CAT 2017 Topper Interview: Investing time on concepts is crucial, says Abhisekh Mukherjee of MDI Gurgaon
Ranjini Basu, 08 Sep 2018, #CAT
Applications Open Now
XAT - Xavier Aptitude Test 2020
Great Lakes Institute of Management

CAT 2017 Topper Interview – Currently a management student at Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, Abhisekh Mukherjee made it to the CAT topper list on his second attempt. Being a professional, he had to judiciously plan his preparation schedule. Spending quality hours during the weekends was an absolute necessity and he tried solving as many as three mock tests every weekend. Having said that, none of his mock tests went unanalysed as he made it a point to critically scrutinise his tests and do the necessary rectifications.

Latest: Analyse your preparation level with Free Mock Test of CAT - Start Now

Abhisekh had prepared his office schedule in an apt way. Lunch hour was devoted to solving Quant section and his travelling hours were used to focus on the Verbal section. Being quite aware of the gravity of the exam, he started preparing from April 2017, precisely seven months ahead of the test date. Two months prior to CAT, he re-revisited the concepts and formulae and one month before CAT 2017, he resorted to re-analyse the mocks which he took during the initial days of preparation.

CAT Free Mock Test

Analyse your preparation level with Free Mock Test of CAT

Start Now

Careers360, for the sake of CAT 2018 aspirants, brings forth the CAT 2017 topper interview to know how Abhisekh managed to secure 97.04 percentile in spite of his hectic work schedule.

Watch Video on How to crack CAT 2018 with 99 Percentile

Read to know Abhisekh’s CAT Exam Experience here:

Careers360: What were your CAT 2017 overall and sectional percentile? Apart from CAT, which other entrances you appeared for and what were your percentiles?

Applications Open Now
UPES - School of Business
Avail Tuition fee waiver | 96% Students Placed in 2019
SNAP 2019
Pursue MBA @ 16 TOP Symbiosis institutions ,1 Application Form, 16 Institutes.

Abhisekh: My overall CAT percentile was 97.04 and my sectional scores were as the following-







Due to work commitments, I could not apply for other management entrance examinations.


Careers360: What was your preparation strategy? Please share section-wise (QA, VARC and DILR) strategy in detail. 

Abhisekh: Since this was my second attempt, I invested the initial three months in revising my English and Mathematics concepts before taking up the mocks. I took 50 odd mocks and analysed them individually during my entire preparation period. Since DILR was a tough nut so I resorted to past years’ mock papers as well. However, for the other two sections (VARC & QA), I resorted to mocks and its analysis alone.


Careers360: How did you prepare – Self-study or Coaching? Please explain which one do you think is better?

Abhisekh: Combination of both is required for CAT. I joined the Elites Grid for guidance and took mocks from TIME and IMS. At Elites Grid, my main notion was to resolve the doubts I had and learnt some new concepts which I was not aware of during the previous year of CAT preparation.


Careers360: Please share in detail your month-wise preparation strategy for CAT. 

Abhisekh: With utmost determination, I started preparing for CAT from April 2017. Followed a stringent routine which comprised revision of concepts, mock tests, and solving previous years’ question papers. Since I was working, I couldn’t afford to spend much time apart from weekends. Two months before CAT, I started re-revising the concepts and formulae that I had written in my notebook followed by re-analysing the mocks which I exercised one month before the exam date. The last day before the D-Day was dedicated to the Elites Grid portal where my mentor helped with a quick glance at all the important topics and formulae.


Careers360: How did you balance your preparation with studies or job? Please share your timetable.

Abhisekh: I am no exception as there are many working professionals who balance their study as well as work efficiently. My focus was to crack the exam, so I utilised every moment! I used the lunchtime in my office for solving QA questions and completed Verbal tasks while commuting to and from work. Weekends were completely assigned to mocks and I tried to complete at least three mocks every weekend.


Careers360: What was the one thing that you did consistently during your preparation? Or what do you think one should do consistently during the preparation of CAT? According to you, what is the most important aspect of preparation?

Abhisekh: One aspect which was constant for me was revisiting the concepts. According to me, it is the most essential part of preparation and candidates should keep refreshing the concepts irrespective of whatever commitments he/she has which should be followed by mock tests. One should also be consistent in solving at least two DILR sets, four Reading Comprehensions, and 10 Quant poblems so that they do not run out of practice at any point of time!


Careers360: What are the best study materials for CAT or other exams? 

Abhisekh: I joined Elitesgrid which offers online coaching to aspirants. I was provided all the  resourceful materials which consisted of good questions pertaining to last five years. Precisely, didn’t have to look for other alternatives. I always prefer online material as it gives the user the options to prepare and solve questions while he/she is on move.


Careers360: When did you start taking mock test and what was the frequency? How did you get it analysed and integrate it in your preparation?

Abhisekh: I diligently started taking mocks from the month of June, 2017. Initially, I used to take one mock per weekend which then ramped up to four mocks per week; one in the weekdays and three during the weekend. After completing the weekly mocks, I used to critically analyse them in the weekends and solved the incorrect questions once again without time limit to check whether I had the capability to solve the same! Confidence builds up when one realises that time is the only factor s/he needs to work on to get the desired scores as aspirant is able to solve the question without the stipulated time limit. Post analysing, I noted down the formulae and made sure to remember them the next time I take another mock exam.


