Sravya Rangavajjula is a Computer Science Engineer, passed out from JNTU Kakinada in 2019. Post-graduation, she has been working as an SDE with FACTSET Systems India Pvt Ltd for the last 2 years. She scored 81% in her graduation and topped her batch. She has also scored 97.8 % in 12th and 10 CGPA in 10th. In this interview, Sravya talks about her CAT and XAT preparation, and her advice to future aspirants. Read on!
Hi Sravya, please share your XAT 2021 percentile with our readers.
QA - 87.0696 | Verbal and Logical Ability - 93.3180 | Decision Making - 98.6938 | XAT Percentile - 97. 2309
How did you prepare – Self-study or Coaching? Which one do you think is better?
I had taken online coaching from Elites Grid. I personally wanted mentorship , a peer group to discuss my doubts and also a disciplined schedule. So, I joined Elites Grid. In my opinion, taking coaching really helps because you will get to know a plethora of new things which you would have not known earlier not just from the faculty but also from the peer group.
According to you, what is the most important aspect of preparation?
The most important aspect of the preparation is taking mocks, analyzing them and tracking your progress religiously. You have to give your every single mock thinking of fit as the final exam. Doing this will help you to face any kind of situation. For example, CAT 2020 slot 2 was so difficult that so many people gave up on the LRDI section and also the QA section because of it. If you give multiple mocks, you will get to experience every level of difficulty which would help you to tackle your exam on the D-Day. Also, just giving multiple mocks is never going to help you. One should analyse the mocks thoroughly, make a spreadsheet to track your progress in each section. Trying not to repeat your mistakes in the mocks. Also maintain a record of all the mistakes you made, the formulae you learn which will subsequently help you in your revision.
Which mock series did you enrol for?
I enrolled for TIME and IMS mocks.
How many full-length mock tests did you take?
I took around 30 CAT mocks and 5 XAT mocks
How many sectional mock tests did you take?
I took around 25 sectional mocks for CAT and 10 sectional mocks for XAT.
What was your approach while taking mocks?
I had 5 things on my mind whenever I gave a mock:
- Never pause a mock in between.
- Three Round Approach to solve the questions:
- Round 1: easy questions
- Round 2: Medium -hard questions
- Round 3: Hard questions.
- Try not to repeat the mistakes made in past mock.
- Do not waste time on a single question.
- Do not panic when a mock is difficult. Always remember that if a mock is difficult for you, it is difficult for others as well. So, just give your best.
Must Read→ The Ultimate XAT Prep Resource List
How do you think the mock tests helped you in your preparation?
Mocks played a major role in my preparation. Giving mocks and analyzing them helped me to:
- Gauge my strengths and weaknesses.
- Habituate myself to the exam conditions.
- Tackle any kind of situation on the D-Day.
- Understand the competition.
Which section were you strong in? Since you were strong in that section, how did you focus on the other sections?
This might seem strange but I had no strong section as such. I never did exceptionally well in one section and flunked the other sections. Now, I feel it was actually good for me because I never became complacent and focused equally on all the sections. I used to devote equal time to every section each day.
- For VARC, I used to read at least 2 articles and practice 2 RCs or 1 RC and 5 VA questions every single day
- For LRDI, I used to solve 1 LR and 1 DI set every day
- For Quant, I used to solve at least 15-20 questions daily.
On weekends, I used to give sectionals and full length mocks.
Which section was your Achilles heel? How did you overcome that?
My Achilles heel was LRDI. I overcame that by practicing sets from all different categories. I also used to practice the tests which I could not attempt in the mocks. Also, in the month of October, I revised all the sets from my previous mocks which helped me immensely.
What challenges did you face while preparing for Decision Making and what are the resources you used to prepare for DM?
DM is like the make or break thing for XAT. Initially, I was intimidated by the DM section because there were actually very limited resources to prepare for DM. In my opinion, the best way to prepare for DM is to solve the past papers. I also think it is also the only reliable thing that can be done for DM. I solved all the DM questions from 2015-2020 XAT papers. Also I have taken the Elites Grid DM course in which the faculty used to discuss the past papers. All these helped me immensely and I secured a 98.69% in DM.
Tell us about the lowest point in your preparation journey and how did you overcome that?
Initially, I could not give the mocks without pausing them. In spite of trying a lot, I used to pause my mocks and even gave up my mock sometimes which I used to regret a lot. That was the lowest point in my preparation when I thought I would never be able to fare on my D-Day.
To overcome this, I started giving sectionals mocks rigorously and slowly scaled that habit to full length mocks. I used to see a full length mock like giving three sectionals back to back.This kind of approach helped me to get habituated to a full length mock.
What resources would you suggest to 2021 aspirants?
I would like to suggest the following free resources apart from my course material which helped me immensely in my preparation:
- Aeon, Live Mint, Guardian
- Daily Article recommendations by WordPandit
- Article recommendations by 2IIM
- Daily tests by Cracku
- Elites Grid youtube channel
- Rodha youtube channel
- Daily sets posted on Elites Grid and IQuanta FB groups
- Questions posted on Elites Grid and IQuanta FB groups.
- Daily tests by Cracku
You May Also Be Interested In Reading→ From 44%ile In Mock Test To 99.2%ile In XAT 2021 || How Aman Garg Aced The Decision Making Section
What according to you are the DO's and DON'Ts of XAT preparation?
My answer would be the same for CAT and XAT.
- Practice something every single day. It might just be reading a single article but do that.Remember, your consistency is going to build your appetite for practice.
- Give equal amounts of time to each and every section.
- Be optimistic. There will be so many people around you to pull you back, never let them do that.
- Plan your daily preparation and stick to your plan.
- Try to do better than yesterday every single day.
- Talk to people who are very close to you whenever you feel low to lift up your spirits.
- Read something every day.
- Do not consider yourself just to be a CAT aspirant. Remember that you are an MBA aspirant because that is going to help you ace other exams if you have flunked your CAT. This is very very important because you cannot just let a single exam decide your fate and also almost a year of preparation. Keep working till the final MBA entrance exam.
- Do not become complacent about a single section.
- Do not listen to toxic people, just focus on your goal.
- Never ever give up because someday you will regret not working on your dreams.
- Never ever give a new mock without analyzing your past mock.
- Do not limit yourself to a single mock series.
Which mock series would you like to suggest to CAT 2021 & XAT 2022 aspirants? Is one mock series sufficient or do you suggest a combination of 2 different mock series?
I would recommend taking both IMS and TIME mocks. In my opinion, taking 2 mock series would give you a broader approach.
What would be your final advice to CAT 2021 & XAT 2022 Aspirants?
Luck favours the brave. Be brave to work on your dreams. Never give up, not even after flunking CAT because life always gives you a second chance and XAT is the best second chance you could ever ask for. Stay positive, stay safe and keep practising. All the very best!!