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CAT 2006: 'GK, essays highly UNLIKELY'
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July 24, 2006

The Common Admission Test 2006 is scheduled for November 19.

In What's new in CAT 2006 we gave you a gist of the new rules introduced by the IIMs who conduct the test every year.

AKRS Srinivas and Rahul Reddy of T.I.M.E, which trains CAT aspirants, chatted with readers for one hour on July 20 to answer their queries and clear doubts based on the latest developments.

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

Part II: CAT 2006: Attempt this section first


ARKS Srinivas says, Welcome ALL. In this session we will concentrate on the changes that CAT is bringing to the table in terms of the pattern as well as your concerns on the eligibility criteria for writing CAT. Rahul and I will be ther ewith you for the next one hour.


ethen_hunt20 asked, will there be General Awareness this year in CAT?????

ARKS Srinivas answers,
While it is impossible to rule out anything, it is important to read the bulletin and the pattern of the paper, GK and essays are both very highly UNLIKELY.


Vashistha asked, Hi with the increase in the duration of the CAT paper can we expect tougher questions.

Rahul answers,
Hi. Interesting question to start the chat. Last year IIM cutoffs as per TIME were about 46. This year IIM A has asked for a cutoff of 50 or higher in aggregate. So I don't expect more difficulty, so my guess is same different level as last year with 30 minutes more.


ethen_hunt20 asked, since the pattern is drifting towards logical problems are there chances will algebra and geometry will dominate the QA section and questions of commercial maths will reduce????

ARKS Srinivas answers, For the past few years, CAT has been giving more logic-oriented questions. Therefore, a similar paper with obviously some surprises are expected. Geometry and numbers have been very important and chances are high that they would continue to be important in the quant section.


ethen_hunt20 asked, will there be General Awareness this year in CAT?????

Rahul answers,
Hi. Very unlikely. The CAT bulletin mentions the areas to be tested.


praveen asked, How about a 4 pointer this year with number of questions being same

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Hi Praveen, it is impossible to rule put anything. Your speculation is as good as anybody's. But the preparation aspect does not change whatever the pattern or the number of marks that each question comes for.


ethen_hunt20 asked, since the pattern is drifting towards logical problems are there chances will algebra and geometry will dominate the QA section and questions of commercial maths will reduce????

Rahul answers,
Logical questions can be framed in almost any chapter of maths. So futile to make any guesses on that


praveen asked, How about a 4 pointer this year with number of questions being same

Rahul answers,
It might be 5-mark and 10-mark questions, it might be 50 and 100 marks. What difference will that make?


Swapnilshital asked, Hello sir, I m lectuere in Computer Engineering. I m in this profession since last 4 year. Now I want to shift to MBA, can I appear for CAT on 19 Nov. Actually I m in pune & searching for the institute which can give me training for CAT. I m ready to attend classes daily or weekly also.

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Hi Swapnil, You are eligible if you have more that 50 per cent marks in your graduation. Also, T.I.M.E. is available at Pune too and you can get in touch with the office there.


ethen_hunt20 asked, i've heard that the increase in the duration of CAT paper might contain essay writing

Rahul answers,
Hi, please share your sources. Again unlikely as it would increase workload in terms of correction for IIMs


arya1999 asked, Sir, ihave done my mba finance i intend to do my phd what is the cutoff cat score for students like me

Rahul answers,
Hi, the cutoff for the FPM programme of IIMs would be a little lower than for two-year fulltime students. Maybe two to four marks lower. So, last year would be about 42-43.


archana asked, Sir, i intend to do the phd course, wat is the score req for the same

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Hi Archana, I assume that you are talking about PhD in Management. The IIMs give a Doctoral called FPM (fellow programme in management). You can write CAT for admission into the FPM programme.


Anshu asked, Sir, It's said that to perform well in RC you should read from variety of topics. so can you suggest me the source, I mean what all should I cover up as a part of reading apart from newspapers and magazines, to make myself comfortable in RC? esp in areas like phillosophy, biologiy, abstract etc. as these do not appear in nespapers. If u can provide list of books which can be said as necessary and sufficient, that would be of great help! Thx

Rahul answers,
Hi Will Durant's Story Of Philosophy and Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra. Any basic book on pyschology or sociology will do too.


neelabh asked, Hi sir..... Do u think even as it is expected that the paper this time around will be a bid challenging.. Does it pose a real danger sign.. The marking is still relative.. Isnt it.

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Hi Neelabh, when was CAT not challenging? Even last year depsite 90 questions, the paper was every bit challenging and that's what makes it CAT.


