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CAT 2008: Are you ready for quant and DI?
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July 24, 2008

So you have decided to take the CAT this year.

Are you prepared for the quant and data interpretation sections?

Are there certain topics that are easy-scorers? Are there trick questions you should be looking out for?

To answer these and other CAT-related queries, Munira Lokhandwala, a faculty at IMS Learning Resources hosted a chat with GA readers on July 23. For those of you who mised the chat, here's the unedited transcript.

raghvendra asked, *how to solve ques. of DI without using any formula means solving with logically. *how to choose easiest ques. in paper. *how to read the graphs n all.

Munira Lokhandwala answers, To choose DI Questions you will have to look at the DI stem i.e. the caselet or the graphs. Decide whether you can make some sense out of it, i.e. can you easily represent it or model it. Along with this you will have to look at types of questions. Esp. whether qns involve reworking the data or not.

maximus asked, give some useful tips that an average student can follow and apply

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Your DI set selection will largely depend on the number of sets. If you have more than 8-9 sets then you start a set if you can solve it great or quickly move on. If the number of sets are less than equal to 8 then give around 1.5 mins per set before deciding whether you want to do it or not. Here each set is important. You could also segregate sets into DI and LR and depending on your strength you can start with what you are comfortable with.

pappu. asked, Hi, I am a Engg graduate and working in IT industry for around 3+ Years. I did not appeared for CAT previously. I am interested this time. How can I prepare in this short period? What should be the strategy?

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Your preparation should start with a PRelim test. Depending on how you do there and your own knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses, you can decide to allocate your time on various sections. Unless your Endlish is very strong, I would recommend you to put at least one hour of good reading daily.

kabbu asked, hi.....munira i'm taking cat in this year. pls. guide me to improve the vocab, actually my vocab is weak. Pls. also tell me about the short methods of calculation whether that is addtion, multyplication etc.

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Hi Kabbu, shortcut methods would involve more than a weeks chat forget an hour. Thankfully, the CAT doesn't really focus on a lot of calculation intensive questions. I would suggest you work on your concepts because the CAT is looking at application of concepts. More than vocab focus on your reading. While reading try to infer the meanings of words you don't know later find out their meanings.

raghvendra asked, any site for to learn english grammar on line...

Munira Lokhandwala answers, www.webgrammar.com  and www.askoxford.com  Do not spend inordinate amount of time on doing grammar. Remember the most two likely types are RC and para jumbles.

peggy asked, at this point how many hrs of practice is necessary for quant/di... i'm pretty good at maths...scored 92 per cent in maths in hsc

Munira Lokhandwala answers, HSC marks I hope for you reflects your quant skils though that may not be the case. So look at CAT percentiles as better indicators. If it is good then around 1-2 hours daily revision / solving should be sufficient

kabbu asked, tell me one thing more about the study plan. I had made a plan for study. in my plan,theory on all subjects will be completed upto 20 aug. 08 and thenafter I will study as Book-repeatation-practice, Book-repeatation-practice, Book-repeatation-practice.

Munira Lokhandwala answers, It is good to see that you believe in Revision but do take comprehensive tests as well. Otherwise it looks good.

lil asked, are there any topics in quant that one shld not miss... easy scoring topics/trick questions

Munira Lokhandwala answers, There are no easy scoring topics by defn. But Numbers, Algebra and Geometry typically take up around two thirds of your paper. So do become good at these topics.

sumukh asked, With regard to CAT paper can we be sure that there will be no ambiguity in Di and Quant questions and hence shouldnt make any logical assumptions while solving?

Munira Lokhandwala answers, With respect to the CAT paper we cannot be too sure about anything.

chintu asked, I am a graduate from IITM, I had written cat in the final year and gotten through it with 99.95%ile then. I had 99.9+%ile in two section and 89.57%ile in Verbal. So please help me if I want to write CAT again now, what should ideally my preparation be. I had written cat in 2005 last

Munira Lokhandwala answers, You have to work hard on your reading skills. Do practice a lot from SAT and LSAT material, pay special attention to their explanatory answers for eliminating options. Even a week of this will definitely show improvement in English.

AnandAlcatelLucent asked, Hello Munira, I am Anand varshney, having about 4.5 yrs of exp. in IT, can you tell me what is better option for me CAT/GMAT.

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Depends on your long term goals, whether after MBA you want to get into some other stream or continue with IT etc. WIll really have to look into your CV for that.

harsha asked, hey munira..i'm not a CAT enthusiast. But i always wondered what does it take to become an IIM graduate? Do u have to be sharp? hardworking? I'M an engineer n when i was young i thought IIT's were for genious only. Is this true for CAT too? I knw this ques is off the main topic, But i had this doubt...

