CAT Preparation tips by NITIE student

 | August 23,2011 06:52 pm IST

CAT is considered as the toughest MBA entrance exams in India. One has to prepare dedicatedly in order to crack CAT exam.

Varun Saxena, PGDIM (Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Management) student at NITIE shares his CAT preparation experience and strategy he adopted.

Q. How did you kick start your preparations for getting into the B-school of your choice?

By getting enrolled in Career Launcher


Q. When did you start your preparation? Did you plan before hand about your preparations?

I started preparing 9 months before CAT exam.

Q. How many hours daily did you devote for preparation of entrance exams?

2-3 hours during weekdays and 4-5 hours during weekend


Q. Did you take up some coaching or you believed in self-study?

Career Launcher – Lucknow
I enrolled for TIME test series as well.


Q. What was your experience with coaching?

Faculty of QA and VA was good. DI faculty was no good enough as per the standards of CAT.

Overall experience was good with a cooperative faculty around and personal attention given to students who scored good in mocks.


Q. What are the other books and tests that you used for your MBA preparation, besides the study material provided by your coaching institute?

QA : Arun Sharma and Nishit Sinha

VA: Norman Lewis, Arun Sharma, Baron

DI/LR: Nishit Sinha, LR by Arihant Publication, Arun Sharma


Q. Can you tell us which books are your favorite—books that you used for preparing for entrance, books for self-development, and books for pure relaxation?

I did not use any book as such for self-development or for pure relaxation. Though, being the fan of Paul Coelho, I did read most of his books during the preparation phase to take break from studies.

Q. What were your strongest and your weakest areas while preparing for MBA?

My strengths were: QA, LR/DI, FIJs, Critical Reasoning , Reading Comprehension
Weaknesses were: Parajumbles, vocabulary and Sentence correction


Q. What helped you master Quantitative Aptitude, Reading Comprehension, etc.?

I think being an engineer; I was always very comfortable with Quantitative Aptitude. For reading comprehension, I used to do lot of online reading. The resources majorly included

Q. How did you manage to prepare for test while working full time?
It was about time management and I think I did pretty decent in it. I used to work for 2-3 hours on weekdays and 4-5 hours during weekends to make up for the time.


Q. Which all Entrance Exams & B-schools you applied to? 
I took exams like CAT, XAT, FMS, JMET and SNAP.

Colleges include IIMs, NITIE, MDI, FMS, XLRI, SIBM, IIFT and SCMHRD.


Q. Your present B-school and programme. What made you opt for this particular institute and programme?

I am currently in NITIE, Mumbai. The course is Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Management.

The brand name of the NITIE and it being my first choice after IIM-ABCL through CAT, made me opt for it after the call got converted.


Q. What procedures your school has for admission to its MBA program?

NITIE accepts CAT score. There is a group discussion followed by personal interview of the shortlisted people.

Q. What is the range of score your B-school accepts?

Anyone who is the first class engineer can apply for NITIE.


Q. What was your score?

98.36 percentile

Q. Give some handy tips regarding the MBA written tests that would be of great help to MBA aspirants.

  1. Go through the study material of either TIME/CL in detail for getting the concepts in place
  2. For quant, solve Arun Sharma especially LOD 2 and LOD 3 for engineers and LOD 1 and LOD 2 for non-engineers
  3. For DI basic, solve Nishit Sinha’s book and Arihant’s book on LR
  4. For Verbal, read online stuff as much as possible. Websites like can be used for reading on diverse topics.
  5. After getting concepts clear, move on to sectional tests available on websites of TIME/CL
  6. This should be followed by mocks of previous years and then the test series of the season. All the mocks should be followed by detailed analysis. Remember that mock analysis is most important and mere mock solving doesn’t helps.