Vashistha asked, why would u increase the time duration if the number of sections(questions) will be the same and the difficulty level also to be the same.

Rahul answers, Hi, last year the scores were lower than the past. This makes it difficult for the 70 other institutes taking admission through CAT. For example decent institutes had to pick students at scores of 20 overall.


BDS asked, Can you suggest a good book for Quantitative ability and Logical reasoning?

Rahul answers,
Quantitative Aptitude by Trishna Knowledge Systems. The publisher is Pearson.


go4arnab asked, since conventional di,lr questions were out last CAT,how should we prepare?the materials provided by coaching instis dont seem like what appeared in cat 2005.

ARKS Srinivas answers, Dear Arnab, the first step in doing any kind of area is to start with the basics. Once you are thorough with the same you would be ready for the higher level of questions too. As for the Mocks of T.I.M.E. and the material is concerned, you won't have any such complaints.


jade asked, 2.5 hours sir seem to be quite a lot , should we keep our strategy same to the 2 hours and the other half an hour we should keep ourselves ready for any surprises if any . Though they ahve clearly mentioned as the 3 sections , will be there in the Exam.

Rahul answers, Hi, the exact number of sections and the no of questions will be known to you about 15 minutes before the exam starts. So you can adjust time strategy. As of now, you may take 45 minutes for each strategy and keep a 15 minute buffer.


Kkrisshiim asked, Sir, Kindly enlighten on the 50% ELIGIBILITY. Are IIM's asking passmarks percentage or first attempt percentage. Iam a B.E passout in 2005 from VTU. As per VTU i have been awarded degree taking into account the first attempt total of last 2years rather than all the 4 years. I hope my query is replied.Earnestly seeking the answer.

Rahul answers, Hi, the CAT bulletin only says percentage as per university guidelines.


nandini asked, Will there be an increase in the number of questions?Is there a possibility of getting questions which weighs more than 2marks?Will there be any new sections?

ARKS Srinivas answers, Hi Nandini, let me give you some statistics.

CAT 2003 had 150 questions: the cutoff was 55.
CAT 2004 had 123 questions: cutoff was 51.
CAT 2005 had 90 questions: cutoff was 44.

In all three years the time given was two hours. Hence the reduction or increase in questions will not be any reason for high or low marks. Also, the same applies to the time available to solve. Though there may be a change in the pattern, the reason is not necessarily because there is half an hour more to solve.


aravindkumar asked, hello sir, am aravind kumar i ve an arrear in my engineering due to my ill health. i ve completed that paper this year. am i aligible to write CAT? am having 69% in my engineering which is a course from 2001-2005.

Rahul answers,
Hi, you are eligible. At the interview stage, you may be questioned. Also please keep medical records ready.


raja asked, Do a agricultural graduate has a edge as par as agribusiness management is concerned?

Rahul answers,
Hi, not necessarily as far as the written test is concerned. But,in the interview stage having an agri background may be very useful.


komal asked, i komal anand , 2nd year would like to know more abt CAT 2006,i am planning to write CAT this year since i feel it will help me a lot for later preparation.could u plz let me know more abt this and details abt exam

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Hi Komal, I think you should just drop in at any of our offices for more information or visit the T.I.M.E. web site.


pradeep asked, i am starting my prep from tomorrow? is the time sufficient? i have taken cat b4 so i do know my strengths and weaknesses...

Rahul answers,
Hi. Is there any way to find out? Work hard and remember that three months is a long time.


BDS asked, Can you suggest a good book for Quantitative ability and Logical reasoning?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Quantitative Ability by Trishna Knowledge Systems.


jade asked, 2.5 hours sir seem to be quite a lot , should we keep our strategy same to the 2 hours and the other half an hour we should keep ourselves ready for any surprises if any . Though they ahve clearly mentioned as the 3 sections , will be there in the Exam

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Good question jade. I guess, you should proportionately increase the time to each of the sections.


Ashok asked, Are there part time MBA courses available in IIMs for executives. What is the placement chances for them. Is it nearly the same as compared to the regular courses. Is there difference in the contents of tre course.

Rahul answers,
Hi. Placement depends on the quality of the course as well as quality of students taking that course (which depends on method of selection). Any course that selects only the very best students will have good demand from companies


vikas asked, Sir, as the duration is increased by half an hour .... what does it mean that either the difficulty level will be raised or the no. od questions will increased (as from the last 2 times) we have seen that the no. of questions are decreasing. And what should we concentrate on keeping in mind for that extra half an hour .... wanted to ask what will be the impact of the extra time

ARKS Srinivas answers,
If you see the fine print, there would probably be no change in the exam pattern. Therefore, all you have to consider or keep in your mind is that you can utilise 30 minutes more for the same type of an exam.


