Tuesday, 10 July 2012

CAT 2012@ Topper Mantras: CAT 2011 100 percentiler Subhashish Bhadra on his journey to success


Subhashish Bhadra scored a whopping 100 percentile in CAT 2011. The confident CAT aspirant from Delhi’s St. Stephen’s College was sure about his performance as he had made a systematic approach for his preparation. In today’s MBAUniverse.com Topper Mantras, we present to you the interview of CAT topper Subhashish Bhadra.

Subhashish is an Economics graduate from Delhi’s prestigious Sr. Stephen’s College. He did his schooling from Delhi Public School, R K Puram. He has a penchant for public speaking, quizzing, poetry and economics research.

Though he got through IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta and Lucknow but he has decided not to pursue MBA this year and go for a consulting job.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q: What was your score in CAT 2011?

A: I got 100 percentile in CAT 2011. My sectional scores are Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation - 99.80 percentile and. Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning - 100 percentile.

Q: How many GDPI rounds have you had? Please share your experiences in detail.

A: I appeared for the IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta and Lucknow GD, PI & Essay Writing sessions. The IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Calcutta experiences were similar. The interviews were focused on my academics. Hence, it was imperative to know my own subject matter quite well. The IIM Bangalore and IIM Lucknow interviews were more generic, and it was based more on the personal type of questions, along with a healthy dose of academic questions. As for the GDs, which are held only at IIM Calcutta and IIM Lucknow, the experience was not very pleasant. You get very few opportunities to speak, and hence it becomes important to make sense while you're speaking.

Q: Which are the institutes that offered you final admission? Which institute have you decided to take admission in and why?

A: I was offered admission by IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta and Lucknow. I have decided to not pursue an MBA at this point, and would be taking up a job instead.

Q: How did you prepare for CAT 2011?

A: I started my CAT 2011 preparation in September of my pre-final year. Till March, I just attempted to attend each and every class, without much practice at home. In June-July of the final year, I joined a coaching institute and started solving their worksheets. In August that year, I joined a test series of a reputed CAT coaching institute. After that, it was all about solving as many questions from the QA, D and LR sections as possible.


Q: CAT saw a major change in the format & pattern in 2011. How did you prepare for it? Did this new pattern cause any hindrance in your preparation or exam taking strategy?

A: I do not think the format change made much of a difference. The number of questions and the type of questions from every question type remained the same, and hence there was no change in preparation. At best, I benefited from the coupling of the QA and DI sections because it diversifies the question set, and hence enable those weak in either of the sections to do well, and clear the sectional cut-offs.


Q: What was your preparation strategy for the Quantitative Ability Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning?

A: For the Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section, I used my coaching institute workbooks and the test series. Having gone through a lot of other material in the market from other coaching institutes, the idea was to solve different and new questions, and then to get doubts cleared by my teachers. As for the Verbal Ability section, I did not put in any effort since I was convinced that, having taken the GMAT, my Verbal Ability was up to the mark.


Q: What was your strategy for time management?

A: I sought to run through the entire section once and attempt every question. In that way, I tend to make more mistakes than usual, but am mostly able to manage because of a higher number of correct questions too. However, I don't think it is an advisable strategy to follow, especially in the verbal section where reading and processing speeds might differ from individual to individual.


Q: What was your strategy for GD, PI & Essay Writing rounds?

A: Having been a debater and quizzer most of my school and college life, I was fairly opinionated on a broad array of issues and hence, did not put in any special effort for GD/PI preparation. However, for someone who has not been into these extracurricular pursuits, I would say that reading newspapers is the best way to go about it. The longer you read, the more in-depth your knowledge is. However, one thing that I had to do was to revise my entire economics course. To not know your own subject matter would be a massively embarrassing thing.


Q What is your message for the MBA aspirants who will take CAT 2012 and other exams of the season?

A: Firstly, I would say that one has to realize that the CAT is an aptitude test. There is a limit to which hard work can improve your aptitude. At the end of the day, an enhancement of aptitude requires a process of de-learning and re-learning. Unfortunately, that makes a coaching institute quite necessary in most cases. The choice of your coaching institute makes all the difference - if you don't like the process, I don't see how you'd be able to keep at it for long enough. Secondly, I would suggest that any aspirant start early and go slow, maybe even just two to three hours a week. The idea is that aptitude is a way of life, not something you can acquire too soon.

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more Topper Mantras.