CAT 2022 Topper Adarsh Khandelwal says, “Road to CAT can be pretty tiring, so take your time off”
CAT 2022 Topper Interview Adarsh Khandelwal, 99.93 Percentile: What are the secrets of any CAT topper? The more they practise, the higher their CAT exam scores will be. A regular revision, learning from mistakes, avoiding last minute preparation and many more such tips.
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Here is where we introduce you to Adarsh Khandelwal who scored 99.93 as CAT 2022 percentile. He belongs from Ramgarh, a town in Jharkhand. Born and brought up in a business family always kept his interest in the workings of various businesses which gave him the impetus to pursue MBA as his post-graduation course. Read CAT topper 2022 full interview to know about his CAT preparation strategy and tips for next year’s CAT aspirants.
Careers360: What are your overall and sectional percentile and scaled CAT scores?
Adarsh: OA - 99.93%ile(114.15) VARC - 77.59%ile(16.46), LRDI - 99.99%ile(48.31) , QA - 99.95%ile(49.38).
Careers360: Tell us something about your background.
Adarsh: I graduated with a humanities (Political Science Hons.) background from IGNOU.
Careers360: How was your exam day experience? Which slot did you appear in?
Adarsh: Regarding the CAT test centre, it exceeded my expectations and every process was conducted very smoothly. I appeared for slot 1, as my test centre was 2 hrs ride from my home. I had to wake up pretty early (around 4:00 am) which affected my comprehension reading which can be seen in my score. Nevertheless, overall it was a great experience.
Careers360: What was your last-minute preparation strategy for CAT?
Adarsh: Having prepared for about 6 months, I was confident of my preparation. A day before CAT, I watched a movie and went for a ride.
Careers360: What according to you were the toughest and easiest sections?
Adarsh: VARC was definitely the toughest section for me and QA due to familiarity with many questions was an easy section.
Careers360: What was your time management strategy for preparation and exam day?
Adarsh: I would try to answer this question section-wise.
VARC - For practice, I used to solve 3-4 RCs and 20-25 VA questions daily along with reading articles from Aeon and The Hindu. In regards to test taking, as we only have 40 mins per section so allocating time judiciously is crucial, I used the 25(RC)-15(VA) strategy, I knew that speed reading was not my area of expertise so I stuck to choosing 3 out of 4 RCs, as for VA I attempt 13-14 out of 15 questions. I first attempted 2RCs then switched to VA, and if time permits went for the 3rd RC.
DILR - I used to practise 8 sets daily. This is the most unpredictable section in CAT and a section for which any amount of preparation will feel less. But at the same time, a section that requires the least amount of prior knowledge as every set encountered is of a new type and as the name of the section clearly suggests we have to be logical, all the required information is provided, we just have to be calm and patient and make sense of the data provided. During mocks, I used to give 2-3 minutes to go through all the sets, I used to solve 3 sets and if time permits a few questions from the 4th set.
QA - I used to practise 30-40 questions daily. While test taking, I used to categorise questions, on the go, as easy, medium, tough and solved in that order. Categorising questions requires a lot of practice and is something that improves over time. I made a conscious effort to not spend too much time on a particular question as we have to understand that each question, easy or tough, will fetch the same marks.
Careers360: Did you take coaching? How helpful was your coaching institute for you? Is it possible to succeed through self-study?
Adarsh: Yes, I joined iQuanta. Having enrolled in any coaching helps to streamline one’s preparation strategies. I did not use any books for CAT preparation, this was because I got a variety of questions, some inspired by PYQs and many fresh questions, from my coaching material and mock tests, that helped me not to waste too much time on switching across different materials.
It is very much possible to succeed with self-study, but one should keep in mind to select their study materials right at the start by doing sufficient research and sticking to those resources and not trying hands on every resource out there.
Careers360: What are the factors behind your success?
Adarsh: Taking a lot of full CAT mocks, around 35+, and carefully analysing them made me feel confident. I believe hard work along with smart work is necessary. I would also like to thank my family, with special mention to my brother, and coaching mentors for keeping me motivated through this journey.
Careers360: Have you started preparing for CAT GD/ PI/WAT?
Adarsh: The sooner the better, yes I have started preparing.
Careers360: Which other MBA entrance exam have you appeared/appearing for?
Adarsh: I appeared for NMAT (scored 274) and IIFT and will be appearing for XAT.
Careers360: Which is your dream B-School? From which colleges are you expecting a call?
Adarsh: IIM Ahmedabad, obviously. I am expecting calls from IIMA and K, apart from some new IIMs, IIT Delhi, MDI, and FMS.
Careers360: What are your hobbies?
Adarsh: I like coding and watching sports, especially tennis and cricket.
Careers360: What were the relaxation and recreation methods you followed amidst CAT preparation?
Adarsh: I watched it all - Commonwealth Games, Asia Cup, T20 World Cup and FIFA World Cup, they helped me keep my mind away from CAT for some time which helped in keeping my mind fresh.
Careers360: What is your message for next year's CAT takers?
Adarsh: I have mentioned test-taking strategies in detail, but I would like to add a few lines. “Ups and downs in life are very important to keep us going, because a straight line even in an ECG means we are not alive.” - Ratan Tata. Road to CAT can be pretty tiring, so try to take out some time for things you enjoy doing.
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