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September 16, 2005

How do I ace the Common Admission Test?

That is the question most youngsters are desperate to find the answer to, because The CAT is the key to the best management institutes.

We gave Get Ahead readers a chance to interact with CAT gurus Asan Darasi and Vinayak Kudwa of IMS Learning Resources.

IMS trains candidates for leading competitive examinations like CAT, GRE and GMAT.

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.

Vinayak, an engineer, has an MBA from Mumbai University. He is the head of academics at IMS, has rich experience in academia-based research and teaches mathematics on free time.

For those who missed the chat, here is the transcript:

CAT: Strategies, tips...more

nivi : What is expected from a candidate who appeares for the CAT.
IMS : Hi! You have to be equally competent across all sections assessed in the CAT

Govinda : What is the benefit of taking CAT
IMS : You have to take the CAT to apply to some of the best B-schools like the IIMs in the country.

ramesh : how our past career performance will effect in the interview
IMS : Since you are planning to study further, your past career record will be of high importance.

karthi : which section has to be given much importance and which section will be carring much weightage
IMS : CAT demands you to be COMPETENT across all sections. Therefore you have to perform equally across all sections, whether there are two, three or four sections.

edwin : what is the minimum percentage required for writting cat?
IMS : You have to be a graduate to take the CAT. There is no minimum percentage required to take the CAT.

harsha : Is a 95 percentile with 12 months enough for iim call.
IMS : Harsha you should strive to score beyond the 98th percentile. This will improve your chances with or without work ex.

Dennis B : Im in SYBMS....will give CAT next year....since when should one begin preparing seriously?
IMS : Hi, to start preparing for the CAT, you should take the preliminary test which will help you to assess your current level of preparedness. Thereafter you can accordingly plan your study for the CAT.

IMS : No. To pursue MBA your daughter will have to complete her graduation.

Sid : what does one do to ace quant ??
IMS : For Quant: 1. Build your concepts and ensure that you know your areas of strength. 2. Practice taking tests so that you can learn to select the questions YOU can do the fastest.

Sid : Sir, what is the best way of analysing a mock test ??
IMS : Hi, the best way to analyse any test will be in 3 steps. 1. Analyse the questions you have attempted incorrectly. 2. Solve the questions you have not attempted at all. 3. Finally do analyse the questions you have got correct.

ajayc : I am student at IMS bangalore. I wanted to understand how I should attempt the CAT paper. Which section should I start with? And how many questions should I attempt? Please mail me at
IMS : Hi, first of all you have to accept that there is no pattern to the CAT. You should develop the skill to start with any section. Moreover since CAT wants you to be COMPETENT across sections, this means you have to give equal importance to each section. Therefore strive to be good in all and you have three months to go, you can do it!

Harshit : Of three section if one is weak in only the verbal+RC section what can be done, if one has to crack the CAT.
IMS : To improve your performance in RC, you should spend more time reading. This will also help you to build you English usage

Sagit : I have a feeling that nobody can attempt all the questions. Selecting the right kind of questions and getting it right looks to be the key. Am I right?
IMS : Yes, you are correct. You need to develop the skill to select the questions based on your strengths

IMS : Competency

Unmesh : Hi Asan and Vinayak. I scored 70 percentile without any preparation. Are 2 months enough to get it above 95. How sud I plan my studies
IMS : Hi Unmesh, two months is good time for you to excel at the CAT. Ensure that your accuracy levels are high in any test you take. This will build your confidence too.

maneet : hi well im able to do questions easily at home but wen i try to giv it under exam condition i mean at our coaching center i usually end up with a very few attempts especially in shud i improve myself question selection and speed in quant
IMS : Hi, you should attempt to be relaxed while taking the test. Trying speaking to your parents and your friends so that you can ease off the pre-test pressure.

ashish : hi i'm ashish.planning to give gmat and cat in next 2 months. I have 2.5 yrs of work,decent academics. how much score will be sufficient to make it to ivy league colleges in US.are there any scholarships being offered based on merit? and wat about the scenario in uk?
IMS : For the Ivy league, you should get atleast 700 in the GMAT and 5 in the AWA. Currently there are no scholarships available for MBA aspirants.

ankush : can you please tell me what should be approach for a guy who is just looking for fpm in cat
IMS : Hi even the selection for FPM is very tough. You should try to get atleast 95 percentile in the CAT

anubhav : sir can you predict that this time the question pattern will change again , new things like introducing 3 marks question or so , if it happens what a person should do.
IMS : No we cannot. If the structure changes, you should be able to respond while you are reading the instructions on the test booklet.

Mitesh : What shud be the minimum %age of attempts in each section to be on the brighter side for selection???I have not been able to figure out that and hence hv been falling short sometimes
IMS : Try to attempt as many questions as possible. If you look at last year's paper an overall attempt of 65-75 questions with a net score of 65 was a good score.

Unmesh : R & C questions were most deceptive and I lost marks in that section. Should I give more time to it in the exam. Can giving more time reduce mistakes in R & C
IMS : You have to read carefully and try to understand the passage. It is not about how fast you can read, it is about how fast you can comprehend.

VVJ : I have 5 yrs of work experience. I am planning to take CAT. Am I too old for an Indian MBA? Elsewhere in the world, avg age is 28 whereas in India it is 23.
IMS : No you are not old for pursuing MBA. However since you have work experience you should be very selective in finalising the B-schools you plan to apply.


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Number of User Comments: 4

Sub: correspondence course for cat

sir , for preparation of cat i required your correspondence course so , please send me the price,detail abt your courses

Posted by anil

Sub: at present i am doing software engg should i go for MBA/GATE

at present i am in 2nd year IT i am not going to choose path where should i go weather MBA/GATE so pls guide me ...

Posted by surajsharma

Sub: CAT

How should prepare for CAT along with my engineering?

Posted by Tushar

Sub: regarding CAT

i havent started my preparation yet, so at this time how i have to organise for writing cat

Posted by kish


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