How Manish Kumar cracked CAT with 99.43 percentile to get IIM admission?
Manish Kumar achieved a high percentile of 99.43 in CAT 2013 and secured admission in IIM Raipur. An Engineer by education, Manish aims to acquire knowledge in Finance and Marketing and become a finance expert post his PGP at the IIM.
In this interview with Careers360, the CAT topper, shares how he worked on basic concepts and to excel in the CAT and other management entrance exam. He also talks on his Time Management strategy which led him crack CAT with high percentile despite his hectic work schedules.
Read more for his insights on successfully cracking CAT.
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Careers360: What was your objective behind pursuing MBA? What are your aspirations?
Manish Kumar: The reasonI pursued MBA is that I wanted to diversify my field of knowledge, mainly in finance and marketing. A management programme lets you have a diversified knowledge and skills in different roles. As a manager it is important to have idea about all the departments with a sense of responsibility towards every division and company.
Careers360: Apart from CAT 2013, which other MBA entrance exams you appeared in and how was your performance?
Manish Kumar: Apart from CAT 2013, the entrance exams I appeared in wereIIFT and SNAP. My performance in each of the exam was as per my preparation and I was satisfied with the results. Though all these exams require a different strategies and preparation tactics, but few factors remain common, as in concentrating on Time management, practicing the Mock exams and have a clear idea about the Basics.
Careers360: Why did you choose to join IIM Raipur? Please also name other B-schools which made final admission offers to you?
Manish Kumar: I got calls from 5 new IIMs and MDI. The reason I didn’t join MDI was because I wasn’t interested in HR. In other new IIMs I found Raipur the best, reason being its faculty, academic schedules, brilliant peer group and activities that lets you explore opportunities in every fields.
Careers360: What was your preparation strategy for CAT 2013? Is it important to have Coaching or Mentoring for the exam?
Manish Kumar: It is important to follow a strategy for CAT exam as without a preparation technique it gets difficult for student to have an idea about how to crack CAT. I developed a strategy to follow Prep Materials of Coaching institutes soI enrolled for test series of various coaching centers which helped me a lot in building my confidence. These series and mock test helped me to clear my basics, let me practice and made me ready for the actual CAT exam.
The need of coaching or mentoring depends from student to student. Mentors can guide and motivate a student’s which work as a morale booster. In my case, coaching didn’t matter much as I studied all by myself. Though I followed the coaching exam series but didn’t took any classes.
Careers360: How did you manage CAT preparation schedule along with your working hours?
Manish Kumar: It is actually quite difficult to cope with your study along with your hectic work routine. But the key to tackle this challenge is to make a daily planner, scheduling all your daily activities, managing time and preparing a chart for each hour activity. I prepared a complete plan and followed this time table which helped me to allot at least three hours every day for preparation. This is how I managed my CAT preparations with my office schedule.
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Careers360: Please share your preparation strategy for the Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning separately?
Manish Kumar: For Quantitative Ability,I tried to be generic and worked towards strengthening my basics. I also tried solving the problems with alternate possible solutions which helps you a lot in analyzing each questions with different aspects along with increasing the ability of answering the questions right and on time.
For Data Interpretation, the key and strategy is to practice as much as you can. I also followed the same and it supported me to make this area strong.
For Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning, the best is to focus on reading comprehensions and increasing vocabulary, which you can do by reading the newspapers, searching for difficult words and learning their meanings.
Careers360: What was your Time Management formula while taking the actual CAT paper?
Manish Kumar: Managing Time is the key factor in cracking CAT. If you manage your time well and solve all the questions within the time slot, half of the CAT exam is cracked. Along with that it is vital to plan a pattern for answering questions. I solved questions in which I was more comfortable first and then went for the rest. It is the best Time management formula to follow as it lets you not to get stuck with one question and waste time answering that.
Careers360: What is your advice for the MBA aspirants who will take CAT 2014?
Manish Kumar: My advice to the CAT 2014 aspirants is totake as many mock tests as possible and practice as hard as you can.
Careers360: Do you think Recreational activities are important? What were the activities that you did besides preparing for the exam?
Manish Kumar: Recreational activities are a must for every student who is preparing for an entrance exam. Such activities let you channelize your energy in a better and positive manner throughout. Your mind feels fresh and relaxed when you indulge in these activities.I am interested in poetry and had managed to write something even with busy schedule.
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Questions related to CAT
sloved question paper of CAT b.des 2020
Here is the link of CAT previous years question papers with solutions (2017,2018,2019) . Hope this will help you to boost your preparation for the exam.
Hope it helps.
All the best.
i belong to telngana gor 321 marks in neet2020 air289957 can i get b cat mbbs female candidate
Reg Help &
confirm seats under MGMT/NRI Quota,
only NEET qualified.
bookings started for confirm seats
all over india.
My branch is Electrical Engineering and in my college i have very less chance of placements . So what jobs should i go for so that it could be counted as work experience if I want to go for CAT exam ?
For MBA , work experience is not compulsory. You can get into MBA colleges without a work experience. It's like good food placed in a good plate. If you have a work experience you will get a good job or with more package . Otherwise it will depend on your academics.
My Neet 2020 score is 566 . I belong to BC cat. in Tamilnadu. What are my chances in Tamilnadu government colleges??
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 566 marks , you hold a chance to get a seat in a Government Medical College
In Neet 2019, 470 marks for obc category was the cut off marks to get a seat in Government Medical College under Tamilnadu state quota and it was for Government Medical College and Hospital, Pudukottai
With 566 marks also have chances in following govt college under state quota-
*Government Medical College, Omandurar Estate, Chennai
*Government K.A.P.V. Medical College, Trichy
And a few more
Above prediction is on the basis of past year data but cutoff keeps changing every year due to many factors as mentioned earlier, so to have a clear picture of the colleges in which you have to chances and
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
what jobs an engineer can do if he does not get campus placement and want to appear in CAT exam so that his work ex will be counted??
Most IIM's usually gives only 5-15 % of weightage to work experience (major weightage is for CAT score and PI) with points for approx. 24-36 months of work after which they don't count it ( which means work experience of more than 2-3 years will not give you any extra edge during selection)
Since you are an Engineering graduate, it is usually advisable to go for a technical job related to your field not just because it is easier to get but but because it is easier to justify in your CV. CAT values versatility but there is a fine line between versatility and randomness. What I mean to say is that if you go for a job which isn't even remotely related to your field of study then you'd probably be asked for reasons as to why you chose to do that. So if you were to go for a sales job after completing a degree in say, Electrical Engineering, you'd have to to explain your shift in career paths. To avoid such justifications and to to make the most of your CV, go for a technical job or maybe an Analysist position, anything which you can either link to your Engineering degree or to a Management degree.
Best of luck, Good day!