CAT toppers

  • Gyayak Jain

    Exam score : 100.00 percentile

    CAT 2017 can be conquered with 100 percentile by the determined students is proved by Gyayak Jain, a student of PGP 2017-19 batch at IIM Ahmedabad. Gyayak Jain scored 100 percentile in CAT despite the fact he was a working professional and had to keep a balance between work and CAT preparation.

     

    Gyayak preferred self preparation instead of joining some coaching although he made it a point to attempt as many mocks before the CAT exam as possible. More importantly, Gyayak analysed each and every mock and developed his own logic to solve the problems.

     

    One of the key strategies he adopted was that he moved on to next problem, if he was not satisfied with the tailor-made solution which did not conform to his logic.

     

    Gyayak advises CAT 2017 aspirants to believe in themselves. In his view CAT is an easy exam but you need to believe in yourself.

     

    Gyayak Jain is from Indore and has done B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Delhi  in 2016. Before joining IIM Ahmedabad, he was working for 7 months with Deloitte. Photography and reading comics are his hobbies.

     

    Apart from CAT exam, he did not appear in any other MBA entrance test.

    My exam prep strategy, experience & Advice:

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

     

    MBAUniverse.com: What was your preparation strategy for CAT?

    Gyayak (CAT topper): My overall preparation strategy for CAT 2016 revolved around giving mock tests, reviewing my performance and improving in the areas where the performance was not good enough.

     

    MBAUniverse.com: How did you prepare for each section QA, VARC & DILR? What study materials and books did you use?

    Gyayak (CAT topper):

     

    For VARC, I slowly improved as I took mock tests and tried eliminating issues associated with various sections of it.

     

    For DI/LR, after giving many mock tests, I came out with a section attempting strategy. It was selection of appropriate sets out of 8 sets of questions, in which mostly 4 were DI and 4 of LR. I tried to look through all the sets in one go in starting in first 2-5 minutes and decide on (based on my comfort level of those type of problems) which were my first 2 sets to be attempted, then next 2, and so on. I tried distributing these 2 sets by selecting 1 set from DI and 1 from LR.

     

    For Quant, I used TIME study modules to get me acquainted with various formulas and tricks of solving various types of problems. The practice for it was done in mock tests. Also, I had no guilt in leaving questions which I was uncomfortable with or was unsure about. I did not waste time in re-solving a question more than once if I am not getting any of the options.

     

    MBAUniverse.com: Was there any particular section that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?

    Gyayak (CAT topper): I believe I was weak in VARC and therefore I started by looking into model answers given in the solutions and tried to understand if I associated with the logic given in the solution. If I was satisfied with the logic given in the solution, which was not always true, I tried to look problems from that point of view also in the next mock. When I was not convinced with the solution, I ignored the mistake and went ahead with my intuition/logic in next mocks too. If I find that same mistake is repeating, then I tried to find out situations where my logic will not work. I tried experimenting with various exam attempting strategies and realised I get fatigued if I do same kind of problems together in one go, so I mix-matched various types of questions.

     

    MBAUniverse.com: How can candidates use Mock tests better? What is your advice?

    Gyayak (CAT topper): Mock are the best place to learn about the areas of improvement as by looking through the solution you realise the types of questions you could have done and type which you have no clue about, so that you can modify your preparation strategy accordingly. Also, one can experiment with various exam attempting strategies and come upon an optimal one, best for oneself. So, I believe that mocks are to be used with most effectiveness as their results have no effect on your life.

     

    MBAUniverse.com: Did you go to offline coaching centre? What role does a coaching centre play?

    Gyayak (CAT topper): No, I am therefore unable to answer about the role it can play.

      

    MBAUniverse.com: Other than CAT, which exam did you appear?

    Gyayak (CAT topper):  None. I appeared only in CAT 2016

     

    MBAUniverse.com:  Which institutes did you apply for admission?  

    Gyayak (CAT topper):  I applied for IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, Indore

     

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

    Gyayak (CAT topper): For CAT day, I tried to be relaxed and a day before the exam, I tried to base my confidence by looking at the mock in which my performance was good. According to my experience, a good night sleep is more fruitful then last minute preparations. Also, an important aspect is time keeping, i.e. to come up on your average time taken for a problem and trying to stick to it on the CAT day.

  • Mukesh Goyal

    Exam score : 100.00 percentile

    CAT 2017 can be conquered with 100 percentile by the determined students from small towns and with their self preparation, is the message Mukesh Goyal, CAT 2016 topper with 100 percentile and student of MBA 2017-19 batch at FMS Delhi shares with the CAT 2017 aspirants.

