CAT 2021 topper interview- “Mock test is single largest ingredient of one’s success”- Sagar Sengar- 99.48 percentiler

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Shruti Garg
Senior Executive
Updated on Jan 4, 2022 10:44 IST

Read the CAT 2021 topper interview of Sagar Sengar who scored 99.48 percentile. Know all about his preparation and exam day strategy to ace the CAT exam. Read the complete interview here.

CAT 2021 topper interview Sagar Serang

Sagar Sengar, a graduate of IIT Kharagpur has scored 99.48 percentile in CAT 2021. Sagar has a work experience of 28 months and aims in improving the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the country. Sagar is Bokaro, Jharkhand based and cleared CAT in his second attempt. With his CAT score, he is willing to take admission to the top 6 IIMs and FMS. His role model for life is his father who is a self-made man and CEO of Zoho. From his previous attempt at CAT, Sagar provides useful insights for future aspirants for CAT preparation. He believes that continuous practice with the help of a mock test can help one analyse their strengths and weaknesses which is beneficial to attempt any MBA entrance exam with a higher rate of accuracy. Read the complete interview of CAT 2021 topper- Sagar Sengar below.

Q: Congratulations! Are you satisfied with your CAT result? How much score were you expecting?

A. Thanks a lot! I was expecting anything north of 110 which I did achieve however due to normalization the final score went down a bit. I am happy with the score as I had worked hard for it alongside my job however, I think I could have scored 3-6 marks more in the VA section. Although CAT is an unpredictable exam hence such fluctuations can happen on the D day.

Q: Was this your first CAT attempt?

A. No. I had attempted CAT last year and scored 98.90 percentile. However, it was with a very unstructured preparation something I would definitely not recommend to future aspirants.

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

A. I started preparing around the end of June this year and went into the full-throttle mode by end of August. My overall strategy was to first complete the theory end to end and then practice different kinds of problems across all the sections. As the CAT exam is all about time management, I tried to adapt to the 40 minutes format by dividing adequate time to each question/set. Once I figured out my weak areas, I diverted my attention more to it. Also, consistency matters a lot so I tried to study every day even if it was for just 1 hour.

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

A. Quant: I tried to attempt all the questions in this section so did not follow the cycle approach and rather proceeded as questions came. Analysis of past year papers helped me understand what kind of questions are asked repeatedly. During mocks, I tried to use options and shortcuts to solve the questions.

LRDI: As the number of sets have reduced due to the two-hour format, I tried to give a shot to each set in the allotted 40 mins. My aim was to solve as many questions as possible and not to complete one set end to end. For this, I used the options given a lot. In fact, I solved an entire set in the actual CAT exams using options only when I was unable to crack the logic behind it. I also ensured that if I am unable to solve the set in 3-4 minutes, I leave it and proceed to the other sets.

VARC: I didn’t perform up to my potential on the D day in this section. However, I would strongly recommend aspirants to develop a reading habit starting from now as that’s they key to one’s success in this section.

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

A. I didn’t follow any particular book for any section. The theory for any section is basic and present for free on the internet so I referred them.

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

A. I did join Elites Grid which helped me immensely during my preparation. The structured approach followed by experts there helped me plan my studies. I would strongly recommend students to have a mentor to guide them through their CAT journey as it helps them avoid common pitfalls.

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

A. Mock tests and sectional tests are extremely important to develop, analyze, and modify your test-taking strategies. It is the single largest ingredient of one’s success in any B school entrance examinations. I attempted 20 full length and around 50 sectional tests of different institutes to refine my strategy.

Q: What was your exam day strategy?

A. The first and foremost rule was to stay calm because CAT does throw surprises at you. Anyone who stays calm has won half the battle. The second objective was to follow the strategies I have learnt via mocks and to not let performance in one section affect the others.

Q: Any tips for future CAT aspirants?

A. I would advise aspirants to get acquainted with the basics of each section first and then start taking mocks as soon as possible. Also, it is important to maintain consistency so ensure that you at least put aside one hour every day for your CAT preparation which can be increased over time.

Q: Which IIMs /Institutes are you targeting?

A. I am targeting only the top 6 IIMs and FMS. If at all I am not able to crack them this year, I’ll go for a reattempt or ISB via GMAT.

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

A. I was born and brought up in Bokaro (in Jharkhand) after which I did my B.Tech from IIT Kharagpur. I have been a part of several extracurricular activities during my graduation including the Official Formula SAE team of IIT Kharagpur. After graduation, I joined Invest India which is the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency for the Government of India that helps investors looking for investment opportunities and options in India. I work in the Startup India division that focuses on improving the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the country.

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About the Author
Shruti Garg
Senior Executive

Shruti is a graduate in Education and Literature. She is a passionate writer. As her name suggests she is a good listener, a binge-watcher and a great foodie. She loves playing badminton and doing meditation in her ... Read Full Bio


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