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CAT 2017: 5 Smart Preparation Tips by Topper Siddhartha Basu

Last Updated - September 04, 2017

Siddhartha Basu appeared for CAT in 2013 and scored 84.28 percentile. He participated in 3 GD rounds. We interviewed him and he shares his practical insight of the journey of getting admission for his management studies. He mostly preferred the books provided by his coaching institute over the other reference books. He shares his preparation tips and that may help you in preparing well for CAT 2017. Here is the questionnaire-

CAT 2017 Preparation Tips

Ques. Name the institutes that offered you admission.

Ans. I was offered admission in IISWBM, Welingkar Mumbai, Xavier Institute of Management Education (XIME), and XIMB-HR. 

Ques. Apart from CAT, which exams did you appear for?

Ans. I appeared for SNAP, NMAT, XAT and IIFT as well. 

Ques. What was your mode of preparation for CAT exam?       

Ans. Classroom coaching. I got the best ofCAT preparation tips from there only. 

Ques. Review the coaching institutes and what was their role in your story?

Ans. The classes, the faculty were excellent but what really made the difference was the seminars and mock CATS. The mock CAT interface was just like the actual CAT exam, so you really feel at ease at the actual CAT center. The seminars (especially of Akash Gautam) were real motivators and eye openers.

Ques. How did you manage CAT preparation schedule along graduation studies/working hours?

Ans. CAT preparation is not about putting in long hours, questions are never beyond the level of class 12, it’s about working smart and being accustomed to the systems. One needs to get used to the pattern and types of questions and what is expected of you and this is where a coaching institute plays an awesome role. I used to attend every class and just put in an hour at max a day to recap what was done. That's it to get a good CAT result.         

Ques. Name the institute where you took the admission.

Ans. Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Kolkata.

Ques. What is your five point rule to excel CAT 2017?     

Ans.1. Practice every day even if one sum

2. Solve previous years’ papers as much as you can

3. Get the CAT exam pattern at your finger tips 

4. Manage time, give mocks with time limit

5. Don't waste time on an unknown question, and don't try to answer all. Attempting 10 and getting 10 correct is better than attempting 30 and getting 15 correct.    

Ques. Which mock papers did you take?

Ans.  I only followed the test series by career launcher.

Ques. Rate the role of your coaching institute (classroom or online both) in cracking CAT?

Ans. 9

Ques. Name the institute you took coaching from (online or classroom).

Ans. I joined Career Launcher. 

Ques. What were your strong and weak areas? How did you prepare and what special efforts did you put for improving your weak areas?

Ans. Quantitative Analysis- I always loved mathematics and numbers, this section is knowledge and practice based. So do die-hard practice for it.

Data interpretation- This was my strongest section, I would just say to practice hard for this section.

Logic Reasoning- This was the toughest section, and I had to get accustomed to the types of questions asked

Verbal Ability- This was my weakest link but with the proper help and guidance, I scored 91 percentile in this.

Ques. Discuss your strategy for the Quantitative Aptitude section.    

Ans. Quantitative analysis- I always loved mathematics and numbers, I thought this to be mine as a strong suit, but this is where I did not perform well, this section is knowledge and practice based, use question paper as a ruler for geometry questions to help you eliminate options. Try to memorize squares and roots of first 15 natural number. 

Ques. List the name of books you followed for Data Interpretation.            

Ans. Our coaching class provided the books, so I referred them only. 

Ques. Discuss your strategy for the Data Interpretation section.

Ans. Data interpretation- this was my strong suit and I did well in it too. This is all about making meaning of numbers. So practice is a key. Better to leave multiple data set questions as it is really time-consuming part.

Ques. List the name of books you followed for Quantitative Aptitude section.    

Ans. Any book belonging to class 10 and 12 mathematics syllabus is sufficient. More than this, I followed OP Sinhal- it has all the formulae listed. And I also used the books by career launcher. 

Ques. Discuss your strategy for the Logical Reasoning section.        

Ans. Logic reasoning- this was the toughest section, and I had to get accustomed to the types of questions asked. I would say, try and draw pictures of the questions, use options as clues to get the answer.

Ques. List the name of books you followed for Logical Reasoning.

Ans. I followed the books that were provided by the Career launcher, and they were enough.

Ques. Discuss your strategy for the Verbal Ability section.

Ans. Verbal Ability- parts of it (like reading comprehension) I had to take professional guidance. If reading comprehension is beyond the understanding, do not reread and waste time on it, move ahead. Passage completion is a must do cause and it is the easiest one, it can fetch you more marks.

Ques. List the name of books you followed for Vocabulary and Grammar.

Ans. I just followed a simple Thesaurus and a Dictionary.          

Ques. Discuss your strategy for the Vocabulary and Grammar section.

Ans. I maintained a copy where I used to write and learn a new word every day. Associate the word with a song or your favorite player or pastime, it helps you to remember.       

Ques. What should be the strategy for someone who is starting just two months before the exam?

Ans. Solve only previous years’ papers and get accustomed to the interface and try to keep it simple. Prepare only certain topics in which you are comfortable and attempt them first.   

Ques. How would you rate the following preparation strategy in terms of their efficiency in your story?

Coaching ClassesNCERT Text BooksOnline Study MaterialCoaching Printed Study Material]Mock & Sample Test PapersStudy GroupsSubject Wise ClassesSelf-Study
HighVery LowHighHighHighVery LowModerateHigh

Ques. What will be your suggestion for students in the last phase of their preparation for CAT 2017?

Ans. 1. Sleep well before the exam day.

2. Practice maximum CAT practice papers at the time you are planning to take your CAT slot- your biological clock gets set up.

3. Attempt only those questions in which you are so sure.

4. Relax and keep calm at the hall, and give your best.

Ques.  How was the interview? Share some of the questions which you were asked. 

Ans. Interviews always reveal who we really are. Overall, it was a good experience. As, in almost every interview, the questions usually start with the introduction and so thus, then they asked about the family background, specific areas of interest, hobbies, graduation based questions and so more. 



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