CAT Topper Interview-Sudha Datla of IIM Rohtak Shares Success Mantras
In today’s Careers360 Topper Interview, we present to you the success saga of Sudha Datla, a 99.48 percentile scorer in CAT 2012. Sudha is currently a first year student of IIM Rohtak. She shares her experience of preparing for CAT 2012 and getting selected in IIM Rohtak.
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Sudha is a B. Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Hyderabad. She worked in Cognizant Technology Solution (CTS) for 10 months as she wanted to get a hands-on experience in a corporate organization before gaining knowledge on management. She got calls from IIM Lucknow, IIM Rohtak and IIM Kashipur.
Excerpts from the interview.
Q: When did you decide to go for MBA and why?
A: During my engineering course, I realized that I wanted to do something more challenging. I felt a management profile would suit me better. I decided to do an MBA as a change in career. Though I was sure about management, I was not sure about the field. From my experience at IIM Rohtak so far, I feel I made the correct career decision.
Q: Have you decided about your career course after the completion of your MBA from IIM Rohtak?
A: After my post graduation in management from IIM Rohtak, I would most probably go for Strategy Consulting as that is my area of interest.
Q: What was your score for CAT 2012? Did you take any other MBA entrance exams?
A: My CAT 2012 percentile was 99.48. I had my eyes fixed on IIMs, so I appeared for only CAT.
Q: Which are the B-School calls which you converted and what were the factors behind choosing IIM Rohtak?
A: I was offered admission to IIM Lucknow-ABM, IIM Rohtak and IIM Kashipur. I did not want to narrow down my career scope by choosing Agri Business Management, so it had to be either IIM Rohtak or IIM Kashipur. After a lot of research, I chose IIM Rohtak.
Q: What was your preparation strategy for CAT and how did it change over the time?
A: Though I wanted to go for a management profile, I wanted to work in a corporate for a couple of years before that. I wanted to know how it is to be an employee, so that as a manager I can have a better understanding. I first appeared for CAT in 2011 and prepared from a few CAT books. I scored 98.9. The next year when I appeared for CAT, I managed to score 99.48.
Scoring high in CAT is just half the journey; there is still the Written Ability Test (WAT) and Group Discussion Personal Interview (GDPI) left. Since interpersonal skills were my weak point, I focused on it the most. WAT/GDPI carries a lot of weight in the final selection. They can drastically change your position so far. Hence WAT GDPI needs a lot of focused and thorough preparation.
Q: How did you prepare for the Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning sections?
A: The only strategy I followed was to keep solving from CAT practice books on both the sections, correct and learn from it.
Q: What was your strategy for time management for the CAT time bound section pattern?
A: While writing the CAT exam, managing time is very important. There is a chance that one loses the track of time while trying to solve a problem. Whenever I felt a question was taking more time, I skipped it for the time being and later came back to it after finishing all other problems.
Q: How were your WAT and GDPI rounds at the various B-schools that you received calls from?
A: I attended the WAT/PI of IIM Calcutta and GD PI of IIM Lucknow. Let me share the experiences in detail.
IIM Lucknow: When we sat down for the GD round, they handed out sheets with the topic written on it. We were asked to jot down our ideas on the paper and hand it over in 5 minutes before the panel discussed on the same topic for 15 minutes. The topic was pretty abstract. I could see most of the panel members (including me) having blank faces wondering where to start with. I managed to write a decent essay after structuring my thoughts. The GD had 10 panel members and I managed to contribute valid un-repetitive points for about 2.5 minutes in 3 intervals. Also I tried to bring the group to focus on the topic when it was digressing.
For the PI round, there were two interviewers, both male. They did not ask many questions from my B. Tech course. They asked questions which I neither prepared for nor anticipated. It was a stress interview and I managed to keep my cool and give reasonable answers. They asked me to explain my work and also asked how a locomotive works. My interview ended in 15 minutes.
IIM Calcutta: The WAT topic was a relatively easy one and there were many points to cover.
In the interview, they asked standard questions like ‘Tell us about your-self’, ‘What are your hobbies’, ‘Tell me about this Indian fishermen and Italian Navy issue”. They also asked a lot of questions about my B. Tech course.
Q: Is it possible to crack CAT without formal training? What is your suggestion for the CAT 2013 aspirants who are not taking coaching?
A: Cracking CAT with or without formal coaching, I believe is solely based on the individual. If the aspirant is naturally good at aptitude, he or she can practice at home and it might suffice. But if someone appeared for CAT already and scored around 80 to 95 percentile, I would suggest them to take formal coaching as it would be of great help in increasing speed and learning shortcut techniques to solve standard format problems. For everyone, formal coaching would definitely give an edge to crack a hard nut like CAT.
Q: What did the rest of your day’s schedule comprise apart from CAT preparation? How did you balance time?
A: I was working as an IT professional while I prepared for CAT 2012. Since it was my first year at work, and I being from an Electrical background, I had to do a lot home work to keep up with the group performance. This hampered my CAT preparation a lot. But I believe my job itself which required a lot of analysis and quick learning, helped me hone my aptitude skills which indirectly helped me with the CAT. Also, there was quick math mobile game, which I played a lot. I believe this strongly helped me in increasing my speed and accuracy of calculations. I felt a major hurdle when I was preparing for WAT and GDPI as it needed a lot of dedicated time and effort, which I could not put in due to my work. Reading the newspaper daily helped me greatly for my IIM Calcutta interview, where I was asked about current affairs.
Q: What is your message for the CAT 2013 takers?
A: For CAT, I would suggest aspirants to focus on quick and accurate solving. There is nothing to be scared of. It is elementary Math and English. But keeping cool is the mantra. All the hard work done will go waste if you do not focus during the exam.
During the exam, it is important not to panic as it would lead to silly mistakes. Solve the problem at one go, you will not have time to come back and check again.
For the WAT and GDPI rounds, I would suggest working aspirants to take at least a week off to prepare the basic material about your-self, your aspirations and goals in life and to refresh your UG syllabus. Also, read newspaper every day, especially the editorial and try to form opinions of your own. All the best!
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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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Hope this helps.
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.