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CAT: Does work experience help?

Gautam Puri, Arun Wadhwa | November 11, 2005

The countdown to the Common Admission Test 2005 has begun.

How much time do I spend over each section?

How do I improve on Verbal Ability?

What if my percentile in the mock tests is inconsistent?

CAT expert Gautam Puri, co-founder and managing director of Career Launcher (I) Ltd, chatted with aspirants for one hour and answered their queries. As the questions poured in, Arun Wadhwa, CL's national programme head for CAT, joined Puri in answering them.

Puri, an MBA from IIM-Bangalore, has had successful stints at Hindustan Petroleum, Britannia and VAM Organics. He has prepared close to 1,00,000 students for CAT. To keep himself abreast with the latest trends, he has been sitting for the examination every year for the last 10 years.

Arjun Wadhwa has been associated with Career Launcher since 1999, when he was a student with CL preparing for his MBA. Influenced by his mentors in the organisation, and armed with his passion for teaching, he joined Career Launcher straight from campus after completing his MBA from MDI, Gurgaon. He has been with CL for four years.

Here is the transcript:

Part I: CAT 2005 -- A repeat of CAT 2004?

Part III: Does Verbal Ability worry you?

Part IV: 'CAT gets a little tougher every year'

Part V: Want to ace CAT? Revise, revise revise

Software Eng: I have working exp of 5+ yrs is CAT suitable for me

Gautam Puri: Why not?


Gautam Puri: People with work experience usually have a lower cut-offs in CAT.

kk: Does Work Ex makes a difference in the MBA Course? Does it help us to perform better in the MBA course?

Gautam Puri: It is helpful in the programme; your learing is usually much better than the freshers.

Quant_Guru: How many question should attempt if it is 123 or 150 questions in a paper?

Gautam Puri: An attempt of about 60 percent is a very good attempt in CAT. In CAT 2004, an attempt 80-85 marks was a good attempt.

deepak_558: Does FMS has a sectional cutOff or just over all cut-Off?

Gautam Puri: No, only overall cut-off.

Jeetendra: What sort of percentile is required to get a call from the IIMs with one year of work experience?

Gautam Puri: Minimum of 98.5 percentile.

abhi_ece: I have 2 yrs work exp and getting around 96 percentile in mocks. hat are my chances at this score?

Gautam Puri: Very high, but it boils down to your performance on the day.

nishant: sir.. i want to knw tht.. will it b fine if we could do better in just two sections

Gautam Puri: No, for IIMs you need to get a minimum score in each section.

gabbar: sir i score ard 20 in DI and Quants but take ard 1.5 hrs . im not so strong in Eng. still im able to score 18-22 in eng but its risky..wat should i do?

Gautam Puri: 90 minutes to QA + DI and only 30 to English is dicey. Spend 40 minutes on each section in the paper.

vinyt: Hi, I wish 2 take up CAT 2006. Presently I'm a Class I officer(engineer) in DRDO n have abt 36 months of exp. Will that help? How is exp in govt sector taken in corporate sector?

Gautam Puri: If you are planning to move over to the private sector, an MBA will be of immense help.

vinod: what best can I do in 12 days to get a reasonable score in cat.

Arjun Wadhwa: Brush up the list of formulae in Quantitative Aptitude. Review the standard questions belonging to each topic you are going to attempt in this section and review your class exercises at least once today.


Gautam Puri: IMT and MDI HR would need minimum of 90 percentile in CAT.


Arjun Wadhwa: ISB is a definite yes. The others depend on how desperate you are to do an MBA this year and the pay-package you are currently drawing.

Avoid applying below MDI, SP Jain and Bajaj if your current package is above five lakhs per year.

vipul: sir what if one stammers during GD and Pi?i am a stammerer

Gautam Puri: Gaurav Kala from SRCC, who had the same problem, joined IIM-Bangalore in 2000.

KS: Hello GP, My scores in Mocks are always betweeb 40-45, Eu/VA is always 22+, but I am clueless as to how to push it to the big league of 55-60. Plz provide your inputs.

Gautam Puri: Revise FLTs and Mocks. Focus on improving accuracy. In the paper, give equal time to each section.

karthikml: Hi, what colleges would you recommend for a person with 1.5 yrs software exp.. getting 4.5 laks...considering am gonna invest 2 yrs for this?


amishahot: soumya Sim CAts r not actually the right criteria to judge ur even if r scoring 80-90 % in that u can get more in actual CAT..

Gautam Puri: Mock CATs are taken only by the serious candidates while in CAT we have a large number of non-serious candidates. So your percentile in CAT should be higher than that in Mock CATS.

mugdha: ia a studeof 1st year b-tech and aspiring for clearing cat sir pleaee give me proper guide about books ,especiallyabout english improvement

Gautam Puri: For improving English, read a lot of newspapers, magazines, novels, etc, and get into the habit of speaking in English.

hemdeep_84 : what kind of questions can i expect in IIFT- GK

Gautam Puri: The most unpredictable area, questions have ranged from Physics to current affairs.

Part I: CAT 2005 -- A repeat of CAT 2004?

Part III: Does Verbal Ability worry you?

Part IV: 'CAT gets a little tougher every year'

Part V: Want to ace CAT? Revise, revise revise


Illustration: Dominic Xavier

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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 5

Sub: Work experience & Physically handicapped

Respected Sir, I am an Ex Army officer with a work experience of 11 and half years and also visually handicapped and covered under PH ...

Posted by Major VA Narayana (Retd)

Sub: Are experienced aspirants given special preference during selections?

hello Gautham Puri i am an engineering student in pre final year and I am an CAT 2006 aspirant.i heard that hhaving experience comes in ...

Posted by Shravan Hebbar

Sub: A query

Hi sir, I am working since i passed out of my engg college. Though a mechanical engg I choose the sales and marketing line and ...

Posted by Paramdeep Singh

Sub: about CAT

sir u said of 123 qs 60 percent attempt is good... how many correct answers u mean by this (including all sections) ... i wanted ...

Posted by ahmed

Sub: MBA is hype

learning MBA is just understanding how businesses work, a bit of common sense, some accounting and finance/MIS knowledge.. Its a kinda grooming for corporate culture. ...

Posted by Shirish


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