Abhishek Kumar Pandey

An inspiration to CAT 2018 aspirants, Abhishek Kumar Pandey has scored 99.63 percentile in CAT 2017. He is offered admission at IIM Calcutta. For the benefit of CAT 2018 aspirants, MBAUniverse.com has brought a round of CAT toppers’ success stories alongwith their success mantra that led them to crack CAT with high percentile. In the series we present the success story and CAT preparation journey shared by Abhishek Kumar Pandey:


MBAUniverse: What was your overall preparation strategy for CAT?


Abhishek: Because of my background, my basics were already clear and therefore I didn’t enrol for any classroom program for CAT ‘17. For improvement, I wrote ~15 all India Mock Tests of a few coaching institutes. I analysed them thoroughly to learn from my mistakes. RC & QA were my key area of strengths, so I tried to capitalize on them by attempting maximum with decent accuracy.


MBAUniverse: Please share your sectional preparation strategy for CAT? How did you prepare for each section?



  1. VARC:  I never prepared specifically for this section. I have had a habit of reading the Hindu newspaper for past 3 years, because of which my reading speed had improved. Also, since it covered almost all genres of texts, RCs of the mocks and eventually the exam became relatively easier to solve. I suppose this was something that helped me in the VARC section
  2. Quant: My background played a major role here. Because of the basics being already clear, my focus was on giving as many mocks as possible and keep a track of all the tricks I found from the solutions. Besides, I also tried to increase my speed and skip the questions that I found difficult.
  3. DILR:  This section has been my Achilles heel (as evident from my CAT performance as well). The key to acing this section, according to me, was the right selection of sets. I would suggest practicing as many varieties of sets as possible and evolve one’s own strategy for this section.

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

Abhishek: I was weak at the LRDI section. I tried to improve by solving as many varieties of LRs and DIs as possible and identify the kind of sets at which I was good. This strategy helped in improving my mock scores. However, due to CAT ’17 being quite different and tough in LRDI section this year, my actual exam performance wasn’t as per the expectations.


Topper image
Topper exams


Exam Score
99.63 percentile
Exam year
Final calls
IIM Calcutta: Indian Institute of Management
NITIE Mumbai: National Institute of Industrial Engineering
IIM Lucknow: Indian Institute of Management
FMS New Delhi: Faculty of Management Studies
Topper Admission
IIM Calcutta: Indian Institute of Management