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CAT: Should you change your strategy?
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November 18, 2006

You may be used to following a particular strategy during the mock papers of the Common Admission Test. Do you feel tempted to change your strategy, now?

CAT trainer Naveen Saraf from IMS Learning Services offered the following advice during a chat with readers on November 18: 

'Please refrain from last minute changes. You need to ensure that you perform at peak efficiency throughout the 150 minutes, in which case order of attempt is not very important.'  

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

arpit : sir in the past what have 98 percentile in ims mocks translated to in the actual score in ims mocks has hovered around the 97-99 mark thruout
Naveen : About 99 per cent. 

rocking_cupid : sir what is the percentile required for nirma, bim, fore?
Naveen : NIRMA, BIM: 88 per cent, FORE: 85 per cent. 

soumya : sir ..can u tell me what score atleast i have to secure to get percentile around 85per cent 
Naveen : Assuming the same level of difficulty as last year with 30 more minutes this year, a score of around 32.

vignesh : Wat percentile i will get if i am getting 30 marks pls tell round value sir
Naveen : As per last year's data (and factoring in 30 extra minutes this year) you will get 80-85 per cent. 

Vijay : Sir, With a professional qualification like CA and 6 years work experience, would thw cut off be slightly lower than what it is for others?
Naveen : Yes cutoff will be slightly lower.

ankush : hullo sir i have been consistentently scoring up and around 85 percentile in cat but i am sure ill do much better tomorrow and im targeting a 95 percentile what according to u be the b-schools i should focus on
Naveen : Take the CAT tomorrow. Calculate your score with the help of the answer key (will be put up on Rediff tomorrow) and then we can discuss. Login for a chat again at 3 pm, 5 pm and 7 pm on November 19.

Kangna : Hello Sirs. Is it necessary one must sandwiched her weaker section between two stronger? As not reasonable attempts in middle affect the last section. What to do plz advice.
Naveen : This is what most people do. You go by whatever suits you the best.

Lechat : Hello Sir, I have been consistently getting in 97-99.5 in SimCATS, but never got SimCAT rank because of failing to clear Quants cutoff.. Quants has never been my weaklink.. But the problem is that I attempt it at the last & end up giving only around 30 mins?? How do I balance out my timing across sections??
Naveen : You may give 40-40-40 minutes. Then divide the balance time across section(s) which hold(s) the maximum scoring opportunity.

neevan : Sir, I woudl like to know, is CAT as difficult as the media makes people believe it is? To me it seems more a media hype than anything else, afterall its just another exam in life and then IIMs are not the ned of the world
Naveen : Could not agree with you more Neevan!

arpit : sir i am confident that m gonna get a 98+ score...but will my weak academic profile be a hindrance in me coverin the distance from the call to the final seet
Naveen : Not at all. Prepare well for your GD/PI and nothing will hold you back!

mayank : Sir, at what per cent ile can one expect a call from BIMTECH
Naveen : 80-85 per cent. 

prateek : wat sort of score is needed fr SP Jain, in marks not per cent ile??
Naveen : Around 35-40 (assuming last year's data). Do note that SP Jain looks at your profile as well before giving call.

soumendra c : sir there will be sectional cutoff for nirma
Naveen : Could be 80 per cent  for each section.

rbkrulz : Sir i belive i should go for 100 percent accuracy ..around 10 qs in math and di thats what i achieved...and 15 -20 english...wat kinda of percentile wud i get
Naveen : Assuming a mix of one and two markers, you may score between 45-50. Going by last year's data and factoring in 30 more minutes this year. You should be around 95 per cent. 

kunjan : sir i am just clearing the cutoff of English say 90 percentile, then what min percentile i have to score in DI & math so that overall scorewill shoot upto 96 percentile
Naveen : 92 per cent + in both.

durgaprasad : sir to get into xlri,ximb how much i have to score?
Naveen : These are through XAT.

neeraj : Sir, with 95per cent  and 3 yrs of job exp , can i get a call from IIM, spjain, MDI,
Naveen : SP Jain and MDI: Definitely yes. IIMs: Can go either way.

arpit : sir i am reasonably good in numbers n algebra..but its geometry in which i am totally at sea...any use goin over geometry at this stage..
Naveen : Forget geometry for tomorrow's exam!

durgaprasad : sir i have 6 yrs exp in a public ltd co now i am looking for much i have to score?
Naveen : ISB only gives provisional admission based on CAT. If given admission you will have to clear GMAT with a minimum score of 690.

neeraj : with 3yrs exp, will the cut off be slightly lower than others
Naveen : Yup. Slightly lower.

arpit : sir can you tell me what major changes to expect in tomorrows paper...your call
Naveen : Your guess is as good as mine! However three sections, 150 minutes, probably 150 marks and 90-105 questions.

arpit : sir i have a weak profile and thats why have not applied to sp jain..because as you know for them your profile is also of paramount importance...shud i apply if i get 99 pc..i ahve no work technical degree..just a plain commerce graduate
Naveen : Please apply if you get this kind of a percentile. Do note that consistency across all the three sections will be important.

rbkrulz : Sir offlate there has been a shift in the DI pattern of the cat...and they shifted from graphs and caselets to Logic/Di hybrid questions...i find it slightly shud i approach it...and doesnt this cat have 9 lives
Naveen : Approach it with calmness. Such questions need a little more time and concentration. Please remember success at CAT will be determined by accuracy and NOT speed.

