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XAT Toppers Siddharth R & Nishant Gupta Share their Success Stories
With an audience of around 1 lakh candidates, cracking XAT is really not a casual thing. The test demands a lot of practice and some considerable amount of knowledge. But apart from practice and conceptual knowledge, cracking XAT requires a well build strategy as well. A good strategy coupled with proper knowledge can turn a mediocre percentile into high percentile.

In this tough phase of preparation where not much time is left to XAT, many candidates start losing their focus and dedication. To get them back on track, all it needs is a little motivation. So, to provide you the dose of motivation for XAT, we bring you the success stories of two XAT toppers, who scored excellent percentiles right in their first attempts. Take a look -

Nishant Gupta – 99.934 Percentile

By scoring a 99.934 percentile in XAT 2016, Nishant Gupta has busted a popular myth that only engineers can be the toppers in MBA entrance exams.

A graduate in Economics from Sri Ram College of Commerce, Nishant Gupta gave his first shot to XAT in 2016 and scored a scintillating 99.934 percentile in it. Not only this, he appeared in CAT 2015 as well, and scored a brilliant 99.97 percentile. Nishant’s success in these entrance exams proves that more than your educational background, it is your determination and hard work that decides your result.

Nishant, being a working aspirant, started his preparation in November 2014, by joining coaching at T.I.M.E. CP (Delhi). However, he started taking it seriously only after March 2015, and did not lose focus after that.

For his preparation, Nishant solved all the material provided by his coaching institute. One of the important aspects of his preparation was taking mock tests, as he had joined test series as well.

“I wrote one mock test per week from May onwards. The biggest thing which helped me was constant practice.”

Being a working aspirant, Nishant did not have the luxury of having a lot of time to devote to XAT preparation. However, he utilized his time effectively and whenever possible, diverted himself to preparation. He always devoted the time wasted in Metro Journeys to XAT preparation. It did not matter to him whether he is getting a seat or not, metro is crowded or not, he had simply decided that this part of his day is going to be devoted to preparation.

This determination helped him to complete the syllabus on time. During this time, he also used to solve questions on quantitative aptitude, and eventually learned a lot of shortcuts in this phase.

As far as the sectional preparation is concerned, his strongest section was Verbal Ability. He did not face much difficulty in RCs and Verbal Ability. He said that he solved some RCs and VA questions, but not too many.

For Decision Making and Logical Reasoning, Nishant shares that this was the section in which he saw most fluctuating scores in the mock tests. Since this is a make or break section in XAT, he was completely focused in reducing this volatility. And for reducing these fluctuating scores, he relied on practice.

He solved the questions provided by T.I.M.E., which actually contained a bunch of very good questions. He also solved all the practice tests made available to him for this section. His main strategy was to identify the easily solvable sets first, increase speed and trying out new methods to solve the questions.

Quant was the weakest point of Nishant, and therefore, much of his time was spent on preparing for this section. He solved every single question given in text books, took a lot of sectionals, and analyzed the mock tests in detail. He made notes of all the concepts of QA. He also noted down the solutions to some tough and important questions of Quantitative Ability, so that he can revise them just before the exam.

For the XAT exam day, he was determined to attempt as many questions as possible in VA. On the other hand, his goal in other two sections was to maintain accuracy. He said that he did involve in any last-minute preparation. On the day before the exam, he just went through some past XAT papers and revised Quant formulae. He says that formulae are very important for XAT as one can expect some direct questions in the paper.

With his great scores in both CAT and XAT, Nishant got calls for IIM A, B, C, K, L, I, XLRI, FMS, SPJIMR and MDI. He did not attend the interviews of IIM I and FMS, and converted all the colleges in which he appeared except IIM A. Nishant decided to go for IIM B as he thinks that IIM B suited his preferences and needs.

As a message to XAT aspirants, Nishant says that,“Stay focused & calm and keep on working hard even if you get low scores in some mock tests.”This journey is an important learning for life, even if you do not get the institute you desired. The memories of preparation phase are unforgettable. And even if you do not get any b-school, this is not the end of life. Many successful personalities in the world are non-MBAs.

Siddharth R – 98.76 Percentile

Siddharth R, an Industrial Engineer by education and a national level RC car racer, appeared in XAT for the first time in 2016 and scored an impressive 98.76 percentile in the exam.
Siddharth belongs to Chennai and has completed his graduation from College of Engineering under Anna University, in the field of Industrial Engineering. An avid car racer, Siddharth is also a keen observer of Indian Automobile Market and loves long drives.

For XAT preparation, Siddharth joined Vistamind, Chennai. His strategy was to start early and make himself completely ready for anything and everything on the exam day. For this, he took a lot of mock tests. Siddharth shares that joining a coaching center helps in interacting with fellow aspirants, and also provides guidance from experience mentors. This guidance and direction is very important for candidates who are clueless about what to do.

As for sectional preparation, Siddharth’s major attention was Quant. He made notes for all the concepts and practiced heavily. On the other hand, he found himself to be naturally good in Decision Making and Logical Reasoning. However, he did not want to take any risk, and therefore, made sure that he solves all the important type of questions possible in DM and LR.

“I did not find it productive to study a lot of theory for VARC. Therefore, my major focus was to solve more and more varieties of questions.”

Siddharth shares that he was scoring very poor in VARC in the early days of his preparation. To overcome this weakness, he did a lot of practice. He analyzed all tests properly and found out where he was going wrong. He solved all type of questions and tried to understand them properly. He said that once he got the rhythm in this section, his scores kept on improving with each mock.
Siddharth also shares the importance of mock tests in his preparation.

He says that mocks are a very important part of preparation. He says that mocks are necessary to get used to the test taking mindset. He says that a candidate must use these mocks to try various strategies in the test and thus select the strategy which maximises marks. These tests are very useful in identifying the weaknesses and strengths of the candidates and guides to the direction where time and effort must be devoted. He says that mocks prepare us for all possible scenarios that can occur in the exam.

“A lot of well-prepared candidates fail to perform in the exam due to stress. This can be avoided by taking multiple mocks.”On the day before exam, Siddharth made sure that he doesn’t get stressed. He was making notes right throughout his journey and went through them on the final day. He reached the exam hall earlier than the stipulated time. He was ready for everything as he had taken a lot of mock tests.

Siddharth converted many business schools but later decided to join IIM Indore as it offered him the IIM brand value. As a message to XAT aspirants, Siddharth shares that it is important to have a structured approach towards the exam. He says that candidates need to make sure that they keep all the four sections balanced, in order to score well in the exam.


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