Interview with BITS Pilani student who topped CMAT September 2012

Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) September 2012 topper Anirudh Batra is very unlike your common breed of toppers. While being happy about the fact that he has topped the exam, he is not over the moon yet. Pursuing his fourth year engineering course in electronics and telecommunications from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani, Anirudh speaks to PaGaLGuY about topping the CMAT.

Congrats! So how are you feeling about topping the CMAT?

Thanks. I am feeling very good about it.

Did you expect that you will become the topper?

No I did not expect it. It came as a surprise.

How did you prepare for the exam?

I was basically preparing for Common Admission Test (CAT) 2012. I did not do any focussed preparation for CMAT. I prepared for about 10 months for the exam. The last few days before the exam I was studying for about two and a half hours everyday.

You are saying that you did not do any focussed preparation for CMAT. How did you take care of the General Knowledge (GK) section?

I used to read the newspaper everyday. Apart from that, I did not do anything else for GK.

CMAT is a speed based exam. So, how did you work on that?

I took some speed enhancement tests at my coaching institute. I also took one mock CMAT.

What role did the coaching institute play in your success?

I went to a premier coaching institute in Pilani. It was pretty helpful. Enrolling in a coaching institute obviously helped me on what to study, the areas to focus on etc.

How was your experience with CMAT this year?

I had 3-4 wrong questions in my paper.

Which other exams are you appearing for?

I am taking CAT as well as XAT.

Which colleges are you targeting through CMAT?

I have not decided on that yet. If I do not get a good score in CAT, I might even try next year. But honestly, I have not given it too much of a thought.

So, does that mean you will not target top b-schools in Mumbai?

My first aim is CAT and I want to crack that. I am not sure whether I will apply to top b-schools in Mumbai or not. This is my first attempt at CAT and CMAT, so I can always try next year again. I have time on hand and I am in no hurry to join a b-school.

So, which are your dream b-schools?

I am targeting the older IIMs, XLRI and Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), New Delhi.

You come across as someone who is not going overboard with the CMAT results.

As I said my focus is on CAT. I am taking the CAT on October 25. So, I am keeping everything toned down as of now.

Tell us your family background.

I live in a joint family. Although I stay at a hostel in Pilani, my family is based out of Delhi. I am a Paschim Vihar resident. We are six of us – grandmother, aunt, sister and my parents.

What did they say when they heard about your results?

They were elated.

So, is a gift in store for you?

Have not thought about it. Maybe something later.

Ever thought of being an entrepreneur?

No, it’s too far off to think really.

Will this CMAT performance help you during CAT?

Ya, it has given me the confidence that I can do it. As this was my first time, it has given me a good understanding of where I stand.

You have become an overnight celebrity of sorts. How does that feel?

Nothing special! It’s all the same. Ofcourse I am very happy. As I said before, I am taking the CAT in some days. So, maybe will have a party after that.

Your advice to future CMAT aspirants.

(laughs) I am in no position to offer any advice. The only thing I can say is be regular with your studies.