It was a case of third time lucky for Varun Garg.
He appeared for the Common Admission Test, CAT, in 2005, 2007 and finally in 2008. CAT 2007 was a close miss with a score of 99.5 percentile without any calls from any of the Indian Institutes of Management. Reason: Verbal Ability, VA, cut off.
CAT 2008 was a different ball game. In 2008 Varun focused mainly on his core strengths unlike in 2007 when his attempt to crack CAT failed despite getting 99.5 percentile.
"This time, I had just checked my QA (quantitative analysis) and DI (data interpretation) scores after the CAT exam. I was pretty confident of getting 75 in QA and 79 in DI (which was still good enough to ensure a sectional score of 100 percentile). With a total of 154, I thought if I could just get over the line in VA, I was sure of calls from all the IIMs," says Varun a computer science grad from IIT-Kanpur who currently works as a petroleum engineer at Shell India in Bengaluru.
"As it happened, I got 64 in VA and hence the magic score of four zeros (100.00 percentile)," he says.
For CAT 2007 Varun had studied on an average for two hours a day on weekdays and had joined two test series. "Considering I was working full time, this was quite an effort," he adds. Also, he did considerably well in both the test series.
"Analysing the last two attempts," he says, "there is a stark contrast in the strategy of the two tests."
Text: Vicky Nanjappa | Photograph courtesy: Varun Garg
Also see: A CAT topper's success mantras