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CAT 100 Percentiler Saipraneet Reddy : Did not expect, wanted to top in Chennai

By: R Chandrakala on January 12, 2018

Sai Praneet Reddy, a B.Tech graduate in his final year from IIT Madras scored 100 percentile and he says he did not quite expect to make it this big. In an exclusive interview with CollegeSearch, read on to know what more he has to tell us.

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1) How does it feel to have scored a 100 percentile?

I had given the morning slot of the examination and had anticipated a 99.99 percentile. I had also aimed at topping in Chennai particularly. This was completely unexpected.

2) How did you find the paper this time?

The CAT Examination was tougher in the morning slot in comparison to the afternoon slot. Verbal Ability and Quantitative Section was easy, while Data Interpretation was on a tougher side. 2 passages in the Data Interpretation section were particularly tough for me, but I attempted my best.

3) What were your strong areas?

I was very interested in Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude right from school for which I had even attended coaching. My raw score for DILR was 62 and the normalized equivalent was 74.

4) Has Scaling been a little easy as 100 percentile has also become possible to score?

No, I don't think, the morning slot was a little tough as I said before and depending on the difficulty levels of both the slots, scaling was done. In the morning slot, people who scored 200 would have had their score normalized to 215-220. Unless a candidate could genuinely do well in the paper, he had no chance of scoring well.

5) A lot of candidates have taken to social media to complain about low scores. Your take on that?

This could be because of the scaling procedure I explained above again. A lot of candidates who had attempted in the afternoon slot would have found that their raw score was more in comparison to the normalized score. When the paper is easy, everyone scores well and no one is at an advantage.

6) What were your thoughts just before giving the CAT?

I was very anxious and tensed. Particularly while going through the DILR Section, the first question seemed to be a tough one at a glance. But on going through it, I understood it better and solved the questions. I was doubtful about my answers even after my attempt.

7) So which IIM are you eyeing for right now?

IIM Ahmedabad. I want to pursue my MBA from there.

8) A lot of IITs go to IIMs. Instead of a PG in Engineering, why an MBA?

A B.Tech from IIT Madras is enough to distinguish yourself from the other engineering graduates. I would have gotten placed in a managerial position. But an MBA would definitely enrich my knowledge on team leadership and management skills.

9) What was your strategy to crack that 99.9 percentile?

I started preparing for the examination only 1.5 months before, actually. Until 1 year, I was attending coaching and giving mock tests. Verbal Section was my weakness and I was reading a lot of material to improve myself in that section along with practice. Additionally, I had also given my GRE.

10)  A lot of tutors and coaches give CAT to understand how the exam works. Does that result in a drop in the percentile?

Definitely. If their idea is to understand the pattern of the paper, they could attempt it and leave. But attempting their best and then topping would put a lot of other candidates at a disadvantageous position desirous of scoring 99 percentile and above.

11) How should the study schedule of a person aiming for 99.5 percentile and above be?

First of all, at the time of attempting the examination, he should go for the easy questions and keep tough ones to the last. Mock tests and Coaching also play an important role in shaping one's preparation well. If a candidate who has no idea about the section devotes about 4-6 months at a rate of 6 hours every day, he would be able to crack it. Students who are familiar with the sections should be devoting 2-3 months and they would be able to crack CAT easily.

12) What is your preparation strategy for the CAT Selection Procedure like?

As of now, I have not started preparing for it. IIM-A does have a written test and interview with no GD, while IIM Bangalore and Kolkata have a GD. I have good aptitude in General Knowledge and that should help me steer through the Written Test.

13)  What all needs to be focused to crack an IIM Call?

One must know his profile well and must justify the questions asked with the fact that he can add value after securing an MBA. That will do.

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