CAT 2020 Topper Interview – Meet Sudanshu Satpathy, says Discipline is the Key to Crack CAT exam

Every aspirant has its unique strategy to crack CAT Exam. Find out how Sudhanshu managed to bell CAT 2020 with a 99+ score. Read details about his personal, professional life in a exclusive interview with

Created On: Jan 8, 2021 12:41 IST
CAT 2020 Topper Interview – Meet Sudanshu Satpathy, says Discipline is the Key to Crack CAT exam
CAT 2020 Topper Interview – Meet Sudanshu Satpathy, says Discipline is the Key to Crack CAT exam

CAT 2020 Topper Interview – Sudhanshu Satpathy has cracked CAT 2020 with 99+ percentile to seek admission in one of the top B-schools of India. He shares nitty-gritties of his personal and professional life with an exclusive interview with Find out complete details about the preparation strategy adopted by Sudhanshu that enabled him score99+ percentile, his educational background, aspirations that motivated him to work hard for CAT exam. 

CAT 2020 Topper Interview

Question 1: Congratulations on cracking CAT 2020! What are your overall and sectional scores in CAT 2020?

Thank you so much. My overall percentile is 99.76. Sectionals are 89.41%ile in VARC, 99.87%ile in LRDI and 99.64%ile in QA





Verbal Ability &

Reading Comprehension

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

Quantitative Ability

Scaled Score


Scaled Score


Scaled Score


Overall Scaled Score

Overall Percentile









Question 2: When did you start your CAT 2020 Preparation? What is the ideal time required to complete the CAT syllabus before the exam?

For CAT 2020, I started in June. Since I had prepared for CAT last year as well, I already had my basics cleared. Just needed to work on my weaknesses. For someone who is about to start from scratch, it might take 6-9 months with full dedication to clear the exam.

Question 3: What was your overall preparation strategy for CAT 2020?

First two months i.e. June and July I revised QA and LRDI concepts alongside solving RCs. I solely practised from previous years CAT and mock papers. From August onwards I only gave mocks and sectionals and analysed them.

Question 4: Was there any particular section/area that you were weak at? How did you overcome this challenge? What strategies did you adopt to master that section?

I was particularly weak at VARC and LRDI. For LRDI, I solved some 500+ odd sets from previous years’ papers to remove the very fear of LRDI section. In VARC, I focussed mainly on the RCs as it forms a major chunk of the section. I practised purely from sectionals and mocks. Although I couldn’t perform well in VARC in the actual CAT, still I feel only regular reading from varied sources and rigorous practice can help you ace this section.

Question 5: Tell us something about yourself, your family and your interests beyond academics?

I completed my graduation in Electrical engineering in 2017. Thereafter, I worked for 3 years at an IT firm. My father is a retired Airforce personnel and my mother is a homemaker. My interests are playing badminton, reading novels, collecting coins, watching documentaries.

Question 6: Were you a part of any coaching institute? Do you think coaching is necessary to ace CAT?

In 2019, I was a part of Elitesgrid coaching institute. Since I had the notes, so I didn’t join any coaching this year. But I followed Elitesgrid’s and Anastasis Shankar’s Youtube channels. They have pretty good content. I think coaching is required if one needs guidance and discipline in his/her preparation. If one is already disciplined, then he/she can clear the exam with the free resources available online.

Question 7: Any particular book or study material that helped you gain an edge over other candidates?

I am good with numbers and approximation techniques which I learned from YT channels. Also, I had finished Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis back in college which gave me an upper hand in vocabulary.

Question 8: How can an aspirant avoid negative marking?

VARC is the only section where one can feel confusion in the options. So, my advice would be to attempt only those questions in which you are confident. Use elimination of options to reach at the correct answer. LRDI and QA are straight forward sections. You mark an option only when you can solve the question.

Question 9: What role did Mocks play in your success? How many mocks did you attempt before the exam?

I solved some 40 mocks in 3hrs format and another 25-30 in 2hrs format. Mocks helped me immensely. It tells you how you are performing with respect to other people and motivates you to strive for a better percentile. But a thorough analysis of any mock is the most important part. Giving mocks without any analysis is of zero value.

Question 10: Please share your exam-day strategy for the CAT 2020. What was your last-minute preparation? How did you plan your CAT test taking?

I revised only the QA formulae 2 days before the D-day. Since IIM Indore didn’t reveal the number of questions, and my slot was the first, So I did not go with any pre-mindset. In these types of exams, staying calm and leaving difficult questions is the only way to crack the exams. I used the same thing on the D-Day.

Question 11: Do you think academic background plays an important role in CAT Prep and Why?

I don’t think academic background helps that much in the CAT prep. There are many examples where people from non-engineering background scoring 100%ile in Quants and from Engineering background scoring 100%ile in VARC. It all comes down to your preparation only.

Question 12: Which institutes have you applied to admission and why did you opt for them particularly?

I have applied to all the top IIMs, FMS, MDI. These institutes being the top b-schools of the country can provide me with the perfect launchpad for a career in the management domain.

Question 13: How are you preparing for GD – PI and WAT rounds of the selection process?

I am yet to start a full fletched GDPI preparation.

Question 14: What is your message for CAT aspirants? One crucial piece of advice that you would like them to follow and wish you had known.

Mocks are just a way of identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t get bogged down if you are having a series of bad mock scores. Just analyse them thoroughly and work upon your weaknesses. Even if you are scoring in the percentile range of 80-90, you can still score 99+ in the actual CAT.

Question 15: What is your dream career choice after completing your MBA?

I want to have a career where I can use my problem solving and critical thinking abilities to solve real-world business problems.