CAT 2017 Topper Interview: Practice well and don't lose your calm, says 100 percentiler Chhavi Gupta
Chhavi Gupta is one of the two women CAT 2017 toppers securing 100 percentile. An alumnus of IIT Delhi’s five year dual B. Tech and M. Tech degree in Biotechnology, she is currently working at Opera Solutions as a Business Analyst. She could prepare for CAT only during the weekends due to her office schedule. Despite the time crunch, planning her study schedule, concentrating on the logical applications of formulae, basic concepts and practicing about 35 mock tests helped her crack the most competitive MBA entrance test for IIMs and over 100 B-schools across India.
Chhavi Gupta, an avid reader; one out of the two female candidates who bagged 100 percentile, shares her CAT 2017 exam experience in details with Careers360 in this interview.
Read the full interview here:
Careers360: Heartiest Congratulations on scoring a perfect 100 percentile in CAT 2017. Please tell us something about yourself.
Chhavi- Thank you so much. I hail from Jaipur, Rajasthan. However as my Dad is a Govt. employee, we kept relocating to different places. I completed my schooling in Delhi and acquired various scholarships since my school days. My mother, a part-time Pharmacist was very particular about my studies since my formative years. I am the eldest and have two siblings; my younger sister is pursuing MBBS from Maulana Azad Medical College and my younger brother is studying in 6th standard. After completing my dual degree from IIT Delhi in Biotechnology, I got placed at Opera Solutions as a Business Analyst.
Careers360: What were your overall and sectional percentiles?
Chhavi- My overall percentile in CAT 2017 was 100. Here are the sectional percentiles:
CAT sectional percentile
Verbal Ability/Reading Comprehension (VARC)
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
Quantitative Ability (QA)
Careers360: How was your exam day experience? What, according to you, were the toughest and easiest sections?
Chhavi- I was pretty confident on the exam day, as my mocks had gone very well few months before the CAT day. I kept my calm throughout the exam hours. For all the sections, I picked up the sets which I was confident about to avoid negative marking.
There were no sections which, according to me, were tough or easy. I had encountered similar questions in my mock and sample CAT tests. Mostly all the question patterns were known to me.
DILR and Reading comprehensions were quite tough, so I chose the ones which could be easily comprehended by me. Took five to seven minutes in selecting what to do and what not to do.
Careers360: How did you prepare for CAT 2017? What are the factors behind your success?
Chhavi- As I had limited time, had to plan accordingly. I took up coaching sessions with T.I.M.E, but did not have enough time to read through the modules. So, I rigorously practised the Mock CAT series(AIMCAT) prepared by them, selected some random tests online and sample CAT. To be precise, solving 35 practice tests and analysing them critically called for the cent percent percentile.
Sound knowledge of the basic concepts, controlling distractions, working through practice tests and critical self-analysis were the factors which led to my success.
Careers360: What was your time management strategy?
Chhavi- Selection of the questions was the first thing I indulged in and devoted five to seven minutes for doing the same. I had answered 24 questions in RC and spent 42-45 minutes as my accuracy level was very high. In general, the accuracy in VA questions was low, so for rest of the VA questions (Jumbled sentences and Fill in the Blanks), I spent nearly 15-20 minutes.
For DILR- I gave five to seven minutes to plan and select the order of the sets. As I could not comprehend the first two sets, just skipped and solved rest of the sets.
Finally, for the QA section, I gave 30 minutes each to the two sets of 17 questions.
I religiously followed my preparation pattern and did not change my strategy on the test day. It is important to let go of a question if it is costing more time.
Careers360: Did you take coaching? How helpful was it? Is it possible to succeed through self-study?
Chhavi- Yes, I took a student programme with T.I.M.E and the centre had a pool of good faculty members. Due to the time constraint, I could not refer to CAT modules; depended primarily on the lectures and the mock tests. (AIMCAT series).
Certainly yes. If one is focused, has his/her basic concepts clear, solve a substantial number of practice tests, he/she does not have to enroll in coaching classes.
