A B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from NIT Durgapur Chhandak Biswas scored 97.97 percentile in CAT 2017 and has converted MDI Gurgaon.
Chhandak has a work experience of 23 months. He is the youngest in his family of four. His father is a retired government employee, mother is a working professional and his sister is a doctor.
Q. What was your overall preparation strategy for CAT?
A. I started preparing around March 2017 and I used to study at night after my office hours. Initially, I cleared all my concepts and solved practice sets from study materials. After September, I started taking up mock tests and I used to analyse them diligently till the CAT exam. Besides that, I used to read newspapers and novels daily. This was my overall preparation strategy.
Q. Please share your preparation strategy for VARC section in CAT
A. I prepared this section by mainly reading newspapers and novels on day to day basis. Reading the editorial sections of newspapers like Hindu helped me tackling the RC passages which require strong comprehension skills. In addition to that, I practiced other types of questions like odd one out, summary type questions, jumbled paragraph etc. from study materials of various coaching institutes.
Q. How did you prepare for Quantitative Ability (QA) section in CAT?
A. I was comfortable with this section as I have an engineering background. Initially, I just went through all the concepts and mugged up the formulae. Learning to solve a question in shortest possible time was the crux of this section and it comes from regular practice. I made sure to practice quant at least for an hour every day and revised the formulae regularly.
Q. What was your preparation strategy for DILR Section?
A. This is usually the toughest section of CAT every year and it becomes the differentiating factor between good and excellent students. There is no hard and fast method of mastering this section as most of the concepts are quant based. This section requires rigorous practice of different kinds of sets and analysing them is much more important. I made sure that I solve 4-5 sets daily and I used to invest 10-12 minutes on solving each set and after that 15-20 minutes in analysing the concepts behind it.
Q. Was there any particular section/area that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?
A. I was particularly weak at VARC section from the beginning and it remained my weakest link till the end as evident from my sectional percentile. To improve this section, I used to read newspapers like Hindu, Economic Times etc. The editorial articles were particularly useful as they involved understanding the opinion of the author and the RC passages asked in CAT exam requires the same. Learning 4-5 words everyday was also beneficial because it becomes tough to understand some passages due to poor vocabulary. In addition to these, regular practice of different types of questions from study materials helped me a lot to overcome this weakness.
Q. What role did Mocks play in your success? How many mocks did you attempt before the exam?
A. Taking up mocks are more important than learning and understanding the topics. I appeared for around 32 mock tests conducted by career launcher. I used to contribute 6 hours after every mock to analyse my mistakes and to understand the loop holes in my preparation. Each and every unsolved question provided a new perspective and brushed up many untouched solving skills. The wrong questions particularly helped me to judge my mistakes and I made sure not to repeat them ever again.
Q. Did you self-prepare or attend a coaching centre and why?
A. I prepared by myself as there was no coaching centre available near my home.