Cracking CET- Tips by SIMSREE 2nd Ranker

 | August 22,2011 11:59 am IST

A graduate in electronics and an NCC cadre, Mihir Ashwin Gathani, made it to Sydenham Institute of Management Studies & Research & Entrepreneurship Education (SIMSREE), Mumbai with months of dedicated and religious preparations. A CAT aspirant initially, Mihir finally cracked CET securing 56th rank in the University and 67th in the state.

Here he tells CoolAvenues about his preparation, CET exam, his b-school and more…


NAME:- Mihir Ashwin Gathani                    SIMSREE 2nd Ranker Mihir Ashwin Gathani

CET SCORE:- 167 (137+12+14+4)

University Rank:- 56

State Rank:- 67


1. Tell us something about yourself.
I am currently pursuing my MBA from Sydenham Institute of Management Studies & Research & Entrepreneurship Education. I have done my graduation (BE in Electronics). Along with the academic knowledge acquired, the privileged experiences like being selected as the Vice-Chairman of the technical festival committee in college and being unanimously selected as the Prime Minister of my school have played an important role in my thought process and shaping my personality. Two years of NCC training has increased my determination to give my best to whatever task I am assigned. My interest level is very high in the field of mathematics.

2. What do you wish to achieve in life? Why did you choose MBA as your career path?
I strongly feel that technology and management share a symbiotic relation with one another. My goal is to have an Indian bank on the global platform which is a reversal of the current trend. A lot of transformation is required for the goal to be achieved. I need a head start to my career and an MBA Programme will be a launch pad for the same. By pursuing an MBA, I hope to enhance the skills acquired during my course and other experience’s and adds a new dimension to my thought process. I will be expecting a value addition not only in terms of the level of placements or work experience, but also in terms of the intellectual capital I would be accumulating in those two years. Knowledge of the various areas of management e.g. marketing, finance, systems, HRD etc. will be acquired along with the skills of analysis and communication.


3. How did you prepare for CET? Did you join any coaching classes or self study?
I had started my MBA entrance preparations when I was in the third year of my Graduation. Initially the focus was on CAT as it was considered the mother of all exams. I had joined CPLC for the coaching and the test series. After taking the CAT and all the other exams CET was the final opportunity to get into a MBA college. My preparation for CAT had my basic concepts clear and I worked on questions unique to CET like Visual Reasoning, Series and Sequences, etc. to complete my preparation. Once I was confident about my preparation I started giving tests and tracked my performance and depending upon the results made the necessary changes in the preparation. Practice is the key to succeed in CET.


4. What are the major differences between CET and CAT? Which one is more difficult?
One major difference between the two exams is the amount of hype created. CAT is more about handling the pressures that come along it. With CAT going online, multiple papers also play a factor whereas in CET everyone has the same paper and the luck factor (Normalization of marks by CAT) is ruled out. Difficulty-wise CAT is more logical and time consuming, but it has less number of questions. CAT has a total of 60 (30+30) questions according to the new format in 140 minutes whereas CET has 200 questions in 150 minutes. Hence, the level of difficulty has to be more. The GD-PI process of colleges accepting CAT score is entirely different and unique to each college whereas CET has a centralized GD-PI process. There is no negative marking in CET.


5. What was your preparation strategy before one month of the exam?
One month before the exam I was done with my initial preparation and had started giving tests. Tests are the most important part of the preparation as it gives an opportunity to strategize, gives you an indication about your strengths, weakness and helps in planning your further preparation accordingly. Analyzing the test properly is more important than giving the test. It is very important to maintain the focus and self-confidence in the last few days and not to take any exam related stress or pressure. Unwinding yourself is also very important.

6. What strategy you chalked down for CET exam day?
Most important thing before the exam day is to have adequate sleep. Do not compromise on your sleep for any reasons. Your mind needs to be in the best possible state during the 150 minutes of the exam. I didn’t read anything on the exam day. Reach your centre well before the exam time. It will help you to avoid unnecessary stress and to maintain your focus. Based on my strengths and weakness and the analysis of test papers I had a plan to approach the paper in a particular way and more importantly was ready for a change in approach if the paper demanded.

7. CET is often termed as speed exam. Any special strategies for that aspect?
Traditionally, CET was considered to be a speed exam and the paper had standard and repetitive questions. As the number of questions in CET is more and no negative marking, you have an option of striking a balance between Accuracy and Attempts. You can increase the number of attempts comprising a little on accuracy or you can attempt fewer questions with high accuracy depending on your speed and confidence in the attempted questions. Like any speed based test, CET also requires practice and a time saving approach.


8. Were you able to stick to your strategy or there were any last minute changes?
CET 2011 was a surprise for everyone and most of the students were caught unaware with the change in pattern. Students were stuck and were not able to find a way out. All plans and strategies went for a toss. My strategy was to attempt all the questions. It also led to silly errors but I made up for them with the high attempts. This strategy was possible in the previous year but not this year as the difficulty level of the paper was such that it was not possible to attempt all the questions and you had to be very selective in the questions. So, I had to change my strategy. I attempted all the DI and Quant questions and didn’t attempt any of the Reading Comprehension questions. I selected DI and Quant questions as I was confident about these sections. So you need to be prepared for the last minute change in your strategies.