You are here: Rediff Home » India » Get Ahead » Careers » Cracking CAT
Search: The Web
  Discuss this Article   |      Email this Article   |      Print this Article

CAT 2006: Want to join an IIM?
Get news updates:What's this?
June 09, 2006

You plan to give the Common Admission Test on November 19.

And you have your sights firmly set on admission to an IIM.

CAT trainers ARKS Srinivas and Rahul Reddy from T.I.M.E, who chatted with readers on June 8, gave the following advice: 'Look at attempting about 75 marks worth of questions if you wish to get IIM calls. But, remember, getting an accuracy of over 90 per cent is very rare under pressure.'

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

Part ICAT 2006 -- Top study mistake

mohit asked, Is CAT and GMAT preparation different ?

ARKS Srinivas answers, A lot similar and a lot different. Meaning, for Reading Comprehension, Verbal and Quant, CAT will suffice. You need to put in more effort on Critical Reasoning and Analytical Writing for
GMAT. For CAT, Reasoning, Data Interpretation will be far more tricky and difficult.

IIM in 2007 asked, hi rahul/ARKS, Good evening to all of you. i put in 2 hours daily for CAT. b By when shud i get over with the CAT syllabus if i am aiming for iims,i am pretty determined?

Rahul Reddy answers,
CAT is not a syllabus exam like graduation exams. Complete the basics by end of August, and then work on tests.

Mona Singh asked, Sir plz answer my question if i start preparing now . Would it be possible for me to get through. As i m planning to quit my job.

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Yes, if you put consistent effort from now.

himanshu asked, sir is MDI as good as an IIM?

Rahul Reddy answers,
Comparable to IIM-Indore and Kozhikode.

srikar asked, Hi last time I asked this question.I am hardcore fan of TIME.But I have heard that IMS has good infrastructure,good faculty and good course materials.What is your opnion?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
I cannot comment on IMS. However, the track record says that we have been the best. This year, more than 700 students (not calls) have made it to the IIMs and the same has been verified by KPMG. What other proof do you need?

schrilax asked, sir im working as a devloper in kolkata, preparing for CAT as well, appeared in CAT'04 missed out with a 96%. was let down in the verbals section. how should i approach the CAT this time? wat do u think would be the pattern in CAT this time in the verbal section?

Rahul Reddy answers,
Hi, the pattern is not predictable though I don't expect it to vary too much Work on your vocabulary and grammar.

Aashishbafna asked, Hello Arks, I have join the time chennai and today was my first class. I want to know whether one can ace cat in 5 months and if how much effort should i put in? I am a commerce graduate with 65% marks

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Frankly, the answer lies with you. The fact that you have started today clearly shows you are hopeful of clearing the same. NOW, do not think about the eventualities. JUST go ahead and crack it. If you are serious about CAT, then nothing can stop you.

Nikunj asked, SIRS PLS ANSWER...I M WORRIED....I read newspapers, speak decent English....How to polish it further and increase vocab??? I find it tough to reproduct mugged up words from dictionary...

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Don't worry about dictionary and mugging up. Spend time reading good books. The Tao Of Physics by Fritjof Capra, The Story Of Philosophy by Will Durant and any Richard Bach book will give you enough variety.

shatadip asked, I want to clear CAT 2006 but my work is very hectic and I don't get enough time to prepare. I secured 99.1%tile in CAT 2004 but couldn't convert the calls. And by now I have forgotten most of the things. What should my strategy be?

Rahul Reddy answers,
Hi, first set up your priorities. You need to understand that the IIMs will change your life. So try not to be an ideal employee. Delegate load to others. Put yourself first for some time rather than your company.

Prahalad asked, dear sir,CAT 2005 seemed to focus on accuracy rather than speed.would it be advisable to attempt around 40-45 questions out of 90 and take a more conservative approach?

Rahul Reddy answers,
Hi. Yes, a lesser number of questions reduce the emphasis on speed. Look at attempting about 75 marks worth of questions if you wish to get IIM calls. Remember getting an accuracy of over 90 percent is very rare under pressure.  

Rajeev asked, dear arks could you please specify 1. how to get the english usage correclty i mean i am talking from grammer point of view. 2. if i try to improve it during general reading then my Reading speed gets reduced. so how to have a good grammer,english usage . please help me.

