“Anyone who is aspiring in any exam of India must understand setbacks are part of the journey. Resurgence and Perseverance complement the hard work.”
CAT Topper 2018 Manaswi Kumar secured a 99.14 percentile in the exam. His sectional percentiles for VARC, DILR and QA being 94.92, 97.27 and 99.28 respectively. He graduated from Beant College of Engineering & Technology, Gurdaspur, Punjab in Electronics and Communication Engineering. His success is an inspiration for lakhs of CAT 2019 aspirants, let’s have a look on the insights of his journey:
Was this his first attempt at CAT?
Manaswi shares that this was his second attempt at CAT, first being in 2017, in which he scored 66 percentile. From 66 percentile in his first attempt to 99.14 percentile in his second attempt, his hard work has gotten him a long way. He came back stronger and better.
Coaching Vs Self study? What helped him more?
He is immensely thankful to his coaching institute and says they guided him in his GD/PI rounds after the exam. Manaswi comments,“It's really possible to crack it from self-study, but a good coaching institute shapes your thoughts in the right direction and provides a conducive environment for success.”
What was his preparation strategy for CAT 2018?
Manaswi shares that taking CAT 2017 without preparation and coaching didn’t end well for him. So this year, he joined a coaching institute for preparation. Check CAT Preparation Tips
Here are insights to his section wise preparation strategy:
- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension: His grip on this section was relatively weaker than the other sections. To enhance his vocabulary, he read newspapers and novels. In addition to reading, he noted down 21 new words that he came across everyday. Such strategies proved to be of great help for him.
- Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning: Mock tests were very helpful when it came to DILR. He suggests aspirants to formulate strategies by solving different questions and then testing them through mocks. His marks in DILR in CAT 2017 were in negative, so this year’s performance was a major improvement and achievement.
- Quantitative Ability: For QA, doubt clearing sessions in the coaching institute were thoroughly productive for him. He practiced a lot of questions for this section. QA being his stronger zone, he observed that CAT 2018’s QA section was way tougher than CAT 2017.
To what extent did he find Mock Tests and Previous years’ Question Papers useful?
Manaswi shares that he took 43 mock tests. Mock tests are highly productive in handling weaker zones and for enhancing time management. He never had a passive attitude towards fluctuating scores in mocks. He saw them as, “work in progress.”
He further adds that CAT is a very unpredictable exam, so one should practice through mock tests and previous year question papers but not rely on them.
Any particular strategy that he followed on the exam day?
He shares that his exam day was like his usual days. He made sure to get a good sleep. Manaswi shares an interesting strategy on how he planned the last 7 seven days before the exam. Being a die-hard football fan, he just played FIFA games, watched some sitcoms and read a book to keep his mind off the pressure. As per him, CAT checks aptitude and one’s mental strength. As a result of his plan, he was calm on the final day and performed great.
Following were his sectional strategies on the exam day:
- For VARC, since he found RCs easier than the Verbal Ability bit, he attempted all the reading comprehension questions in the first 40 minutes. He used the remaining time for attempting the verbal ability questions.
- For DILR, he took the initial 8 minutes for categorizing the questions as per their difficulty level. His strategy was that even if a set seems simpler, yet he would spend a fixed duration of 8 minutes per set, regardless of how many questions he could attempt from it. Following this plan, he attempted a considerable number of questions with a great accuracy of 85 per cent. He comments, “This section was the biggest improvement as I had negative marks in DI & LR section of CAT 2017.”
- Manaswi believes that the QA section of CAT 2018 was more difficult than 2017. His focus was on accuracy and he attempted 22 questions with 86.36 per cent accuracy.