That's great! Can you walk us through your preparation strategy?
I started my preparation with basic material and videos that helped me to gain very basic knowledge of all the topics, which I feel is too important for all the MBA exams. Post which I started with practicing different types of questions ranging from basic to advanced. Once I was done with the syllabus, I joined random Telegram and WhatsApp groups to solve all the questions that were sent. Meanwhile, I started with mocks of Big 4 institutes to know my strengths and weakness. Here is the detailed plan of what I did:-
VARC - This is one of the dreadiest sections for a lot of candidates due to the variability of difficulty level and the section involves a lot of analysis and judgments, unlike the other two sections. This was a pain for me as despite being good at writing and understanding English, I was not able to get good marks in this section. For months, I had a single-digit score in this section and it took me numerous hours to be in the 25-35 mark range. The only thing that helped is my confidence, I have seen a lot of candidates feeling hopeless after the VARC score but I was sure that my understanding skills are quite good and the only thing I was required to understand is how to select the right answer. I started practicing 3-4 RCs per day and day by day I started feeling that there was some pattern in the questions and then I started following the approach of "Eliminate the wrongs, whatever is left will be the right choice." In this section, the question practice is far more important than just reading and it helps you to get accustomed to the question pattern.
DILR - Again a section, where you have a lot of variances even with great skills. This was the only troublesome area for me in this entire section. I knew my weakness, I wanted to overcome it, I was trying and failing again and again. Talked to 10+ mentors, and they suggested different things, and I tried all, but still lacked consistency in scores. So for this section, I used to sit alone to talk to myself for hours, And I finally decided that this is a section where you need temperament and strategic gameplay. So since then, I decided not to act on my gut feeling for this section. I practiced enough and made a strategy to choose the set first and then leave it if I can't make anything out of it in a stipulated time. Thankful to the guidance of LRDI MASTER here.
QA - This was the easiest of all for me. It did not take much effort for me to excel in this preparation but having knowledge is not the only thing that is required here. One has to be more familiar with the type of questions that come in mocks and in CAT exams as it helps you to reduce the time taken per question and devote more time to difficult questions. This is one of the sections where anyone be it poor or great at maths can push his/her score to an extent. I would say don't let your fears do the negatives here. Practice, practice, and practice for Quants.
Huge thanks to Jasneet and Sahil sir from Quantifiers, I needed someone who could talk with me like younger brothers and they really did. For me knowledge was not the issue but I required someone who can help me to deal with the stress and mock strategies. I remember the first call I had with them and since then I had uncountable calls , voice notes and much more. I am forever grateful to the GEMs.
According to you, what is the most important aspect of preparation?
"MOCKS, ANALYSIS, LEARNINGS, REPEAT !!
Taking mocks is not the best thing, but "taking mocks at the right time" is the best thing. I have seen a lot of people skipping mocks in starting months because they think that they can't take it with partial knowledge. One has to understand that the institutes take all the points and concerns into consideration before designing a mock, so you don't have to worry about a syllabus. Mocks should be like your daily meal which you take no matter what the day is.
Mocks and the post-mock analysis tell you whether whatever you have been doing so far is correct or not. The books, the syllabus, and the strategies that you are making are working actually or not. Day by Day you will start feeling the difference in your approach and in your mock scores too."
Which mock series did you enroll for?
I took IMS, CL, TIME, and CRACKU for proctored mocks. For sectionals, I took mock tests from LRDI MASTER, QUANTIFIERS, ANASTASIS SHANKAR
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How many mock tests did you take, and how did they help you prepare for CAT 2022?
I took around 120 mocks including past year's actual CAT papers for CAT 2022 and a couple of sectionals. Mocks kept providing a realistic picture of where I stood, and it showcased me my worst and best scores in case things go on the other side. Apart from this, it tells you about the competition which you have to face.
PS - 50 good mocks are good enough to score great in the CAT.
Which section was your Achilles heel? How did you overcome that?
VARC was the one and I scored 99.46 in VARC CAT 2022. I had a tough time choosing the right option and most of the time, I could not agree with the reasoning provided by the question setter. So it took me multiple practice rounds to finally reach a point where my thoughts and judgments started matching with the question setter. Though you would feel the difference across the different test series but with good knowledge and practice the variance would be reduced to an extent.
What was the lowest point in your preparation journey?
I did not have such moments, to be honest. My mom used to feel low after seeing all the hard work I was putting in to score more and more. Last year's rejections made her feel that interviews are a scam and not a fair judgment of one's candidature. But I kept making her believe in me and in the whole process and now she is the happiest woman in the world.
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Pallav, CAT 2022 went really well for you. We'd like to know the interview calls that you received.
I received interview calls from all IIMs, SPJAIN, MDI, IIFT, FMS, and XLRI.
Amazing! Please share how you prepared for the interviews.
I had prepared for it last year too, so this year things were almost the same for me. So I decided to increase my knowledge base and tried to know all the things be it about my city, my state, my neighbor state, my college, my university, etc. I joined two institutes for guidance and to keep myself updated with current affairs and gave a couple of mocks to different people to know my strength and weakness.
Note From Editor: Check Out Pallav Goyal's IIM Ahmedabad Result video!