With CAT at doorsteps away it’s an utmost necessity to gear up with time and not to pause. For that what else can be more motivating than to hear from the past CAT aspirants who have aced this top-notch entrance test and are now leading their life of dreams.
So, today I have with me Kanav Goel, a dexterous personality who not only rightly balanced between his work-life and preparations, rather cracked the CAT’17 with a whopping of 97.2 percentile.
Me: Hello Kanav, welcome to InsideIIM. Today, many of the aspirants are eager to garner some useful tips and motivation from your journey to IIM.
Kanav : Hi, thank you so much. It kinda feels good to share some of my strategies and experiences to all the aspirants out there, which I hope can be useful in one some way or other.
Me : Definitely. So, how would describe your journey during last year of your preparations? When did you start your preparations?
Kanav: Preparation was a roller coaster ride. Roller coaster to the fact that I had to manage my preparations along with work-life. I had begun my prep somewhere around June so that I had a decent amount of time to go along with the indefatigable journey.
Me: Given the fact you mentioned that you were working, how did you manage to walk over this tightrope? How did that impact your prep?
Kanav: See, I was pretty clear. Last year I scored roughly around 88 percentile. So, I knew where on to improve. To ace the test, the most important tool is consistency. Apart from my work, I used to spare some 3-4 hrs daily no matter what. Also whenever possible, I used to go through articles/vocab/gk in the office premises too. And during the weekends I used to put in a hefty 8-10hrs.
Me: That’s nice. And what was your overall planning, strategy? How did you proceed with each section and the time allotted for each section?
Kanav: I dealt with the basics during the first 2-2.5 months. Then, I proceeded with the sectional and mocks. I had to put on a lot of efforts on VARC since I had difficulty cracking it. But, once it gets going, it was fun.
Me: And how important are mocks? When did you start your mocks? Did you wait till you were done with basics or right from the start?
Kanav: Mocks are the Holy grail of anyone’s preparation. Either you appear mocks or you make your chances shoddy. There’s no chance you can do well in the D-day without diligently appearing mocks. Plus what’s even more important is to have a judicious analysis of the mocks.
To be true enough, I didn’t appear mocks 'regularly' till I was done with my basics. But, once I was done, it was like the order of the week. And the frequency got higher between October and Nov-mid period. Also, what is of paramount importance is the necessity to analyse them to the core. List out the weak and strong areas and work on them.
Me: What was your strategy for the D-Day?
Kanav: The one and most important factor on the final day is to have faith and calm. Don't worry what you haven't done. Focus on whatever you can solve leaving aside your nervousness.
Me: Post-CAT what were your strategies? How did you train yourself for the final phase?
Kanav: Acing the written exam is just the half way there. The real test begins post that. The panellists over there judge you for a plethora of traits which you can hardly imagine. So, its like you have to be ready with every, and I mean every single bit of things, surrounding you. Right from your home-town to international scenarios you should be well aware. Have a hobby; be ready to answer anything about it.
Me: And how did you practice this? All by yourself?
Kanav: No. I joined an institute to face some mock interviews and also to get a knack of nitty-gritty things that could happen inside the four walls with some brilliant mind ready to fire you with their questions.
Me: And now that you are at one of the most coveted b-schools of India, how do you feel?
Kanav: It's all worth it. Right from the moment you join these b-schools you get to realise that all your hard work has really paid off well. The aroma these b-schools spread is all the worth to go through that pain.
Me: Any final words for our readers?
Kanav: Don’t stress yourself out. Remember, calmness and patience is the key. Don’t quit till you compete!
Me: Thank You Kanav for your motivating words.
Kanav is now pursuing his dreams at IIM, Sirmaur.