CAT Topper Interview-Pooja Pai of FMS Delhi Tells How to Crack CAT 2013
Continuing with the series on CAT Topper Interviews, today we have in store for you the success secrets of Pooja Pai who scored 99.89 percentile in CAT 2012 and is currently pursuing MBA from Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), University of Delhi. Pooja shares her preparation strategy on how to crack CAT 2013, experience of GD PI and preparation tips for CAT 2013 aspirants.
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Pooja is a Computer Engineer from Sardar Patel Institute of Technology Mumbai, her hometown. She was in her graduation pre final year when she started her CAT preparation. She converted the calls of new IIMs and FMS.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q: What was your main objective behind pursuing MBA? What is your aspiration?
A: I decided to go for MBA in my pre final year of graduation, when I thought a blend of technology and business works well for me.
After MBA, I want to get into strategic consulting, and climb the corporate ladder steadily. I believe FMS sets the platform well for me.
Q: How did you perform in CAT 2012? Apart from CAT 2012, which were the other MBA entrance exams you took?
A: I scored 99.60 percentile in CAT 2012, with 99.89 in Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning section and 94.94 in Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation section. Apart from CAT 2012, I took XAT 2013 in which I scored a 98.99 percentile. I did not take any other exams as I was applying only to the IIMs, FMS, XLRI and SP Jain Institute of Management & Research.
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Q: What was your preparation strategy for CAT 2012?
A: I prepared for CAT 2012 by joining coaching classes a year prior to the CAT exam, and put in a major part of the day for about 2 months. My overall strategy was to put in consistent effort as I had heard from seniors that it was all about practice and smart solving. Hence, I used to practice a few questions whenever I could, so as keep in touch with the multi-choice objective format.
Q: Based on your CAT 2012 scores, which B-schools shortlisted you and how was your GD/WAT/PI experience?
A: I got calls from IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, FMS, XLRI and 6 new IIMs. Most of my GDs revolved around different aspects and implications of economy in India. IIM Lucknow was an abstract GD on the airline industry. With Personal Interviews, it was a lot to do with the forms I filled or the CV I carried along. Apart from that, I was asked about concepts that I learnt in engineering and their practical relevance. Also, I was quizzed on current affairs. A few HR questions (Tell me about yourself, strengths, weaknesses, etc.) always entailed. In IIM Lucknow I had a stress interview, entirely based on abstract figures that I was expected to know (Suicide rate of India, length of a cricket pitch, etc.)
Q: What were your final converts? Why did you choose to join FMS?
A: I got a final admission offer from a couple of the newer IIMs and FMS. I chose FMS because it was my best convert.
Q: What is your take on self study for CAT? Please share the strategy on how to crack CAT 2013 through self study.
A: I think it is a very subjective question. It is not that these concepts in CAT are new. They are probably taught in school. However, the approach taken and time required to solve play a major role in cracking CAT. Expertise in these aspects comes only with consistent practice. So, if a CAT 2013 aspirant is willing to put in this extra mile of effort without someone monitoring or teaching him how to go about it; it is not impossible from him or her to crack CAT 2013. However, if you are a person who needs constant guidance, then formal coaching is the way to go.
Q: How did you manage the CAT preparation with your regular schedule of graduation studies?
A: I was a student, I prepared for CAT through my pre-final and final year. I used to travel for about 2.5 hours a day 8 hours of college, followed by assignments, projects and journals to work on. However, I managed to squeeze in time for CAT coaching and homework as well. I tried solving in my travel time. Even solving a few questions in between lectures would help. Vacations were a blessing in disguise; I worked on CAT for a major part of the day, all through the month of vacations.
Q: Please share your preparation strategy for the Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning?
A: With Quantitative Ability section, being an engineer always helps. The Math background leverage is significant. However, those shortcuts still needed to be learnt. Plus, CAT is known for its twists. So, I had to be adequately prepared for such questions. Again, practice was the key. With verbal, somehow I was better than one would expect an engineer to be, as stereotyped among candidates. But, I had to improve a lot on my reading (skimming) skills for the comprehension questions. Grammar questions also had to be dealt with as the colloquial grammar in India is a tad different from the expected grammar in CAT. Overall, a lot of reading (on the screen, not on paper) helped condition me for the verbal section especially for the computer based CAT.
