CAT 2019 Toppers Interview: Meet Rahul Manglik a 99.99 percentiler who shares his motivations and inspirations as well as tips and strategy that helped him ace the CAT 2019 MBA entrance exam. In an exclusive interview with Jagranjosh.com, Rahul shares his journey from being a CAT aspirant to topper and the strategies and tips that helped him ace the toughest MBA entrance exam of the country. Let’s hear it straight from the 99.99 percentiler, how did me manage to ‘Bell the CAT’.
Question 1: Congratulations on cracking CAT 2019! What are your overall and sectional scores in CAT 2019?
Thank you! I have scored an overall percentile of 99.99 with scaled overall score at 231.08. In terms of sectional percentiles, in VARC the scaled score of 64.52 with 98.97 percentile. Similarly, in DILR the score was 78.20 with 99.98 percentile while In Quant Section, I had a score of 88.36 and with 99.97 percentile.
Question 2: When did you start your CAT 2019 Preparation? What is the ideal time required to complete the CAT syllabus before the exam?
Question 3: What was your overall preparation strategy for CAT 2019?
I focused first on finishing my syllabus to ensure accuracy, and then I focused on becoming faster at solving the questions.
Question 4: 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?
Initially I used to take a lot of time in solving reading comprehension questions. Then I started reading the questions first before reading the paragraph in depth. This helped me increase speed and accuracy in RC
Question 5: Tell us something about yourself, your family and your interests beyond academics?
My father is in a senior position with finance major Motilal Oswal Group and my mother is a chemistry teacher in Ahlcon Public School, Delhi. My sister has done her MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. Since school, I've been interested and active in basketball, skating, table tennis, debates and elocution. Currently I am a senior member of IIT Bombay’s Racing Club which makes electric race cars to compete internationally. I've participated in Formula Student in Silverstone, UK as part of this club. This year, I'm preparing the business plan and cost report of our racing team for this competition.
Question 6: Were you a part of any coaching institute? Do you think coaching is necessary to ace CAT?
I had joined TIME coaching classes and Career Launcher mock tests. However, I didn't attend many classes and rather focused on self-study. My sister guided me through the process. I don't think coaching classes are necessary if one has the discipline for self-study on a regular basis.
Question 7: Any particular book or study material that helped you gain an edge over other candidates?
I learnt some Vedic maths tricks to speed up my calculations. I think that that extra speed helped me gain an edge over and above the normal preparation.
Question 8: How can an aspirant avoid negative marking?
I don't believe in avoiding negative marking. Instead of being afraid of it, I trust my answers and cover up for the lost marks by more number of attempts. I had attempted 96 out of 100 questions in CAT this year.
Question 9: What role did Mocks play in your success? How many mocks did you attempt before the exam?
Mock tests were very important to help me gauge how much I knew and what I needed to focus on. I attempted 1 mock every day in the last month of preparation. In total, I have attempted 50+ mock tests.
Question 10: Please share your exam-day strategy for the CAT 2019. What was your last-minute preparation? How did you plan your CAT test taking?
I was relaxed on the final CAT day. I made sure to eat enough, revise the important formulae and go with an open mind.
Question 11: Do you think academic background plays an important role in CAT Prep and Why?
More than educational background, I think the important thing is affinity towards maths and English. If someone has these two, then graduation subject shouldn't matter much
Question 12: Which institutes have you applied to admission and why did you opt for them particularly?
I have applied for top IIMs and XLRI, based on MBA college rankings and feedback from my sister's friends who are alums of these colleges.
Question 13: How are you preparing for GD – PI and WAT rounds of the selection process?
I have joined Career Launcher PDP personalised to prepare for interviews. I'm also making sure to give a lot of mock interviews to prepare myself better.
Question 14: What is your message for CAT aspirants? One crucial piece of advice that you would like them to follow and wish you had known.
I would suggest all CAT aspirants to finish their syllabus in advance and then take as many mock tests as possible
Question 15: What is your dream career choice after completing your MBA?
I want to take up a career where I can use my people skills as well as logical skills. An MBA will give me that opportunity in life.