For every management aspirant, cracking the Common Admission Test (CAT) is of utmost importance since it is the gateway to fulfilling the IIM dream.
However, for Patrick D’ Souza, who has topped the CAT with 100 percentile for the fourth year in a row, appearing for the exam seems to be nothing less than an ‘addiction’.
The 43-year old from Mumbai, who holds an MBA degree from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies and a BTech in Mechanical Engineering from NIT Allahabad, has so far taken the CAT for about 15 times. Of all the attempts, he has managed to score 100 percentile for almost six times. His passion to take the exam does not end here as he plans to appear again for CAT 2020.
“Taking the exam every year helps me understand the changes introduced in the testing pattern and in the questions asked. In the last 15 years, I have experimented with various strategies to write the CAT paper,” says Souza, who runs a coaching centre in Thane and Dadar along with his wife, Rochelle D’ Souza (39).
A decade back, when he started, the sole mantra to crack CAT lied in students’ ability to solve lengthy questions. The strategy has changed over the years and students now require strong logical reasoning to qualify. “Today with lesser number of questions (100 as against 200 earlier), students are evaluated on their logical understanding,” says Souza, adding that in comparison to CAT, the Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) has more calculation-based questions.
In 2002, Patrick quit his cushy corporate job and switched to teaching. But, most of his students complained of his teaching methods being too basic to help an aspirant crack CAT. “Since I did not have an IIM background, I was unable to understand their dreams and passion to crack CAT,” he adds.
However, CAT is not the sole exam that he appears each year. Patrick has been taking XAT and MBA-CET – a state-level entrance test conducted by Government of Maharashtra, since 2015 and 2012, respectively. He secured the first rank twice in XAT (2015 and 2016) and thrice in MBA-CET (2019, 2013 and 2011). Souza appeared for XAT 2020 that was held on January 5, and aims to take crack the CAT in 2020 as well.