‘Turn pattern change into an advantage’, says SPJIMR CAT Topper Sanket Bhamwari
‘Changes are good, they can be an advantage, all you need is positivity’, says Sanket Ramesh Bhamwari, who cracked CAT 2014 with 99.21 percentile and secured admission in SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai.
In this series of ‘CAT Topper Strategies’ by Careers360, toppers share their CAT exam experience, their preparation strategy and advice on how to tackle CAT 2015.
Sanket, an engineer with over 3 years of experience with TCS, took advantage of the CAT 2014 changed pattern while preparing for the test. According to him, aspirants must treat the changes in exam pattern as an advantage for them and prepare with a calm and relaxed mind.
With the same approach, Sanket prepared for CAT and first learnt the basics completely. He suggests that while preparing from Mock test, attempt easy questions first and move to advance problems in the end.
In addition to mock tests and practice, Sanket used to follow a 30-second rule. If one cannot understand and approach a question within 30 seconds, it is time to move on to the next question. This helped him save time. Read this interview to know his strategy to take advantage of changes and practise as per the changed rules.
Careers360: What were your initial thoughts behind pursuing MBA?
Sanket: While working with TCS, I was exposed to a variety of opportunities and hence worked in many different roles. So I was pretty satisfied with my job and had no intentions of pursuing MBA. However, in mid-2014, I got some time to think and realized that the IT industry was not where I was meant to be. I realized that I could do much better and MBA seemed to be the right journey to embark on.
Careers360: How was the overall experience of appearing in CAT 2014? What was your preparation strategy for CAT 2014 as the pattern was changed?
Sanket: CAT 2014 was more or less a roller coaster ride. I started my preparations early on as it was a make-it-or-break-it situation for me. The initial part of the journey was tough. After having worked for 2 years, it was difficult to get back into study mode. I started studying half an hour a day and over a period of 2 months, gradually moving to 2-3 hours a day. Like they say, it's very difficult to develop a habit, even more difficult to break one. My idea was to learn and practice the basics completely and then move to advanced problems. However, while taking mock tests, it was important not to get bogged down by low scores. Over a period of time, as my basics strengthened, my scores started improving. The change in pattern seemed to be daunting, however, it just a matter of mere practice of taking mocks in the format. The key advantage was the freedom to move between sections without any constraints. In all, I took more than 30 mocks and hence I was pretty relaxed on D-day.
Careers360: Please share your preparation strategy for the Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning separately?
Sanket: I had enrolled for the correspondence course at TIME and prepared only from the material provided by them. Like I mentioned earlier, my idea was to learn the basics first and then move to advanced problems.
Quantitative Ability: Practice from the 3 basic level booklets provided by time
Data Interpretation: This was my weak spot and hence I didn’t really practice many DI sets. However, it is a good idea to practice at least 2 sets daily.
Verbal Ability: Regular practice from the time booklets. Reading 2-3 unconventional articles online on a daily basis.
Logical Reasoning: This was one of my favourite topics and hence I used to solve at least 8-10 LR sets every day. The sets available on Testfunda.com make for some good LR practice.
Careers360: What was your Time Management formula for the CAT?
Sanket: Time management is very subjective. One must strategize time management based on their strengths and weaknesses. For me, the process of finding my time management strategy was very subconscious and it just came to me by taking mock tests regularly. Also, I used to follow a 30-second rule i.e. if I couldn’t start solving a question or understand the approach to be taken within 30 seconds, I used to move on to the next question. This helped save quite a bit of time which, otherwise, would have been wasted on questions I didn’t know how to solve.
Careers360: What were your strong and weak areas? How did you tackle your weak area in the exam?
Sanket: My strengths included most of Quantitative Ability (except for Probability and PnC), Grammar based questions and Logical reasoning. My weaknesses were Data Interpretation and Reading Comprehension. My strategy was to spend most of my time practicing questions from my areas of strength and to solve the easy questions from my areas of weakness. Given the lack of time to solve all questions in the exam and the equal weightage to all questions, this strategy worked really well for me. The QA and LR part was easily manageable for me in CAT 2014 mainly because I had practiced them well. As far as DI and RC are concerned, I attempted only one set of each and still managed to get a good score. :)
Careers360: After the exam, how you prepared for the PI-WAT rounds?
Sanket: Post results; I joined TIME’s GDPI Workshop. Regularly attending their sessions and participating in various discussions helped a lot. Apart from these, I used to read the newspaper every day to keep up with the times. Forming opinions on various key world events also helped immensely. Sometimes, I used to participate in online GD sessions on Facebook and WhatsApp. These were more than enough to help me prepare for the interview rounds.
Careers360: How did you prepare for your PI? What are the key factors that influence your selection at PI stage?