ARKS Srinivas answers, The way CAT is shaping up every year, what you should seriously be concerned about is your comprehension. Read good articles daily. Spend about 30 minutes just reading articles. If you can read, say, three articles in this time, then by the time you get to CAT, you would have done close to 450 articles. This will be excellent for BOTH comprehension as well as English Usage.

Anandaghoshroy asked, Dear Sir, I want to do my MBA on Foreign Trade. Which are the other good colleges (other than IIFT) for MBA International Business?

Rahul Reddy answers,
Hi I can only suggest SIIB, Pune. But an MBA from a top college would allow you to get into Int trade kind of jobs.

vamsi asked, Hi, I have been working for the past 6 years in the IT industry. Given the kind of work pressure we have at my organisation.Its not possible to spare more than 2hours/day for me to prepare for cat. Considering that I am average guy at quant,rc and verbal.Will a 5 month time frame be sufficient to crack CAT?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
That should be more than sufficient provided, you do give about 15 hours a week.

keval_jasoliya asked, Sir, I hav got 96%ile in AIMCAT0720. It was my first mock. I cleared my cutoffs in Quants & DI, but messed up with verbal. How should i improve on that as that is my weak area.

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Please follow exactly as the faculty members tell you.

Rajeev asked, dear arks could you please specify 1. how to get the english usage correclty i mean i am talking from grammer point of view. 2. if i try to improve it during general reading then my Reading speed gets reduced. so how to have a good grammer,english usage . please help me

ARKS Srinivas answers,
I just answered them Rajeev.

Prahalad asked, Sir,in the rc section which method is better to adopt for a slow reader- 1.reading the passage and then answering questions. every question first and search for the answer in the passage directly.

Rahul Reddy answers,
For inferential questions, it is better to read passages and then go for questions. It is okay to refer back to the passage after reading the questions.

krishna asked, Hello ARK Garu, My son is doing Bio-Medical Engineering in 3rd Year Now. What are the prospects for him to go for CAT, GRE Etc. As I am less knowledge of these courses. I will be glad If you could clarify. Thanks in Advance.

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Dear Mr Krishna, if he going into year three, then he should prepare for GRE and keep that as an option.

Also, he should start preparing for CAT by say August/ September as he would be writing the CAT 2007 paper.

Vivek asked, Hi ARKS, Does one's vocabulary need to be excellent to crack the CAT verbal section?

Rahul Reddy answers,
Hi, your vocabulary needs to be good. CAT does not give very difficult words as compared to GRE. Most CAT words are those which are commonly used in papers, magazines, etc.

himanshu asked, Sir, work experience in local organisations how good or bad is it. do the panel consider it seriously? or otherwise

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Any work experience is better than NO work experience. The better the company, the better the consideration.

dip asked, Sir, can u please suggest how to get knowlegde on the different sectors related to RC. Where can i get the articles , suggest some websites for the same

Rahul Reddy answers,
Search Google on the Internet. Good books, you can buy or get from library like The Story Of Philosophy by Will Durant, any good basic book on oriental religion and good basic books on psychology.

nishant asked, , hello, i am a student in my final year of Ph.D ( biotechnology ). I am very much interested in working for biotech companies. My query is will an MBA degree from a good B-school help me in my job prospects in a biotech company

ARKS Srinivas answers,
YES. Without any doubt. However, you should be clear what kind of job you are interested in: a managerial job or research oriented. For a research job, an MBA is not required.

nishant asked, , hello, i am a student in my final year of Ph.D ( biotechnology ). I am very much interested in working for biotech companies. My query is will an MBA degree from a good B-school help me in my job prospects in a biotech company

Rahul Reddy answers,
Hi. An MBA would help you work on the business side of biotech companies. As of now they don't recruit much from top Indian B-schools but, globally, biotech companies also recruit B-school graduates.

NikhilT asked, Sir, starting from scratch now(considering i am an engineering student) how much hours do i need to put in practically to be comfortable till CAT 06 arrives?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
At least two hours per day and around 15 hours per week. The more the merrier.

KKP asked, I started preparing for CAT 2006 from early this month. But, is this period of 5 months sufficient to crack it ?

Rahul Reddy answers,
Hi. Yes, definitely.

Sahil asked, what do u think of MBA from BITS?? how do u rate that college???

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Not too good Sahil.  

waz asked, Sir, as there are a words have many meanings, so how to know what exact meaning should we use at apoint of time?

Rahul Reddy answers,
Good dictionaries, not pocket ones, will give multiple meanings. Also, search Google for words with multiple meanings. 

tirtha_indian asked, Hi rahul could u suggest me some institution from where i can pusue my MBA in sales and marketing..

