Name: Rohan Joshi
Percentile: CAT 2017: 99.63 percentile
MH-CET 2018: 99.96 percentile
Programme and Batch: MMS-18, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS)
Past Educational Qualification: Mechanical Engineering (M.E.), VJTI-Mumbai.
How would describe your journey during last year of your preparations? When did you start your preparations?
I started my preparations during the month of March, nine months before appearing for the CAT exam. I made it a point to be extremely disciplined when it came to entrance exam preparations; despite working in a full-time job at the same time. I took the baby-steps of starting with my basic preparation first, gradually moving towards mocks over time. The key here was to utilize my weekends fully, sacrificing many other things in the process.
And what was your overall planning, strategy? How did you proceed with each section and the time allotted for each section?
In terms of the level of difficulty of questions, DILR personally was the most challenging, whilst due to my engineering background- Quant was where I had a relative edge. I was also not very strong when it came to VARC, so I first started practising with the same and gave as many sectional tests as possible. I had planned to give each mock seriously and analyze it well to find my mistakes and weaknesses and work on them.
And how important are mocks? When did you start your mocks? Did you wait till you were done with basics or right from the start?
Mocks are the most important part when it comes to entrance preparation. I started giving mocks right from the start as it helps to finds what strengths and weakness, and work accordingly. The importance of mocks cannot be emphasized enough, especially for aspirants who are days away from “D” day.
Were you a part of any coaching institute? Do you think coaching is necessary for aspirants to bag the top rank?
I gave mocks of all the leading coaching institutes. However, to answer if coaching is necessary for aspirants is a rather subjective topic- as it would differ from person to person. There are a number of candidates who have scored excellently well without joining any institute. I do however advice strongly in giving mocks of many coaching institutes.
Please share your specific section wise strategy for VARC, DI & LR and QA.
VARC: The Verbal and Reading comprehension was the most challenging for me and, admittedly, my motive was to rather clear the sectional cutoff. I gave many specific topic tests for RCs and almost all sectionals for Verbal.
- Quant: I strategized with a step-by-step approach; starting with solving basic questions and slowly moving onto higher difficulty levels as my preparation advanced. I also solved a number of mock exams which helped my practice in relation to Quant even stronger.
- DILR: CAT is known to ask trickiest questions in this section. I regularly solved different puzzles and Sudoku’s to enhance my logical thinking ability. It was also imperative that I solved sectionals as part of my preparation towards the exam.
How did you utilise the features like calculator and non-MCQs in CAT?
The on-screen calculator provided is very basic and one cannot use the keyboard. Since it would be very time-consuming to use it, I avoided using it. Non MCQ have no negative marking, so I made sure to attempt one’s which can be solved quickly.
Any other exam you had appeared for, please share the score for the same.
CET 99.96 percentile
Are there any mistakes that you believe you have made while preparing for CAT which future CAT aspirants should avoid?
I believe that CAT aspirants must analyze each mock seriously, which I had avoided in the beginning. Mocks not only allow an aspirant to get a sync with time management but also allow one to experiment with different strategies in giving the exam.
What tips would you like to give to CAT aspirants, who will be appearing this year? Please share your success mantra.
The only mantra that I can suggest is to keep working hard and be extremely disciplined. The sacrifices that an aspirant will give now will eventually be worth it. One very important aspect is for the aspirant to keep giving and learning through mocks.
What was your mindset throughout the preparation as well as GD-PI preparation? Did you face any roadblocks in between and how did you face them?
I was very positive and calm during the entire process. There will be times when the mocks scores would dwindle but I didn’t stop and kept improving myself.
What do you think you did right during test prep? Did your educational background help you during test prep?
I realized the importance of mocks early in my preparations and started working on them, this helped me immensely. Being from an engineering background I had a small edge in the quant section and even when doing speed calculation for DI-LR section.
What was your test prep strategy over the few months leading to CAT? (last few days). Was it a test series inclined one or a chapter by chapter strategy?
In the last few months before the exam, I had experimented with many test-taking strategies and found the one that suited best for me. During the last few days, I spent my time only on revising what I had learnt earlier. I further increased my intensity of giving mock exams, giving used topic tests, sectional tests and full length mocks to improve my performance.
Any message you would like to share with the candidates preparing for CAT 2018.
Firstly, believe in your abilities and do not consider CAT as an extremely tough examination. It is a must to instil discipline in preparing well and learning to apply concepts in different scenarios. Know your weaknesses and work hard on how to overcome them. Remember that it is the difficult path that leads you to a better place.