Interview with CAT 2014 Topper Akash Gupta who is an IIT Kharagpur student and cracked CAT 2014 in his first attempt with 99.94 percentile. This is the second part of Akash Gupta`s Interview.
Jagranjosh.com: Which sections of CAT were your strength and which were your weak areas?
Akash Gupta: I was confident about most of the CAT syllabus. QA, DI and LR were my strengths. I was a little sketchy in VA, but not so much to call it my weakness.
Jagranjosh.com: Do you think taking coaching classes is necessary to crack CAT?
Akash Gupta: I think coaching classes are not at all necessary to crack CAT. I myself prepared for CAT-2014 without any coaching class and successfully cracked it with only 3 months of preparation
Jagranjosh.com: Which IIM is your choice and why?
Akash Gupta: IIM Ahmedabad, simply because it is the best management Institute in the country.
Jagranjosh.com: How do you think the current change in CAT Exam pattern will impact the performance?
Jagranjosh.com: Please share your preparation methodology for WAT & PI process.
Akash Gupta: PIs are very dynamic in nature. You cannot predict beforehand in which direction it will go. But broadly the areas I focused on as a part of PI preparation were- graduation subjects, curricular and extracurricular activities, current affairs, hobbies, family and hometown background, history of the current city and state and then there were HR questions as well like- why MBA? What are your short term and long term goals? Etc. Work experience is also an area from where questions are asked, but being a fresher, I did not need to worry about it.
As far as WATs are concerned, the topic could be anything. I made three broad categories of the topics- Abstract, Contemporary and Generic and wrote at least 1 essay on the topics belonging to each of these topics. Apart from that, I and my friends used to have frequent GD sessions where we used to discuss these topics. Though GDs are not part of the admission process anymore, except IIM L, the discussion provided us with beautiful insights into the various topics we discussed.
Akash Gupta: CAT is not a test to prove your mettle in specific subjects; you need to prove your overall ability. With the recent change in pattern, a student has on an average 102 seconds to answer a questions. This has surely affected the difficulty level of the examination. While until last year accuracy was the determining factor, CAT-2014 was a balanced test with proper balance between speed and accuracy. It won’t have any significant impact on performance as such, but aspirants will need to make their speed an important factor in their preparation strategy.
Jagranjosh.com: What is your advice to the CAT aspirants?
Akash Gupta: There is no universal preparation strategy for CAT. It depends on the candidate only. The syllabus is nothing new, everything is high school, and only the approach is different. Don’t follow the herd. Take a few mocks without any preparation, and see where you stand. Categorize the topics as strong, moderate, weak and null and plan accordingly. Try not to leave any topic, with 50 questions in a section there is high chance that almost all of the topics will be covered. If you feel you need coaching, join one. If you feel group study is the way to go, do it. If you think you should do it alone, go for it. Don’t put extra burden on yourself, there is still enough time to ace the examination. Answer questions depending on your level of confidence on the topics, rather than the feasibility of the answers. Set subject goals, not time ones. Lastly, practice as much as you can!