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Toppers Mantra: What made 9 IIMs, FMS Delhi to select 99.97

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Mr Debjit Nag scored 99.97 percentile in CAT 2012 and also secured final admission offers from 10 top B-schools including 9 IIMs and FMS Delhi.  Presently a student of 2013-15 PGP batch of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, Mr Nag shares his success mantras on cracking CAT.  In this exclusive session with, the computer engineer who worked with Cognizant for 22 months before joining 2-year full time PGP programme at IIM-A, talks on the challenges he faced while preparing for CAT. He elaborates on part of his preparation which helped him secure admission to India’s top B-schools.

In this interview, Mr Nag also talks on his GD/PI strategy, weekly study plans and what he finds as the best part of doing an MBA.

You scored 99.97 percentile in CAT. How many B-schools made final admission offers to you?

After the GD-PI process was over, I was offered admissions from more than 10 top B-schools including many IIMs. I made into the final admission list of IIM-A, IIM-C, IIM-L, FMS Delhi, IIM-Ranchi, IIM-Trichy, IIM-Raipur, IIM-Rohtak, IIM-Kashipur, IIM-Udaipur amongst others. I however, opted for IIM-A.

What was your percentile in two sections (QA-DI, VA-LR)?

While I had an overall percentile of 99.97 in CAT 2012, my percentile in QA-DI was 99.82 and the same for VA-LR was 99.79.

What were your strong and weak areas? Why?

Quantitative Aptitude (QA) and Data Interpretation (DI) was the easiest section for me while Verbal Ability used to trouble me the most. Logical Reasoning (LR) was also an area of strength for me. The reason for strength in QA, DI, LR was my analytical ability and problem solving skill. On the other hand, initially I didn’t have much reading habit which used to lead to fluctuated scores in VA.

So, what was your strategy to cope with challenges in VA?

 I think, for improvement, there is no other way than practice.  I started reading a lot to improve my VA skills and gradually things got better.

How did you manage your weekly study schedule?

I studied regularly for 2-3 hours on weekdays and 5-6 hours on Saturdays and Sundays. This used to include time spent in mock tests and thereafter the analysis of the same.

What was the one preparation area which influenced your selection to this Top B-school heavily? How?

I think, my preparation for the post-CAT part was the key deciding factor during my selection process at IIM-A. Without a good interview, even a 100 percentiler in CAT doesn’t guarantee selection in top IIMs nowadays. For me, sincere preparation of Group Discussion (GD) and Personal interview (PI) helped me a lot during the final stage of selection.

What was your long-term preparation strategy for GD/PI?

As I was working with Cognizant for 22 months, I was out of touch with academics for 2 years. But for GD/PI preparation I mostly devoted time to study statistics and 3-4 core subjects of Engineering and I found questions from these areas in all top IIM interviews. Apart from that, I used to keep a tab on current affairs regularly.

What was your biggest mistake during selection process beginning with CAT?

 Initially I used to attach too much value to mock tests. Later, I realized that those were just mocks and started to invest more time in self-improvement by targeting weak areas one after another.

Your advice for CAT 2013 Aspirants

Focus on accuracy on the D-Day. Lack of accuracy is penalized heavily in CAT. Maintain your composure and you will definitely do well.

What is the best part of doing/being an MBA?

From the experience of two months at IIM Ahmadabad, I would like to say that MBA is really worth investing time and money if pursued from a top notch B-School of the country. The kind of industry exposure we get at IIMA is indeed a great value addition and learning opportunity.

Stay tuned to for more news, CAT prep features & Topper’s Mantra.

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