About Shefali Chhaya:
Coming from a family with a business background, Shefali always had an inclination towards understanding what goes behind making a business plan successful in a holistic approach. She completed her Bachelor’s in Arts in Tourism Administration from Amity University Noida in June 2018 with a First Division with Distinction. During her college, she was an active student involved in extracurricular activities. She participated in various events in Travel & Hospitality industry. Post college she worked as a Travel Consultant for 9months in Delhi Tours and Travels. After which she switched to Doordarshan Sports where currently she is working in the Social Media team and also an anchor for few shows on different Doordarshan channels.
Shefali’s journey from Doordarshan to IIM Ahmedabad
Ever since I planned to give CAT and dreamed of getting into IIM Ahmedabad, because of the usual mindset there was a doubt whether I would be able to make a place for myself. After beating all the odds and falsifying all the notions, Here I am a Tourism Management student, currently working in Doordarshan Sports starting my journey this July in my dream college- IIM A!
I will not deny the fact that CAT exam and major top business schools in india are dominated by engineers, however that doesn’t mean people with diverse background like mine can’t make it to IIM’s. Having cleared the examination and daunting personal interviews myself I can vouch for the fact that people from arts background are equally worthy to pursue MBA from their dream college.
I started my preparation in January 2019 as I has to prepare along with my work and knew that I would require this much time. Here’s how I prepared for CAT’19:
Reading Comprehension is an unpredictable area and can be tackled only by cultivating the habit of reading over time. Start with daily newspapers reading and reading diverse topics even the ones you generally don’t prefer. After a while of giving mocks and reading you’ll eventually figure out topics which u are most comfortable with. This will help you to pick which topic to do first in exams. During each mock I made sure to analyse which topics and even questions were my strong areas. While analysing mocks just don’t check whether your answer is correct or not, make sure to understand why is your answer wrong and what actually should be the answer.
Verbal Ability which comprises of 10 questions is the game changer to ace this section. Since there is no negative marking, make sure to do these before RC’s and try maximising your score. After a few mocks you’ll figure out which questions from para jumbles, para summary or odd man out are your strengths. Do those first always.
Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation: This is the section that is most time consuming but if played according to your strengths can be highly scoring. My pro tip is to first scan all the sets quickly and then mentally choose which ones you want to do first. This shall be easy if you’ve given a lot of mocks before the actual exam. Adding to that, just because you think one topic your strength don’t get stuck on a set or question. Ideal time is to spend 10-12mins on one set. Master tables from 1 to 20, knowledge of fractions from 1/1, 1/2, 1/3 to 1/20, basic addition and subtraction, etc for faster calculation that will save a lot of your time.
Quantitive Ability: Being a non engineer this was my weak area and I spent extra time on this throughout my preparation. It might sound weird but I started of from 8,9,10 basics of maths since I didn’t have maths after 10th. I started with Arithmetic initially doing to easy-medium level questions and then after I was sure of the topic moving on to tough ones. My pro tip is to never leave a topic after its done- Once you move on to next topic, take the previous one along with it. Keep regularly practising and revising the topics. The more you practice the better will be you speed and accuracy.
Few things to keep in mind:
- It does not matter which coaching you take self-study actually brings in the difference while you prepare yourself for CAT exam.
- Don’t wait for your syllabus to end in order to start taking the mocks.
- After solving each mock test or sample paper, analyse your performance and assess the area of improvement.
- Pick out your strong and weak areas in all three sections. Improve on your weak areas and monitor the improvement regularly
- Be motivated & have faith in yourself