Careers360: What was your exam day strategy in terms of question selection, time management, accuracy and sectional attempts/cutoffs?

Abhisekh: For VARC, I chose to solve the RC right away and gave little time to VA since RC was my stronger section among the two. For LRDI, I began with a cool head and made sure I solve them correctly. Finally, for QA, I opted for the two stage approach where during the first stage I glanced through the paper and solved whatever I could in first 20 minutes. During the next stage, my focus was on the lengthy and tough questions.


Careers360: Preparing for CAT is a long and tiring process. How do you suggest one should keep his/her calm and confidence?

Abhisekh: Well, the entire CAT journey will help you in transforming yourself into a matured individual. Whenever you run short of positivity, listen to motivational quotes as it assist in boosting your spirits. Anxiety should be kept at bay as one needs to learn to remain calm as this is what the exam demands from all prospective test takers!


Careers360: What is your message for CAT 2018 aspirants?

Abhisekh: Enjoy the journey to the fullest and don’t worry about the outcome. If you work hard you will surely get what you desire. The CAT preparation phase is something that every aspirant will always remember.

My heartfelt wishes!


Also Read

How to prepare for CAT 2018

How To Crack CAT 2018

How to score 100 percentile in CAT 2018

Applications Open Now

Great Lakes Institute of Management
Great Lakes Institute of Mana...
ITM Business School
ITM Business School
BIMTECH - Birla Institute of Management Technology
BIMTECH - Birla Institute of ...
IMT - Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad
IMT - Institute of Management...
Symbiosis Institute of Business Management Bengaluru
Symbiosis Institute of Busine...
MDI, Gurgaon
MDI, Gurgaon
SPJIMR, Mumbai
SPJIMR, Mumbai
View All Application Forms

More like CAT

Questions related to CAT

Showing 7198 out of 7199 Questions


Aditya kumar Student Expert 19th Oct, 2019

Hello there!


You can download cat 2016 and more past year cat question papers with answer key by going through the link below :



i have got 82 in 10th, 55 in 12th and 68 in graduation what should i score in cat to get good b with avg salary of 8,9lkhs

Rehan Alam Student Expert 18th Oct, 2019

Dear Aspirant,

You have to score a minimum of 99 percentile to get at least one good IIM call as your academics are not good. You could get a call from new IIMs if you score 99 percentile as the top tier IIMs will not give you a chance due to your poor acads.

Colleges you could look for are like IIM Nagpur, Kashipur, Shillong, etc. These colleges if you study well will provide you with a good package of 10-12 lpa.

Hope this helps. Thank you.


i have got 90 percentile in cat but my academic scores are quite low 80 percent in 10th,55 percent in 12 from bihar board and 65 percent in graduation from bihar board, would i get good clg

Rehan Alam Student Expert 18th Oct, 2019

Dear Aspirant,

You will not be able to get any good business school like top IIMs, MDI, IIFT, or FMS. However, you can still get a good MBA tier 3/4 college if you increase your percentile to 98 percentile.

However, according to your grads, you must not be disappointed if you don't get a call at 99 because your marks are not good.

Hope for the best. Thank you.


what is the syllabus of CAT exam it stream wise ...? which stream students is eligible for CAT ?

Papeya Dubey Student Expert 18th Oct, 2019


Eligibility for CAT is graduate in any discipline from a recognized university with 50% aggregate, for SC/ST/PwD it's 45%.

So, people from any background can apply for CAT, provided they have required aggregate at their graduation level against their category.

Now, coming to the syllabus for CAT, there's no specific syllabus for CAT, one needs to rely on past years sample papers to get a fair idea about the pattern and weightage given to each topic and section.In general, questions are mostly from middle school level English and Mathematics.

There are mainly three sections in CAT-

Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation which includes topics such as Tables, Graphs, Data Caselets, Seating Arrangement, Blood Relation, Syllogism etc.

Quantitative Aptitude which includes topics such as Geometry, Algebra, Time and Work, Mensuration, Number System etc.

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension which includes topics such as Sentence completion, Questions based on reading comprehension, Para-jumbles & para-summar, inferences etc.

To know the detailed topics, kindly go through the following link-


i got failed in ap eamcet.can i get a good percentage in cat now

Aditi Amrendra Student Expert 18th Oct, 2019

See if you have failed in past then its bot necessary that you will fail again or you might get a very good percentile this time.The only thing that is your hand and by which you can perform well in CAT is my preparing with determination and consistency.
All you need to do is just give you best in the studies and then you will surely perform well in CAT.

I hope this helps.
The question have been saved in answer later, you can access it from your profile anytime. Access now

Download the Careers360 App on your Android phone

Regular exam updates, QnA, Predictors, College Applications & E-books now on your Mobile

Careers360 App
150M+ Students
24,000+ Colleges
500+ Exams
1500+ E-books