MBAUniverse.com in its series of CAT 2022 topper interviews, brings before you success stories of such CAT topper candidates who cracked CAT with high percentile and got into one of the top IIMs or other top B-schools with their well devised preparation strategy. One such CAT topper, a B.Sc. Honors in Agriculture, Amit Shailesh who cracked CAT 2022 with 94.62 percentile and has joined MBA 2023-25 batch at IIM Lucknow. To prepare for CAT 2022, Amit joined Mindworkzz coaching of Arun Sharma.
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With a firm confidence and planned preparation strategy, Amit prepared and appeared in CAT 2022 and was shortlisted by IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Lucknow, IIM Amritsar, IIM Kozhikode, and IIM Rohtak but he decided to join IIM Lucknow. MBAUniverse.com invited Amit Shailesh to share his preparation and CAT day strategy, how he cracked IIM Lucknow interview and more. Read below the CAT 2022 Topper Interview of Amit Shailesh with CAT preparation strategy
Q: How did you perform in CAT 2022?
A: I scored 94.62 overall percentile in CAT 2022.
Q: What was your overall preparation strategy for CAT?
A: This was my second CAT attempt. First, one was in 2021 in which I was able to get the calls but was not able to convert any colleges, so I gave a serious attempt in 2022 where in I got calls and with the proper guidance through Mindworkzz I was also able to convert colleges also. Currently I have selected IIM Lucknow as my college.
After CAT 2021 I had a big gap I started preparing around March. From June to July I tried to get a gist of the syllabus then I started taking mocks seriously and then I worked on analyzing mocks and giving mocks regularly.
Q: Please share your sectional preparation strategy for CAT? How did you prepare for VARC?
A: In VARC, the major part consists of reading comprehension followed by para jumble, para summary etc. my first objective was to cover as much reading comprehension as I can in the first 25 to 30 minutes. To prepare for reading comprehension I read articles from the Guardian, Aeon. The important point to remember is that reading variety of articles gives exposure to a variety of genre which is what asked in the CAT exam. Moving to para jumbles, first I started with forming the pairs of sentences so that I can form a relative para and put other statements in line. My approach for para summary was to find every detail mentioned in the para into the summary. No extra information and no less information either.
Q: How did you prepare for DILR?
A: DILR section for me was more on the tougher side. For DILR requires a lot of exposure to different kinds of sets. The minimum number of set exposure required for this section is around 400 sets after that it becomes relatively easy to figure out how to approach a set. This is what I followed for this section.
Q: How did you prepare for QA?
A: For quantitative aptitude section the major part was arithmetic followed by algebra geometry and modern maths. I completed all these sections for two rounds consisting of questions from level 1 to Level 3. I kept the basics in check as CAT is more a conceptual exam.
Q: Was there any particular section/area that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?
A: While my strength area was Quant section in which I was very well versed with everything, my weakest section I would say was LRDI because I was not able to convert the answers in Time. Although I was able to solve the questions but the timing was my main issue, so I have been following Arun Sharma sir’s video. He told that we need to get at least 400 sets of LRDI to get a grasp on the experience of all the sets. This I followed and that helped me a lot
Q: What role did Mocks play in your success? How many mocks did you attempt before the exam?
A: I started taking mocks in July and in the beginning it was weekly then it moved on to twice a week and in the month of October and November I almost gave mocks daily. So in total, I gave around 50-60 mocks. I spent around two to two point five hours in analyzing a mock. First I went to the questions which I attempted and got them wrong because that was the point where I thought I would lag and that would be a negative for me so first of all I went for that question. Second I went for the question which I might have done but missed because of the time constraint and finally, I looked at the questions which I left.
My Mock score remained up and down as it never had a fixed pattern or never a rising pattern as some people say. Even in the last mocks I scored a 60 70 percentile I can remember that.
Q: Did you self-prepare for CAT Exam or did you attend a Coaching Centre and why?
A: I joined Arun Sharma Sir’s Mindworkzz coaching to prepare for CAT 2022. His classes are just phenomenal because I have been following him for a very long time and what he does is, he opens up every topic in front of the students like it is a whole book. I was pretty weak in LRDI section and while seeing him solve questions with such an ease it was really impressive for me to look. That is what I followed and that got me to score in the LR section and get a call
Q: Please share your strategy for the CAT Day. What was your last-minute preparation? How did you plan your CAT test taking?
A: CAT day was like any other day for me because before CAT I attempted mocks as per actual exam hours. I maintained the same routine throughout the month of November. My approach to CAT was very simple and time bound. In the 1st run I attempted as much questions as I could then moved to the 2nd round for the questions which required a little extra effort than the 1st round questions. I kept in mind the weightage of different topics in each section and attempted accordingly.
Q: Which top IIMs and B-schools shortlisted you for GD/PI round?
A: I was shortlisted for CAP interview, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Lucknow, IIM Amritsar, IIM Kozhikode, and IIM Rohtak interview
Q: How did you prepare for GD/PI/WAT Rounds?
A: For GD/PI/WAT preparation I joined Mindworkzz. I had idea about it and had already made up my mind to get guidance from there. Everything from preparing CV to SoP formation was covered. What greatly helped me was the live GD and PI sessions. The whole team of Mindworkzz was there to help me at any time. They also provided query classes and sessions related to different domains of MBA so that we can get an insight on everything. Even after getting admission they are always there to provide me a helping hand when needed.
Q: Which were the Tricky PI rounds? Please share a few questions
A: My trickiest interview was for IIM Kozhikode. It was kind of a stress interview but I was already prepared for it. They tried to stress me out in their manner but it was all right. They basically stressed upon the answer which I gave. They used to form questions from my answers itself
Q: Which top B-School you have joined?
A: I have joined IIM Lucknow for 2023-25 batch
Q: What are your top three criteria for deciding which B-school to apply or take final admission?
A: According to me the top 3 criteria for deciding on B-school are:
- Our interest in a particular domain – every B-school has its top performing domain. We need to figure out all the possible b-schools according to our interest and work smartly to convert it.
- Best call or ranking - even if you don’t convert your dream b-school, you can opt for the best b-school for which you have converted.
- Overall good stats of the B-school in various areas such as diversity, summer internships , curriculum etc
- The first piece of advice I would give you is that CAT is a conceptual exam. What we need to do is to brush up on our basic concepts on every topic.
- The second advice is to start giving mocks early
- The third advice is to get experience with multiple types of sets which are asked in the questions
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