Mocks and Elites grid helped me to move from 90 to 99 in CAT- Akash



10th – 74%
12th – 83%
Graduation – 8.86 (Mechanical engineering)
 Work experience – 3 yrs in Fin tech (IT)
Cat percentile : 99.15
I.I.F.T percentile : 97.1

A year back, I was in the same situation as the current aspirants are.

I was looking for motivation, struggling to manage studies with my long working hours in the office, wondering if I could do it? Or if it is worth the effort, I am putting in. Or Is B.L.A.C.K.I. just a hallucination?

But it’s different today.  One must remember that months and sometimes years of dedicated efforts like mine will take you to the place of your dreams. I have always felt if someone can succeed even you can. Here’s my vision towards letting you know that getting in your Dream B-school is possible. I was in my third year of engineering when I decided that GATE would be my further course of action, and going to a P.S.U. was the Dream. Though, I had to face the rejection as I barely managed to cross the cutoff. So, I zeroed down on taking up an IT Job after evaluating the factors that mattered to me. After my graduation, since my  joining date was not coming, I just filled the CAT form for fun and took it directly without any preparation or writing a Single mock.

Results came, and I got meager 90 percentile, but it seemed huge. However, my joining came. Two years of job experience was fun with friends, although the salary was low, the Trips were High. Then I realized Dude coding is not meant for me, and I again wrote CAT this time joining offline coaching on weekends, but the results were not great. It went back to ground zero, and the CAT percentile was around 90 again, but this time I also wrote the other exams and was able to convert S.I.B.M. and N.M.I.M.S Mumbai. It gave me confidence, and I thought I would go for one more shot this year, although it was a Do or die.

It was May 2019 when I decided to start my preparations for CAT and hence joined an online coaching institute Elites grid to be well prepared. Fast forward, and it was mid-August until the classes ended. By this time, I had barely started self-studying, and just focused on the elites grid lectures and mocks. Also, during this time, I had a major release Lined up for delivering a new Line of Business for our Bank and found it difficult to cope up with the schedule. Fast forward September ends after completing a major chunk of Syllabus. I went all guns blazing for the sectionals and mocks, although I was writing mocks weekly from the last three months. During that period, I realized that verbal was my weakness, and although I was an engineer, Quantitative aptitude wouldn’t be a cakewalk.

While nearing the end of July, I made up my mind and decided to structure my preparation schedule. I prepared for the CAT meticulously for about four months, working on my weaknesses and honing my strengths., I would mark a few questions for Quantitative aptitude and a few sets in LR DI, which I could come back to during the last lap of the preparation. I spent equal time understanding the concepts for each of the three sections. The major thing about preparation is to discover your pain areas and strengths. SO, I realized, I was never got comfortable with VA RC and always struggled to score well in the section during my mocks. So, it became important to devise a strategy for the same. Not being an avid reader, RC were the tougher part; hence, I needed to devote more time to prepare for RC and started reading a few articles daily, but I was unable to achieve it, so I just wrote VA RC section with accuracy and no rush. This helped me to increase my scores in Mocks, and my comprehension skills started developing.

Mocks play a vital role in preparation. That doesn’t mean you end up taking 100 mocks. The analysis of the mocks after taking them completes the process and serves the purpose of taking the mock. I took around 30-40 mocks and made sure I analyzed every possible question and noted down my silly mistakes.

My advice to all the aspirants – Critically analyze your mocks, understand your mistakes and work towards rectifying them.

A few tips-
1) As an aspirant, you need to understand to work on your pain points. You need to hone all the three sections; it is crucial to be consistent across each section.

2) Staying motivated throughout the journey is the most important thing.
3) Take mocks seriously, take each of it as it is the Final Paper of CAT.

Now, Coming to the day of the CAT. The D-day wasn’t an ideal one for me. I was in the second slot and heard all the wrong things about the verbal section, and I felt I would mess up my VA RC section, but somehow I gathered my composure and tried to make selective attempts. Moving on from VA RC, I knew DI LR was my strength, and that was one section that could have saved me despite a miserable first section. So, I made sure that I didn’t feel exhausted, calmed myself in the first minute, and started working with sets. My Quantitative aptitude didn’t go as planned as my nerves caught hold of me, and I ended up solving fewer questions.

Eventually, I managed to get a 99.15 percentile and ended up getting calls from the I.I.M. B, I.I.M. L, and the CAP mostly because of my work-ex. Other calls being F.M.S, M.D.I., I.I.F.T, N.I.T.I.E., T.I.S.S. and the I.I.T.

Myth Buster:
I’ll quote something I heard while preparing and I disagree with  because I rarely managed to get a 99+ in mocks. There is only one difference between a 99 percentiler and a non 99 percentiler. A 99 percentiler knows he’ll get a 99 while a non 99 percentiler wants to get a 99. Remember, the golden words which should ring like war bells “Mock scores are not the replica of your CAT score.”

“An important takeaway from my experience of the D-day is that, if you are calm and composed, you will fare well despite the difficulty level of the exam”.

“The harder you have worked, the luckier you will be on the D-day”

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