CAT 2021 Topper Interview: Know How Bir Anmol Singh Scored 99.94 Percentile

CAT 2021 Topper Interview: Know How Bir Anmol Singh Scored 99.94 Percentile

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Abhishek Dhawan
Assistant Manager – Editorial Content
Updated on Jan 4, 2022 23:31 IST

Read the CAT 2021 topper interview of Bir Anmol Singh who scored 99.94 percentile. Read here about preparation and exam day strategy to ace the CAT exam.

CAT 2021 Topper Interview

Name: Bir Anmol Singh

CAT Score: 128.61

Overall CAT Percentile: 99.94

Sectional Percentiles:

  • VARC: 99.90
  • DILR: 99.72
  • Quant: 98.7

Bir Anmol Singh, CAT 2021 topper, is pursuing BE in Computer Science from BITS Pilani. Along with the Bachelor of Engineering degree, he also completed a short-term course in Finance. Bir Anmol had been working with JPMorgan Chase, an investment banking company, as a Quantitative Research intern. His hobbies include playing lawn tennis, gaming and aspires for a role in the Fintech industry. Shiksha was able to speak with the CAT 2021 topper, know what he has to say about CAT 2021 score, his preparation strategy and more in the article below.

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Q: Congratulations! Are you satisfied with your CAT result? What was the expected score?

A: Yes, I am satisfied with the CAT results but there has been heavy normalisation for slot 2. I was expecting a score of around 132.

Q:   How much percentile is a good score in CAT exam?


The CAT (Common Admission Test) is a highly competitive entrance exam for admission to various management programs offered by top business schools in India. The percentile score in CAT exam is based on the relative performance of the test taker compared to all the other test takers. The cutoff percentile for admission to top business schools varies from year to year and also depends on factors such as the number of candidates, difficulty level of the exam, and the number of available seats. In general, a percentile score of 90 or above is considered a good score and can help you secure admission to some of the top business schools in India. However, to increase your chances of admission to the top-tier business schools, a percentile score of 95 or above is preferred.

Q:   How much percentile is a good score in the CAT exam?

The Common Admission Test CAT is a national-level management entrance examination conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) for admission to various postgraduate management programs in India. The CAT score is measured in terms of percentile, which indicates the percentage of candidates who scored less than the candidate in the exam. Since CAT is a highly competitive exam, a good score percentile is dependent on various factors such as the number of candidates who appeared for the exam, the difficulty level of the exam, and the admission criteria of the participating institutes. However, in general, a percentile score of 90 or above is considered to be a good score in the CAT exam. With a percentile score of 90 or above, candidates can expect to receive calls for interviews from some of the top management institutes in the country. However, it's important to note that the admission process for management institutes is holistic and takes into account various factors such as academic performance, work experience, extracurricular activities, and the candidate's overall profile. Therefore, a good percentile score is just one of the many factors that are considered during the admission process.

Q:   How is the CAT score and percentile calculated?

As there are many confusions in percentage and percentile. So, percentage is a ratio expressed as a fraction of 100. Whereas, percentile is dependent on the highest marks. It is a measured by using the statistics indicating the value below which a given percentage of observations of candidates fall. Talking about how the CAT exam percentile is calculated, so assuming that 2,00,000 people appeared for CAT exam in a particular year. The net score of everyone is calculated, and all test-takers are sorted in descending order as per their marks in CAT. Assuming your rank is 1500. So, in this case, your percentile score will be: Total No. of Candidates-your rank Therefore 200000-1500=198500 (198500/200000)x100 = 99.25 percentile. And if there are three decimals in the answer like 99.258, so it will be rounded to 99.3. So, like this, the percentile of CAT exam and similar exams are calculated.

Q: Was this your first CAT attempt?

A: Yes. I am in the last semester of BE Computer Science degree. After passing out the bachelor’s degree, I will be eligible to pursue an MBA degree.

Q: When did you start preparing for the CAT exam? What was your overall prep strategy?

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A: I started preparing in April 2021. I solved Arun Sharma sir's CAT books for VARC, LR, DI and Quant. I attempted as many past year CAT questions papers (timed attempt) that I could attempt, on weekends. I used to analyse my shortcomings to improve further.

Also Read:

How to prepare for CAT without quitting your job

CAT Preparation in 3 Months

Best Time to Start CAT Preparation

CAT Preparation in 6 Months

Q: Please share with us your section-wise preparation strategy for CAT.

A: For Quant and DILR, my academic background helped me a lot. I just practised and solved many questions without relying on a calculator. For VARC, I read editorials from The Hindu and Mint. Vocabulary was improved after reading "Word Power Made Easy" by Norman Lewis. My VARC strategy was to read more and to improve more. Para jumbles and summary based questions need a lot of practice and critical analysis for understanding the gist of solving such problems.

Q:   Is it hard to get a seat in IIM Bangalore?


