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CAT 99+ Percentile Interview: Lovey Choudhary shares insights about his CAT Journey

By: R Chandrakala on January 10, 2018

Lovey Choudhary, a Graduate specializing in Electronics, scored 99.2 percentile in the CAT this year. Read on, as he shares valuable insights with CollegeSearch about his CAT Journey.

UPSC IES Result 2017

Broadly what does it take to get to above 95?

A candidate to get to this point would require unfaltering focus and to consistently study. A fraction of students genuinely undertakes this kind of preparation to understand basic concepts well, analyze their mocks and choosing their best method of study. For me, joint study and my group of friends are the reason for my score.

How was the paper overall this time? any tough sections?

The Reading Comprehension Passages were easy to attempt. The Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section was a little tough. Last year, the paper had easier questions along with tougher questions. This time, the paper had a lot of lengthy questions. Quantitative Aptitude was the easiest of all, that is the reason a lot of candidates would have easily scored above 90 percentile.

 What were your strong areas?

Quantitative Aptitude was my strongest. I had studied the basics well at the time of my first attempt. This time, I invested a lot of time in the practice of mocks and analyzing my performance. I had thoroughly focused on DILR, study and practice. But in the end, you would have to perform in a balanced way across sections, as subject-wise cutoffs are also a criterion for further stages of the selection procedure for MBA Admissions.

We have women toppers and those from non-engineering background this time which was not the case last time? What do you think was the reason?

We have had an increase in the number of female candidates applying for the CAT this year. The female candidates were equally competent also coupled with an increased participation.A lot of my female friends I know have attempted CAT for the second time and done better, that could be the reason. I believe that the scaling of scores has also been a little easy on the candidates. Of course, the quantitative aptitude section being direct and easy could also have been another reason.

Did you find any major objections in the CAT Answer key?

I had discussed the CAT Answer Key with my friends as well as my teachers. I had doubts in the Verbal Ability section and got it sorted by my teachers. Perspectives may vary while answering the Verbal Ability section, and I got my doubts clarified. Otherwise, there were no major objections that could be raised as such in the CAT Answer Key.

What were your thoughts just before giving the CAT?

I was a little anxious, as this was my second attempt and had given an additional year for my preparation. But I think, fear in the right measure helped me do well in the CAT this year though I was both confident and calm.

Do you think only 99.5 percentilers and above make it to IIMs?

I don't think that is true. IIMs give weight to past academic record and work experience apart from CAT Scores. Though the competition may vary across different course backgrounds like Engineering and Humanities. A 99+ percentile in Engineering might guarantee a call while an 80-90 percentile in CAT from Humanities might guarantee a call. A 0.5 difference in percentile might matter to someone from an Engineering Course background owing to the high level of competition which might not exist in case of other course backgrounds. Despite getting a high percentile, there are some friends of mine who have not been able to crack an IIM Call.

What role does tutoring and group study play in CAT Preparation?

Every candidate preparing for CAT chooses his method of study as per his comfort level and priority. In my case, we were a group of friends with a common vision and mindset that helped me prepare my best. I was in touch with my faculty as well, my teacher Hunny Malhotra from Elitegrid, during my CAT preparation. With a lot of options available in coaching, it depends on the candidate what suits him best.

Did you give any other management entrance exam? How easy according to you is multitasking?

I have not given any other entrance examination apart from CAT. A lot of people do give a lot of entrance examinations apart from CAT. The syllabus across all the examinations is mostly same, while they might have separate parts like GK Section which might need additional preparation. It always comes down to the choice of candidates as to the colleges they want to study in.

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

There is no fixed rule to study for a 99.5 percentile. Primarily, a candidate should analyze his strengths and weaknesses before starting to study. Adequate time should be given to CAT Preparation by capitalizing on one's strengths and working hard in the weak areas. Analyzing mocks is very important as that would help one person understand where he stands in terms of preparation.

What are your cutoff expectations?

As such, I don't anticipate much of a variation. The IIM Cutoffs would be ranged on the basis of the percentile scores. Private MBA Colleges or Universities might vary their cutoffs depending on the availability of seats. More calls could be made to students in comparison to the previous year if more seats are available for MBA Admissions.

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

Excellent Communication skills. The candidate should know his profile thoroughly. The candidate would also have to justify his skills with anecdotes and also convey the value that he would be adding by getting an MBA. More than saying he is interested in a domain like Finance or HR, he must be sound in that domain as well. Skills of a being a team player and a leader should also be exhibited with relevant experience gained.

As per you, are people graduating from IIMs preferring employment or going more towards startups?

Maybe, there has been an open-mindedness towards startups. Like in IIM-A, candidates beginning a startup and not being that successful have the opportunity to sit for the placements. That kind of security being given could propagate candidates to begin their own ventures. With IIMs having incubators and encouraging candidates to pursue their ideas, a lot of them are going the Startup way.

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