How SPJIMR CAT Topper Sourav Santikari secured 99.39 percentile by playing with his strengths
Updated on Nov 19, 2015 - 9:51 a.m. IST by Urvashi Dalal
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With only a few days left for CAT 2015, aspirants must buck up with their preparations. To support you in your preparations, Careers360 presents CAT Topper Interview, where toppers share their mantra to prepare and attempt CAT to secure a high percentile. In this interview, Sourav Santikari from SP Jain Institute of Management and Research shares the key to success in the Common Aptitude Test.

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An experienced engineer, Sourav appeared in CAT 2014 and secured a high percentile of 99.39, and took admission in his most preferred B-school. According to him, the key to crack CAT is ‘play with your strengths’. If you know your strengths and weaknesses well, you can attempt the test with a confident strategic mind and succeed.

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Read this interview to know how to prepare for CAT in last crucial days.

Careers360: Why did you decide to pursue MBA?

Sourav: I was working in IBM as Systems Engineer. The idea was to move to a more strategic position in the Information Technology sector with roles more inclined towards project management and hence decided to pursue an MBA.

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Careers360: How was the overall experience of appearing in CAT 2014? What was your preparation strategy for CAT 2014 as the pattern was changed?

Sourav: As my work was very demanding, the only time I had for preparation was during the weekends. I ensured that I completed the whole syllabus in Quantitative methods, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning by the end of August. I enrolled for a test series. I took every test with extreme seriousness. I spent at least 3-4 hours analyzing each test on the next day. Even after the format was changed, I gave each and every test diligently and adapted quickly to the new format.

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

Sourav: One of the key aspects of an exam like CAT is that you don’t have to solve it completely to get into IIMs nor do you have to aim for it. For DI and LR, I would suggest the age old rule of PRACTICE. Pick up any study material and solve it inside out .Take a note of good LR/DI questions in your mock and polish them afterward if you are not able to solve it completely.

Careers360: What was your Time Management formula for the CAT?

Sourav: I had decided earlier that I'm going to play to my strengths. Even during my practice tests I allotted more time for the quantitative section. I allotted 95 minutes to section 1 and rest 75 minutes for the verbal section.

Careers360: What were your strong and weak areas? How did you tackle your weak area in the exam?

Sourav: My strengths were quantitative aptitude, data interpretation, and logical reasoning. And weakness was verbal ability. I targeted only certain topics of verbal ability like Reading comprehension, para jumbles, para completion etc and started building up on those. Since I started my preparation a bit late, I had to make this trade off.

Careers360: How did you prepare for your PI? What are the key factors that influence your selection at PI stage?

Sourav: I chased many of my TIME professors to conduct interviews outside the normal schedule. The key is one should have a plan about his life and how MBA fits into the plan. This belief helped me sail through the interviews. Even after selection there were some decisions that had to be made about selecting the Business school among the converted ones.


Careers360: Your message to this year CAT aspirants?

Sourav: Just keep calm and have a clear vision as to why you want to pursue MBA. Try to take as many mock tests as possible so as to build your strategy for the exam day. Before the exam day it is extremely important to keep your cool and rest properly.

Also Read:

CAT 2015 Exam Pattern

Expert Interview on CAT 2015

CAT 2014 Topper Strategies

How to utilize group studies

How to utilize calculator in CAT 2015

CAT 2015 pattern change: Why and how you need to tweak preparation strategy


Other Feature Stories on B-School and MBA:

Life @ B-School Campus

CAT Topper Interviews

MBA Internship Experience

B-School Placement Reports - 2014

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Questions related to CAT

Showing 8004 out of 8004 Questions
6 Views

i got 86 percentile in jee main 2020 can i get any govt college ? me from general cat

Atharva pandit 25th Jan, 2020

hi hope you’re doing great! Well, it is difficult to predict wheather you will get government college or not as the cut offs vary every year! There are still a decent chances for getting admission in Government but as i said it is just a prediction

you may refer to the link below for further information!

all the best!

5 Views

I got 96.4 percentile in jee main paper 1 2020 and i belong to obc category. what will be my air and cat rank

Devraj choudhary Student Expert 25th Jan, 2020

Hii

Your rank can be calculated on formula

(100-percetile)* number of students appeared/100.

So, your general rank will be around 31300-43200. Generally your category rank will be one-fourth of general rank. Use this link to predict your rank https://engineering.careers360.com/jee-main-rank-predictor

Hope it helps

3 Views

I have got CAT OA-89.83 %ile with VA/DILR/QA 58/85/97 X-91.2% XII-95.4% UG-87.6% No work Ex GEM. Any chances of getting call from IMI Delhi,XIMB and IMT Ghaziabad and converting it?

Sampriti Student Expert 25th Jan, 2020
With your CAT percentile you may not get a call from IMT Ghaziabad, XIM Bhubaneshwar or IMI Delhi as they require a minimum of 90 percentile in CAT.  These colleges consider only the overall CAT scores and not the sectional percentile so it may be a little difficult for you. But you have a pretty decent CAT percentile so you can definitely expect a call from the following colleges, provided that you've applied for them
  • KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research
  • Great Lakes Chennai
  • FORE School of Management
  • TAPMI Manipal
  • BIM Trichy
  • LIBA Chennai
  • LBSIM Delhi
  • BIMTECH Noida
  • IIFM Bhopal
  • FMS BHU and others

These are also very reputed colleges with almost similar placements as IMI or IMT. The academics is also good and they have a pretty strong alumni base.

