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Pune boy Yash Chaudhari has scored an incredible 100 percentile to be among the CAT toppers of 2016. The topper is an Electrical Engineering student and follows football keenly. In this interview with Careers360, Yash shares his exam strategy and how taking a mock test every day till the test boosted his preparation.
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Yash mentions that although he had started preparing eight months before CAT 2016, it was only in the last two months that he had put maximum efforts. A die hard Ronaldo and Real Madrid fan, Yash aims to take admission in IIM Ahmedabad and pursue Finance.
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Read here the full interview:
Careers360: Congratulations Yash! Were you expecting this score? How are you celebrating?
Yash: Thank you so much! Yes, I am indeed celebrating with my family and friends. Regarding my score, honestly I was not expecting 100 percentile, though plan was to get something above 99.
Careers360: What is your section wise percentile?
Yash: In Verbals, I have got 99.9 while in DI and LR my percentile is 99.86. In Quantitative Ability, I secured 99.96 percentile.
Careers360: You seem to have performed good in all the sections. Tell us which section was toughest for you?
Yash: QA has always been my strong suit and so has Data Interpretation. Interestingly most of the questions covered in Quant were from the 10th and 12th standard. Being an engineering student, Quantitative Ability was the easiest section for me as my calculation speed is good. But Verbal was one area where I was a bit nervous. But the paper turned out to be pretty good.
Careers360: Can you share you preparation strategy with us?
Yash: While I had been studying for more than eight months, it was in the last two months that I put the most effort. I put four to five hours in my CAT preparation every day till my exam. Since Quant section was doable for me, I concentrated on Verbals. I practised Reading Comprehension and passages. Also, I read a lot of newspapers. Besides preparing from my study materials I also took ample mock tests.
Careers360: How important were mock tests in your preparation?
Yash: Very important. I took one mock test everyday in the last two months of my preparation. It is not just about taking mock tests but analysing your performance. The more mock tests I took, the better I understood my strengths and weaknesses.
Careers360: Which is your preferred business school? Which specialisation are you interested in?
Yash: The answer is always IIM Ahmedabad. I am hoping to get a call from them. In terms of specialisation I want to take up Finance as that is one area I am interested in.
Careers360: You are an engineering student. Is there any specific reason why you want to pursue MBA and change your field?
Yash: While I am an electrical engineering student, I find I am more interested in Finance. I want to work in the Finance sector for a while and then open a new venture in a few years. Since cashless economy is the new buzzword now, I wish to work on something around digital money.
Careers360: How is your preparation for the next rounds of selection process at IIMs?
Yash: I am reading news papers everyday and engaging in discussions with friends and teachers. I believe being updated with current affairs would help me in the next rounds.
Careers360: What are your hobbies? Do you enjoy any kind of sport?
Yash: I love football! It is my favourite sport and follow it keenly. I am all for Ronaldo and a big Madrid fan.
Careers360: What about movies? Do you have any favourite actor?
Yash: I like Leonardo Di Caprio’s acting style. I think he was best in the Revenant.
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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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