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CAT: Revise your fundamentals

November 19, 2005

You have just 120 minutes to answer the Common Admission Test 2005. 

How do you cram in all the sections in that span of time?

CAT trainers Brijesh Singh and Jasveen Grewal from Top Careers & You suggested this strategy during a chat with Get Ahead readers on November 19: 
The ideal time break up is 40-40-40 per section. Take out time from a easier section and give it to a  tougher one.

Brijesh is project head, MBA, at Top Careers & You. He is an MBA from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, and regularly writes features on CAT for various publications.

Jasveen is project leader, MBA, at Top Careers & You. She has completed her MBA from the International Management Institute, New Delhi. She writes regularly on the importance of Verbal Ability in B-school entrance examinations. Here is the transcript:


rety: How many weeks of preparation is required to ace CAT, right from the scratch ?

Brijesh/Jasveen: It takes anywhere b/w 8-10 months.


catsetgo: shall i take one more mock.

Brijesh/Jasveen: No, please do not do anything new right now, just revise your fundamentals of formulas, post lunch just watch a movie.


dais: i am very weak in quants n get 70-80%tile by attemptin DI n EU only then wat is my chance of gettin call from NIRMA,IMT N SYMBIOSIS

Brijesh/Jasveen: Overall IMT requires 90 percentile and Nirma around 85-88 percentile.


BellTheCAT: Sir, I ve been scoring reasonably well in the mock CATs, my percentiles range between 85-88. But the confidence level is still low and I am afraid that I might mess up tomorrow because of this and the hard work that I ve been putting in all these days will go a waste. This is my second attempt. Last year I could not perform well due to nervousness and lack of concentration. Result: my performance was not at all satisfactory. Kindly tell me tips to overcome that fear (which will surely crop up when CAT paper will be in my hand) and perform to the best of my ability. I wish to get at least a percentile position over 85. This thought itself haunts me throughout the test. Please help me out. Thank You.

Brijesh/Jasveen: Try and stay calm. CAT is not simply a test of your intelligence but also tests your nerves under stressful situations.


sancheti: hi, is starting the paper with RC advisable. And what can u suggest some last minute tips

Brijesh/Jasveen: If you strong in RC, go ahead. The most important tip is... handle uncertainty and pressure in initial 15 minutes and last 20 minutes.


prashant: hi ,brijesh what should be the key to success

Brijesh/Jasveen: Start with your favourite section and keep your cool especially in the first 15 minutes and last 10 minutes.


miini: hi, which of the sections to start with?

Brijesh/Jasveen: Start with your strong section.


Nihal: Hello friends! I just wanted to know whether institutes apart from the IIMs consider sectional cut-offs.

Brijesh/Jasveen: Top institutes consider sectional cut-offs, usually the low-rung institutes don't take into account the sectional cut-offs.


manish: how should i approach a sectional time limit paper in CAT and what should be a strategy for a four sectional paper.

Brijesh/Jasveen: If it a four section paper, initially divide your time equally and then as the paper proceeds take out time from the easier sections and give it to tougher ones.


shruti: hi sir. do u expect a change in pattern this yr? if yes then what do u think it will be?

Brijesh/Jasveen: We do not expect any drastic change in pattern this year.


rks : hi brijesh does call centre work ex count during the interview stage

Brijesh/Jasveen: Depends upon your profile and what you have learnt on the job.


nikhil: sir ive ehard dat imt ghaziabad had a cut off of 96 last time? is it true?

Brijesh/Jasveen: Yes, it was around 95 percentile.


Nihal: Please answer my question sir... do non-IIMs consider sectional cut-offs?

Brijesh/Jasveen: Some like MDI, SP JAIN do, but low rung B-schools do consider overall performance.


shruti: is it true that the work ex of more than 2 yrs are counted in colleges like sp jain?

Brijesh/Jasveen: SP Jain is known to give considerable weightage to work experience.


nikhil: sir for someone like me who doesnt have a really strong section..like for me all are manageable and my avg scores have been hovering around 95-97 in mocks. wat shud i do to select the first section to be attempted?

