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Want to ace CAT? Revise, revise, revise

November 16, 2005

D-day for the Common Admission Test 2005 is roaring your way. 

In a recent chat with Get Ahead readers, CAT trainers Gautam Puri and Arun Wadhwa had this advice to offer CAT aspirants: Pick up all your old Mocks and FLTs and review the mistakes that you've made. Specifically, spend time on mistakes that have been repeated in two or more tests.

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 II: Do you need work experience?

Part III: Does Verbal Ability worry you?

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


Vinayak: Hi Sir, I'm an Engineer from NIT Calicut. My B.Tech performance is only a first class(62%). Will this hamper my chances of getting a call even if I get a good percentile.

I have 18 months of work-ex under my belt. There are a lot of students like me. It would be great if you posted a tentative percentile that could get me three to four calls with this profile. Thanks a lot.

Arjun Wadhwa: Not at the written stage. It will only matter at the Personality Assessment stage if you focus on it. Lots of our students with much less have got through.


shank: Sir,For How many year(s) is a CAT score valid?Is it like GRE which is valid for more than one year

Arjun Wadhwa: At present, for one year only for most institutes.


lovelyrose16: Sir, my percentile has been ranging from 60's to 95. my aggregate would be in 70's. there is a lot of fluctuation in my percentile. What can be infered from this? and what should i do?

Gautam Puri: Lack of consistency usually indicates no revision.


Quant_Guru: Arjun,How good it is to take diff branch in management other than SYSTEM for a s/w professional having 3 yrs s/w exp?....Only s/w companies will prefer such profile???

Arjun Wadhwa: Depends on your career goals, though most software engineers tend to take a dual in systems (to be safe) and one other field to give them a chance to change streams.


Roshan: Hi Arjun, Again a question on cutoffs.......... what are the cutoffs for institutes like NITIE, MDI. Also do IITs have a sectional cutoff while takin JMET scores? If so what are they?

Gautam Puri: NITIE and MDI > 95 percentile. IITs - No.


Soumya: Hi Arjun, Please tell me whether one should revise all the basics or focus more on giving mock tests?

Arjun Wadhwa: Many more tests will not help much. Try to spend more time on revising the tests you have already given. Also, if you do give any tests, try to do so during the morning hours.


roger: hi gautam i am pretty comfort table with quant and di but i do not score in eu what shud i do in the remaining days

Arjun Wadhwa: Review your vocabulary and revise grammar rules. See if some more time can be given to English as compared to the other two sections.


CRACKINGCAT: WOT %TILE DO IMT,NIRMA,FORE,LIBA LOOK FOR?

Gautam Puri: IMT > 90 percentile. Others > 80 percentile.


Soumya: Hi Gautam, Please tell me whether one should revise all the basics or focus more on giving mock tests?Thanks

Gautam Puri: Revise FLTS and the mock tests.


AJAIN: sir which college soud i target for 85-90 percentile with 2 yr work exp

Gautam Puri: If you are getting 85-90 percentile in the mock CATs, target the IIMs, SPJ, MDI, IIFT, Symbiosis, IMT, etc.


nishithsharma: except iims,xlri which r the institutes i shud join in i already hav 2 yrs experience in infosys assuming it is my last attempt to CAT.

Arjun Wadhwa: SP Jain, MDI and Bajaj should be added to your target list. Maybe also TISS if you have an interest in HR.


Manav:  My %ile gets better when the paper is easy while gets poor when its tuff. what do u suggest??

Arjun Wadhwa: Every paper has a mix of easy and difficult questions. Try to identify these.


Garish: Sir What to do in last 10 days

Arjun Wadhwa: Pick up all your old Mocks and FLTs and review the mistakes that you've made. Specifically, spend time on mistakes that have been repeated in two or more tests.


alwazgng: hi gautam, u said that i shud apply thru xat, cud u plz clarify y xat

Gautam Puri: Usually, percentiles are higher here.


siddharth: How good is Welingkar? Is it on par with SIMB or SCMHRD?

Arjun Wadhwa: It is pretty good, has excellent infrastructure and decent placements as it is based out of Mumbai. A little behind SCMHRD, but definitely worth an apply, if you are targeting the above mentioned institutes.


shipra: hello sir my score in quant is almost zero as it neutralises n whenever i sit to do quant i dnt wish to do it and finaly end up sleeping,what should i do at this stage,my fundas r clear but stil m nt able to do it,plz help

Arjun Wadhwa: Try to select and do at least 4-5 questions. Take your time, but put some marks on the board.


obi: hello sir!!how helpful is the strategy of skiming through the paper before attempting?R v wasting time in doing that-should we attempt Q as they come?

Gautam Puri: Scan the section before attempting it.


aaa: is there any advertising course at any of the IIM's

Gautam Puri: Yes, they do have an advertising subject.


STs: hi arun , i want to know whether the cutoff marks for each section is lesser for ST candidates..if yes,, wat is the cutoff marks for each section??? pls reply

Arjun Wadhwa: Yes, they are normally at least four to five marks less than the regular cut-offs.


rajan: what is SIS pallavi??

Arjun Wadhwa: Student Information System.


AJAIN: Sir, can you brief us on MFC college of delhi univ

Gautam Puri: It is a good back-up institute and the paper is on the lines of FMS.


Garish: Is there any advantage of doing new FLTs

Gautam Puri: Take one on 13th and 16th.


Shalaka: hello, i wanted to know whether doing MBA from lesser institutes proves helpful in career?

Arjun Wadhwa: Depends on what you are doing presently and how well prepared you are for the exam. What's also important is whether you think you'll have a better chance if you prepare for an extra year?


rajan: hey siddharth, arjun did not tell you.. there is no institute by name SIMB IT IS SIBM... hey arjun correct him

Arjun Wadhwa: Yes, you are right, it's a typo probably.


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

Part II: Do you need work experience?

Part III: Does Verbal Ability worry you?

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

Tomorrow: The transcript continues...

DON'T MISS!



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