Sanket: PI preparation required a lot of homework. Introspection and reflection were key factors that helped me make it through. I learnt so much about the various facets of my life, who I am as a person, my thought process and various others valuable lessons that I might have missed otherwise. It was a wonderful experience in itself and inculcated in me a habit of introspection and reflection. The best thing that I learnt, which was an important factor, is that being myself is imperative. This ensured that my interviews were consistent with what I had written in various forms and projected a genuine image of me in the minds of the interviewers.
Careers360: What was your WAT topic and how did you structured your write up?
Sanket: My WAT topic at SPJIMR was: “Cite one situation in which you had a simple solution to a difficult problem”. I really liked this topic as my philosophy in life is to keep things as simple as possible. I had had various such experiences and I wrote about once such instance from my days in Chennai when I used to be an active part of Toastmasters International. The structure was the basic Intro-Body-Conclusion type wherein I started with my philosophy in life followed by a description of the instance followed by what I learnt from it.
Careers360: Your message to this year CAT aspirants?
Sanket: Irrespective of your background, believe in yourself and you will make it through for sure. I was able to do it and so can you. All you need the willingness to put in the effort. Some suggestions: know your strengths and weaknesses well, be ready to burn the midnight oil and push your limits when necessary, learn with and from peers as much as you can (I used to study with 2 of my friends and learning together was so much fun), read as much as you can (books, magazines, online articles, etc.), practice religiously and take a lot of mock tests (loads of them).
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Questions related to CAT
cat or GMAT are same or different
Hope you are doing well.
See CAT stands for common admission test . It is a national exam which is held all over the India. It is the largest exam for MBA.
Whereas GMAT stands for The graduate management admission test. It is a global exam which is held across the nations for MBA.
It is easier to score in GMAT in comparison to CAT. If a person studies with full focus and concentration he can easily achieve 700+ marks.
To know more difference about both the exams and to know about them in detail please use this link:
Hope this will help you. Have a great future ahead.
I belong to Muslim Minority. This year I am expecting 415 Neet score. Is their a chance of getting seat in any Minority College Cat. A ( Deccan, Shahdan, VRK, AAyan). Please let me know.
Your NEET score is 415. As such your Overall Percentile is: 90.99 - 91.49 and when it comes to rank, your Predicted Rank is : 123648 - 155798 . Also it too depends upon last years cut-off. Adding it with 15% All India quota and 85% state quota seats in government colleges. Check out the mbbs seats out here:
Use this to predict the colleges by using this predictor link:
So you can predict your rank by using the NEET rank predictor:
mam if my marks in neet 2020 are 380 and I belong to sc cat with Andhra Pradesh domicile can I get seat in gov medical clg in state quota or all India quota pls tell or else can I get any Pvt seat in clgs like maharaja , Vizianagaram pls guide me I was totally confused ...help me..
As you have mentioned that your NEET score is 380. As such your Overall Percentile is: 88.14 - 88.64 and when it comes to rank, your Predicted Rank is: 163828 - 195978 .
Check out the MBBS/ BDS seats through NEET out here:
Also it too depends upon last years cut-off. Adding it with 15% All India quota and 85% state quota seats in government colleges. For SC category there is 15% seat reservation . In Telangana there are 8 government colleges with 1440 seats. And there are a total of 18 private colleges with 2650 seats.
Use this to predict the colleges by using this predictor link:
So you can predict your rank by using the NEET rank predictor:
Hi, I am appearing for cat 2020, When should i apply for FMS , whether after cat exam or before the cat exam in October to November?
As per your query, FMS Delhi opens the online portal for registration from october and it closes in november . You have to register for the same before CAT Exam that is on 29th Nov.
The guidelines for registration are:
- Candidates with minimum 50% marks at the graduation level (SC/ST: Passing marks; OBC/ PWD/CW: 45% as per the University rules) or equivalent CGPA. Candidates in the final year of graduation are also eligible to apply.
Steps to follow for registration:
- Create your Login
- Verify your Email ID
- Fill the Online Application Form
- Upload the Required Scanned documents
- Pay the Application Fee
- Things to take care : You will need to submit subjective responses (essays) for 5 questions . You will need a couple of hours to finish the application process.
Application Fee and Registration:
Mode of Application:
All candidates are required to register using the online registration system available on FMS website
- FMS Application Fees: Rs. 1,000/- for all other category applicants, Rs. 350/- for SC/ST/PWD for each programme. Candidates who wish to apply for more than one programme are required to register and pay separately for each programme.
Hope this helped...
Good Luck !!
If I get 574 marks neet ug 2020 from obc cat then what chances for getting govt college in rajasthan
As you have not mentioned your home state so considering it as Rajasthan according to your profile.
See it is little bit difficult to predict exactly whether you will get seat in any government medical college or not because different colleges have different cut-offs for State quota and All India Quota. Also, 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.
But if we go through previous years NEET cut-off trends in Rajasthan then there are good chances for you to get seat in some of the GMCs, the reason being is last year the lowest cut-off marks was 564 for Government Medical College, Barmer for Management quota seat under Home State quota for OBC category.
You can check the previous years cut-offs through the link given below :-
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:-
I hope this information helps you.