Hi, my name is Tushar Sangwan. I scored 95.54 percentile in CAT 2019 and 98.54 percentile in SNAP exam.
My journey started from the summer of 2019, after my final year exams ended. It was like a do or die situation for me as I had to drop that year after college. And coming from a B.Sc background it wasn't easy to get a relevant job for MBA.
"When you are in the centre of chaos and uncertainty about your future, the best thing to do is to do the NEXT RIGHT THING in front of you."
So I decided to single-mindedly prepare for CAT and dedicate my time to it. I joined Bullseye as my first step towards MBA preparations. Preparing for CAT or any other exam is not that tough even if you start in June and there are hardly 6 months left. You just have to be efficient with your studies and your plan. And that is how my life and personality changed over six months of CAT prep.
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The shift to the ‘first bench’
I was never an achiever in academics and never ever a first bencher. I used to sit in the third row in the beginning because I felt it’s never easy to sit in the front row. You will be right in front and the teacher can ask you any question at any time. But that was my first step of transformation - coming from the third to the first row. After a class of 2 hours when I got back to my room I used to read newspaper editorials and tried to read more than what was taught in class so that I could learn better and compete easily with others. After I started sitting in the front row, my confidence started building up. I am not saying that I was able to answer each and every question asked by teachers but at least it made me more active in class. I became more aware of my level of preparation and more proactive to study and improve my scores.
Studying in ‘Groups’
The best thing about a coaching institute is that you come across people who have nearly the same goals in future and are preparing for those same exams. You can use their knowledge and experience to know more about colleges, preparation ideas, what to study and what not to. This was the second thing that transformed in me - I surrounded myself with “Like minded” people. After a class got over, I used to sit in any of the vacant classes with my friends Vritant, Dhruv, Manmit and Remal. This helped me and my friends to study efficiently and in a much better way as we discussed our problems, shared useful knowledge about any college or exam and kept each other motivated and focused. We used to go for mocks together and discuss the exam after that.
Learning how to take the CAT test
Talking about mocks, taking mock tests is the best way to boost your marks, speed and concentration. Mock-tests give you an idea how to sit in an exam for continuous three hours. I had seen many students going for small breaks during their exam and that wasted at least 5 minutes for them. They also lost their concentration and had to build it back again, leading to total loss of 10 minutes. These competitive exams are all about speed, concentration and good judgement. So one should make himself accustomed to the exam atmosphere by giving mocks at bullseye lab. You will get a proper exam feel. Also, you can experiment by changing your seat every time so that you can adjust to any possible situation. This was a complete transformation from the way we took exams during college.
Attempting to ‘Analysing Mock-Tests’
After giving mocks give yourself free time to relax and enjoy and at that night give around two hours to analyse a test. Analysing mocks is very important and I realised this when I started preparing for CAT. For tests I did not analyse, my scores stayed stagnant but once I started discussing my test attempt I learnt many things. Remember that a curve will definitely come in your mocks mark where your marks start decreasing and you will start getting depressed and frustrated, that’s the time you will get to know your strength, weakness and do work accordingly. Make sure this curve comes before November and for that you should start giving mocks as early as possible.
If you are doing well in class and mocks and started getting bored with solving basic questions, I have one line for you:
" Don’t solve ordinary questions. Start solving those questions which were not solved by the ordinary. "
Learning to recover and ‘Improvise’
I was not good in the verbal section which resulted in me not clearing the sectional cut-off for IIMs. I didn’t get any IIM calls but when the SNAP exam came I knew what to do. I worked on my strength and I solved nearly every question from the quant and DI section and few from the verbal section. I cleared the SNAP exam. You should always work on your weakness and your strength because a balanced scorecard will definitely help you for your calls.
My CAT journey was nothing short of experiencing and learning new things. At bullseye, Sanjay Joshi sir taught me how to work on my speed by solving questions without a pen. That helped my mind grow better. He used to tell me to solve target exercise within time. One needs to solve only 60% of the questions to get nearly 150+ marks which will give you nearly 99 percentile, this is all what we need. Deepak Dureja sir taught me how to evaluate a problem and to solve it in different ways. And last but not the least, Sibina and Sonam ma’am motivated us to study. They were like mentors for me and I really appreciate them.
Anybody can score good marks in CAT, you only need focus, hard work and dedicated time for studies.
Best of luck.