Mayank Raj is studying it IIT Bombay. He will graduate in 2018. Straight from there, he will plant his feet in one of the most esteemed management institutions in India; after all, he has 100 percentile in CAT. His success story is inspiring. It is a lighthouse for all the MBA aspirants who are worried on how they can, or if at all they can, score high in CAT in first attempt.
Mayank Raj – CAT Topper with 100 percentile
IIT Bombay (pursuing)
Indian public school
AS: How does it feel to have scored 100 percentile in CAT in first attempt?
Mayank: The feeling is wonderful. I expected a percentile of 99+, but to get 100 percentile is awesome. My family is wonderful in the way they support me in all my endeavours. THey give me the freedom to follow my dreams, and support me whenever I feel low.
AS: Can you tell us about your family?
Mayank: I hail from Hajipur, Bihar. Both my father as well as my mother are school teachers there. I have got a younger brother, who is currently pursuing B.Tech and is in his second year.
AS: What did you do in your leisure time.Do you have any hobbies?
Mayank: I have a passion for sports, I play and follow a whole lot of them. My favourite is football, and I am an ardent fan of Manchester United. Apart from sports, I like to read.
Mayank’s Success Story
AS: Which other MBA entrance exams have you appeared in?
Mayank: I did not appear in any other entrance exam. I filled the form for FMS as they consider the CAT scores only.
AS: Did you take any counselling or coaching classes to help you in preparing?
Mayank: I took the test series offered by time, and the online test material that comes with it for preparation.
AS: You are pursuing B.Tech from IITB. Please share your college life experiences.
Mayank: I joined IITB because of the exposure available here to students in varied fields, and I have not been disappointed. Apart from studies, there is a lot of exposure to managing organisations, which moulds you into a professional. The peer group is just awesome, staying with this talented a lot keeps you motivated and inspires you to aim high.
AS: Which is your dream B-School? Do you have any particular specialization in mind?
Mayank: I would like to go to IIM, explore the specializations and then decide finally. But, the one I am currently thinking about is finance.
This is how Mayank Raj scored 100 percentile in CAT in first attempt
AS: When did you start studying for management entrance exams?What, according to you is the ideal time to start preparation?
Mayank: I started my preparation in July. I think the right time to start is subjective, and depends on the level where you initially are. Being from a mathematical background, I was confident that I will do well in QA, and needed lesser efforts on it. On the other hand, VA was something i was sceptical about, and so I decided to dedicate more time to it.
AS: Please share your study plan from day 1 to the end (topics you covered from then to now). Did you follow any hard and fast time table?
Mayank: I started my preparation in July, when the mocks at Time had already started. So, I decided to appear in all of them. Apart from that, it was all about mocks and working on the topics I was weaker at.
AS: What was your preparation strategy for VARC?
Mayank: Mainly it was about increasing my reading speed as well as understanding of text quicker. For that, I read newspapers and did mocks.
AS: What was your preparation strategy for DILR?
Mayank: I tried to improve my speed as I was taking a lot of time solving the passages initially. Also, I got myself acquainted with all the different types of VA/RC questions through practice.
AS: What was your preparation strategy for QA?
Mayank: I made a note of all the formula and wrote them down on a board, see them everyday. This list would keep changing every few week as I memorised the earlier ones. Apart from that, it was just practice, practice, practice.
AS: Which books did you use to prepare for VARC?
Mayank: I did not use any book as such.
AS: What are the things one should keep in mind while preparing for CAT?
Mayank: That it is as much a speed test as it is a test of your knowledge. GIven enough time, any of us can score quite well in all the three sections, but to do that under a time constraint is what is needed.
AS: What turned out to be your success mantra?
Mayank: My consistency. I put in a fixed number of hours everyday without fail for a period of 6 months, and that I think has brought in this result.
About CAT preparation along with college studies
AS: How did you balanced preparation for such an important exam and your college studies ?
Mayank: I decided to give a fixed number of hours everyday through the whole period of preparation and stuck to that. I did at least one hour lng mock everyday for practice, and gave rest of the available time towards reading. On weekends, the number of hours I devoted increased, and I also attempted one full 3-hour mock every weekend. This routine is what dragged me through the whole process.
AS: What should be the study plan to score high in CAT in first attempt?
Mayank: The plan depends on how many hours you can spare for practice everyday. In my opinion, the results depend on how consistent you are, as well as how diligently you use the time you are devoting to the purpose. I will put stress on timed tests and mocks, as they can be seen as a gauge on your performance. Also, do not take any mock test score to heart, keep putting in efforts and improving yourself. Apart from that, find out topics you are weak at and put in more efforts on that.
AS: What was your analysis of the CAT exam?
Mayank: The VA/RC section was okay, the paragraphs were easy to read and understand, which saved a lot of time. This helped and saved me enough time to attempt the non-RC questions, which I used to count as bonuses only.
I found DI/LR the toughest, and was able to attempt only about 22 questions, which felt quite bad a number at that time. On the other hand, the QA section was quite easy, and I could attempt all the questions and still have some time to spare.
AS: Any tips for the exam day?
Mayank: I think that the most tricky part of the paper is DI/LR, as if you select one wrong question to attempt, and waste 5-10 minutes without solving it, this will hamper your percentile by a lot. So, know when to skip one such passage and go to the next one. Also, through the mocks, develop your way of attempting the paper, the rough methodology you should follow, and try to stick to it during the paper. This will take away the nervousness and make it feel like just another paper.
AS: What are your future plans?
Mayank: I got calls from IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta. I will prepare for the interviews and try and convert the calls.