018 also and scored 99.97 percentile.

     

    Saswat was offered admission at IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore, IIM Kozhikode, XLRI Jamshedpur, apart from FMS Delhi but preferred to join FMS.

     

    Saswat belongs to a modest family of four people – his home maker and artist mother; father doing private service, and his younger student sister.  

    Q. What was your overall preparation strategy for CAT?

    A. Identified the weak areas through mock tests and prepared them through coaching material, internet and mock tests

     

    Q. Please share your sectional preparation strategy for CAT?

    A.

    • VARC: Practised as part of mock tests and sectional tests and attended 8-10 CL classes
    • Quant: Practised questions from Time booklet and mock tests and attended 10-12 CL classes
    • DILR: Practised questions from Time booklet and mock tests and attended 3-4 CL classes

    Q. Was there any particular section/area that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?

    A. I was weak at LRDI and prepared for the same through mock tests and sectional tests

     

    Q. What role did Mocks play in your success? How many mocks did you attempt before the exam?

    A. Mocks tests played a huge role in my success. They are, in my personal opinion, an imperative to reach your potential in the CAT exam.

    I attempted around 20 full tests and around 70 sectional tests (1 hour tests)

     

    Q. Did you self-prepare or attend a coaching centre and why?

    A. I joined Career Launcher’s Sept-Nov batch (i.e. coaching in the 3 months’ period before the exam) and attended 20 odd classes of the sections and topics that I identified as my weak areas. I joined the batch because I started preparing for the exam 3 months before the CAT and felt that coaching would help me cover up the material at a faster pace than I could at my home.

     

    Q. Please share your strategy for the CAT Day.

    A. Slept on time to get 7 hours of sleep before the exam. Woke up, went straight to the centre for the afternoon session without any other thoughts.

    Last minute preparation was not involved.

    I planned my test taking by giving mocks in the same slot as the CAT exam for the last 3-4 days before the exam.

     

    Q. Your final message and tips for candidates preparing for CAT 2018.

    A. Evaluate your current position, develop a plan keeping the time available before the exam in sight and implement the plan.

     

    Q. Did you face any weak moment when you self-doubted your preparation and scared failure? Please narrate it, if so.

    A.Yes, I was often sceptical about my LRDI section because I never performed well in mocks. However, I just focused on my total score in mocks and took comfort from that.

     

    Q. What kind of personal struggles/challenges you had to face while preparing for these exams like facing family or peer pressure, convincing your parents, etc?

    A. My family and peers were very supportive.

  • Karan Mohan Singh

    Exam score : 99.91 percentile

    Karan Mohan Singh scored 99.91 percentile in CAT 2017 and got admission in MDI Gurgaon. He is a Power Engineer   from National Power Training Institute  with 19 months work experience at  Vedanta.

     

    Karan belongs to Noida in Delhi NCR.  His father is in service, mother is home maker and brother is an IT Engineer.

    Q.  What was your overall preparation strategy for CAT?

    A.  CAT is not about how much you know but about how you attempt the paper. The simplest strategy is to take mocks(30-40 would do, don’t go overboard ), more importantly revise them. You can have like 2 mocks and their revision in a week, for the remaining time clear your fundas and chill out (fresh mind is actually important).Try out different strategies on how to attempt a paper, understand the types of paper and adjust to it. That would do

     

    Q. Please share your preparation strategy for VARC Section in CAT

    A.  MOCKs and revision , understand where and why your answer is wrong especially in RC. You don’t have to read novels and all, considering the number of mocks your speed will increase with time anyways.

     

    Q. How did you prepare for Quantitative Ability (QA) Section in CAT?

    A.  Write mocks, understand what part you are not comfortable with, put extra effort in it. Still can’t do it ? Leave it . CAT is not about solving all questions but about using your time wisely. My percentile in quant may not be that much, but, I scored 99.7 last year , sometimes the day is not yours.

