In this ‘How I cracked CAT’ series of toppers insight, IIM Bangalore student Ravi Chandrakar talks on his CAT preparation strategy and time management approach.
Luck does play a role in the exam but do not expect it to favour you unless you really deserve it, says Ravi who graduated from BITS Pilani (Goa Campus) and worked with HSBC Bank and Capital One before joining management programme at IIM Bangalore.
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In this interview with Careers360, he also shares insight on how he made it to one of the top B-schools in India.
Careers360.com: How did you start CAT preparation and what was your overall strategy?
Ravi Chandrakar: I started preparing for CAT in 2009, when I was in college. I was always good in Quant and DI. Also my speed was very good in attempting the questions. After 2009, I did not put much effort except for joining test series before exam and regularly giving the exam.
Careers360.com: What was your CAT percentile?
Ravi Chandrakar: My overall percentile in CAT 2012 was 99.58.
Careers360.com: Which B-Schools offered you final admission? Why did you choose IIM Bangalore?
Ravi Chandrakar: I got admission offers from IIM B, C, L, K, and all new IIMs. I selected IIM Bangalore because of more experienced peer group in class. Also I was in Bangalore for last 2.5 years and have many friends in Bangalore.
Careers360.com: How was your WAT/PI experience at IIM Bangalore?
Ravi Chandrakar: My WAT/ PI rounds for Bangalore were good. It was mostly related to my work experience and my industry.
Careers360.com: What would be your suggestion for CAT 2013 aspirants who are depending on self-study?
Ravi Chandrakar: I think CAT can be cracked without a formal coaching. Self-motivation, regular practice and forming a study group can be keys to success. One should be able to access his/her performance which is more important as a feedback mechanism for regular improvement.
Careers360.com: Were you a working professional or a student while preparing for CAT? How did you manage the CAT preparation within your regular work schedule?
Ravi Chandrakar: When I was student, I had enough time other than my regular class work. During my professional life, I did not spend much time on preparation, I used to attend mock exams on the weekends, and study online preparation material for 2-4 hours a week.
Careers360.com: What was your preparation strategy for the Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning?
Ravi Chandrakar: I learned the structured approach for Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Ability in coaching which I took during my college days. After such basic preparation, keeping in touch with the subjects was not hard. For Verbal Ability, I tried reading material but reading English was never my cup of tea. So, my English skills improved during my professional life.
Careers360.com: What was your strategy for time management for the CAT pattern?
Ravi Chandrakar: Practice hard before the exam so that your speed is really good.
Before attempting any question, analyse whether it can be solved quickly or it will take time; then decide whether to attempt now or at the end.
Careers360.com: What is your message for the MBA aspirants who will take CAT 2013 and other exams of this season?
Ravi Chandrakar: Hard work will be the key to success. Practice as much as you can. Luck does play a role in the exam but do not expect it to favour you unless you really deserve it.