MAH CET 2017 toppers

  • Karan Kokane

    Exam score : 99.99 percentile

    Karan completed schooling from Symbiosis Secondary School, Pune with 89.23% in the 10th standard and 92% in 12th standard. With no gap in studies Karan scored a 192 out 200 in the MHT CET 2009 (Engg entrance) exam in the same year and got 69th rank in the whole state of Maharashtra.

    Karan opted for computer engineering from College of Engineering, Pune (COEP), and secured a CGPA of 8.6 on a scale of 10 in COEP and was amongst the top 15% in a class of 90 students. Along with maintaining his academics, Karan was active in extracurricular activities. He was the Event head of the event Circuit-Fixer in Mindspark’11 and a sponsorship coordinator in Mindspark’10. Mindspark is COEP’s national level technical festival.

    After completing graduation in Electronics and Telecommunication engineering, Karan Kokane got  placed in HARMAN International India Pvt. Ltd. as a software programmer and worked with them for 20 months. Karan was awarded the HARMAN Superior Performance award for contributions to the project, and for his performance and potential. Karan was also one of the few employees to get a four star rating in the yearly assessment review.

    With a percentile score of 99.993 in the MAH MBA CET exam Karan stood among the three toppers.

    For the benefit of MBA aspirants, asked Karan Kokane about his preparation strategy and advice to do well in MBA entrance exams. Details follow

    Q.What was your preparation strategy? Please share some key do’s and don’ts


    • Take as many mocks as possible. Mocks helps one to ascertain one’s preparation levels and where one stands when compared to other people who are going to participate in the exam season that year.
    • Start early. To cover all topics and have sufficient practice, it is necessary to start at least 5-6 months before the exam.
    • Sit for as many competitive exams as possible as it helps one get used to any exam setting.
    • Cover all the topics, Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning, Verbal Ability every day or at least as a combination of two per day.


    • Concentrate on a single, favorite topic and overlook others which you find difficult
    • Take more than 2 mocks per day
    • Biggest mistake once can do is to forget to analyse mocks once taken
    • Think that you can’t achieve a high score

    Q.What was your strategy in testing room to attempt the questions from different sections

    A.I would always start with my strongest section. Also, I would solve the easiest questions first. This ensures that I not only solved many questions quickly in the beginning without wasting time but also I gained confidence. Confidence is an important ingredient while taking exams. Once all the easy questions from the strongest section were done, I would move on to the difficult questions in that section. In this way, I would move from the easiest question from my strongest section to the most difficult section from my weakest section. For me this used to be in the order Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Verbal Ability.

    Q.Which all exams did you write? How did you prepare for them? What score did you get?

    A.I appeared for various exams such as MAH MBA CET, CAT, NMAT, XAT. Most of the exams have around 80-90% of their topics in common with each other. I focused on these common topics first. Once I was comfortable with these topics, then when an exam neared, I would concentrate on the rest 20% of the questions that would be different and specific to that exam. For example, it is important to be good at Algebra, TSD or Geometry no matter which exam is next. But when exams such as MAH CET neared, I would do decision making or Visual Reasoning to improve at those specific topics. I got 99.993 percentile in MAH MBA CET; 98.763 percentile in NMAT; 96.42 percentile in CAT and 98.25 percentile in XAT.

    Q.The institutes that offered you admission?


    Q.Which is the institute that you have decided to take admission and why? 

    A.I have taken admission in Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS). It is one of the top 10 MBA institutes in India. Also, being established in the year 1965, it is one of the oldest B-schools in India. It has produced, over the years, many business stalwarts such as Mr. Harish Manwani, Ms. Chanda Kochhar, Mr. Uday Kotak, Mr. Noshir Kaka, Ms. Vinita Bali, Mr. Nitin Paranjape, to name a few, spearheading companies across industries. There is little wonder that it is called as the CEO Factory. The core and visiting faculty at the institute is one of the best in the country. The alumni base is large and like a close knit family. JBIMS has recently acquired autonomy. The admission process was changed this year and slowly, many changes are bound to come in that will completely transform the institute. A new campus is also on the horizon.

    Q. Why did you want to do MBA?

    A.After working for 20 months in HARMAN International India Pvt. Ltd., a product based company, I understood the importance of the role of management in an organization. The job of pointing a company in the right direction is done by the management. To do this, one has to have a wholesome knowledge of all processes involved. I was then working as a software engineer. My role was limited to delivering quality products to the organization. But how did one decide whether developing the product in the first place would be a profitable venture? How did one raise funds to create the product? How did one decide who will be the target audience for the product? How did one market the product to them? These are decisions that management has to take based on their knowledge regarding the finances of the company, the economic facts, the marketing strategy etc. Having understood the quality product development cycle, I believed that if I had to propel myself towards positions of greater responsibility I needed to have knowledge of management subjects such as FRA, Corporate Finance, Marketing Management etc. to make such decisions. An MBA would have not only helped me gain knowledge but also would have helped me be a better contributor to my organization. Thus to excel professionally and to have a wholesome view of any business, I believed that it was imperative to do an MBA.

    Q.Would you like to share any motivational story experienced by you in your journey from being a MAHCET aspirant to a successful topper?

    A.When I was an aspirant, I would frequently visit different websites and look at the stories of toppers. I would read about the adversities that these toppers had to face and how they overcame them to achieve what they always wanted. Reading all these stories would motivate me a lot. However, at the back of my mind, I would always think whether I would get the opportunity to write a story myself. Today, answering these questions brings back memories of all those days. I feel I have gone a full circle and my time has come to motivate others to achieve their dreams. It’s important to note that anyone can make their dreams a reality; they just have to set their mind to it.

