CAT 2020 Topper Interview: How Ravi Prinshu Secured 99.78 percentile Without Coaching
Ravi Prinshuavi Prinshu, an Electronics and Communication Engineer from BIT Mesra has secured 99.78 percentile. Read the full interview on how he cracked CAT without coaching and with a full-time job.
CAT 2020 Overall Percentile - 99.78
Ravi Prinshu, an Electrical and Communications Engineer from Birla Institute of Technology (BIT) Mesra has cracked CAT 2020 by securing 99.78 percentile. Ravi has balanced his preparation seamlessly while working full time with Cognizant and cracked CAT without taking any coaching. He credits his success to his disciplined and focussed approach and regular mock tests. Ravi is an avid reader and a sports lover who regularly watches football and cricket. He is also a fan of watching Japanese anime which acts as a stress buster for him.
In this interview with Shiksha, Ravi shares his preparation strategy for CAT and hos he prepared for the exam balancing his job and maintained composure during the stressful pandemic situation. Read the full interview below.
Q. Tell us something about yourself.
A: I hail from Bhagalpur and have done my schooling from DAV Public School, Khagaria and Jawahar Vidya Mandir, Ranchi. I am an Electronics and Communication Engineer from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra. After completing my Engineering, I was placed in Cognizant and worked there till November 2020 and left to focus on CAT. Recently I have joined a startup company named Simpragma Solutions.
Q. Was this your first CAT attempt? Were you expecting this score?
A: No, this was my third attempt. But this was my first serious attempt and the previous ones were to get the experience of appearing for this national level competitive MBA entrance exam.
After taking the test and checking the answer keys, I was sure that I would secure over 99 percentile. I have lost a few marks in the QA section, otherwise, my percentile would have been higher.
Q. Tell us about your preparation strategy.
A: I started my preparation from May-June. Since I had prepared and taken CAT earlier as well, the basic structure and syllabus were familiar to me. I started preparing by taking one diagnostic mock test to identify my current preparation state and chalked out a detailed preparation plan thereafter which mainly focused on managing my strengths and weaknesses. I did not join any coaching but took regular mock tests. I joined the mock test series from a noted coaching institute and took those regularly and got them analysed and modified the sectional preparation strategy accordingly.
Q. What was your weak area(s) and what did you do to improve the same?
A: My strongest area was VARC followed by DILR. QA was my weakest area. The best way to tackle the weak areas was by regular practice and mock tests. I also took the help of social media and my friends who have already cracked CAT to know about the must-know formulae and short cut techniques.
For VARC, I read a lot. Being an avid reader gave me this advantage of reading a lot of novels, hence improving my language skills and vocabulary. Apart from that, taking sectional mocks sufficed for preparing this section.
As far as DI & LR is concerned, I practised by taking mock tests and topic-based questions. For this section, practice is key.
Q: What was your exam day strategy?
A: I appeared for the test in the first slot. Since the number of questions in each section was not revealed earlier, it was a challenge. At the beginning of each section, I went through all the questions and selected the ones I would be attempting based on my convenience.
Q. What is your take on the new exam pattern of CAT?
A: The duration of CAT reduced by an hour which I was comfortable with. According to me, maintaining concentration for three hours is tough. On the other hand, the ambiguity regarding the number of questions and the high difficulty level of QA and DILR sections posed a challenge for me.
Q. Is it important to join a coaching institute for CAT preparation?
A: I had not taken full-time coaching hence it is not impossible to crack CAT without coaching. If you have clarity of the basic concepts, then it is not difficult to crack the test. The advantage of taking coaching is that it keeps you on track and gives you a bigger and competitive perspective. If you are self-disciplined and are able to make a plan and stand by it, then it is possible to crack CAT even without coaching.
Q. Which are your dream B-schools?
Q. Any specific strategy for WAT-PI?
A: I am preparing the current affairs as the WAT-PI rounds are mainly based on General Knowledge and current affairs skills of candidates. Apart from that, I am also working towards building my CV and knowing about my achievements and goals to present it properly in front of the panel. I am taking help from my friends who have already cracked the WAT-PI rounds and are pursuing MBA from top B-schools.
Q. How did you deal with the stress of CAT preparation and exam?
A: Owing to the pandemic, the situation was already stressful. I was working from home for almost the day. I maintained composure and focused on my CAT preparation and didn’t let any negative thought cross my mind. I used to prepare for CAT during weekends and quit from my job 10 days before CAT to put my 100 per cent focus on preparation. To unwind, I read novels and followed Japanese anime and football and cricket.
Q. What is your plan after completing MBA?
A: I would like to take up a job in a company in a managerial role where I can work on people management. After gaining a considerable work experience, I plan to start my venture either in agriculture or education domain.
Q. What are your suggestions for future CAT aspirants?
A: My first and foremost suggestion for them would be to find out a reason to crack CAT and pursue an MBA. Be self-disciplined and take mock tests regularly and decide your preparation strategy accordingly by identifying your strengths and weaknesses.
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.