Kumar Pratik cracked IIM Calcutta PGDM admissions with his high CAT percentile of 99.7. Among other top B-schools which offered final admissions to Pratik include NMIMS, IIM Udaipur and IIM Rohtak.


In this interview with Careers360, Pratik who dreams to be an entrepreneur, shares his CAT success strategy. He also talks on how he converted his weak areas into one of the strongest sections during his preparation journey. The CAT topper also advice aspirants on how to keep fundamental concepts strong during the CAT preparation stage.


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Kumar Pratik, a big movie buff says that CAT preparation is like an indulgence into a recreational activity. Read here to know his Mantra of cracking CAT.




Careers360: What motivated you to pursue MBA? What do you aspire for?

Kumar PratikMy motivation for pursuing MBA is to the platform that this programme provides to excel in all the aspects of life. I felt that I had a knack for analytical skills along with creativity, management techniques. And, it seemed realistic to pursue a management course which can teach me how exactly to use my skills.


My aspirations are to work for a reputed firm, learn and experience the role and process of being successful entrepreneur. After which I would invest in my own startup company. Meanwhile, I would like to continue to work on my novel from which I have very high expectations.


Careers360: Apart from CAT 2013, which other MBA entrance exams you took and how was your performance?

Kumar PratikI took XAT, IIFT and NMAT among other entrance exams. But my focus was entirely on CAT. My performance in all these exams was satisfactory, but as said the ultimate goal was to crack CAT which I did by a 99.7 percentile.


Careers360: Which other B-schools made final admission offers to you, and also why did you selected IIM Calcutta?

Kumar PratikI chose IIM-C because of the long illustrious history associated with the institute and the fact that it is one of the highest ranked B-school in India. Other B-Schools that offered final admissions offers were IIM-Rohtak, Udaipur, Tiruchirapalli and NMIMS.


Careers360: What was your preparation strategy for CAT 2013?

Kumar Pratik:The strategy is simple; understand the concepts, solve lot of questions, fix your weak areas, give as much mock tests as you can. I kept following this plan every month and achieved my aim.


Careers360: Do you think Coaching or Mentoring is important to crack CAT or any other MBA entrance tests?

Kumar PratikIt is important to have a coaching from a reputed institutes or a mentor who can guide you with a plan for the preparations.  With Time management and tricks, a student also gets a chance to solve Mock Tests which gives an insight about how to solve the actual CAT exam.

Not only this, a students gets Counselling from experienced faculties, which acts as a motivational boost.


Careers360: How did you manage CAT preparation schedule along graduation studies?

Kumar PratikSomehow, I never felt the need to balance or manage the two. I compromised on graduation scores a little bit to gain on the CAT score. I felt that 5 days were enough for the end-term exam preparations and the time I would use to study for these exams could be better put to use studying for CAT. Obviously, the key point here is that I did put that time to use studying and not just dawdling around.


Careers360: Please share your preparation strategy for the Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning separately?

Kumar PratikQuantitative Ability: I have a strong background in Quant. The strategy was simple – Try to eliminate options and get answers first. If it’s a “type” question, apply the method and crack the code. If it requires special effort, attempt other questions first and solve it later.


Data Interpretation: I had difficulty coping with DI at the start, and my Mock CAT scores were very poor in DI. So, I took a module on DI, sat in the library the entire day and finished all 10 exercises at once. Not only this, each day I solved maximum number of questions maintaining my speed. After few weeks DI sections was as easy for me.


Verbal Ability: Read, practice and write, the only strategy that would let you succeed in this section. Increasing vocabulary is also the key to success.


Logical Reasoning: LR is all about practice.


Careers360: What was your Time Management formula while taking the actual CAT paper?

Kumar PratikSolve short/easy questions first. Once you answer all the easy questions, come back to the tougher questions, relax, manage time and solve.

Never stick tom one question for long, Time is important to manage.


Careers360: What were your strong and weak areas? How did you prepare and what special efforts did you put for improving your weak areas?

