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For Antriksh Johri, the mantra to securing 99.66 percentile in CAT 2016 was very simple, do your Math and read as many books as possible. The Delhi boy, who is currently pursuing Chemical Engineering from IIT Delhi, has read over 20 books over the short period of his preparation. In this interview with Careers360, Antriksh shares his preparation strategy for CAT and why he thinks management skills are imperative in today’s world.
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Like every youth, Antriksh is a fan of cricket and Sachin Tendulkar! Apart from studying his course books, he enjoys reading Charles Dickens' novels. With an aim to get admission in either IIM Ahmedabad or IIM Calcutta, Antriksh is currently brushing up his current affairs by reading newspapers for the WAT-PI rounds.
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Read here the full interview:
Careers360: Congratulations Antriksh! How are you celebrating?
Antriksh: Thank you! I am excited. Right now I am in the hostel. So, I am planning to discuss my future course of action with my family.
Careers360: What is your section wise percentile?
Antriksh: I have secured 93.78 percentile in Verbal Ability and 94 percentile in Data Interpretation. My percentile in Quantitative Ability is 99.99 percentile.
Careers360: You seem to have performed good in all the sections. Tell us which section was toughest for you?
Antriksh: For me, Verbal Ability was one of the sections that was a bit tricky. Especially, the Reading Comprehension part. Data Interpretation was okay. It was not much time consuming for me. For me, Quantitative Ability was the easiest section since it involves calculations and conceptual clarity for the most part.
Careers360: Can you share you preparation strategy with us?
Antriksh: I started preparations around a year back. Most of the questions in Quants test your conceptual clarity from 10th and 12th standard, hence my aim was to clear my concepts on the required topics. For Verbals, I was advised to read books and newspapers, which helped me a lot to understand language and its usage. I read over 20 books, both fiction and non- fiction during my preparation. I enjoyed reading Charles Dickens' though!
Careers360: Which is your preferred business school? Which specialisation are you interested in?
Antriksh: I want to get into IIM Ahmedabad. My next option is IIM Calcutta. Basically, I am interested in taking up Finance as a specialisation as my interest lies in that field.
Careers360: You are an engineering student. Is there a specific reason why you want to pursue MBA and change your field?
Antriksh: I have observed that my inclination lies in Finance related subjects. In fact, I had done a few short-term programmes in Finance and Marketing. Also, to handle any project these days one should have management skills, which is best taught in the top business schools of the country.
Careers360: How is your preparation for the next rounds?
Antriksh: I have been reading books and newspapers. I am trying to keep myself updated with latest happenings. The next rounds would basically depend on the business school I get a call from.
Careers360: What are your hobbies? Do you enjoy any kind of sport or watching movies?
Antriksh: I love cricket. For me, it is the best kind of sport. I can play cricket all day! Sachin is my favourite cricketer, without a doubt. I think he is a classic player. When I am not following cricket you will find me playing poker. Although I like to watch movies but given a choice over films and cricket, I would definitely choose the latter!
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Dear Akshat, CAT is exclusively conducted by the IIMs. So the selection for admission to any of the 20 IIMs is through CAT exam. Unfortunately no other score except for CAT score is accepted for IIM Ahmedabad. You can check their selection process at:
Dear Sai, IIMs look for Diversity factor in Academics. They have a special rating scale for Professional courses like MBBS,BDS, CA, etc. We shall help you with the admission process of IIM Ahmedabad just as an example to show how does the selection process work. There are 3 sections in CAT: QA, DILR, VRC. IIM A has released its 2019 cut off percentiles. Only those Candidates who have scored this percentiles will be shortlisted for further rounds. The cut offs are as follows:
VRC DILR QA Overall
General 70 70 70 80
OBC-Transgender 65 65 65 75
SC 60 60 60 70
ST 50 50 50 60
PWD 60 60 60 70
PWD-ST 50 50 50 60
On an average IIMs need a cut off 90 percentile and more for admission to their colleges. You can check the complete selection process of IIM A at:
Now based on these cut offs top 5 percentile from each Category will be short listed for WAT and PI. So inorder to be able to score these cut offs, you need to know the exam pattern and marking scheme. CAT exam paper can be Categorised into 3 parts:
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
The Verbal Ability section and Reading Comprehension has 34 Questions, Data interpretation-Logical Reasoning section has 32 MCQ questions and Quantitative Ability has 34 MCQ questions totalling up to 100 questions. Each Question has 3 marks and a wrong answer takes away 1 mark.
