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CAT: 'Think logically, not mechanically'
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July 23, 2007

Did you know that the Common Admission Test (or CAT) has changed dramatically in the last few years?

Several years ago, the verbal component of the test measured vocabulary and the ability to memorise word meanings. Now, reading comprehension and the ability to think logically have become the important skills.

Deepak Kumar and KB Sharma, competitive examination experts, discussed these changes during a July 19th chat.

They gave strategies for the different sections and presented preparation tips for the test as a whole.

For those of you who missed it, here's part one of the transcript.

 arunima asked, hello sir!, English is becoming very difficult in Cat ...what to do to prepare

Deepak Kumar answers, 
English is not difficult; the questions have become more reasoning based. Now, we need to think logically as opposed to mechanical thinking.

gautam asked, is it possible to crack cat without taking coaching ?if yes, then when we should start our preparition &from which books?

Deepak Kumar answers, 
Theoretically, yes, but the application and the technique comes from classroom training, where the experts share their experiences with you.

bjrocks asked, hey, i am currently in my prefinal yr of graduation and i intend to sit the cat08. i understand i require some declarations from hod of my dept in college. could u please explain wat this is abt?

Deepak Kumar answers, 
Please refer to the CAT notification. 

BVN asked, I am doing my 2nd year Bsc in Bio-tech and propose to appear for CAT & CET next year.What classes should I attend and what Books should I refer to ?

Deepak Kumar answers, 
Begin by brushing up your basics in English, quantitative and reasoning.

vinaysagar asked, Hi sharma ji, basically i am from a non-english medium background. In mock cats i am clearing cutoffs for quant and DI but english is letting me down. suggest me how to improve RC and Vocab.

KB Sharma answers, 
The CAT no longer relies heavily on vocabulary. Still, you certainly must reach a high level of vocabulary in order to get the best score possible. Regarding RC, the mantra is, 'catch the main argumnent of the passage.' Read a lot and from different types of material to improve your RC. 

Manish asked, I am not able to clear verbal cutoff can you suggest some strategy ?

Deepak Kumar answers, 
You can refer to the article 'Unlocking Reading Comprehension'. Also, brush up on your vocabulary.

rocks asked, sir,i find it difficult to conclude whether a given statement is a judgement or inference or fact in the english section.kindly help me in this also.

KB Sharma answers, 
A fact is something that cannot be easily denied, even if a few people have doubts. A judgement is not a fact; it is one's subjective assessment of the situation. An inference is an interpretation of a situation. In such questions, identify the irrefutable facts and separate them from the opinions (judgements).

goutam asked, hello!I earned masters from IIT Kanpur and recently I joined one software firm,prior I don't have work ex. should I go for CAT this year or gain experience and go for GMAT?what are groming specialization?

Deepak Kumar answers, 
I think taking the CAT is a better option if you aren't looking outside India. 

amith asked, Hello, Iam a professional with 4 years of experience in Software field. want to become entrepreneur, hence want to do a MBA from top institution... What should be my approach. please tell me

KB Sharma answers, 
Amith, you have to make a choice between CAT and GMAT. Do you want to stay in India or study in the UK or US?

sivanag asked, do u think doing PGP in IIM after postgraduation in Engineering is the right choice?

KB Sharma answers, 
Yes, it is one of the best choices.

ttttttt asked, hello sir !!!!! i am in first year of my graduation but the pboblem with me is i can't speak english in front of anyone . so what will i do from today itself to improve my vocabulary.

KB Sharma answers, 
The best way to improve your vocabulary is to try to find the relationships among words. Go to the Latin and Greek roots that provide the bases of the words.

vivi asked, If I have work experience as a teacher abroad,,will ISB ,consider this experience

KB Sharma answers, 
Yes, they will.

vicky asked, is cat accepted in all business schools in india

KB Sharma answers, 
No. It is accepted by many of them, but not all. There are other exams like NMAT, XAT, SNAP and MAT. 


KB Sharma answers, 
Try to keep your mental balance in perfect shape. Try to clear the sectional cut-offs and then move to your area of strength.

manish_alw asked, In CAT from whichapplication programmes we choose?

Deepak Kumar answers, 
Select 'PGP' or 'postgraduate programme'.

Akesh asked, is it okay to leave questions when options are pretty close ?

KB Sharma answers, 
If you are not sure, or at least reasonably sure, of your answer, it is better to skip. But you must not skip too many questions.

arpit asked, gudafter noon sir,i would like to know which colleges among the league of imt,nirma,mica etc dont look for sectional cut-offs. would be grateful if u reply thanks

KB Sharma answers, 
IMT, NIRMA and MICA normally depend on overall CAT score.

shivesh asked, hi deepak sir....i m going to take admission in 2009 batch.though this time i will appear..but my english has become weak.plzz suggest me how to improve it. i will be thank full to u.......

Deepak Kumar answers, 
Read newspapers and magazines. Try to percieve the meaning of the words you are not able to pick. Also, start writing a personal diary. It will improve your grammar and ability to construct sentences.


KB Sharma answers, 
Do an MBA through correspondence or through study centres.

praveen asked, sir,Now there are 5 options,,,how to choose our options

KB Sharma answers, 
The best approach is to proceed through POE. Find a wrong answer and eliminate it out of choices. You're not looking for the right answer, but the best among the available.

sunil asked, yes i mean at the age of 40 with the job exp of 15 yrs in metallurgy with tata steel, what would be franchise or viable of the CAT OR MBA

Deepak Kumar answers, 
Why not take them both? You are never too old to continue your education. 

mpushkar asked, I feel that if I allocate more time for English than I may be able to clear VA cutoff but it will hurt my quant score for example in recent mock my score was quant 40 english 14 and DI 22 quant cutoff 25 DI cutoff 15 English cut off 22 paper was 300 marks plz suggest something

KB Sharma answers, 
Ultimately, your score will depend on how much effort you devote to your area of strength, combined with how much justice you're able to do your area of weakness.

Part II: Tomorrow
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