CAT 2020 Topper Interview: 99.97 Percentiler Naval Mittal Shares His Success Mantras

Common Admission Test 2022 ( CAT )

5 mins read1K Views11.3K Comments

Admit Card: 27 Oct '22

Sreetama Datta
Sreetama Datta Roy
Manager Content
Updated on Jan 8, 2021 11:52 IST

Naval Mittal, an Electronics and Communication Engineer from Punjab University, who is presently working in the Ministry of Finance has cracked CAT 2020 with 99.97 percentile. Read the full interview here on his preparation strategy and future plans.

Naval Mitta

Naval Mittal

Overall CAT 2020 percentile: 99.97 percentile

VARC: 97.92 percentile

DILR: 99.88 percentile

QA: 99.97 percentile

An Electronics and Communication Engineer from Punjab University, Chandigarh, Naval Mittal has a varied work experience in teaching MBA aspirants at a coaching institute followed by the Ministry of Finance. While this is not the first CAT attempt for Naval, he utilised the lockdown phase to work on his weaknesses and prepare in a strategic manner which led him to secure 99.97 percentile in CAT 2020. In this exclusive interview with Shiksha, Naval shares his section-wise preparation plan and exam-taking strategy, future plans and advice for future aspirants.

Q. Tell us something about yourself.

A: I am have done my Engineering from Punjab University, Chandigarh. Later on, I taught CAT aspirants for around three years. Currently, I am working for the Ministry of Finance, in the Customs & Central Excise Department. My father is a Pharmacist and my mother is a homemaker.

Q. When did you decide to take CAT and how did you start preparing?

A: I had appeared for CAT earlier also, but could not score high to clear the cutoff of IIMs. Since I was teaching CAT aspirants, I was in the preparation mode already. This year I followed a more systematic approach and improved my weak areas also.

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

A: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) was my weak area. Earlier it was hampering my overall score even though I was scoring well in Quantitative Ability (QA) and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) sections.

To improve the VARC section, I read several articles and novels. My strategy was to pick up those topics which I am uncomfortable in. This gave me confidence and ensured that I get comfortable while attempting Reading Comprehension (RC) questions from passages of any topic. I also solved a lot of RCs.

Q. How did you prepare for your strong areas in CAT?

A: QA and DILR were my strength areas as I was teaching these sections. The key to success in these sections is accuracy. Being thorough with concepts and solving ample mock tests was my strategy to score well in these sections and retain them as my strengths. Moreover, if you attempt the right number of questions with high accuracy, then it gets even easier to maintain strong areas.

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

A: This depends on student to student. Coaching institutes help students in two ways. Firstly, they help them get conceptual clarity. Secondly, it maintains the flow by conducting regular mock tests and special sessions. This helps build momentum and does not let students lag behind or lose track in preparation.

Q: What was your exam day strategy?

A: The basic strategy was not to feel tense. During the exam, time management was key since the duration was reduced by an hour. I glanced through the entire question paper and shortlisted the questions I wanted to attempt based on my preparedness and comfort level.

For the VARC section, I chose the passages which I felt were easy to read and from familiar topics. This helps candidates understand the passages and comprehend well to answer the questions quickly and correctly.

In the DILR section, identifying the easier sets is key. In this section, there is a chance that seemingly easier sets turn out to be tough or have sitter questions. So the key was to start solving the questions and if it took more than five minutes, I marked it for review and moved forward.

For the QA section, I picked questions from my favourite topics. If it took more time than expected, I was moving forward and came back to those at the end depending on how much time was remaining.

Q. What is your take on the new CAT exam pattern as compared to the previous years?

A: In previous years, candidates had ample time to solve questions and revise. This year, time was a challenge as question selection and attempting them properly tend to take up maximum time. Unless there is effective time management, it is difficult to revise or make necessary corrections or changes in the last moment.

Q. Which B-schools are you aspiring for admission?

A: I am aspiring to take admission in IIM Calcutta as I want to pursue my career in Finance.

Q. What is your strategy for preparing WAT-PI rounds?

A: I am going through all the Current Affairs topics with a special focus on Global and Economic updates. I am also summarising and learning every detail of my work experience as the panellists tend to ask a lot of questions about candidates’ background and work experience.

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

A: This year in particular gave me ample time to focus on my weak areas as I was working from home. I could save a lot of time which was earlier spent on commuting or other outdoor activities. Irrespective of the stressful time, I decided to stay positive and focus on the brighter side.

