The girl who scored 99.7 and 99.8 in CAT and XAT – Shivani Saksena [Interview]



Girls have started leaving boys behind when it comes to achieving the extraordinary. Be it space travel or scientific feats. Shivani Saksena, an engineering graduate from DCE scored 99.7 percentile in CAT and 99.8 percentile in XAT! Woaah! Two consecutive glorious scores!

AglaSem decided to quiz her on how she did it all. Here is what she had to say!

XLRI is one of the most renowned B Schools in India. How did you start preparing for XAT exam?

Mostly the preparation was similar to CAT and since the exams aren’t that far apart, there was nothing additional to be done for XAT. I did use a lot of sample papers to get a feel of the format and the level of questions expected. I had a week between my CAT and XAT and that took my total attention.

What did you like about XLRI the most?

The batch size is the best size about XLRI. By the time you (post)graduate, you’ll have known everyone. That’s something no IIM can give you. Also since you’d live a small town in a campus that keeps throwing opportunities at you, I think you’ll have a life even better than FMS’ small campus feel.

Please share with us how you prepared for XAT. Did you take coaching or was it all self help?

I did have professional assistance for CAT preparation. They ensure you’re pressured and benchmarked. XAT doesn’t have a special course, only special sample exams.

What is the one thing that helps you score well in MBA Admission exams?

Keeping a focused and clear mind. Having any distraction while you’re in that exam hall can kill any paper. A clear head can help you sail through.

Which all exams did you appear for MBA Admissions (Like CAT, SNAP NMAT, XAT?)

I appeared for CAT, XAT and FMS.

Best Percentile /Scores

CAT 99.7; XAT 99.8

B school calls you received


On a scale of 1 to 10, what is the importance of academic achievements and extracurricular achievements in getting admission in a good B School?

Unsure about how much that matter for getting you in, but they certainly matter initially in the B-School. Hence they’re a requirement at the entry stage also. A healthy mix of the two is obviously very helpful. Excellence in any form, academic or extra-curricular, is always embraced.

The best books / study material you used

I used the study material I got from my coaching centre. I didn’t employ anything beyond that. That was quite comprehensive

How should a student prepare for GD / PI rounds?

Practice makes perfect. I was quite scared of a GD and it was only practice that helped. PIs are more spur of the moment, moody occurrences. Getting a group of people to practice with you and or using youtube videos for tips-nothing’s a waste.

Some words of wisdom for the students who are aspiring to crack the XAT and take admission in elite B Schools.

Prepare like you prepared for IIT and DCE. If you are sure about being a non-tech, this is your best shot. You carry no baggage and you have only better things coming. Keep a job in hand, just in case. Keep an aim in sight, it helps.

As compared to other b-schools, XLRI looks for more congenial smart and focused people. Know what you want, it doesn’t matter what it is. Nothing is wrong in your XLRI interview as long as you know what you mean.

Thank you Shivani! And may you come out with flying colors in whatever you do. Best of luck girl!

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