CAT 2016 Topper Interview: Mock tests helped me in allocating time for each question type, says 99.57 percentiler Saakshi Goel

Saaksi_GoelSaakshi Goel, first year PGDM student at SPJIMR Mumbai, hails from a commerce background, nevertheless that did not impede her from obtaining a glorious percentile in CAT. A Chartered Accountant by profession, her journey to success comprised various elements: crash course, regular practice and time management among others. Saakshi's preparation strategy commenced three months before taking the national level entrance exam. During her three months preparation journey, she took around 25 mock test and took note of areas which she was not able to tackle well. Saakshi worked on her weak area such as the QA section by understanding its concepts and devoting more time.

CAT Pathfinder
Know your call chances for top B-schools through CAT

 

In an interview with Careers360, Saakshi puts forward her CAT 2016 preparation strategy and how prospective applicants preparing for CAT 2017 can learn from her experience. 

 

Careers360: Congratulations on your admissions to SPJIMR. What was your overall and sectional score in CAT 2016? Any other exam you had appeared for, please share the score for the same.

Saakshi: Thank you for your wishes. My overall CAT score was 99.57 percentile with sectional percentiles as follows:

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC): 99.8 percentile

  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR): 99.05 percentile

  • Quantitative Ability (QA): 93.29 percentile

I also appeared for XAT and secured a score of 97.23 percentile.

 

Careers360: Which was the most challenging and easiest section in CAT according to you?

Saakshi: The easiest section for me in CAT 2016 was VARC. It was manageable to answer all the questions within the given time limit. The toughest was Quantitative Ability (this is the general opinion of almost all students from a commerce background). However, even DI & LR was extremely challenging.

 

Careers360: Please share your preparation journey. How did you strike a balance between your professional life and preparation for CAT?

Saakshi: I took time off from work for three months, joined a crash course and prepared for CAT. For me, QA was a challenge since I knew I had to compete with Engineers who are well versed with the subject. Hence, I dedicated 75 per cent of my time to QA and the rest of the time was devoted to practicing VARC and DILR. Since I had just three months, I studied full time.

 

Careers360: Were you a part of any coaching institute? Do you think coaching is necessary for aspirants to bag the top rank?

Saakshi: Yes, I joined a crash course with T.I.M.E. In my opinion, coaching classes give students a direction to solve the paper. It is definitely not a prerequisite to bag the top rank. This completely depends on the individual and how proficient and well versed he/she is in these subject areas. 

 

Careers360: Please share your specific section wise strategy for VARC, DI & LR and QA.

Saakshi: For VARC, solving one comprehensive passage per day was a real bonus. This gave me an idea about how to extract information and inferences from such texts.

 

DI and LR also required regular practice. The main problem in LR is how to approach a problem. Doing a wide variety of questions helped me get a head start in the exam since I could create an outline approach for every question. Practice is the key in this section.

 

While in the QA section, I focused on understanding concepts rather than tricks to solve the questions. Solving even half the amount of questions (correctly) in QA can lead to a fairly good score (The amount of time is also such that not all the questions can be solved). So, I focused on the topics which were my strengths and did not give much time to those that I was struggling with.

 

Careers360: What is the significance of mock test in your success? When did you start taking mock test and what was the frequency?

Saakshi: Mock tests played a huge role. I took about 25 mock tests after I finished my course. One test per day. These tests familiarised me to the CAT pattern and helped me identify problem areas.

 

Careers360: How did you get the mock tests analysed and modified your strategy after that?

Saakshi: I did not specifically get mock tests analysed. I just identified my problem areas while I took the tests and worked on those. I identified the areas I was strong in and solved those questions first in the final paper.

 

Above all, mock tests helped me in planning the allocation of time for each type of question.

 

Careers360: How did you utilise the features like calculator and non-MCQs in CAT?

Saakshi: Calculator was barely used as it’s a mouse operated calculator and consumes a lot of time.

Non-MCQs carry no negative marking but are very lengthy. So I left these questions for the end.

 

Careers360: What is your suggestion for CAT 2017 aspirants?

Saakshi: There are a number of important things I learnt from the entire process. Some I implemented and some I wished I had. The most important thing is time management, both during preparations and during the exam. It’s a game of how one performs best in a limited time. Second is playing on your strengths. Apart from all this, try not to get worked up. Remain focused and be calm.