NCERT books will sharpen your basics and you need strong basics for preparing for any entrance examination. Once your basics are in place, because the time period for preparation is quite less, your preparation should be extensive and thorough.
Quantitative Aptitude covers almost 30% of the CAT question paper. QA can be categorised into Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Advanced Mathematics. Practise chapter by chapter and develop mental calculations. Like practise more of basic summation, subtraction, fractions and tables. Numbers, Percentage, Profit and Loss, Simple and Compound Interest, Ratio, Proportionality, Time-Distance, Time-Work, Mixtures, Averages, Partnership, Permutation and Combinations, Probability, Set Theory, Progression and Series, Line, Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Polygon, Circles, Ares, Volume, Height and Distance, Coordinate Geometry, Basic Trigonometry are few important topics.
Because this section involves mathematics and takes most of your time, your focus should be on solving the problems efficiently in the beginning. Even if it takes time, practise upto perfection. Practise as many questions as you can in the conventional way. As and when you get a grip on the subject, you can go for short cuts. Memorise tables, square roots, cube roots, conversion from percent to fraction, etc. Solve sample papers on Mathematics. In the beginning, do not worry about the time it takes. As you practise, you will get the hang of the subject and it will be easier for you.
In Verbal Ability session, command on your English, Grammar, Vocabulary, Understanding of the given paragraph are of more importance. Reading English NewsPaper will also help you in your preparation.
Read articles from time to time. Follow newspapers, magazines, and watch the news channels and browse the internet to keep yourself updated. You will need a lot of reading to help you in the comprehension section. You will need speed to help you in this section and you can achieve that only by thorough practise and reading. Take time to understand the question because most answers are interlinked.
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning needs to be practised as much as possible. Comparison of data, Data Analysis, taking clues, interpreting missing data, coming to conclusions and making future projections will be covered under this Category. The questions here are interlinked and so if you get one formula correct, cracking the next few questions will be easy. So it's important to memorise and practise formulae. You should cover topics like Data tables, Data Charts, Bar Diagrams, Pie Charts, Graphs, Data Comparison and Analysis.
As this is the most tricky section, this needs a lot of practise. Solve as many sample papers as possible to get the hang of the section. Make notes when required. Regular practise can help you understand and solve the questions easily as time goes on.
Overall,once you know the syllabus, it's easier from there on.Go through the previous papers to analyse and prepare a comprehensive plan and set priorities according to the importance of different topics across sections. Customise your own study plan based on your strengths and weaknesses. Gauge your preparation from time to time by taking mock tests. Solve questions to check your levels of preparation but not to set any targets. Remember, its ok to have cheat days and relax. But make sure you have a plan and stick to it for the next few months
We can recommend a few books for you:
NCERT books to cover the basics from 6th to 10th Class
Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Nishit Saxena
Quantitative Aptitude Quantum for CAT by Sarvesh Sharma
How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Exams by Abhijit Guha
You can also download free downloadable e books at:
NIFT has nothing to do with CAT or GAT. Those are the exams for MBA. NIFT is for admission in fashion courses.
The eligibilitiy is just marks of your 10th and intermediate. The main point is the candidate must have qualified both from a recognised board and must be having PCM as the compulsory subject.
The exam has an age limit to be 23 and there is 5 years relaxation for category reserved candidates.
For more information please check the article:-
Hope it helps!
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