CAT 2016 Topper Interview: Focus on weak areas and take mock tests regularly, says 99.37 Percentiler Yash Thakker
A trained Mechanical Engineer, Yash Thakker is currently living the moment of a lifetime after topping the Common Admission Test. He credits his success to to proper time management and practicing mock tests regularly. Securing 99.37 percentile in one of India's most competitive exams, Yash reveals his preparation strategy and formulas that proved to be extremely useful during the exam. Having started his preparation in September, three months before the exam, he dedicated his entire time to improving in the areas he was weak in and doing mock tests. Apart from CAT, Yash has also excelled in NMAT.
The success story of Yash Thakker will definitely inspire CAT 2017 aspirants. In this interview with Careers360, Yash tells us what it really takes to ace CAT.
Read the full interview below:
Careers360: Congratulations on your admission to IIM Kashipur. What was your overall and sectional score in CAT 2016? Was there any other exam you had appeared for? If yes, please share the score for the same.
Yash: Thank you so much. Apart from CAT, I also appeared for NMAT. Below is my overall and sectional score in CAT.
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VA & RC) – 53
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LR & DI) – 48
Quantitative Aptitude (QA) – 68
Overall – 164.62 (99.37)
NMAT - 223
Careers360: Talking of sections, which was the most challenging and easiest section in the test?
Yash: For me, the easiest section was VA & RC. I found the LR & DI section toughest. The QA section was moderately tough.
Careers360: Please share your preparation journey. How did you strike a balance between your professional life and preparation for an entrance exam?
Yash: I started preparing for CAT only in September 2016. There were lot of ups and downs like scoring high in one mock test and low in the other. The toughest task for me was to streamline my mock test scores. I dedicated most of my free time making sure that I'm doing something productive and improving with each day.
Careers360: Were you a part of any coaching institute? Do you think coaching is necessary for aspirants to bag the top rank?
Yash: Yes. I did a course with TIME institute. I think that coaching may not be necessary when it comes to studying for an entrance exam like CAT but it certainly helps in providing a right direction to your preparation.
Careers360: Please share your specific section-wise strategy for VARC, DI & LR and QA.
Yash: For VARC, I concentrated on reading comprehension as it’s the easiest part to score. It can make or break your CAT score. For DI & LR sections, accuracy is sacrosanct. It’s better not to answer if you are not sure about the accuracy of the answer.
Careers360: How did you tackle the sections and topics challenging for you?
Yash: Taking mock tests was the key. I spent a lot of time practicing mock test papers which really helped me in tackling the difficult topics and solving the challenging sections.
Careers360: Mention section-wise books and study materials you had referred.
Yash: I didn’t really use any specific study material for CAT. I just did a lot of practice with mock test papers and previous years’ question papers.
Careers360: What is the significance of mock test in your success? When did you start taking mock tests and what was the frequency?
Yash: It’s very significant. Doing mock tests boosts your confidence and it certainly helps you analyze your mistakes. I started taking mock tests in August. Initially, I used to do it 4 times a week but as the exam date came closer, I began doing them twice a day.
Careers360: How did you analyse your mock tests and modify your strategy?
Yash: While taking mock tests, I focused on the areas I was weak in. I specifically worked on those areas and tried to improve with each day. And it all turned out very well in the end.
Careers360: What was your time management strategy for section wise preparation vis-a-vis exam day?
Yash: First, I did the Reading Comprehension part in VA & RC sections as it was my strong point. I knew that I could finish RC quickly and move to VA. For Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR), I recommend aspirants to target 15 correct questions if the paper is difficult. And for QA, mark easy questions and solve them first to save your time.
Careers360: How did you utilize the features like calculator and non-MCQs in CAT?
Yash: I didn’t really depend on using calculator or any other features. I guess it depends on person to person.
Careers360: What advice would you give with regard to WAT/GD and PI.
Yash: Generally, the Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI) rounds go in the direction where you want to take it. Be confident and speak honestly.
Careers360: Any other suggestions you would like to share with aspirants?
Yash: Do a lot of practice and be confident about your success because it's bound to come if you're honest with your studies.
Stay tuned to bschool.careers360.com for more information on CAT 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.
CAT Admit Card 2020 - IIM Indore will release CAT 2020 admit c...
Best Books for CAT Preparation - Know About the syllabus, fact...
Best study material for CAT 2020 preparation - Know the right ...
CAT Exam Centres 2020 - Candidates could select at least six C...
CAT 2020: How Vedic Maths helps to speed up calculation? - Kn...
Questions related to CAT
sloved question paper of CAT b.des 2020
Here is the link of CAT previous years question papers with solutions (2017,2018,2019) . Hope this will help you to boost your preparation for the exam.
Hope it helps.
All the best.
i belong to telngana gor 321 marks in neet2020 air289957 can i get b cat mbbs female candidate
Reg Help &
confirm seats under MGMT/NRI Quota,
only NEET qualified.
bookings started for confirm seats
all over india.
My branch is Electrical Engineering and in my college i have very less chance of placements . So what jobs should i go for so that it could be counted as work experience if I want to go for CAT exam ?
For MBA , work experience is not compulsory. You can get into MBA colleges without a work experience. It's like good food placed in a good plate. If you have a work experience you will get a good job or with more package . Otherwise it will depend on your academics.
My Neet 2020 score is 566 . I belong to BC cat. in Tamilnadu. What are my chances in Tamilnadu government colleges??
It's quite difficult to predict that whether you will get seat or not as cut off marks for medical colleges keeps changing every year depending upon various factors like number of students that appeared in the exam, kind of marks obtained by them , toughness level of the examination etc.
But when we go through previous data then with 566 marks , you hold a chance to get a seat in a Government Medical College
In Neet 2019, 470 marks for obc category was the cut off marks to get a seat in Government Medical College under Tamilnadu state quota and it was for Government Medical College and Hospital, Pudukottai
With 566 marks also have chances in following govt college under state quota-
*Government Medical College, Omandurar Estate, Chennai
*Government K.A.P.V. Medical College, Trichy
And a few more
Above prediction is on the basis of past year data but cutoff keeps changing every year due to many factors as mentioned earlier, so to have a clear picture of the colleges in which you have to chances and
to get the complete list of colleges in which you have chances, you can go through our college predictor at
It gives you a personalized report with top college in which you have chances for admission , with the help of predicted colleges you can make better choice while filling your choices of colleges during your counselling
what jobs an engineer can do if he does not get campus placement and want to appear in CAT exam so that his work ex will be counted??
Most IIM's usually gives only 5-15 % of weightage to work experience (major weightage is for CAT score and PI) with points for approx. 24-36 months of work after which they don't count it ( which means work experience of more than 2-3 years will not give you any extra edge during selection)
Since you are an Engineering graduate, it is usually advisable to go for a technical job related to your field not just because it is easier to get but but because it is easier to justify in your CV. CAT values versatility but there is a fine line between versatility and randomness. What I mean to say is that if you go for a job which isn't even remotely related to your field of study then you'd probably be asked for reasons as to why you chose to do that. So if you were to go for a sales job after completing a degree in say, Electrical Engineering, you'd have to to explain your shift in career paths. To avoid such justifications and to to make the most of your CV, go for a technical job or maybe an Analysist position, anything which you can either link to your Engineering degree or to a Management degree.
Best of luck, Good day!