As the next installment in our interview series with IIM call getters, we present to you Ankit Sud who scored 99.83 percentile in CAT 2011 and got 8 IIM calls (Kolkata, Lucknow, Raipur, Ranchi, Rohtak, Trichy, Udaipur and Kashipur). He also got calls from FMS, MDI, IMT Ghaziabad, XIMB, IMI, FORE, TAPMI, GIM, SIBM Pune, SCMHRD and Great Lakes, Chennai. Out of these, he has already converted IIM C, MDI, IMT Ghaziabad, XIMB, IMI, FORE, TAPMI, GIM and Great Lakes.
Ankit was born and brought up in New Delhi. He has done his B.Sc. in Hospitality and Hotel Administration from the Institute of Hotel Management, Pusa, New Delhi. He studied Hotel Management as he wanted to work in a field which gave him a chance to interact with new people every day. He has worked for almost 3 years in the front office of a 5 star deluxe hotel. He started his career with Hotel Leela Kempinski, Mumbai and was later transferred to Hotel Leela Kempinski, Gurgaon. As a Front Office Executive, he managed a team of trainees, assistants and supervisors. He quit his job in March 2011 to prepare for the entrance tests because his job required him to work in shifts and he didn't have any fixed offs and working hours.
Which exams did you appear for lastyear?
Iappeared for all the exams: - CAT, TISS, NMAT, MAT, IRMA, XAT, SNAP.
When did you start your preparations?
I started preparing in the end of March - to be precise - on 31stMarch, 2011.
Did you have any separate strategy for the other exams apart from CAT?
As far as CAT was concerned, I just concentrated on the basics of all three sections. But after CAT I started devoting sometime everyday to increasing my General Knowledge which was essential for other exams like SNAP,TISS, IRMA and MAT. For the same, I started reading magazines like Businessworld and I also used to browse through various internet sites. Besides this, I read newspapers very regularly.
Which was your strongest section and how did you prepare for it?
Verbal ability was my strongest section hence I did not spend much time on it. I just made it a point to attempt 1-2 RC passages and a Miscellaneous verbal usage section test everyday which were available on TestFunda and some other sites. I had also registered for the Wordlist through email from TestFunda which helped me strengthen my vocabulary. I focused on memorizing the words which I had learnt earlier rather than trying to learn new words everyday. I believe in remembering a few no. of words well rather than going through the whole list. Quality over quantity!!
Which was your weakest section? What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
My weakest section was Quantitative Ability and for the same reason I tried giving it the maximum time. I started by solving the basic questions and then moved on to the difficult ones. The questions were all available inthe TestFunda courseware and some other books.
If you were a working professional,how did you manage your time?
I had ample time to prepare for the tests since I had quit my job in order to start preparing them.
If you were in your final year while preparing, how did you balance academics and MBA exam preparation?
When did you start taking mock CATs and how many mock CATs did you take?
I started taking mocks somewhere around June. I also joined a test series to give as many mock CATs as possible on a regular basis. I spent a lot of time analyzing the results of the mocks and making a note of the mistakes which I usually made and tried not repeating them in the later mocks. I took around 20-25 mocks.
What question selection strategy did you follow in the actual examinations?
I followed the standard strategy: - Solving the simplest questions first and gradually moving on to the difficult questions. Not wasting time over a question to which I was not finding a solution and quickly moving on to the next one. I would go back to it if I had time later.
How did you manage the QA + DI combination in section I and what attempt strategy did you follow?
In the first section, I would attempt the DI questions first and then I would solve QA. I allocated around 20-25 minutes for the DI sets and chose the simplest set first and later I would move on to QA.
How did you manage the VA + LR combination in section II and what attempt strategy did you follow?
In the second section, I used to solve VA first and then LR. I used to attempt the RC passages first but not all three passages one after the other. I used to attempt the 2 easier passages first, and then would move on to the verbal usage questions. Later, I would attempt the 3rd passage. Towards the end of the section, I would attempt LR.
How did you prepare for the online RCs and DI sets?
For the online RCs and DI sets, I took as many practice sectiontests possible from TestFunda and other sites.
What were your reading habits, if any?
I love reading but had no time for it while preparing for CAT, but still I tried reading a few philosophical and religious novels from the RC point of view. Apart from that I only read the newspaper every day.
How did you prepare for the GD-PI?
I attended a few GD/PI sessions and also browsed through a few GD topics online. Apart from that reading the newspaper regularly was quite helpful.
We are trying to arrange a LIVE CHAT with Ankit on CAT Preparation. We will update you once we finalise it. Watch this space for more details!!