After the declaration of MAH CET 2020 result, it is time to meet the toppers who have earned a par excellent percentile in the MAH CET 2020 MBA exam. Let’s find out about the journey of Dr. Shashank Prabhu who is an MBBS and MBA and is currently a faculty at IMS Learning Resource guiding students to crack the MBA entrance exams. He even holds the record of being 3 times Rank 1 holder in MAH CET exam. In this exclusive interview with Mr. Shashank, let us find out his secret to score Rank 1 in one of the highly competitive MBA entrance exams and what drives him to prepare for the exam so well.
MAH CET 2020 Topper Interview
Question 1: Congratulations on cracking MAH CET2020! What are your overall and sectional scores in MAH CET2020?
Thank you so much. My overall score was 159 marks out of 200 which corresponded to a 99.99 percentile and it was also the highest score in this year’s test. The sectional scores are not revealed by the exam conducting authorities and so won’t be able to comment on the same.
Question 2: When did you start your MAH CET 2020 Preparation? What is the ideal time required to complete the MAH CET syllabus before the exam?
As someone who trains students to crack aptitude tests, I believe I would be able to do justice to the second part of the question. As is the case with most of the MBA entrance tests, CET does not have a fixed syllabus as such. To understand and solve a question, one needs to be well-versed with English and Math concepts that one has learnt till his/her 10th standard. However, considering that most of the takers would have lost touch with the concepts and the sheer number of takers, it is important to prepare formally for the exam. There are typically two types of candidates who take the test: one, those who would also be taking CAT and two, those who would be focusing exclusively on CET and other tests that would help getting admissions in Maharashtra based colleges. For the first kind, the CAT preparation is going to be of some help while building a base and so, if someone is keen on taking CAT 20 and CET 21, s/he should ideally be starting with their preparation now. For the second kind, one would ideally need a preparation timeline of around 6 months (more if one needs more handholding in terms of basic concepts). The first 4 months can be used to understand the various question types at the test and the last couple of months can be spent solving mock tests and analyzing them.
Question 3: What was your overall preparation strategy for MAH CET 2020?
Honestly, I didn’t prepare as such for the test. Whatever preparation I did involved solving tests with my students and helping them analyse the same. Also, I teach maths to a few batches and so, was relatively comfortable with that section. Over the years, having a reading habit and solving puzzles like Sudoku, Kakuro, Hitori and the like have helped build a nice base in terms of English and Logic as well. So, all these things came together on the test day and helped me score in the top percentile.
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?
I wouldn’t call it a weak section but considering that I don’t teach Verbal formally, I was a tad more careful when I was solving the questions. Also, I found Visual Reasoning fairly difficult this year. For both the sections, light practice helped me get a bit more comfortable before the actual test. Can’t say I mastered the sections or overcame the challenge but knew that it won’t set me back by a lot in terms of the competition.
Question 5: Tell us something about yourself, your family and your interests beyond academics?
I enjoy reading trivia across topics. Also, I have a certain fondness for cricket and enjoy the occasional chess game. In my free time, I like to watch TV series and movies.
Question 6: Were you a part of any coaching institute? Do you think coaching is necessary to ace MAH CET?
I am presently associated with IMS Learning Resource. And in the present day and age with aptitude tests becoming increasingly competitive, having a good sounding board in the form of a mentor helps fine tune an aspirant’s strategy. Also, there are numerous cross linkages that exist between topics that need to be explored as a part of the preparatory journey. Having a formal classroom environment helps get a thorough understanding of the question types and encourages group study which I believe is better than preparing alone.
Question 7: What role did Mocks play in your success? How many mocks did you attempt before the exam?
As an aspirant, it is recommended that one takes around 15-20 mocks at the very least so as to have a strategy ready come the actual test. The IMS mocks were helpful in this very context given that they explored all the question types and levels of difficulty thoroughly. That way, a student is ready to face any eventuality come the actual test. With the level of difficulty of the CET changing almost every year since 2016, it is a good idea to take a lot of mocks that help you visualize your reaction to any surprises that might be thrown at you.
Question 8: Please share your exam-day strategy for the MAH CET 2020. What was your last-minute preparation? How did you plan your MAH CET test taking?
I had absolutely no pressure going into the test. In fact, I had an annual review meeting on the 13th and the 14th of March and if my CET slot had fallen on the 14th, I would have almost definitely missed the test. So, I was extremely relaxed while taking the test. I made sure that I didn’t exceed my self-imposed sectional time limits and was on my toes throughout the 150 minutes.
Question 9: Do you think academic background plays an important role in MAH CET Prep and Why?
While your graduation background or your 10th and 12th standard marks have got nothing to do with your final CET score, your learning style and command on basics matters a lot. The questions are fairly easy and if one were to get 3-3.5 hours to solve the test, s/he could possibly get a 200/200. The challenge lies in solving the same test in 150 minutes. If you don’t get mentally tired easily and can concentrate for long amounts of time you might have to work on these aspects along with your content preparation.
Question 10: What is your message for MAH CET aspirants? One crucial piece of advice that you would like them to follow and wish you had known.
Understand yourself well as a candidate. A lot of aspirants fall into the trap of ‘copying’ popular strategies and end up creating a mess during the test. Also, give yourself time to adapt to a particular strategy. You need to be patient with an idea and give it a fair run. Chopping and changing things too quickly creates a lot of unnecessary panic. And finally, know your question types well; you should be an absolute beast when it comes to cracking known question types and should try to get better at as many topics as is possible. If you manage to do that, you would absolutely dominate the test on the d-day.
Question 11: What is your dream career choice after completing your MBA?
I am one of the luckier ones to be living my dream. I believe that every student needs an experienced hand especially while making career choices and some motivation to do better than what s/he is capable of. Thankfully my job entails these components along with the business management knowledge and skills I gained during my MBA and that helps me grow as an individual as well.
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