The other day I was reading the CAT journey of Biswarup, a CAT’19 98+ percentile, and an incoming SJMSOM MBA student. While reading his preparation strategy, I happened to get a moment of epiphany. It was about what does CAT crackers have in common. I will share it at the end of this article, but first, let’s go through Biswarup’s journey in his own words. He was humble enough to allow me to share his journey on “The CAT Talk.”
I am Biswarup Ghosh, a software engineer with 3.5 years of experience in IT. I have recently converted two of the most coveted B schools of India- MDI GURGAON and SJMSOM, IIT BOMBAY. Finally, I have taken admission into SJMSOM, IIT BOMBAY.
10: 9 | 12: 8 | B.Tech: 8
Work experience: 34 Months until December 2019 with TCS.
My CAT Journey:
It all started back in 2018 when I decided to prepare and take the CAT exam seriously. I was doing self-preparation and took test series of CL and IMS. My preparation was going in the right way, and after initial setbacks, my mock scores also started improving. I was hopeful that I would be able to do well in the exam. Fast forward to the D-day, I panicked and underperformed. I ended up getting a mere 70%. It was a shocker as well as an eye-opener for me. I was feeling hopeless and even doubted myself whether I would be able to score well in the upcoming year, even if I prepared well. I pulled myself up in a couple of weeks or so and decided to give one more try.
This time I decided to start early. I wanted to join a coaching institute, but keeping in mind my office hours and time needed for self-study, I felt that online coaching would be the best option for me. That’s when I decided to enrol for the iQuanta online course, and I was part of the first batch that started in late January. I had also enrolled myself for the test series of TIME and IMS. Fast forward to the D-day, I was able to keep myself calm and cool, I didn’t panic, and my exams went smoothly. I knew that my exam had gone well, and I was elated when I saw my results. I had secured 98.03%(VA-89.87%, LRDI-98.44%, and QA-97.94%) in CAT 2019. This journey taught me that PERSEVERANCE, SELF BELIEF, and NEVER GIVE UP ATTITUDE can take a person a long way in life.
A few pointers about my preparation strategy:
- Resources used for CAT: I was an iQuanta classroom student. The tricks, shortcuts, and doubts solved there helped me in my preparation. Other than that, I relied on the mocks of IMS and TIME. I also used Arun Sharma, Time materials, and past year mock/cat papers.
- No.of Mocks taken: I took close to 30 full length mocks, and around 10-15 sectional tests of all three sections.
- Time management: I had to manage both my office as well as my cat preparation. I used to read articles or solve RCs while travelling to the office. Even during office hours, I tried to solve a few sums/few LRDI sets whenever I got time. During my free time, I used to go to the library. My target was to put at least 2-3 hrs daily for my preparation.
Read: From Completing B.Tech In 6 Years To Making It To An IIM At 27, Rohit’s CAT Journey Of Courage And Intent
GD-PI preparation strategy:
I joined IMS for my GD-PI preparation. GDPI is all about knowing to communicate and speak fluently and clearly, knowing everything related to yourself, hometown, hobbies, current affairs, and a little bit of economics/statistics.
Message to the CAT aspirants:
Read 2-3 articles daily, solve 2-3 RCs daily. It will improve the VARC section. For LRDI, try to solve 2-3 sets daily, preferably from past year mock papers. For QA, try to solve 20 sums daily. Analyze mocks properly and make a point not to repeat the same mistakes. If you take a mock for 3 hours, analyze it for at least 6 hours. It is the most important part. I maintained an excel tracker to track my mock scores and see the areas where I was lacking or doing well.
I, being an engineer, had always dreamt of being a part of the IIT ecosystem. It has been a dream come true for me, and I couldn’t be happier. Finally, all those hard work and struggle has paid off 🙂
And yes, the journey is more important than the destination.
I hope Biswarup’s journey has inspired you to keep going.
What do CAT crackers have in common?
As I said in the beginning, I would share a few points that generally CAT crackers have in common. So, while I was reading Biswarup’s journey, I realized the following points about CAT crackers in general.
- They cover basics from the material of any coaching institute.
- They solve previous year mocks and CAT papers.
- They take around 30 mocks.
- They analyze mocks religiously.
- They are persistent in their preparation.
Bu then, why do many people fail even after following the above points?
I feel that’s because they don’t take the leap of faith that Biswarup and many others have taken. Not everyone takes courage to keep going despite the setbacks. And as I always say, CAT is more about the intent than it is about the talent. It is all about patience, persistence, and perseverance.
So, take a leap of faith and keep going!
Links to some of the resources that Biswarup used for his preparation.
If you need any guidance from Biswarup, you may connect with him on Facebook.
- How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?
- I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
- From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
- Learn To Fight Alone!