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CAT: Can you take a wild guess in Quant?
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November 09, 2006

The Quant section is giving many of those taking the CAT 2006 sleepless nights. Can you take a wild guess when you don't know the answer? 

Arindam Lahiri from Career Launcher, during a chat on November 8, answered this query and more:

"Do not make wild guesses. Mark the answers to those questions, which you are sure of. Though this will bring down your number of attempts, it will increase the accuracy. Look for the point which maximises the score."

Part I: How to ace Quant

For those who missed it, here's the transcript:


Ra asked, Sir..Can you pls let us know, what are the important topic that should be revised now
Arindam answers, Ra, all topics in NS, Algebra, Geometry, that you are comfortable with, should be revised. One may add TSD and Mixtures to this.



ramesh asked, Hi sir could u pls tell what all chapters that should i cover inorder to cross cuttoff ?
Arindam answers, Ramesh, Focus on at least two of the three modules -- NS, Geometry and Algebra.



CONFUSED asked, Dear Sir, Q:-- Is it true that the avg. starting salary quoted by respective B-Schools ( e.g. 5 lakhs/annum or 6 lakhs/annum etc ) is infact CTC , and that the actual CASH in HAND is only 60-70 % of the salary quoted ????? Will Fringe Benefit Tax change this ????? Plzzzzz Reply for the sake of thousands of confused MBA aspirants !!!!!!!
Arindam answers, Confused, focus on the exam at this stage. Bother about salary later. You need to be thinking about the right things at the right time.



AnirbanDas asked, Hi, I normally score in the range of 98.8- 99.8 in CL mocks. But Mock-8 was a disaster to say the least. Suddenly, I'm feeling very low on confidence. Couldn't write Mock-9 for some reasons. What should be my strategy to ensure that I go to the hall on 19-th with a right frame of mind? Also, lately I've been struggling a bit with DI. How should I approach it now that only 10 days are left?
Arindam answers, Anirban, you can always go down on one test. Recharge yourself, refocus and then take a maximum of two tests in the next 10 days.



arjun asked, Dear Mr. Arindam, Q= I am doing B.A.2nd yr . Is arts background a disadvantage in selection to top MBA institutes & afterwards ????? Please�..Please�.. give a realistic/honest answer !!!!!!
Arindam answers, Arjun, your graduation specialisation does not dictate the probability of your admission. Arts graduates do MBA courses.



777 asked, Will giving the flt's help in these days.... i am planning to give all of the flt's again... Will that be a help?
Arindam answers, 777, no point taking the FLTs again -- however, revise the questions that you missed out (easy ones), the questions that confused you, and now you think are doable. Take a couple of fresh tests in the next 10 days.



Saurabh asked, Sir, with the time duration being changed to 2.5 hrs from 2 hrs, what r the changes u r expecting? i know CAT is about the unexpected but still if we could have any wild guesses just to be prepared before we face them
Arindam answers, Saurabh, one change is known -- that is time. Be prepared for anything -- it could be any test to see how good your basics are. Remember, whatever the test, it will be to test your basics and your aptitude to deal with an unknown situation.



CLian asked, What to do to ACE up Quant now?
Arindam answers, CLian, it is not the time to ACE. However, you can still go up a few notches if you approach it correctly. Focus on strength areas. Look at the questions completely (including the options) and see if you can eliminate choices. Be smart in your responses



ms asked, Sir i have 2 yrs of work exp...and my percentile is around 92...can you suggest me some good colleges which take up cat score...and also other exams too..?
Arindam answers, You can look at institutes like IMT Ghz, MICA, etc. It does depend on your interest and background.



cat asked, Sir i gave 7 mock test......among them first 5 my average score is 90 percentile but last 2 mock test my average is 50 i have a lots of presser.and i am worried about my main please suggest me how i can over come from this fear and improve my confidence.
Arindam answers, Cat, first throw your pressure out of the window. What is the worst that can happen � you don't get selected, right? So what -- there's more to life than CAT. Please make sure you give your 100 per cent and more, on the day of the exam and do not think of anything beyond.



vishveshwarya asked, Hi arindam. What do i do to increase my speed in Quant??? Normally i'm able to attempt around 10-12 questions in quant. The accuracy level is pretty decent. I miss out on a lot of questions, which on analysis after the test seem easy. Can u help me on the speed part at this stage ????
Arindam answers, Vish, do not look at any substantial increase in speed now. You may look at attempting one more question -- but you are already at a decent level (assuming you do a few two-markers as well). Ensure that your accuracy does not dip.