Kumar Pratik:My strongest wereQuant and Verbal sections; I had to work hard on DI and RC. I practiced speed mathematics and solved 10 DI exercises at a stretch to get the hang of it. For RC, I practiced critical reasoning and read up on fallacies to eliminate options.


Careers360: What is your advice for the MBA aspirants who will take CAT 2014?

Kumar PratikDon’t waste energy on questions that you are unable to solve, just put the right effort in the right direction. Excessive effort in wrong direction is equal to no effort at all. Give lots and lots of Mock Tests for CAT. Identify and rectify on your weak areas, and once you’ve prepared entirely just relax and have confidence.


Careers360: How important are Recreational activities for you. Were you involved in any of the activities besides preparing for the exam?

Kumar Pratik: CAT preparation was more of a recreational activity for me because I only did it in my leisure time, once I was through with football, movies, guitar etc. So, it was never a burden. All I did was attending coaching classes regularly, listen to my teachers and tried to put my efforts and practice.

Besides that, I use to watch a lot of movies, as I am a movie buff.I like watching all genres of movies except drama and war. My favourite movies are The Truman Show, The Man from Earth and the Prestige


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whats think different in a CMAT and a cat

Shiksha 28th Mar, 2020


Although both the exams are for getting into Bschools in India for post graduation but there is a huge difference between the two:

  • Cat is common admission test and cmat is common management admission test
  • Cat is one of the most popular exam in india for management given by around 2 lakhs of people and cmat is given by a lesser candidates around 50k-60k.
  • Most of the bschools & iim accept cat score and around only 400+ colleges in india iccepts cmat score.
  • Cat has a higher difficulty level and cmat is a bit on the easier side.
  • Both exams are online but the exam pattern is different. Apart from quantitative ability, verbal ability and logical reasoning that are there in both the exams, cmat also an additional section for gk & current affairs.
  • There are very few top colleges through cmat and many top colleges through cat that you can target.
  • I hope this helps.

what percentile in cat do I need if I have 84 percent in 10th and 92 percent in 12th to get into IIM Indore?

ADIL KHAN Student Expert 28th Mar, 2020

Hii Suraj,

IIM Indore is one such B-school which values your previous academic marks a lot. Your graduation marks matter too. And the stream from which you graduated. You have a good score in class 12th but an average one in class 10th. See it is just not your acads but your work-ex if any, your extracurriculars matter too.

You'll still need a percentile somewhat above 98+ if you are a student of Commerce background. Being from tech. background furthermore makes it difficult for one to get in.

You can visit the following link for more info- https://www.careers360.com/university/indian-institute-of-management-indore

You can reach out to us for more information regarding admissions entrance tests etc.

Hope it helps.



Is it possible to get elegible for mba course without work experience in s p jain and if eligible then at what cat score open category student gets admitted.

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 27th Mar, 2020


see it is not mandatory to have work experience to join 2 year mba program in sp jain, however if you opt for executive mba then work experience is necessary.

sp jain offers mba courses on Marketing, Operations, Information Management & Finance.

sp jain selection criteria is two types 1> profile based, 2> profile cum score based.

as per previous years cutoff cat overall percentile was 85. with 75 percentile cutoff in sectional. sp jain observes candidates based on their academic score, extracurricular activities, achievements and relevant work experience.


how many % required in 12th for cat

Shaurya Kapoor 27th Mar, 2020

It basically depends upon from college to college and the criteria for short listing. But if you wish to make it to the top colleges of CAT it is advised to score very high percentage of marks in your class x and class xii.

Every year the percentage needed for shortlistment is changed by the college.

The overall shortlistment depends upon your performance in class x and xii , your grades in college , extra curricular activities and your work experience.

All the Best !!!?


will i get earth science in 515 score in iit gwahati in gen cat. Or water resources

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 27th Mar, 2020


I have mentioned the previous years cutoff of civil engineering for iit guwahati below in various stream for general category,

StructuralEngineering    CE    713

Geotechnical Engineering    CE    627

Transportation Systems Engineering    CE    639

Water Resources Engineering    CE    590

Infrastructure Engineering and Management    CE    627

so you have less chances for iit guwahati.

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