'It's all about how well prepared you're'

Greater Kashmir


Mubeen Masudi, 22, has qualified the highly competitive Common Admission Test (CAT) with a remarkable overall score of 99.99 percentile. Rated as the third toughest test in Asia after UPSC’s Indian Engineering Services and IIT-JEE, The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) use this test as a pre-requisite to select students for their prestigious business administration programs. Mubeen is among the top 18 candidates who secured top scores at the all India level. With a B. Tech. and Civil Engineering degree from IIT Bombay’11, Mubeen is also the Co-Founder of RISE Institute (www.rise-institute.com) which aims to prepare Kashmiri students for national level engineering entrance examinations. In an interview with GK Education page, Mubeen Masudi says the aspirants need to stay focused on their goal and work as hard as possible to crack competitive tests like CAT.

Congratulations for securing 99.99 percentile in the CAT exam. How did you prepare for the exam? And how should Kashmiri aspirants go about preparing for exams like CAT?

I actually did not do any specific preparations for CAT. I love solving puzzles, mathematics and reading novels and newspapers. These habits have helped me sharpen my problem solving and comprehending skills. These are the two qualities, skills that CAT tests students on. However, I did take some practice tests online in the month preceding the Exam.
For Kashmiri aspirants I would suggest them to work on their quantitative abilities and reading, comprehension skills. For the first skill they need to start practicing mathematics problems, puzzles, the kind that are asked in CAT (Class 9, 10 mathematics) For the latter reading editorials from The Hindu, Economist and trying to summarize them really helps.

What measures should be taken so that more Kashmiri students come forward and achieve success in highly competitive exams like CAT?
The biggest problem Kashmiri students face is lack of proper guidance. As a result they are mostly ill informed about the nature and pattern of the competitive exams like CAT. Students need to take the initiative themselves to inquire and gather as much information and resources about these exams as is possible. These days most of the information is just a click away!

 How important is coaching to crack the CAT exam? Should Kashmiri students go outside the state to attend coaching classes? Can they prepare well in Kashmir?
Proper guidance is essential for doing well in any competitive exam. Most of the courses for CAT are online. So, I personally don’t feel that there is a need to go outside the state for preparation.

What are your future plans? Will you be joining any of the top IIMs anytime soon?
My short term (next 3-4 yrs) plan is to stay in Kashmir and help students prepare for JEE and other national level engineering entrance examinations. As a result I don’t plan to join any of the IIMs, at least for the next 3-4 years.

Any message for Kashmiri students who aspire to crack tough exams like IIT and CAT? What is the best way to prepare for these competitive exams?
Stay focused on your goal, and work as hard as possible to achieve it. No examination is tough. It’s all about how well prepared you are. And the only way to prepare well is by working hard. Now, working hard does not mean how many buses you travel in throughout the day to reach different tuition centers; it means how many hours you spend on understanding concepts and practicing problems by yourself at home
Now the question is how to prepare, how to work hard, i.e., which book/topic to study and which one to ignore. On this front you should seek advice from the concerned people and not those people who themselves have not appeared for such examinations.
From my personal experience, the secret of doing well in IIT-JEE is to start early. Students should start preparing right after their class 10th. It’s almost impossible to qualify JEE just after months of preparation, so the entire two years of class 11-12 should be dedicated to preparation.