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To succeed at CAT: Keep cool

November 20, 2004

Munira, head of the Western Zone content development team, Career Launcher, says CAT aspirants shouldnot to give any full-length tests on the eve of the Common Admission Test.

She thinks small sectional tests are more advisable.

Munira, who holds a BSc in Mathematics and an MBA degree, has been coaching students for two-and-half years.

Get Ahead readers joined her in an hour-long chat on all matters CAT!

This is the transcript:


Analyse your CAT paper with Brijesh Singh, Project Head, Prowess, Top Careers and Youon Monday, November 22.

Chhavi:Could you tell me whether I should take any test tomorrow or not?

MUNIRA:Strictly no. Just relax. Visit your centre. Prepare all the requirements -- hall ticket, pencils, etc.

cowboyrockstar:Hi Munira, I am weak at Quant and was planning on starting with Quant and giving it 50 minutes. Manish says I shouldn't do it. He says start with your strengths. Do you agree?

MUNIRA:Manish is correct unless you have your own reason for starting with a weak section.

kartik:Hi Munira. I am planning to take CAT 2005 and am taking the CAT this year as a test drive. My problem is that while I am able to do the sums, I end up taking a lot of space and time to do so. Please help.

MUNIRA:The last page and the back side of front page are blank. Use them!

kalyan:Which section should I start with?

MUNIRA:Ideally start with Verbal or something you are strong at.

alpesh:Hi Munira. I'm really weak in RC... want to somehow get a respectable score in that. How do I do it?

MUNIRA:One day would be not enough to turn the tide around unless you are Dravid! But make the most of the EU part.

kalyan:If RC and Verbal are in same section, which is the better option for scoring?

MUNIRA:Verbal obviously unless you have your own reason to start with RC.

alpesh:Munira, can't anything be done to get a respectable score in RC? What should the ideal score be?

MUNIRA:Spend 20 minutes on Verbal and get 18-20 score. Spend the remaining 20 minutes on two passages in RC and get another 10-12.

cowboyrockstar:Is there any reason why Quant should not be attempted first?

MUNIRA:No reason whatsoever. Quant attempts are normally very low. This puts a lot of pressure in the second half of the paper. It's like scoring only 40 runs in 15 overs.

kartik:Munira, although I am strong with Verbal, I hashed all six of six questions in the first RC in the last mock I attended. It is cause for concern? It has hit me hard, since it happened with me for the first time...

MUNIRA:Just forget about it!

kalyan:How many questions should one tackle to have a safe margin?


pearl_20:Hey... I'm a bit weak in Math. How many minimum questions should I attempt in order to clear the cut-off?

MUNIRA:Not more than 15. But get them all right.

chavi:Are there sub-sectional cut-offs also? Like for RC and Verbal?

MUNIRA:There is no information available on this one. But it will be safe to get good scores in both of them.

adi:How many questions should one answer in each section to clear the cut-off?

MUNIRA:18 in Quant, 25 in DI and 35 in EU + RC (assuming a 90 percent accuracy)

chavi:How should I go about revision in these two days, especially in RC?

MUNIRA:Don't revise RC. Just brush up some math formulae/fundas.

alpesh:What is the minimum percentile score required to get into any good B-School?

MUNIRA:98.5 for IIMs, 97 for any other top B-School.

pearl_20:Is there any chance of a change in the pattern of the question paper -- like changes in the of sections and the questions?

MUNIRA:There is always a chance. You will come to know about this only 20 minutes before the paper. Else, contact Rajit Singh Don!

partho:How many questions should one get right?

MUNIRA:90 percent accuracy.

king:Munira, what are the good colleges under SNAP?


partho:What chances do you see of a pattern change this time?

MUNIRA:Small change, probably, with reference to the number of questions

ravikanth:Munira, can we guess and answer about 70 questions in case we don't have time at end?

MUNIRA:Don't guess! NO matka! Jhoot bole IIM kaate!

Ankur:I have been moderately good with my LR/DI and Verbal, but I tend to get quite a few answers wrong in Quant. How much shall I attempt in it? Moreover, if a person has an 80-85 percent accuracy, how much the person attempt?

MUNIRA:Be very choosy in Quant and solve only 15 questions. But make sure you select the best ones. As regards overall attempts, it should be around 80+ (with your kind of accuracy).

akhil:Hi Munira, just wanted to know if work experience brings down the qualifying percentile for B-Schools other than S P Jain, TAPMI, FORE, etc...

MUNIRA:SP Jain gives calls before the CAT scores are out based on various factors (one being work experience)! Other than this, work experience will only come into play only in the second stage.

Vishal:Should I give any more tests today and tomorrow?

MUNIRA:Don't give any full length test these two days. Probably small sectional tests will do.

sitaram:Hi Munira. Considering the possibility of mistakes in Verbal, how do you suggest one breaks up the questions in the total 35 marks attempt in the RC Verbal section?