Munira Lokhandwala answers, You have to be a little smart. But not necessarily genius.

bala asked, i am fast in integer calculation. but when approximation comes in percentage problems i am wrong 80% times. any times in improve my approximation and fraction calculations

Munira Lokhandwala answers, DI questions involve fraction comparisons more than calculations. Do become comfortable with those and also decimal value of reciprocals

asd asked, Hi Munira, Do you think it is possible to start preparing for CAT starting at this stage for CAT 08? If yes what would be your tips? Please suggest.

Munira Lokhandwala answers, It is possible, do refer to one of the earlier answers for how.

shridhar asked, Hi mam, can you please tell me how to improve the confidence level. Whenever I get fear I completely loose my confidence. Please help me on this......

Munira Lokhandwala answers, When you take papers, you should be focusing on questions instead of emotions. If yuo are not getting any question instead of facing any anxiety move onto the next question

binod asked, how many questions of each section sould be attend to score minimum of 80 - 90 percentile

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Do not focus on the number of questions because that will depend on the difficulty level instead look at how much time you personally need to put in a section depending on your own strengths and weaknesses.

juie asked,  Hello Mam, which chapters of Quant I need to focus on specially?

Munira Lokhandwala answers, numbers algebra and geometry

kabbu asked, There are a lot of rules in the EU which is too hard to memorise. how will it be possible?

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Focus on 6-7 major rules like modifier error, subject verb agreement etc. You have to clear the CAT not do a PHd in English.

Munira Lokhandwala answers, 2004: 99.99%ile 2005:100%ile 2006: 99.99%ile 2007: 99.99%ile

Sameer asked, Hi Can You suggest me any nice Book for DI

Munira Lokhandwala answers, For the current DI types there are no good books instead you can focus on the last few years Sim CAT DI's

sumukh asked, Usually the Di questions involving a lot of calculations to be done.Is it fair to assume that the CAT Di paper will never have very complex calculations to be done?

Munira Lokhandwala answers, HI I think instead of me answering you can refer to the last 8-9 years actual CAT papers. If you are using complex calculations to solve some of the sets, most probably you are not using the right concept. Let the actual CAT papers give you an idea of how CAT DI can look.

jose asked, when u should solve the teat papers since im still learning the basics

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Mid aug / end Aug is a good time to start

VInay V asked, Hello Mam, Can u pls suggest a way to tackel questions which have DI and LR combined in themselves e.g question on cricketrs frm CAT 04. These are bit time taking ...should we skiop such Qs

Munira Lokhandwala answers, THE cricketers set from 2004 was definitely one of the easier sets compared to the other sets in the same paper, so yes it should have been attempted.

rohan_k10 asked, Hello , Prof. Munira Lokhandwala . I am from TataMcGraw-Hill Publishing Co. Your expertise in training CAT/CET Aspirants is mind blowing. As a McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. Rep I would request you to kindly publish books for CAT and CET Aspirants which will help the future students to excel in this exams. Look forward to your reply.

Munira Lokhandwala answers, You will have to talk to my agent ;)))

Mayank asked, Hi, I am a regularly taking time aimcats, I am able to clear cut off for quant with 95+ percentile but am not able to crack DI or English please help me how to go about doing this

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Usually DI and Math scores are highly correlated. You should first look at your time management between sections. I think you must be giving more that 50 mins in Math.

ajay asked, tell me how much time is ok for prepration for CAT

Munira Lokhandwala answers, The time you will take to reach a place depends on where you start from. So please analyze how much you already know about the relevant sections then I could better guide you.

arpit asked, how to tackle long rcs' nd esp how to chose the correct alternative init when almost all of them are looking correct??

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Practice from SAT and LSAT material with a lot of focuse on their explanatory answers for option elimination

Hiral asked, Sir i m takin coachin from IMS... havin a major problem wid d quant section... thr is a lot of sylabus still left for our batch... wat shud i do to improve and to increase my attempts in the simcats?

Munira Lokhandwala answers, You go ahead of the batch and study by yourself, first finish numbers algebra geometry then start taking simcats.

kabbu asked, is it necessary to join a coaching institute? what special things they provides?

Munira Lokhandwala answers, It is not necessary to join a coaching institute, unless you have 1. a big content gap 2. discipline problem.

thebellerophon asked, hello sir, since its a three hour exam will there be a change in the number of questions and the pattern of the exam

Munira Lokhandwala answers, It is still a 2.5 hour paper and you cannot predict the number of questions

nitin asked, madam!! i am doing my B.E 4th year now...I haven't started any preparation for CAT yet..Even my english doesn't seem good. so, Is it better to appear this time or wait for the next year's CAT??