shane asked, Its really getting difficult to read fast. many a times i tend to loose focus in the event of reading fast and i have to read the entire question again. Could you tell me where am i going wrong
Arindam answers, Shane, you are losing concentration. It may do good to practice meditation, in the last few days, to increase the concentration.



irfan asked, i cocncentrate well while preparing for CAT but will finally forget each & every & even a damn silly answer when i enter the examination hall.... wht shld i do sir???
Arindam answers, Irfan, since you are nervous in the exam hall, you must combat the pressure that builds on you there. Eliminate any fear and anxiety that you may have, using positive thinking.



gk asked, Is it mandatory to attempt RCs? Some say that not doing so would be suicidal and could be the difference in getting one call and six calls with same overall score.
Arindam answers, Gk, it is not mandatory. However, if you leave these questions, your overall attempts will be low and hence the number of calls too, will be low. For all six calls, your English score may need to be in excess of 22 (for a total of 50+)



Ankit asked, Hi Sir, What should be our strategy for the remaining days for quant section,I have been able to clear cutoffs quite comfortably but uits not a section i feel that i am comfortable in...
Arindam answers, Ankit, continue with your strategy, as you have been clearing cut-offs so far. There is no point in experimenting with a strategy that is already working, especially at this stage.



chanchal asked, Sir, I am having probelm that if in any test I correct 10 question at the same time I have 5-10 wrong answers. How can i over come this. This is the big problem I am facing.
Arindam answers, Chanchal, do not make wild guesses. Mark the answers to those questions, which you are sure of. Though this will bring down your number of attempts, it will increase the accuracy. Look for the point which maximises the score.



krishna asked, Sir, IIM A has already specified 33% as the minimum cut-off -- how much do you think this indicates any possible scaling down of the paper? AFter all, a sizeable number of people who make it to IIM A would already scored that amount last year -- that too in a two hour paper.
Arindam answers, Krishna, The IIMA level is likely to be a percentage of the maximum score and in that case, the percentage does not change with changing time.



Namrata asked, If i get locked in a question, I get nervous and commit silly mistakes. What should be my strategy?
Arindam answers, Namrata, do not fall in love with a question. If you can't solve it in the first minute or so, just leave it and move on.



AnirbanDas asked, I can solve the DI sets at home quite comfortably, but in the hall, I've been facing a strange kind of mental block. How can I overcome it? My scores used to be steady. But for the last 2 weeks, it has been fluctuating 2 much. I used to top Calcutta CL, but Mock-8 brought me down to earth. Failed to clear all the cut-offs. But then, I scored very well in the IMS free mock this weekend (Kolkata Rank 4, should be 99.8+).I'm in a bit of dillema abt how to approach these last 10 days.
Arindam answers, Anirban, just get the energy back and do not get bogged down with what has already happened. You need to reduce your anxiety in the exam hall.



sree asked, i am getting only max 5 marks till now even though after writing exam i feel it has been good.. mayb negative is causing me too much
Arindam answers, Sree, yes, try to improve your accuracy. Answer only questions you are most comfortable with.



CONFUSED asked, But Sir I am aiming for CAT-2007..plz guide me !!!!! Is Cash in hand 60-70 % ????? plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Arindam answers, All CAT '07 prep-takers, focus on building your basics at this stage -- not on short-cuts. This will help you in the long run.



Balancedfish asked, I am pretty good in quant. But, my problem is speed. I attempt around 15 questions with 100% accuarcy, but I find that most of the questions I left unattempted are a lot easier. While analysing, I can solve all the questions with ease..but I find it difficult to attempt more than 15 in the test. How to choose questions?
Arindam answers, Please scan through the paper before you start attempting, so that you know which ones are easier.



Prashant asked, I have identified my areas of strength and wish to know that with anaccuracy of 70% questions worth how much marks should I attempt.....
Arindam answers, In Quant section, you will need to attempt at least 15-16 marks, so that with your accuracy, you are still in double-digits.



varuag asked, Hi Sir, I have about 3.5 years of experience(4 yrs by next july), and have consistantly been in the range of 97-98 percentile for some time... With such a score, IIM looks like a dream, would it be advisable for me to try for MDI/IMT. Is 97 %ilt sufficient for getting a call from these institutes?
Arindam answers, Varug, 95-96 percentile is the minimum. However, you can look at SP Jain. Also, look at couple of other national level exams as well.



Arindam says, Thank you folks. Hope you enjoyed the session. I am logging off.


Part I: How to ace Quant

Discussion: What's your CAT strategy?

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