MUNIRA:The break-up depends upon your comfort level with RC vis--vis verbal. Don't change your strategy and experiment on CAT day. Work with whatever experience you have had till now.

jemin:Hello ma'am. What strategy do you suggest if we fear 30 percent of the starting attempt questions are out of our reach?

MUNIRA:Please rephrase your question.

partho:Is it a good idea to attempt most questions in a single section if you cannot answer too many from other sections just to increase the percentile?

MUNIRA:The idea is good if you are not looking solely at the IIMs. Maximising your percentile gives you a decent chance in institutes like TAPMI, IMI, FORE, etc, who are not particular on sectionals.

ronneyshah:What's the percentile required for MICA?

MUNIRA:98 percent plus in verbal; 80 percent overall.

mayur:How many questions should I attempt? What accuracy should I have to get a call from a good B-School?

MUNIRA:You need minimum 75 attempts and 80 percent plus accuracy to break into the top bracket.

nooooooooooo:Hi Munira, just wanted to know if work experience brings down the qualifying percentile for B-Schools other than IMMs like S P Jain, TAPMI, FORE, etc?

MUNIRA:Though we don't have strong data to confirm this fact, there are instances where two students with similar percentiles have been treated differently, ie, one has got a call and the other has not. The difference in their profiles was the work experience. So it could be the case.

manish:I wanted to ask: Is it good if I attempt 60-65 questions with 80 percent accuracy?

MUNIRA:It is good if you are content with second grade B-schools. But if its the IIMs, then your attempts are short by 10.

senkunal:What, in brief, is the secret of success at CAT?

MUNIRA:Keeping your mind calm and cool on November 21!

sridharpappu:With four years of work experience, what is the minimum percentile I should aim for?

MUNIRA:95 percent plus.

rohitrathi:Hi Munira. What is the percentile required for NITIE and S P Jain if I have two years of work experience?

MUNIRA:95 percent plus.

Sak:What's the cut-off for the following schools -- MDI, IMT, TAPMI, MICA,S P Jain. Could you reply on the basis of last year's pattern? Thanks in advance.

MUNIRA:MDI/S P Jain: 96.5 percent. TAPMI: 90 percent. MICA: 75-80 percent

Mayank:Hi, I gave a test yesterday and scored very low although I was scoring quite decently in the past.

MUNIRA:Don't worry about your low score yesterday. Even Tendulkar scores a duck once in a while! Remember, form is temporary but class is permanent.

Vishal:Does IIM (A) give more weightage to the English section? How much should I score in English to get a call from IIM-A?

MUNIRA:No specific data is available to suggest this, but the fact is that CAT toppers are typically good in English.

Ankur:How strong are my chances if I have been consistent with my 95 plus percentile in my mock tests? Is negative marking variable or fixed in CAT?

MUNIRA:You stand a very good chance Ankur. There is no official confirmation from the IIMs about whether negative marking is fixed or variable, but indications are that it is probably fixed. There is nothing official said about it, though.

vimal:Hi Munira, why are you not answering my questions?

MUNIRA:Please ask your question again Vimal.

Abhijeet:Are there sectional cut-offs in CAT? If so, what is the minimum percentile?

MUNIRA:This question has already been answered. Please check the previous answers.

failedgod:Does solving jumbled-up sentences improve with practice? Or is it more of your intuition?

MUNIRA:Intuition starts working only with practice.

Sak:Do IMT, MICA and TAPMI fall in the A grade category? I know they are not as reputed as the IIMs or the MDIs but are they decent enough? Placement wise? Facilities? Can you expect 100 percent placement with a start of atleast 4-5 lakhs per annum? Thanks in advance!

MUNIRA:I cannot promise you the salary part, but if you are in the top 10 percent of your class then you can expect good placements in these B-Schools.

tanya:I am weak in the RC section. What should my minimum attempts in RC be?

MUNIRA:The minimum questions depends upon your minimum expected score in the section. If you are expecting a minimum of 28 in the section and your RC is weak, then you should be scoring atleast 12 in RC and the rest from the EU part.

yogesh:Hi Munira. I am Yogesh from Singapore. I am a NRI. I did my 12th in India and came here to Singapore. I finished my diploma and advanced diploma in business. I am now planning to go back to India to do my degree. Is CAT important? Last time you didn't answer my question.

MUNIRA:How much work experience do you have? Is your diploma equivalent to a degree in India? The answer to these questions can help me answer your query.

failedgod:I had joined PT. My average percentile in PRACCATS is around 98.4. Considering the same performance level, what chances do I have? I mean, how much of a decrease should I expect in my percentile?

MUNIRA:Don't worry about 'decreases' in your percentile. That will not serve any purpose right now. Focus on the paper and get back to us after the test for the answer to this question.

cat2004:Can you please tell me what you think would be the sectional cut-offs and the overall cut-off marks in order to get atleast one call from any IIM. Thanks. Hope you answer this time :(

MUNIRA:98.5 percent for atleast one call.

Devesh:Hi. I want to know the cut-off for the Nirma Institute of Management. Could you please tell me?

