Shaili Soni is an Engineering fresher from NIT Bhopal who secured 96.78 percentile in CAT 2020 (OBC Category). She joined IIM Calcutta for the session 2021-23. Read on to know more about her journey.
When did you start preparation?
I started my preparation in April 2020.
How did you start preparing?
Firstly, I familiarized myself with the concepts. Once I was thoroughly done with the concepts, I started practising questions in 3 tiers - basic, medium, and advanced. In this phase, I focussed more on accuracy and became familiar with the different types of questions asked in the CAT exam. By solving advanced-level questions, I started practising questions with a timer and worked on speed. After this, I started solving full-length mocks and sectional tests, which after thorough analysis, I eventually developed a strategy that suited me the best.
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Which was the most challenging section for you? How did you deal with it?
The most challenging section for me was VARC. So I started reading newspapers and blogs daily. It improved comprehension along with reading speed and vocabulary. I practised questions from the VARC section daily, even if I could solve only two RCs. I always aimed at minimizing the negative marking. I also kept reading blogs from InsideIIM.com, which tested strategies of IIM people who have already nailed at CAT. It helped me boost my score.
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Resources you would recommend to CAT aspirants (Books, Mock tests, anything else)
I relied on these four resources for my CAT preparation:
- Arun Sharma's books have a good set of questions for practice.
- Mock tests and sectional tests from TIME and IMS.
- Blogs from The Hindu
- InsideIIM.com blogs.
One piece of advice for future aspirants
My advice for aspirants is to put most of the effort into accuracy even if they attempt fewer questions. First, skim the entire Question set and pick the questions you are most comfortable with. Question selection is essential to save time. Time is the most crucial asset in the CAT exam.
You can connect with Shaili on LinkedIn for more questions regarding her preparation and journey to IIM Calcutta. I hope this blog was helpful for you. All the Best for your CAT Preparation!