CAT 2012 Topper Nilesh Gupta Interview on Cracking CAT 2013
Nilesh Gupta got99.93 percentile in CAT 2012 and received admission offers from most of the established and new IIMs and other top B-schools like FMS Delhi. He, however, chose IIM Bangalore to pursue his MBA dream.
An Engineering graduate from BITS Pilani, Nilesh worked at Larsen and Tubro for nine months and simultaneously prepared for CAT without any regular coaching. In this interview, Nilesh shares his CAT prep strategy, time management approach and WAT-PI experience. He also speaks on ‘what prompted him to pursue an MBA’ and ‘why he chose IIM-B over the other options’.
Careers360.com: What was your CAT percentile? Which B-schools offered you final admission?
Nilesh Gupta: I got an overall 99.93 percentile in CAT 2012.
Careers360.com: Which B-schools offered you final admission? Why did you choose IIM Bangalore?
Nilesh Gupta: I received final admission offers from all IIM except IIM Ahmedabad. A plenty of reasons led me to choose IIM Bangalore over other colleges. Firstly, the brand IIM is irreplaceable, which is why I rejected the admission option from FMS Delhi. Secondly, Bangalore being a hub of marketing was a natural choice for me over a finance stressing IIM Calcutta. Finally, IIM Bangalore is quite popular for its extra-curricular life which I believe is really important for a holistic development.
Careers360.com: Why and when did you decide to do MBA?
Nilesh Gupta: The choice of doing an MBA cannot be attributed to a specific time/phase of my life. It was a gradual transition which occurred over the years and a lot of factors were involved. Firstly, I am a restless soul with a lot of varied interests and only MBA gives me the freedom to pursue them all. Secondly, once I started working in the core industry, it taught me how important it is to do an MBA to climb up the ladder fast in any organization.
Careers360.com: What was your overall strategy for CAT preparation?
Nilesh Gupta: Firstly, introspection is very important. I was always sure that I needed to work really hard on QA and LR. Having prepared for GRE earlier gave me a natural advantage in VA whereas DI was more of fast math. So don’t stick to rule books but work out your own strategy. Friends or teachers who know you really well can also help in this regard.
I have also noticed that a lot of us spend our entire time preparing for QA and neglect other subjects in the process. QA accounts for only 25% of the total marks, of which almost 10% fall in the ‘very easy’ category. Other sections need a lot of practice as well and though personalization is suggested, a bare minimum for all the sections is necessary.
Careers360.com: Please share your WAT/PI experiences?
Nilesh Gupta: I would rate my IIM Bangalore PI as the most interesting interview I have faced till date. The day started with a lot of anxiety as usual. WAT topic was purely opinion-based and I was satisfied with my attempt as I started with a quote, maintained a good flow and made an impactful conclusion. But the best part was yet to come. I was called inside and things proceeded normally revolving mainly around the SOP (Statement of Purpose) I had submitted. Though I was barraged with a few tough questions, it went on smoothly.
Moving straight to the last part, the panel noticed that I have been actively involved in theatre. So they asked me to shout on them as badly as possible. It had to be so realistic that the candidates outside get petrified. I was not even allowed to reveal that it was a prank and stormed out of the building after the act. Thus, it was a truly unique experience.
Careers360.com: Do you think it is possible to crack CAT without taking formal coaching? What would you suggest the CAT 2013 aspirants who would like to prepare without any formal coaching?
Nilesh Gupta: It is definitely possible to crack CAT without formal coaching as happened in my case. But I won’t understate the need of Test Series and study material. I started the preparation around 3 months before the exam. Though I was poor in QA as well as LR, but a rigorous study schedule filled with a lot of practice tests brought a drastic change in my performance. As far as study material is concerned, all books are almost at parity. But for tests, I would suggest you join any institute which gives you a national platform to test yourself.
Careers360.com: You were a working professional while preparing for CAT. How did you manage the CAT preparation within your regular schedule?
Nilesh Gupta: I started preparing for CAT as soon as I joined work. Since I was a trainee, the limited amount of work load helped a great deal. I would suggest everyone to start the preparations as soon as they enter a job. There are multiple reasons for this:
a) You get a lot of free time in the beginning and things only get tougher as time passes
b) Sooner or later, work becomes very monotonous in a lot of jobs. Also, MBA really helps you accelerate your career. So unless you are really passionate about your field, start today.
c) Setting a rhythm in the beginning is very important
I was also lucky to get tremendous support from my colleagues and superiors. Hence, it is very important to maintain cordial relationships with everyone in the office.
Careers360.com: What was your strategy for time management for the CAT?
Nilesh Gupta: I was very clear about few things regarding time management. In the first section, I attempted all the QA questions which I could clearly solve in the first sight and marked a few which were doable but with a little more thought. Then I got back to the marked questions. I could solve some and left the rest, proceeding to the DI section. This section needs a lot of patience and I ensured that I left no question just because of lengthy calculations. Luckily, I was still left with time after all DI questions and spent the last few minutes reviewing the paper.
In the second section, I attempted all ‘Fill in the blanks’ i.e. ‘Vocabulary-testing’ questions first. Then I moved to Para-jumbling and so on before moving to LR. Once everything was done, I started reading the paragraphs and could solve some before the final bell.
Careers360.com: What is your message for the MBA aspirants who will take CAT 2013 and other exams of the season?
