Chhavi Gupta scored 100 percentile in Common Admission Test (CAT) in the exam that was held in the year 2017. While getting the perfect score is a major feat in itself, what makes this girl from Delhi even more special is that she features among the very few female toppers of CAT. Her interview on how she prepared for CAT and her success story reveals that Chhavi has her eyes set on success, and she is going out to get it. Her advice for future MBA aspirants are very helpful for anyone who is looking for any help in preparing for CAT or related exams. Read on to know what she has to say.
Chhavi Gupta – CAT Topper with 100 percentile
Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
Biotechnology Dual Degree (Btech, Mtech)
If you want to know how Chhavi scored 100 percentile in CAT, read her success story.
AS: How does it feel to have scored 100 percentile in CAT?
Chhavi: It feels really amazing that I’ve achieved this feat. It is not an easy task and along with proper preparation also requires one to be in the correct mindset on the exam day.
AS: Can you tell us about your family? How did they support you in this journey?
Chhavi: My family consists of my mom, dad and my younger sister and brother. They have always been very supportive of whatever I have wanted to do and have assisted me in the same. Whether it was aligning with my sleeping schedule, or maintaining complete silence whenever I attempted any mocks, they all helped me in it. And they also made it easier for me to de-stress, by talking to me whenever I felt low or asking me to take a break if I felt a lot of pressure.
AS: Why do you think there are fewer female toppers in CAT? How do you think that can be changed?
Chhavi: I think the main reason here is reluctance of families/people in females pursuing post graduation. There’s a huge difference in number of males and females even applying for CAT, even if we don’t compare the kind of preparation and support they might get. I think it is important for people to put career before anything else for females as well.
AS: Please describe your education and career.
Chhavi: I’ve completed my BTech and MTech from IIT Delhi, post which I’ve been working with Opera Solutions for more than 1.5 years now.
About Chhavi’s Journey Towards Getting 100 Percentile In CAT
AS: Being a post graduate in the field of Biotechnology, what pulled you towards this field of management?
Chhavi: Along with pursuing Biotechnology, I managed many events and placements at IIT Delhi, which nudged me to try a career in this field, and I got my campus placement in this field as well. So this was a natural track for me from there.
AS: When did you start preparing for CAT?
Chhavi: I joined coaching in March’17; however I seriously started preparing post-August.
AS: Please share your preparation journey?
Chhavi: I used to give mock tests at least every other weekend and used to analyse the same to keep a check on my strong and weak areas and see how I’m improving in the same. I did not have much time in weekdays due to my office, however, starting September I tried to study for around 1 hour before office.
AS: You have worked as a content developer for some time, so do you have any interest in writing/reading as well? Did it prove to be helpful while preparing for VARC section?
Chhavi: Yes, in fact along with that my habit of reading a lot of books helped me in that. I’m an avid reader and would also want to start a blog if time permits. I think a reading habit in itself helps in preparation of the VARC section a bit
AS: How was life at IITD?
Chhavi: Life at IITD was all about getting ahead of yourself. There’re endless opportunities in terms of courses in different fields, internships, involvement with NGOs and lot more. I was involved in quite a few different things myself and always considered myself lucky to be busy and using my time at the amazing college to the fullest.
Tips By CAT Topper Chhavi Gupta On How You Should Prepare For CAT
AS: How should a student start preparing for CAT, and what according to you is the right time to start preparation?
Chhavi: I think a time of around 8-10 months is more than sufficient to prepare for CAT, although there needs to be complete focus in the preparation during this time
AS: What should be the study plan (starting from the time you suggest one should start preparation, until day of exam)?
Chhavi: First, get your basics clear. CAT is not about cramming a lot of formulae, it is about understanding things. It checks the logic and understanding behind concepts and not how well one can mug up stuff. Second, start giving mock tests as soon as possible and keep a tab on your performance all the time. Don’t let your accuracy dwindle. And last, keep a list of basic formulae/tricky questions and your weak areas. Revise frequently to master those.
AS: What was your time management strategy?
Chhavi: In CAT most important thing is not missing out on any question that is doable. So most important thing to do is divide time in such a way to have a look at all the questions.
AS: What was your preparation strategy for VARC?
Chhavi: I used to have a good accuracy in RC as because of my habit of reading a lot I was comfortable with reading comprehensions. I faced a bit of difficulties in VA (especially para jumbles) but I practised them a lot. I did all the mocks’ VA 2-3 times to ensure that I understood where I went wrong.
AS: What was your preparation strategy for DILR?
Chhavi: In this section I mainly focussed on practice. I did a lot of mocks, and analysing these attempted sets helped me a lot.
AS: What was your preparation strategy for QA?
Chhavi: In QA I followed the class notes of my coaching centre and then did and redid the incorrect/unattempted questions of mocks.
Self-assessment, Mock tests are important: Chhavi
AS: What are the things one should keep in mind while preparing for CAT?
Chhavi: One needs to assess oneself. That is the most important thing to do. Knowing your weak and strong areas helps in improving yourself and keep a track on how your performance is changing with time
AS: How did mock tests help in your preparation?
Chhavi: Mock tests helped me a lot in assessing my performance, which I said is a very important factor in one’s preparation. I gave around 35 mock tests in the 8 months of preparation. And analysed them 1-2 times. This gave me an idea of where I was going wrong, what silly mistakes I was making, what easy questions I was missing and helped me a lot in maximising my score.
AS: What was your analysis of the CAT exam?
Chhavi: The CAT exam was a bit unexpected as expected. The RC passages were of moderate difficulty but the questions had very very close options, which increased the difficulty level. VA parajumbles were very tough and found only 1 doable.
LRDI section was pretty tough, however a clear mind and proper time management helped me attempt 23/32 questions of which 21 were sureshot correct. The section necessitated that if any set is non-doable one should move on.
QA was the easiest of all and easier than QA of any mock that I’d given. This section could be completed with full concentration in 50 mins.
AS: Any tips for the exam day?
Chhavi: Focus and concentrate on the exam. Don’t stress or feel the pressure. Do what you’ve practiced in mocks, do not try a new strategy. Don’t get stuck on a single question, all questions are of equal marks.
AS: What are your future plans?
Chhavi: Post my MBA from IIM A/C/B I would like to pursue a career in a consulting firm.