Siddharth Srivastava

An inspiration to working professionals preparing for IIM-CAT, Siddharth has earned 3 years of working experience before cracking CAT 2017 with 99.64 percentile and got admission in IIM Calcutta. With a civil engineering background, Siddharth continued his quest for excellence in CAT preparation, although he had scored 99.27 percentile in his 1st attempt in 2014. 


Siddharth belongs to a modest family with a mix of business, academic and banking environment. He worked for 3 years at Uber but continued his CAT preparation.

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Exam Score
99.64 percentile
Exam year
Exam experience

Q. What was your overall preparation strategy for CAT?

A. This was my fourth attempt at CAT, having scored 99%ile in multiple past attempts, I realised that I only needed to get test practice in order and I shall be ready. I attempted almost 40+ mock tests, relying on test series of most major CAT coaching institutes. Maintaining my temperament in the exam is absolutely critical for me and by exhaustive mock tests I ensured that I was doubly prepared for CAT. `


Q. Please share your sectional preparation strategy for VARC in CAT

A.  I have found VARC to be the easiest section and I tried to max out my marks here. I also tried to finish the section early in mocks and get a small break which allows me to clear my head for the subsequent sections


Q. How did you prepare for Quantitative Ability (QA) Section?

A. My preparation strategy here used to be attempting 34 questions in 40-45 mins by artificially limiting the section duration. The idea was to build speed and also buy time for some questions which I would not be able to crack in the first attempt


Q. What was your Preparation Strategy for DILR?

A.  This was the toughest section for me, and I approached it with the ‘Easy first, Medium difficulty next, tough questions last’ approach where I would kill the easy LR and DI sets first and then progressively move ahead. This was very different from Quant and VARC where I was comfortable enough to move around sequentially


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

A.  I was weak at LR despite spending countless hours of preparation. I would employ multiple tactics like option elimination, multiple attempts at the difficult sets after finishing off the paper to ensure I scored reasonably enough to clear cut offs


Q. What role did Mocks play in your success? How many mocks did you attempt before the exam?

A.  Immense. All my practice and results were down to Mocks ONLY. This year due to personal commitments I could not attempt more than 40 odd mocks but in the previous 3 attempts I had attempted 80-100 mocks each year


Q. Did you self-prepare or attend a coaching centre and why?

A. I Self-prepared. I found Coaching adding very little value except to those who need some

Level of discipline instilled.


Final calls
IIM Calcutta: Indian Institute of Management
IIM Lucknow: Indian Institute of Management
Topper Admission
IIM Calcutta: Indian Institute of Management