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CAT topper: 'I had fun practising for CAT'
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January 12, 2007

Twenty-one-year-old Aarti Nihalani topped CAT 2006. And she did not succeed merely because she studied hard. Her attitude may have had a lot to do with it.  

During a chat on January 10, here is what Aarti had to tell readers, "It's been an enjoyable experience. I had fun even while I was practising for CAT. I totally enjoy reasoning and logic based questions. I kept practising -- just for fun."

Part I: A CAT topper's study advice

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


Chintan asked, Hi Aarti,at the outset many congrats for the top rank..which section was theeasiest and which one the toughest u felt.

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, For me Quant was the easiest and Verbal was the toughest.


rajesh asked, What made you to write CAT and how did you motivate yourself towards the exam and the interview?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, The motivation will come from your desire to be a part of a good B-school. Once you start giving the SIM CATs, you will know where you stand. That could also motivate you.


Alok asked, Who is ur role modal

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I don't have any one in particular.


Yuvrajj asked, Hello Aarti whats your secret of success?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I think it was just the desire to do well and prove myself. I also worked very hard.


KARUNYA asked, HI AARTI .CONGRATS FOR UR SUCESS.PLZ TELL BEING AN ENGG STD HOW U MANAGE TO STUDY FOR MBA???

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, Don't neglect your college studies. Your fundamentals in Quant should be strong. Whenever you are relatively free, pay attention to CAT prep and that should suffice.


RAvinder asked, from where u took the coaching n coaching is necessary or not

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, It differs from person to person.


kunal asked, How to tackle reasoning Part and if u can suggest some books and some good strategies

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I totally enjoy reasoning and logic based questions. I kept practising -- just for fun.


rohit asked, Hi arrti a big and heartful congrats for u .. please tell ur experience , how preepared .. what ws ur strategy

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, It's been an enjoyable experience. I had fun even while I was practising for CAT.


seshu asked, hi... what are your plans for the future? Which option would you prefer... an NGO or an MNC or an Indian business career? Do you have any plans of becoming an entrepreneur?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I definitely want to be a contributor to society. I am yet to figure out what is the best option.


suchit asked, hi aarti,were u confident that u would clear the exam?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I was a little sceptical about clearing the Verbal cut-off. I sure I had done well in the other sections.


satish asked, In which attempt did u clear cat?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, The first attempt.


HIMANSHU asked, Please tell me what pushed you to join MBA

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I went with what I thought I would enjoy the most since it is a question of what you will doing for the rest of your life.


SunitaR asked, Hi aarti dont you feel chemical engg field offers lot of challenges and oppurtunities and you should continue in chem engg field rather than marketing or finance ?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, Of course chemical engineering is a very intriguing field, which presents a lot of challenges. And I think that an MBA will equip me to work better in an organisation and give it my best.


praveen asked, u did maximu m study in a night or a day?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I would usually study from 8 pm to 11-12 pm.


kunal asked, I have Good reading habit So what more I need to do to tackle RC? i m In prefinal year B.tech so how many hours i should Work per day entirely FOR CAT.

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, It's good that you have a habit of reading. At this stage, along with your engineering studies, one hour per day for CAT should be good enough.


SHARAD asked, I M IN 2ND year BE student.just gide me that how should i prepareand also is it theright time of getting started
CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, You can start in the 5th or the 6th semester depending on how confident you are.


ah_07 asked, congrats aarti how did u manage the peer pressure

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I had a great friends' circle and we were preparing for CAT together. If there was any pressure, I guess it only helped each one of us perform better.


vishalguleri asked, How was the training quality in IMS? Plz tell me sincerly as i am planning to join a institue for 07 CAT

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I was completely satisfied with the training.


vijesh asked, What kind of companies woould you be interested?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I have no particular choice as yet.


priya asked, Any suggestion which you 'really' want to convey to CAT aspirants?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, 1. Stay calm on the day of the test. 2. Stick to what you learnt all through your SIM CATs and give each section sufficient time. 3. If a question is taking too long, move on.


P asked, HI AARTI .DO MAGAZINES ,NEWS PAPERS HELP U TO IMPROVE UR ENGLISH PART?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, Yes. In a way they improve your reading speed and help you to expand your vocabulary. But I must confess, I am not a voracious reader myself.


pinky asked, hey can u tell me what percentile u scored

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, 
100


klgh asked, were you disappointed after seeing the verbal keys from coaching institutes after CAT

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, 
I was upset about my Verbal section because, according to all the training institutes, I was just barely clearing the cut-offs.


anurag asked, Congrats Aarti. Could you please elaborate how you prepared each section of written test?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I just practised for all sections and made a note of where I was going wrong in all the SIM CATs.


gags asked, Hi aarti..Is it important to be up to date with the business world to clear CAT?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, 
I have not yet participated in the GD/ PIs. Once I do that, I will know how important it is to be up-to-date about the business world.


holoduke asked, First of all many Congratulations on topping the MBA exams !!! So how did u balance ur Academic studies with ur CAT studies ??? How much of time were u allocating to CAT preparation ???

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, 
It is absolutely possible to balance your CAT prep with academic studies. When you have exams, you can give that more time. Otherwise, focus on CAT.


praveen asked, please aarti tell me how was your daily study routine like at what time u get up in the morning and then after doing a long hour study at what time u goes 2 bed

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, 
There was no fixed regime. I squeezed in CAT studies wherever I could.


akshay asked, how much the coaching center plays a role in ur success ?

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, In my case, I did benefit a lot from the coaching classes, which I joined. There were people who would guide you and help you identify where you needed more practice. I think they work well for overall guidance.


ramapragasam asked, What are the magazines, you have referred? Did you take any mock test?.

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I do read India Today. Yes, I took the SIM CATs.


IRule asked, Hi Aaarti,wht was your innintial reaction after opening the Q paper as the pattern of VA was totally different and how u alloted the time fr each section??

CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani answers, I gave the paper a quick glance. I did notice that the Verbal section looked different. But I did not give that too much thought. I tried to maintain my cool. Most importantly, stick to the time limit that you have allotted for each section depending on your experiences in the practice tests.


CAT 2006 topper Aarti Nihalani says, The time has run out and I hope I have been of some help to all of you. Good luck!


Part I: A CAT topper's study advice 



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