     

    Apart from CAT, Mukesh appeared in XAT 2017 and IIFT 2016 also. He scored 99.795 in XAT and 99.84 in IIFT but preferred to join FMS Delhi as it was his dream B-school.

     

    Mukesh hails from a modest family of small town Sunam in Sangrur district of Punjab. His father is a businessman and mother is homemaker. Sunam, as the name reflects represents a good reputation and true to the reputation of his birth place, Mukesh has added flying colours to it. Few may be aware that Sunam is also the birthplace of Shaheed Udham Singh, the great martyr who laid his life in Indian independence Movement by avenging of Jalianwala Bagh Massacre where British killed hundreds of innocent Indians.  

     

    Mukesh Goyal was a working professional when he started his CAT 2016 preparation. He balanced his CAT preparation with his working hours and managed both. It was not only simple preparation but also a good deal of devotion was required to overcome the weakness in VARC section.

     

    Breaking the myth that Coaching is required to crack CAT exam, Mukesh remained stuck to self preparation but took as many Mocks as possible. An inspiration to CAT 2017 aspirants, Mukesh advises the MBA aspirants to take more and more Mocks, analyse them and have peer discussion which will help in boosting your score in CAT 2017.

     

    Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) of Delhi University is the dream B-school for CAT toppers who prefer the campus to IIMs and other top B-schools due to the various USPs of this highly ranked B-school which has a legacy of more than 60 years. FMS Delhi is the highest RoI B-school with very low fee structure and high placements.

     

    Mukesh has been a consistent performer throughout his academics. He scored 91.2% in class 10; 87.8% marks in class 12 and 72% marks in Bachelor in Engineering (B.E.). Mukesh had worked as Market Analyst at Futures First before joining MBA 2017-19 at FMS Delhi. Mukesh has great interest in playing and watching Cricket & Football doing  Acting among other hobbies.

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

     

    MBAUniverse.com:What was your preparation strategy for CAT 2016?
    Mukesh Goyal (CAT topper): My strategy was to improve my weak areas and strengthen my strong areas. I focused on mocks as I think through Mocks, one can check his/her preparation level easily and can accordingly improve. Also, I used to have discussion with my friends who were preparing for CAT as well and that helped me a lot in my preparation.    

     

    MBAUniverse.com: How did you prepare for each section in CAT exam – VARC, DILR & QA? What study materials and books did you use?
    Mukesh Goyal (CAT topper): I prepared for CAT mainly through mocks. I used to write 1-2 mocks per weekend and then analyse those mocks and make changes to my approach accordingly. I used to prepare mainly through mocks, sectional and topic specific tests.

     

    MBAUniverse.com: Was there any particular CAT exam section that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?Mukesh Goyal (CAT topper): I was weak at VA section. I practiced sectional tests and topic specific tests in order to improve this section. I used to focus on analysis part of these tests. I used to solve a lot of RCs and CR questions.

     

    MBAUniverse.com: How can candidates use Mock tests better in CAT 2017 exam? What is your advice?
    Mukesh Goyal (CAT topper): One can try different types of strategies in mocks and accordingly see what kind of strategy suits him/her better. All the mock questions – incorrect, correct and un-attempted should be analysed properly. Through proper analysis, one can know about his/her weak and strong areas and can work accordingly. Attempting the easy and doable questions first and leaving the difficult ones for the last is really important and one can learn about this through mocks.

     

    MBAUniverse.com: Did you go to offline coaching centre? What role does a coaching centre play?
    Mukesh Goyal (CAT topper): I did not go for any offline coaching. I think apart from providing subject knowledge, coaching might help you in getting in regular touch with studies. It depends on the individual whether he/she needs coaching or not. Students have done well in CAT with coaching as well as without coaching.

     

    MBAUniverse.com: Other than CAT, which exam did you appear?
    Mukesh Goyal (CAT topper):  I appeared for XAT 2017 and IIFT 2016. I scored 99.795 percentile in XAT 2017 and 99.84 percentile in IIFT.

     

    MBAUniverse.com:  Which institutes did you apply for admission?  
    Mukesh Goyal (CAT topper): I applied for IIMs, FMS, XLRI and IIFT .

