CAT 2022 Topper Interview: Know 3 steps preparation strategy from Tushar Sarkar, 99.80 percentiler

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Shruti Garg
Senior Executive
Updated on Dec 27, 2022 12:11 IST

Tushar Sarkar who bagged, 99.80 percentile in CAT 2022 shares his preparation strategy and important tips for aspirants. Check complete details here.

CAT 2022 Topper Interview

CAT 2022 Topper Interview


CAT 2022 Topper Interview: As it is rightly quoted “best view comes after the hardest climb”, similar it came for Tushar Sarkar, 21-year-old Computer Engineer, who bagged 99.80 percentile in CAT 2022 exam. Tushar Sarkar’s attitude of saying, “Whatever it takes I’ll crack this” has worked his way up to get admission to top IIMs and other non-IIM institutions. During his preparation days Tushar emphasized analyzing his preparation level with the help of CAT mock tests. His overall exam preparation strategy focused on three stages: Diagnosis, improvising and actions. 
CAT 2022 topper interview, Tushar Sarkar runs his own startup along with his friends and has interests in the fields of Marketing, Strategy, Data-Science. In his interview with Shiksha, Tuishar shares his preparation and exam day strategy. Know more about CAT 2022 topper here.

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Name and College: Tushar Sarkar, K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering

CAT 2022 score:

Overall: 99.80 percentile

Sectional score
DILR: 99.55 percentile
VA: 99.25 percentile
QA: 98.39 percentile

Shiksha: Congratulations! Are you satisfied with your CAT result? How much score were you expecting?
Tushar: Thank you! I am pretty satisfied with my CAT scores. I was expecting around the 99.5 percentile after checking the answer key but the difficulty level of the paper elevated my percentile.

Shiksha: Please tell about yourself
Tushar: I am Tushar Sarkar, a 21-year-old Computer Engineer and I love to solve business problems using data. I am running a start-up with my friends and I have published a few research papers in top journals like Elsevier.

Shiksha: Was this your first CAT attempt?
Tushar: Yes, this was my first CAT attempt.

Shiksha: When did you start preparing for CAT exam? What was your overall preparation strategy?
Tushar: My serious preparation started in the month of June 2022. Before that, I just brushed over some previous concepts to gain a basic understanding of the different topics. My overall strategy had three parts:
1. Diagnosing my problems: Mock tests help a lot in this aspect. I got my strong points in all the subjects and areas of improvement through them.
2. Guiding policy for improving: I made a book of mistakes for every subject and checked my mistakes. They helped me form a guide of how my actions should be aligned and it also helped me to evaluate my progress as I could check if I am making the same mistakes again.
3. Actions: I studied my areas of improvement. Suppose, I got an inferential question wrong as I did not collate all the perspectives of the author given in the passage, I would write this in my mistake book; open up an Aeon article, and try to find different perspectives given by the author in different parts of the passage. By doing this, I was honing my instinct in the areas of development that I had.

Shiksha: Please share with us your section-wise strategy.
Tushar: I approached the sections in the following way:
1. VARC: From the mock tests, I inferred that RCs were my strong suit. So, I capitalized on that. I read articles from Aeon every day; alongside this, I also started buying some books, and reading those books propelled my reading habit. In the verbal section, I was confident in the para summary and OOC questions, so I first attempted these questions and then moved on to para jumbles. I always tried to attempt all the questions in VARC with decent accuracy.
2. DILR: This was my weakest section but surprisingly I scored the highest percentile here. I solved 3-4 sets every day from June consistently to get to a point where I could at least attempt 2-2.5 sets in the paper. I even scored 1-2 marks in some of the mocks so I’ll urge everyone to not give up and develop an instinct to solve the sets. This is possible only by practicing the right sets from the right sources. My strategy for the paper was to scan the paper in 5 minutes, pick out the two easiest sets, solve them and then try to go for the third if time permits.
3. QA: My major practice for QA was writing mocks. I only practiced questions from different sources where I would get stuck or in topics where I was not uncomfortable. My strategy was to glance, select and solve 6 questions every 10 minutes and repeat this 4 times in the allotted 40 minutes.

Shiksha: Which books did you refer to for CAT preparation?
Tushar: I referred to books like Arun Sharma and these books were instrumental in strengthening my concepts and improving my weaknesses. I also referred to the books from my classes.

Shiksha: Did you join any coaching institute? How does coaching institute help in CAT preparation? 
Tushar: I joined CATKing. I also bought mocks from IMS. Classes are helpful in building your basic concepts, after that only your practice and mocks can help you to improve. Also, the strategy sessions and the classes just a few days before D-day are helpful to get in the right frame of mind.

Shiksha: How many mock tests did you attempt and how important is a mock test series?
Tushar: I attempted more than 50 mock tests and my preparation strategy revolved around the mocks. In June, July, and August, I attempted 2 mocks every week and worked on my concepts alongside from the insights of the mocks. I wrote 3 mocks every week in September and started writing 5 mocks a week from the last week of October. Mocks can make or break your preparation. Analyze the mocks. Analyzing the mock is different from resolving the mock. I took a break of 1-2 hours after writing a mock and resolved it without caring for any time limit. After that, I noted my mistakes and the things that I missed during the paper in my analysis. That helped in setting goals for the topics and concepts that have to be covered in the following week.

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CAT Mock Test

Shiksha: What was your exam day strategy?
Tushar: My D-day strategy was to attempt almost all the questions on VARC. I allotted 28 minutes to the 4 RCs and the rest 12 minutes for the Verbal section. In DILR, I selected and solved the easiest sets. And in QAI tried solving 4 questions every 10 minutes. The paper this year was tough and while solving it negative thoughts popped into my mind. In such cases, it is important to calm down and remember that this is not the end. You still have many questions and many more exams to ace. Just do your best here and everything will fall into place.

Shiksha: Who is your role model?
Tushar: My role model is Elon Musk. I aspire to innovate and bring changes in the world that can impact people and help them in some way or the other.

Shiksha: Any tips for future CAT aspirants?
Tushar: Never give up!!!! I cannot emphasize enough on this. I scored 47%ile in a mock, and my scores also fluctuated. That is normal. Just have the attitude of saying, “Whatever it takes I’ll crack this”, instead of doing your best during prep. Also, I highly suggest you read a book titled, “The Power of your subconscious mind”. It'll surely help you. best of luck.

Shiksha: Which IIMs /Institutes are you targeting?
Tushar: I am targeting institutes like IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, FMS, SPJIMR, and Masters Union(They are truly unique)

Shiksha: Tell us something about your educational background, family, hobbies, profession.
Tushar: I am a Computer Science Engineer and I am interested in the fields of Marketing, Strategy, Data-Science and I love to think about eccentric and innovative ideas. I live with my parents and my sister. In my free time, I love to read books(picked up this habit while preparing for CAT) and work out. I also watch anime and TV shows occasionally. I aspire to create an impact in the world through innovation.

Read More Topper Interview:

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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