An inspiration to CAT 2018 aspirants, Saswat Gupta cracked CAT 2017 with 99.91 percentile and got admission in FMS Delhi. A graduate from IIT Delhi in Mechanical Engineering, Saswat appeared in XAT 2018 also and scored 99.97 percentile.
Saswat was offered admission at IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore, IIM Kozhikode, XLRI Jamshedpur, apart from FMS Delhi but preferred to join FMS.
Saswat belongs to a modest family of four people – his home maker and artist mother; father doing private service, and his younger student sister.
Q. What was your overall preparation strategy for CAT?
A. Identified the weak areas through mock tests and prepared them through coaching material, internet and mock tests
Q. Please share your sectional preparation strategy for CAT?
VARC: Practised as part of mock tests and sectional tests and attended 8-10 CL classes
Quant: Practised questions from Time booklet and mock tests and attended 10-12 CL classes
DILR: Practised questions from Time booklet and mock tests and attended 3-4 CL classes
Q. Was there any particular section/area that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge?
A. I was weak at LRDI and prepared for the same through mock tests and sectional tests
Q. What role did Mocks play in your success? How many mocks did you attempt before the exam?
A. Mocks tests played a huge role in my success. They are, in my personal opinion, an imperative to reach your potential in the CAT exam.
I attempted around 20 full tests and around 70 sectional tests (1 hour tests)
Q. Did you self-prepare or attend a coaching centre and why?
A. I joined Career Launcher’s Sept-Nov batch (i.e. coaching in the 3 months’ period before the exam) and attended 20 odd classes of the sections and topics that I identified as my weak areas. I joined the batch because I started preparing for the exam 3 months before the CAT and felt that coaching would help me cover up the material at a faster pace than I could at my home.
Q. Please share your strategy for the CAT Day.
A. Slept on time to get 7 hours of sleep before the exam. Woke up, went straight to the centre for the afternoon session without any other thoughts.
Last minute preparation was not involved.
I planned my test taking by giving mocks in the same slot as the CAT exam for the last 3-4 days before the exam.
Q. Your final message and tips for candidates preparing for CAT 2018.
A. Evaluate your current position, develop a plan keeping the time available before the exam in sight and implement the plan.
Q. Did you face any weak moment when you self-doubted your preparation and scared failure? Please narrate it, if so.
A.Yes, I was often sceptical about my LRDI section because I never performed well in mocks. However, I just focused on my total score in mocks and took comfort from that.
Q. What kind of personal struggles/challenges you had to face while preparing for these exams like facing family or peer pressure, convincing your parents, etc?
A. My family and peers were very supportive.