Rahul Reddy answers,
Marketing is a core specialisation. All top B-schools offer good specialisation in marketing (IIMs SPJAIN, MDI etc) Also MICA, Ahmedabad specialises in marketing.

Shramit asked, Hi I am a time student in Bangalore. I plan to do 1.Time Material on Verbal 2.Norman Lewis. 3.Read Hindu everyday. Will this be enough or should i hunt for more material from IMS and stuff like that??? Regards

ARKS Srinivas answers,
If you ask me, this should be more than ENOUGH. But read some magazines like Frontline, Business World, The Economist, TIME, our own MBA Education And Careers. It will help improve your RC.

r100 asked, Hello Mr Srinivas, I am a Software Professional with 6 months of Experience..Is it the right time to prepare for MBA??? As i am very much keen to do MBA.

ARKS Srinivas answers,

reddy asked, hi ARKS you had not answered the second part of my question which is very important to me i.e my my age is 32 and if i get into any one of the IIM's, do companys recurit me at this age?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
YES. Infact, you would be taken at a middle management level straight.

nishantv asked, i wrote cat in 2005 and got 94% . actually I should have passed in 2005 MAY but I had a back paper and that made be lose 1 year and I coldnt get jobs due to this . now I am planning to appear for cat 2006 which wud mean i have missed almost 16 months without job while I appear for CAT . do u think this will work against me in the interview ?

Rahul Reddy answers,
Hi, frankly, it will cause some difficulty. But it is not impossible. You have to plan your answer carefully. Also, try some mock interviews.  

himanshu asked, sir i have noticed that a score of around 60 odd gets atleast 1 iim call. no matter what the pattern would u agree ?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
45 for CAT 2005. Could be less this year (looking at the trend)

Vijayshankar asked, I am 38, and plan to take CAT 06 and go on to do the coveted MBA. Is it worth it? FYI, I have BE and in IT for 16 years. Preparation tips pls (in Chennai).

Rahul Reddy answers,
Hi, while you can join the IIMs, placement might be a bit difficult. Do try to contact B-school admission chairman, etc, by email before deciding.  

AmitSur asked, Hello, ARKS i have just prep but i am not getting confidence in RC as well as speed> Plz suggest me.

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Spend at least half an hour reading everyday. And read at least three articles per day. Should give you enough confidence before D-Day.

dhruv asked, what part does your attitude plays in preparing for cat

ARKS Srinivas answers,

himanshu asked, Sir, work experience in local organisations how good or bad is it. do the panel consider it seriously? or otherwise

Rahul Reddy answers,
Hi, it is up to you to convince the panel that you did quality work and that you learned a lot from it. So, speak about it in the interviews. About achievements and challenges in the job.  

mjsahdjh asked, Sir do u have some quota system in place here....I asked a genuine question and hav been waiting to see it answered. I passed 10th with 65% (1995)...12th with 59% (1999)...BCA 57% (2006)..what weightage does academic record have in CAT?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
It has between five to 10 per cent of weightage on 100. DO not worry if you can crack the CAT written Test, you would be able to make it easily.

reddy asked, Hi Rahul my age is 32 and if got a seat in any of the IIMS, do companys select me for a job at this age?

Rahul Reddy answers,
Hi, while some companies would not consider it, there will still be companies that will value your work experience.

damani asked, sir, this is rahul here.just wanted to enquire till how many years are the scores valid?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Just one year.

Rahul Reddy says, Hi Everybody. Thanks a lot for partcipating. Have to sign off now. All the best. In case of specific queries mail Do visit Adios.  

ARKS Srinivas says, Well friends, Thanks for being with us. Please follow up on the articles appearing on or for more info.

Part ICAT 2006 -- Top study mistake



 Email this Article      Print this Article
Share your comments

 What do you think about the story?

Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 3

Sub: wanna join iim

hi im studying in iit r , 1st year . iwant my next destination to be an iim . i know its early but could ...

Posted by varun

Sub: preraring for CAT

sir,I am planning to appear for CAT 2007.I read newspapers regularly & I also read magazines like india today,etc.I am also planning to take classroom ...

Posted by tanmoy

Sub: cat 2009

sir, i am first year student of GITAM.i am a lot intersted in getting admission into IIM`s.i dont know what are the requirements&eligibility to do ...

Posted by srikanth


© 2006 India Limited. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer | Feedback