CAT 2020 Topper Interview: High Number of Accurate Attempts is Key to Crack CAT, says Arjit Kumar, 99.10 Percentiler

Common Admission Test 2022 ( CAT )

6 mins read11.3K Comments

Admit Card: 27 Oct '22

Sreetama Datta
Sreetama Datta Roy
Manager Content
Updated on Jan 6, 2021 16:50 IST

Arjit Kumar, a Petroleum Engineer from IIT (ISM) Dhanbad has cracked CAT 2020 with 99.10 percentile. Read the full interview here on his preparation strategy and future plans.

Arjit Kumar

Patna boy Arjit Kumar, who is a Petroleum Engineer from IIT (ISM) Dhanbad decided to pursue an MBA while studying Engineering, to get a perspective on business. Currently working with Reliance Industries Limited, he balanced his preparation well even without taking coaching. Arjit utilised the platform of YouTube and mock test series to prepare and excel in his preparation strategy. Although Arjit had appeared for CAT last year and secured over 97 percentile, he decided to prepare with an even better and systematic strategy which resulted in being in the category of 99 percentilers. In this exclusive interview with Shiksha, Arjit shares his preparation strategy in detail and also his choice of B-schools, career aspirations and tips for the future CAT aspirants.

Q: Tell us something about yourself.

A: I belong to Patna. I have done Petroleum Engineering from IIT(ISM) Dhanbad and have been working with Reliance Industries Limited. So far, I have around two years of work experience.

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

A: In the third year of my Engineering, I was motivated to pursue MBA based one of the lectures, which was about the business aspect of Engineering. I decided that along with the technical skills, I need to develop managerial skills and analyse the business aspect of Petroleum Engineering or any other field. I want to be a techno-manager.

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

A: This is my second CAT attempt. I had appeared for CAT 2019 and secured 97.5 percentile and bagged a seat in NITIE Mumbai. However, due to the pandemic situation and several other challenges, I decided to not take admission and decided to take another attempt in CAT. This time I had prepared in a more systematic manner and I was more confident and better prepared as well. Hence, was expecting a better score than last year.

Q: Tell us about your preparation strategy.

A: I have prepared on my own and took some guidance and help of my college seniors and YouTube videos. I started preparing from August. I started section-wise preparation, starting from weak areas. Quantitative Ability (QA) is my weakest area, despite being an Engineer. With regular practice and understanding the concepts, it is not difficult to score high in this section as it comprises mostly Class 12 level Math. I followed a YouTube channel on Maths which helped me a lot.

The next section which I prepared was Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR). For this section also, watching videos helped me a great deal. I focused more on the data part as DI is easier than the LR part. I targetted the easier questions which ensured accuracy and high score.

The Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) section was my forte. In CAT, candidates’ comprehension skills carry more weightage than grammar or other aspects of English. I am good at comprehending passages which gave me an edge in this section. I used to read articles on the Internet as fast as I could and tried to decipher its crux.

Once the sectional preparation was complete, I enrolled for the test series of a reputed coaching institute which helped me in my overall preparation and helped me make an effective test-taking strategy.

Q: What was your exam day strategy?

A: My strategy was to be absolutely calm and not to take unnecessary stress. My exam was in the third slot, hence I had ample time for last-minute revision. I had prepared a formula sheet for the QA section and went through it for revision. I had attempted maximum questions from QA and VARC as the former is the most scoring section and the latter is my strong area. For DI & LR, I attempted the least number of questions, but I made sure that even if the number of attempts is low, I answer with full accuracy and garner as much score as possible without subjecting myself to negative marking.

Q: CAT 2020 exam pattern was changed. According to you, is it better than last year’s pattern?

A: I think that the previous CAT exam pattern was better since you have ample time. In the new pattern, you cannot afford to waste time on one single question and the time management skill has to be on point, otherwise, you won’t be able to complete the exam. It creates a state of panic.

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

A: It was indeed a stressful time. Moreover, due to the lockdown, it was even more difficult since our movement was curtailed and there were limited resources in every aspect. I was working at the same time and took leave for a month and completed the QA syllabus of CAT. I used to study for six hours a day. I completed the entire syllabus by mid-October and spent the time till CAT for practice and revision. I took All India mock tests and analysed my performance to improve my preparation.

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

A: I love to sing and whenever I felt stressed during the preparation phase I picked up my karaoke set and started singing. Another hobby which I explored during this period was cooking. These activities kept me really calm and relaxed. I did not spend too long on these hobbies and it actually helped me improve my preparation.

Q: Any specific strategy for WAT-PI?

A: I am taking guidance from seniors who are pursuing MBA from reputed institutes. They have suggested me to prepare for the current affairs and also be prepared for facing questions on any random question. Along with knowing facts, it is also important to grow an opinion as well. I have shortlisted some YouTube channels wherein panellists discuss the current affairs topics and present an analytical point of view.

Q: Which are your dream B-schools and why?

A: My dream B-School is IIM Calcutta because it is the oldest IIM and one of the best colleges for Finance, a specialisation I am inclined towards. Moreover, I love the city of Kolkata which is another reason for IIM Calcutta being my dream college. Apart from that, I am targetting FMS Delhi because of the high return of investment. Alongside, I am also rooting my hopes for NITIE Mumbai and SPJIMR Mumbai.

Q: What is your plan after completing MBA?

A: I would like to take up a job in Finance or Operations Management sector. While Finance is my area of interest and it is an evergreen field, my current job profile is in Operations. After completing MBA, I would like to switch my professional experience from the technical aspect of Operations to the Managerial aspect.

Q: What are your suggestions for future CAT aspirants?

A: Work on your strengths. Refer to the CAT preparation books like Arun Sharma and take ample mock tests and practice varieties of question types. For QA, practice is the key. For the DILR section, focus more on DI as it is more scorable than LR. For VARC, focus on comprehension questions rather than grammar or theoretical understanding. Even if you score low in mock tests, don’t feel dejected. Just keep working on your strengths and don’t get worried with your weakness.

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:

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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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