CAT topper with 99.91 percentile Saswat Gupta is FMS Delhi student of MBA 2018-20 batch. He was offered admission not only by FMS Delhi but also by IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore, IIM Kozhikode. However, Saswat preferred to join FMS Delhi. Saswat also appeared in XAT and scored 99.976 percentile which led him to get admission offer from XLRI as well.
An inspiration for CAT 2018 aspirants, Saswat is a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Delhi. His sectional percentile in CAT is 99.35 in VARC, 96.62 in DILR, and 99.97 in Quant. By cracking CAT 2017 with 99.91 percentile, Saswat has proved that IIM-CAT can be conquered with a short duration preparation also.
Saswat is a fresher and belongs to a modest family of four people – his home maker and artist mother; father doing private service, and his younger student sister.
Saswat loves Cycling, playing Basketball, Calligraphy and Dancing. Saswat Gupta shares with MBAUniverse.com his CAT preparation journey for the benefit of CAT 2018 aspirants:
MBAUniverse.com: What was your overall preparation strategy for CAT?
Saswat (CAT Topper): First of all, I identified the weak areas through mock tests and prepared them through coaching material, internet and mock tests
MBAUniverse.com: Please share your sectional preparation strategy for CAT?
Saswat (CAT Topper): For VARC I practised as part of mock tests and sectional tests and attended 8-10 CL classes. For Quant I practised questions from Time booklet and mock tests and attended 10-12 CL classes. For DILR I practised questions from Time booklet and mock tests and attended 3-4 CL classes
MBAUniverse.com: Was there any particular section/area that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?
Saswat (CAT Topper): I was weak at LRDI and prepared for the same through mock tests and sectional tests
MBAUniverse.com: What role did Mocks play in your success? How many Mocks did you attempt before the exam?
Saswat (CAT Topper): Mocks 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 1 hour tests.
MBAUniverse.com: Did you Self-Prepare or attend a Coaching Centre?
Saswat (CAT Topper): I joined Career Launcher’s Sept-Nov batch – the three months of coaching period before the exam. I 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.
MBAUniverse.com: Please share your strategy for the CAT Day. What was your last-minute preparation?
Saswat (CAT Topper): I 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.
MBAUniverse.com: How did you plan your CAT test taking?
Saswat (CAT Topper): 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.
MBAUniverse.com: Your final message and tips for candidates preparing for CAT 2018
Saswat (CAT Topper): Evaluate your current position, develop a plan keeping the time available before the exam in sight and implement the plan.
MBAUniverse.com: Did you face any weak moment when you self-doubted your preparation and scared failure?
Saswat (CAT Topper): 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.
MBAUniverse.com: Who was your support system all this while? Apart from yourself, who do you want to share the credit with in your success?
Saswat (CAT Topper): I would like to definitely credit my sister and my parents for the success, because their belief in me feeds my own confidence in myself, which is important for any exam.
MBAUniverse.com: One interesting incident that you can recall related to preparation days.
Saswat (CAT Topper): I used to give mocks at home and just 2 weeks before the exam decided to give a mock at the centre to gauge my performance outside the comfortable environment of my home. I used to consistently score above 99.7%ile in the mocks. However, in that particular exam, my percentile dropped to 98.5. I realised keeping your calm during the exam is as important as preparing for the exam.
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