New Delhi, January 9
Soham Katkar, a boy from Mumbai with a passion for music and drama, passed the Common Entrance Test (CAT 2021) with 100 percentile, even as he was enjoying the India vs New Zealand cricket streak days before the ‘exam. Of the 1.92 lakh candidates who sat for the exams, nine applicants, including Soham, scored 100 percentile. In an interview with IANS, Soham spoke about his preparation and how he dominated the CAT. Extracts:
Q. What was your reaction upon knowing your score?
A. I was happy with my score. When the answer sheet was issued I was confident that I would score well. My estimated score was 153 and I was trying to find out if anyone else had scored more than me in slot 1, but couldn’t find anyone. I crossed my fingers and checked the percentile. Was satisfied …
Q. What are your total and partial scores?
A. Scores are VARC 47.73, DILR 53.06, Quants 58.35, Total 159.13. Percentile – VARC 99.33, DILR 100, Quants 99.99, Total 100.
Q. When you started to prepare for CATS 2021, how many hours did you use to study?
A. I also took the CATS 2020 exams and prepared for two or three months. This time I started the preparations two weeks before the exams because I was busy with a few projects. I just needed a review as I had also prepared for the exam last year. During the two week prep I used to solve a two hour mock test and run it for 30 minutes to an hour.
Q. Did you receive any coaching? What are the advantages ?
A. No, I did not. But I had bought a series of mock tests from The Times Institute. I think the CAT program is not something we haven’t studied because it tests general skills and reasoning. However, to solve a paper, it is important to know its model. To get good results, it is important to solve a good set of mock tests.
Q. How did you used to de-stress during exams?
A. I did not allow myself to be too stressed. Stress never works. Almost nothing comes out of it … Sometimes certain thoughts bother you about the exam, the level of difficulty of the exam, its result … To keep the negativity at bay, I had the used to chat with my friends, watch tv. During those two weeks, I was busy watching a series match between India and New Zealand.
Q. Tell us about yourself, your hobbies and your tastes?
A. I am a computer engineer by profession and am originally from Mumbai. I like to play musical instruments, especially the flute. I love watching cricket and was a member of our college theater team.
Q. Why did you want to study the MBA?
A. I have read a lot about management studies and I think I have the skills to study it. This course will help me achieve my goals. My target is the best IIMs in the country –Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata.
Q. Who is your role model and why?
A. I have no ideals. I take inspiration from different people based on their qualities and accomplishments and try to follow the lessons learned from them in life.
Q. Do you have a message for future CAT aspirants?
A. Believe in yourself. Don’t be afraid of failures. While you are taking the exam, don’t worry about running out of time. Focus on precision instead of forcing yourself to solve all the paper. It is better to write two specific answers in four to five minutes than to rush in and write one right and two wrong answers. IANS