Good Luck
6 Views

From where how I will take preparation for CAT as beginner? I only know its a entrance exam for MBA and get good college, other I dont know anything thing about it. please help me from first step.

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 25th Jan, 2020
We cannot vouch for any coaching center for any CAT preparation and its success. But what we can do is help you with CAT exam pattern, syllabus and preparation tips.
CAT is an online examination of 3 hours duration.The questions in the exam will be of MCQ and TITA type totaling 100 questions. MCQ are multiple choice questions, for which candidates get multiple answer choices. Each Question has 3 marks and a wrong answer takes away 1 mark. However Type in the Answer questions are exempted from Negative Marking.

CAT exam paper can be Categorised into 3 parts:

Quantitative Ability
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

The Verbal Ability section and Reading Comprehension has 34 Questions, Data interpretation-Logical Reasoning section has 32 MCQ questions and Quantitative Ability has 34 MCQ questions totalling up to 100 questions. Each Question has 3 marks and a wrong answer takes away 1 mark.

First things first, know the syllabus. And go through the previous papers to analyse and prepare a comprehensive plan and set priorities according to the importance of different topics across sections.Customise your own study plan based on your strengths and weaknesses. Gauge your preparation from time to time by taking mock tests. Solve questions to check your levels of preparation but not to set any targets. Remember, its ok to have cheat days and relax. But make sure you have a plan and stick to it for the next few months because even Rome wasnt built in a day.


NCERT books will sharpen your basics and you need strong basics for preparing for any entrance examination. Once your basics are in place, because the time period for preparation is quite less, your preparation should be extensive and thorough.

Quantitative Aptitude covers almost 30% of the CAT question paper. QA can be categorised into Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Advanced Mathematics. Practise chapter by chapter and develop mental calculations. Like practise more of basic summation, subtraction, fractions and tables. Numbers, Percentage, Profit and Loss, Simple and Compound Interest, Ratio, Proportionality, Time-Distance, Time-Work, Mixtures, Averages, Partnership, Permutation and Combinations, Probability, Set Theory, Progression and Series, Line, Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Polygon, Circles, Ares, Volume, Height and Distance, Coordinate Geometry, Basic Trigonometry are few important topics.

Preparation tips:

Because this section involves mathematics and takes most of your time, your focus should be on solving the problems efficiently in the beginning. Even if it takes time, practise upto perfection. Practise as many questions as you can in the conventional way. As and when you get a grip on the subject, you can go for short cuts. Memorise tables, square roots, cube roots, conversion from percent to fraction, etc. Solve sample papers on Mathematics. In the beginning, do not worry about the time it takes. As you practise, you will get the hang of the subject and it will be easier for you.


In Verbal Ability session, command on your English, Grammar, Vocabulary, Understanding of the given paragraph are of more importance. Reading English NewsPaper will also help you in your preparation.

Preparation tips:

Read articles from time to time. Follow newspapers, magazines, and watch the news channels and browse the internet to keep yourself updated. You will need a lot of reading to help you in the comprehension section. You will need speed to help you in this section and you can achieve that only by thorough practise and reading. Take time to understand the question because most answers are interlinked.


Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning needs to be practised as much as possible. Comparison of data, Data Analysis, taking clues, interpreting missing data, coming to conclusions and making future projections will be covered under this Category. The questions here are interlinked and so if you get one formula correct, cracking the next few questions will be easy. So it's important to memorise and practise formulae. You should cover topics like Data tables, Data Charts, Bar Diagrams, Pie Charts, Graphs, Data Comparison and Analysis.

Preparation tips:

As this is the most tricky section, this needs a lot of practise. Solve as many sample papers as possible to get the hang of the section. Make notes when required. Regular practise can help you understand and solve the questions easily as time goes on.

Overall,once you know the syllabus, it's easier from there on.Go through the previous papers to analyse and prepare a comprehensive plan and set priorities according to the importance of different topics across sections. Customise your own study plan based on your strengths and weaknesses. Gauge your preparation from time to time by taking mock tests. Solve questions to check your levels of preparation but not to set any targets. Remember, its ok to have cheat days and relax. But make sure you have a plan and stick to it for the next few months


We can recommend a few books for you:

NCERT books to cover the basics from 6th to 10th Class

Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Nishit Saxena

Quantitative Aptitude Quantum for CAT by Sarvesh Sharma

How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma

Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Exams by Abhijit Guha


You can also download free downloadable e books at:
https://bschool.careers360.com/download/cat-ebooks

6 Views

my percentileis 97.26 general cat.female can i hope for addmission in any of top 10 nits branch computer

Devraj choudhary Student Expert 25th Jan, 2020

Hii

Your performance is good. And you may accept admission in NITs with CSE. To predict your college use the college predictor. Us this link https://engineering.careers360.com/jee-main-college-predictor

Hope it

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