Yes, IIM Bangalore is one of the toughest business schools to get admission to, and every year, even CAT 99+ percentilers miss out on a call from the institute. IIM Bangalore uses multiple parameters, namely academic performance as well as candidates' scores in CAT/GMAT to select candidates for the PGP programme. IIMB adopts a two-phase selection process and accordingly, these selection criteria are applied in two phases. The first phase of the process is applied to all eligible candidates who appear for CAT to determine candidates to be called for a personal interview (PI). Candidates selected for the PI process will be additionally required to take a Writing Ability Test (WAT).

Q:   What is sectional cutoff in CAT exam?


Sectional cut off in CAT exam refers to the section wise percentiles required by the candidate for making it to the Personal Interview round of the IIMs or other top MBA colleges. The sectional cut offs are lower than overall cut offs of any institute. To understand better, check the table below for sectional CAT cut offs for IIM Ahmedabad:


VARC percentile

DILR percentile

QA percentile

Overall percentile





















PwD (General, NC-OBC-cum-transgender, SC)





PwD (ST)





For sectional cut offs of all IIMs, check this article – IIM shortlist and selection criteria

Q:   How many questions should I solve to score 99 percentile in CAT exam?

It is tough to give an accurate number as an answer to this questions are the number of questions have been changing in CAT in the last three years. Moreover, percentile also depends on the difficulty level of the exams and the number of test takers in a particular year. However, one can say that it is safe to solve at least 2/3rd of the total questions in each section of the CAT. So, if CAT Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section has 24 questions, candidate must attempt 16-18 questions correctly. If the CAT Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning has 20 questions, the candidate must solve about 12-14 questions correctly. If the CAT Quantitative Aptitude section has 22 questions then candidates must solve about 14-15 questions correctly. For further understanding you can check detailed analysis here:

Q:   Can I join IIM without CAT?


Candidates seeking admission to IIM Ahmedabad MBA course must appear for CAT. It is mandatory for candidates to meet the sectional and overall CAT cutoff to be eligible for the Writing Ability Test (WAT) and Personal Interview (PI) rounds for final admission to IIM Ahmedabad. For IIM Ahmedabad MBA admission, students need to meet both the overall CAT cut off percentile and the sectional cut offs. Candidates seeking admission to IIM Ahmedabad must score above the 90 percentile in CAT exam. IIM Ahmedabad does not release CAT cutoffs in the public domain and are exclusively accessible only via account login to candidates who have appeared for the exam. Therefore, the students must aim to score above 90 percentile.

Q:   Can I join FMS MBA programme without CAT?


No, FMS Delhi exclusively accepts CAT scores for MBA admissions. CAT is the sole entrance exam recognised for admission into the Master of Business Administration programme at the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi. Other entrance tests are not considered for this program.

Also Read:

VARC preparation tips and tricks

DILR preparation tips and tricks

QA preparation tips and tricks

Q: Which books did you refer to for CAT preparation?

A: Arun Sharma sir's books for CAT preparation - VARC, LR, DI, Quant. Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis.

Also Read: Best Books to Prepare for CAT

Q: Did you join any coaching institute? How does the coaching institute help in CAT preparation?

A: No, I had my internship commitments so did not get time to join a coaching institute. I achieved this score by self-study.

Also Read:

Articles for CAT Preparation

Best books for CAT recommended by experts

CAT Preparation: Best strategy to crack CAT

CAT preparation: Your love for reading can get you the desired result

CAT Preparation plan for verbal ability

Quantitative Aptitude preparation plan for CAT

CAT Preparation plan for data interpretation & logical reasoning

Q: How many mock tests did you attempt and how important is a mock test series?

A: Personally none due to time crunch, though I feel CAT mock tests play an important role as they help you build an exam temperament.

Q: What was your exam day strategy?

A: Just stay calm and don't worry about the result. Keep exam day jitters at bay and give your best shot.

Q: Any tips for future CAT aspirants?

A: Study and do focused preparation. Determination, perseverance and hard work is the key to success. All the best to everyone!

Q: Which IIMs /Institutes are you targeting?

A: IIM Ahmedabad is my dream college. Besides IIM-A, I am targeting the following colleges:

Check Cut offs of top MBA entrance exams and predict calls from IIMs and other Top MBA Colleges. Check Fees, Placement Reviews, Admission, Shortlist Criteria and eligibility of all MBA Colleges by clicking the link below:

Predict IIM & Non IIM Calls

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

Q: Tell us something about your educational background, family, hobbies, profession.

A: I am only child to my parents, both of them are Doctors by profession. I completed Class 10 and 12 (Non-medical) from CBSE board. Currently, I am in the final year of my BE Computer Science from BITS Pilani. I also completed a short course in finance from BITS Pilani alongside my major in Computer Science. During the CAT preparation phase, I was interning with JP Morgan Chase as a Quantitative Research intern (FinTech role). Previously, I have interned with Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR, Mumbai as a Software Intern for 5 months. My hobbies include playing Lawn Tennis and gaming. I also love listening to music.

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About the Author
Abhishek Dhawan
Assistant Manager – Editorial Content

With a creative soul, Abhishek is inclined towards anything in the creative space be it drawing, painting, craft, or writing. He has been working in the ed-tech industry since he started his career. Besides creative... Read Full Bio




umar faizan

2 years ago

Is NCERT necessary for CAT?

Reply to umar faizan