CAT 2018 Topper Interview: With the declaration of CAT 2018 results by IIM Calcutta on 5th January, the country saw a horde of top scores. Originally scheduled to be declared at 1.00 PM, CAT 2018 result took the aspirants by surprise when the result was declared in the early hours of the morning. Meet Karan, a 99.91 percentiler and read his exclusive interview with JagranJosh here.
JagranJosh: Congratulations on scoring 99.91 percentile! What are your overall and sectional scores in CAT 2018?
Karan: Thank you. I scored more than 99 in all sections and 99.91 overall.
JagranJosh: When did you start your CAT 2018 Preparation? What is the ideal time required to complete the CAT syllabus before the exam?
Karan: I started my preparation around 21st February 2018. I used to write one mock test a week and spent considerable time analysing my answers.
The ideal to start preparation varies from individual to individual and one can decide accordingly.
JagranJosh: What was your overall preparation strategy for CAT 2018?
Karan: My overall preparation strategy is: Write mocks, check your scores and percentile, analyse all the questions in the paper, identify errors and weak areas, and work on them.
JagranJosh: Was there any particular section/area that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge? What strategies did you adopt to master that section?
Karan: I used to score high in one section and low in another during my mock tests. There was never a particular section where I was strong throughout. My performance used to bounce from good to bad in all the sections. I tried solving more questions in whichever area I thought I was not good at, at that particular point in time.
By the end, I realized that Quant was not my strongest suit while many were better at it. I tried to focus only on the basics of Quant. On the exam day, everyone claimed quant was tough but I performed at par because others attempted fewer questions and I did as much as I used to in the mock tests.
JagranJosh: Please share your section-wise preparation strategy for QA, DILR and VARC.
Karan: VARC: I am an avid reader. I like reading fiction a lot. So, I never really prepared for VARC.
DILR: In the starting, I had low scores in this section in the mocks. I realized that I was trying to attempt a lot of questions and because of that, I was performing poorly. Later, I started reading the question first and went ahead only if I had an idea about it. Basically, I started choosing which questions to attempt.
QA: I familiarized myself with the topics at the start by solving questions. Later, I only attempted full mock tests and went through formulas occasionally.
JagranJosh: Were you a part of any coaching institute? Do you think coaching is necessary to ace CAT?
Karan: Yes, I was part of a coaching institute but I prefer not to reveal the name. I joined because I thought I wasn’t disciplined enough to prepare by myself. It did help me as I was regularly in touch with all exam related stuff. I think being focused is the key to ace in the exam.
JagranJosh: Any particular book or study material that helped you gain an edge over other candidates?
Karan: Reading in general helped me a lot. Novels have always been a part of my life and I didn’t study anything specific for VARC. For DILR and QA, I think coaching materials and mock tests are enough.
Since the exam tests basic math and verbal skills, I believe that if one had studied well during childhood, he/she would know the syllabus quite well.
JagranJosh: What role did Mocks play in your success? How many mocks did you attempt before the exam?
Karan: They were the key players in my studies. I used to solve one mock per week and analyse it thoroughly. I even revisited the questions which I marked correctly to check whether I marked it for all the right reasons.
I attempted around 20 mocks. I was regular from March to August but then I stopped due to some personal reasons. So, I prepared till August and then last 10 days before the exam. I still tried attempting mocks between August and November.
JagranJosh: Please share your exam-day strategy for the CAT 2018. What was your last-minute preparation? How did you plan your CAT test taking?
Karan: I wanted to keep my mind focused and stress-free so I didn’t do anything related to CAT on 24th November, 2018.
On the day of the exam, I attempted one question at a time without worrying about the ones I had already seen. I tried being in the zone.
JagranJosh: Do you think academic background plays an important role in CAT Prep and Why?
Karan: The CAT exam tests the abilities of the candidates to tackle the topics which everyone has gone through. Everyone has his/her own strengths which he/she can explore and focus on during the preparation.
JagranJosh: Which institutes have you applied to admission and why did you opt for them particularly?
Karan: I am waiting for calls from some prominent institutions and look forward to hearing from them.
JagranJosh: How are you preparing for GD – PI and WAT rounds of the selection process?
Karan: I just believe in pouring in maximum efforts. I will use my knowledge to the best of my ability.
JagranJosh: What is your message for CAT aspirants? One crucial piece of advice that you would like them to follow and wish you had known.
Karan: My advice would be - Practice all the mocks and analyse each one completely. Spend a lot of time looking at the solutions.
JagranJosh: What is your dream career choice after completing your MBA?
Karan: I want to work in the field of supply chain. I believe that the operations of organizations are undergoing rapid transformations owing to the recent technological advances. I want to be at the forefront of this revolution.
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