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How did he crack CAT with 97.52 percentile in first attempt?

Apeejay student Lavish Gupta mentions giving mock tests helped him score well this entrance exam



Lavish Gupta, a BBA student of School of Management Sciences at Apeejay Stya University (ASU), has cracked the CAT 2022 with an overall score of 97.52 percentile in his first attempt. For Lavish, nurturing different skills like teamwork, confidence, and problem solving have played a significant role during his preparation for the CAT entrance exam. The 19-year-old is aspiring to join IIM Kozhikode, IIM Shillong or Management Development Institute, Gurgaon.Lavish mentions, “The classes I took and projects I completed were for a marketing major, and these helped me in understanding many concepts necessary to gain knowledge on good sales techniques. I often worked to design presentations with classmates, and this helped me hone my ability to collaborate constructively.”

When asked what was his CAT preparation strategy, the Apeejay student emphasised, “Practice as many mock papers as those will help you to analyse your weak and strong points.” Read edited excerpts of the interview:

Congratulations on cracking CAT 2022! What are your overall and sectional scores in CAT 2022?

Thank you for your warm wishes. My overall score in CAT 2022 is 97.52 percentile and my sectional score is 93.02 percentile in verbal ability and reading comprehension. I scored 90.26 percentile in logical reasoning and data interpretation and 98.02 percentile in quantitative aptitude.

Since when did you start preparing for CAT? 

Actually, I have been preparing for CAT 2022 since June 2022, and the ideal way I adopted to complete my syllabus was devoting 6 hours a day, giving 2 hours for each section.

What was your overall preparation strategy for the exam?

My overall strategy for preparing for the CAT exam was to complete the syllabus first because I was giving the exam for the first time. To prepare, a fresher needs at least one year of preparation, but I started late so my first priority was to complete the syllabus as soon as possible. Then, I started giving mock tests and analysed the topics in which I was weak or strong. I worked  more on my weaker areas.

Which was the section/area you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge? 

I used to have a lot of problems in the reading comprehension section and so, I started practicing reading daily to work on it, and this helped me a lot in exams to score well in this section.

What are your next plans? Which institutes are you aiming at for admission?

I am preparing for the Group Discussion and Personal Interview because after the CAT exam one needs to go through this to get an admission in IIMs. I am aiming at IIM Kozhikode, IIM Shillong and Management Development Institute, Gurgaon.

Were there any negative markings? How can an aspirant avoid negative marking?

Yes there was negative marking in the exam. I think to avoid negative marking,  the aspirant should solve only those questions in which he/she is sure to score marks. There are 3-4 questions in each section in which there is no negative marking so he/she can attempt these types of questions as well.

What role did mock tests play in your success? How many mocks did you attempt before the exam?

To be honest, mock tests have really helped me a lot. By giving mock exams, I was able to analyse my weak topics and know how to attempt the exam in less time under so much pressure.  I gave around 15 mock tests before the final exam.

How did Apeejay help you in this journey?

Apeejay helped me a lot in this journey by  developing my personality. I used to hesitate to communicate in English with anyone, but here I got to interact with new people belonging to different communities having different mother-tongue. English was the only available medium to interact with them. So, I had to step out of my comfort zone and communicate in English. Now, I am pretty confident about my English and there are many more incidents like this that helped me in becoming a better person and I am sure it will help me a lot in future as well.

What is your message for CAT aspirants? One crucial piece of advice that you would like them to follow.

To crack the exam one needs to be consistent with the mock tests. Sometimes aspirants are not able to crack the CAT exam but can crack another MBA entrance exam with a good score. I have also seen a lot of aspirants who are good in study but not able to crack the CAT exam, then they try other exams for MBA and score well in that. So, one should never lose hope and believe in oneself. Never lose confidence.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.