“My calm attitude and ignorance to neighbouring allowed me to be myself” Says Anumay, CAT 2019 Topper
Updated on Jan 9, 2020 - 10:53 a.m. IST by Aman.vardhan
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CAT 2019 Topper Interview - Common Admission Test is one of the most reputed and difficult entrance examinations in India. The paper is the gateway to the prestigious IIMs. Yes! We are talking about the Indian Institute of Management which are the dreams of every MBA aspirant in the country. Achieving a decent percentile in the paper is not an easy task or a snap that can be achieved within a few days. The tasks are difficult but not impossible and so high the cost to achieve. With proper dedication and hardwork in the right direction one cannot only perform better in the examination but also ace in it. One of those who achieve that milestone is Anumay Aashish. Keeping a dream of IIM Ahmedabad, Aashish has secured 99.98 percentile in CAT with a scaled score of 217.26 marks which is a result of months of preparation, dedication towards his goal. Let us see what Anumay has to say regarding his preparation.

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Careers360: What are your overall and sectional percentile and scaled scores in CAT 2019?

Anumay: My overall score was 219(217.26 in scaled) and my percentile was 99.98. My sectional percentiles were 99.35, 99.69, 99.98 in VARC, DILR and Quant.

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Careers360: Tell us something about your background

Anumay: My parents are both doctors. I come from Patna, Bihar. I completed my 10th and 12th from Patna itself and currently am a fourth-year undergraduate in IIT Bombay under the mechanical department. I have also completed my minors in Management from Shailesh J Mehta School of Management.

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Careers360: How was your exam day experience?

Anumay: My exam day experience was quite simple and easy. It was smooth and things did go as I had planned. However, I believe half the work was done as I maintained my calm and composure. It was, however, one of those days when I really felt the pressure of the exam. When I reached the CAT test center, things seemed to be more serious than I had imagined, but still as I said, my calm attitude and ignorance of the neighboring noise allowed me to be myself.

Careers360: What was your preparation strategy for CAT?

Anumay: I can break my entire strategy into 3 parts. The first part included developing vocabulary skills, reading habits, newspaper reading and exploring different topics of CAT with utmost detail.

The second part was more sort of practice types. I was involved in solving questions and finding shortcuts to each question, developing a strategy to solve maximum questions in minimum time.

The last part was the CAT mock tests, I gave around 25-26 mock tests and evaluated the performance of each of them properly; highlighting my disabilities and weaknesses.

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

Anumay: My easiest section was Quant, and all that was because I was from a math background. It was more of a bias that I enjoyed.

VARC undoubtedly was something I was sure to fail at.

Careers360: How did you tackle your strong and weak areas?

Anumay: My not so strong vocabulary and loose English speaking abilities made me realize the need to work upon the VARC section in particular. So as I already said, I started with the first part of the preparation. Reading a lot, from books to articles to newspaper cutouts. I focused on reading different genres and expanding my vocabulary with a new word every day. I made it a rule to read the newspaper every day like Hindu and economic times.

I continued this for the entire preparation period and believe that it did affect my overall personality and skill sets for the exam

Careers360: What was your time management strategy with respect to preparation as well as exam day?

Anumay: Since I was in my last year I had a lot of things to cover. What did help me was clear sketching out of my daily work and allowing dedicated time to both my college academics as well as CAT prep. I usually used to study for my college acads in early morning and afternoon taking out time from my class schedules, and the evening time was solely dedicated to CAT prep. Late nights that is after dinner I usually used to read, novels, articles and other stuff. The time in between classes I used to read newspapers like Hindu and ET.

Careers360: Have you joined any coaching? How helpful was it for you? Is it possible to succeed through self-study?

Anumay: I was a part of a full-time cat preparation course with TIME. I believe coaching is not the most necessary part but yes something like TIME really helps to keep u up for the exams. Not only this, the entire concept of coaching makes you ready for sitting in 3 hours for an exam since most of us have lost that ability.

The coaching part also provides you simpler practice schedules where you just need to take the classes as per the routine provided.

Also the materials provided keeps you updated with the latest pattern of examination.

Careers360: Have you started preparing for GD/PI/WAT?

Anumay: I have started reading more and studying about different topics that could be asked in WAT or the PI round, however, I have not really started a dedicated preparation for the GD/PI/WAT, I intend to start it from the second week of January.

Careers360: Which other MBA entrance exam have you appeared/appearing for?

Anumay: I have not been preparing for any other exams specifically sInce i look to take a job if I don’t get any of the top IIMs

Careers360: What is your dream B-School? After that, what career do you want to pursue?

Anumay: IIM Ahmedabad is my dream B-school and the answer stands unchanged irrespective of the fact that I account for national or international schools. Post my masters I look forward to working as a consultant and once I gain knowledge of the industry and market I wish to start with my own business idea.

Careers360: What are your hobbies?

Anumay: My hobbies are mainly reading and listening to music. I love listening to different kinds of music and then singing along. Also, in the case of reading, I like reading political news and biographies. I like reading about different markets and industries as well as people and their life, people who made it big as well as fell off the top.

My other not severe hobbies include playing cricket however, I have lost connection with the game for a long time now due to other curricular loads in college.

Careers360: What were your relaxation and recreation methods you followed amidst preparation?

Anumay: One of the major methods that I followed as I stated in my hobbies was listening to inspirational videos and music. I listened to music that could inspire me as well as listen to the inspiring speeches of people like Elon Musk, Ratan Tata, Sajjan Jindal, MS Dhoni, and other such legends. This really helped me regain my zeal and passion and get back to my work with double enthusiasm.

Careers360: Do you have any idol who you follow?

Anumay: Yes everyone has someone who he or she looks up to. I really do not have any career idols, but in terms of person, I really look up to MS Dhoni. His calm and composure make me fall for him. The attitude that Dhoni has is really something that I worth teaching to everyone. His ideas such as what doesn’t kill you make you stronger and it is as important to know what you cannot do as what you want to do is intensive and great. His life is seriously enlightening.

Careers360: What is your message for next year's CAT takers?

Anumay: I believe that i do not have such great insights to give great advice but what I would suggest is that do not study to clear the exam; study hard and develop your personality holistically, CAT is not just a competitive exam it is an experience to build yourself

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