Munira Lokhandwala answers, You could always appear this time without too much preparation. And start preparing for next years CAT by focussing on English right now.

siddharth asked, I am second year btech student.Please tell me some books name to prepare for cat right from this stage

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Max you can do right now is prepare for English right now from your third year you can focus on Math and DI. Remember the CAT keeps changing

arpit asked, hello ma'am...how to tackle such loong rcs' ?? nd esp how to chose the correct alternative in it wen almost all of em r seeming to b correct?? how to handle geometry??

Munira Lokhandwala answers, School textbooks are a good beginning for Geometry.

raghvendra asked, this time G.D/PI will be thr? from cat09 will be online?

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Most likely CAT 09 will also be paper based.

abhishek asked, How should I prepare for the LR part? The books available around provides with only some standard sets of problems. Also I want to knw about some good resources for reading.There are quite a few "heavy" passages appearing in the SIMCAT papers- particularly those related to philosophy and economics.

Munira Lokhandwala answers, A good source of doing RC is your world wide web. We will be coming out with some good links on the IMS website.

chintu asked, thanks a lot munira, can you please add, if gmat is a better option which respects your work ex more, or are IIMs a better option?

Munira Lokhandwala answers, This depends on where you want to settle down. If it is India, IIMs will be a betteroption if abroad then harvard , stanford et a. is a better option.

reck asked, sir,do u think the background of student (like graduating from iits,bits)will help them in getting a call from the iims.

Munira Lokhandwala answers, There is no correlation between proficiency in Math and academic background.

ahbishek_jitu asked, hi munira,plz can you give me suggestions as to what should I do to convert my 97-98 percentiles to 99plus?

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Again I do not what problems you currently face which leads to 97-98, I will need a lot more information to help

007 asked, Hi Prof Munira..I wish to ask you taht specially in DI the recent trend has shifted towards convoluted logical questions..how should one work towards increasing speed in attempting those questions.. and what should one be looking at to identify a probable doable question.. P.S: if there are no calculation intensive questions at all..!!

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Solving puzzles will definitely help. You could also take some older sets remove some data and then try to solve for all possibilities.

nitin asked, Can you tell the list of recommended material(books) for CAT preparation especially for the english section!!

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Any SAT/ LSAT/ GMAT RCmaterial

AnandAlcatelLucent asked, In My long term goal, i want to be always in technical and software developement ..so i want to how MBA can help me being a product Manager or is it not required ...as i planned to appear in GMAt exam and then try for Executive programs from any of IIM' (1 year program)

Munira Lokhandwala answers, In that case GMAT followed by 1 year executive in IIM's makes sense.

saurabhawasthi asked, Goodafternoon Munira, Just wanted to know that how easy CAT becomes if one is preparing for GMAT specifically and sit for CAT test also.

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Well actually GMAT becomes easier after the CAT. So I would suggest you prepare for the CAT and then take the GMAT in mid Dec

surajitchakraborty asked,  I am preparing for the CAT 2008 In this short peroid, I am taking correspondence course materials from IMS. CAn you help me What will be my strategy for preparation ? How will be my strategy to completel my course materials?

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Based on your daily work / academic pattern, You will first need to work out a schedule, try to fins the theory latest by mid Sept.

basu asked, hello sir,its right now i have started preparation for the quants...butas i m working in TCS [Get Quote] so wat main thing i can concentrate

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Numbers, Alg, Geom

SUMIT asked, HI! IS IT NECESSARY TO GIVE SIMCATS BEFORE APPEARING IN CAT

Munira Lokhandwala answers, No, but need to have an idea about how much time you need to give to a section to clear the cut-off there. So do take some competitive tests.

Jayesh asked, I AM FROM BANGKOK . . CAN YOU TELL ME ITS COMPULSARY TO GIVE CAT OR CET IF I WANT TO DO MBA IN USA . .

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Not at all

RKG asked, How to improve my verbal skills in the short period leading upto CAT 2008?

ravindra asked, i have completed my diploma , can i prepare for CAT

Munira Lokhandwala answers, You need to check whether they accept your diploma as equivalent to a graduation

chatur31 asked, hey whats the criteria for giving cat exam?

nitin asked, madam...can you post the list of preferred material for CAT preparation especially verbal section(books as well as any websites) plz!!

Munira Lokhandwala answers, Will do it on imsindia website within a week.

sayan asked, hello sir this is Sayan. We just have 3.5 months left before CAT. can you please suggest me that what we have to do in this 3.5 month as a finishing touch. I have joined IMS on July ,2007. So I have learned a lot from this institution. My SIMCAT score is good ( avg 96 percentile). Sir you please tell me we have to do as our final touch for getting call from IIM's.

Munira Lokhandwala answers, As a very general suggestion, you can keep revising and take good feedbacks for all the comprehensive tests that you take.

abhik asked, how important is the advanced algebra section in CAT? approximately, how much emphasis is it given?