Shreshth Khare, 99.28 percentiler in CAT 2021 exam shares his experience and preparation strategy in his latest interview with Shiksha. Read here the complete interview to know his success mantra.
CAT 2021 topper- Shreshth Khare who bagged 99.28 percentile is a graduate of IIT Kharagpur. In his exclusive interview with Shiksha, he shares tips for the aspirants based on his preparation and exam day experience. Shreshth is determined to take admission to his dream top B-schools- IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, FMS, XLRI-BM and ISB. One of his success mantras is to take mock tests and targets to analyse silly mistakes in every mock test. Shreshth in his interview shares how one can target to achieve 99 percentile in CAT exam by attempting questions with 100% accuracy. Read the complete interview below:
CAT 2021 score- 101.70 (31.43/33.28/36.98) scaled scores
Overall: 99.28 percentile
Sectional: 93.93/99.02/99.16 percentile
Q: Congratulations! Are you satisfied with your CAT result? How much score were you expecting?
A. To be brutally honest, the result is not at par with my expectations before the exam. I prepared with a 99.8 or nothing attitude. Any candidate belonging to the GEM category aiming for top-tier colleges will relate to this.
Q: Was this your first CAT attempt?
This was my second attempt. I scored a perfect 99 percentile last year. I had 5 colleges on my list. IIM A,B,C,L and FMS. Unfortunately, I could not manage to bag a call from any of them. I expect at least a couple of interview calls this time around.
Q: When did you start preparing for the CAT exam? What was your overall prep strategy?
A. I began preparing in August. I joined the All India Test series offered by TIME and IMS. The level of difficulty is a notch higher as compared to the actual CAT exam. My strategy was to take the mock in the designated window and analyze it thoroughly.
Q: Please share with us your section-wise strategy.
A. In Quants, the idea was to bring down the number of silly mistakes to an absolute 0. During the analysis, I made a note of all new concepts that I came across in a separate diary. All new types of sets in the LRDI section were researched and pondered over. I used to solve them again with pen and paper after analysis. For verbal, I read ‘The Hindu’ editorial section regularly with full speed and concentration in one go. This enhanced my comprehensibility and helped me retain and break down lengthy, complex articles.
Q: Which books did you refer to for CAT preparation?
A. I did not use any books for preparation.
Q: Did you join any coaching institute? How does a coaching institute help in CAT preparation?
A. Towards the end, I joined the Booster course offered by Elitesgrid. The teachers were quite enthusiastic and covered all major concepts. I would recommend joining the Booster course only if you have a good command over the basic concepts. In case you are facing problems with the fundamentals, a booster course might not add much value to your journey.
Q: How many mock tests did you attempt and how important is a mock test series?
A. I attempted around 45 mocks in total. In an aptitude based exam like CAT, taking mocks regularly and analyzing them becomes all the more important. With a similar command over the subject matter and keeping other factors constant, your chances of scoring high on the D-Day is directly proportional to the number of mocks taken and analyzed.
Q: What was your exam day strategy?
A. Before taking an exam, one should understand the nature of the exam. Going by the past year's trend, a 50% scaled score or even less is enough to bag a 99 percentile. The objective is not to attempt and answer all questions but to attempt all the easy ones within the stipulated time frame. Don’t let a question hurt your ego. If you aren’t able to crack it in the allotted time, just leave it and move on. There definitely are easier questions waiting to get solved. Try to optimize and maximize your attempts.
Q: Any tips for future CAT aspirants?
A. Ponder over your strengths and weaknesses. Try to capitalize on the strengths while working hard on the weaknesses. The majority of us tend to forget a simple point. It is easier to scale your score from 50 to 70 as compared to doing the same from 100 to 120. Identifying the weaknesses and working diligently to overcome them is a sure shot way to achieve success. Don’t lose hope. Life is much bigger than a CAT and mouse race. All the hard work and talent tales are fine but don’t underestimate the most powerful tool you have- CONSISTENCY. Enjoy the journey and keep growing.
Q: Which IIMs /Institutes are you targeting?
A. I am aiming to take admission to any of the following top B-schools
- IIM Ahmedabad
- IIM Bangalore
- IIM Calcutta
- IIM Lucknow
- XLRI Xavier School of Management
- Indian School of Business
Q: Tell us something about your educational background, family, hobbies, profession.
A. I hail from Jhansi- the city of Maharani Laxmi Bai. I have done my schooling at Christ The King College Jhansi. After class 10, I moved to Kanpur for a couple of years to complete the final leg of schooling. Thereafter, I mustered courage, took a year off to prepare for IITJEE and secured AIR 2518 in IIT JEE 2015. I graduated from IIT Kharagpur with a Bachelor's degree in 2019. I have worked with Flipkart for one and a half years and later moved to an online, skill-gaming early age startup while looking out for more challenging roles. I am still working with the same firm.
My father is a Technical Assistant at the Block level. My mother is a homemaker. I have a lovelier-than-life younger sister. She completed her graduation this year and is preparing for government exams. My hobbies include reading books, swimming, badminton and taking treks on extended weekends. I am an ardent follower of Indian politics.
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