‘Going Through Last 5-6 Months GK Compendium Can Help You In Attempting More Than 70% Questions From The Section’ – Abhishek Singh, 99.7%ile In XAT 2015

Abhishek Singh is a Business Management student (batch 2015-17) from XLRI Jamshedpur. He obtained 99.70 percentile in XAT 2015. A 2014 mechanical engineering graduate from NIT Allahabad, he has 8 months of work experience with Reliance Industries in Jamnagar.


His hobbies include reading comics and graphic designing. At XLRI, he is secretary of the student exchange committee (ISEP). He interned at Airtel during his summer internship and was awarded a pre-placement offer.


How was your experience with XAT?

The overall process was a very systematic and practical one. Though it has the conventional GD/PI rounds, one of the biggest difference is the Pen-Paper mode which I personally feel more comfortable as compared to the computer based program. The option of viewing multiple questions at an instance turns out to be much more effective in attempt selections.


How is XAT different from CAT? How does the difference impact your preparation and how do you manage that?

In addition to the conventional Quant, Verbal& LR/DI, Decision Making is the additional section which demands a major chunk of your preparation. Also, the Pen-paper mode which personally worked for me, might be a hindrance to others who are more familiar with the computer exam system. One also needs to brush up the General Awareness for GK section as it demands a certain cutoff. Since the difficulty level is a bit higher than CAT, accuracy is of prime importance in XAT rather than concentrating on more number of attempts.


When did you start preparing for XAT? How did you prepare for different sections (including essay writing)?

The preparation was going alongside CAT, around 4 months before the actual exam. Since I was based out of the city with no coaching centres, my preparation was majorly dependent on the Internet, Mocks and Arun Sharma books. During the gap between CAT and XAT, my main focus was on preparing for Decision Making and General Awareness.


What are the different resources you used to prepare for the exam? Did you take any mocks? If yes, which ones?

For Quant, Verbal, LR/DI, I was completely dependent on Arun Sharma Books and mocks from IMS.

For Decision making I practised questions from last 10 years compendium and the Internet. A Google search on DM questions will give ample results for practising questions.

Due to lack of time, my GK preparation was based out of Monthly GK compendiums which are available on various Bank preparation exams. Going through last 5-6 months compendium can help you in attempting more than 70% questions from the section.


Since it’s a paper-pencil test, does it affect the test-taking in any way? Any specific strategy for the same?

I personally feel more comfortable in Paper-pencil test. It gives you the option to see the whole paper at once and hence form a strategy. For me, the first go through the paper was for the questions which I could solve within 1.5 minutes. Once I’ve attempted all the sections, I would go through the remaining questions again with more time per question this time. However, it is important to judge if you’re making any progress with the question and skip it if not.


What was your test prep strategy over the few months leading to XAT? (Last 3 months, last month, last 15 days). Was it a test series inclined one or a chapter by chapter strategy?

Initially, it was a chapter by chapter strategy to make sure that all the basic concepts are covered. As time progressed it turned out to be more of a Test series inclined. In the last one month, I was giving a Mock test almost daily and this contributed a great deal to my preparation.


 How was the interview experience like? What was your preparation strategy and how did the interview turn out to be?

Since I had only 8 months of Work experience, my interview was completely based on the interview form which was provided. They asked each and every detail of every answer I wrote. For my interview, I read the basic Marketing and Macro-economic concepts I could find on the Internet. Also, a thorough reading of newspapers is necessary at this point as a compendium won’t help you to cheat your way out of the interview. Another important point is they might cross question on some of your answers and present situations based on real scenarios, which again turns into a form of a Decision Making. Overall it was a very lively and wonderful experience.




About the Interviewer:


Abhishek Tahlan is a second year Business Management student at XLRI Jamshedpur and is part of the InsideIIM student team 2016-17.