MBAUniverse.com is excited to share inspiring success stories of CAT toppers. These interviews showcase candidates who cracked CAT or XAT, and also secured admissions into top IIMs and other prestigious institutions. Get motivated by their well-planned preparation strategies, valuable insights on MBA entrance exam preparation, Personal Interviews, and MBA college selection. Dream big and stay focused on your preparation for a brighter future.
Today we present the motivational interview with Mumbai girl Srishti Yadav, who cracked CAT 2022 with 99.69%ile and is currently pursuing MBA from IIM Kozhikode. Srishti is electronics engineer from VJTI, Mumbai and had worked at JPMorgan Chase as a software engineer for a year. She was one of the top 45 candidates across the country who were selected from 2000+ applicants to attend a Pre-MBA foundation school at Hindustan Unilever head office.
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Srishti’s CAT preparation journey has a lot of lessons. For instance, how did she overcome her weakness in VARC section, and how did she maximize on her strengths. Also, how she used multiple books and coaching institutes wisely at different stages of her preparation.
Srishti believes in having a well-rounded personality and loves to Dance, Read, pay Dodgeball and Cook! Srishti says her family greatly contributed to her road to IIM. She comes from a family with a background in science. Both her mother Chitra Yadav and father Dr Kuldeep Yadav have completed M.Sc. and her father pursued PhD later and is scientist at B.A.R.C. Mumbai. Her brother Shaurya is currently in Class 12 and is preparing for his engineering entrance exam.
So, with this introduction, let’s get going with the interview!
Q: How did you perform in CAT 2022?
A: I scored 99.69 overall percentile in CAT 2022 and scored 93.02%ile in VARC, 99.97%ile in DILR and 98.02 %ile in QA.
Q: Did you take any other exam apart from CAT?
A: Apart from CAT, I didn’t take any other exam.
Q: What was your overall preparation strategy for CAT?
A: My preparation started from January 2022. I followed Arun Sharma’s books sincerely and gave all the mocks and analysed each one diligently. I took a coaching class, just to keep check on how many chapters I need to finish preparing till when, and get my doubts resolved from the faculty members.
Q: Please share your sectional preparation strategy for CAT?
A: For each of the sections, again I followed Arun Sharma’s books and gave sectional tests after completing each chapter to get a timed experience. I used to revisit the topics by attempting moderate and higher-level sectional tests later on.
Q: How did you prepare for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning?
A: For DILR, I completed the Arun Sharma book end to end. It really improved my way of tackling the sets. I used to get my doubts clarified if I couldn’t solve a set. Again, I practiced via sectional tests as well, as you need to monitor the time as well. I took coaching from TIME, so their booklets were useful as well to solve high level sets. DILR needs a lot of practice. You need to be able to formulate the right approach.
Q: How did you prepare for Quantitative Ability?
A: Being an engineer, the QA part went a bit easy for me. I completed Arun Sharma’s book on QA. This book explains every concept very clearly. I attempted sectional tests as well. QA again requires a lot of practice as you need to do the questions very fast.
Q: How did you prepare for Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension?
A: For VARC, I focused more on the RCs, as I was not able to attain higher accuracy in VA. I practiced VARC a lot via sectional tests.
Q: Was there any particular section that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?
A: I was very weak at VARC. I used to attempt a bit of VA and some RCs initially in the mocks. Then I noticed that I was able to do well when I attempted just the RCs, as VA’s Para jumbles and Para summary were fetching me negative points. I started attempting just the RCs and my negative marks were no more there and overall score improved a lot. I would suggest that you play around in mocks, try different strategies in the mocks and then select the one that suits you the best.
Q: What role did Mocks play in your success?
A: The mocks really helped me a lot. It is the most important thing. Taking mocks is the most essential thing to do. Every mock should be taken very seriously. I attempted all the mocks that TIME and IMS had provided.
Q: Did you self-prepare for CAT Exam or did you attend a Coaching Centre and why?
A: I enrolled in TIME coaching class for CAT, just to keep check on how many chapters I need to finish preparing till when, and get my doubts resolved from the faculty members.
Q: Which books did you refer during your preparation and how effective were they?
A: I referred Arun Sharma’s books completely. I solved the material provided by TIME as well, but just selected questions which I did not find in Arun Sharma.
Q: Please share CAT test taking strategy. What was your last-minute preparation?
A: My CAT test taking strategy was as follows:
- I need to solve RCs only,
- Then in DILR, I have to solve 3 sets
- For QA I will use the rounds technique.
I did not have any last-minute preparation as such. I just revised QA formulae a couple of hours before the exam.
Q: How did you prepare for GD/PI/WAT Rounds?
A: I took IMS’s GDPI WAT preparation course. They helped me via taking my mock PIs, giving out material for WAT and also the daily current affairs lectures were very useful. And the best thing was the WATPI Bible.
Q: With such high percentiles and a strong profile, what were the calls you received?
A: I was shortlisted by IIM B, IIM C, IIM L, IIM K, IIM I, IIM CAP, FMS, SPJIMR (Finance + BM) for GD-PI-WAT?
Q: Which top B-Schools you converted and which one you finally took admission in?
A: I converted IIM Kozhikode, IIM Indore, SPJIMR (Finance) and was waitlisted for IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, FMS Delhi. I finally opted for IIM Kozhikode PGP 2023-25 batch
Q: What are your top criteria for deciding which B-school take admission in?
A: My three criteria for deciding which B-school to join were:
- First, the kind of culture that the B-school has in terms of learning environment, peer learning and student teacher interaction. I think that is the most important factor.
- Second, the legacy that the B-school has, and the alumni network.
- Third, kind of opportunities that come to the campus for the role I aspire to get in.
Q: According to you, overall, how can B-schools make their MBA admission process less cumbersome for MBA applicants…
A: I think there should be just one application for all the IIMs. It is very cumbersome to keep a track of each and every application separately.
Q: Finally, your message and tips for candidates preparing for CAT 2023
A: Nobody can motivate you, unless you motivate yourself. You should know very clearly that why did you start preparing and why do you want your dream B-school. Reason needs to be clear in your mind, because, if that is clear, you will not find yourself struggling to practice, give mocks and be focused. CAT is no joke; it is highly competitive. Focus on improving your marks, (and not percentile, that will follow marks) after each mock attempt and never miss any mock. CAT should be THE priority. Stay focused, and motivated, it is a very long journey and each step that you take can be a deal maker or breaker. All the best guys !! :)
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