Parth Ashwin Chavda is a graduate of the LD College of Engineering in Automotive, which is affiliated with the GTU. The thorough focus on academics helped Parth obtain academic scholarships of nearly 1 lakh rupees during its 10th and 12th fellowships. In his own words, Parth is an ordinary Gujarati joe with extraordinary ambitions. He is a foodaholic and personable person, a Formula 1 enthusiast and loves to watch web series. He is attending IIm Bangalore’s Class of 2023, and in this interview he walks us through his CAT preparatory journey and gives his advice to future aspirants. Continue reading!
Please introduce yourself briefly. Please include your name, X., XII., Diplomas and professional experience (if available).
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I got 92.6% in my 10th, 86.15% in my 12th. – 92.60% and 7.86 total CGPA in my undergraduate degree. I have 34 months of professional experience – 29 months as a Marketing Executive (advertising and branding) at Tirth Agro Technology Pvt. Ltd and 5 months as GET (Product Mgmt. Dept.) at International Tractors Ltd.
Please provide your score and percentile. Alternatively, you can provide us with your CAT scorecard. We will redact the personal information before it is published.
How did you prepare – self-study or coaching? Which do you think is better?
Self study. In my opinion, it’s subjective. Due to time constraints (as I was preparing in parallel with my job) and due to my technical background, my foundations were strong. But if someone has the time and resources, coaching is a very good option.
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What do you think is the most important aspect of preparation?
Mock tests, lots of analysis, and unwavering confidence in yourself.
Which mock series have you signed up for?
I used IMS and TIME Mock Series.
How many full-length trial tests did you take?
How many partial tests did you take?
What was your approach when you made mocks?
My main focus was on accuracy throughout the prep phase. I used to analyze each mock test for at least 6 hours.
How do you think the test tests helped you with your preparation?
For me it was the ultimate key to success, I couldn’t stress the importance of mock testing anymore. Mock tests can help you with time management and your exam strategy, which are very important aspects of the exam.
What area were you strong in? Since you were strong on this section, how did you focus on the other sections?
Quants was my strength. I used to use 1 hour daily for quants and 1.5-2 hours for each LRDI and VARC section.
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Which section was your Achilles heel? How did you get over that?
VARC was the Achilles heel for me. I used to read newspapers every day, write 1 novel a week. I used to solve 4 to 5 RC passages and practice vocabulary on a platform called membean every day.
How much time did you regularly invest in preparation?
5 to 6 hours on weekdays and 8 to 10 hours on weekends.
Tell us about the low point of your preparatory trip and how did you get over it?
Just 2 months before the exam, I only got 75 percentiles in 3 consecutive test tests. That was the low point of my preparatory trip. I began to question the decision to prepare for CAT. But I knew there was no going back. Instead of thinking too much about the scores, I devoted more time to mock analysis. It really helped me, my average score over the last 5 mocks was 95 percentile.
What resources would you suggest to candidates for 2021?
Arun Sharma’s books for Quants and LRDI. For VARC, the GMAT Guide is a very good book to practice with. Other than that, the bodheeprep platform is very useful for RC as well. IMS or TIME mock test series are a must.
In your opinion, what are the DO’s and DON’Ts of CAT preparation?
Also read → From 20% ile in mocks one month before CAT to 99.93% ile in CAT 2020 | Kaivalya Shah, IIM Ahmedabad ’23
Which mock series would you like to propose to CAT 2021 candidates? Is one mock series sufficient or do you suggest a combination of 2 different mock series?
As I mentioned earlier, IMS and TIME are the best on the market right now. Personally, I would prefer 2 mock series as this helps expand the pool of questions.
In conclusion, what would you advise the CAT 2021 candidates to do?
Confidence and your thirst for knowledge can lead you to places. Never get discouraged if you do poorly on mock tests. What you get on D-Day matters most, no one is going to approve you based on your mock test results. And one last thing, as the saying goes “Aim at the moon, if you miss it you may hit a star. ”, Your goal should be at 100 percentile.
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