Bob : sir, for an engineering student, which year do you think is most appropriate to start preparing for CAT?
Naveen : If your final sems are due in 2008, you can start preparing from now for CAT 2007.

arpit : sir according to my performance in simcats i have applied to mdi,imt,tapmi..and for backups i have imi and nirma..any good ones i missed out percentile is between 97-99...
Naveen : If you are not an engineer, you have covered all. You can look at SP Jain.

rbkrulz : Sir dont you think...IMS should sponsor a movie before the cat rather than a rock show after the ease out the whole thing
Naveen : Good suggestion. From next year we will sponsor both.

sidd : sir what should we score to expect a call from atleast 1 IIM
Naveen : Going by past data and factoring in 30 more minutes. A score of 50 with sectionals in place.

Bob : sir, does ISB recognize CAT score?
Naveen : Already answered. Please look at one of the previous answers.

rbkrulz : Sir but with 2 and a half hours dont you think we might be in for a surprise....may be writing an essay as i believe in india we do an mba to get a job unlike in US where its done to leverage a business idea
Naveen : Essay is unlikely. Do not worry.

josh : sir what percentile/score is required for tapmi?
Naveen : 90 percentile

arpit : thank you sir for answering all my queries so last question after which i gotta brush up on my formulaes ...what final message would you give to all cat aspirants for included
Naveen : Stay calm, stay focused. Sleep well! Do remember 'You cannot ensure success but you can make sure that you deserve it'. So, give it your best.

Bob : Sir, if im completing my engineering in May, 2007, should i take CAT now or next year? Does CAT exams are held twice a year?
Naveen : You could have taken CAT tomorrow. You can also appear in 2007. CAT is held only once.

Jeeja : With 6yrs work experience, how much percentile should I get(considering lower cutoffs for experience people)in order to get a call from IIMs
Naveen : 97-98 per cent. 

BILLI : Generallu what are asked in CAT?
Naveen : Walk in to the nearest IMS centre and you will get all info about CAT.

ak47 : if i dont perform well in one section but do perform excellently in the other two sections than to which institute should i apply to???
Naveen : Try to do well in all three. We can review your performance tomorrow post-CAT and decide on institute to apply. Be here at 3 pm, 5 pm or 7 pm.

BILLI : I am commerce graduate can i write CAT exams
Naveen : Yes if you have 50 per cent  or more.

sanjay123 : when the CAT results are expected ?
Naveen : Jan first week.

rajdeep : Sir, what percentile is required for NITIE
Naveen : 92 per cent  plus.

siddhartha : sir any guesses on the no o questions and total marks
Naveen : Already answered.

soumendra c : sir is it compulsory to provide the same adress in the OMR answer sheet which i provided in apllication form for mailing hall tickets? IT'S IMPORTANT.
Naveen : You need to ensure that mails are received in your old address even if you give a new address in the OMR sheet. My suggestion would be to give the old address and to write an e-mail later giving the new address.

DreamIIM : Hi Naveen,I am good in VA/RC and okie with math but not ablt to clear the cut off in DI section and my strategy is always same VA then PS and then DI...should i chnage my strategy in last moment tomorrow and attemt DI in second ?
Naveen : Please refrain from last minute changes. You need to ensure that you perform at peak efficiency throughout the 150 minutes, in which case order of attempt is not very important.

gags27 : Sir,,, I have a score of 1310 in GRE and TAPMI accepts GRE at these score can i expect a call from TAPMI?
Naveen : Gives you a fair chance

mayankC : sir, I'm good at quant and English (atleast that's what Mock CATs had highlighted). My LRDI is pathetic and I'd been working on a strategy of score, in case if I'm able to score 90+ percentile, would I be able to get admissions into colleges like SPJIMR, IMT, FORE, IMI, etc ??
Naveen : Yes you will have a very good chance.

mayankC : sir, I'm good at quant and English (atleast that's what Mock CATs had highlighted). My LRDI is pathetic and I'd been working on a strategy of score, in case if I'm able to score 90+ percentile, would I be able to get admissions into colleges like SPJIMR, IMT, FORE, IMI, etc ??
Naveen : Yes, you will have a very good chance.

feroz : do iim's also look at no of ques attempted in rc's.mthough m good at eu part but tend to mess up things when it comes to rc's.
Naveen : Cutoffs are for sections and not for areas within each section.

DreamIIM : Apart from sectional cut off what is the total cut off one needs to achieve to get calls from all IIMs or some IIMs?
Naveen : At least 98 per cent

Kangna : Sirs. How much Q's or No. of marks one attempt with how much accuracy in ordr to clear section cut-off's?
Naveen : last year the cutoffs for IIMs were -- VA/RC: 18-20, PS: 12-14, DI: 8-10. This year's is anybody's guess!!

vikasnathani : sir, now its 4oclock should i revise all the mathematics formulae?
Naveen : You can if it will make you feel more confident.

mayankC : according to you, what could be the minimum score required to get atleast 90 percentile ??
Naveen : 35 -- again going by last year's data and factoring in 30 more minutes.

harender : hi
Naveen : Gals and Guys! Time's up for this chat. I sincerely hope that each one of you will make your best CAT dreams come true tomorrow. ALL THE BEST!!


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