‘My Aim Was To Give More Than 30 Mock Test Before Appearing For CAT’ – Vaibhav Gaur, 99.51%ile In CAT 2015 – NITIE
Vaibhav Gaur scored 99.51%ile in CAT 2015. He is currently in NITIE pursuing PGDIM. He likes to play Football and Read Fiction.
How was your experience of CAT, since the pattern changed, and the calculator was introduced?
There were many differences between CAT 2014 and CAT 2015. First is a separate section for DI and LR. Other being the introduction of calculator and increase of time from 170 mins to 180. Overall I enjoyed the new pattern. Calculator helped in doing the big calculation in DI quickly. Time limit for each section helped in giving equal time to each section.
What made you pursue MBA, and why NITIE and not any other top B-School?
I wanted to pursue MBA for a long time. Finally decided to appear to for CAT when I had gained some work experience as I wanted to do MBA only after some industry exposure.
I had converted MDI, NITIE, IIFT, IIM Udaipur, Rohtak, Raipur, Kashipur. Finally, I joined NITIE because I was interested in doing MBA in operations and NITIE is one of the finest in India for operations.
When did you start preparing for CAT? What was your overall preparation strategy for CAT 2015? And did you change your preparation strategy after the announcement of the pattern change or you followed the same routine?
I joined test series of both Career launcher and TIME. Starting preparation at right time is very important. I started to give mocks regularly 4 months before CAT and used to spend significant time on mock analysis. My aim was to give more than 30 mock test before appearing for CAT. I finally gave around 35 mocks.
What was your strong/weak section and what was your overall test taking strategy?
I also gave CAT 2014 and got 97 percentile. My percentile in VALR was 89 only. When I decided to appear for one more time in 2015, I knew I need to work significantly on verbal part. So I started reading newspapers and novels every day, this helped in increasing my reading speed and to go through Reading comprehensions quickly. I also practised from online material and other books.
What was your strategy for individual sections (Quant/Verbal/Data Interpretation/Reading Comprehension)?
Quant was my strongest part. I needed to work on Verbal; reading novels and newspapers helped. I was good in DI but practised regularly. I used to give at least a full mock every week.
What do you think you did right during test prep? Did your educational background help you during test prep? Did it help you in subsequent rounds (WAT-GD-PI)?
I think what right I did for CAT was to give a lot of Mocks and analyse each one thoroughly. Being an engineer I was good in Maths.
What was your test prep strategy over the few months leading to CAT? (Last 3 months, last month, last 15 days). Was it a test series inclined one or a chapter by chapter strategy?
I had taken test gym and other materials coaching give with test series. Plus, Sarvesh K. Verma for Quant and Arun Sharma for Verbal. I was preparing regularly with these along with the test series. These materials helped me to focus particularly on the parts (Para jumbles and Para completion) I was weak in. And in last 15 days or after getting CAT slot, sync your mocks as per your CAT slot so that your brain is a fully active in that time frame.
How did you manage to prepare for CAT and other exams within the same time frame?
I applied for IIFT and XAT exams, other than CAT. I didn’t prepare separately for these. Preparing for CAT was sufficient. I got 99.61 in IIFT.
What was your strategy for the D-Day? How did you plan your CAT test taking?
Mine was morning slot so I went to sleep at 9 PM on the day before CAT. I wanted to have a good sleep before the attempt. I took a water bottle with me to the centre that helped a lot. Giving many mocks helped me to prioritise questions to get maximum output. Not getting emotional with a question one thinks can solve is very important.
What resources you used to refer while preparing for the essay writing? (Please mention the topic)
Reading newspaper regularly helped a lot. Also, I attended the knowledge sessions held by coaching institute regularly. This helped me to gain knowledge to write an essay with good content.
How was the interview experience like? What was your preparation strategy and how did the interview turn out to be?
I gave a lot of mocks PIs. I had joined coaching for GD, essay writing and PI. This helped a lot. Many basic questions that are regularly asked in the interview got prepared due to coaching.
Any message you would like to share with the candidates preparing for CAT 2016.
Practice, practice and practice regularly, give as many mocks as possible and analyse them thoroughly and work on your mistakes. Plan ahead and set an aim of how many mocks, RCs, DI and LR sets you will solve before CAT, make a schedule and stick to it.