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CAT: 'Best mantra is to go for more accuracy'

November 19, 2005

On D-day of the Common Admission Test 2005, you are wondering how to tackle the paper.

CAT trainer Asan Dasari of IMS Learning Resources suggested this action plan in a recent chat with Get Ahead readers: 

i. Open the paper and check all pages.

ii. Now, solve one section at a time.

iii. Within each section skim the questions which you can solve, allocate time and solve them.

iv. If you have time left, solve the remaining.

v. Once the allocated time is over, go to the next section and repeat these steps.

CAT guru Asan Dasari of IMS Learning Resources answered these queries in a recent chat with Get Ahead readers.

Asan is an engineer and has an MBA from IIM-Calcutta. He is the product manager for CAT at IMS, and guides students through their CAT preparation.

Here is the transcript:

Part I: Aim of score of +65

sayan: sir,i have been keenly following your advice in all the simcat letters. mt simcat scores have been 96.995,87.71,81.3,97.8,95.66,96.0 and 80.1 my fluctuations have been due to different venues plz tell me is is normal?

Asan Dasari: Hi. In the next three days, focus on your strengths. Go to take CAT with a positive attitude. Your score mentions that you have been good so do not worry.

tushar: sir i have got placed in IBM and now i have maintained a score of 95+ percentile in simcats... should i go for nitie or should i take cat 2006 because i dont think i will be able to get into any of the iims this time

Asan Dasari: Hi, aim for a score of 65+ in CAT 2005 and you can make it. We have seen that there is a positive swing in the actual CAT. So, with a 95 percentile, you are a good candidate for a 98+ percentile bracket. Do not give up and fight till Sunday.

rashmi:  sir plz ans....what is the min nuber of rc q to be attempted.

Asan Dasari: Hi, this is for all RC questions. If you get a three section test, allocate 40 minutes for VA/ RC and, out of 40 minutes, allocate 20 minutes for RC. With 20 minutes, I think you would be able to solve four passages for sure.

seemamalhotra: hi sir, would my previous academic record matter for the selection in b school i had gotten a drop for 1 year in my second year of engineering because of some family problem althought i got first rank in final year and totall aggregate of 70 %

Asan Dasari: Hi, past academic record is very important. However, it would not be detrimental for you. The panel will be interested to know how you coped with it and what did you learn from the experience.

Catsndogs:  i am manager in icici bank,mumbai and done btech from it-bhu. i have 30mths work-ex till date. i m scoring around 85-90 p%tile in simcats. how much chance i have getting calls from iims. and which other institute i shd apply

Asan Dasari: Hi, do stay focussed on CAT. Aim for a score of 65+. After the CAT will be the best time for you to sit down and check which colleges you should apply to.

Cracker: I am not very good at DI. My verbal is the strongest of all. I ve got good accuracy in quantitaive. I usually attempt verbal first and then quant and then DI. I ve seen that I am not able to attempt high number of queations. Normally I do around 75. How to increse the attempts on the D-Day?Help me out. I know I can do it.

Asan Dasari: Hi, aim for an overall score of 65+. Now, break it up across different sections. This method will help you to score effectively in CAT. As of now, do not worry and speculate. Be confident and yes, you can do it!


Asan Dasari: Hi, good question. CAT is not a tough test. However it is the competition which makes it tougher. Given the awareness about MBA and CAT, we believe that more students might be taking the CAT this year. So, this might be a tough year for CAT aspirants.

kool: Don't u think dat aiming for 65+ or for dat matter having any precocieved notion abt the scores may actually prove to be detrimental??

Asan Dasari: Hi, 65+ means that you should aim for a score. With no score in mind, it would be difficult for anyone to push himself / herself for two hours with 100 percent attention. The score is metaphorical in nature but it is an excellent tool to strive for a competitive score.

kartiks2005: Hello sir ,Myself Kartik, I want to know about the cut off marks for CAT Based Management Institutes.

Asan Dasari: Hi, as per the AICTE norms, all colleges will be displaying their selection criteria including cut-offs on their homepages. Please do check the college you wish to apply to.

tushar: asan how is the pgdcm course in iim calcutta ??? should i go to it if i get a chance ? I am placed in IBM and maintaining a 95+ percentile in simcats

Asan Dasari: Hi, IIM-C's PDGCM programme is excellent. For the time being, focus to get a score of more than 65+ and I hope you get all the calls.

sayan31: sir,i have more or less studied all the concepts in quants and have performed well in atleast 4 siomcats where i got above 95.66 percentilebut i haven't got any simcat rank plz tell me will the cutoffs be as steep in cat?

Asan Dasari: Hi, do not worry. You have scored well. The cut offs are based on fellow students performance. We want you to perform. The best way to score more is to score evenly across sections. So aim for a good score like 65+ and divide it across the given sections either 3/4 and give your best!

manotosh: hello sir.... pls tell me how to take the questions in case each one has a different weightage.....

Asan Dasari: Hi, aim for a score. Do not select questions based on marks. Try to solve all the questions which you know you can solve.

mr: is there any chances of any section being emphasied more this year?

Asan Dasari: Hi, over the years Reasoning has become more critical. This year we expect questions which have a flavour of reasoning.

amitpanhale: Wat wud be an Ideal attempt for a 65+ score?

Asan Dasari: Hi, 85-90 questions should be a good attempt for a score of 65+.

anjali.: Sir should i go for lesser attempts, more accuracy but less marks or more attempts, less accuracy but more marks? Plz answer

Asan Dasari: Hi, the best mantra is to go for more accuracy always. But, since it is a competitive test, you should ensure that you are scoring well too.

Gaurav: Helleo, I will like to have your suggestion on the style to attempt CAT. Is it a good idea to just scan through the whole thing once before deciding the order to attempt the sections? (I would like to keep the toughest section to be the first or the second one while attempting.)

Asan Dasari: Hi. i. Open the paper and check all pages. ii. Now solve one section at a time. iii. Within each section skim the questions which you can solve, allocate time and solve them. iv. If you have time left, solve the remaining. v. Once the allocated time is over, go to the next section and repeat the steps

Gireesh: Sir, I want to know the cut off marks for IIM K.

Asan Dasari: Hi, last year IIM-K had a cut off of 97+ percentile. Though there were few with 95+ too.

dev: does a good performance in CAT style examination has any correlation to a good performance in GMAT. I think since if i do not get selected into an institute of my choice i will be taking the GMAT route. and yes I do have relevant work experience enough to get me to the best schools in US

Asan Dasari: Hi, you are on the right track. Meanwhile take the CAT with 100 percent focus. Always strive for a good college. It is a good motivator for a student to score well in an aptitude test.

patnaik: Sir,can u tell me few good management institutes in Orissa

Asan Dasari: Hi, XIM-B is very good B-School in Orissa. XIMB takes the XAT test.

tr: Please answer this before time is up please i beg u? I am weak in Quant and get abt 7-8 should i increase attempts and with lesser time take a gamble and hope that 3-4 q are right?? Please answer

Asan Dasari: Hi, aim for say 10-12 questions in Quant. Try to solve these questions in the given time. You would be able to do so. So, do not worry.

mr: Asan, the PS section comprises of quesstion that are more logic based rather than formula based? Why so? & how to go abt. it?

Asan Dasari: Hi, this varies from test to test. Always check all questions before you start solving them. Based on the questions you should plan your strategy.

Part I: Aim of score of +65


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