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From 87 to 99.2 Percentile in CAT 2020, Journey of Piyush Aras with iQuanta!

Here’s the interview of Piyush Aras who cleared the CAT exam with 99.2 percentile.

Q: Today we have an aspirant all the way from Indore. A grade A student through and through.Welcome Piyush Aras. So Piyush, to start it off, please tell us something about yourself.

Piyush Aras : So my name is Piyush Aras. I’m from Indore. So I’ll just start my journey after school only. So in 2013, I enrolled in IIT, Kharagpur as a mechanical engineering course for B.Tech and M.Tech. And I graduated in 2018 with a minor in economics as well, which landed me into a job at Flipkart. at corporate FDNA team and since then I’ve been working with corporate FDNA team as a business finance analyst only.

Q: Okay, so Piyush, You scored 99.2 this time, right? But could you tell us a breakup of those marks?

Piyush Aras: Yes, definitely. So the overall percentile was 99.2 as you mentioned. In the quant, I scored 99.6 which was my favourite subject and definitely I was expecting that. In LRDI, which was not at all my favourite subject, I scored 97.6 just because of iQuanta. And in VARC, I was at 53. Also, I scored 87.6% in VARC.

Q: Okay, that’s great. But 99.2% didn’t come in your first attempt. Definitely. So, tell me how many attempts did you give and when did you start your preparation?

Piyush Aras:So yes, as you mentioned that it was not my first attempt. Yes, so it was my second attempt and in my first attempt I scored 87 percentile. And at that time I thought that is it possible to score a nice score? 99 percentile is it possible? So this time I scored 99.2 percentile in my second attempt. And about ideal time. So I think that around 6 to 7 months of rigorous preparation is required. For scoring a 99%tile. Definitely, but I won’t say that start your preparation at 6-7 months before. You can start, no time is enough. You can prepare for two years also. But I think you should start from January or February ideally. On a slow pace and start increasing the pace.

Q: I heard that your favourite section is Quants. Can you tell me why you like Quant so much and why is DILR such a big challenge?

Piyush Aras: So I’ll start with DILR, why it was a challenge. So I wasn’t interested in all these things since childhood, especially solving puzzles and all. I’ve seen people who actually enjoy solving Sudoku puzzles and solving different books. I wasn’t interested in all these things. But LR is all about that only. You have to develop a critical thinking when you are applying what you are doing that day. So that was the thing why I thought that it was very difficult for me. And actually when I started the preparation, I got the 0-0 score.At that time it was 300 marks paper, so 8 sets were left. And I was just sitting for an hour thinking what should I do? So it was like that. But gradually I thought that it’s okay, everyone should do it. Everyone should do it topically. I should do one, I should do two. So I started focusing on… I made milestones. I just have to set one in this mock so it becomes easy. My questions in an hour. It’s very easy. So that is the thing which helped me in boosting my confidence. And because of which I was able to improve.

Q: What was your strategy for this year from the journey of 99.2% from 87?

