Percentiles are deceptive, says CAT 2018 rank 2 holder Kaustubh Vyas

Percentiles are deceptive, says CAT 2018 rank 2 holder Kaustubh Vyas

This IIT-Bombay student thinks exam taking is a skill and its all about managing pressure and applying knowledge in constrained time. He secured 99.99 percentile and is among second rank holders in CAT 2018.

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Kaustubh Vyas, 21, second rank holder in CAT 2018 with 99.99 percentile marks.

Twenty one-year-old Kaustubh, who has secured second rank in Common Admission Test (CAT) 2018, believes percentiles are deceptive. Talking to, Vyas said, “While preparing for CAT always aim for a rank and not percentile. Percentiles are deceptive. You will always have a good percentile but it is the rank that matters. There will be around 20 students at same percentile which eventually makes even a good percentile have lower chances of admission.”

Vyas has scored 99.99 percentile along with 20 other candidates across India in CAT 2018, results of which was released today. This year, 100 percentile was scored by 11 students. “While preparing for CAT, attempt mock tests and aim for a rank instead. If you are getting 15th  rank then aim for top five and work harder so you subsequently come in top three,” said Vyas who is a fourth-year student of electrical engineering in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay.


Raised by a single mother, this Nagpur boy said, “Exam taking is a skill. It is not just about how intelligent or knowledgeable you are, it is about how well you can apply your knowledge in a constrained manner. It is also a reflexion of life where you are pressed against deadlines for every task. Exams are also a test of one’s pressure handling capacity.”

Talking about his pressure handling technique he said, “Whenever I am stressed, I talk to my mother. She is my inspiration and motivation in life. Particularly during the exam, it is important to relax and not think about marks and have a strategy in place”.

Read| Twin brother crack CAT 2018 with 0.2 percentile difference

His CAT 2018 strategy was time management. “For CAT I further divided time for each section. I spent 40 minutes on verbal and reading comprehension (VARC) and spent next 20 minutes revising it. I kept time to revise every section. For logical reasoning and data interpretation (LRDI) section, I started picking up problems in a set of four questions and started picking up speed. I found the quant section to be lengthier and thus started taking question quickly. I did not waste time on difficult questions in this section and instead started solving as many as I knew and at the end tried solving the questions which I could not at the first go,” recalls Vyas.

Vyas started his preparation only six months before the exam. “I was well-versed with most of the topics of CAT exam. I used to practice the topic I was not comfortable with every day till I improved my accuracy and speed in the,” he said.


He is aiming to get admission in IIM-Ahemdabad or Bangalore.While he is not sure about his future plans but said he wants to do something in finance as he likes numbers the most.