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Results of CAT 2019 were declared on 4th January 2020. A total of 10 students across the country scored 100 percentile. In the 100 percentiler club, joined Rishi Mittal, who is a civil engineer. Rishi is studying in NIT, Surat and belongs to Mumbai. Getting a 100 percentile for him was “just delightful” and it was a dream come true. We talked to him to get the secret recipe and what exactly it takes to get a 100 percentile in CAT
The article below talks about his strategy, preparation and the methods which he used to get a dream score.
|CAT 2019 Percentile||100|
CAT 2019 Topper Profile
Question: Heartiest Congratulations, Rishi! What was the score that you were expecting and are you satisfied with your score?
Answer: It was my first attempt, After I came out of the exam hall, I was pretty scared. The rough score in my mind was around 200-220. After the official response sheet was declared, my score was 240 and my final scaled score turned out to be 241.45. This was definitely a pleasant surprise.
Overall Preparation Strategy
Question: When and how did you start your preparations for CAT? What was the overall strategy for preparation?
Answer: The preparation started in July 2018 when my third year of engineering began. I joined IMS coaching for CAT preparation and iQuanta, which is an online study group. I was preparing with the study material of TIME, IMS and iQuanta. For the next 5-6 months, I was referring to these materials to get my basics clear and understanding the concepts thoroughly.
Starting in March, I attempted Mock tests and analysed them. I was constantly in the top 10 all over India and was performing well. Having a clear picture of my strengths and weaknesses was one of my strategies. I worked on my weak areas. DILR and Quantitative Ability were my strengths and Verbal Ability was my weaker section. I started working on my Verbal section to get a good score and kept doing well in the other two sections.
I stopped studying form study material around May-June 2019. I was constantly solving mock tests and analysing them. So for the last six months, the strategy was to focus on mocks and no new study material.
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Section Wise Tips from Topper
Question: Can you please also share your section-wise strategy.
Tips for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
During the initial phase, my score in this section was inconsistent. I was scoring anything between 18-62 out of 102. After talking to my mentors and seniors, I started devising a strategy for each type of question and the ways to approach this section. Discussing the paper with a friend was one of the strategies which helped me in this section.
Discussing each question at length with your friends who are also preparing for CAT helps and it worked for me. After this, I started doing well in mocks. In this section, knowing why the answer is correct and why it is wrong is important. Getting into depth of each question is vital and just solving more questions without logic doesn’t help. Also, just reading a lot for this section doesn’t necessarily help you score better. I have never read a single novel and still managed to do well.
Tips for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
For this section, practice is the only key. The section is more about devoting time and gaining experience by solving. I have solved both IMS and TIME material for this section. I have also attempted a lot of mock tests of various classes like IMS, TIME, iQuanta and Career Launcher.
The more number of mocks you solve, the more comfortable you get solving this section. There are 8 DILR sets in the CAT which are to be solved within a time limit. Because of my regular practice, I complete all 8 sets with time in hand.
Tips for Quantitative Ability (QA)
This section has always been my strength. To be honest, I have got a little knack for Quant section though I also practised a lot. This section, like DILR, requires experience and practice. The more questions you solve, the more you learn about the new concepts and ways to solve a particular problem. Solving different questions on online forums helped me in this section. Also practising Mental Maths helped me.
In short, the Quant section is all about practice. It is advisable to solve a lot of questions from study material, sample papers and mock tests. A lot of people say there are tricks and shortcuts that you can memorise to solve this section. Personally, I cannot remember even a single formula. But in CAT, I scored 93 marks out of 102. I feel the right clarity on the concepts and practice will make this section easy to clear.
Tips for Study Material/ Coaching
Question: Which books/study material did you refer for preparation?
Answer: I did not refer to any additional books apart from TIME, IMS and iQuanta. A lot of aspirants refer to books from different publications. No offence to them. However, I did not take any help from these. For me, the study material was sufficient for my preparation.
Question: Which coaching institute did you join and how did it help you?
Answer: I enrolled with IMS for my CAT preparation. I also took help from TIME study material and took up TIME test series. Also, I was a part of the online study group, iQuanta. The study material was sufficient and helped me. Apart from clarity and experience of solving questions, the good study material is the secret of a 100 percentiler.
Question: What is the total number of mock tests you gave?
Answer: I attempted around 40-45 mock tests in total. However, I believe 50 is the golden number but I could not touch that. I was lazy at times.
Exam Day Strategy by Toppers
Question: Did you make any exam day strategy for CAT?
Answer: Like all the aspirants, I was really scared. I also had my college exams during the preparation time which put me under a lot of pressure. The D-Day strategy was just to be calm and have a nice breakfast. My parents also very supportive and helped me with words of wisdom. My strategy was to remain calm and refrain from doing any silly errors. Also, the hour before the exam makes a huge impact on your performance. It is important to be calm in that hour. Meditating for a few minutes on the exam morning helped me during the exam.
Question: Any tips for CAT aspirants?
Answer: All I would say to the aspirants is, to be honest to yourself while CAT preparation. I don’t have any fancy tips. Prioritizing CAT results over everything will help secure a good percentile. I am targeting the top IIMs like IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore etc.