CMAT 2019 Topper Interview: Get your basics clear in each section, says Bhargav Desai, AIR 3
Sreetama Datta, 14 Feb 2019, #CMAT
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CMAT 2019 AIR 3 Bhargav Desai took us by surprise when he said that he did not know much about CMAT, yet secured 99.99 percentile and came third among the 54,516 test takers. A Civil Engineer from Sardar Patel College of Engineering, Mumbai, Bhargav appeared aims to pursue Master of Management Studies (MMS) from SIMSREE Mumbai and is interested in Operations and Supply Chain Management. 

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An avid sports lover, Bhargav plays football and volleyball to keep himself active and unwind even during the preparation phase. Prior to taking CMAT 2019, he had also appeared for other top national level MBA entrance exams like CATXATIIFT and SNAP. Owing to his prior preparation, he did not find CMAT to be a difficult exam and prepared for it without coaching. He has also been shortlisted by SIBM-PuneSCMHRDIMT Ghaziabad and new-IIMs. In this interview with Careers360, Bhargav tells us about his strategy to crack CMAT 2019 and his message for the next year’s aspirants.

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Read the excerpts of the interview below:

Careers360: Tell us something about yourself. 

Bhargav: I was born in Surat but my entire education was completed in Mumbai. I am a B.Tech (Civil Engineering) from Sardar Patel College of Engineering and I worked for two years at Larsen & Toubro-Power division. I was working in a Thermal Power Plant construction project at NTPC Khargone in which L&T Power was the EPC contractor. 

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I belong to a close-knit family of my parents and sister. My father was an Ex-Seargent in The Indian Air Force and post-retirement he moved to the private sector. My mother is a homemaker. My sister is based in Bangalore. 

Careers360: How did your family support you in achieving this feat?

Bhargav: My sister has been my source of motivation and inspiration for me throughout. My mother always taught me the importance of discipline and honesty in life and my father always taught me the importance of having self-belief in yourself.

Careers360: What are your sectional and overall scores and percentiles?

Bhargav: My sectional scores and percentiles are as follows:

Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation - 96 and 99.95 percentile

Logical Reasoning - 80 and 85.66 percentile

Language Comprehension - 95 and 99.99 percentile

General Awareness - 87 and 99.98 percentile

My overall score and percentile were 358 and 99.99 percentile respectively.

Careers360: Which other MBA entrance exams did you appear for and what are your scores and percentiles in the respective exams?

Bhargav: I wrote CAT 2018, SNAP 2018, IIFT 2019 and XAT 2019. The percentiles are as below:



I did not qualify for IIFT and XAT, hence did not check my scores and percentiles.

Careers360: Why did you decide to take CMAT? Which are the B-schools you are targetting through the exam?

Bhargav: Earlier, I did not have much awareness about the CMAT exam and colleges accepting CMAT score. But later on, it came to my knowledge that SIMSREE accepts CMAT and I personally liked that college so then I decided to write CMAT just to have a shot at Sydenham. I am targeting only Sydenham-MMS through CMAT.

Careers360: When did you start preparing for CMAT and what was your strategy?

Bhargav: As a test, CMAT doesn’t’ require any separate preparation as the preparation for CAT would suffice. The sections like Quant, Verbal, Reasoning are pretty much covered along with CAT and other test preparation and GK is covered if one has prepared for tests like SNAP, XAT and IIFT. So frankly speaking I did not do anything extra for CMAT and just watched few youtube videos on General Knowledge a day before CMAT test.

Careers360: Did you opt for coaching? Do you think coaching is important to crack a competitive exam like CMAT?

Bhargav: No. I did not enrol for any coaching per se for the CMAT test. I had enrolled in coaching only for CAT(offline)  and that’s it. If one is targeting CMAT specifically, then coaching is absolutely not required. The level of questions are very basic in Quants Verbal and Reasoning and just with a basic understanding of concepts, those questions can be easily attempted. Also, coaching won't teach you GK, it has to do by yourself for which there are a plethora of free materials available online. So it’s better to avoid any coaching and prepare yourself.

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

Bhargav: I believe my strongest section in CMAT was Quants and GK and my weakest section was Reasoning. In most of other MBA entrance test, I did pretty fairly in Quants and hence was very confident in it and I had a fairly basic understanding of GK and hence was not afraid of this section as well. However, I never felt comfortable in reasoning and lost my maximum marks here in CMAT.

Careers360: How many mock tests did you take for CMAT? 

Bhargav: Honestly, I did not write a single mock before CMAT. Initially, I wasn’t sure of writing CMAT as most of my time was consumed in GDPI prep for other interviews and I did not have much preparation time. However, after some encouragement from friends, I took CMAT and scored 358 marks.

Careers360: What was your exam day strategy and experience?