Brijesh/Jasveen: If all three sections are equally strong, please attempt Quant and DI together.


Jimy: hello jasveen, should i attempt DI sets or analytical reasoning first

Brijesh/Jasveen: In DI/ DS section, most of the students attempt DS first and then go to DI and finally do the logical reasoning section.


Retty: Tell me which is better CAT or MAT]

Brijesh/Jasveen: CAT has more reputed schools under it.


aligarh: how should i alllot time to VA and RC

Brijesh/Jasveen: Most students attempt EU first and then RCs. Try and give equal time to both.


Nihal: Thank you! What is the ideal time one should spend for a particualr section, as we have just 120 minutes?

Brijesh/Jasveen: The ideal time break up is 40-40-40 per section. Take out time from a easier section and give it to a
tougher one.


aligarh: What's the best strategy for the last 10 mins.

Brijesh/Jasveen: In the last five minutes, just check that all the answers have been successfully transferred to the OMR sheet.


sonam: good morning Sir, Ideally what we should be doing now? Should we revise formulae etc. or should we take a test or should we close all books and meditate:))

Brijesh/Jasveen: Revise your fundamentals. Don't take any tests post lunch today. Relax and stay calm.


dais: does IMT n nirma considers sectional cutoff. i am very bad in quants

Brijesh/Jasveen: They are known to consider the overall performance.


nikhil: sir is UBS chandigarh a good choice to do an MBA? and which one wud u prefer..UBS or GIM?

Brijesh/Jasveen: Both institutes are good but lately UBS has shown a marked improvement in its nationwide B-School rankings.


abhi: good mroning sir, i have work ek of 9 months full time and apart from tht i have been working with my dad's in his office and have been handling all a/c's work does my working with my dad counts as an work ex speciall for SP jain.

Brijesh/Jasveen: It will help you in your interview but your learning will decide your score in the interview.


viren: should i study today or watch the match

Brijesh/Jasveen: Post-lunch, do not study anything. Watch the match/movie to pump up your adrenalin.


Nihal: Should it be like.. take just 30 minutes per section if there are four sections... take 40 minutes if there are three.. or concentrate on the strongest section... try attempting less with more accuracy in weaker sections.. what should the strategy be?

Brijesh/Jasveen: One must clear the cut-offs in all the sections, so simply focussing on the strong section will not work.


RAHUL: no ans to my question?????????

Brijesh/Jasveen: Kindly ask again.


CATalyst: invariably logical ability sets take ample time to solve .. so is it ideal to first try your hands on DI case.. and then time permitting try logical ability .. how much time do v invest for logical ability ?

Brijesh/Jasveen: Most of the students follow the strategy as mentioned by you... the time devoted to logical reasoning will depend on the no of questions.


Sudhir: Sir, tell me what role accuracy play in CAT

Brijesh/Jasveen: Accuracy plays a very important role... Kindly keep a proper balance between your accuracy and speed.


John: I am getting score of around 85 in mock cats. What r d chances form IIMA

Brijesh/Jasveen: IIM-A requires a score of around 99 percentile.


Nihal: Shouldn't we try to attempt less with 100% accuracy in weaker sections?

Brijesh/Jasveen: If you are sure of a very high accuracy then yes, but make sure you attempt a enough to clear the cut offs.


subhas: can i take admission to velinkar through CAT.is velinkar good from career point of view

Brijesh/Jasveen: Wellingkar is a good B-School. All depends on your aspirations but it can definitely kickstart your career.


varundeep: sir how will u rank MFC by Universiy of delhi south campus

Brijesh/Jasveen: For all Finance aspirants, it is considered to be good.


ramanna: have seen tcyonline tests on rediff. like free CAT.... should i go for these

Brijesh/Jasveen: These tests are actual CAT questions and will definitely help you.


sandy: Good morning Sir CAn I get call from NITIE if i get 45+backet or i need to score 50+ also i have 1 year ex

Brijesh/Jasveen: It will depend on your percentile... a percentile of 95+ is all you require.


