Your browser does not support iframes.
Tanya Gupta achieved a high percentile of 99.47 in CAT 2013 and secured admission in IIM Kozhikode. Tanya, who worked with JP Morgan in Investment Banking Division prior to her admission into IIM, aims to become a financial market expert post her management course at the IIM K.
In this interview with Careers360, the CAT topper who targeted only IIMs for her MBA dream, shares how she strategically prepared along with extensive practice sessions for all the four sections of CAT paper. She also talks on the importance of dividing the time judiciously between your strengths and weaknesses, and gradually working upon them.
Read more for his insights on successfully cracking CAT.
Talk to our expert counsellors to explore the best suitable institutes for CAT on 011-40360360 (Paid Service)
Careers360: What was your objective behind pursuing MBA? What are your aspirations?
Tanya Gupta: In the past 2 years, I had developed a fair sense of financial market proficiency and its relationship with business activities. In the process, I had also polished my soft traits such as communication skills and leadership capabilities. Hence, I was confident that my hard and soft skills were well aligned for a career in management, for which I wanted to pursue an MBA.
Specifically, I aspired for a transition to a position such as a corporate finance role in a multinational organization, where I could conceptualize and implement financial decisions myself. This would allow me to meaningfully contribute to the organization whilst I capitalize on my personal talent to the fullest. â¯
Careers360: Apart from CAT 2013, which other MBA entrance exams you took and how was your performance?
Tanya Gupta: CAT was the only exam I took in the year 2013. It was my aim to crack CAT with a percentile, which I did with my handwork and preparation.
Careers360: Why did you choose to join IIM Kozhikode? Please also name other B-schools which made final admission offers to you.
Tanya Gupta: I joined IIM Kozhikode for its well-renowned faculty, and academic curriculum which is well grounded in real-life applications.Kozhikode is known for its diversity, something that I was looking for in a B-school. Further, I wanted to have leverage from the brand equity of the IIM-tag.
Additionally, I had a final admission offer from MDI, Gurgaon.
Careers360: What was your preparation strategy for CAT 2013?
Tanya Gupta: I started preparing for CAT five months in advance. The strategy was to first solidify my basics for all the four sections and then deep-dive into each one of them. I undertook exhaustive numerical practice and individual topic tests for the Quantitative section. For the Verbal section, I read newspaper editorials, and other online material regularly to help me with grammar and also my reading comprehension ability.
In the last two months, I relied only on extensive test material practice- both sectionals and combined papers. I followed-up each test I took with 5-6 hours of reflection on the question paper to gauge my performance. This helped me polish my rough edges and prepared me better for the examination format.
Careers360: How important is Coaching or Mentoring to crack CAT or other MBA entrance tests?
Tanya Gupta: I believe coaching helps us to build theoretical basics, which is essential for the more complicated problems that come into our way during CAT. Having said that, how much value we can extract from these classes will ultimately depend on our own dedication towards the paper.
Careers360: How did you manage CAT preparation schedule along with your working hours?
Tanya Gupta: Preparation for CAT required me to manage my time very diligently. However, once I set my priorities straight, the schedule became easier to follow. I was able to take out 2-3 hours during weekdays and roughly 7-8 hours over the weekends for my preparation. On work-heavy days I would work on my strengths, while I used weekends to concentrate on my weaknesses.
Careers360: Please share your preparation strategy for the Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning separately?
Tanya Gupta: For Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, I first made sure that I understood the theory very well, which I followed-up with extensive practice questions and sectional tests. For the Verbal Ability section, I gave regular grammar and unseen passage tests. I worked hard on improving my reading speed by reading lots of online material in a time-bound manner. I practiced lots of sentence correction and parajumble questions as well.
Careers360: What was your Time Management formula while taking the actual CAT paper?
Tanya Gupta: The examination format does not leave much scope for a time-management strategy. However, I made sure that I attempted all the questions that I was sure of and returned to the difficult questions only towards the last. After this, I revised my answers in whatever time I was left with.
Careers360: What were your strong and weak areas? How did you prepare and what special efforts did you put for improving your weak areas?
Tanya Gupta: Verbal section has always been strength, and thus I did not have to concentrate on that section much. The quantitative section on the other hand has always been my weaker suit; I spent a lot of time going back to my basics and practicing as much as I could. I gathered a huge question bank from different sources, and gave numerous sectional tests to further build my confidence.
Click Here to enroll for Expert guidance for CAT and Other Management Entrances Preparation, Counseling and College Selection.
Careers360: What is your advice for the MBA aspirants who will take CAT 2014?
Tanya Gupta: My advice to CAT aspirants will be to start early and draw a time schedule to cover all topics. Divide time judiciously between your strengths and weaknesses. Build theoretical knowledge first, and then move on to extensive practice. Move to writing mock tests about 1.5-2 months from the exam, and devote at least 4-5 hours after each test to understand your weaknesses. Practise more questions to deal with these points. On the day of the exam, remember to keep your calm, a positive frame of mind will always yield better results than a nervous one.
Careers360: How did you divide your timings between preparation and recreational activities? What were the activities that you did besides preparing for the exam?
Tanya Gupta: Managing CAT preparation and a hectic work schedule meant that I had little time for recreational activities. However, I tried my best to sneak in time for recreation at least twice a week. Whenever time would permit, I would watch a movie or go out with my friends or listen to music to relax my mind.
Careers360: What kind of movies do you enjoy watching? Share the name of your favourite movie and the characters that inspire you.
Tanya Gupta: I am an ardent fan of cinema, and enjoy watching diverse thought-provoking movies from across the world. One of the movies that I recently watched and liked was Ingmar Bergman’s Swedish classic ‘Wild Strawberries’. The central character is a grouchy, egotistical and over-achieving physician through whom Bergman explores the theme of self-actualization in the context of his overall impact on the lives of his family and friends. This character’s journey inspired a lot of ideas I had about my own life.
Other Feature Stories on B-School and MBA:
Life @ B-School Campus
Changes in CAT 2014
CAT Topper Interviews
MBA Internship Series
CAT Past 5 year Analysis and Trend
Stay tuned on www.bschool.careers360.com for more news and updates on CAT Topper Interview
CAT Important Dates 2020 - IIM Kozhikode will release CAT 2020 important dates in month of July. ...
CAT Exam Pattern 2020 - Candidates can check here the exam pattern of CAT 2020 such as question p...
CAT 2019 Question Papers - Candidates can download the previous year question papers of CAT here ...
CAT 2019 is a computer-based (online) exam, was conducted by IIM Kozhikode on November 24. Get al...
CAT 2019 Toppers: List of CAT Toppers, Score & Percentile - Know the percentile scored by the CAT...
Yes you can,
score is accepted by more than 600 B-
in the country.
You can know about all the colleges which take admission through MAT on our page link-
You can check selection procedure through MAT on our page-
Hope this helps
First of all congratulate for your percentile in cat exam. About your percentile you didn't get admission in IIT,IIM,NIT . But you should definitely got chance in LIBA,Chennai, and XIME,Bangalore two best non IIM MBA college in India.
Your CAT brochure has been successfully mailed to your registered email id .
The Question containing Inaapropriate or Abusive Words
Question lacks the basic details making it difficult to answer
Topic Tagged to the Question are not relevant to Question
Question drives traffic to external sites for promotional or commercial purposes
The Question is not relevant to User
Regular exam updates, QnA, Predictors, College Applications & E-books now on your Mobile