Piyush Aras: So for preparation, there are two types of strategies. First is you can focus on all the three subjects equally. And your balance score is as in all subjects are scoring around more than 90% and if you score more than 90% then you will easily score 90% what I chose to do is focus on one subject specifically that is font and when I thought that the subject is strong then I easily gave more time to VARC as well as LRDI so basically there are two types of strategies first is you focus on all the three subjects, you are scoring 90% in all the subjects and if you have scored more than 90% in some subjects but second strategy is you can focus on one subject very much score a very high score in that subject and in the rest of the subjects you can score decent enough that at least cut off the peer that is the most important thing so I will focus on the second strategy in the quant I scored 99.6% as I mentioned so I started preparing since January as I mentioned. So around April I was able to cover all the topics. By cover I mean to say that once I go through all the concepts, I have seen the application of it, I have seen the basic questions. But definitely that is not at all enough. So focusing on higher level questions is very important. So this was for a point. I will just focus on how to do deep preparation Till April I am telling how to do it when you are studying at a very low level So for quant this was it For VARC what I did was focus on reading articles Because there is a very important thing that people read very randomly Anything can be read but it is very important that you don’t read the news.  And the articles that are there are of multiple sites. There are multiple sites where you can read articles where dense reading is done So instead of solving RCs in the starting of the few months we should focus on reading very dense English that we are at least used to reading This is not for people who are already good in English This is for people who are average readers who don’t read much Second is LRDI So as I mentioned before, scoring is zero, For that also I focused on the time modules. Those are good for basic preparation. But the options for that level are not available. Okay. The cat level is different. So post April, it’s very important, April and May, to focus on the cat level questions. So for quant specifically, I referred multiple sources and the major was iQuanta. There are daily level quant questions posted So I was everyday doing those quant questions Around 10-20 questions are posted On page loop as well as on page loop So I follow all of them So that I don’t miss anything And definitely there will be some time when you have some backlog But it is very important that you don’t have a backlog So try to cover it Because once you get used to the fact that the questions are left Then they keep on leaving. When people are posting questions, they have a mindset that they have to clear these concepts. So it’s very important to go through all the concepts and all the applications. For LRDI, again I was focusing on IQuanta daily sets which was posted on the paid group. So daily two sets were posted in it. And I was covering those daily sets. So the best thing is usually the solutions are LRDI solutions but here we used to get video solutions so it was very good source that we used to know the thinking process that how to think because once there is a question and there is a solution then we know that there is a question but what to think you can think like this, but you don’t have to do like this. this is a better efficient method time is also a very important factor in that so that also for LRDI. For VARC, I started solving RCs from April onwards. And I was solving around 2-3 RCs everyday. And so this was RC part. But for VA, very separate…Effort is required because it has para jumbles and odd ones out. So it’s very important to focus on that also. So again there is no specific source for VARC. So it’s better to focus on multiple sources for the questions of verbal. And yeah, so that was it. That’s great. That’s actually really helpful. Piyush has given us very detailed strategy here.

Q: Another very important question that comes up here is Piyush, if someone is reading your report card, you’ll understand, last year you had 87% but this year you have 99.2% which is a major leap. what was it that you did differently this year that you got that extra edge of getting 99.2% So last year.

Piyush Aras:For quant I will mention that Let’s say I am doing some questions and I have a doubt, So doubts used to be pending and they were not clear So I used to say that ok, I have left one question But with some doubts it has a major impact on your concepts. So that is the major thing which was changed when I joined iQuanta So in this, 24 hours, literally 24 hours if You will put any doubt at 2 am or 6 am in the morning you will get the solution. So you would say how can this happen? But there are two things to this. First is, there are peer solutions and there are faculty solutions of Iquanta. And it was a competition, who puts the best solution first. So that was the very good thing which happened. Second is, for an idea, as I already mentioned that efficiency is very important. If you can do one set, you can do anything in one point, you can do anything in one hour but it’s not the point. how to solve the set in 10 minutes is important. so that was the learning which i got from the iQuanta videos that there are different types of caselets, different types of sets how to read it so that was the approach, the video solutions which were given that was very helpful for VARC, specially VARC.So, Inderjeet sir used to give a very detailed solution. It’s not like we just have to do the RC and then we can discuss the question. He used to give individual line-wise, RC solution. What does this line mean? You can read this part slowly, you can read this part very fast. So that was the important thing. We also understand what we have to read, what part we have to skip. So that was the thing which was missing in the last year and which helped me this year to 99%ile in the first year. That’s really wonderful.

Q: Please tell us from all of this that you had from iQuanta, what was your favourite and what was the most important thing that iQuanta provided to you as an aspirant?

