100 percentile in CAT in first attempt, along with a regular job: Read Prateek Bajpai's in

Miss Alone

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He was away from his home, his family and his country, and had no source except for the internet to carry on with his CAT (Common Admission Test) preparation. With no coaching and the internet as his only source of preparation, Prateek Bajpai scored 100 percentile in CAT in his very first attempt.

In an interview with Anumika Bahukhandi, India Today Education, he said that although he was fully confident about his preparation, he was not expecting to obtain such an extraordinary score. He did his B.Tech from NIT, Trichy and then, along with a job, started his CAT preparation from mid-May last year.

Prateek had set no specific target while studying. Initially, he did not even have a clue regarding the CAT paper pattern and in the areas one is tested on. But once he started, he only believed in utilising as much time as possible for covering his syllabus.

He believes that six months of disciplined, focused preparation along with a proper strategy, helped him achieve his target. Prateek now has plans to pursue MBA from one of the renowned institutes.

Balancing his job and exam preparation

What is more commendable about his achievement is that along with preparing for CAT, he had a regular job to attend. He was working in Algeria, North Africa for 12 hours a day and after coming back home, he used to regularly devote 2.5 to 3 hours a day for his preparations. If on a certain day he wanted to relax, he made sure that he compensated for that day on another day. As there were no coaching centres for CAT preparation over there, he did 95 per cent of his preparation from the internet.

His study pattern

For the first few weeks, Prateek only identified his strengths and weaknesses. He believes that it is important for an individual to know where he/she stands and what he/she lacks, so that he/she can work on his/her weak areas and leave no scope of missing out on key topics. As he had to attend office six days a week, with Sunday being a working day and Fridays off, he used to study for 6 to 8 hours on off days and for 2 to 3 hours on the rest of the days. He practiced on almost 47 mock tests in six months.

His support system

Prateek's sister Prateeksha Bajpai, who is a Chartered Accountant with LIC, was his biggest pillar of support. She was always there at the end of the day to boost up his morale and discuss his strengths and weaknesses. On days when he used to attempt mocks and obtained low scores, she always advised him to not be deterred by it and work with more focus and dedication. Apart from her, his parents and his senior in Algeria, Mr Madhusudan Dhoot were his support system.

His message to every CAT aspirant

"One should give his 100 percent if one has made up his mind to attempt CAT. Study and work hard for yourself and not for your parents or sister/brother or friends. It is only you alone and no one else, who will get the benefit of your success. Don't give the exam because your parents want you to. Do it only if you have an interest in doing so yourself. Be honest to yourself. A balanced performance is a must."