GD-PI-WAT: How CAT topper Mayank Taparia cracked MDI Gurgaon GD-PI?
In this interview, CAT topper Mayank Taparia who secured admission to MDI Gurgaon, shares his experiences on the second stage of admission process that included Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI). A Graduate in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from University of Mumbai, Mayank carried a work experience of 20 months as Software Engineer when he appeared for GD-PI at MDI Gurgaon.
The CAT topper elaborates on the GD-PI factors which influenced his selection at MDI Gurgaon and shares his GD-PI preparation tips. He also shares an embarrassing moment during his PI when he was asked to sing a song on a particular raga which he had mentioned during questioning on his hobbies.
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Group Discussion (GD) Experience
Careers360: How was your CAT performance?
Mayank Taparia: My overall CAT percentile was99.35 with 99.65 in section I and 93.46 in section II.
Careers360: How was your overall GD experience?
Mayank Taparia: The overall process was really smooth. There was no fish market and everyone got enough time to raise forward their points.
Careers360: What was the role of moderator/observer?
Mayank Taparia: The moderator/observer just gave us the topic to discuss and said we’ll get around 10-12 minutes to discuss, with a 1 minute in beginning to gather our thoughts. We were asked to summarize in the end.
Careers360: How big was your group size and what was your topic for GD?
Mayank Taparia: The group size was seven for my GD. The topic was “Political parties or voters; who are more responsible for criminalization of politics in India”.
Careers360: What was your approach towards the topic?
Mayank Taparia: I had read a lot about politics and knew what points I wanted to raise. I gave a couple of examples from recent happenings. I had my view that both Political Parties and Voters in some way were responsible for the criminalization of politics and had points that supported this view.
Careers360: How did you defend your logic during the discussion?
Mayank Taparia: My logic was based on the fact that the voters are the one who elect political parties into power. Secondly, there are people who don’t vote or vote without knowledge which eventually result in wrong parties coming in power. Also, the false promises made by politicians was a concern, Where in the genuine voters are taken for a ride and the promises are not kept subsequently.
Careers360: What was the strong logic from the group members that were raised against your approach on the topic?
Mayank Taparia: The group was pretty much in unison with regard to the topic and there wasn’t any disagreement as such.
Careers360: How long did your GD last?
Mayank Taparia: The GD lasted for around 12 minutes.
Careers360: Did your GD reach any conclusion? If yes, please share.
Mayank Taparia: Yes, the group members had the common consensus that both are responsible for criminalization of politics and ways how this could be improved were discussed.
Careers360: How did you prepare for your GD? When and how an aspirant should seriously start preparing for GD?
Mayank Taparia: I started my GD preparation seriously only after the CAT results. I used to read the newspapers and articles from various websites and magazines. I also prepared from the preparatory material provided by coaching classes. I had also enrolled for GD preparation in coaching classes, which helped me learn how to gather my thoughts and communicate them in a actual GD atmosphere.
But, an aspirant shouldn’t wait for results to be out to begin the preparation. Preparation for GD should begin at this very moment, because the earlier we start, the better. There are two vital criteria one should keep in mind while preparing for GD.
Knowledge: It is very essential. Knowing about current affairs helps one accumulate points that can be put forward in GD. It would also help the aspirant come up with points to chip in when the GD is not going in right direction or when there is no different aspect to GD that can be provided.
Communication: Just knowing the topic won’t help in a good performance. The importance of GD is communicating what you know. So listening and putting across the points in an understandable manner is equally important.
Careers360: What were the key factors which you think influenced your selection at GD stage?
Mayank Taparia: Good communication and relevant points with examples was the key influencing factor, in my opinion, that help me influence the selection.
Careers360: Did you appear for any other GD exercise at other top B-schools? Please share a few experience.
Mayank Taparia: Yes, I had appeared for other GD processes. The issue I faced in other GDs were:
Not aware of Topic given: I wasn’t fully aware of the topic given to me in some of GD I had given,
Because of which I wasn’t able to come up with any relevant points in the GD.
Fish Market: I had an experience when I knew about the topic but I wasn’t able to communicate. The topic was relatively easy, so everyone wanted to participate in the discussion. This created a fish market and I wasn’t able to put across some good points.
Personal Interview (PI) Experience
Careers360: How many members were there in your interview board?
Mayank Taparia: The panel consisted of 2 professors.
Careers360: How was the interview structured? What was the percentage of questions asked from your academic background, professional experience, interest/hobby, and generic issues?
