CAT 2019 Topper Interview: Know How Lakshya Kumar Scored 99.99 percentile

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Saumya Jain
Assistant Manager- Content
Updated on May 27, 2022 17:24 IST

Lakshya Kumar scored 99.99 percentile in CAT 2019 in his first attempt. Getting admission into the top IIMs is one of his dreams. Read the article below to know about his success mantra and CAT preparation strategy.

Lakshya Kumar

CAT 2019 Overall Percentile: 99.99

VARC: 99.98

DILR: 99.98

QA: 99.59

Lakshya Kumar is a final year graduation student at Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies. He said that mock tests were of great help during his preparations for the CAT exam. Read the article below to know Lakshya's CAT 2019 preparation strategy and the tips to crack the CAT exam. 

Q. Congratulations Lakshya! Are you satisfied with your CAT result? How much were you expecting?

A. You never aim for 99.99 for sure, but during the mocks and in the preparation phase, I was expecting something above 99.5 but securing a 99.99 percentile is a dream come true. So, when the CAT result was announced, I was very happy and delighted to get this score in the CAT exam.

Q. Was this your first CAT attempt?

A. Yes, this was my first CAT attempt.

Q. When did you start preparing for CAT exam? What was your overall CAT preparation strategy?

A. I started preparing for CAT exam in the month of February 2019, which is about 8-9 months before the exam, and I think that's the right time to start the preparations if anyone is planning to appear for the CAT exam. My strategy was that as soon as I started with the preparations I started attempting mock tests to know what my strengths and weaknesses are. I wanted to figure out that in which section I am doing good and in which section I am not doing very well at the beginning stage itself. Then I started analysing my mock tests, and when I analysed my first mock I realised I was good at the Verbal section and I need to work more on the Quant and DILR sections. So I started studying from the foundation booklets provided by my coaching institute for these two sections. I made sure that every week I attempted at least one mock test so that I could track my progress. So I figured out if I am improving on my weaknesses or not. One mock test every week was a must for me.

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Q. Please share your section-wise preparation strategy with us.

A. VARC: To crack this section it is important to have a good reading speed. I started reading the newspaper every day. I started reading The Hindu and Indian Express. At night, I used to read a novel for at least one hour. The reason why I started reading the newspaper was that in the newspaper there is a variety of passages, this the case in the final exam too. Passages in the exam are not restricted to one domain. Which is why newspapers are good references for practice. 

DILR: Reasoning section has always been volatile in CAT. The questions are not subjective to any particular domain. They can come from anywhere or any topic that you can think of. So I referred to previous year question papers for this section so that I can figure out the type of questions that are asked in the exam. This familiarised me with the kind of questions that might be asked in the exam and I think that is how you crack the reasoning section. You should look out for all the varieties of questions and knowing them helps a lot. There is no particular book for it. 

Quant: I believe that in this section it is very essential that you practice a lot. I started with the basics. Basic topics such as profit and loss, geometry, percentages, etc. generally form the Quant section of CAT exam. So to ace this section it is important to increase your speed in such questions. Practicing as many questions as possible from this section is the key here, and I think it is the only way to secure good marks in CAT for this section. I referred to the foundation booklets provided by my coaching institute and there is a lot of study material available online as well.

Apart from this, I would also say there is a fourth subject which is Time Management. Regular mock practice helps you figure out how much time is to be devoted to each question. There is a sectional limit in the CAT exam which is one hour for each section, but it is also important to know how that one hour should be distributed and this can only be figured out by giving regular mock tests.

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Q. Which books did you refer to for your CAT preparation? Also, which books would you suggest for reference?

A. For Verbal section, I would suggest to go with Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis as for this section it is important to have a good vocabulary which in turn helps to understand the question properly. For DILR section refer to CAT previous year question papers and for Quant section refer to the foundation books of the coaching institutes. 

Also Read: Best books for CAT preparation 2022

Q. Did you join any coaching institute? How did a coaching institute help in CAT preparation?

A. I was enrolled in TIME, Cannaught Place. The best help that I got from this institute was the number of mock tests that were provided to me. They provided about 45-50 mock tests and I essentially utilised all of them in my preparation phase. If any aspirant is planning to join any institute for CAT preparation, then they must make sure that they provide a good amount of CAT mock tests and they should be examined on a regular basis and that is how my coaching institute helped me a lot.

Q. How many mock tests did you give? How important are mock test series?

A. The most important attribute that I can associate with getting 99.99 percentile is the mock test series. I attempted about 50 mock tests out of which I attempted 30 mock tests in the last month of my preparations. I attempted mock tests every day. I was also preparing my body to be active between 2:30 PM to 5:30 as this was the time allotted to me for the final CAT exam. It's not just about attempting mock tests, its also about analysing the mock tests. You must devote an hour or two to analyse the mock test and figure out where did you go wrong and how efficient were you while answering the questions. Hence, analysing the mock tests is also an important aspect of CAT preparation.

Q. Did you make any exam day strategy?

A. My CAT exam day strategy was that for the VARC section, I decided to quickly attempt the RC section, and it was only possible for me because I had good reading speed. So I thought of completing the Reading Comprehension part within 35 minutes and then devoted the rest of the 25 minutes to the Verbal section. This was my speed strategy for Verbal Ability. For DILR, out of the one hour allotted for this section, I gave the initial seven to eight minutes in reading all the questions and then figured out which particular set of sections was the easiest. When it comes to CAT, it is not about how many questions you attempt, it is about attempting one more question than your competitor. Since each question carries the same marks it is important to figure out the easier and lesser time-taking questions. While attempting the Quant section, I solved the questions order-wise. But I decided that if I am not able to figure out the answer or how to proceed in the first 30 seconds, then I would skip that question and mark it for review and then later come back to it. So I made sure I at least looked at all the 30-35 questions given in this section.

For every aspirant, preparation is one aspect and being confident on the exam day is another aspect. People tend to loose marks if they are nervous or not very confident on the exam day. I cut off my communication from social media in the last few days. That helped me to calm my nerves. Also, music was of great help for me. I listened to music for an hour or so before the actual exam. The first phase of the exam was already over and my exam was to be conducted in the second phase. But I did not ask anyone how the exam was because I did not want to stuff my mind with something that would distract me or make me nervous.  

Also Read:

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DILR tips for MBA exams

Q. Do you have any tips for the future CAT aspirants?

A. Yes. I would say that during the preparation phase, there would come a phase wherein you will feel demotivated in terms of your mock scores. You might be following every rule book, practicing a lot or studying really hard. But even then your mock scores are not improving. And this happens to everyone, be it toppers or others. But if you are still working towards securing a good percentile and keep on studying in that phase, then there is nothing that can stop you from getting good marks.

Q. What are the top IIMs/institutes that you are targeting?

A. I got a call from IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta. I am targeting the old IIMs and they are my dream colleges too. Apart from that, I am also targeting FMS, Delhi. I am hoping to get a call from FMS in a month or two.

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About the Author
Saumya Jain
Assistant Manager- Content

Saumya is a travel enthusiast. She loves to spend time with family and friends. When not writing, you would find her indulged in sketching and painting.


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