This year's CAT topper studies between breaks; here's why Soham Katkar's mantra works like a charm

'I love watching cricket. Whenever I get the time, I watch whatever match is on. It's what I do to relax,' Soham Katkar's secret to studying is enviable and how
Pic: Edex Live
Pic: Edex Live

A cricket buff and a CAT topper. For Soham Katkar, studying is more about the art of balance than it is about the hours one spends stuck to their books. When we ask the student from Mumbai, who nailed the CAT exam with a 100 percentile, what he does to take a break and relax, pat comes the reply, "Most of my time is a break anyway. I limit my time of study and ensure that in the time I dedicate to study, I make the most out of it."

Soham graduated in June 2021 with a bachelor's in Computer Science engineering from the KJ Somaiya College of Engineering. In his third year of the course, he realised an MBA would be the right career course for him, and that's when he first attempted the Common Aptitude Test or CAT, in 2020. However, as it turned out, even as his overall score stood at 99.66, he couldn't meet the sectional cut-off in verbal ability. "I didn't get the calls I was expecting from institutes that year, and I figured it just hadn't been my day. I thought another attempt would help," says Soham, adding that he didn't do anything specific to make changes in his methods.

This year, Soham began his preparation two weeks before the exam, with a focus on mock tests provided by the TIME institute. "The level keeps challenging you, keeps you on your feet. Sometimes the CAT exam is easier than the mock test," he quips. Soham adds on a serious note that while the exam was not exactly a cakewalk, he just felt adequately prepared, and so he did not feel the need to push himself. Allotting just a couple of hours a day to studying is enough if you can use it efficiently," he says.

Looking ahead, Soham is expecting calls from the big ABC of the Indian Institutes of Management, Ahmedabad, Bombay and Calcutta. However, he doesn't go in with a fixed aim in mind. "Job opportunities are developing and evolving rapidly. I do not want to be rigid in that space. Whatever I learn in the next two years, I hope I can make the most out of it. I like to learn, and that's why I have made the choice to continue my education," says the youngster.

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