CAT 2020 Topper Interview: Swarnadeep Ghosh Who Scored 99.92 Percentile in CAT Shares His Success Mantra

Common Admission Test 2024 ( CAT )

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Saumya
Saumya Jain
Assistant Manager- Content
Updated on Mar 31, 2021 21:16 IST

Swarnadeep Ghosh scored 99.92 percentile in CAT 2020 exam. Know what he has to say about his preparation strategy for CAT 2020 exam and his success mantra in the article below.

CAT 2020 Overall Percentile: 99.92

VARC percentile: 98.24

DILR percentile: 99.721

QA percentile: 99.77

Swarnadeep Ghosh is a final year engineering student from Bandel, West Bengal who loves playing cricket. He began his CAT preparation approximately a year before the exam. Swarnadeep made it into the 99 percentilers club in his first CAT attempt. Shiksha spoke to Swarnadeep about his preparation strategy and his success mantra for CAT 2020 exam. Read the article below to know more.

Q. Was this your first CAT attempt? Were you expecting this score?

A. Yes, this was my first CAT attempt. I was not accepting this score. I expected a score somewhere near the 99.2 percentile.

Q. What was your preparation strategy?

A. I started my preparations during the lockdown period. I had approximately ten months to prepare. I distributed those ten months in three phases. In the first phase, I began with solving problems without setting a time limit. It was all about being familiar with and understanding the concepts. In the second phase, I focused on attempting sectional tests. I had put on a time frame that I need to solve a certain number of questions in a certain time limit. This helped me in coping up with the time stance of the exam. I devoted the last two minutes to attempting the mock tests. I attempted more than 60 CAT mock tests. I also made an excel sheet to analyse my performance and tried to understand my stronger and weaker areas. This helped me improve with every mock test that I solved.

Q. What was your weak area(s) and what did you do to improve the same?

A. The VARC section was not particularly my strong suit. Being from an engineering background, I am good with numbers, so I was naturally good at QA and DILR, but the VARC section was a bit of a snag. To improve that, I followed a lot of editorials and blogs. I was intro reading into whatever I could get my hands on. This helped me improve my reading speed. This majorly helped in the VARC section.

Also Read:

VARC preparation tips and tricks

DILR preparation tips and tricks

QA preparation tips and tricks

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Q. Did you join a coaching institute? Is it important to join a coaching institute for CAT preparation?

A. No, I did not. However, I did buy a couple of test series. I don’t think that coaching institutes are absolutely necessary but if somebody needs more guidance and the study material, there is enough content available online nowadays which can be accessed by them. I think there are enough resources available on the internet to study.

Q. Did you have any exam day strategy?

A. I had the third slot. So when my friends from the first and second slots came out of the exam centre, they had all sorts of feedbacks. Some said that VARC was difficult and some said DILR was difficult. So, before the exam, I wasn’t really overthinking and I said to myself that I will take the exam as it comes. I knew that VARC was my weak area and I struggle a bit with that, so I focused on attempting as many questions as possible. And I was able to cover the section well. For DILR, I had a strategy of choosing the questions to attempt. I had the strategy of selecting the correct batch to solve. I give 5-6 minutes to select the set. I don’t just go on with it, I look at all five sets at once, and then I have a specific order in mind as to what order should I follow to solve it. This really helped me. In the QA section, I start solving it directly as I am very comfortable with numbers. I try to attempt as many questions as possible.

Q. Did you get any calls from any IIMs? What are the IIMs/MBA institutes that you are targeting and why?

A. None yet, but I am targeting IIM Calcutta because I want to study finance. The finance department in IIM Calcutta is really good. Apart from that, I am also looking for FMS Delhi. I am looking forward to FMS because of two reasons, one of them being experimental learning which will give me practical experience. Secondly, I can pursue my ambitions with the ROI that the institute offers.

Q. Any specific strategy for WAT-PI?

A. As of now, there is no specific strategy. I am keeping a check on the current affairs and looking to improve my GK.

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Q. How did you deal with the stress of CAT prep and exam?

A. To deal with the stress it is important to have a backup plan. You cannot put all your hope in the CAT exam. You must know what you would do next if you do not score well in this exam. A backup plan will give you freedom on the D-day to express yourself.

Q. What are your plans after completing MBA?

A. Since I want to study MBA in Finance, I would definitely want to work with some financial institution as an investment banker or a financial analyst.

Q. Any tips for future CAT aspirants?

A. Well, I think the most important thing before appearing for the CAT exam is practicing mock tests. Attempt a lot of mock tests. Attempting mock tests is the only way which will make you comfortable. Attempt all kinds of mock tests, difficult and easy. Maximize your strengths and do not stress about the weaker areas. I believe in equity in preparation, not equality.

Read More:

FAQs For CAT Toppers

Q: Who scored the highest i n CAT 2020?

A: The highest scorer was Ekansh Agarwal who scored 99.98 percentile.

Q: How can I cope up with the stress of CAT preparation?

A: According to experts, a person can cope with any exams' stress by preparing a routine and following it sincerely. Have a good night's sleep for at least eight hours, eat healthy and exercise daily. Start preparing early. Try to finish the CAT syllabus by August and do not hesitate to ask help. You can join study groups too. 

Q: Can I crack the CAT exam in first attempt?

A: Yes, with the right amount of preparation and practice anyone can crack CAT in the first attempt. Strengthen the basics and fundamentals. While working on the weaknesses capitalise on your strengths. 

Q: I got 90 percentile in CAT. Will I get a call from IIM-A?

A: Yes, the cut off for CAT this year in IIM Ahmedabad was 80 percentile for General category. For SC and ST category the cut off percentile was 70 percentile and 60 percentile respectively.

Q: How much time should I give to prepare for CAT in a week?

A: Aspirants must devote at least 14 hours in a week for CAT preparation.

Q: Can I score well while working full-time?

A: Yes, with the right preparation strategy and dedication one can fetch a good score even while working full-time.

Q: I am from a non-engineering background. Can I get into top IIMs?

A: Yes, a good preparation strategy will take you a long way and can fetch you a good score in CAT. To get into IIMs one must be sincere and dedicated towards their studies and preparation. Be confident and solve ample number of previous years' question papers and sample papers. You may have to put in some extra effort for the CAT preparation but it is not impossible.

Q: I am from Arts background. Which books are the best to begin preparation for Quants?

A: NCERT Maths books of Class 9 and Class 10 are good resource to begin with understanding fundamental concepts of Quantitative Aptitude topics included in CAT syllabus. Once your concepts are clear, you can refer to other preparation books for CAT exam.

Q: Is practicing CAT mock tests enough for CAT preparation?

A:  Many students have scored 99+ percentile by only practicing mock tests, but that is not the ideal way of CAT preparation. To score well in the CAT exam, the applicants must prepare with the help of books, tutorials for conceptual clarity and then move to practicing mock tests.

Q: How many mock tests should I practice to score at least 90 percentile in CAT?

A: One must practice at least 20-30 mock tests to score 90 percentile. 

Q: What are the important topics for DILR section in CAT?

A: Some of the important DILR topics are  Series, Puzzles, Blood Relations, Direction, Data Arrangement, Seating Arrangement, Line Graphs, Venn Diagram, Family Tree, etc.

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About the Author
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Saumya Jain
Assistant Manager- Content

With over 5 years of editorial experience, Saumya has been a writer at Shiksha for over three years. With a graduation degree in English literature from Delhi University, she loves to write and read non-fictional no... Read Full Bio

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