Careers360: For the first time ever, IIMs released CAT question paper and answer key. Did you find any wrong question/answer? Did you file an objection?
Chhavi- Yes. I wasn’t sure of an answer provided in the answer key, so clarified the same with one of the professors and he explained me the answer. So, I do not have any further objection.
Careers360: Which B-School are you planning to join and why? What are your career plans after MBA?
Chhavi- I am looking forward to one of the top three IIMs (IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta). All the three have great campuses and faculties. I would also get an opportunity to interact with bright peers and exposure to new aspects of management studies.
Do not have a dream career per se but as I am working as a Business Analyst, would like to be in the Consulting domain.
Careers360: Who has been your idol?
Chhavi- The one name that crops in my mind is my mother. As I already mentioned earlier, she used to be very serious about my academics. I would not have been able to score 100 percentile if she had not pushed me with her guiding spirit. I look up to my father as well; admire his diligence and dedication towards work.
Careers360: What are your spare time activities? How did you relax amidst CAT preparation?
Chhavi- Reading books (History, Drama and Non-fiction), singing and spending time with family, especially younger brother.
I used to study for three hours at a stretch and then take a break to go out for cycling or watch television. It helped me getting rejuvenated physically as well as mentally.
Careers360: Any suggestion that you would like to share with aspirants?
Chhavi- To score well, you need to focus on time practice how to let go off a question, if you cannot solve it within 5-7 minutes. Also, keep your calm and follow your preparation pattern; do not change your exam strategy on the test day. My best wishes for all the future aspirants.
Isha Nisar CAT Topper got admitted to IIM Ahmedabad. Read the ...
Anushree Naik CAT Topper (98.2 Percentile) got admitted to IIM...
Ankit Desai CAT Topper (99.91 Percentile) got admitted to IIM ...
Questions related to CAT
I am 29yrs old aspirant , I have done my grajuation from Mumbai university with 1st class . My overall wrk experiance is more than 4 years, can i fill the application??
Yes, definitely. You can fill the form of CAT. As you have good work ex, you will be rewarded with good weightage even marks because MBA checks all.
sir, i am contacted today for taking admission in B.Tech(Bio technology) course this year. How can i register myself? is there any be CAT for taking admission except WBJEE/JEE Main like other colleges if so when? i am appearing in HS final
see if you want to take admission in colleges of west bengal both private and government, admission is based on wbjee and jee main score, however some of the university like adamas university, UEM (university of engineering and management), amity university has their own entrance exam, you may check the the official website to apply.
best books to prepare for all 3 sections of CAT available in market that have all topicsin detail
Here I can give you the list of books for each section that can help you accelerate your preparation to ace the tests.
CAT Books For Quantitative Ability:
1.NCERT mathematics books (from 6th to 10th class) ::
These books are a good way to start if one needs to clear their basics and concepts. NCERT books are best to start your CAT Preparation with only if you have a lot of time before your exam date and need to brush up on concepts before solving advanced problems.
2.How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT (by Arun Sharma)
(publisher: Tata McGraw Hill)
This is a very popular book among CAT aspirants and really easy and simple to understand. This book also focuses on the basics first and has different levels of difficulties step by step.
3.Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations (by Abhijit Guha)
This book is quite comprehensive for various competitive exams, for both MBA aspirants and for those seeking jobs who need to prepare for the aptitude tests.
4.Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma
It is an extensive book for students aspiring to go to IIMs. It has a very simple, lucid and tailor made content revolving around CAT.
5.Quantitative Aptitude for CAT (by Nishit Sinha)
This book by Pearson focuses on in depth understanding of core topics for basic and advanced applications.
Verbal Ability Books For CAT:
1.How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT( by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay)
This book is good to brush up your verbal and reading comprehension skills. It covers three important topics: reading comprehension, verbal ability and verbal reasoning. It provides sufficient practice and mock papers for self-assessment.