Q: CAT is now a sectional timed exam. What was your strategy for time management in this regard?
A: I would suggest one needs to identify his strong and weak spots in both Quant and verbal. Since CAT involves negative marking, one simply cannot bluff his way out. So, one might as well work accordingly and try to solve all the questions that one is confident with, before moving on to tougher ones. Shortcuts are absolutely essential; tables, reciprocals, fractions, skimming, approximations, etc. But, it is equally essential to be very familiar with them (and their origin), not just know them.
Q: What is your advice for the MBA aspirants who will take CAT 2013 and other MBA entrance exams on how to crack CAT 2013 and other exams?
A: I would suggest them to either take formal coaching, or start structuring their preparation foremost. Next, they should learn the concepts and relevant shortcuts. Also, they should attend all India mock tests. These tests help them gauge themselves across potential candidates, thus helping them know the amount of improvement they need to show. Again as I say, practice is the key. There is nothing more to CAT than consistent effort and smart work. Most of the exams will have more or less the same sections. Knowing current affairs is a must, as some exams have a dedicated section for GK. Also, they help in building your content for GDs and PIs.
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Questions related to CAT
I am student of Shivaji college,DU,pursuing BSc[Hon.] Mathematics, I have scored 95.2% in class 10th,92.6% in class 12,if I score 8.5+ cgpa in my graduation and maybe good percentile in CAT exams,what exactly is my chance of getting a call from iims?
see your overall academic record is really good. however apart from this you have to bring a high score around 99 percentile in cat exam to get calls form top iims. however cutoff score changes every year and it depends on certain factors like number of applicants, questions difficulty level, seat matrix, students category and so on. however keep doing the hard work and you would get success. however I would suggest to apply for others management exam like MAT, XAT cmat as well.
to know about management entrance test follow the below link:
10th - 63% 12th - 69% graduation - 95% cat - 98% which Colleges can I get ????
I hope you are doing good . With reference to your query , I would like to know you that at your percentile your chances are very high to get call from some top buisness schools . However you have below 75 in 10 thand 12th which can reduces your chances in some buisness schools ,but hope for the best . Some names of the business schools are:-
1 . IIM indore
2. IIM luckhnow
3 . IIM calcutta
4 .DMS, IIT Delhi
5. IIM kohzikode
Hope you found this answer helpful. Good luck for your future
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mu 10th and 12th percentage is 95% each and graduation may be 8.5 - 9 CGPA ,so wt should be my cat percentile to get in to a iim,,(am not a hard worker /bad in focusing and reading)
Assuming your are a General Category Aspirant, from Engineering Background, having a strong academic record, you should secure atleast anywhere around 99 Percentile, to secure a Call from one of the IIMs as well as between 98-99 for CAP. Incase you are Targetting IIM ABC, you need to raise your targets to anywhere above 99.5+ for better chances and prospects.
For more information about CAT do follow the link below
For more information about IIM Percentile Cutoffs do follow the link below
hey there im a neet aspirant from kerala belonging to ews cat . how much mark will be required for me to get a govt seat for bds in kerala ?
As we go through previous year's cut-off then it shows that under state quota for EWS category for government BDS seat one needs to secure at least 520-30 or more marks in NEET out of 720 marks as we saw an increase of around 25-30 marks in institutional cut-offs in 2020. So if you are targeting for NEET 2021 then your aim should not be less than 520 out of 720 marks especially for Government BDS seats in Kerala.
Note that the above prediction is made on the basis of previous year's cut-off and the cut-offs are bound to change every year depending upon various factors such as the number of candidates appearing in an examination, the number of candidates qualifying an examination, difficulty level of the paper, and so on.
To have a list of all those colleges which you can get based upon your marks, category, and state you can use NEET College Predictor because it will make you comfortable while choice filling in counselling :-
If you are preparing for NEET 2021 then to help you in your preparation we have some resources which you can access from the link given below :-
I hope this information helps you.