Nirav Parmar of PGP 2011-13 batch at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) shares some tips on how he cracked the Common Admission Test.

Nirav, who is now working for a real estate consultancy, was born and brought up in Vadodara.

He studied Electronics Engineering at MS University of Baroda and went on to work for two years as Executive, Sales Engineering for Bharat Petroleum in Pune.

Here are excerpts from the interview.

How did you prepare for CAT entrance exam?

I started my preparation one year before actual CAT. I started with brushing up of basic concepts and then involved myself in solving complex problems based on these.

CAT has 3 major portions to crack:
1) Verbal Aptitude
2) Logical Reasoning
3) Quantitative Analysis

I divided my time equally while preparing these 3 sections.

After clearing my basic concepts and solving some problems, I diverted my efforts to time management. 

I started taking aptitude tests to gauge my time management and efficiency for solving the test. I repeated this exercise till the final exam.

This also clears your mind regarding your abilities and makes you clear regarding what all colleges; you should apply for a sure shot admission in an MBA college.

Did you go to a coaching centre?

I joined one coaching centre in college. But I did not join again for my second attempt at CAT.

The test series at various coaching institutes makes you judge your relative performance against all other aspirants.

What were the difficulty level of the Group discussion and the Personal interview?

The difficulty level of group discussion and personal interview varies with the institute and their admission procedure.

Did your work experience help you while pursuing the course?

The work experience certainly helps you in understanding many managerial problems better.

You can always relate the managerial case studies to the problems faced by you in your earlier organization. So, this makes you analyze better.

Is there anything about CAT you’d like to tell students?

Practice. CAT is not as hard as it seems. It just requires an ample amount of practice. Along with practice, keep on taking the mock tests so that, you can judge yourself and decide about your applications better.

One last thing – Life does not end after CAT.

#READ: Most commonly asked Personal Interview questions
# MUST READ: Personal experiences in PI

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