Piyush Aras:So the major important thing which iQuanta provided was  #iQuantaway. So it was basically every time in our sessions when questions were posted, people used to give answers, but the approaches used by sir was of two type. Sometimes we glad to see that this question could be done this way also. So that was the trick that you can ask questions like this. you don’t have to give one answer for each page. So it was more focused on efficiency. You can ask your questions, anyone can do it. It is very easy. You can ask your questions, anyone can do it. It is very easy. As you know, there is 12th syllabus in the quant. So questions are not that difficult. But they are in 30 seconds. How to do it in a minute? Which things are actually coming? Which ones are not coming at all? Which ones can you derive? So they used to tell us many tricks which really helped. Second is the peer learning platform.It is actually very good. So I got a lot of frames. I would like to mention something. Sure, sure. Go ahead. So issue was one of my frames. So for BFC specifically, after giving every mock, after giving every sectional, we used to discuss the whole sectional. Like, sometimes it happens that I get a frame and they have to explain it to me. Why did I hit them?He says no, no, this cannot happen That was the thing If you want to debate, you have to do your theoretical thinking Correct And the third point is the live sessions So in that The platform which iQuanta Provides, it is a bit different Platform, not like a usual class In which the offline classes are Basically kids doubt That should the offline classes go or not So the thing is Why to waste time. you are wasting time when you are getting a better quality online you are saving time and you are getting more quality so I will just give you an example when there were online classes there was a class at 9 pm my meetings were done till 8.30 or 8.45 pm just a 15 minutes break and I am able to attend the class so in the classes the very important thing which helped me is the sessions had quotient posts and everyone was competing. So it was more pressure than mock. I don’t feel so much pressure in mock that I have to answer first, answer correctly. That is important. So these are few things which I did in school. Really wonderful. Can you tell us in detail how is iQuanta Spectacor be different from all other brands? Sure. So the major thing is first iQuanta helps… it’s more application based, not just concept clearing. So… In the beginning, the concept is video post. After that, they focus more on application. That where can the application come from using this concept. Especially numbers. Numbers is a very vast topic which people take very easily. Many coachings take it very easily that how much time is being used. But actually numbers, if the numbers topic is strong, then actually you can save 30 seconds or 20 seconds in every question. 20-30 seconds in around 15-20 questions. So that is the major thing. Second is they are using Facebook as a teaching platform. So definitely on first time when you are giving your learning, it would be a bit difficult. But now when you get used to it, so questions are posted as a post and you have to comment on it. So it’s very very easy. It’s very intuitive. So, that is the two major things which are very different.

Q: Tell me how much importance did you give to both these things, Mocks and Analysis and what was your strategy for Mocks and Analysis?

Piyush Aras: I was very nervous because I was not sure how many marks I would get in the first match. In the first match which I had, I scored only 4-9. So around 128 marks. So it was a dejected situation. But in the middle, the marks were dropped. But again, iQuanta helped me a lot. iQuanta gave me so many peers who used to give me a lot of marks together. We used to decide which mark to give, which section to give. And then we used to discuss it. Last time when I was alone, that was a demotivating factor. I thought I was not getting any numbers, now I can’t do it. So here that motivation comes. Secondly for LRDI, familiarity is very important. How many types of sets you are familiar with, it will help you in understanding that you… in exam situation, mock pressure or exam pressure what type of set you will choose and which one you can do so it’s like you can solve any set in one hour but which set can be solved in 15 minutes it’s very important to identify it so I forgot to mention a very important point is LRDI set selection so any set can be done in one hour but which set will be done in exam Learning this is similarity. The more you solve, the easier it will be for you. So, iQuanta’s initiative was to start many LRDI daily sets in the last 15 days. Apart from the one which was previously included in the group. So, following it regularly and doing full analysis of it was very important. For Quanta, As I already mentioned that, doubt solving is very important. If you have any doubt, small doubt, then don’t leave it. Even if it is a small doubt, it can be repeated. I used to put it in the group and every time either a peer is replying or iQuanta teachers or faculties were replying. So that was the major thing which helped. And the last and the most important thing is maintaining a book or a excel sheet. I maintained an excel sheet in which I used to track which topics are weak in all the things in quant, as well as LRDI, VARC also in quant, after every mock I used to see that I had so many questions in algebra in this mock so many questions were asked by me, so many were incorrect, so many were not attempted and after every mock, I used to focus on those specific topics that why I didn’t get these questions, although I know everything After every analysis, every student feels that they could have done it. It shouldn’t be like that. If they could have done it, why didn’t they? So that is the thing. There are no questions due to time pressure. So if you can answer 50 questions, you will automatically start. So that is the thing which I learned the most through the mock analysis.