Kkrisshiim asked, Sir, Kindly enlighten on the 50% ELIGIBILITY. Are IIM's asking passmarks percentage or first attempt percentage. Iam a B.E passout in 2005 from VTU. As per VTU i have been awarded degree taking into account the first attempt total of last 2years rather than all the 4 years. I hope my query is replied.Earnestly seeking the answer.
ARKS Srinivas answers, If the university takes into consideration the last two years' marks, then the IIMs will also consider the same. So do not worry.


aninditadas asked, HELLO SIR,WHAT IS THE MINIMUM PERCENTILE REQUIRED TO GET A CALL FROM IIM.

Rahul answers, As per IIMA for CAT 2006, the cutoff would be 12.5 in each section and overall cutoff would be 33 or higher.


aravindkumar asked, hello sir, am aravind kumar i ve an arrear in my engineering due to my ill health. i ve completed that paper this year. am i aligible to write CAT? am having 69% in my engineering which is a course from 2001-2005.

ARKS Srinivas answers, YES. No problems


raja asked, Do a agricultural graduate has a edge as par as agribusiness management is concerned?

ARKS Srinivas answers, Yes, as you have done the same in your graduation. However, you still have to prove your mettle in written test, group discussion and personal interview.


Sahil asked, Hello! Actually i stammer while speaking &i m very good as studies , if i pass cat then what are the chances in getting through gd & pi

Rahul answers,
Hi. Over the last five to six years we have seen that content and not language or fluency is the important factors as far as GD and interview is concerned.


Sahil asked, Hello! Actually i stammer while speaking &i m very good as studies , if i pass cat then what are the chances in getting through gd & pi

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Hi Sahil, stammering is not a problem and does not make you any less manager that any other person who can speak fluently. Your stammering would not in any way affect your selection. So go right ahead and PREPARE with all energy!


neelabh asked, Sir... I had started preparing for CAT'06 a while back.. Do u think it would be better to work out the GD and personal interview tips now itself.. Or wait for the final selection,just in case.

Rahul answers,
Hi.You can work on general awareness. Also briefly revise graduation subjects


neelabh asked, Sir... I had started preparing for CAT'06 a while back.. Do u think it would be better to work out the GD and personal interview tips now itself.. Or wait for the final selection,just in case.

ARKS Srinivas answers,
You can give some time to it, but the major concentration area would however be written test only.  


vikas asked, Sir, does the part time course from IIM's like from banglore and calcutta ....does they provide placements also and does these courses have same value as that of full time course.

Rahul answers,
Hi, they may provide some assistance in placement. However the quality is nowehere in comparision with the full time programme.


Farhan asked, Dear Gentlemen: How much an engineering background matters for doing an MBA...(During PI)

ARKS Srinivas answers,
To that extent that it is an aligibility criteria for applying to the IIMs.


Divesh asked, Hello sir If i have got more than 50 percent in final year of graduation in commerce but my aggregates of 3 year's course is less than 50 percent. Then am i Eligible for CAT 2006

Rahul answers,
Hi, the IIMs would consider your final percentage as per the university.  


Farhan asked, Dear Gentlemen: How much an engineering background matters for doing an MBA...(During PI)

Rahul answers,
Hi. None.  


Divesh asked, Hello sir If i have got more than 50 percent in final year of graduation in commerce but my aggregates of 3 year's course is less than 50 percent. Then am i Eligible for CAT 2006

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Hi Divesh. If your university takes only the final year marks to award the degree then the final year percentage alone matters (like the Univeristy Of Mumbai). However, if your university take all three years aggregate to award the degree then you would not be eligible.


abhisek asked, SIR DOES EXPERIENCE IN THE BPO SECTOR MATTER IN THE SELECTION OF A CANDIDATE IN THE TOP 15 B-SCHOOL IN INDIA?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Yes, it is counted as work experience. However, the marks you may get will depend on the position you have worked as well as the duration.  


aravind asked, worked as a jr. software engineer in hyderabad n i left my job bcoz of my interest towards MBA. am i considered as a experienced or a fresher? ll ther b any chances of me if the iims r interested in job holders i mean experienced candidates??

