The biggest B-school entrance exam — CAT 2022 is scheduled to take place on November 27. With less than three months remaining, IIM aspirants are preparing for the exam in full swing. But what it takes to crack CAT? Here are toppers from last year sharing what worked for them in the B-School entrance exam, take notes.
Mock Tests Are Real Deal
In the list first meet, Mumbai-based Chirag Gupta took the IIM entrance exam — CAT 2021 in his first attempt and straight-up secured 100 percentile.
He started his preparation for CAT around March 2021 and resorted to self-studying. Initially, he also had one mock test per week and later he began giving at least one mock test every day. “I used to study for five hours a day which also includes mock tests. I used to self-study and give another mock to get a better understanding of how much I have learned and how far I need to go,” he said.
Viraj Shah from Ahmedabad who scored 99.99 percentile in CAT 2021 also claims mock tests are the key. A student of mechanical engineering, Shah said studying with his friends for the exam along with mock tests really helped him crack CAT 2021. In the group study, we discussed time management and how fast to solve the papers. I had to increase my reading speed for CAT,” explains Viraj.
Whoever said group study was distracting did not know the engineer trio who managed to ace CAT in their first attempt that too together. Three friends, all from IIT Gandhinagar, who have cracked the IIM entrance exam — CAT 2021 securing 99.99 percentile, each. Dhanesh Bhutada, Viraj Shah, and Harshit Kumar, trio had formed a group and jointly prepared for the MBA entrance for about six months.
“We used to take mock tests together and later discuss where we discussed the same and what all needs to be done to get ahead with the CAT preparations,” said Harshit Kumar. “We used to figure which questions we have attempted and what we have avoided, etc,” he adds.
Time Management Clocks in Success
Dhanesh Bhutada who secured 99.99 percentile in CAT 2021 believes that speed is of utmost essence in CAT.” Dhanesh who is from Pune said, “We get less than two minutes to solve questions, and hence time management is the most important thing. I used to study for 2-3 hours per day and solved around 90 to 100 questions every day.”
The Mumbai-based Neelay Jain, belled the CAT with an overall percentile is 99.98. Talking about the CAT 2021 exam he said, “For CAT the aim is not to solve everything. It is a decision-making paper. A Candidate can solve only 60-70 per cent of paper with good accuracy and land a chance to score well. So focus should be on accuracy and decision making and take the candidate long way,” he added.
Math, Exam-Solving Skills Go Long Way
Yash Mandhana, from IIT Bombay, had scored 99.99 percentile in CAT 2021. For the 22-year-old who had cleared the exam in his first attempt CAT was not a tough nut to crack.
Yash committed about two hours per day to studying for the CAT. Mandhana claimed that passing the CAT was helped by having passed the JEE Mains, Advanced, and other competitive tests. “I have already taken a number of Olympiads and other engineering competitive exams, therefore the CAT preparation did not appear to be that difficult to me.”
Gauravi Kabadi from IIT Bhubaneshwar, cracked the MBA entrance exam — CAT 2021 in her very first attempt. When discussing the differences between CAT and JEE preparation, she stated, “The CAT syllabus idea is really basic. Any student who has earned a 10th-grade diploma can also answer every question if given enough time. While for JEE Mains and Advanced, you must be familiar with the entire syllabus, which includes advanced math topics like integration, calculus, electric charge, and others. It only focuses on concepts and engineering, whereas CAT is concerned with how quickly you can understand the issue and provide a solution.”