Nilesh Gupta: I have just one message to share: ‘Take it easy’. This is the only mantra which distinguished me from other candidates whom I met at my CAT test centre. I wouldn’t take the credit for being cool as the major reason behind this was that my expectations were pretty low. But when I look back, that helped me immensely. In a country with such a huge talent pool, making it to the top 0.1% definitely needs a stroke of luck. For every bad attempt, there is always a next one. I have batch mates with more than 10 years of experience which clearly signifies that patience is the key.
So gear up your shoes, prepare really hard but remember you have nothing to lose, as writer Chetan Bhagat quotes: “Be sincere, not serious”.
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Questions related to CAT
460 neet score,obc cat can possibility of get admission in MBBS course
Your profile suggests that your domicile state is Maharashtra
It's quite difficult to predict that whether you will get seat or not as cut off marks for medical colleges keeps changing every year depending upon various factors like number of students that appeared in the exam, kind of marks obtained by them , toughness level of the examination etc.
But when we go through previous data then ,
>>>>> with 460 marks ,
you hold a low chance for an mbbs seat in a Government Medical College
in neet 2019, 521 marks for general category was the lowest mark to get an mbbs seat in Government Medical College, under Maharashtra State quota and it was for Government Medical College and Hospital, jalgaon
You can check the same at
You have chances in deemed universities for mbbs which are listed below along with their neet 2020 , 2nd round cut off :-
----------) SBKS Med. Inst. and Res. Centre, Sumandeep Vadodara:- 446 marks
----------) Yenepoya Manglaore:-436 marks
----------) Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar:- 426 marks
----------) B.L.D.E University, Bijapur:- 387 marks
----------) MGM Medical College, Navi Mumbai:- 380 marks
And a few more
To get the complete list of colleges in which you have chances, you can go through our college predictor at
It gives you a personalized report with top college in which you have chances for admission , with the help of predicted colleges you can make better choice while filling your choices of colleges during your counselling
450 score, obc cat, MD anaesthesia, low budget college, good govt/ Pvt college, any chance??
To get a government seat one must score above 525. With 450 you can get in to a private college. As your NEET score is 450. Your Overall Percentile is: 93.39 - 93.89 and when it comes to rank, your Predicted Rank is:89930 - 107080 . Also depends upon last years cut-off. Adding it with 15% All India quota and 85% state quota seats in government colleges.
As per the last year result of NEET UG ,General category aspirants need minimum 147 marks (50 percentile). On the other hand General-PH(129 Marks 45 percentile) and SC/OBC/ST requires 113 marks (40 percentile).
Hope this helps
Wish you luck
my jee rank in obc cat. 29192 can I get cse in hbti
First and foremost,
congratulations on achieving an 29k rank in the JEE . According to recent reports, hbti may not accept admmision through Upsee. HBTI KANPUR is moving its intake to the Jee mains, which is wonderful news because it means more intake. And, based on your ranking, you will very certainly be offered a spot in the second round of counselling.
Visit http://hbtu.ac.in/ for further information.
sir as punjab democile cat. gen sroce 471 can i got best ptv collage in punjab
Hello Yatin. I hope you are in good health. You mentioned your marks but didn't mention the exam you are talking about. Assuming that you have a query regarding NEET UG 2021, I will give an answer based on that. You mentioned you belong to general category. Well, based on your marks, your overall percentile may end up somewhere around 91.59 - 92.09 while your AIR may lie somewhere around 127893 - 160043.
Well, it is quite difficult to predict whether you have any window of opportunity to get government quota seats in private medical colleges in Punjab. Although based on your performance you have less chance to grab a seat for MBBS via All India Counselling as well as State Counselling.
Moreover, you may get chance to grab a seat for B.D.S. under government quota at private dental colleges in Punjab via State Counselling.
You may get admission for pursuing B.D.S. in the following private dental colleges:
- B.J. Singh Dental College Hospital & Research Institute, Ludhiana
- Dasmesh Institute of Research & Dental Sciences, Faridkot - https://www.careers360.com/colleges/dasmesh-institute-of-research-and-dental-sciences-faridkot
- D.B. Dental College & Hospital, Mandi Gobindgarh - https://www.careers360.com/colleges/desh-bhagat-dental-college-and-hospital-mukatsar
- SGRD Institute of Dental Sciences & Research, Amritsar - https://www.careers360.com/colleges/sri-guru-ram-das-institute-of-dental-science-and-research-amritsar
To get detailed information on cutoff marks vs rank for Punjab medical and dental colleges, follow this link:
To know your admission chances in medical/dental colleges with NEET Score, to get a personalized report with Top MBBS & B.D.S Colleges and to check course & counselling wise cut-offs of NEET for various state quotas, caste groups etc., I encourage you to use NEET UG 2021 College Predictor:
I hope you find this information helpful.
Thank you and good luck!
for cat exam which is going to held on november 28 2021 is 2 months home preparation is enough to get good score. please suggest me
Home preparation or we can say Revision or Practice is more than enough to score good marks for any competitive exams. You should have a proper schedule and syllabus that is to be cover you should go through last years paper for knowing the pattern of questions, you should go through atleast 10 sample papers for proper practice. Be focused and set a target of how much you want to achieve, so that you can atleast give your best to achieve near to that target. The most important thing while writing an exam or while preparing is to be calm and focused. So be calm and don't panic.
Hope this helps you.
All the best for your exams.
Give your best