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For Mukesh Goyal, scoring a perfect 100 percentile in CAT 2016 highlighted not only his academic but excellent time management skills. The topper from Punjab, who is currently working as market analyst, managed his time between office and preparation; besides finding time for cricket. In this interview with Careers360, Mukesh shares with us his secret recipe for achieving a perfect 100 percentile in CAT.
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Let’s read the full interview here:
Careers360: Congratulations on your achievement! Were you expecting this score? How are you celebrating?
Mukesh Goyal: It really feels amazing. I was expecting a percentile of 99.5 but a 100 took me by surprise. I am celebrating with my friends and family. My focus is on preparing for the next rounds.
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Careers360: Tell us about your educational background?
Mukesh Goyal: I am an engineer in Electronics and Communications from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh.
Careers360: Can you share your section wise score?
Mukesh Goyal: I scored the lowest i.e 82.5 percentile in Verbal, 100 percentile in Quantitative Ability (QA) and 100 in Data Interpretation (DI).
Careers360: Please tell us about your preparation strategy.
Mukesh Goyal: As this was my second attempt at cracking CAT, I already had my benchmarks set. In my last attempt, I scored a percentile of 99.7 but did not get through a good college. Since I was working, I devoted one hour to my preparation every day and took mock tests on weekends. Purchasing the test series of Times and IMS helped me a lot as I did not join any coaching institute for preparation. Though I am not very active on social media but preparation groups on Facebook also helped me a lot.
Careers360: How important are mock tests in your preparation?
Mukesh Goyal: Mock test is a very important tool in CAT preparation. Analysing concepts in mocks is very important as it helps you identify your weak areas and build upon your strong ones. They also help you manage your time by solving the question paper in time. With practice, I could judge which questions to attempt and those which I could leave.
Careers360: According to you, which were the easiest and the toughest section in CAT?
Mukesh Goyal: The easiest section for me was Quantitative Ability and the toughest was Verbal. I had always been interested in Quantitative Ability.
Careers360: Why do you wish to pursue MBA?
Mukesh Goyal: I had always been interested in Finance and Management. Currently, I am working with Futures First as a market analyst. Working with a trading firm has further increased my interest in Finance. I wish to get through IIM Ahmedabad or IIM Calcutta and specialise in Finance.
Careers360: Tell us about your hobbies.
Mukesh Goyal: I love playing cricket and football. I usually take out time on weekends to play cricket with my friends. My favourite cricketer is MS Dhoni.
Careers360: Besides cricket, what sort of entertainment do you like?
Mukesh Goyal: I love watching movies too. My favourite actor is Leonardo Di Caprio.
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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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