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Secret to Success by Nivedita Das (IIM Sirmaur)
April 11 2024

CAT is a competitive examination taken by graduate students across the county to get into some selected B-schools. It comprises of three sections:

  • Verbal Ability
  • LR_DI
  • Quantitative Ability

The following two points can be considered as my secret to success for belling the CAT:

  1. Taking enough mocks:

Apart from preparing each and every topic of the entire curriculum diligently, I took 2-3 mocks every week. This is the main “mantra” of cracking CAT. I didn’t wait till I finished the entire CAT syllabus. I started appearing for the <<<mocks>>> right after the first 3-4 months of my preparation. However, I didn’t stop at taking a mock. I went a step ahead and analyzed the mocks thoroughly. That is what made all the difference. While analyzing the mocks, I took into account the following points: For the questions which I haven’t been able to solve: I carefully looked at the problems which I hadn’t been able to solve. I tried to find out was it because the concept was unknown or because I ran out of time? If it’s the first, I learnt the new concept and wrote it down in a notebook so that I can revise it quickly before the next mock. If the reason was the latter, I tried to practice more to increase my speed. For the questions I solved but that went wrong: I tried to find out where I went wrong. Was it a calculation mistake or did I apply the wrong concept? If it’s the latter, I relearnt the concept and wrote it down somewhere for a quick check before the exam. For the questions which I correctly solved: While analyzing, I never skipped the problems which I had solved correctly in the mock. I always tried to find out from the solution provided that whether my way of solving was optimum or not. If not, I learnt the new concept. Trust me, I learnt a lot more by taking and analyzing the mocks than I did by simply solving problems from books.

  1. I maintained consistency

  No matter how busy I was due to work load, or how preoccupied I was, I maintained regularity and studied every day. In CAT, this consistency is very much required. I studied for 2-3 hours every day when I solved problems from book/materials and during the weekends, I took out 8-9 hours to take mocks and analyze them.  

  1. I always had my goal in mind and stayed motivated

  No matter how bad my mock score was, (there were days when I scored something between 80-90 percentile) I never gave up. Although at times I felt like quitting, I kept myself motivated by visualizing myself in one of the IIMs and I never gave up. I guess this attitude helped me a lot to start afresh after a bad mock.  

  1. Good Habits

Apart from following the above points, the other thing that I followed diligently was maintaining good habits. I went to sleep early and in turn woke up early in the morning so that my body clock gets adjusted to both the morning and afternoon slots. I followed proper diet and rejected all kind of junk food. I also went to the gym regularly in order to stay healthy and fit. These essential good habits had helped me a lot in building up my inner stamina which came in handy during the preparation phase and during that 3 hour long sitting during the examination.   I believe that the amalgamation of the above four points will surely pave the road for the success you desire in CAT. About the Author: 


I am Nivedita Das from Kolkata, West-Bengal. I pursued B-Tech in Electronics and Communication engineering from Netaji Subhash Engineering college. I have worked with TCS Kolkata for 3 years as a developer. I have experience of working with an NGO, where we spent time with Autistic children, trying to help them live a better life. Apart from being an avid reader, I also like listening to music, baking and stitching. Currently I am pursuing MBA from IIM Sirmaur.

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