 

Stay tuned to bschool.careers360.com for more information on CAT 2016 toppers

 

Get real-time alerts on exam & colleges at your fingertips with Careers360 App!

Click Here to Install or Give a missed call on 08080944727 to get app link.

Admissions Open Now
Great Lakes PGPM| 100% Placements| Avg. CTC 12.33 LPA| High. CTC 34.5 LPA
First Published On : 21 Aug 2017 02:57 PM IST

Related Articles

QNA - EXAM QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

CAT

Join this QNA topic to get updates about latest happenings about the exam!

  • 11856 Joined
  • 1729 Questions
  • 1104 Views
V

Vybhav Shetty 3 hours ago

Vybhav Shettys picture
Vybhav ShettyLast Seen: 21 min 49 sec agoJoined on: 26-Nov-2017

Suppose I find a question in CAT difficult and I skip it .Is is still possible for me to get 90% above marks even if I skip the questions.

Answer (1)

User Pic

Monika Shruti Gupta Expert 5 minutes ago

Monika Shruti Guptas picture
Monika Shruti GuptaLast Seen: 5 min 8 sec agoJoined on: 18-Nov-2017
Yes it is absolutely possible. In fact CAT is all about this. How well you strategize in those three hours. CAT is an aptitude test that tests how smartly you answer the questions. What I mean by smar...Read More
A

aman singh 5 hours ago

aman singhs picture
Aman SinghLast Seen: 4 hours 30 sec agoJoined on: 18-Jan-2018

I have 6.2 cgpa in 10th and 70% in 12th and i am persuing b.tech so after writing cat can i get into any top IIMs

Answer (1)

User Pic
Harshit Tripathis picture
Harshit TripathiLast Seen: 2 hours 25 min agoJoined on: 18-Jan-2018
Yeah ... surely you get ,but 10th and 12th marks matter a lot ... so you will have to get more marks in cat exam to cover those .
User Pic
ajay chidambarams picture
Ajay ChidambaramLast Seen: 46 min 59 sec agoJoined on: 09-Jan-2018

I am BE Mechanical final year student. I have 97.2%-10th, 96.17%-12th, BE - 74% , how much should i score in CAT to get iim's or non iims?

Answer (1)

User Pic

Sreetama Datta 6 hours ago

Sreetama Dattas picture
Sreetama DattaLast Seen: 3 hours 45 min agoJoined on: 24-May-2013
Hi Ajay! In order to get IIM calls, you should secure at least 90+ percentile. While old IIMs like IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow and Indore calls candidates with 99+ percentile, for the ...Read More
S

s mishra 12 hours ago

s mishras picture
S MishraLast Seen: 30 min 52 sec agoJoined on: 07-Jan-2017

I am at huge life as well as career crisis, experts please help with valuable suggestions. CAT'17: 58.96 %le MAT Dec'17:90.60 %le(682) XAT:-

Dear experts as earlier also I told you that after having 3.5 years experience in a private bank at 1st level leadership managerial role, I quit job to prepare for RBI n SBI n PSU banks at the age of... Read More

Answer (1)

User Pic
Rajaram Sukumars picture
Rajaram SukumarLast Seen: 5 hours 27 min agoJoined on: 04-Mar-2014
Dear S. Mishra,First up, don't get worried and take your current crisis as a learning curve. Here are some options.First, try to get a job in the Banking or Finance industry as you bring a lot of skil...Read More
User Pic

Mantu 8 hours ago

Mantus picture
MantuLast Seen: 7 hours 49 min agoJoined on: 10-Aug-2017

I'm Mantu Mishra, I have in 10th- 55%, in 12th-56% and in B.com-67%, If i get above 95 percentile in CAT-2018, have a any chance for any IIM

Answer (1)

User Pic

Manisha Gupta Expert 7 hours ago

Manisha Guptas picture
Manisha GuptaLast Seen: 14 min 9 sec agoJoined on: 08-Sep-2016
If you score more than 95 percentile in CAT Entrance Exam then you can have the chances for IIM Kozhikode, IIM Shillong, IIM Ranchi & the other instutute you can have the chances for VGSoM, IIT Kh...Read More