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CAT 2017 Preparation Tips by Sahil Gupta

Last Updated - March 27, 2018

Sahil Gupta appeared for CAT in the year 2012 to seek admissions in management program. He scored 91.89 percentile in the examination. He took part in one GDPI and was offered admission in SRCC through CAT.

CAT 2017 Preparation Tips by Sahil Gupta

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

Ans. Other than CAT, I appeared for IIFT, SRCC GBO Entrance Exam. 

Ques. What was your mode of preparation for CAT?      

Ans. My mode for CAT preparation was classroom coaching. It helped me a lot in getting better CAT Result

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

Ans. If you want to succeed in CAT then the best thing is the self-study. Solve as much as questions you can. Coaching institutes will just help you in starting a topic. Rest it will be up to you. You have to follow CAT preparation tips from other sources as well. So, I will term coaching institute as an initiator and the aspirant as a finisher.

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

Ans. I enrolled in a weekend program as my college was off on weekends. I used to solve questions on weekdays whenever I got time (whether during the class break or at my home in the night).

Ques. Name the institute where you took admission.        

Ans. I took admissions in SRCC after appearing in CAT.

Ques. What is your five point rule to excel CAT 2017? Which mock papers did you take?    

Ans. Quantitative Aptitude 

  1. Use shortcut formulas as it saves times.
  2. Solve as many questions as possible as it will bring efficiency.
  3. Solve previous year questions as it will give you an idea about the QA pattern.


  1. Try to solve 7-8 riddles every week as it helps the brain in dealing with new riddles.
  2. Increase your calculation speed as a lot of calculations are required especially in DI section.


  1. Improve your vocabulary by reading the newspaper, novels.
  2. Try to communicate in English with your friends, family.
  3. Solve unseen passage on regular basis.

I took Career Launcher's test series. Mock papers help you to adapt to the CAT test pattern. It will help you in identifying your weak and strong areas. Also, it will help you to identify which topic you should start and which topics to be done at the end. In the last few days leading up to CAT exam, a candidate must attempt at least one mock test every day. Solving CAT practice papers has a lot of advantages such as overcoming fear, effective revision, marking scheme, time management, self-assessment, speed and accuracy and boosts confidence.

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

Ans. I would like to rate the role of coaching institute at 6 out of 10 for the help it provided me in cracking CAT.

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

Ans. I took coaching from Career Launcher (Classroom).

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. My strong area was Quant and my weak area was English. To improve English I read Norman Lewis (helps in increasing vocabulary) and read editorial pages of Hindustan Times and Times of India. Also on every weekend, I tried to solve 5-6 unseen passages.

Ques. What are the websites you followed regularly to practice free sample papers or to get updates?

Ans. I took help from the following websites:


Ques. Discuss your strategy for the Quantitative Aptitude section.         

Ans. For Quantitative APtitude section, I would suggest the aspirants the following points:

  1. Take mock papers. 
  2. Use shortcut formulas used in allegations, time and speed, trigonometry as it will help you to save time.
  3. Solve as many questions as possible as it will bring in efficiency.

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

Ans. I followed the Career Launcher study books and TIME study books.

Ques. Discuss your strategy for the  Data Interpretation section.


  1. Increase your calculation speed
  2. Try to solve different types of questions (bar graph, pie chart, and table)

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

Ans. As I was enrolled in Classroom program of Career Launcher, I referred to their study books. Also, I used to exchange books with my friends who were enrolled in TIME.

Ques. Discuss your strategy for the Logical Reasoning section. 


  1. Try to solve as much as riddles possible.
  2. Take help from previous year LR questions
  3. Try to solve circular table questions as much as you can as it is asked almost every year.

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

Ans. Since I was studying at Career Launcher’s Classroom Programme so I followed Career Launcher study books and TIME study books from my friends enrolled in TIME.

Ques. Discuss your strategy for the Verbal Ability section.        


  1. Solve unseen passage on regular basis.
  2. Try to communicate in English with your friends, family.
  3. Read newspaper's editorial section.

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

Ans. I followed the following books for English:

  • Norman Lewis
  • Career Launcher study books
  • TIME study books

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


  1. Improve your vocabulary by reading the newspaper, novels.
  2. Watch English movies.
  3. Read Norman Lewis book

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


  1. Go through 1 topic every day.
  2. Give mock papers on every Sunday
  3. Analyze your strong and weak areas and work accordingly

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


Coaching ClassesNCERT Text BooksOnline Study MaterialCoaching Printed Study MaterialMock & Sample Test PapersStudy GroupsSubject Wise ClassesSelf-Study
ModerateVery LowModerateModerateHighModerateModerateVery High

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

Ans. For CAT 2017, the aspirants must go through every topic and work on their strengths.

Ques. How was the interview? Share some of the questions with us.       

Ans. Overall I will say that my interview was good. Mainly questions from current affairs were asked. For example:

  1. Who is the current Vice President of India?
  2. Do you support Anna Hazare? If yes/no then why?
  3. Comment on the statement: Is India becoming intolerant?

Questions were also asked from the field of engineering (as I have done B.Tech). For example:

  1. Is it possible to have superconductors at room temperature?
  2. Which is your favorite topic? (I was then asked to explain that topic in layman terms to them).

Also, they asked what I have done in my engineering, what all activities I had organized in my college. In the last, they asked me few questions about my internship. I would suggest that the CAT aspirants must read the newspaper as much as possible; as most of the questions in the interview are based on current affairs. Secondly one should go through their engineering period as there is a high probability that questions will be asked about it.



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