Parth Ashwin Chavda is an Automobile Engineering Graduate from L.D. College of Engineering, affiliated with GTU. Having a thorough focus on academics helped Parth receive academic scholarships of close to 1 lakh rupees during his 10th and 12th. In his own words, Parth is an ordinary Gujarati joe with extraordinary aspirations. He is a foodaholic and amicable person, a Formula 1 enthusiast, and loves watching web series. He is joining IIm Bangalore's Class of 2023, and in this interview, he walks us through his CAT preparation journey, and shares his advice for future aspirants. Read on!
Please give a brief introduction about yourself. Please mention your Name, Xth, XIIth, Graduation credentials and Work Experience (if any).
I scored 92.6% in my 10th, 86.15% in 12thXth – 92.60 %, and 7.86 overall CGPA in my undergraduate. I have 34 months of work experience - 29 months as Marketing Executive (Advertisement and Branding) in Tirth Agro Technology Pvt. Ltd, and 5 months as GET(Product Mgmt. Dept.) in International Tractors Ltd.
Please share your score and percentile. Alternatively, you can share your CAT scorecard with us. We'll blacken out the personal details before publishing.
How did you prepare – Self-study or Coaching? Which one do you think is better?
Self-study. According to me, it’s subjective. I did self-study because of time crunch (as I was preparing along with my job) and because of my engineering background, my basics were strong. But if somebody has time and resources, coaching is a very good option.
According to you, what is the most important aspect of preparation?
Mock tests, a lot of analysis and unflinching confidence in yourself.
Which mock series did you enroll for?
I used IMS and TIME Mock Series.
How many full-length mock tests did you take?
How many sectional mock tests did you take?
What was your approach while taking mocks?
My main focus was on accuracy during the whole phase of preparation. I used to analyze each mock test at least for 6 hours.
How do you think the mock tests helped you in your preparation?
For me it was the ultimate key to success, couldn’t emphasize more the importance of mock tests. Mock tests can help you with the time management and your test taking strategy, which are very important aspects of the exam.
Which section were you strong in? Since you were strong in that section, how did you focus on the other sections?
Quants was my strong suit. I used to devote 1 hour to quants and 1.5 to 2 hours for each LRDI and VARC section daily.
Which section was your Achilles heel? How did you overcome that?
VARC was Achilles’ heel for me. I used to read newspapers daily, complete 1 novel a week. I used to solve 4 to 5 RC passages and practice vocabulary on a platform called membean daily.
How much time did you devote to preparation on a regular basis?
5 to 6 hours on weekdays and 8 to 10 hours on weekend.
Tell us about the lowest point in your preparation journey and how did you overcome that?
Just 2 months before the exam I scored only 75 percentile in 3 consecutive mock tests. That was the lowest point in my preparation journey. I started questioning the very decision of preparing for CAT. But I knew that there is no going back so instead of thinking too much about scores, I started devoting more time to mock analysis. It really helped me, my average score in the last 5 mocks was 95 percentile.
What resources would you suggest to 2021 aspirants?
Arun Sharma’s books for Quants and LRDI. For VARC the GMAT Guide is a very good book for practice. Apart from that the Bodheeprep platform is also very useful for RC. IMS or TIME mock test series is a must.
What according to you are the DO's and DON'Ts of CAT preparation?
Watch inside IIM’s videos and read articles on their platform. I am not working or in any way affiliated with Inside IIM, but I am following their channel since 2019 and it has been very useful for me.
Keep an eye on current affairs, it can help you in the long run.
Keep in touch with people who are preparing for the CAT and make a group. Discuss your doubts with them.
Get rid of the things that distract you the most.
Don’t ask too many people for their opinions on how to prepare for CAT, you will get confused and will not be able to focus.
Also Read→ From 20%ile In Mocks A Month Before CAT To 99.93%ile In CAT 2020 | Kaivalya Shah, IIM Ahmedabad '23
Which mock series would you like to suggest to CAT 2021 aspirants? Is one mock series sufficient or do you suggest a combination of 2 different mock series?
As I mentioned before, IMS and TIME are the best in the market right now. Personally, I would prefer 2 mock series as it helps to broaden the question pool.
What would be your final advice to CAT 2021 Aspirants?
Self Confidence and your hunger for knowledge can take you to places. Never get disheartened when you score low in Mock tests. What you score on D day matters the most, no one will give you admission based on your mock test scores. And one last thing, As the saying goes “Aim for the Moon, If you miss, you may hit a star.”, Your Target should be for 100 Percentile.
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