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CAT is easy to crack, if you follow a strategy: 2019 topper Rishi Mittal

Shyna Kalra
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Rishi Mittal topped CAT 2019.

Mumbai's Rishi Mittal, a final year BTech civil engineering student from the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Surat is among the 10 candidates — all male engineers — to have obtained a 100-percentile score in Common Aptitude Test (CAT) 2019. He is also among the two NIT students to get a perfect score in the nationwide exam, which over two lakh candidates appeared for.

For Mittal, who topped the exam in his first attempt, CAT 2019 was easy. Son of a Mumbai-based financial consultant, Mittal draws his inspiration from his father and was always clear of his goals. "I joined civil engineering because I found it a comfortable subject to tackle. I also like to know the science behind things we see around us," he said.

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While engineers are typically considered weak in verbal abilities, Mittal is fluent in French, Mandarin, Punjabi, Gujarati, English, Hindi and other Indian languages. He also enjoys playing chess and teaches underprivileged children in his neighbourhood for free.

Though Mittal scored 99.99 percentile in quant, 100 in data interpretation and logical reasoning, he scored 98.76 percentile in verbal abilities, which he still considers a weak area.

Also read | CAT 2019 topper Debarshi Chanda wants to pursue PhD in Economics from IIM

On his preparation strategy, Mittal remarks, "Honest, consistent and determined efforts along with discipline are enough to crack any exam." He devoted at least one hour early in the morning and 3-4 hours during the day to his preparation. "Since I knew that I wanted to opt for management, I devoted time to studies daily and devised a timetable around my classes. During winter and summer breaks, I would study 7-8 hours a day," he shared.

"CAT is an easy exam, one can crack it if they are honest in their preparation. Study materials are important to get a basic understanding of concepts. Thereafter, it is all about preparing your own strategy and attempting as many mock test papers as you can and analysing them. I worked hard on my weak points but also ensured that I do not falter a bit in my strong areas, which is what I believe helped me attain 100 percentile," he commented.

He also credits his success to his friends. "For people like me who stay away from home, choosing the right kind of friends is really important. They have helped me both academically and supported me non-academically. This goes a long way and one should keep like-minded focused people around," he said.

A similar thought was expressed by two friends from IIT-Bombay who studied together and scored 100 and 99.99 percentile in the CAT 2019 result.