CAT 2017 Topper Interview: No coaching required if you know high school maths and verbal skills, says 100 percentiler Arvind Menon
Updated on Jan 12, 2018 - 3:37 p.m. IST by Vikas Gaur
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Carrying the experience of JEE preparation, Arvind Menon exactly knew what he had to do while appearing for CAT 2017 exam. With strong quant and verbal skills, he topped the CAT exam with 100 percentile. Arvind is currently a final year Chemical Engineering student at IIT Bombay and was preparing for the placements along with CAT. Arvind believes that if you have a good understanding of high school mathematics and you’ve got decent verbal skills, you can crack the exam easily. He also focused on the importance of mock tests and said that mocks are a really good idea for preparation.

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Apart from enjoying swimming and working out, he loves to play guitar in his free time. In this interview with Careers360, he tells us about the books he studied during preparation, how useful mock tests are and his plans ahead.


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Read the full interview here:


Careers360: Congratulations on your CAT result. Please tell us something about yourself.

Arvind: Thank you so much. I’m a final year B.Tech student at IIT Bombay. I enjoy playing the guitar. I also love swimming and working out.

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Careers360: Please share your overall and sectional percentile in CAT 2017?

Arvind: My overall percentile is 100. My sectional percentiles are 99.97 in VARC, 99.93 in LRDI and 99.97 in QA.


Careers360: Were you sure that you’ll be able to score 99.99 percentile?

Arvind: I wasn’t sure at all.


Careers360: Did you strategies your time on the exam day to achieve 100 percentile?

Arvind: The online format pretty much removes any chance for section-wise planning, so I just made sure I didn’t spend any time on questions I didn’t believe were doable.


Careers360: Please share your preparation journey?

Arvind: I was preparing for my placements along with going through my final year of engineering. I was not able to really prepare single-mindedly for the CAT. I had purchased some books for revising some of the quant topics that may have gotten rusty since my JEE days, but I was only able to finish one of them – Arun Sharma’s Quantitative Aptitude. The other books were by Nishit Sinha, but I found them to be poorly edited and severely lacking in quality, so I abandoned them. I attempted perhaps 6-7 full length papers that I found from friends and on the internet in the week before the paper. We had a lot of mock tests for the placement activities conducted by companies, which also helped with keeping me sharp since the aptitude required is similar.


Careers360: What according to you were the toughest and easiest sections?

Arvind: I found Quant to be a breeze. LR/DI was quite tough for me.


Careers360: Did you take coaching? How helpful was it? Is it possible to succeed through self study?

Arvind: I did not take any coaching. Mock tests are a good idea if you feel like you need them but I do not believe coaching is necessary if you have a good understanding of high school maths and decent verbal skills.


Careers360: What are the factors behind your success?

Arvind: I had a very strong basis of the concepts used in quant and LR/DI, along with a lot of practice in working fast from my JEE preparation, although that was a long time ago. Even then, my strength was my judgment of whether a question was worth my time, and that helped.


Careers360: What next? Are you planning to pursue the IIMs’ management programme if you get admission or do you have some other plans?

Arvind: I have obtained a job at a trading firm in Amsterdam, so I’ll be continuing with that. I will consider an MBA after working for a few years.


Careers360: Please tell us which is your Dream B-School and why?

Arvind: I don’t have a dream B-school in mind, but I’d really like to get into Harvard or LBS down the line.


Careers360: Anything you like to say to management aspirants who are preparing for entrance exams?

Arvind: Best of luck.

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Questions related to CAT

Showing 7973 out of 7973 Questions

i can not give CAT exam, can i go for MAT,,,,,,, is only MAT is sufficient for mba admission

Khusji 22nd Jan, 2020


Yes you can, MAT score is accepted by more than 600 B- schools in the country.

You can know about all the colleges which take admission through MAT on our page link-

You can check selection procedure through MAT on our page-

Hope this helps


I have scored 87 percentile and 91.90 percentile in cat and xat exam respectively besides 2-3 years of work experience in two companies mainly Earnest n young (16 months experience). 10 th, 12 th and graduate score is more than 90 percent. can i get a call from spjain

Sampriti Student Expert 22nd Jan, 2020
The minimum cutoff required by SPJIMR for both CAT and XAT this year is 85 percentile (for profile based shortlisting process). Since you have performed really well in both the exams and have a percentile above the required one and considering your profile you can definitely get a call from SPJIMR during their profile based shortlisting process. Since your XAT scores and better then you may get a call through XAT. But you can get other colleges also based on your scores like
  • KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research
  • Great Lakes Chennai
  • IMT Ghaziabad
  • GIM Goa
  • TAPMI Manipal and other colleges.

Good Luck
1 View

my cat percentile is is 75% which colleges i can get

Shaktik Guria 22nd Jan, 2020

First of all congratulate for your percentile in cat exam. About your percentile you didn't get admission in IIT,IIM,NIT . But you should definitely got chance in LIBA,Chennai, and XIME,Bangalore two  best non IIM MBA college in India.


Hi, Can you suggest good colleges for CAT 2019 percentile 87.78 in general category with good ROI. VA : 81.2, LR : 89.0, QA : 87.11, Overall : 87.78. 10th : 84%, +2 : 95.7, Btech : 7.0/10 (65.45%) I have 4 yrs of experience and 5lpa package currently. Also can i apply for IITs with this percentile?

Sampriti Student Expert 22nd Jan, 2020
The best B schools you can check out with their respective academic fees are
  • KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research Mumbai (approximately 15 Lakhs)
  • Great Lakes Chennai (17.15 lakhs)
  • GIM Goa (approximately 16 lakhs)
  • TAPMI Manipal (14.6 lakhs)
  • BIM Trichy (14.5 lakhs)
  • LIBA Chennai (15.2 lakhs)
  • LBSIM Delhi (16.3 lakhs)
  • BIMTECH Noida (12 lakhs)

They are all very reputed colleges and offer excellent ROI. The average compensation package offered in these colleges are nearly 10-12 lakhs.

You can also check out some IITs like Department of Management, IIT Madras ( fees = 8 lakhs) and FMS BHU( fees = less than 1 lakh) with your CAT percentile. They also have good placements. But if you're considering IITs then IIT Madras would be the best option and it is way better than FMS BHU.

Good Luck

my cat percentile is 90.66 but havent cleared sectional cutoffs in dilr, what colleges can i aim ?

Sampriti Student Expert 22nd Jan, 2020
You have a very good CAT percentile and you can definitely get a call from a lot of good colleges who only consider the overall percentile and not the sectional ones. You can expect a call from these colleges ( provided that you've applied for them)
  • IMT Ghaziabad
  • IMI Delhi
  • XIMB Bhubaneshwar
  • FORE School of Management
  • VGSOM IIT Kharagpur
The above mentioned colleges require a minimum of 90 percentile in CAT and the following are some other colleges with cutoffs ranging from 80-90
  • Great Lakes Chennai
  • KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research
  • GIM Goa
  • BIM Trichy
  • TAPMI Manipal
  • Department of Management IIT Madras
  • LIBA Chennai and others

All these colleges are very good and some of them are in fact better than the newer IIMs so you can definitely go for them. You can easily get an average compensation package of around 10-12 lakhs in all these colleges.

Good Luck
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