Mayank Taparia: The interview began with the clichÃ©d questions on “Why MBA?” “Why MBA after Engineering?” and how will the career path go. The interview mostly had questions related to my interests and hobbies and what I expect to learn from MBA.
Careers360: What was the toughest area for you to answer?
Mayank Taparia: The toughest area to answer during my interview was the initial part, where the professors tried to confuse me regarding the reasoning I had for pursuing MBA and had a lot of cross questions on the same.
First Electronics, then IT, then MBA and then Marketing, why are you changing so many fields?
Why do you want to do MBA?
How will you learn from professors when we are sitting here?
How will you be able to learn from seniors and peers as they would always be busy in their studies and their own work?
What research did you do to come at conclusion that you can learn?
Is surfing through internet and asking seniors a research?
I had finally answered confidently that Yes, it is research at some level and the questioning on this part was stopped.
Careers360: What was the toughest moment during your PI?
Mayank Taparia: The toughest moment during my PI was when I was cross questioned for my reason to do MBA. This is supposed to be the most obvious question in an interview and I was worried that I am not able to answer it properly.
Careers360: What were the key factors which you think influenced your selection at PI stage?
Mayank Taparia: I was confident in the end for the answers I had given and apart from the starting part, I didn’t get stuck at any questions and could answer questions asked related to my hobbies and interests properly.
Careers360: What is your advice to aspirants for Personal Interview?
Mayank Taparia: Be confident. Prepare the generally asked questions properly and be honest about your opinions. Be aware of your surroundings and what’s going in the world and in India. Have your own opinions formed and be confident and firm on your stand taken. Learn to drive your interview to your areas you are strong in and make sure you know well about yourself, key interests and other relevant details mentioned in the form. Never ever lie in an interview as the professors are really smart and will get to know in a moment and will cross question you a lot until they find some discrepancies.
Careers360: Did you appear for any other PI exercise at other top B-schools?
Mayank Taparia: Yes, I had appeared for other interviews. There were many mistakes I had done. Lack of knowledge in some interviews was the major issue. Sometimes I lacked confidence which was mainly because I wasn’t prepared well and haven’t read enough, including current affairs for the initial interviews.
Careers360: How did you prepare for your PI? When and how an aspirant should seriously start preparing for PI?
Mayank Taparia: I had joined coaching classes for PI, which I admit was really useful. Getting the first hand experience of what you are about to face is always good. I used to read, but I started that really late, because of which I was unaware of many things in the earlier few interviews.
My advice would be start preparing the common questions that can be asked related to current affairs, personal questions, work experience questions and academics based questions as early as possible.
Careers360: Any interesting moment from your PI which you would like to share with MBA aspirants?
Mayank Taparia: I had mentioned that I had learnt harmonium and had given exams for the same in my school days. I was asked to name any raga which I had learnt. I mentioned a name that I had prepared, but then the professor asked me to sing any song in that raga. I had totally unexpected this and had to convince them that I couldn’t remember any song that I can sing in that raga.
So, be thoroughly prepared with whatever you mention or say during the interview as you never know what kind of questions can be asked.
Stay tuned to bschool.careers360.com for more topper interview on GD-PI-WAT for MBA admissions.
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Questions related to CAT
Would CET be conducted for IPU this time? or only on CAT basis for MBA program? #IPUniversity
GGSIPU Considers both CAT scores as well as IPU CET. It also accepts CMAT scores if there are vacant seats.
On the basis of CAT 2019 Scores candidates will be called for councelling. In case of vacant seats CMAT will be considered and then finally IPU CET. These are the entrance exam for MBA acedemic year 2020-2022.
IPU CET MBA Admission 2020- correction window is opened from June 1- june 3. Dates are extended now.
For more information or details about the same you can visit through this link once:-
Ive filled for CET application for IPU. I have not given cat would they conduct the cet exam?
IPU is going to conduct the entrance exam for the MBA course 2020. IPU conducts the exam every year and they would conduct this year too
So even you have not given CAT. You need not worry about the cet. The date of exam is not notified yet
For more information do visit
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how i start cat preparation in starting?
CAT is one of the high weighed exam for MBA. So first target the year you wish to give CAT. You can join coaching classes either Online/ Off-line. For now offline will be a better option
Start preparing from books as well. Try to finish the syllabus thoroughly so that you can give mocks. Mocks and solving last years papers is a very important part in preparation. Give as much mocks possible.
Read newspapers daily, have update of what is happening in the surrounding. It will add value to your GDPI round
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Which is the best online classes for CAT preparation?
When does conducting CAT entrance exame?
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:
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.