CAT topper 2020: Aaryan Kapoor, an electronics and instrumental engineering student from BITS-Pilani, is among the nine candidates to have scored 100 percentile in Common Admission Test (CAT) 2020. The 21-year-old from Garhshankar, a small town in Punjab’s Hoshiyarpur district, said he was hopeful of scoring 99 percentile, but the top rank came as a surprise.
“I had opted for finance minors during my engineering degree which ignited my interest in this field. I had also opted for a six-month internship at a bank to further enhance my interest. While I had started preparing for CAT by giving some mock papers from January 2020, I started my serious preparation only in the past six months,” said Kapoor.
When asked about the difficulty level of CAT and JEE, Kapoor said, “While the JEE checks one’s depth in certain areas, CAT has a wide range of topics to cover, it tests one’s aptitude.” He adds, “While time management is critical in all exams, for CAT it is more important to know which questions to leave than to know which ones to attempt. Since it’s a PG level exam, the questions are not direct and there are many hidden traps, I also got stuck at one question but I left it as soon as I realised it. The idea is to solve as many questions as you know and as fast as you can. Rather than attempting all questions, one should only attempt topics one is confident in.”
Conceding that he was weak in the verbal ability section, Kapoor said he paid special attention to his weak points. “I enrolled for an online course only for the VARC section. I also participated in mock test series by almost all the big vendors, as well as enrolled for an overall CAT exam preparation manual from a famous coaching institute,” he said.
Practicing mock tests, he said, helped him analyse his performance.
“I used to give about 1-2 hours on weekdays along with my internship and 6-8 hours on weekends. Most of my preparation and mock attempts happened during the night,” the 21-year-old said. Kapoor said he would also appear for campus placements to ensure a backup but he aims to work in the investment banking domain rather than engineering.
Advising candidates who will appear for CAT 2021, he said, “One can only prepare for the basics and be ready to face challenges during exams. Many students panic during the exam. Especially this year, when the duration of the exam was shortened, the pressure was too much, the key is to remain calm.”