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. With calls from from nearly all the top IIMs, here he shares his strategy.
Jagranjosh.com: Kindly share a brief profile and personal background of yours.
Akash Gupta: I am Akash Gupta, a final year chemical engineering student at IIT Kharagpur. Having done all my schooling from my hometown Gwalior, IIT Kharagpur offered me a chance to explore myself. The multitude of opportunities available here had a profound impact on my personality. A keen MBA aspirant, I am eagerly waiting for my IIM Interview results.
Jagranjosh.com: What are your hobbies?
Akash Gupta: I am an avid follower of cricket and like to read a lot about the happenings in and around the world. Not a big cinema buff, but I make time to watch good works. Apart from these, I like to listen to music- Queen, Scorpions and Linkin Park are my favourite bands
Jagranjosh.com: Why did you decide to go for MBA program after Engineering?
Akash Gupta: Being a person who wants to delve into new dimensions of life, I feel that a career switch for me is imminent. I strongly believe that it is the farmers who lay the foundation of our country; the doctors, teachers and engineers who are responsible for its development; but it is the managers who really make a difference. My graduation in Chemical Engineering which is a production based discipline lays a very strong foundation for a Post-graduation in management. A post-graduation in the field of consumer goods and marketing will only improve my knowledge and skills.
Jagranjosh.com: What was your strategy for CAT preparation?
Akash Gupta: Since I started quite late, I did not have much time at hand. So, my strategy was pretty much target oriented. I made weekly scheduled, not allotting a fixed time to any particular chapter. But devoting as much time to each chapter as required to finish it.
I adopted a balanced approach. Smaller chapters of one section were scheduled with larger chapters of others. This was done so that I don’t put any unnecessary burden on myself. On the whole I put in 4-5 hours a day for three months. On weekends, I used to do a follow up on the topics I covered in the week completed.
Logical Reasoning: Since LR is a very dynamic section. I initially covered all the general topics. After which, I directed my efforts to solve some unorthodox problems from various sources.
Data Interpretation: It was one of my strengths. I took up DI only after I completed the basic requirements for DI in QA section viz percentage, ratio and proportion, preliminary algebra etc. After which it was- Practice! Practice! Practice!
Quantitative Aptitude: This is the area I liked the most. I enjoyed solving questions from QA. Since, this is a very huge section. I used to divide my chapter into smaller sub-chapters. My approach was- Study the theory, attempt the questions from that sub-section. On finishing all the sub-chapters, revise the theory. Then, start with the combined exercise.
Verbal Ability: VA is the section for which any amount of preparation is not enough. You need to be confident about your answer. It either is the answer or it is not, there is no scope of doubt. My approach was simple- read from as many topics as you can. This approach not only vitalizes your reading skills but also boosts the confidence. Other than that, it was the regular- topic wise question practice.