MAH CET 2018 Topper interview - Hailing from Nanded in Maharashtra, little did Divya Biyani and her family expect that she would be the topper of MAH CET 2018 and go on to be AIR 1. The number of applicants of this year’s MAH CET has surpassed previous years’ record and of the 98,606 candidates who took the exam this year, the top 40 scored 99.99 percentile. The exam was topped by Divya Biyani with a score of 165 out of 200. Divya holds a diverse educational background, all thanks to the encouragement and support from her family. She holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from COET, Pune and also in Law. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Law course from Narayanrao Chavan Law College, Nanded.
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As of now, Divya is expecting a call from JBIMS Mumbai which is amongst the prestigious B-schools of the country. In this interview with Careers360, Divya defines MAH CET 2018 as a test of time more than the test of knowledge. With the help of online mock tests and a well-laid foundation of writing similar exams at school-level like NTSE, Divya has a strong foothold over timing herself during exams. Practice in a time-bound manner is the key, she adds. She also aspires to crack UPSC exam and is also preparing for the same. Read on to know more about her success mantra, preparation tips and advice for future aspirants of MAH CET.
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Excerpts from the interview.
Careers360: Congrats on being the AIR-1 at MAH CET 2018. How does it feel? Were you expecting this result?
Divya: Thank you. It feels good. Everyone at home including my parents are extremely happy. The environment at home is pretty jubilant. I was expecting to rank amongst the top 10 but definitely did not expect to be rank one. So that came as a surprise.
Careers360: Tell us something about yourself and your family.
Divya: I belong to Nanded in Maharashtra. I completed my Bachelors in Computer Science from College of Engineering and Technology (COET), Pune in 2014. After that, I pursued a Bachelors degree in Law and am currently studying Masters in Law from Narayanrao Chavan Law College in Nanded, Maharashtra.
I stay in a joint family at our house in Nanded. My father is an editor in a local newspaper here. My mother is a professor of Law at a college in Nanded itself. I have one sibling- a younger brother who is preparing for his second phase of CA.
Careers360: That’s one diverse education background you have. Tell us why you decided to pursue management education?
Divya: Honestly speaking, I was preparing for UPSC Exam. I have attempted the UPSC Exam thrice, and have now reached the second level. I thought if things don’t work out with UPSC, I must go with MBA which was my second option. Also, MAH CET 2018 was my first attempt at any management exam.
Careers360: Apart from MAH CET, which other MBA entrance exams have you taken? Please share your results.
Divya: No I haven’t taken any other MBA exams apart from MAH CET. Like I said, I was preparing for UPSC simultaneously, so I just focused on one management exam.
Careers360: Tell us how you prepared for the exam?
Divya: I prepared for MAH CET on my own. I didn’t want to take any coaching classes. However, I joined CETking’s online mock tests. The mock tests are a series of almost 20 full-length mock tests of two and half hours each. That further helped me to time myself.
This is an exam of time more than knowledge. It is a test of how much you can attempt within a given time frame. Hence it’s essential to keep track of time and keep practising in a time-bound environment. One must know which questions and which ones to leave. According to me, one must not waste time in trying to solve questions which they don’t have much knowledge about. Rather, keep solving the ones you are familiar with.
Careers360: How was your exam-taking experience? Did you face any technical glitch?
Divya: My exam-taking experience was good. However, some students around me did face technical glitches at some point of time during the exam. People taking the test are already nervous and this hampers their focus even more. Especially during the Logical Reasoning when they are in the middle of solving a puzzle, it takes twice as much time to solve if a glitch occurs.
I urge DTE to make it a pleasant experience for all aspirants taking the exams and resolve these technical issues.
Careers360: What was your exam strategy for MAH CET?
Divya: A major part of questions are from the Logical Reasoning section so I focused on that during the exam. I made sure that I quickly solve those and finish with the major part to move on to the other sections.
During my school days, I appeared for exams like NTSE which laid the foundation of time-bound exams for me. After writing so many of these time-bound tests, one doesn’t find exams like MAH CET very challenging. Those exams gave me good practice and a strong foothold over the attempting the exam in a given time frame.
I also love solving puzzles in my spare time. I make sure that I time myself while solving puzzles and the habit of keeping it time-bound helped me a lot during the MAH CET exam. I already knew how much time I am taking and how much is left as I have practised and timed myself several times. Practising in speed is the key.
Careers360: Which is your dream B-School where you are targeting admission in?
Divya: I always dreamed of IIM Ahmedabad. That was like a dream B-school. But my first preference will always be UPSC. Also, both CAT and UPSC exams happen around the same time in November-December and tend to clash so I never appeared for CAT.
Careers360: What are your hobbies. What do you enjoy doing most when you are not studying?
Divya: I love watching movies and TV Series. I’m a fan of Game of Thrones which is a favourite amongst so many people. I also like the show – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and find it very informative with a good sense of humour. Besides this, I like solving puzzles and playing chess. When my brother is at home, I ask him to join me for a game and sometimes time myself during a chess game too. I usually watch something on the Internet or spend time with my family when I am not studying,
Careers360: What is your advice for the MAH CET aspirants who would be appearing for the test next year?
Divya: I strongly advise aspirants to practice as much as they can. Practising in a time-bound manner is the key. It will help in knowing how much they know or can solve in a given span of time. Always try to time yourselves even if it is for 15 minutes for a small set of puzzles. Only knowing the answers is not enough, one must be able to complete and solve the questions in the limited time.
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