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Common Admission Test (CAT) is conducted by the IIMs. CAT score and percentile act as the shortlist criteria for hundreds of B-Schools offering PGP, MBA and related courses. As the competition gets tougher each year, the importance of getting a good score has been surpassed by the need to get a very good score.

Adwait Deshpande was taking care of his family business which involved a lot of travelling. So how did he prepare and get 99.66 percentile in CAT? How can someone manage work and CAT preparation? As it turns out, hard work and focus play a critical role in getting a 99+ percentile.

Aglasem correspondent Pranjali Rastogi interviewed this CAT Topper, Adwait Deshpande to share with all the MBA aspirants the nitty gritties of CAT Preparation and his journey so far.

Name Adwait Deshpande College of Graduation ICT Mumbai (B.Tech)
CAT Percentile 99.66 percentile Target B-Schools All IIMs, FMS, MDI Gurgaon, SP Jain

Adwait Deshpande CAT Topper Interview Aglasem

A brief introduction of Adwait Deshpande, CAT 99.66 Percentile Scorer

Adwait lives in Thane which is very close to Mumbai and he loves to travel and workout. His father is a businessman and his mother is Chartered Accountant.

Common Admission Test (CAT) 2015 – Adwait Deshpande’s Scores

Subject Scaled score Percentile
VARC 79.08 99.1
DILR 52.24 98.34
QA 66.77 98.93
Overall 198.09 99.66

What motivated you to appeared for the CAT exam?

I am supporting my Family Business from the past two years. I wanted to explore other options and other fields after learning engineering. I wanted to work in a new field.

On the result day I was very happy. 99.66 sounds impressive but after looking at other people’s result it is not so much.

After CAT, I think I will now work in some different field.

When did you start preparing for CAT? According to you, what is the best time to start CAT Preparation?

I started preparation in August 2015 (CAT was in November 2015). According to me, July end or August is the best time to start.

What timeline did you follow to prepare for CAT?

I Joined only TIME Test series and studied from Arun Sharma books which covered all subjects. As there are 3 sections so I bought all books of Arun Sharma. It covered all the subjects. I used to take CAT mock tests every week which was enough for me. I think you don’t need to opt for anything else apart from this.

With the new exam pattern, what should the preparation strategy be for CAT exam?

For VA – I didn’t study at all, only one hour of preparation was enough. As stated above I referred to only Arun sharma Books that was sufficient for me. What I liked about his books were that I didn’t need to go to a hundred different places for preparation after referring to that book.

Adwait recommends CAT aspirants to study from CAT preparation books by Arun Sharma.
Book Buy from Flipkart Buy from Amazon
How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma CAT Preparation Buy on Flipkart CAT Preparation Buy on Amazon
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for the CAT by Arun Sharma CAT Preparation Buy on Flipkart CAT Preparation Buy on Amazon
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT by Arun Sharma CAT Preparation Buy on Flipkart CAT Preparation Buy on Amazon
How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT by Arun Sharma CAT Preparation Buy on Flipkart CAT Preparation Buy on Amazon
How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT (2nd Edition) by Arun Sharma CAT Preparation Buy on Flipkart CAT Preparation Buy on Amazon
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT (4th Edition) by Arun Sharma CAT Preparation Buy on Flipkart CAT Preparation Buy on Amazon

How did you balance work and CAT exam preparation?

My office is in Andheri and our factory is in Gujarat. For around 3 days a week I am in Mumbai 3 days in Gujarat. So I used to study in the train, and I used to study late night after office.

Did you join any coaching classes? Should students take coaching for preparation?

I think coaching is more about of a liability. I didn’t join any coaching classes as I was working and it was time consuming to travel from one place to another just to learn the basic concepts.

Self study is more important. For working professionals time is very precious and moving from one place to another will consume their time.

It is better to join some test series.

On the exam day, what was your experience like? 

My center was quite close to the house, it took only 10 minutes to reach there. The computer lab was new and all equipment were new and fresh. I didn’t realise when three hours just passed. If you have the confidence to do it, you must do it.

What are the most important topics for CAT preparation that you think a CAT aspirant should focus on?

Some of the easy topics in which you can get good marks and learn fast are like

  • Profit and loss,
  • Average age,
  • Basics of combination,
  • Probabiltity.

CAT Exam is getting easier year after year as I have solved last 5 yrs paper.

Don’t go for number theory. I found the paper easy but many people said 2014 was the easier paper.

Which books/ study material you referred for CAT preparation?

No need to refer any other books apart from Arun sharma’s books and take some Mock test series.

As an advice to future CAT takers, how many questions should one attempt to score well?

I personally attempted around 85 questions. I would suggest that you don’t make any specific plans as to how many questions to attempt. Also avoid discussing plans on websites and forumsand other sites like pagalguy. Think on your own and take decisions on the spot!

Apart from CAT, which other MBA Entrance Test did you appear in?

I appeared for XAT and SNAP (in SNAP I got 99.75 %ile).

I must say I was not sure of the CAT result. I never got good marks in Mock Test, never crossed 95%. I just wanted to maximise my options.

What is your preparation strategy for the upcoming GD PI session?

I am planning to join some coaching center and going to make some timeline from the past years as there will be questions related to work experience, current affairs, economic, about your passion and normal HR questions.

What is your success mantra?

Trust your preparation. Practise again and again, and don’t panic.

Any tips/ advice to aspiring CAT Aspirants?

Buy Arun Sharma books and give mock tests series more and more. If you are a working professional, don’t go for any coaching classes. Just focus on the question in front of you. Go ahead if you are solving one question, don’t look out for another questions and keep it simple.

Are you too preparing for CAT? Have questions in mind? Clear your doubts from CAT Toppers. Post your queries in discussion forum.

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