2.Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension For The CAT( by Nishit Sinha)
This book by Pearson provides not only an exhaustive resource for verbal ability. It also includes numerous tests as well as integral problem solving techniques and approaches.
3.Word Power Made Easy (by Norman Lewis)
This is the go-to book to improve your vocabulary. It is not a book to be read but a book to work with daily to enrich your vocabulary.
4.High School Grammar and Composition( by Wren and Martin)
It is a very good book for people who want to improve their grammar skills. It helps to understand and conceptualise different aspects of grammar and it is a must have book for anyone with poor grasp on verbal ability or who wants to make up with the basics of english.
Read books from different genres
The ultimate key to improve your verbal ability is to read extensively and to read books from different genres. This ensures that when the time for reading comprehension comes you are well acquainted with different writing styles and topics. Reading extensively also improves your reading speeding over a period of time. There are no shortcuts here.
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Books For CAT:
1.A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning( by R.S. Agarwal)
This CAT book by R.S. Agarwal is to start with the most basic reasoning problem as it is quite simple to understand. It is segregated into different sections such as logic, statements, inferences and arguments, assumptions, conclusions, course of actions, logical puzzles, etc.
2.How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT book (by Arun Sharma)
This book by Tata McGraw Hill contains all topics to be considered under Logical Reasoning for CAT as well as other entrance exams. Each topic is explained with solved examples followed by a series of problems with varied difficulty levels to solve which gives an individual enough practice for this section.
3.How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT book (by Arun Sharma)
This book focuses on all areas of Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency. It provides and emphasizes on developing our calculations to get an edge with DI. This book also provides you with previous years questions, Model and Sample test papers.
4.Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT (by Nishit Sinha)
This book covers fundamental and advanced topics under the aforementioned section which are explained with the help of solved examples, case lets and exercises to do. It is useful for various other exams as well.
5.Data Interpretation (by Nishit Sinha)
Practice Book for CAT and Other MBA Entrance Examinations( by Nishit Sinha):
This book provides adequate practice and to sharpen the skills for Data Interpretation. It is also quite useful for other competitive exams like NMAT, GMAT, SNAP, XAT, CMAT, etc.
Another CAT Preparation material or book to be considered is Previous Years Solved CAT Paper:
This ensures that you are familiar with the kind of questions that are asked in CAT providing you an edge. They can be taken as mocks and the analysis of the same can provide you with great insights for your preparation.
It is always better to read newspaper for CURRENT G.K. than trying to grasp all info at once. Some of the newspaper sources which you can use to prepare this section are The Hindu, Financial Express, and The Economist.
In case, you dont like reading newspaper daily, you can go with Manorama Yearbook or Current Affairs Yearly by Arihant for General Knowledge which is published every year.
In order to prepare for STATIC G.K. section, you need to broaden your overall scope in following sections: Sports, Politics, Entertainment, Biographies, etc. So, for this, you can use Static General Knowledge by A.P. Bhardwaj and S. Chands Advanced Objective General Knowledge. These books are okay to start with if you are not someone with a newspaper reading habit from the past.
There are plenty of other books for these topics in the market, but these are by far the most popular as well as helpful books for anyone preparing for entrance exams.
cat cutoff marks for agribusiness management in IIM lucknow?
If you belong to general category, then the cut off for you at Indian Institute of Management Lucknow for Agri business management course is 85 percentile with sectional cut off of 80 percentile.
For more details on IIM Lucknow cat cut off visit the link below:
I have a 9 CGPA in 10th, 89% in 12th, 5.8 CGPA in B.Com. and 6 CGPA in M.Com. So how much do I need to score in CAT for admission in NIBM, Pune being a General? Also, I have done internships in reputable organisations along with few diplomas.
NIBM is one of the finest Institute in India
According to some past year data, the cut off through CAT ranges between 85-90 percentile general category
But the safer score could be more than 90 percentile. As cut off may differ every year depending upon how many candidates appear the exam and difficulty level of the exam
Hope this helps
All the best