CAT 2020 Topper Interview: Mock Tests and Analysis are Equally Important, says Dipanshu Arora, 99.49 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 13, 2021 11:44 IST

Dipanshu Arora, a Physics graduate from the University of Delhi, who is presently working at the State Bank of India, has cracked CAT 2020 with 99.49 percentile. Read the full interview here on his preparation strategy and future plans.

Dipanshu Arora

Dipanshu Arora

Overall CAT 2020 Percentile: 99.49

VARC: 98.32

DILR: 81.56

QA: 99.86 percentile

Dipanshu Arora, who cracked CAT by securing 99.49 percentile has followed the popular phrase ‘Try try till you succeed’ to the fullest. A Physics graduate from Kirorimal College, University of Delhi, Dipanshu had appeared for CAT four times earlier but could not get the percentile required to get admission in his desired B-School. A Marketing and Finance enthusiast, Dipanshu aims to get admission into one of the top B-schools in the country and pursue a career in Investment Banking or Business Analysis. Read the full interview to know about his preparation strategy, areas of interest and suggestions for CAT aspirants.

Q. Tell us about your background.

A: I have done my schooling from Alwar and completed my graduation in Physics Honours from Kirorimal College. At present, I am a Deputy Manager at the State Bank of India in Goa. Along with my job, I and a friend of mine have started a group that provides consultation to people on Share Market.

Q. When and how did you decide to pursue an MBA?

A: During my college, I participated in an international competition and went to the USA to represent my college, vis-a-vis my country. Some of my teammates in the competition were preparing for CAT which got me interested in the exam and MBA for higher studies. I also realised the importance of management and leadership qualities during that competition. With this thought process, I started reading about Economics and Finance and developed an interest in these areas. Hence decided to pursue an MBA after my graduation.

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

A: This was my fifth attempt in taking CAT. Although I have been securing over 90 percentile, I was determined to secure above 99 percentile and devised my preparation strategy accordingly. After the release of the CAT 2020 answer keys, I was sure that I would get above 99 percentile.

Q. Tell us about your preparation strategy.

A: I had taken coaching during my first attempt and for the next years, I had enrolled for test series. Since I have already completed the CAT syllabus and my concepts were cleared, I focused on revision, taking mock tests and devised a test-taking strategy.

Q. What were your strong and weak areas. How did you tackle those?

A: Quantitative Ability (QA) was my strong area. My strategy for this section was to be familiar with as many types of questions as possible. Just knowing the formula or shortcut tricks will not be helpful unless you have conceptual clarity as in CAT, hardly any question is formula-based.

I was average in the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) section. I focused more on VA rather than RC and it turned out to be a more scoring for me. I used to take topic-wise tests to get a strong grip on this area. This strategy bore fruit for me as the RC passages were tough and it would have been time-consuming had I attempted more questions from RC.

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) was my weak area. Taking mock tests is the only way to improve this section as there is no scope of theoretical or conceptual learning. Taking mocks will familiarise you with various sets and you will know which type of sets are easy and less time-consuming.

Q. How was your exam day experience?

A: My exam was scheduled in the second slot. I was aware of the new exam pattern and was prepared accordingly. There were 40 minutes allotted to each section. My strategy was to select the easier questions and solve those without spending much time on one question. Unfortunately, this strategy could not work in the DILR section as it was the toughest section and identifying easier sets turned out to be a time-consuming affair.

Q. What is your take on the new exam pattern?

A: The new exam pattern is good for candidates with a short attention span. For them, it is more convenient to solve questions of a section within 40 minutes instead of an hour as the lack of time makes it difficult to waste time or get diverted. The concentration level is more within the lesser duration.

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

A: This year was indeed stressful for everyone. While others could work from home and get much more time to prepare, since I was working in the essential services sector, I had to go to the bank every day. My strategy was to prepare VARC section and alternatively DILR or QA in the morning before leaving for office and in the evening, after coming back from work, I prepared for the DILR and QA sections. I took full-length mock tests and analysed those during weekends. I maintained a positive outlook and did not get panicked due to the pandemic situation.

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

A: I have a keen interest in the Share Market and as a hobby, I follow the market trends and analyse the movements. I also spent time on the group which I formed with my friend to provide guidance and consultation to people interested in investing in Shares. I also read various articles on Finance and Economics. Apart from this, I have picked up cycling to keep myself fit and healthy.

Q. What is your strategy for the GD/WAT-PI rounds?

A: To clear the GD/WAT-PI rounds, I am focusing on current affairs and the Share Market knowledge and trends. Apart from that, I am also brushing up my knowledge of Physics and other subjects pursued during graduation as over the years, I have lost touch on these areas.

Q. Which colleges are you aspiring to take admission in?

A: My dream colleges are IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta since these are the oldest IIMs and best management institutes not just in the Indian education scenario but in the global education map as well.

Q. What is your plan after completing MBA?

A: I would like to pursue my career either as an Investment Banker or as a Business Analyst. After gaining a few years of work experience, I will pursue on giving shape to my Market Analysis and Consulting group. This would depend on how much knowledge I can imbibe and experience I can gather.

Q. What are your suggestions for future CAT aspirants?

A: Take as many mock tests as possible and analyse your performance. This would improve your exposure to the various question types one can expect in CAT. The analysis is very important and takes as much time required to identify the weak areas, the nature of mistakes and how to improve and correct those respectively.

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

 

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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