Q. What are your hobbies? Did you follow these hobbies during the preparation phase as well?

A: My hobbies are playing table tennis and reading novels. Yes, I practised these hobbies even during preparation phase as everyone needs a break to refresh minds. But I made sure to play or read for a limited duration and did not let these hobbies come in my way of preparation.

Q. What is your plan after completing MBA?

A: I want to pursue a career in the Finance sector for the initial few years. After that, I would like to open my own institute where I can guide students on MBA entrance exam preparation.

Q. What are your suggestions for future CAT aspirants?

A: Solve as many types of questions you can from each section as it would give you the exposure to various question types that you can get in the actual exam. Secondly, focus on your accuracy.

Read More:

CAT 2020 Toppers, Scores and their Percentiles

IIM Shortlist 2020: Check Dates and Process

How to Crack GD-PI/WAT Rounds of Top B-schools

Check CAT cut offs and predict calls from IIMs and Non-IIMs accepting CAT score for admission. Check Fees, Placement Reviews, Admission, Shortlist Criteria and Eligibility of all CAT participating colleges by clicking the link below:

Predict CAT Admission Calls
About the Author
Sreetama Datta Roy
Manager Content

Sreetama has over a decade of editorial experience in the higher education beat. A wanderlust by passion, she is also an avid reader and a music lover. Among friends, she is popular for her sense of humour.

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Comments

D

Which college can I get with 75 percent marks in CAT?

N

Navneet Kaur

Guide-Level 14

4 days ago

LPU is known for its MBA. LPU provides quality education, with great scholarship programs plus holistic learning opportunities. As per the eligibility at LPU, student need to Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or...LPU is known for its MBA. LPU provides quality education, with great scholarship programs plus holistic learning opportunities. As per the eligibility at LPU, student need to Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT and Interview or Completed Company Secretary CS from Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) or Completed Chartered Accountancy CA from Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) or Completed Cost & Management Accountancy (CMA) from Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI). Applicant should have 80 percentile or above in CAT or MAT or all India rank upto 20000. For more information you can check the website.

H

Harsh Pandey

Guide-Level 12

a week ago

At LPU the eligibility for MBA at LPU is Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT^ and Interview. The student should have 80 Percentile or above in CAT or MAT or XAT or All India Rank upto...At LPU the eligibility for MBA at LPU is Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT^ and Interview. The student should have 80 Percentile or above in CAT or MAT or XAT or All India Rank upto 20000 in CMAT or 230 and above score in NMAT then LPU NEST is exempted.

D

Which colleges can I get with 75 %ile in CAT?

N

Navneet Kaur

Guide-Level 14

4 days ago

LPU is known for its MBA. LPU provides quality education, with great scholarship programs plus holistic learning opportunities. As per the eligibility at LPU, student need to Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or...LPU is known for its MBA. LPU provides quality education, with great scholarship programs plus holistic learning opportunities. As per the eligibility at LPU, student need to Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT and Interview or Completed Company Secretary CS from Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) or Completed Chartered Accountancy CA from Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) or Completed Cost & Management Accountancy (CMA) from Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI). Applicant should have 80 percentile or above in CAT or MAT or all India rank upto 20000. For more detials you can check the website.

H

Harsh Pandey

Guide-Level 12

a week ago

At LPU the eligibility for MBA at LPU is Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT^ and Interview. The student should have 80 Percentile or above in CAT or MAT or XAT or All India Rank upto...At LPU the eligibility for MBA at LPU is Pass with 55% aggregate marks in Bachelors degree (any discipline) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPU NEST or CAT or MAT or XAT or NMAT or CMAT^ and Interview. The student should have 80 Percentile or above in CAT or MAT or XAT or All India Rank upto 20000 in CMAT or 230 and above score in NMAT then LPU NEST is exempted.

R

What CAT score do I need to get into FABM? I'm from B.Sc. Agriculture.

S

Srishti Pranjal

Beginner-Level 5

5 days ago

General cut off to get into FABM for general is 80, for OBC, it is 70 and for SC and ST, it is 60.

P

Can I get admission for MBA in IPS Business School without giving CAT or any other exam?

S

Sharanya B

Beginner-Level 4

5 days ago

Hello Priyanka, CAT is one of the most commonly accepted exam. CMAT XAT MAT exams are also accepted in IPS business school.