Rahul answers,
Hi, all IIMs are taking a mix of freshers and candidates with experience. If you have six months or above you can mention it in the CAT form. But one year and above is where you get significant advantages.  


cattaker asked, Do any IIMs consider GMAT score for their regular mba PGPDM/BM programs?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Yes, if you are an NRI and out of India for more than a YEAR.


arti asked, Sir what's educational qualification want for cat.

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Graduation.  


aspirant asked, hello sir,in my final year examination this year i've got comptt. though i have more than 50% marks in aggregate .Am i eligible to give CAT & will it lead to any problems while facing the interview?

ARKS Srinivas answers, NO.


abhisek asked, sir with IIMA publishing their cutoff marks , can u tell me how much %ile do we need to get a call from IIMA?

Rahul answers, Hi, the percentile in the past has varied between 86-88 percentile for each section and 99 percentile for overall.  


Sumit Bhattacharya asked, sir, how many hours a day of preparation is required from here on considering i am starting my preparations today for CAT ?
A
RKS Srinivas answers,
Though it depends from individual to individual, you probably have to give couple of hours at this stage


go4arnab asked, And sir,with 4 months left should we start mugging up word lists??especially for the analogies..

Rahul answers,
Hi. No. Such an approach is not suited for CAT verbal questions.


Kumar P5 asked, I have 47% marks . Can i still apply for CAT exam

ARKS Srinivas answers,
At the graduation level if you have less than 50 per cent marks then you cannot apply.


vidhu asked, sir wat is the right time to prepare for praparing cat2007?

Rahul answers,
Hi, the earlier the better. Why take any chances?


mani asked, hi, I intend to appear for CAT 06. till date i have not prepared for it even slightly. I am a BE and in service for 10 years. Do u think I can prepare quite satisfactorily to sail through CAT ( call for IIM) with this much time left

Rahul answers,
Hi, it is possible but would require lot of hard work. May I also suggest you look at one-year full time programmes offered by the IIMs and ISB, Hyderabad


abhishek sonu asked, What should be our Strategy since the Pattern & duration of CAT has changed

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Dear Abhishek, if you see the transcript of the chat, you will notice that there is nothing different in terms of preparation. So no major change in strategy required.


KALYAN asked, hi arkss,any there any new factors other than the usual ones which i need to take consider in the light of the increased duration of the exam?

Rahul answers,
Hi. Just rework your section-wise time strategy. Also see if you can practise on some variations. Do take mock CATs if you are not doing it already.


DheerajNarayan asked, Hi Arks, still we dont have any suggestion about handling grammer questions which comprises 50% of verbal sections?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Hi Dheeraj. First of all, grammar is too vast. Therefore, what can be done is give (through classes) a snapshot of the grammar area. However, what will help you is constant practice (of these questions) and GOOD reading.  


Ashok asked, Does the experience in IT industry is considered the same way as the experience in other industries. Bcoz the technical job in IT industry does not have much exposure of the managerial job.

Rahul answers,
Hi. There is some domain expertise to be gained in IT companies. Info Systems is a key area of management


arya1999 asked, Sir, how do is it late for me to start preparing towards cat for fpm prog

Rahul answers,
Hi, not really. Besides do you have anything to lose


rakhee asked, Hi,I am studying for CAT 2006, could u tell me if TIME has some special classes for THE NEW CAT FORMAT??

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Dear Rakhee, T.I.M.E. will take care of the supposed changes through the AIMCATs as well as AIMCAT discussions. You can be rest assured of the same.


abhisek asked, sir with IIMA publishing their cutoff marks , can u tell me how much %ile do we need to get a call from IIMA?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
It will be upwards of 99. But what it will exactly be can only be known after the exam is over



Part II
: CAT 2006: Attempt this section first


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Number of User Comments: 5




Sub: Experience...,matters??

I am an engineer with 1.5 yrs of work experience. Which all colleges prefer exam takers with such background(besides IIM). When do we have to ...


Posted by satendra





Sub: Sectional Cut off..

Dear Sir, Is it true that if we just clear the sectional cut off , I'll get a call from atleast one IIM. For e.g. ...


Posted by satendra





Sub: cat cut-offs

sir, around how much does one need to score(percentage) on the cat to clear it?


Posted by abhishek





Sub: query

sir, i want to ask that can a student(belongs to SCHEDULED CASTE/TRIBE CATEGORY)apply in the GEN CATEGORY in CAT-2006?-if yes then should he or she ...


Posted by biswajit





Sub: DI

i have the aimcat serise that TIME conducts. i had a good exam. but the DI i find it difficult to answer. so what would ...


Posted by Sourav




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