CAT 2011 topper shares his success mantra

CAT topper's mantra for successFor Vidit, a civil engineer from BIT Mesra, it was his third try for CAT, an entrance exam for qualifying to IIMs and other top B-Schools. Two self-study attempts had not yielded the desired result, so the 24-year old took no chances for the final. He joined a coaching centre in a bid to get professional guidance, while keeping his full-time work.

A planned study strategy also helped. Vidit scored 100 percentile. However, the Agra-based boy isn’t overwhelmed with the first phase of achievement. "I should fare equally well in Group Discussion and Personal Interview," he says prudently, while aiming for IIM-Bangalore.

In a chat with Urmila Rao, he shares his first leg of journey. 

Q: Congratulations on your success. How did friends and family react?

A: Many thanks! I didn’t inform my parents intentionally. They are in Agra and found out about my accomplishment through newspapers, as I wanted them to. They were surprised and are very happy. As for friends, they are still wondering.

Q: Of the three sections in CAT, which one came across as most challenging to you?

A:  It was English. I selectively focused on it. The other two, Quantitative Aptitude (Maths) and Data Interpretation were relatively easy. My faculty at Career Launcher, Soumya, helped me a lot in English test preparation. She told me about simple rules and guided me on practicing. That reduced the burden of the vast syllabus to one, which I could manage.

Q: How did coaching helped?

A: It helped me be regular. It trained me on how to approach and tackle questions. Regular coaching also means interacting with your class batch mates and getting their feedback; which is important. A lot of assumptions and self-notions get dismantled, which is good to keep you grounded and help you measure your preparation levels vis-à-vis others.

Q: How many test series you took?

A: I took two; one from my coaching centre, Career Launcher and the other from, T.I.M.E.

Q: Are two tests good enough?

A: In my opinion, one is good too, but personally, I needed to gauge my preparation. I got to know from friends that T.I.M.E test series is better. So, I took that too. The result helped me to understandmy weak areas.

Q: What other books did  you refer to apart from the coaching centre's learning resources?

A: I mainly referred to the centre's course material. It covers almost everything. It may not offer new concepts but just the regular practice of those helps gain speed; time is a , crucial factor in CAT.

Q: How did you approach the test?

A: From each section, I first attempted all easy questions. That meant two things: a sure shot score and more significantly, a confidence warm-up. As confidence built up, I moved on to questions which I which I felt, could be sorted out immediately. The others, I attempted last. English takes least time; either you know the answer or you don’t.  I took 45 minutes for Data Interpretation section. The total paper is of 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Q: Did you face any hassles moving from pen and paper to a computer-based test?

A: No. These days all youngsters are computer savvy. It wasn’t an issue at all. Besides, the test seriesfamiliarises you with the whole software and dynamics beforehand.