NAME: Tushar Singhal
CAT 2018 overall percentile: 99.70
VARC percentile: 99.83
DILR percentile: 97.22
QA percentile: 98.86
Current Profile: Working as Electronics R&D Engineer at Maruti Suzuki Gurgaon Background
This was a long and arduous journey. My first attempt was in 2016. Scored 94.09 in CAT 2016, scored just 76 percentile in VA. My second attempt CAT 2017, scored 96.63 there. I was able to get calls for around 8 interviews from top institutes, converted IIM Sirmaur, Kashipur, Bodhgaya and Raipur but I always believed I could do better, so I went for another attempt. This was my 3rd attempt. Got the required percentile. I have some good calls and I sincerely hope to sail to my dream college this year.
Preparation for CAT 2018
After being disappointed after CAT 16 results, I restarted my prep from basics in May 2017. I focused completely on basics. For QA I started with Arun Sharma and online tutorial videos. For LRDI, time modules, and for VA, I started with grammar and newspaper reading. They take a lot of time. Approx. 2-2.5 months. Also I did the mistake of going after a lot of preparation material. Do not, I repeat, do not repeat this mistake. I know it’s tempting and we believe we can do all the material but it is one biggest mistake we can make in CAT preparation. CAT prep is more about revision. Focus on quality and less on quantity.
For CAT 2018, I started in May 2018 and focused mainly on my weak topics and limited material. I joined IQuanta Course for Quant practice, previous year mocks and CAT questions for LRDI. I picked and practiced individual topics until I was comfortable solving questions related to them. Along with the preparation, I tried to give 1 mock every week, and thoroughly analyzed it to find my weak points. I
registered for both TIME and IMS mocks. Religiously follow 1 mock/week even if you are scoring low. Mock practice is essential for CAT.
QA – I was enrolled for Quant at IQuanta online classes. Trust me, it’s more than sufficient with the amount of practice and doubt clarification done there. Just follow the classes and doubts group regularly. I believe I could have easily aced 99.50+ in quant if not for some silly mistakes.
LRDI – My Achilles heel. Start with previous year CAT papers. Take a question, solve it, then try to find ways to simplify the solution if possible. The biggest challenge in this section is to choose the correct set to solve. This can come only from time bound practice of questions. Once done with previous year papers try previous year’s mocks of various coaching institutes.
VA – Read a newspaper. Any newspaper. I read ‘The Hindu’. You can try Indian Express or Economic Times. Try to read an hour every day. There are numerous benefits of reading a newspaper:
- Your speed of reading increases. Something which is essential for solving RCs in CAT.
2.You get acquainted to different fields of studies.
3. Your GK improves automatically. Some management exams test GK too.
Try solving 3 RCs daily. Analyse closely your wrong attempts. What went wrong and where, try to find RCs you are comfortable with and attack them first. I was struggling with vocabulary so I learned 1000 GRE using Magoosh app.
My Mock taking strategy
QA – I follow the 3 attempts approach. First, I try to solve all the question solvable within 90 seconds. Then in second round, I attempt the questions that take 150- 180 seconds and finally if time permits, I go for questions for which I couldn’t realize the method to solve.
LRDI – 30 minutes each to LR and DI. I read all the sets and write the order in which I will attempt them; starting with the easiest.
VARC – I start with RCs. I go for maximum RCs in 45-48 minutes. Devote the rest of the time to VA part. First I try to solve OSO, then para summary and finally para jumble.
Importance of Mocks
I am saying this again, mocks are the most important part of your prep. Mocks are required to form a winning strategy and each candidate has to decide it according to his/her strengths and weaknesses. So, I would suggest to attempt at least 25 mocks and analyze them thoroughly to maximize your performance on the D-DAY.
I had a good sleep the night before the exam and tried to be as relaxed as possible throughout the exam.
It’s very difficult to visualize 2,40,000 people preparing for the same examination. The competition is huge. So don’t lose the vision and reason you started with. The journey will be tough but eventually the satisfaction of a good result will be worth it.