CAT 2018 Topper Interview: Focus on sectional tests was key, says 100 percentiler Rickshesh Manchanda
Ranjini Basu, 10 Jan 2019, #CAT
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CAT 2018 Topper Interview – Twenty-one-year old Rickshesh Manchanda has emerged as one of the eleven 100 percentile scorers, who is a fresh IIT-Delhi graduate working in a bank. He is a candidate who notched up a 100 percentile without attending any coaching sessions. A determined and headstrong working professional bagged the perfect percentile in his second attempt. His first CAT attempt was no less illustrious as he obtained 99.99 percentile in CAT 2017. Last year’s CAT preparation combined with sustained analysis of mocks and practice tests helped him to ace the most coveted entrance examination.

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A self-reliant and confident individual, Rickshesh completed his schooling from Rohtak and after cracking JEE Main in 2014, took up production and industrial engineering at IIT Delhi. The Manchanda family owns a factory which is run by his mother and his elder sister is a research scholar. A happy-go-lucky Rickshesh loves to listen to music, read books across genres, and chats with friends during his leisure. He aspires to start his own business, precisely a start-up, after completing his management study. He firmly believes that unlike JEE Main exam, CAT is a test-driven examination and one should start preparing by taking some mocks and understand where he/she stands.He firmly believes self-preparation is a better option to opt for when the aspirant has the zeal and right motivation. To learn more about the CAT preparatory books recommended by the topper, and his sectional preparation strategy, one has to read the CAT 2018 topper interview transcribed below - 

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Read the excerpts of the CAT 2018 topper interview -

Careers360: What was your CAT 2018 overall and sectional percentile?

Rickshesh: I obtained an overall percentile of 100 in CAT 2018 and the best part is I could maintain a balance in my sectional scores as well. Following are my sectional percentiles-

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  • VARC:  99.44 percentile

  • DILR:      100 percentile

  • QA:     99.95 percentile


Careers360: Why did you appear for CAT exam, for the second time?

Rickshesh: Although I secured 99.99 percentile in CAT 2017, I wasn’t very confident about the GD/PI/WAT rounds in my first attempt. So, I took a calculative risk and appeared for CAT 2018 once again. But my plan worked by God’s grace and I got 100 percentile.

Careers360: Apart from CAT, did you appear for any other entrance examination/s like XAT,CMATSNAP, etc.?

Rickshesh: No. I appeared for CAT only as my chosen institutes were those which require the CAT percentile alone to clear their qualifying round. So, wanted to focus all my attention towards CAT examination.

Careers360: What was your CAT 2018 preparation strategy?

Rickshesh: Honestly speaking, due to work pressure I did not have much time to prepare for CAT 2018. As this was my second attempt, I just brushed-up my concepts and took four to five mocks. That’s it! I had actually prepared for CAT 2017 where I secured 99.99 percentile. Last year’s preparation helped me bag the perfect score! The first step I took for CAT preparation was to take up certain mock tests to understand my potential; my strengths and weaknesses which was followed by revision of concepts where I lacked knowledge and confidence. Unlike JEE examination, one does not have to learn new concepts in CAT, as most of the topics are similar to high school syllabus. The basis of my preparation was on the sectional tests more than full-length mocks as it helped me understand my weaknesses. My target was to get 100 percentile on QA and DI & LR to cover my weak section, i.e. VARC.


Careers360: When did you start preparing for CAT and how did you prepare – Self-study or Coaching? 

Rickshesh: Due to the professional commitment I couldn’t prepare much for CAT 2018, however, my last year’s preparation worked for me this time. 

I studied all by myself. However, I had purchased several test series to analyse my preparation. I took the mocks and analysed my mistakes intricately. 


Careers360: How did you balance your preparation with studies or job?

Rickshesh: I had a full-time job while preparing for CAT 2018. This made it difficult for me to maintain a regularity in my preparation. My preparation comprised many sectional exams and four to five mocks which I took in the last week before CAT 2018. My primary motive was to maintain the exam temperament more than preparation.


Careers360: How did you manage the time?

Rickshesh: I would be a very wrong person to answer this question, as I could not manage time until the CAT day. Previous year, I solved all the 34 questions in QA section, but this year I solved seven questions in first 30 minutes and then hurriedly completed 21 questions in the last half an hour! This happened with all the sections. The initial 30 mins went slow and then I picked up the required speed. For DI & LR section, I attempted six sets and I attempted 28-30 questions in VARC section.


Careers360: Which were your strongest and weakest sections?

Rickshesh: QA section was always my strength followed by DILR. But VARC stood as a challenge before me. I have coped with the section by taking several sectional tests. Maximum focus was on the Reading Comprehension passages. Luckily, for consecutive two years VARC section of CAT was quite easy!

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

Rickshesh: I had no particular strategy as such. I believe in impromptu strategy. If one has a set strategy in mind for the exam, he/she might falter during the exam as candidates are not sure of the CAT questions. Plans may fail; so it is better to make instant plans after one views the questions.