N

Neha Sudarshini

Beginner-Level 1

5 days ago

Although CAT percentile is kept as a criterion in most colleges, there are other management entrance exams too. Few of the different exams are MAT XAT NMAT etc. These scores again are accepted by numerous number of colleges.

h

While filling CAT 2022 form, I followed the best of 5 marking pattern for SSC which is not correct. Can I fill the form again?

36450093
yash sahani

Contributor-Level 9

a week ago

We should avoid common mistakes while filling the CAT form are:1. Not having the required documents: when applying for CAT not having your documents ready can significantly increase of chances of error. 2. Entering personal details incorrectly: Another common mistake candidates usually make it wh...We should avoid common mistakes while filling the CAT form are:
1. Not having the required documents: when applying for CAT not having your documents ready can significantly increase of chances of error.
2. Entering personal details incorrectly: Another common mistake candidates usually make it while entering their personal details.
3. Uploading unclear photograph and signature: uploading your photograph is the last step of entering your personal details in the CAT application form.

H

Harsh Rastogi

Beginner-Level 5

a month ago

No, you cannot fill the form again. You should always read the instructions carefully before filling any form.

S

I have heard that UGC has given regulations for CAT eligibility that the colleges can accept CAT eligibility for the past two years. Is it?

H

Harsh Verma

Beginner-Level 5

a week ago

An entry to the MBA world requires the candidates to appear for entrance exams of which the most popular is the CAT or Common Admission Test. The CAT Score allows the candidate to be eligible for most of the best B-Schools in India including the IIMs which hold the CAT Exam. The CAT exam eligibil...An entry to the MBA world requires the candidates to appear for entrance exams of which the most popular is the CAT or Common Admission Test. The CAT Score allows the candidate to be eligible for most of the best B-Schools in India including the IIMs which hold the CAT Exam. The CAT exam eligibility has remained more or less the same in the past years. As per the CAT notification for CAT the same criteria will be followed without any changes. Aspirants should review the criteria, given below in detail, to check if they are eligible for the exam before they begin preparing. They should understand the factors and requirements to appear for CAT 2022 to avoid disqualification at any stage of the admission process. Moreover, candidates should also identify the eligibility criteria for the B-schools separately along with the difference in the eligibility requirements for CAT and the IIM.

A

ANKIT Tiwari

Beginner-Level 5

a week ago

The CAT score card is valid for a period of one year only. After which candidates will have to take the following years' CAT exam for admissions in respective institutes. Most of the Institutions/Universities in India accept the CAT score for admissions.

R

What percentile should I score in CAT exam to get MDI Gurgaon under defence quota?

H

Harsh Verma

Beginner-Level 5

a week ago

Going by my own experience and of others who have a similar profile as yours, you can expect a call from MDI at about 96.5 -97 percentile. A few people from my batch had received calls at a lower percentile as well but that again varies from year to year. So all in all, 97 percentile would be a s...Going by my own experience and of others who have a similar profile as yours, you can expect a call from MDI at about 96.5 -97 percentile. A few people from my batch had received calls at a lower percentile as well but that again varies from year to year. So all in all, 97 percentile would be a safe bet.

46474621
Utkarsh Tiwary

Beginner-Level 5

a week ago

The MDI Gurgaon is the best college which has defence quota. The percentile which is required by MDI Gurgaon under defence quota is expected as 94 percentile. It is also the best college for defence.

A

How to start preparing with CAT and IIFT?

S

Sunit Chatterjee

Beginner-Level 5

a week ago

To start first start with your basics remember these 4 to 5 points 1) read 1 hour every day
2. Do sudoku and basics of dilr
3. Do quant from ncert if your basics are weak if it is strong then do past year paper or previous year mock
5. Give ample amount of mock and sectional test thanks.

S

I am applying for CAT 2022 and also had applied for CAT last year. Do I need to re-register or should use last year's credentials?

11624401
ANISHKA LUNAWAT

Beginner-Level 5

2 weeks ago

Yes, you have to apply for the CAT form again from the beginning even if you have registered last year also. Since exam score is valid for only one year.

P

I have a gap year in my engineering. What should I fill in the duration of course in CAT form? Should I fill 4 or 5 years?

S

Sonima Dwivedi

Contributor-Level 6

2 weeks ago

It will still be counted as 4 years.

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