Nihal: English and DI are my strongest points... Maths is where I always flounder... what's the best strategy to tackle Maths tomorrow?

Brijesh/Jasveen: Squeeze in your Quantitative section between your verbal and DI.


Sudhir: what if i cleared cut offs with less than 75% accuracy will i be getting a call from iim

Brijesh/Jasveen: A person with a 99 percentile gets a call from the IIMs.


vibu: hello sir, wat is the expected pattern of the paper this time, the same as last time ???

Brijesh/Jasveen: We don't expect much change in the CAT pattern this year.


isMBAeverything: Cat Gurus........whts ur opinion bout ICFAI

Brijesh/Jasveen: ICFAI Hyderabad is considered good.


RAHUL: what is way to improve english

Brijesh/Jasveen: Now you should simply revise the word list and go through the mock tests and FLTs that you have taken so far.


vibu: sir, how do u rate NMIMS mumbai, does it accept CAT scores or has a separate test ?

Brijesh/Jasveen: NMIMS is a good institute... They conduct NMAT for their admission process


sandy: Sir, what woukld be strategy if i spend 10-15 min on perticular part and understand that it is tough?how to make alternate plan that time

Brijesh/Jasveen: Shifting from one section to another might break your concentration. This will affect your performance. Kindly spend the time allocated to a section and prioritise the sequence beforehand.


abhi: sir i have been scoring very less in these final days in test now wat shall i do to boost my confidence.

Brijesh/Jasveen: Revise your fundamentals at this stage. Please don't do anything post lunch. Very importantly, stay calm.


sekhar: guruji, i know that i need to work hard to clear cut offs in every section. it is not possible this year. what must i do for the coming years to keep option open to IIms. i am just a graduate in statistics.

Brijesh/Jasveen: IIMS definitely look at sectional cut-offs, so your strategy should be to work upon your weak areas.


subhas: after an engineering degree MBA degree is must from career point of view????????????????????

Brijesh/Jasveen: It all depends upon one's career aspirations and priorities.


Nihal: I am just giving CAT on a trial basis this year... I will probably getting work experience of one year and more practice before attempting CAT again next year... do you think attempting this once will work against me next year? Please answer this question.

Brijesh/Jasveen: It will not work against you, but give your full-hearted attempt and analyse all the aspects thoroughly.


METRO: My confusionis regarding various tests for MBA entrance ? which is best,though i`m not aiming for top 3, it would be the next top 10?

Brijesh/Jasveen: CAT gives admission to the most reputed institutes in India... so definitely look out for CAT.


Sudhir: a person with 99 %ile will get a call even if his accuracy is less than 75%??

Brijesh/Jasveen: Most probably yes, but there should definitely be a lower accuracy percentile cut-off which depends upon the paper.


sreemoyee: hi brijesh.my prob is that wen i do a particular section i get so involved that at the end i hv very little time for the last section.kindly suggest something to avoid this.

Brijesh/Jasveen: Most of the students face this problem... Kindly keep a proper track of time...


simmy: Hi Brij/Jas; Please respond this time!!!For SPJAIN is it better to aplly thru CAT/XAT. I am 2+ yrs exp in I.T in a top MNC. Right now i have applied for SPJAIN thru CAT. Am i right in doing so? Many say chances are much higher if one applies thru XAT owing to lesser ppl taking XAT compared to CAT

Brijesh/Jasveen: The chances are almost equal, through both the tests because apart from the written test SP Jain takes into account a lot of other factors also.


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    Sub: CAT

    In which all colleges will get admission apart from IIM, if my scores are not that good? i.e from CAT score...


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    Sub: plz Do answer me soon

    my brother got 63% in CAT and he is very much interested to be admitted in one of the top ten B-schools in INDIA. ...


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