MUNIRA:70 percent plus.

bharti:Munira, can you please answer my question?

MUNIRA:Bharti, I missed your question. Please ask once again.

iimaspirant2:Please answer my question this time. Do graphics designers stand any chance in CAT. What will be their prospects with an MBA?

MUNIRA:Of course! We've had people who have done degrees through correspondence from remote universities in Lakshadweep getting into the IIMs. As long as your education is recognised as equivalent to a graduation, you stand a chance. Post-MBA, the whole world is your playground -- specifically, the marketing/advertising industry.

Vishal:CAT is known for giving surprises. Can we expect General Studies questions too?

MUNIRA:*Fingers crossed* Don't think such thoughts now.

Icebreaker:What are the possible cut-offs for PGSM in IIM-B?

MUNIRA:No idea on this one, Iceboy...

phodu:Hey Munira, right now I am in a good MNC. I passed out in June 2004. I want to become a CEO of some good company (any field). I did my engineering from IIT-Delhi in Textile Technology. What do you suggest I should do -- IIMs or ISB or MBA from the US (for which I'll have to wait for three-four years as I don't have enough money). Please guide me! Thanks in advance. FYI, I am not appearing for CAT 2004 (just didn't want to miss this opportunity to talk to you ;-)).

MUNIRA:Better give CAT next year and aim only for A/B/C... Else wait for some moolah and go for a US MBA in global management.

arpan:If I get a call from both IIM-Kozhikode and IIM-Indore, which one should I take?

MUNIRA:Both institutes are equally good. The choices will differ on a case to case basis.

tina:Hey Munira, I am getting an average score of 35-40 in mocks. Is there any chance I can score well on D Day?

MUNIRA:Of course, Tina, you will definitely score well. All the best.

viswanath:What do you think the paper is going to be like this time? Will there be 2/3/4/5 sections? I know this is a foolish question but still...

MUNIRA:The ruler of the world (Viswanath) should not worry about such things on the eve of CAT day. BTW, you answered your question yourself.

vimal:Hi Munira. I have typed such a long question which I am doing again. Please try to answer atleast now. Does CAT have any area-wise cut-off in the sense that RC has a separate cut-off and EU has a different cut-off? If no, can one ignore EU completely and do only RC?

MUNIRA:In case both RC and EU are clubbed into one section (50-55 marks), then there is no section-wise cut-off. But if they are different sections, then obviously there are sectional cut-offs.

Vikas:If my academics has not that been good, but I still clear CAT, will my low percentage score affect me during the GD and Interview?

MUNIRA:No... And please cross the bridge when you come to it.

veiloffright:Are you testing my pre-CAT stress level at this time? Kindly answer my question. I have not prepared that well but do have hopes in two sections, Quant and DI, and my accuracy is greater than 90 percent in both. Should I attack all 'very easy', 'easy' and 'medium' questions in these section and then concentrate on the bonus? That means, in the first hour, I attack 45 questions in both section with 90-100 percent accuracy then concentrate on the rest (inclusive of RC-VA) with atleast 25-30 questions answered with the same accuracy?

MUNIRA:Good idea Veil... Follow this technique (I hope you have tried it out atleast once or twice till now in your mocks/SIMs)

Sak:Did you miss my question ma'am? Never mind, I'll repeat. From your experience in this field, could you classify the following schools in A+ and A categories so that I get an idea of which schools fall in which category -- MDI, S P Jain, TAPMI, MICA, IIFT, JBIMS, NMIMS, IMT, TISS, XLRI, SCMHRD, SIBM. Please answer this. It will go a long way in helping me rate the schools and make a final call. Thanks in advance!

MUNIRA:XL, MDI, SPJ, TISS in one category. The rest in the next category.

Nihar:Munira, what should be the order of attempting the sections if I am good at Quant and DI?

MUNIRA:DI followed by Quant, then Verbal.

MUNIRA:Guys, the chat session is over. All the best for CAT. Hope you do well and get into the B-School of your dreams. Please remember to check out Aaj Tak or Headlines Today after 3 pm on November 21 for an in-depth analysis of CAT. Bye and all the best once again.

CAT on!

Analyse your CAT paper with Brijesh Singh, Project Head, Prowess, Top Careers and Youon Monday, November 22.

'CAT 2004 could be a four-section paper'
'Take CAT like a winner!'
'CAT's difficulty level does not matter'
'Be ready to improvise'

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Number of User Comments: 4

Sub: hello

sir how plz tell about iift much percentile required for xim-bhubaneswar.

Posted by swarup

Sub: Confussion !

Hi ...I am Mohit Kumar from Hyd . I have some questions regarding MBA programmes. I wanted to do an MBA program in India which ...

Posted by Mohit

Sub: PGSM '2005

Can anyone tell what is the patter of PGSM admission test?

Posted by Anand

Sub: stop this nonsense

How can you call any person from the manipulative coaching industry and fool the unsuspecting kids? What made you think, these self acclaimed mentors can ...

Posted by Doesn\'t matter


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