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CAT strategy for D-day

October 06, 2005

It's nearing D-day and you are all set to write the Common Admission Test 2005. But you are not sure which section you should tackle first -- Quant, English Usage or DI/ DS?

image Get Ahead invited Brijesh Singh and Jasveen Grewal of Top Careers & You for a chat with readers. According to them, you must start with your strongest section.

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.

  • For those of you who missed the chat, here is the transcript:

    Part I: Is the pattern likely to change?

    Part II: Accuracy + Speed = CAT success


    catfreakagain: which section should be attempted first and which one in the end?

    TCY: Generally students start with their strongest section.


    Raj17: hello sir, i have filled the form for CAT can u tell me which colleges i yhave apply i m of engineering background.

    TCY: The choice of institute will depend upon your engineering stream.


    abhinav: sir,do maharashtrians have quota in MHCET(MBA)????

    TCY: Yes.


    rajdeepak: Will i be better off with 25/22/18 respectively in ENG/DI/QUANTS for top three IIMs.

    TCY: It depends upon the paper's level of difficulty. For last year's paper, it would be excellent.


    tusharbohra: hi. i am currently working with TCS...have i year experience. can u tell me which r the top institutes i must look for besides iim's. i had given cat last year and got 92 percenile..hoping to get atleast 95 percentile this year.

    TCY: SP Jain, MDI, JBIMS, FMS, XLRI.


    rohan11k: how important is modern math permutations n probability ....n do you suggest learning all formulae in geometryas generally such sums r too long n u need shortcuts

    TCY: 80-90 percent of quants will be from Class X. Geometry is an important section.


    baba: hi ...i m having 5yrs exp in IT industry...giving CAT first time..started prep arround 10days back..dou think 2 months time is enough to break, located in mumbai?

    TCY: Depends upon your present level, but you will have to work really hard in these two months.


    Sundar: Hi, 1.how to increase solving speed in DI..u think practice can really help bcause it is all about numbers and am afraid as to whether PRACTICE CAN HELP???2. How do I get over the psychological question "CAN I RALLY DO IT??"

    TCY: Practice will definitely help. Also, start a positive dialogue with yourself.


    Anant: Sir, can a person with painfully poor ACADEMIC background...but a phenominal CAT score get a call?

    TCY: Academics will play a role only in the second stage. You can definitely get a call.


    abhinav: sir,i m placed in satyam this year.but i want to do mba too.so shud i prepare for mba or first get experience n then pursue mba????

    TCY: It depends. IIMs take both freshers as well as people with work experience.


    sreekanthiyer: Dear Sir, I consistently get scores between 75 - 85 percentile, I will have a 11 months of work experience till 31/12/2005. Can you tell me how can I push percetile above 95, I barely manage to clear cut offs in English. In quant and DI it is always 50 - 50 Sometimes I clear the cut offs (well that is only sometimes) most of the times I don't manage to get a double digit score, please advice.

    TCY: Refer to our previous answers in this session to improve your three sections.


    Ricky: After doing MBA from India and working here for 1 year, is it advisable to try for an admission into a good foreign B-school like LBS, Yale or Wharton??

    TCY: These schools are very good. The problem is with the fee structure and definitely the selection.


    KcJones: Hi,My present salary structure is 4.5 P.A.Considering the opportunity loss of 2 years and the average salary offer @ campuses which are the institutes that I shud target for minimising opportunity loss.

    TCY: Your salary two years from now will depend on factors like your specialisation, the Indian economy, etc, but the safest bet will definitely be the top IIMs.


    Anant: Sir, what is the age limit to write CAT?

    TCY: There's no age limit Anant.


    ka: sir i have done bca but my communiction is not good,what i do?

    TCY: You still have time before your GD/ PI. Practice is the key.


    shalini: i am a graduate std of bio ,now i want to do mba but now it is too late for cat sir i am very weak in english and math i belongs to a hindi medium std so can u tell me that it is possible for me to do mba.

    TCY: Don't lose heart. You can prepare from SNAP, XAT, FMS, MHCET, NMAT and other examinations.


    virtualme: What are usual cutoff's for institutes like MDI, IMI, IMT ?

    TCY: MDI around 97 percentile. IMT-95-96 and IMI around 92-93.


    cool: I in final year BE and have a job offer.Do u think that going in for MBA immediately would improve my career prospects.Plz answer.

    TCY: An MBA from a good school will definitely improve your job prospects.


    rohan11k: Sir how would you rate welingkar from mumbai

    TCY: It's a good school, ranked among top 25 in India.


    Suchi: SIR, what is the precentile cut off for MICA?

    TCY: Around 90 percentile in all, with 97 percentile plus in verbal.


    Manoj258: is there any alternative of CAT to get admission in a good B-school, as preparation of CAT is difficult with job

    TCY: Look out for XAT, FMS, SNAP, IRMA and other entrance tests.


    jesh: sir ,i have asked my question twice but havent got the answer,i repeat again Sir,I have done Masters in communications and computer science in UK and bachelors in B.Tech IT in chennai , Do u think in additon to the above doing MBA will enhance my career?

    TCY: Depends on the type of job you are doing. Most of the IIMs claim to have an average salary of above Rs 7 lakhs.


    ari: Sir how much importance is given in academic back ground.i don't have good academic background. Will tht pose any prob while getting admission to IIMs?

    TCY: In IIMs' selection process, the second stage will judge your academic credentials.


    MaryCAT: Sir how is ISB-Hyderabad and IIPM compared to IIM's?

    TCY: IIMs are good but ISB has a different league. It claims to have the highest average salaries in India.


    Avijeet: I got 86 percentile in CAT last year. What is the limit for TAPMI? How much should I improve

    TCY: Around 92 percentile.


    Aravind: I took my CAt last yr without much prep & got 95 percentile...now if i prepare with 5-6 hrs a day can i make it thru CAT. Verbal & RC are my weaker sections

    TCY: You have got very good prospects.


    Shaan: Just when my preparation for CAT was on track I got thru a job with a good profile (Asst. Manager). I have a total work experience of 4 years.Please suggest what should be my next move.Should I gather this managerial experience for a year or go ahead with CAT.I am asking this question as it has become a little difficult to manage work and studies at the same time.

    TCY: It depends on your present job and your future goals


    Part I: Is the pattern likely to change?

    Part II: Accuracy + Speed = CAT success

    Illustration: Dominic Xavier

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