Some prep and some luck got this CAT topper through the exam day

Gaurav Malpani, CAT topper in 2011

There are CAT toppers and there are CAT toppers. And there are CAT toppers who had hoped to get just a 99 percentile. One such is Gaurav Malpani who topped CAT in 2011. Having had a theoretically perfect academic record of graduating from IIT Bombay and then completing his MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, Gaurav confesses that a bit of luck did go his way then. When asked to provide some tips to CAT 2015 aspirants, Gaurav said he never followed any structure while preparing so didn’t know what to say.

For those who are as unstructured in CAT prep, read on to know how you’d score. 

When did you start preparing for CAT? As in how many months before?

 Started preparing for CAT around 2 months before.

That you were from IIT-Bombay – did that help in your approach, study?

Not exactly. The skill-set required for cracking CAT exists with everyone preparing for competitive exams in general.

You said then that you did not expect to crack the exam, you were expecting a 99 percentile, why?

 Was appearing for CAT for the first time and not satisfied with the prep time. Since it all comes down to the Percentile (and not total score), wasn’t feeling very optimistic.

 What do you mean by saying that you did not have a structured way of studying – whatever it is, it helped?

I gave a lot of mock tests in exam conditions (sit with the paper for 3 hours, don’t take any breaks, try to attempt as many questions as you can). Not very structured and more geared towards preparation for limited time.

What should an aspirant ideally do, two  days before CAT?

 Take a break and relax. Take lots of rest as you don’t want your brain giving up on you on D-day due to not being adequately rested.

Do pattern changes make a difference to prep?

Don’t think so. Basic skill-set required remains the same, right?

Is an MBA worth it?

Depends on your end goal. There is no right answer to this.

What made you a topper?

Some preparation and a lucky day, I guess!