Q: What is their motivation throughout this marathon?

Piyush Aras:It’s the thing when I realized that I should do an MBA is during my stint at Flipkart. So I realized that all the senior leadership, which is there, is Either from an IIM or a good, very reputed college. So that motivated me that if I want to reach to that position, I will need an MBA degree. Definitely, education is not like, if you don’t have a degree, you can’t do anything, it’s possible. But a formal education is a necessity. It has become a necessity in Indian society. I don’t know why it has become. So that is the motivation which I had all during…

Q:what kind of support did you get in this marathon?

Support I would say that my family always supports me. That they can do it, they can do it, they can do good things. Second is the peer platform, which I mentioned. The friends which I made, Ishu, Srishti, Gunjan, Manchika. So I have to take names, someone will take a load. So those were the biggest support system. All the time we used to discuss about others’ success and failures We used to study together After the classes, we used to say that we will give one to two sections We used to sing and take sections together Sometimes we felt like we are not interested in studying But what is your brother doing? This is how it will go So these things used to happen Which motivated me throughout this one year period.

Q: During your preparation, how did you relieve yourself from stress? What would you do when you were not studying?

Piyush Aras:Sure. So, usually, you can see what happens. But apart from this, I would say that a little bit of social life was reduced on a digital level. Which I think is necessary also. Like people are always on Instagram. they keep running Snapchat and Facebook so the level of digital social life which is fake that was reduced a little but the interaction where it is actually necessary that was increased a lot so that was the major thing which held apart from that sometimes we used to leave studies and even sync our TV series that let’s watch Brooklyn 99 let’s watch Suits so that was the thing which we used to do the rest is.

Q: So the right balance between ensuring that you are studying and also having fun That will help you stay motivated in this entire thing So Piyush, the marathon is over 99.2% have come What is your strategy going ahead to the GDPI round?

Piyush Aras:Yeah, so on a serious note, as such, I haven’t started anything yet. I have to read some news about my current affairs. Definitely, I ask the same in interviews. And the second thing is, the interview is a bit CV based. So as such, I know already what I do in Flipkart. And also the college’s case study competitions. So I think I’m going through…After this trip, I will go through that CV based questions. I will read about current affairs. So, I have planned to prepare accordingly for the interview.

Q: Finally, Piyush, before we let you go off to your trip, our viewers would like to understand your final tips. What is your final advice for forthcoming aspirants?

Piyush Aras:To cat-crack and not just cat-crack to get it above that 99% Yeah So, uh… The final advice is start from January, don’t take any risk Why take any risk? I have said that 6-7 months is enough but 6-7 months is rigorous preparation is up If someone’s a little lighter in the middle like it happened with me, I was getting corona So I was very much worried that what if there’s a break in the middle But, uh…It turned out to be good only No such issue happened. So finally start from January VARC Which are our articles Start it little by little Take it up in phasing. If you read it in a jiffy, you will feel that you can’t do it So gradually you will get used to it. It’s basically we are increasing our stamina of studies which is lost especially the work-experts that we focus on our job so much that the study factor is completely lost it becomes easier for the freshers to continue their studies so start preparing from January as mentioned in VARC, start reading articles LRDI’s is the basic set, not cat level, definitely not cat level because you will feel that this won’t be possible So solve the basic case-lates And for QA, just go through concepts What topics we have studied, can read, which topics can be strong And bookmark those topics That we have to focus on this Which are our weak sections We have to give more time on that Or when there is a course from April to Icon So either join in first batch or join in second batch So and at that time, you will get an idea of your weak topics so focus on those points.

Indrajeet Singh
Indrajeet Singh
The mastermind behind IQuanta, Indrajeet Singh is an expert in Quant and has devised some ingenious formulae and shortcuts to significantly cut down on the time taken to solve a problem

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