“Job and CAT Preparation can go hand in hand” – Sandeep Patra, CAT 2016 Topper


Sandeep Patra, CAT 2016 TopperSandeep Patra from Jharsuguda is the topper of the recently announced CAT 2016 Result. He cleared the exam with 99.6 percentile managing his work as an Assistant Manager at Coal India Limited, Odisha alongside. Commenting on his achievement, he attributed his success to the number of mock tests he has taken for Common Admission Test. Sandeep Patra believes in self-preparation and had confidence on himself. Therefore, he had not enrolled himself in any Coaching for CAT 2016 but relied and prepared completely with the help of mock tests and material available online. Sandeep Patra thinks that a 9-7 fixed job and preparation for one of the top management exam can be mastered together.

Check CAT 2016 Result

Team Entrance Corner had a conversation with Sandeep Patra to know his success mantra to score 99+ percentile. In his Interview, he shares his preparation strategy, importance of mock tests, how to balance work and study etc. Read the excerpts of the Interview given below.


Journey towards 99.6 Percentile !

Entrance Corner: How does it feels to be topper?

Sandeep Patra: I am excited at scoring 99.6 percentile in CAT 2016 exam. I could have scored much better but I am happy with my score since I had manage both my work and study.

Entrance Corner: What is your score and percentile?

Sandeep Patra: My overall percentile is 99.6 and score is 171. In QA, I scored 99.7 percentile.

Entrance Corner: Were you expecting this percentile or higher than this?

Sandeep Patra: Yes, I was expecting this percentile. All my mock test scores were around 99+ percentile. Therefore, I expected this percentile. I could have done much better but at times it becomes difficult to manage study with your 9-7 job.

Entrance Corner: How did you prepare for CAT 2016? Is this your first attempt?

Sandeep Patra: I did not take any coaching to prepare for CAT. I relied on the material available online and took mock tests regularly. I used to analyse the scores of the mock tests and worked on the weak points.

No this is my next attempt. In my last attempt, I scored 98.9 percentile.

Entrance Corner: Did you take any Coaching? If yes, then where did you take the Coaching from?

Sandeep Patra: No, I did not take any formal coaching. I relied completely on mock tests.

Entrance Corner: What is your next step?

Sandeep Patra: I have been shortlisted for IIM-B so now I am preparing for PI and WAT. I will leave my job and take coaching to prepare for PI and WAT.

Entrance Corner: Which IIMs you wish to join?

Sandeep Patra: I wish to join IIM-B or IIM – C.

Entrance Corner: How will you prepare for PI and WAT?

Sandeep Patra: I will take coaching to prepare for Personal Interview and Written Ability Test. I can’t manage PI & WAT without taking any coaching. I read newspapers to keep myself updated with the recent events and enhance my knowledge.

Entrance Corner: Tell us something about your family and academic background? What is your family’s reaction on your success?

Sandeep Patra: My family stays in Raigarh, Chattisgarh. My father works with a private company. I am originally from Berhampur, Odisha. I have done my schooling from odisha and graduation in Electrical Engineering from NIT, Raipur. I scored 96.4 % in Class 10 and 93 % in Class 12. In my graduation, I scored 88 %.

They are very excited that I scored 99.6 % percentile in CAT 2016 exam.

Entrance Corner: Are you a fresher or working somewhere? How did you manage to prepare for CAT along with job?

Sandeep Patra: I work as an Assistant Manager in Coal India Limited, Jharsuguba, Odisha. After office I dedicated 3-4 hours to study regularly. Preparation for CAT can be done along with your job.

Entrance Corner: What are your hobbies?

Sandeep Patra: My hobbies are playing chess, badminton, watching cricket and reading.

Entrance Corner: What message you want to give to the future CAT Aspirants?

Sandeep Patra: My advice to the future CAT aspirants is that they should give mock tests regulary and analyse their performance.

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