Careers360: Can you state the difference between CAT 2017 and CAT 2018?

Rickshesh: Surely. The VARC section was quite similar in both the years. It was on the easier side. The DILR section was very difficult in CAT 2017 as compared to CAT 2018. There was a stark difference in the difficulty level of the QA section. In CAT 2017, QA section was very easy as compared to CAT 2018 which proved to be very difficult. I feel this year’s CAT was a balanced paper. 


Careers360: Which are the colleges/institutes you are looking forward to? Have you started preparing for GD/PI/WAT?

Rickshesh: I am looking forward to IIM AhmedabadIIM BangaloreIIM CalcuttaIIM KozhikodeIIM Lucknow, and FMS, Delhi.

I am yet to start my GD/PI?WAT rounds. I just started reading a book called ‘The 10-Day MBA’ to enrich knowledge of management skills.


Careers360: What are your hobbies?

Rickshesh: I like to listen to music, read books, chat with friends.


Careers360: What is your message for CAT 2018 aspirants?

Rickshesh: Identify your problem and focus on sectional tests. Work on your strengths and follow the graph of effort vs improvement while dealing with your weakness. Finally, try preparing for CAT using varied approaches.


Also Read,

CAT 2018 Topper Interview: Take 2 mocks every week, says 100 percentiler Jagesh Golwala

CAT 2018 Topper Interview: I practised for 3 hours with minimal breaks, says Kaustubh Vyas, 99.99 percentile

CAT 2018 Topper Interview: How Mihir Kapse secured 99.97 percentile while fighting with Autism

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5 Views

i have got 50 percent marks in graduation..if i will get good percentile in CAT OR MAT. will i get admission in good college or should i stop dreaming of mba?

Shareef 19th Nov, 2019
Hello,
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No, Never give up. When there's a will, there is a way.
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Now, getting admission into MBA is not based on your graduation marks, most of the Institutes only care about your performance in CAT/MAT examinination.
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If you a good percentage in your entrance examination, then most of the Institutes don't consider your graduation percentage, where few Institutes need a minimum percentage in graduation.
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Don't get tensed about your graduation percentage, you have a minimum percentage which is news for getting admission.
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So, don't get tensed about it, just prepare best, and give your best. Best of luck
3 Views

i m 34 yrs old, having work ex of 5 yrs as an Officer in Ministry of Defence. I wanted to do full time MBA from top IIM-A/B/C through CAT exam. M having poor academics record below 65%, also belongs to Reserve category. is thr any chance for me to get into TOP IIMs, nt interested in Exe-MBA.plz help

Yash Dev Student Expert 19th Nov, 2019
Hello Akash Gupta with this percentage its tough to get into top IIMs but IIMs also consider work experience so I request you to please appear in CAT and give your best as you've less marks in your previous courses so you need to score high in Cat,If a student have 90%in 10th and 90%in 12 and 80%in graduation stand a chance to getting a call from top IIMs even with less percentile in cat around 95-95%tile than you who have score 99%tile.
So yes it's tough to get into top IIMs but still there's hope so do your best.

Feel free to comment if you have any doubt
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93 Views

I have 96% in 10th, 92.4% in 12th and 81.1% in Engineering. What percentile should I score in CAT to get calls from IIM Indore, Kozikhode and Trichy(NC- OBC Category)?

Sonali Sahu Student Expert 18th Nov, 2019

Hello,

your score is good until now. You have did your best all the way. For CAT exam, IIM Consider 90% to get an admission.

For IIM Kozhikode:- 75% for CAT,Sectional Cutoff:- 65% for  10th:- 60% and for 12th 60%.

For IIM Trichy:- 78% for OBC-NC

for IIM Indore :- 80% for OBC-NC

for OBC category there will very less relaxation. But there is high competition but number of seats available is very less.

So you have to prepare accordingly and get an admission.

CAT exam score hold a 45-50 % weightage for admission at IIM Kozhikode. You have so good qualification in the rest. If you put more effort into it then you can get it.

Hope it helps!

13 Views

when can I apply for CAT and when are the admissions for MBA open?

Ruchika Chauhan Expert 18th Nov, 2019

Hello

Common Admission Test (CAT) is the most popular national level management entrance exam. CAT 2019 application process has been completed and the exam is scheduled to be conducted on 24th November 2019.

Application forms were available from 07 Aug, 2019 - 25 Sep, 2019.


Aspirants seeking admission to the MBA course have to appear for entrance exams such as CAT/XAT/MAT/SNAP/etc. After the entrance test, candidates have to apply to colleges for admission.

Check the details about the CAT exam using the link below and do let us know if you have any other queries.

https://bschool.careers360.com/exams/cat

Good Luck!

11 Views

what is the pass mark of cat exam

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 17th Nov, 2019
There is no pass or fail marks for CAT. For example if you get 70 percentile, it means that ypu have done better than 70% of the Candidates who appeared for the exam.
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