     

    MBAUniverse.com:  Please share your strategy for the CAT Day. What was your last-minute preparation? How did you plan your CAT test taking?
    Mukesh Goyal (CAT topper): For the CAT day, I just had one simple thing in my mind that I need to be calm. I knew that if I would be calm, I would do well as I was well prepared. I had no particular test taking strategy in my mind. I just wanted to see the exam first and then make the strategy accordingly. I did not want to have any preconceived notions and that thing to affect my exam.

  • Avidipto Chakraborty

    Exam score : 100.00 percentile

    Avidipto Chakraborty scored a perfect 100 percentile in CAT 2016 in his first attempt itself! What’s interesting about Avidipto is that he completely relied on self-studies and did not take get enrolled in any coaching centres. Avidipto believes that his success is due to the number of mock tests he has taken for the CAT preparation. Avidipto took 80+ mock tests for preparation! Avidipto is now targeting MBA from IIM-Ahmedabad. He wishes to be an entrepreneur in the future.

    Avidipto Chakraborty scored a perfect 100 percentile in CAT 2016 in his first attempt itself! What’s interesting about Avidipto is that he completely relied on self-studies and did not take get enrolled in any coaching centres. Avidipto believes that his success is due to the number of mock tests he has taken for the CAT preparation. Avidipto took 80+ mock tests for preparation! Avidipto is now targeting MBA from IIM-Ahmedabad. He wishes to be an entrepreneur in the future.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Akhil Garg

    Exam score : 99.73 percentile

    Putting a positive note to inspire CAT 2017 aspirants in their preparation journey, CAT topper with 99.73 percentile and IIM Ahmedabad student of PGP 2017-19 batch, Akhil Garg shares his experience on CAT preparation journey which he completed with self preparation. He suggests to improve on your weak areas and monitor the improvement regularly.

     

    One of the key facts about the preparation for CAT by Akhil is that he never went to any regular offline coaching institute to prepare for the exam. However, he suggests to take as many Mocks during your CAT 2017 preparation but emphasizes that without due analysis of Mock, attempting a mock test may not be useful.

     

    Akhil Garg has done B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur. He is a fresher and got IIM Ahmedabad without any work experience. Akhil belongs to Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh). His father is Senior Manager in THDC Pvt Ltd and mother is a home maker. His interests include playing Table Tennis, watching TV Series and reading novels.

     

    Determined to crack CAT with high percentile, Akhil appeared only in CAT exam and did not apply to any other B-school apart from IIMs. With his right preparation strategy and well devised plan, he scored 99.73 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?
    Akhil (CAT topper): My main preparation strategy was regular practice. I regularly solved questions of each section with time limit, and also gave mocks at least once a week.

     

    MBAUniverse.com: How did you prepare for each section QA, VARC & DILR? What study materials and books did you use?
    Akhil (CAT topper): VARC and LRDI section in CAT do not require any specific theoretical understanding, and having a mathematics background I was fairly familiar with the concepts needed for Quant Section. However, I did do some separate preparation for VARC and DI. I wrote down whatever new words I encountered after reading at least 5-6 newspaper articles every day and for DI, I practiced approximation techniques for quick calculations.

     

    MBAUniverse.com: Was there any particular section that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?
    Akhil (CAT topper): I was relatively weak at VARC. Hence, I focused a lot on reading different articles and novels, conversing in English with friends and even watching English TV series and movies.

     

    MBAUniverse.com: How can candidates use Mock tests better? What is your advice?
    Akhil (CAT topper): Mocks are not useful until you thoroughly analyse your performance afterwards, understanding where and why you went wrong so that you know which areas to work upon.  Identify your weak areas, plan your strategies and monitor your improvement through future mocks.

     

    MBAUniverse.com: Did you go to offline coaching centre? What role does a coaching centre play?
    Akhil (CAT topper): No, I did not go to any offline coaching centre and preferred to adhere to self-preparation strategy.

     

    MBAUniverse.com: Other than CAT, which exam did you appear?
    Akhil (CAT topper):  I appeared only for CAT examination.

     

    MBAUniverse.com:  Which institutes did you apply for admission?  
    Akhil (CAT topper):   IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, Kozhikode and Indore

     

    MBAUniverse.com:  Please share your strategy for the CAT Day. What was your last-minute preparation? How did you plan your CAT test taking?
    Akhil (CAT topper): For the most part I chilled out the day before CAT examination, just revising some shortcut formulas for Quant section and vocab words for VARC section. Based on mocks, I had planned which questions I would attempt first and how much time I would spend before moving on to next questions.

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