CAT 2020 Topper Interview - Meet Ashish Sen 99.99 Percentiler, Find out his Preparation Strategy & Furture Plans

CAT 2020 Toppers have their success story to share. Meet Ashish Sen’s and find out his journey and preparation strategy to score 99.99 percentile in the CAT 2020 exam.

Jan 7, 2021 11:18 IST
CAT 2020 Topper Interview - Meet Ashish Sen, 99.99 Percentiler sharing CAT preparation strategy
CAT 2020 Topper Interview - Meet Ashish Sen, 99.99 Percentiler sharing CAT preparation strategy

CAT 2020 Topper Interview – IIM Indore announced CAT 2020 result on 2nd January 2021 around 4:30pm. Post result, the next big thing is to know the toppers and find out their journey which brought them at this height. Let’s read about Ashish Sen from Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, who has scored 99.99 percentile in the CAT 2020 exam. find out his preparation strategy and the methods that enabled him bell the CAT exam this year.

CAT 2020 Topper Interview – Ashish Sen

What are your overall and sectional scores in CAT 2020?

My overall score was 153.78 (99.99 Percentile) with sectional scores as 57.84, 48.24, and 47.7 (Sectional percentiles as 99.98, 99.95, and 99.46) in VARC, DILR and QA respectively.





Verbal Ability &

Reading Comprehension

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

Quantitative Ability

Scaled Score


Scaled Score


Scaled Score


Overall Scaled Score

Overall Percentile









When did you start your CAT 2020 Preparation? What is the ideal time required to complete the CAT syllabus before the exam?

I started my CAT preparation in June 2020. Although I am no expert I believe that the ideal time required to complete CAT syllabus varies with educational background. For engineers with decent aptitude, it should take around 5 months.

Also Read - Meet Swapnil Kumar, 99.46 percentiler who is also an IIT Kharagur Alumnus

What was your overall preparation strategy for CAT 2020?

I first took a couple of full-length tests to gauge myself and where I stand with respect to my goal. Based on that, I made a 2-month study plan where I focused on strengthening my concepts and improving my English comprehension skills. Post that, I started taking mocks and analyzing them. I believe that mocks are the most crucial part of CAT preparation as it helps you to identify your strong and weak areas as well as gauge where you stand amongst others.

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?

VARC was the section that troubled me a lot. In mocks, my score used to be very inconsistent in VARC. To overcome that, I started to read articles daily from sites such as aeon ( and aldaily ( to improve my reading speed as well as to improve my comprehension skills. Along with that, I made it a point to solve at least 3 RC Passages daily. Consistent practice improved my performance in this section considerably.

Please share your section-wise strategy to prepare for QA, DILR and VARC.

For QA: I first focused on strengthening my concepts in all the topics asked in CAT, for this I completed the entire module provided by TIME, It was really helpful and after completing that, I was pretty confident about my Quant. For DILR: I didn't have to work much on this section as I already had a knack for solving such problems. All I did was practice CAT-level questions by sectional tests, previous year papers, etc. VARC: I read articles daily, I used to practice RC questions daily, apart from that I gave a lot of topic wise tests and sectional tests.

Were you a part of any coaching institute? Do you think coaching is necessary to ace CAT?

I had opted for the study materials and Test series from T.I.M.E. They were really helpful. The Quant modules from T.I.M.E. helped me cover all the concepts and build a solid base. The test series helped me get ample preparation for cat as well as gauge myself w.r.t. other top candidates across the country. Every candidate aiming to crack CAT will require such mock tests which only coaching can provide.

Also Read - Shivanshu Pandey, A Formula1 enthusiast who cracks CAT with 99.85 percentile

Any particular book or study material that helped you gain an edge over other candidates?

TIME's Quant module is the book I would credit for developing my quant skills.

What role did Mocks play in your success? How many mocks did you attempt before the exam?

Mocks played a pivotal role in my preparation. I had attempted more than 40 mocks. Since I was also working along with my prep, I only used to get time on weekends. So taking mocks on weekends would help me get some much-needed practice as well as test my preparation. It also helps in pinpointing your strong and weak areas. Apart from that, when mocks go well, they serve as a motivation factor :)

Please share your exam-day strategy for the CAT 2020. What was your last-minute preparation? How did you plan your CAT test-taking?

I was fairly confident in my preparation, so all I did at the last minute was to go over the formulas of all the topics and revise my weak points in quant.

Do you think academic background plays an important role in CAT Prep and Why?

Yes, your areas of expertise change according to your academic background. Eg: most engineers will be good in quant but may not be that good at VARC but on the other hand an English literature student will tend to excel in VARC but might not be that great with quant. Hence the preparation strategy and the focus changes according to the academic background.

Which institutes have you applied to admission and why did you opt for them particularly?

I have applied to IIM A, IIM B, IIM C, IIM L, IIM K, and FMS Delhi. I opted for these particularly because they are the top B-Schools and I wanted to fulfill my dream of studying in one of the Top B-Schools

How are you preparing for GD – PI and WAT rounds of the selection process?

I have not yet started properly, I'll need to start soon.

What is your message for CAT aspirants? One crucial piece of advice that you would like them to follow and wish you had known.

Plan your study in a structured way and keep track of your daily progress, take lots of mock tests and analyze them properly (If you don't analyze it, Its a waste of time), don't take a big break from your prep, else it will be difficult to start again.

What is your dream career choice after completing your MBA?

I want to get into a consulting role, preferably with the MBBs :)

Also Read

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CAT 2020 Topper Interview – Meet Shreya Pandey aiming to seek admission in IIM (A, B, or C)