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CATKing’s Student Aman Bhardwaj Aces CAT With 99.64%

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After I checked my result, I was somewhat satisfied yet had this nagging feeling that I could have done better in quants on a normal day, but there was an element of relief associated with it as well. The percentile that I got was higher than what I had expected. In fact, the CATKing percentile predictor had estimated a 99 %ile for my raw score. All in all, relief was admixed with a degree of satisfaction.

This was my first CAT attempt. I come from an entrepreneurial background, with both my parents involved in running different businesses. I was until recently preparing for UPSC CSE but after 4 years, decided to move on. Ultimately, I want to get into people management so I pivoted to an MBA. Talking about my interests and hobbies, I love reading fiction as well as non-fiction. I like playing and watching matches such as cricket and football. I find quiet walks in the neighbourhood park relaxing and try to do it on an everyday basis. 

I didn’t know which coaching institute to join in the first place. A second cousin of mine who’s about to finish her MBA from Great Lakes Gurgaon advised me to check out CATKing as well as Studybuzz when I asked her for coaching recommendations. I was confused for a couple of days and finally decided on CATKing; primarily because Sumit Sir did a lot of mock sessions on YouTube alongside daily motivation videos, among other stuff. CATKing’s resources provided me with enough material to study from in one place without scouring other places/spaces/books. In addition, the daily classes helped structure my studies.

After each class, I would attempt the relevant LOD 1 question. I kept at it. The basic strategy was to devote the most time to Maths to get reacquainted with the subject. It has been 8 years since I studied it formally in school. Moreover, I had this exam-oriented approach instead of a purely learning-oriented one where I focused on the maths topics based on their relative importance (arithmetic, algebra, and geometry). I had never studied the number system, so had to start from scratch. Despite this, I didn’t overlook the other two subjects. I studied them for briefer periods of time every day.

Identifying my strongest and weakest sections was again a challenge for me. As a literature student, verbal ability is my forte and Maths is my weakness primarily because of having been out of touch. For verbal prep, I read an Aeon essay a day and practiced RCs every day, with increasing intensity as the exam drew near. I basically had to relearn maths so I completed LOD-1 books alongside classes before moving to LOD-2. To be honest I could have spent more time on LOD-2 maths bibles. Nonetheless, it was a slow and arduous process but also a nostalgia-inducing journey since I used to be good at maths in school. For DILR my primary aim was to familiarize myself with all sorts of sets that come in the exam and practice questions from each. Again, I could have spent more time with them had I joined earlier than when I actually did – i.e., October.

Honestly, joining CATKing was highly beneficial for my CAT preparation! Had I been preparing by myself; I would probably not have scored the half-decent score that I have. What’s common to all institutes is that they provide resources in a gamified manner that allows you to track your progress. Moreover, I think we tend to overlook formal structures and attribute success to individuals. but in my limited experience, I find that institutions like schools, colleges, and coaching centres play a critical role in the success of individuals. Success really does depend on some sort of teamwork and nobody operates in a vacuum. Like Sumit Sir says “Find a guru jiske saath layy judd jaye and lage raho, kuch accha hoga”.

Mock Test Series proved immensely beneficial to me. I gave about 10 in my 2 months of serious preparation. I supplemented this by solving previous years’ papers from 2021, 2020, and 2019 and solving at least some of the questions from other previous years’ papers from 2015-2019. My exam day strategy was to remain calm and do my best. I did listen to Rahul sir’s analysis for the first slot before going inside the examination centre for the second slot. This gave me an idea about what approach should I stick to while solving the paper.

My target b-schools are IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Lucknow, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Indore, XLRI, and FMS. Hopefully, I make it to one of my dream B-schools.

Some of my tips for the CAT Aspirants would be:

1. Start early, ideally 6 months before D-Day and no later than 4 months before D-Day.

2. Work each day even if it’s for a little while initially and try to build habits and make

studies a part of your routine. For instance, I used to read an Aeon essay in the morning

after waking up with a cup of tea.

3. Have an exam-oriented approach from day 1 and allocate study time to respective sections accordingly, as per your strengths and weaknesses.

All the best to all CAT Aspirants. Believe in yourself and do well!

Aman Bhardwaj

CAT 2022: 99.64 %ile

VARC: 99.95%ile

DILR: 98.78%ile

QA: 89%ile

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