Chhavi Gupta has secured a straight 100 percentile and is one of the two women CAT 2017 toppers, who is an alumnus of IIT Delhi’s five year dual B. Tech and M. Tech degree in Biotechnology, and is currently working at Opera Solutions as a Business Analyst. Due to her strict office schedule she was able to prepare for CAT only during the weekends, and she did it so well that despite the time crunch, planning her study schedule, concentrating on the logical applications of formulae, basic concepts and practicing about 35 mock tests helped her crack the most competitive MBA entrance test for IIMs and over 100 B-schools across India. In this article you can read “Delhi Girl (Chhavi Gupta) cracks CAT Exam with 100%” Interview.
Chhavi Gupta Interview
An avid reader, Chhavi is one out of the two female candidates who bagged 100 percentile, shares her CAT 2017 experience in this interview.
Questioner: Hi Chhavi, First of all, Congratulations on securing 100 percentile! Kindly share something about yourself with our audience?
Chhavi – Thank you so much. I am born and brought up from Jaipur, Rajasthan. I completed my schooling in Delhi and acquired various scholarships since my school days. However as my Dad is a Govt. employee, we kept relocating to different places and my mother is a part-time Pharmacist, who was very particular about my studies since my formative years. I am eldest in my siblings and have two siblings; my younger sister is pursuing MBBS from Maulana Azad Medical College and my younger brother is studying in 6th standard. After completing my dual degree from IIT Delhi in Biotechnology, I got placed at Opera Solutions as a Business Analyst.
Questioner: Kindly share your sectional percentile with our audience?
Chhavi– Sure, I was able to secure 99.94 percentile in Verbal Ability/Reading Comprehension Section (VARC), 100 percentile in Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Section (DILR) and 99.98 percentile in Quantitative Ability Section (QA).
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Questioner: Give us your two cents about the exam day situation?
Chhavi– Yes, I was feeling very confident on the exam day, as my mocks had gone very well few months before the CAT day which kept me calm throughout the exam. I picked up the sets which I was confident about to avoid negative marking.
Questioner: Which section took most time taking and which section took less time?
Chhavi: There was no section which, according to me, was tough or easy. I had encountered similar questions in my mock and sample CAT tests. Mostly all the question patterns were known to me. DILR and Reading comprehensions were quite tough, so I chose the ones which could be easily comprehended by me and again took five to seven minutes in selecting what to do and what not to do.
Questioner: Kindly share your preparation strategy of CAT 2017 with our audiences?
Chhavi– As I had limited time, it was important to plan accordingly, so, I took up coaching sessions with T.I.M.E, but did not have enough time to read through the modules. I rigorously practised the Mock CAT series(AIMCAT) prepared by them, selected some random tests online and sample CAT. To be precise, solving 35 practice tests and analysing them critically called for the cent percent percentile.
Questioner: Can you list down the factors that helped you in being a 100 percentiler?
Chhavi-Sound knowledge of the basic concepts, controlling distractions, working through practice tests and critical self-analysis were the factors which led to my success.
Questioner: What was your time management strategy?
Chhavi– I specifically devoted five to seven minutes for selection of the questions. I had answered 24 questions in RC and spent 42-45 minutes as my accuracy level was very high. In general, the accuracy in VA questions was low, so for rest of the VA questions (Jumbled sentences and Fill in the Blanks), I spent nearly 15-20 minutes and for DILR, I gave five to seven minutes to plan and select the order of the sets. As I could not comprehend the first two sets, just skipped and solved rest of the sets. Finally, for the QA section, I gave 30 minutes each to the two sets of 17 questions. I religiously followed my preparation pattern and did not change my strategy on the test day. It is important to let go of a question if it is costing more time.
Questioner: This is the most common question in the CAT aspirant and I believe you would have faced it too, how helpful was coaching for you and is it possible to succeed through self-study?
Chhavi– Yes, I took a student programme with T.I.M.E and due to the time constraint, I could not refer to CAT modules; depended primarily on the lectures and the mock tests.
Self study only if one is focused, has his/her basic concepts clear, solve a substantial number of practice tests, he/she does not have to enroll in coaching classes.
Questioner: For the first time IIMs released CAT question paper and answer key. What are your opinions on it?
Chhavi– Yes. I believe it is a good step as there is more transparency now.
Questioner: Which B-School are you planning to join and why? What are your career plans after MBA?
Chhavi– I am very much looking forward to one of the top three IIMs. IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta have great campuses and faculties.
Do not have a dream career per se but as I am working as a Business Analyst, would like to be in the Consulting domain.
Questioner: Do you have an idol?
Chhavi– Oh yes! The one name that crops in my mind is my parents. As I already mentioned earlier, my mother used to be very serious about my academics and I would not have been able to score 100 percentile if she had not pushed me with her guiding spirit and I look up to my father as well upto his diligence and dedication towards work.
Questioner: What were your spare time activities you used to follow during your CAT 2017 prepration?
Chhavi – Well I like to Read books (History, Drama and Non-fiction), sing and spend time with my family, especially my younger brother, so, I used to study for three hours at a stretch and then take a break to go out for cycling or watch television, which helped me getting rejuvenated physically as well as mentally.
Questioner: Any suggestion that you would like to share with aspirants?
Chhavi-Keep your calm and follow your preparation pattern; do not change your exam strategy on the test day. To score well, you need to focus on time practice how to let go off a question, if you cannot solve it within 5-7 minutes