Bhargav: I did not have any specific strategy in place. I planned to attempt GK first followed by Quants, Reasoning and last Verbal. I finished my paper at 80th minute from start.

Careers360: Did you challenge any of the CMAT answer keys?

Bhargav: No, I did not challenge any question in CMAT as it cost Rs. 1000 per question and even though I was confident of three wrong answer options, I knew these questions would be wrong for all and relatively it wouldn’t matter much and hence refrained from challenging any questions which were beneficial at the end as everyone got their scores increased.

Careers360: How are you preparing for the next rounds, such as GD, Essay Writing and PI?

Bhargav: I have enrolled at an offline coaching institute for GD, PI and WAT preparation in my city and till now, I had a really good experience with them.

Careers360: Which B-schools have you been shortlisted by?

Bhargav: I have been shortlisted by SIBM-Pune, SCMHRD, IMT Ghaziabad and new-IIMs.

Careers360: What are your hobbies? Which activities were you involved in during your MBA entrance exam preparation phase to unwind?

Bhargav: My hobbies include football or volleyball which I play four to five times a week. Apart from that, I love watching documentaries on YouTube on national and international events. I follow VOX ATLAS, VICE and few other sources for these documentaries.

Careers360: What is your dream career which you would like to pursue after completing an MBA?

Bhargav: I plan to pursue an MBA in Operations and Supply Chain Management (SCM). My dream career is not yet decided and I will probably have a clear idea once I enter a B-School.

Careers360: What is your message for the next year's CMAT aspirants?

Bhargav: My only advice is to have an absolutely clear basic of each section and have a cursory knowledge of GK from different areas like History, Geography and Economics. Since I read the newspaper significantly, it helped me a lot in GK and I got 22 correct answers in GK. Also, it would be good if one can attempt a few mocks before the test to get a basic understanding of paper pattern.

Also, Read:

CMAT 2019 AIR 2 Topper Interview

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Questions related to CMAT

Showing 2212 out of 2212 Questions

i have done Diploma+BE and not 12th+BE. am i eligible to fill CMAT 2020? Please clarify!

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 17th Nov, 2019


yes you are eligible to apply. Graduate with 15 years of minimum education in any discipline from Recognized University/Institute. as it mention that minimum of 15 years of education. so as you have total 16 years of education you are also eligible to apply.

hope it would help.


Which option is I supposed to select for graduation details in CMAT 2020 form, If Im pursuing ? option is not showing in the list but B.comLL is showing. So, whether I select B.comLL or Other (then write manually "") ?

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 17th Nov, 2019


see (// ll is not the course you are pursuing now. so It would be better if you choose the other option and manually write (// .

follow careers360 website for further career related updates.


Agri business management best college that accepts cmat score

Aditya kumar Student Expert 15th Nov, 2019
Hello there!


List of top colleges under cmat for agri business management is given below:-

  • Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
  • Doon Business School, Dehradun
  • Global Business School and Research Centre, Pune
  • Amity University, Noida
  • Indian Institute of Plantation Management, Bangalore
  • Ch Charan Singh National Institute of Agricultural Marketing, Jaipur


Hello! I have to do CMAT 2020 exam. so from now on its only one and half month remaining , I want to know that if I will start preparation now ;so is it sufficient time for being well prepared?

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 15th Nov, 2019

It depends on the quality of your preparation. There are people who do not burn the midnight oil but still emerge toppers and some students who put their heart and soul for preparation, panic on the D-day. So it totally depends on the quality of time and dedication you put in for your preparation. Please check CMAT syllabus at: . With 45 days for CMAT, you need to remember that you do not have time on your side. So you need to :

  • Manage time as efficiently as possible. You do not have time for distractions of whatsoever nature.
  • Believe in yourself that you can do it.
  • Practise a lot and revise equally.
  • Attempt as many mock tests as you can.
  • In the examination hall, read the question twice because there are chances of misreading a question.
  • Spend as much as 2-3 hours on Current affairs as this is an important section

Tips for QTDI:

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. 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.

Logical Reasoning:

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. 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.

Language Comprehension:

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.


sir I m doing pharmacy 3 rd yr .. I want to do mba what should I do for or cmat or baat

Pranav Mishra 15th Nov, 2019

Hello Aspirant,

There are several exams for getting admission to management courses starting from CAT in November to MAH-CET in March. So, you have ample opportunity for getting admission to any management college by scoring good marks in any of the management exams. The most popular management exams are CAT,XAT and CMAT since most of good colleges accept the scores of these exam. By seeing your graduation degree I would suggest you to go healthcare management because your graduation has a link with this course,you can also easily justify why you have taken this course Other than this the healthcare management course also has a bright future and there is no scope of recession in this course. This is my opinion for rest what you wish. But start preparing for management exams join any reputed coaching like TIME,IMS etc and start working hard.

I hope the above information is beneficial to you.

All the Best.

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