‘I Gave A Lot Of Mock Tests Before The Actual Exam’- Siddhesh Gandhi (99.39%iler) On Cracking the SNAP
Crack SNAP Better with SIBM Bengaluru
Meet Siddhesh Gandhi, a first year MBA student at SIBM Bengaluru. Born and raised in Ahmedabad, he completed his Mechanical engineering from GTU in 2016. To give his career a head-start, Siddhesh decided to do an MBA and started preparing for a plethora of competitive exams. The preparation phase lasted for 17 months after which he secured 99.39 percentile in SNAP, a 97 percentile in NMAT and a 94 percentile in CAT. He chose to join SIBM Bengaluru and is currently in the second semester of his MBA. Siddhesh believes that scoring a 99%ile in SNAP is quite a task, but a well-planned strategy could make it really easy.
Did your educational background help you during test prep? Did it help you in subsequent rounds (GE-PI-WAT)?
My engineering background helped me in easily grasping QA concepts. I focused on the VA section since the very beginning of my preparation phase. SNAP is an unbiased exam which tested my verbal, analytical and quantitative skills.
The GE-PI-WAT process tested my communication skills (oral and written), technical knowledge (academic and non-academic) and my ability to handle stress.
What was your strong/weak section and what was your overall test taking strategy?
My strengths were the LR and verbal sections and that defined my strategy to play to my strengths. I also prepared for the GK section everyday. SNAP being a speed based paper, one should also focus on mental calculations.
What was your strategy for individual sections (Quant/Verbal/Data Interpretation/General Awareness/Reading Comprehension)?
As the Logical reasoning section was my strength, I started with that. I then moved to the VA and GK section, leaving the difficult questions for the end.
In SNAP, I suggest focusing on the easier questions as there are plenty of them and leaving the difficult ones for the final 20 minutes of the examination.
Since it’s a paper-pencil test, does it affect the test-taking in any way? Any specific strategy for the same?
As part of the preparation process, I gave a lot of mock exams before the actual exam. This helped me get comfortable with both the online as well as the paper-based test formats.
What do you think you did right during test prep? What was it that you did right on Test Day?
As SNAP is primarily a speed based exam I focused on accurately solving as many questions I could, as fast as I could. For me, leaving the seemingly difficult questions was very important.
What was your test prep strategy over the few months leading to SNAP? (Last 3 months, last month, last 15 days). Was it a test series inclined one or a chapter by chapter strategy?
In the last three months leading to SNAP, my strategy was to know all the concepts of Quant and RC. I also read newspapers and novels to improve my language skills. The last two weeks were all about speed building and solving past and mock SNAP papers.
What was your strategy for the D-Day and what do you think you executed the Best on the D- Day?
In the first 45 minutes, I started with the LR section and solved almost 80% of the LR questions. I then moved on to the verbal section and answered as many questions as possible in the next half an hour. I scheduled the next half an hour for QA and GK sections. Then, I returned to completing the questions that I had left out in the same sectional order. The most important thing for me on SNAP day was time management.
How did you prepare for the group discussion? What was the topic and how did you tackle the GD round?
For group discussions, I was up to date with the current affairs and I also had my own views on the latest happenings. This gave me the confidence to speak in the GD.
My GD topic was Shashi Tharoor’s statement on ‘The large percentage of India’s youth population and how India could optimally utilize it’.
What resources you used to refer while preparing for the essay writing? (Please mention the topic)
Essays require a good control over English and an ability to clearly organize and present your thoughts. I had a habit of reading newspapers and novels regularly and I found it to be immensely helpful in improving my essay writing skills.
How was the interview experience like? What was your preparation strategy and how did the interview turn out to be?
My interview experience was quite good. I was guided through each step, even before I entered the city. Being a fresher, my interview was basically focused on ‘Tell me about yourself’, ‘Why MBA’ and similar questions. As long as you can justify your life’s choices and communicate it across to the interviewer, you won’t have a problem.
I started preparing for the interview by brushing up basic technical questions, and preparing for the ‘Tell me about yourself question’. The optimal strategy was to stay honest and confident.