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Piyush Bule, a Kayaking enthusiast and CAT 2016 topper from Pune sets an example of how anything can be achieved with discipline, dedication and focus. The 99.41 percentiler spent over two hours everyday on clearing his concepts and took two mock tests every week till the time of the test.
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Piyush has started preparing for the next rounds of CAT selection procedure and aims to pursue a career in Consulting. A final year electronics engineering student from College of Engineering, Pune, he has already bagged a job in a consulting firm. In this interview with Careers360, Piyush lists the most effective ways of preparing for CAT.
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Read the full interview here:
Carrers360: Congratulations on achieving big! How does it feel?
Piyush: It really feels good and wonderful. I am elated and so is my mother who is a doctor. Though I had prepared hard but didn’t expect to achieve such a high percentile.
Carrers360: What is your educational background?
Piyush: I’m an engineering student at College of Engineering, Pune pursuing specialisation in Electronics.
Carrers360: Share your score in different sections.
Piyush: I got 93 percentile in Verbal Ability, 99.83 percentile in Quantitative Ability (QA) and 97.77 percentile in Data Interpretation & Logical Interpretation (DI & LR).
Carrers360: Tell us something about your routine for CAT preparation.
Piyush: I started with my preparation six months prior to the exam, i.e. from May. I spent two to three hours a day to go through the concepts. From August onwards, I started attempting two mocks every weekend and then spent time analysing my performance and working on them during weekdays. Last 50 days were totally focussed on mock tests.
Carrers360: According to you, which were the easiest and the toughest section in the CAT exam?
Piyush: The easiest section for me was Quantitative Ability and the toughest was Data Interpretation.
Carrers360: Why do you wish to pursue MBA?
Piyush: I was never interested in Engineering but my little interest in Electronics is what landed me into Engineering. I do not wish to become an Engineer by profession. I have been super interested and involved in organising and hosting many events in colleges, where I see my excellent managing skills coming to the fore. Thus, I wish to pursue an MBA from a good B-School and get into management Consulting thereafter. I have already started preparing for GD and PI rounds. I want to work with a company like McKinsey though I already have an offer in hand from Zedex Association, a Consulting firm.
Carrers360: Tell us about your hobbies.
Piyush: I’m very much involved into sports. I’ve won State Gold medal in Kayaking Racing, which is boat race sport. I also play cricket and football and watch movies.
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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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