When it comes to pursuing higher education in the field of business, an MBA is often considered the perfect fit. For those aspiring to enter this domain, the journey typically begins with CAT (Common Admission Test), the most preferred MBA entrance exam in India. Accepted by all the top colleges in the country and the sole entrance test recognised by the prestigious IIMs, CAT holds immense significance in shaping one’s MBA aspirations. As the month of CAT preparation kicks off, aspiring MBA students gear up for the challenging road ahead.
In this interview, we dive into the experiences of Sanjit, who emerged as the top scorer in the CAT examination of 2022, achieving an outstanding percentile of 99.28. Sanjit provides us with valuable insights into his comprehensive preparation strategy, which not only helped him surpass the minimum required percentile in all three sections but also secured him admission offers from the premier B-Schools of India. Let’s delve deeper into his journey and gain some valuable tips:
Q1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your educational background?
I’m Sanjit, and I’ve done my 10th and 12th from ICSE and ISC boards, respectively. I scored 94.5 per cent in my 10th std. And 93.2 per cent in 12th std. Post that, I pursued engineering in the mechanical domain at the Manipal Institute of Technology. I graduated in 2019 with a GPA of 8.63. Post College, I joined Hero MotoCorp as a Territory Service Manager. I worked there for around 35 months (about 3 years), after which I quit my job and decided to prepare full-fledged for CAT 2022, in which I scored 99.28 percentile.
Q2. What were the primary resources that you used for preparing for CAT in terms of books, online mocks, course material, etc.?
I signed up for an online educational service – IQuanta. It is an online platform that prepares students for CAT and teaches students all the subjects and topics for their preparation. I did 80% of the preparation from their sources. Apart from that, I purchased IMA mocks, the importance of which I can’t stress. I also bought a few books. I predominantly referred to Arun Sharma for LRDI as well as Verbal. These were all the resources I used.
Q3. Given that the CAT preparation is a lengthy process, with the exam being divided into different sections, how did you strategise to maintain a balance across these sections?
I looked at all three sections simultaneously because there is a certain cutoff that needs to be cleared, section-wise, in order to be eligible for the top B Schools. My strategy for the three sections was –
VARC – For this section, my idea was to be well-versed with various genres that could be asked in the reading comprehension part. There could be philosophical, science-based, factual, and historical paragraphs and the more diverse I could prepare myself with, the less it’d be a surprise for me on D-day. This was my primary strategy for RC. Now for verbal ability, the important part was assessing the question and deciding which would be the correct answer from the options. For this, I used the elimination strategy, in which I went by eliminating the unlikely options. This helped me score well in Verbal Ability. This had all sorts of questions – Paraphrasing, sentence fragmentation, etc. and I mostly just practised all types of VA questions extensively, which helped me a lot.
LRDI – LRDI was comparatively easier when it came to the DI part. It involves a lot of number crunching, and for me, it came in easy. The other part of Logical Reasoning includes various questions – games and tournaments, networking the shortest routes, etc. In this part, being aware and going through all types of question sets became a very important aspect of getting through LR.
QA – When it came to quantitative aptitude, I believe algebra and arithmetic held the highest weightage. So, I tried to be very well-versed in these two topics. On the other hand, number systems, permutations, and combinations were a little lower on the priority list, so I didn’t really put a lot of emphasis on them. But for the former two topics, I tried to be thorough with each and every type of question that has been there, even in past papers.
Q4. What did a typical preparation day look like in your life? Did you compartmentalise your day section-wise? How did you go about it?
On a day-to-day basis, I didn’t have a fixed schedule since I believed every day was different for me, and I kept it all flexible. I only focused on completing my daily targets for all the sections. I ensured that was done, and the rest was flexible for me.
Also Read: CAT 2023: Ultimate Guide to Crack CAT – Registrations, Exam Day, Syllabus, Patterns, CAT Topper Tips & CAT Preparation Plan | Pagalguy
Q5. How did you manage your time during this journey, allocating it equally to different sections based on your strengths and weaknesses?
A good indicator for that would be the mocks that I gave because that helped me understand where I was lagging section-wise and then further into the the subject or chapter-wise where I was not scoring well. Then that would be the first priority for me in the morning to practice more questions and look at more resources on that particular topic to work on that and improve my scores in the subsequent test as much as possible.
Q6. Was there a specific element critical to your success in CAT 2022?
Mocks played a predominant role in my preparation. It was crucial for assessing my weaknesses in specific subjects or sections and for developing the mindset to manage time effectively. By attempting mocks, I conditioned myself to allocate an appropriate amount of time to each question and avoided getting panicked or agitated by spending too much time on a single question. Mocks helped me identify areas where I was struggling and allowed me to strategise the best use of the remaining time for those sections. This aspect was highly relevant in my preparation journey as it allowed me to create a personalised study plan, understand myself better, and leverage my strengths and weaknesses during the actual exam.
This was the preparation strategy that Sanjit used for his examination, and we hope it comes in as a great help for you to understand the basic outline and help you balance your plan for the sections and the paper.
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