     

    Q. What was your preparation strategy for DILR Section?

    A.  Again, write mocks. Try to get the overall understanding of the questions. Not always will the question be of certain type like cubes or venn diagrams and stuff. And again you don’t need to solve all the sets or all the questions in a set. Learn time management

     

    Q.  Was there any particular section/area that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?

    A. VARC , as for the overcoming part the answer would same, I gave mocks revised them and understood why am I wrong.

     

    Q. What role did Mocks play in your success? How many mocks did you attempt before the exam?

    A. I attempted Time and IMS so I guess it would be around 35-40

     

    Q.  Did you self-prepare or attend a coaching centre and why?

    A.  It was Self preparation. The Location was remote and job was very demanding, so the choice was to self prepare.

  • Ananth Radhakrishnan

    Exam score : 99.85 percentile

    Ananth Radhakrishnan  is a B.E (Hons) in Computer Science from BITS Pilani. He belongs to Kozhikode and his interests include debating, singing and reading. Steve Jobs is Ananth’s source of inspiration. Ananth scored 99.85 in CAT 2015 and finds the exam not very difficult but it needs better time management and accuracy.  He preferred to join IIM Bangalore although converted call to other IIMs also

    My exam prep strategy, experience & Advice

    For the benefit of MBA aspirants, MBAUniverse.com asked Ananth Radhakrishnan about his preparation strategy and advice to do well in MBA entrance exams. Details follow

    Q. What was your preparation strategy for CAT?
    A. My primary strategy when it came to CAT was to prepare myself in terms of getting timing and accuracy right.  What I always felt was that CAT is not a difficult paper inherently in terms of the topics covered, rather because of the time limit in which you have to complete it coupled with the dire need of accuracy while doing so. To this end, I used to regularly do mock tests (one every 3-4 days), analyse what would go wrong and try my best to mend those mistakes before the next test.
     

    Q. How did you prepare for each section QA, VARC & DILR? What study materials and books did you use? 
    A. In terms of sectional coverage, what I mostly focussed on was getting my quant basics right. I always found it hard to complete the questions within the time limit, and would often have poor relative accuracy as well. Post the mock tests I would complete, I would analyse the topics I was weak in and work on those.

    When it came to LR/DI what I realised was that it was just a matter of getting into the groove of things with practice over time so that was my main strategy for it.

    VA being a relatively more random topic in the sense that it really was hard to prepare for in a quantifiable and tangible manner, so again, learning from the mistakes in the mocks was my primary preparation. I used solely material from TIME to complement my preparation.

    Q. Was there any particular section that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?
    A. Quant was definitely my Achilles’ heel, as it was both the case that I found it hard to complete the section in the given time, as well as the fact that my accuracy was absolutely atrocious as well.

    But like all things, the only way forward is to really put in some good old hard work. Analysing mock results to understand the topics I’m finding hard to manage, and when that step was climbed, finding the topics that were causing me to take too much time really helped. Another important thing is to make sure to not spend too much time on any one question, and to develop your own personal heuristic to judge that while attempting a question

    Q. How can candidates use Mock tests better? What is your advice?
    A. Mock Tests are literally the biggest help you can get in your preparation. Considering your performance in CAT is relative, at the end of the day that can only be simulated through mocks. So I’d advise you to take Mocks seriously, and attempt them as you would in your final exam. Most important is to analyse your results post the exam, and then keep improving continuously.

    Q. Did you go to offline coaching centre? What role does a coaching centre play?
    A. Yes, I went to TIME coaching at Pilani. Coaching centres allow you to get a rough base in every topic before finally starting your self-study, but I’d advise you to not rely solely on it alone for your preparation.