  • Ajit Singh

    Exam score : 99.98 percentile

    Ajit Singh, an electronics and telecommunications engineer from KC College of Engineering, Thane has worked with IBM India Pvt. Ltd. for 10 months before appearing in MAHCET for MBA/MMS admission and getting into JBIMS. Ajit Singh is a professional hockey player and has represented his school at the state level 6 times and has also represented Maharashtra at the National level in Hockey.

    Ajit had his schooling from Bhonsala Military School, Nashik and during his engineering, his final year project was published in the IJERT journal. Ajit had also cleared the UPSC NDA exam in 2010 for becoming a pilot in the Indian Air Force. He got his Engineering degree with distinction in 2014 and scored 99.98 percentile in MBA MAHCET that enabled him to get into JBIMS.

    My exam prep strategy, experience & Advice

    For the benefit of MBA aspirants, asked Ajit Singh about his preparation strategy and advice to do well in MBA entrance exams. Details follow


    Q. What was your preparation strategy? Please share some key do’s and don’ts

    A. My strategy was very simple - just to try and cover as many topics as possible. This was one thing that helped me in maximizing the score.

    From November I started my preparation. I initiated my study by referring few sample papers to get an idea about the key topics that are generally asked in the exams. I could manage only 2 hours daily as I was working also. In these 2 hours, I used to allocate sufficient time for learning new concepts, solving questions and then revising earlier days’ topics. From December end I started with taking mocks on weekends. The mocks are the key to any exams as they make you familiar to what you are going to face on the main day of exam. I just tried to keep scoring 150+ consistently in all my mocks. Also, analyzing mocks is what I invested much of my time. Whatever questions I got wrong I used to study the whole concept from basic.


    • Keep practicing as much as you can
    • practice visual reasoning as much as possible to become more comfortable with the variety of questions being asked; make use of free resources on the net to practice as much as possible
    • Take at least 20-30 mocks to get idea of wide variety of question types covered
    • Focus mainly on the basics before going in for the mocks
    • Analyse each mocks thoroughly and change your strategy accordingly


    • Don’t assume MAHCET is an easy test, in fact it is a speed test and it is not easy to maintain concentration and the speed consistently for 2 and half hours and you don’t know the fact that what will be a safe score for you;
    • Don’t think that for MAHCET you can study in last 1-2 months;
    • Don’t keep on solving problems from a particular topic- like trains questions asked are of medium level, no need to solve very complex questions;
    • Don’t assume that visual reasoning is hard, a lot of weightage is given to it and without that you can’t get a very high score.

    Q. Please share your strategy in testing room to attempt the questions from different sections: Reasoning, Quantitative Ability & DI, Verbal Ability & Reading comprehension?

    A. The only aim in my mind was to attempt as many questions as possible because there was no negative marking. I always targeted the LR section first as I find that as my strength. This followed by quants and DI. Verbal ability I generally keep it for the last hour. Initially I tried maintaining as high accuracy as possible. But during the paper I found that few verbal questions were easy so I targeted them and left few logic sets for the end. Till the end I was able to attempt almost all the questions. This aim of attempting almost all the questions was achieved so I was definitely confident of getting a very high score.

    Q. Which all exams did you write? Please share your preparation strategy for them and the scores that you were awarded

    A. I appeared only for MH-CET as I couldn’t manage my time well between job and studies so didn’t apply for the rest, though I had thought of appearing in a few more. I started preparing well in advance as it was the only exam which I was targeting.

    In the initial months I just kept on practicing the basic concepts. I started the original exam preparation from November. Taking mocks was a habit on which I was very strict. Normally every weekend I would just give mocks. I scored 99.98%le in MAHCET.

    Q. How do you feel after getting admission to your dream B-school? Why did you decide in favour of JBIMS only

    A. I can say that I was very lucky to get into the only institute in which I had applied. Only JBIMS is what I wanted and they offered me admission also. I was targeting only JBIMS so I gave only CET. For me the legacy of JBIMS is incomparable. It has the location advantage of being in Mumbai. It has a very small batch size of 120. The past record of the institute speaks for itself. It has excellent visiting faculty. Large amount of industry interaction is focused upon. It has a very good and large alumni base. It is among the top colleges for Finance specialization. Being a Mumbaikar, from childhood I have heard about this college from large number of people. All these reasons were more than sufficient for me to target only JBIMS.

    Q. What advice and tips you would like to share with the candidates preparing for MAHCET?

    A.My advice would be to just prepare hard. At this time of preparation we don’t understand what a prestigious B-school means. But once you get into it you can feel the change in you. The hard work that you are putting in daily is worth. Your life after this would be such which you will definitely cherish. If I can do this then anybody can achieve this. Keep practicing as much as you can. Take variety of mocks. Feel confident about your preparation and never ever get demotivated because of few low scores in mocks. Remember that you can do as many mistakes as you want in your mocks but learn from them and find a strategy in which you are very much comfortable.

    The preparation phase is very tough but keep yourself motivated and never consider that you can’t achieve a very high score or you can’t top. Just keep identifying your strengths and work continuously upon your weak areas. Don’t enter the exam hall with any pre designed strategy. Spend starting 1-2 mins on the paper and make strategy on the spot.