The Common Entrance Test (CAT) 2020 is just around the corner. Considered to be one of the toughest exams to crack, CAT is the gateway for lakhs of students into the 20 Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) in the country.
One of the students to aspired to study in an IIM was Maruti Konduri!
Hailing from Hyderabad, Maruti cracked his way into CAT in 2008 with 99.97 percentile and got into IIM Ahmedabad, all without going to any coaching centre. After graduating, he worked in Hong Kong as an investment banker, he quit his job in 2014 to start the online platform Cracku with his wife, Sayali, who herself scored 99.91 in the exam.
In talks with The Better India (TBI), the topper speaks on how aspirants can achieve their desired target without coaching classes and how they can make the most of their time during the lockdown.
Preparing Without Coaching
“Thinking if the exams will happen or not is counter-productive. The uncertainty of the period can affect and delay your preparation greatly, so keeping yourself focused and assuring yourself that the examinations will happen in four months time is very important,” explains Maruti attempted CAT 2019 again and was the only candidate to score a 100 percentile.
“Centre your preparation around mock examinations. Several students who are finding it difficult to afford online classes for CAT preparation can adopt this strategy. The papers for the previous three years are available online for free,” he adds. According to Maruti one must attempt a mock test every weekend and base their weekday preparations on their results.
“I’ve seen several students start off their preparation by watching videos and referring to several coaching books. But with just four months left for the examination, understanding the kind of questions that are asked is key to cracking the CAT,” he explains.
CAT is not just for engineers
Maruti also points out that several people with non-engineering background lose hope on clearing the examination.
“Although it was true that engineers had a better chance of clearing the exams, the system has completely changed now. They are providing a more level ground so that students from all backgrounds can pursue an MBA,” explains Maruti who did his engineering from IIT-Bombay.
“Several arts graduates worry that their quantitative aptitude is not upto the mark, but in reality, a basic understanding of the questions of the exam and continuous practice can help. You must be able to tailor your preparation time accordingly,” he adds.
Preparing During A Pandemic
As for books for CAT preparation, Maruti suggests aspirants stick to an online method of preparation.
“The reading speed online and through a book varies by a certain percentage and in the case of the CAT examinations, every minute detail matters. For the same reason, I always recommend an online mode of preparation so that aspirants get accustomed to reading and attempting comprehensions through a screen,” he explains.
“There are several paid and free CAT question banks and mock question papers which you can make use of for your preparation,” he adds.
“But the most important thing to remember is that this year, in particular, is very different from the rest. Everyone is taking on a certain level of stress due to the pandemic. Rather than avoiding it, aspirants must acknowledge this and then move forward with their preparation,” he concludes.
The registrations for CAT 2020 begin tomorrow. A few important days to remember:
- Registration starts at 10 a.m., 5 August 2020, Wednesday.
- Registration ends at 5 p.m., 16 September 2020, Wednesday.
- Admit card download begins at 5 p.m., 28 October 2020, Wednesday.
- Test day: 29 November 2020, Sunday.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)