CMAT 2020 Topper Interview - “Strengthen your basics,” says Shubham Thakur 99.32% percentiler
Updated on Feb 13, 2020 - 11:13 a.m. IST by Richa Kapoor
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CMAT 2020 Topper Interview - Sheer hard work, right strategy and focus on the basics can help one sail through the exam with ease. CMAT 2020 Topper Shubham who scored 99.32 percentile attributes his success in the exam to the support given by his family, his dream to pursue social entrepreneurship and practicing the mock tests. CMAT 2020 Topper Shubham, who is from Delhi was initially reluctant to appear for the Common Management Admission Test (CMAT). However, he has no regrets now as he followed the advice given by his friend to appear for CMAT. Read the full interview of CMAT 2020 topper Shubham Thakur as he shares his experience and vital tips with regards to cracking the exam without difficulty and the best books which one should consult as they prepare for the exam.
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Careers360: Tell us something about yourself.

Shubham: I have been born and brought up in Delhi and pursued my education here only. I completed my engineering in mechanical and automation engineering from GGSIPU, Delhi and completed my 12th from NVM School with 85. 6% and was working in VIVO India as a production engineer. I am an ardent fan of Indian cricket team and follow all major sports.

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

Shubham: My family has been a big support system and always backed me financially and emotionally in my career decisions. It was their trust and constant motivation that helped me sail through crucial times during my exam preparation. I will always be indebted to them for backing me in the decision that I took for my career.

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

Shubham: I scored 99.32% and my overall score was 287 with my sectional scores and percentile being 95 and 99.6 % in QADI, 75 and 98.4% in LC, 52 and 99.16% in GK

Careers360: Which are the books (section-wise) that you would recommened for preparation of CMAT

Shubham: Since cmat is an exam that tests majorly your basics I would suggest aspirants to clear their basics by going through any coaching material or can follow Sarvesh Verma for Quant, Nishit K Sinha for verbal and take as many mock tests as possible.

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

Shubham: I appeared for CAT 2019, SNAP 2019 and my respective scores are :- CAT 2019-85.6%, SNAP 2019 - 91.2%.

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

Shubham: To be honest initially I was not going to appear for CMAT 2020, considering that the exam is conducted towards the end of January and I did not want to stretch my MBA preparation for so long. One of my friends suggested to opt for it and I filled the form on the last date of registration. I am targeting KJ Somainya and Goa institute of management through CMAT particularly.

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

Shubham: As I told you I wasn't considering it till the last moment. I gave the CMAT exam based on my preparation for CAT and SNAP. I brushed up my concepts from personal notes in mid January and since it had one different section of GK so opted for a crash course in the same from an online platform. I gave a total of 5 mocks all from TIME and focused mainly on avoiding minor mistakes since the exam gives you a lot of time for every question.

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

Shubham: No, I haven't opted for any coaching. I left my job in mid November and prepared throughout from free resources available on various platforms. Moreover from personal experience I don't think, one requires coaching for preparing for CMAT. The exam is basically based on the basics and could easily be cracked if you optimise the available resources and strengthen your basics.

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

Shubham: My strongest area was quant as I practiced a lot during the preparation of CAT 2020 and as far weak area is concerned I won't say any particular area was weak but in general knowledge section, you never know what may come up in exam, so it was a bit tricky for me.

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

Shubham: I gave 5-6 Mocks during the last 2 weeks and analysed them to strengthen my weak areas.

Careers360: What was your exam day strategy and experience?

Shubham: There was no specific strategy as such but I tried to bank on my strong areas by devoting more time so that I could score more marks and would attempt the general knowledge section in the end. I think by practicing well one could easily answer the questions in two to two and half hours easily. So, if you have to devote more time on a tricky problem you will be able to do so.

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

Shubham: I feel 2-3 answers were incorrect and challenged two of them. As far as the third one is concerned I was not very sure.

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

Shubham: For GD/WAT I am trying to cover all major events in the past and read at least 3-4 articles daily. For personal interview I am not preparing as much since I believe that it is basic interaction and the focus is to keep my confidence high and trust my abilities.

Careers360: Which B-schools have you been shortlisted by on the basis of other entrance examinations (if any) ?

Shubham: I got a call from SIBM Banglore, SIIB and and am expecting call from FORE and TAPMI too.

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

Shubham: I love watching all sports apart from that I enjoy net surfing about cosmology.

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

Shubham: I have always been a bit inclined towards social entrepreneurship and would like to set up an education platform for children for rural areas so that they could be guided to pursue a career of their choice.

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

Shubham: My advice is to work on your basics for each section and have a good knowledge about general knowledge from different areas like history, geography and economics. Also try to attempt mocks as they help you get familiar with exam pattern and devise your strategy.

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Questions related to CMAT

Showing 2715 out of 2715 Questions

I have 91.65 percentile in CMAT 2020, please suggest some good Government Institutions offering MBA?

hrithik jain 21st Feb, 2020


You can apply for following colleges with 91.65 percentile:

1. Christ University, Bangalore

2. NIBM, Pune

3. Xavier Institute, Bangalore

4. Balaji Institute, Pune

5. Ahmedabad University, Ahmedabad

6. Nirma University, Ahmedabad

7. Welingkar Institute, Mumbai

8. IPE, Hyderabad


Will XIME Banglore give a call if percentile in CMAT is .5 less than the actual cutoff ?

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 21st Feb, 2020


see to get a call from any institute based on the cutoff you need to secure the same as the cutoff or more from the cutoff, there is no chances unless the institute authority want to change the cutoff to get call for gd or pi round if your cutoff is less then the mentioned cutoff in application brochure.

hope you may understand.


I have score 116 marks in cmat which collage i can target?

Harshita Sharan Srivastava Student Expert 21st Feb, 2020
Hello aspirant
You can try for getting into following college on the basis of your cmat percentile:

  • EMPI Business School, New Delhi
  • Jaypee Business School - JBS Noida
  • Lexicon Management Institute of Leadership and Excellence
  • Accurate Institute of Management And Technology
  • Birla Global University, Bhubaneswar
  • apeejay school of management
all the best

I have got 81 percentile in cmat. which one is the best option for pgdm? 1.Welingkar(Banglore) 2.Jaipuria(Noida) 3.Jaipuria(Lucknow) 4.XIME(Banglore) 5.Chretanas(Mumbai) 6.IMT(Nagpur)

Vaishali Singh 20th Feb, 2020


You have secured a decent percentile in cmat and your order of preference should be according to the investment and the ROI.

But according to the options you have your order of preference should be:


IMT Nagpur


Jaipuria lko

Jaipuria noida


Thank you.


i applied for imt nagpur with my 81.98% in there any chance to get a call? And if yes,then by which date i expect to get call ?

Vaishali Singh 20th Feb, 2020


You have secured a decent percentile and IMT nagpur gives a call to candidates with this percentile. So you will get a call for the interview process. There is no specific date given but on their website it sayds between 1st week of feb to 1st week of march their process will Be held for all it's venues. So expect a call anytime soon. You would be informed through a mail by the institute.

All the best.

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