CMAT 2017 Topper Interview: Give equal importance to each section to get balanced score, says AIR 1 Saras Suhane
Sreetama Datta, 09 Feb 2017, #CMAT
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Saras Suhane was pleasantly surprised to see that he has secured the first rank in CMAT 2017. The fact that Saras has secured 100 percentile without any coaching and working on a full time job makes his success even more laudable. In this interview with Careers360, Saras shares his experience of preparing without any professional guidance, exam taking strategy and his future plans.

Hailing from Ganjbasoda, a town in Madhya Pradesh, Saras works as a System Engineer at Infosys Pune. He has done Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering from SGSITS Indore. According to him, giving equal importance to each section along with having confidence is the key to crack not just CMAT but any exam.


Read the full interview below.


Careers360: Congratulations on your CMAT Result! Share your feelings on being the topper.

Saras: Thank you! It indeed came as a pleasant surprise to me. Although I was expecting a good score, but the feeling of being AIR 1 in a national level MBA entrance test is definitely special.


Careers360: What are your CMAT scores in sections and overall?

Saras: My total score and percentile are 350 and 100 respectively. As far as sections are concerned, both score and percentile in QTDI is 100, for LR it is 90 marks and 99.87 percentile, LC score is 80 and percentile is 99.91 and for GA it is 80 and 99.97 percentile.


Careers360: Why did you decide to take CMAT. Did you appear for any other MBA entrance exam?

Saras: I have not taken any other MBA entrance exams apart from CMAT. Initially I did not have any plan to pursue MBA hence I did not explore much options of entrance exams. When I decided to pursue MBA, CMAT applications were going on. Given that it is conducted by AICTE with so many B-schools accepting the score, CMAT was the perfect platform for me.



Careers360: How did you prepare for CMAT? Did you join any coaching?

Saras: I prepared on my own and did not join any coaching. I referred to the online study materials to know the overall exam structure, question types, syllabus etc. I practiced sectional and overall test papers online to get a grip on the exam navigation and interface.


Careers360: What was your strongest and weakest sections of CMAT?

Saras: Frankly, I did not have any strong or weak section per se. Since I had no other option but to attempt questions from each section, I considered each section as my strength. Even during preparation, I gave equal time to each section. Moreover, since the number of questions in each section was same, there was no point in having a varied strategy for different sections.


Careers360: What was your exam day strategy and experience of taking the test?

Saras: It was a very good experience for me. Although there were few technical issues but that was nothing major in nature. I did not go with a prior plan and attempted the sections in the order of appearance. Moreover, I did not stick to a particular section and moved to and fro to solve questions from each area. I was thoroughly enjoying the experience. I solved QT, LR and GA sections in one hour and took two hours to solve the Language Comprehension section. While the first three sections were really easy and hardly took much time to solve, the LC section required full focus and dedication to answer the questions.


Careers360: Now that the result is out, have you started preparing for GD PI or WAT rounds?

Saras: Till now I have not started preparing for these rounds. But I think it is high time that I start preparing. I shall start with it soon.


Careers360: Where do you want to see yourself in terms of career after completing MBA?

Saras: My sole purpose of doing MBA is to uplift the condition of the under privileged members of the society. I would like to progress m that direction itself. I want my education to add value to my ambition. Earning money is not a priority for me. I want to give back to the society through my endeavours after the completion of MBA from a top B-School.



Careers360: What are your hobbies? Did you get enough time to pursue them during the preparation phase?

Saras: I love to travel and explore different cultures and lifestyles. I talk to different people and know and be a part about them. Whenever I got time, I used to set out for a new adventure.


Careers360: What is your message for CMAT 2018 takers?

Saras: First and foremost point is to prepare and take the exam in a stress free manner. During preparation, give equal importance to each section and don’t leave out any area. Enjoy the process, the result will speak for itself.


Also Read

CMAT 2017 Topper Interview: AIR 2 Lagnajit Das says spend time on reading and understand questions before deciding the answer

CMAT 2017 result declared on February 7 - Know the toppers and score comparison of previous years


Stay tuned to for more news and updates on CMAT 2017.

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Anupam Kumar Student Expert 18th Oct, 2019

Hey there

CMAT is computer based exam and it's duration is 3 hours. Also it's has multiple choice questions. CMAT 2020 is conducted by NATA on 24th January.

Check deatailed eligibility criteria for CMAT

Good luck


I had completed my graduation in BBA(58%) 3yrs. 2016 regular and Mcom.(39%) 2yrs 2018 private so can I apply for this Institute by CMAT exam

Papeya Dubey Student Expert 18th Oct, 2019


You seem to have missed out the name of the institution regarding which you're seeking information for its admission process. You can write it down in the comment box below this.

Anyway, as per the eligibility criteria for CMAT candidates needs to be a graduate in any discipline with a minimum of 50% marks for general and OBC categories while SC and ST need a minimum of 45% marks.


I want list of names of colleges in India accepting the scores of CAT NMAT SNAP CMAT IIFT.

Papeya Dubey Student Expert 14th Oct, 2019


Colleges that accept SNAP scores-

  • Symbiosis Institute of Business Management [SIBM] - Pune
  • Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development, Pune
  • Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management, Pune
  • Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Hyderabad
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  • Symbiosis Institute of Business Management [SIBM] Bengaluru

IIFT Scores are accepted by Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) with their campus in New Delhi, Kolkata, Kakinada.

Go through the following to know about colleges that accept scores of different entrance test-

For CAT-




how can i prepare English section for CMAT exam

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 14th Oct, 2019

You will have to cover topics like Reading Comprehension. English Grammar, Jumbled Para, Sentence Correction, English Usage errors. Paragraph completion, One word substitution, Idioms, Synonyms, Antonyms, Sentence Improvement, Phrases. Few books that can help you are:

Word Power Made Easy (by Norman Lewis)

This is the go-to book to improve your vocabulary. It is not a book to be read but a book to work with daily to enrich your vocabulary.

High School Grammar and Composition( by Wren and Martin)

It is a very good book for people who want to improve their grammar skills. It helps to understand and conceptualise different aspects of grammar and it is a must have book for anyone with poor grasp on verbal ability or who wants to make up with the basics of english.

Read books from different genres

The ultimate key to improve your verbal ability is to read extensively and to read books from different genres. This ensures that when the time for reading comprehension comes you are well acquainted with different writing styles and topics. Reading extensively also improves your reading speeding over a period of time. There are no shortcuts here.


charge of registration fee for cmat

Sweta Student Expert 11th Oct, 2019


You can go to the FAQ's section of the official website of CMAT for more information:

I can tell you that the fee for General / OBC candidates appearing for CMAT is Rs.1400 + Bank charges as applicable; whereas for Female /SC/ST/PWD category candidates fee is Rs.700 + Bank charges as applicable.

And also after the CMAT Registration 2020 Last Date is over, NTA allows a grace period of one day to pay the CMAT Registration fee or the CMAT Application Form Fees

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