    Q. Other than CAT, which exam did you appear?
    A. Nothing other than CAT.

    Q. Which institutes did you apply for admission? 
    A. Only the IIMs.

    Q. Please share your strategy for the CAT Day. What was your last-minute preparation? How did you plan your CAT test taking?
    A.
    The most important thing is to remain calm, and just attempt it like any other exam. One good thing about doing so many mocks was that by the time I took CAT, it literally felt like another mock test! Make sure to arrive early to the venue, and get enough sleep and rest the night before. And I really can’t emphasise it enough, there is no need to panic.

    In terms of how to actually approach the exam, the kind of strategy you use would solely depend on what you are comfortable with. Also, last-minute preparation would be only mocks over the last 2-3 weeks. Do not bother yourself too much with anything on the last night.

    Q. Which B-school you decided upon and why?
    A. IIM Bangalore, because of the wide diversity in terms of your peer group.

    Q. Any message you would like to share with the candidates preparing for CAT.
    A. Do not worry about CAT. People have made it out to be a bigger beast than it really is. The topics themselves won’t be too hard, so don’t fret over that. Constantly work to improve yourself while preparing, and don’t allow a good mock score to let you rest on your laurels. Don’t study hard, study smart! All the best!

  • Chanchal Gupta

    Exam score : 99.79 percentile

    CAT topper with 99.79 percentile and IIM Ahmedabad student of PGP 2017-19 batch, Chanchal Gupta is a fresher without work experience. She preferred self preparation instead of joining some coaching although she made it a point to join the CAT Mock test series offered by the coaching institute. Chanchal suggests to improve your accuracy level instead of trying to attempt more number of questions in CAT 2017 and ensure to analyse all the mock tests that you have taken. 

     

    Chanchal Gupta is from Indore and has done B.E. in Computer Engineering. Sharing her experience how she prepared for CAT exam, Chanchal advises the CAT 2017 aspirants to clarify all their doubts quickly. Apart from CAT exam, she did not appear in any other MBA entrance test.

     

    Determined to crack CAT with high percentile, Chanchal appeared only in CAT exam and did not apply to any other B-school apart from IIMs. With her right preparation strategy and well devised plan, she cracked the exam with a high percentile.   
     

    My exam prep strategy, experience & Advice:

    For the benefit of MBA aspirants, MBAUniverse.com asked Akhil Garg about his preparation strategy and advice to do well in MBA entrance exams. Details follow:

     

    MBAUniverse.com:What was your preparation strategy for CAT?
    Chanchal (CAT topper): I appeared for multiple mock tests in the last 3 months leading up to CAT. Instead of trying to attempt all the questions, I focussed on improving my accuracy in the questions that I solve.

     

    MBAUniverse.com: How did you prepare for each section QA, VARC & DILR? What study materials and books did you use?
    Chanchal (CAT topper): I read newspapers for VARC. For DILR and Quant, I practiced from the books by Arihant, Pearson, TMH

     

    MBAUniverse.com: Was there any particular section that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?
    Chanchal (CAT topper): I was weak in DILR. Instead of solving all questions of a common data set, I solved only the ones which took less time.

     

    MBAUniverse.com: How can candidates use Mock tests better? What is your advice?
    Chanchal (CAT topper): The best way to use mock tests is to analyse them afterwards. The mistakes should be identified and worked upon.

     

    MBAUniverse.com: Did you go to offline coaching centre? What role does a coaching centre play?
    Chanchal (CAT topper): No. I joined only the test series. Coaching centre helps in maintaining regularity and provides a competitive environment. But it depends on the individual whether he/she requires it or not.

     

    MBAUniverse.com: Other than CAT, which exam did you appear?
    Chanchal (CAT topper):  I applied only for CAT and no other exam.

     

    MBAUniverse.com:  Which institutes did you apply for admission?  
    Chanchal (CAT topper):  I applied for admission to all IIMs. 

     

    MBAUniverse.com:  Please share your strategy for the CAT Day. What was your last-minute preparation? How did you plan your CAT test taking?
    Chanchal (CAT topper): I did not go for last-minute preparation. I went with a cool mind.

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