CAT 2021 Topper Interview: Aditya Bansal from Greater Noida has scored 99.95 Percentile, a dream score for most MBA aspirants in the MBA entrance exam. But being in the 1% elite CAT aspirants who secured score of above 99 percentile was not easy for the Electrical Engineering student at IIT Delhi. Aditya put up a stellar performance in CAT 2021 and he did it on his own without enrolling for any coaching for it. In this exclusive interaction with JagranJosh.com, Aditya shares his preparation strategy and how he built his speed and accuracy to ‘Bell the CAT’.
Excerpts from the Interview!
Question 1: Congratulations on cracking CAT 2021! What are your overall and sectional scores in CAT 2021?
Answer 1: Thank you! I have scored an overall percentile of 99.95 with a scaled overall score at 132.33. In terms of sectional percentiles, in VARC the scaled score of 57.17 with 99.92 percentile. Similarly, in DILR the score was 30.94 with 98.44 percentile while in Quant Section, I had a score of 44.22 and 99.76 percentile.
Question 2: When did you start your CAT 2021 Preparation? What is the ideal time required to complete the CAT syllabus before the exam?
As I have always had an affinity for math and reading, I did not have to spend extra time specially preparing for CAT. I think before deciding the ideal time, one can give a diagnostic mock test to understand what all areas they need to focus on and decide accordingly.
Question 3: Tell us something about yourself, your family and your interests beyond academics?
I completed my class 12 from Ryan International School, Greater Noida. I am a final year Electrical Engineering student at IIT Delhi. My father works at LG Electronics in Greater Noida and my mother is a homemaker. Beyond academics, I like to DJ and automate things.
Question 4: Were you a part of any coaching institute? Do you think coaching is necessary to ace CAT?
I was not enrolled with any coaching institute. I believe Coaching institutes might help in preparing in a more structured environment and make you more disciplined. But it might not be necessary if one has the discipline for self-study.
Question 5: Any particular book or study material that helped you gain an edge over other candidates?
As CAT tests you primarily on speed and accuracy, I regularly tried to solve math puzzles online. I also have an alarm app that gives me math problems every morning, which I think might have helped me in doing large calculations mentally quickly.
Question 6: How can an aspirant avoid negative marking?
My approach is to start by eliminating some of the options in a MCQ question. Even if I am able to eliminate 1 option, I’ll attempt the question as the scoring (+3 for correct, -1 for wrong) means that a random guess will also have a positive expected outcome.
Question 7: What role did Mocks play in your success? How many mocks did you attempt before the exam?
I did not give any Mock exams before the exam-day. But in hindsight, giving mocks would have helped me understand the pattern better, especially in DILR, which I struggled with on the exam day.
Question 8: Please share your exam-day strategy for the CAT 2021. What was your last-minute preparation? How did you plan your CAT test taking?
I was relaxed on the CAT exam day. I made sure to have a clear mind and not get bogged down if I get stuck on some of the questions. Also, it is important to read the exam pattern carefully as it is updated often. During the exam, I tried to skim through the questions first to make sure I attempted all the easier questions.
Question 9: Do you think academic background plays an important role in CAT Prep and Why?
I think more than the academic background, previous experience with competitive exams helps significantly. If one has prepared for any competitive exam (JEE, in my case) they’ll be much better equipped to deal with the exam on the D-day. Also, an inclination towards Maths and English is helpful.
Question 10: Which institutes have you applied to admission and why did you opt for them particularly?
I have applied to IIM A/B/C/L/K based on feedback I have heard from friends and family.
Question 11: How are you preparing for GD – PI and WAT rounds of the selection process?
I’m planning to read up on Current Affairs and have mock interview prep with my friends.
Question 12: What is your message for CAT aspirants? One crucial piece of advice that you would like them to follow and wish you had known.
I believe CAT is more about speed and accuracy than wit. For quant and DILR, it is important to be comfortable with doing long calculations under pressure. For VARC, again, you can build a habit of reading books/online to be more comfortable skimming through paragraphs on the exam-day.
Question 13: What is your dream career choice after completing your MBA?
I want to build something of my own where I can use my people skills as well as logical skills.