He scored 100 percentile in CAT without coaching – Prateek Bajpai


CAT 100 Percentile scorer Prateek Bajpai achieved this extraordinary feat in his first attempt. Moreover, he had not attended any coaching classes.

Prateek had completed his schooling in Indore, Sica, and then Graduation from NIT Trichy. His career after college began at Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Ltd. in Chhatisgarh which took him overseas to Algeria. After quitting the job in November 2015, Prateek came back to India.

His journey is not only interesting but also awe-inspiring for millions of MBA aspirants.

Name Prateek Bajpai College of Graduation NIT Trichy
CAT Percentile 100 Target B-Schools IIM Ahmedabad, FMS
Prateek Bajpai CAT Topper Interview Aglasem

Common Admission Test (CAT) 2015 – Prateek Bajpai’s Scores

Subject Scaled score Percentile
VARC 81.37 99.43
DILR 87.03 100
QA 81.69 99.87
Overall 250.09 100

Congratulations for the perfect score! Please tell us something about yourself.

I am from Indore. I completed my B.Tech from NIT Trichy. I love to play table tennis in my spare time. Apart from studies I write about gadgets as I am a gadget loving guy!

My father, works in the Indian railways as Sr. Section Engineer, and mother is homemaker. My younger sister is a CA and is working with LIC. The main reason for my happiness is that my parents are very happy. I am proud to have made my family happy.

You were working with a construction firm in Algeria, and returned a few days ago to India. Then how did you manage to prepare for CAT in such a short span of time?

Yes, I started my career after graduation (campus placement) with renowned construction company named Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Ltd. in Chhatisgarh & moved to Algeria (North Africa) for overseas project for more than six months. I quit the job before coming back to India on November 15.

Before April, I didn’t even know about the sections in CAT. 95% of my preparation was done online. I used to give mock tests. I just thought of appearing for the exam.

What motivated you appear for CAT Exam?

After starting work, I realized that Post Graduation is very important and gaining some more academic grounds would help me get further in my career. A Graduation degree can probably take you to a certain level only.

Then I spoke to my seniors from my college for career advice and I thought of MBA. From then on I started preparing for the exam. I was very focused.

You are a graduate from NIT Trichy. How was your experience there?

I did B.Tech from NIT Trichy in 2014. It was an awesome experience! The faculty was good and very supportive. I met some lovely people there and learn a lot of things. I owe a lot of this triumph to NIT Trichy.

When did you start preparing for Exam? On an average, how many hours a day did you study?

I started preparing for CAT exam in May 2015. On an average, I studied for 2.5 hrs.

Did you take any coaching class? In your opinion should students take coaching for preparation?

No, Only online mock test. It is not fixed whether one needs to prepare for CAT for one year, six months or one month.

It varies from person to person and the education background, what he / she has learned in his / her school time or college time. In my opinion, if the person is sincere enough, 5 months will be quite enough to score a good percentile. More than 3 months of serious preparation is enough for scoring more than 99 percentile.

In my opinion, if the person is sincere enough, 5 months will be quite enough to score a good percentile.

More than 3 months of serious preparation is enough for scoring more than 99 percentile.

Pagalguy was very helpful in my preparation.

How did you balance your job and entrance exam preparation?

I knew I had to do it! I set specified targets to finish the sections while I was traveling or having lunch. I was focused to complete topics in a certain period of time which I had set, be it 12 AM or 12 PM. I tried to improve myself on my weaker sections.

What are the most important topics for CAT preparation that you think a CAT aspirant should focus on?

Every topic is important for the preparation. Focus on your weaker section. A person needs to be balanced in all sections. VARC takes slightly longer time to master as compare to QALR.

Which books/ study material you referred for CAT preparation?

I haven’t referred any books for the preparation. Most of my preparation were online. I gave more and more online mock tests for CAT preparation of various institutes.

On the exam day, what was your experience like?

My center was in Indore, the center was very good and there were no issues with the system and everyone was very helpful. The process was very smooth and hassle free. I was very surprised as this was my first attempt and I didn’t know how the process goes but I was quite happy with the entire experience.

According to you, how was the Exam? Which were the most difficult and easiest topics and how did you crack it?

It was my first attempt but I heard that CAT 2015 was slightly more difficult than 2014.

During preparations, I found VARC to be the most difficult section in CAT and the easiest to be Logical Reasoning. During the paper, I felt DILR to have been the toughest, and Accounts and Maths to be the easiest topic.

How do you feel after cracking CAT and getting 100 percentile?

There were some issues with the result. First an SMS came displaying the result, and after that they released the result. There was so much going on! CAT Result could have come on 7th, 8th or 12th, it was not specified. When I started preparing I was not having

When I started preparing, I was not having any specific target in my mind. I attempted all questions, completed the entire paper. I was confident of getting 99.9%ile. CAT is such an uncertain exam. I am feeling very lucky and am thankful to God after getting 100%.

You appeared for XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test) also.

Till 3rd of Jan, I was focused on XAT. For XAT, to a certain extent, Verbal Ability and Quant are almost the same as of CAT. When you prepare for CAT, VA and QA are largely covered and you don’t need to study extra for the XAT exam in these topics. The major differentiator is Decision-making. I think only one month is enough for the preparation of General Knowledge and Decision Making.

What is your preparation strategy for the upcoming GD PI session?

I have already started preparing for GD PI. Group Discussions and Personal Interviews play a very crucial role and I am browsing the internet for current affairs.

Probably I’ll be joining a coaching institute for the GDPI preparation. It’s not about solving questions. I am focusing on my strongest and weakest sections to be focused on.

Which IIMs you are aiming for and what are your plans after MBA?

Like any MBA aspirant, IIM Ahmedabad is my dream. It doesn’t matter from where you do your MBA, be it Ahmedabad (IIM A), Calcutta (IIM C), Bangalore (IIM B), Lucknow (IIM L) as long as the person is good enough and focused. Apart from IIM, I will opt for FMS & AVC, Lucknow.

What is your success mantra?

Never settle. It’s never too late. Be focused on what you are doing.

Any tips/ advice to aspiring CAT Aspirants?

  • Focus on your strength & weakness together. Balance your performance in your preparations.
  • Focus on your weaker section first. Be honest with yourself. Give your 100% in whatever you are doing.
  • Start from today. It’s not very difficult to crack CAT, you can Crack CAT easily by started preparing before three months also. All that need is to focus on what you are doing.

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