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Study advice from a CAT 2006 topper
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January 11, 2007

The results for Common Admission Test 2006 have finally been declared.

And the top scorer is Aarti Nihalani, a 21-year-old chemical engineering student from Mumbai.

MBA aspirants got to chat with Aarti in a session on January 10, during which she shared her CAT preparation experiences and D-day strategies. 

For those of you who missed the chat, here is the transcript:

Part II: CAT topper -- 'I had fun pratising for CAT'


CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani says, Hi everyone, this is Aarti here. Overwhelmed by your response and I will try to help you to the best of my ability.


vikas asked, how did u handle the pressure?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, It is not a life and death situation. The tenser you are, it's only going to affect your performance that much more. Try to stay calm.


Raghava asked, What is the diff u say between persons who cracked CAT and who couldnot ????

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I think it's just a question of temperament on the day of the test, which makes all the difference.


RAHUL asked, CONGRATS AARTI GREAT I KNOW ONCE IT'S DONE IT CANNOT BE DONE AGAIN GIVEN EVERYTHING INTO IT GOD BLESS U IN SHORT IT'S GREAT TO ACHIEV THE FEAT HOW SHOULD U THINK ONE PLAN UP FROM NOW ONWARDS

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, Thanks! From now onwards, I shall rely on what I already know on current affairs. I've been reading a few news magazines. That should come in handy.


dushyantmathur asked, when did u startyour preparation

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I started my preparation seriously in May 2006.


dushyantmathur asked, on which subject did you paid maximum attention

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, To Data Interpretation. That's one section where the more you practise, the better it is.


vishal asked, where did u do coaching from?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, IMS


nilesh asked, Hi, My coaching class tutor say that ur basic should be clear for quantative. May i know which books to read for clearing the basic as books like RS AGarrwal dont have basic such as why prime number above 3 are in the form (6k - 1) or (6k + 1) [I meant the proof]. Should I have to read 8th, 9th and 10th maths text book again? Did u also read the school maths text book?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I was comfortable with Quant, so I did not need to go back to my school textbooks. But you can go ahead if that will give you confidence. Personally, I did not mug up any formulae for prime numbers, etc.


utkarsh asked, see, i ve been aspiring for MBA so as to get a better life, precisely, i do not fit in my present peer. I am BBA student, though i had science (with maths) in my 12th standard... I know i can do it very well.. but i am not able to get started with it, i want to know how to make it an interesting thing so that i don't feel exhausted by november2007. :)

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, You can make it interesting for yourself. Start off slowly. Don't try to mug. Pick the subjects that interest you. I am sure you can form a study group with your friends.


satish asked, First of all let me take this oppurtunity to congratulate you, aarti. My question is: 1. Ideally what kind of a stratergy one needs to have for cracking cat? What is the amount of time one needs to spend per day to crack 2007 cat atleast?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, Thanks again!

1. The strategy differs from person to person. As you go along with your preparation, you will realise what strategy will suit you best.

2. There's no fixed time as such but in the last one month I gave CAT prep at least two to three hours a day, depending on my college schedule.


tarungupta asked, what was ur total score?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, Around 196.


dushyantmathur asked, now you have topped the cat, is it the only requrement for getting the college or there r other main exams further for iim as well?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I have the Group Discussion and Personal Interview rounds to be cleared for each IIM. Each IIM conducts these rounds, individually.


Siddarth asked, Hi Can you tell me what all strategies you have used to crack the Verbal section this year and how you prepared for the same?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, Luckily, I had left the Verbal section for the end. So, I did not have much time and went with my gut feeling. I avoided trying to overanalyse each and every question, as the options this year were very similar.


ruchi asked, Congrats! its a great achievment. Did you expect to top it really?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, No, not at all.


Chinmay asked, What would u suggest for the aspiring Candidates.What are the special thingd you require to do?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I request you to maintain your calm on the day of the test.


pallavi asked, congrats aarti, how did u do it??..wat was your strategy?...please let me know..i hav performed really badly...HELP!!!

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, There was no strategy as such. I had given a few SIM CATs and I learnt from the mistakes I made.


ruchi asked, Would you take a job or start something on your own after finishing your course?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I will start off by taking a job. Let's see how things turn out.


saikishore asked, Congratulations aarti!! I would like to know how much time is needed to crack the CAT.I m a 3 rd year B-tech student so when is the right time to take coaching...

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, You can start preparing in the sixth semester. Give it time as per your college schedule.


karan asked, Congrats which books u referred for quantitative?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I only referred to the notes provided by IMS.


ruchi asked, What's your score in each section?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, Around 78 in Quant, 65 in DI, 53 in Verbal.


aby3246 asked, i m a first yr student.....what do u think is d best time 4 starting d prep 4 CAT?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, Six to seven months of dedicated preparation is good enough.


Sujeet asked, Hi Aarti, Congrts for unbelievable success. Please let me how to prepare for Data Interpretation and please suggest me some books for that. Please let me know ur time table for preparaing CAT and which books u referred for quantitative

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, Thanks! You can refer to any of the books given to you by your coaching class or that's available in the market.


YT asked, Hi Aarti conratulation first may i know what is more important to clear any big exam har work or mental strength

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I would choose mental strength over hard work.


Amrita asked, Congrats! how did u feel when the results were out

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, It took a few days to sink in.


Siddarth asked, Hi Aarti Can you tell me How you tackled RC of CAT 2006? Have you any idea about the same or just preparing as you are. More over what all you referred for the preparation of the same

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, Just keep practising as many RCs as possible.


amit_pande asked, Hi arti, I have done my B.E(E & TC) and i have nearly 6 years of work experience in VLSI design(IT)and i m earning good too.Now i want to do MBA.so what u would like to suggest me.If yes then which stream in MBA will be good for me?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I don't know too much about the specifics of each field. But I will say that you should go with what you enjoy most.


andy asked, hie how did u prepare for CAT any special coaching classes... and what was ur mind set for the exam

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I joined IMS. I just tried to stay as calm as possible.


gags asked, What was your motivation for doing an MBA?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, Organisational tasks come naturally to me and I enjoy performing them the most. That was the basic reason.


Part II: CAT topper -- 'I had fun pratising for CAT'



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