MBAUniverse.com is excited to present inspiring success stories of CAT and XAT toppers who secured admissions to top B-schools and after taking judicious decision made it to their dream B-school. Get motivated from their well-planned preparation strategies, valuable insights on MBA entrance exam readiness, Personal Interviews, and MBA college selection.
Today, meet Nipun Garg from Panchkula Haryana. He feels that Decsision Making section in XAT is fun to solve. He scored higher percentile score in XAT than in CAT. Nipun cracked CAT 2022 with 97.02 percentile and XAT 2023 with 99.9577 percentile. He declined admission offer from MDI Gurgaon, 9 CAP participating IIMs and joined XLRI Jamshedpur PGDM-BM 2023-25 batch as XLRI conforms to his criteria of choosing the best B-School.
A B.E. from BITS Pilani, Nipun has a work experience of 35 months (Almost 3 years) as Manager, Nirmaan Builders and Investments, Chandigarh from May 2020 to April 2023. His father is a businessman, mother is home maker and sister is a student. With all the support from his family and friends, Nipun continued his march to pursue his passion of doing MBA/PGDM from one of the top B-schools in India.
Chess, Travelling, Geo-politics A keen observer and reader of Geo-Politics, Nipun loves playing Chess and Travelling. Nipun’s CAT and XAT preparation journey is full of lessons. For instance, he overcome his weakness in QADI section by practicing as many more questions, previous papers and mocks to maximize on his strengths.
So, with this introduction, let’s get going with the interview!
Q: How did you perform in CAT 2022 and XAT 2023?
A: I scored 97.02 overall percentile in CAT 2022. In XAT 2023, I scored 99.9577 percentile overall and 99.47 in QA; 98.52 in Verbal; 99.81 in DM
Q. How different/unique is XAT as compared to other MBA entrance exams in your opinion?
A. The two areas where I feel XAT is different from another MBA entrance exams are the time allotted for the exam, and the Decision Making. Other MBA exams have reduced their exam durations post COVID-19 with little intentions of going back. I strongly feel that the longer time frames are a truly a test of persons conceptual understanding where challenging questions could be asked whereas shorter time frames force one to switch to rote learning. Moreover, the Decision-Making part of the exam is something very unique to XAT and is a fun section to solve.
Q: What was your overall preparation strategy for XAT?
A: My strategy mainly emphasised on focusing on my stronger suits, mainly DM and Verbal Ability. At the same time, I also made sure to very thoroughly cover all the topics and concepts in Quants section. For GK section, I only went through daily newspapers and there was not any specific preparation as such.
Q: How long should a candidate ideally prepare for XAT?
A: I think a consistent (doesn’t have to be very intense) effort about 3 months before the exam could prepare any candidate for this exam.
Q: Please share your sectional preparation strategy for XAT? How did you prepare for Verbal & Logical Ability?
A: My main source for preparation of the VA section was the daily newspapers (mainly The Hindu or Indian Express). Apart from that, one of the main things anyone should focus on is to read the RCs and poems in the exam extremely carefully before attempting.
Q: How did you prepare for Decision Making?
A: For me, the past year papers were the best source for preparation for the exam. I tried to deduce a logically why the given answer was correct. I also relied on few of my friends to discuss the given case studies to gain a different perspective.
Q: How did you prepare for QADI?
A: For Quants, I relied on solving as many questions as possible, especially for the section where I was weak. Questions itself were a source of preparation for me in the section.
Q: How did you prepare for GK & Essay?
A: For GK I mainly relied on daily newspapers. The editorial sections of these newspapers came very handy in writing essay, not only developing my linguistic capabilities but also as a source of new and unique ideas.
Q: Was there any particular section/area that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?
A: QADI section is something which I struggled with. I relied on solving as many questions as possible, especially for the section where I was weak. Questions itself were a source of preparation for me in the section.
Q: What role did Mocks play in your success? How many mocks did you attempt before the exam?
A: I believe mocks played a very important role in my final preparation. Especially after covering the syllabus once, I mainly relied on mock for strategizing how to attempt the exam and manage the time.
Q: Did you self-prepare for XAT Exam or did you attend a Coaching Centre?
A: I opted for self preparation and primarily referred to some YouTube channels. I also referred to TIME Institute coaching material and would recommend the same to XAT aspirants.
Q: Please share your strategy for the XAT Day.
A: My main emphasis during the exam day was getting a proper full night sleep as well as not worrying about the exam a lot. I was fairly confident that I did my best, and was mostly indifferent about the results. Also, during the last week I avoided studying anything new and tried to revise whatever I had already done.
Q: Which top B-schools Shortlisted you for GD/PI round?
A: I was shortlisted by XLRI, MDI Gurgaon and all the CAP IIMs
Q: How did you prepare for GD/PI Rounds? How different was your preparation strategy for BM and HRM interviews?
A: Again for GD/PI process I relied on newspapers. However this time I tried to form my own opinion on the dominant news during the time. I also appeared for 2-3 mock interviews. Since I had work ex, I made sure to brush up on all the different aspects of my roles and responsibilities and ensuring I am thorough with it.
Q: Something you think went really well for you in your interviews?
A: I was able to drive the interview in the direction I was most comfortable in, i.e. my work experience.
Q: Which all top B-schools offered you admission?
A: I converted XLRI Jamshedpur BM, MDI Gurgaon and the CAP IIMs
Q: Why did you prefer XLRI? What were your top three criteria?
A: I chose XLRI after a well thought of decision. The key criteria were: Legacy (for how long the institution has existed); Large Alumni Network; High Placement Statistics
Q: According to you, overall, how can B-schools make their MBA admission process less cumbersome for MBA applicants.
A: I think there needs to be a greater transparency post the examination stage, especially in the GDPI interviews. The objective criteria used for final selection in the interviews should be made public
Q: Any myth you would want to bust regarding XAT exam or its preparation?
A: The Myth is that the XAT exam is way too difficult to even attempt. In fact, Decision Making is one of the best sections I had fun solving. Candidates need to let go of this fear and just try to give their best
Q: Finally, your message and tips for candidates preparing for XAT 2024
A: My advice to the candidates for XAT 2024 would be:
- Give your best shot at this examination
- Do everything you can to the best of your abilities, so much so that the results become inconsequential
- Be excited and curious to learn about different and new things
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