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CAT: Accuracy vs attempts?
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November 06, 2008

With only about 10 days to go for CAT, what should your strategy be?

Should accuracy take precedence over number of questions attempted?

What is the best straetgy to tackle the Verbal Ability section?

To answer these and many other CAT-related questions Praveen Vedamuthu, Assistant Centre Manager with IMS, hosted a chat with GA readers on October 22. For those of you who missed the chat, here's the unedited transcript:


Praveen Vedamuthu says, Hi, I am ready to take your questions...


kaumod asked, What would be your suggestions for people who are a little weak in Quant sections ?

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, Hi Kaumod, Apart from focussing on your concepts. There is a method of 'routes' that can be followed. The CAT recycles many questions in different ways. So if you take the past 4 years papers and segregate each question on the basis of topic and write down the best explanatory answer, it will help with the approach to a particular topic sum. At this stage, that is the best way to artifically "increase your aptitude".


sdfg asked, praveen, can i know your percentile in cat (and the year)? and what calls you got?

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, I scored 99.67 percentile in CAT and 99 percentile in CAT.


vinci asked, hi any last minutes tips....

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, Very relevant question. Last minute tips of course depend on your level of preparation and your level of aptitude. However, for a person who is falling in the above 90 percentile bracket in the MOCK TESTS, I would suggest these: 1. Consolidate your concepts. 2. Take RC, Jumbled sentences, LR and DI drills every single day 3. Take 3 full length tests every week, compute your score, benchmark and analyse the questions (right and wrong answers both) 4. Take your tests from 10.30 am to 1pm. 5.Do not get stressed out, sleep well and maintain your composure at all times.


kavi asked, Do you think 40 40 40 with 30 min buffer is a good strategy ?

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, Hi Kavi, Personally I would go in with 50-50-50. plus minus 2-3 mins per section. Remember that CAT has become a much more rigourous test now. It is less of a 'speed' test and more of 'thinking, analyzing and solving' test now. Your spproach hints that you are still regarding this as more of a speed test.


Mihir asked, please give the basis tricks u need to score in CAT

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, There are many ways in which you can lift your current scores. To 'artifically increase your level', I mentioned the 'Routes' method. Another is that you should always simulate as much as possible the situation that you may face in the actual CAT. So make it a habit to sleep by 11pm and get up by 7am. A good refreshing 8 hrs sleep just like before the day of the C.A.T., Have a good breakfast and then revise the sheets you have prepared. Stop eveything by 9 am...Take a break. Maybe go for a walk and come back by 10 am. Getready and start your mock test at 10.30 am. You need to prepare your body clock and state of mind well. Other tips would be: 1. Make sheets which cover grammar concepts with applied examples,2. Math problems routes. 3. Things to remember. 4. Take RC, JS, DI and LR drills every single day. All the best, Mihir.


pawanrathore90 asked, how much questions should i attempt normally in cat 08 to clear a good colleges cut off?????

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, Hi, well that would depend on the difficulty and format of the CAT 2008 paper. For CAT 2007, a NET CORRECT of 12- 13 q's in Verbal; 8- 10 q's in Quant and 12 - 13 q's in DI was sufficient to recieve a call from IIM A, B, C and L.


ashok asked, hi ..i get above 99 percentile in most of the mock cats at carrer launcher ..will i be able to crack cat and get a call from iim a or b?

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, Hi Ashok, Your chances of receiving calls from the Top 3 are extremely high. Since the sample in which you are scoring 99 percentile plus is a focussed one from the population of students taking the C.A.T.


Aaditya asked, Hello Mr. Parvin currently m working as HR Exexutive for last 2 years and I Have done DHRM from Welingkar and want 2 pursue for MBA but m confused should I go for Part Time or Full Time

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, Hi Aditya, please go in for a FULL TIME MBA and not a PART TIME one.


vimal asked, if u dont mind pls send some detail about cat 2009 notification on sankarvimal@yahoo

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, Hi Vimal, You can get the actual Notification Advertisement if you visit the website: www.imsindia.com and go to the Admissions Corner and click on Notification Calender.


Shaad asked, hi Praveen I have been scroing consistently well only problem is with speed in Quanta Section how do I tackle it

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, To increase your 'speed' in Quant., it is very important NOT TO "REINVENT THE WHEEL" on EXAM TIME. YOu could take up the last 4 years papers and look into the Explanatory answers of each of the q's. Then segregate the problems topic wise. This will help you 'get'the APPROACH to the problem faster.


denim asked, Are there any chances that FIJ questions will come again? Then what non-RC questions we can expect this year?

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, I do not think F-I-J questions will come again this year. Jumbled Sentences, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction, Verbal Usage are prime suspects.


sharathagain asked, hi, my question is 'can average student crack CAT'?

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, Depends on how you define 'average' and 'crack'. If you mean do students will average academic scores can get into the Top 4 IIM's, I would say: Of course. But if you mean if your 'aptitude in Eng and Math' is average and if you could get into the Top 4. I would say: No Chance.


shankar asked, How much percentile sufficient to call agood institution

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, I would say 95 percentile overall with not leass than 80 percentile in any section.


vandana asked, hi praveen ...intially i was scoring above 90 percentle in mock tests but now its decreasing..help me please!

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, Hi Vandana. Please do not panic. You need to analyse a MOCK CAT that you have taken and look carefully into the q's that you have attempted. Look first into the q's which you GOT RIGHT. See if you got them right for the 'correct' reasons. Was there a 'faster' way to solve them. Get some clarity. Then look at those q's which you got wrong. Analyse why you got them wrong. What was the flaw or oversight in your thinking. Accordingly consolidate your concept applications. Then look at the UNATTEMPTED Q's. Are there any questions which you would have been able to solve with your current level of concept clarity. If yes, then how come you were not able to identify them in exam time. Good Luck. You will do well. Don't worry. Manage your fears productively.


voodoo asked, hi praveen please do not ignore me..HI MY QUESTION IS if your weakest section is say verbal then would you do verbal at the end or buffer it in between the other two?

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, Great question. I would BUFFER it between the other two sections.


Naveen asked, I was getting consistently 95-965ile in my Mocks at CL.last week I got 66%ile.Is there any reason to feel panic?

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, No Naveen, no need to panic on a one- off bad performance. Happens to most.


Anjan asked, Hello I am 28years old B.Tech Software Engineer,I would like to seat for CAT.My question is is there will be any problem regarding my age and experience if I get chance in IIM's PGP 2yrs Program? Coz max of them will be freshers and of lower age so is there will be any problem regarding my Placement? please ans me

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, Definitely not. In fact, you would be an asset to the entire class. At the IIM- A Class of 2006, there was a gentleman 42 years of age who did extremely well and got some of the plum lateral offers. SIT FOR CAT.


Avni asked, When we will get the Admit Card to enter into the exam. I didn't get any admit card to enter for exam.

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, You could check the Admit Card Status link in the IIM A website. You should be getting it soon. Don't worry.


CAT guru asked, What is a better strategy.. more attempts or accuracy?

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, More accuracy . Always. Especially now with the CAT becoming more and more rigorous.


Sumit asked, if one is getting 95-965ile in Mocks .What r that persons chances of getting calls from the IIMS?

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, Hi Sumit, there is a good chance provided you identify those tricky areas that you are falling slightly short in and work on them. Look into your Simulated/ Mock tests carefully.


partha asked, Best approach for the Verbal in CAt these last few days.....Plz reply

Praveen Vedamuthu answers, If we go by past CAT's, we realise that out of the 50 minutes that we allot for the VERBAL section with typically 25 questions. We allot around 20- 25 mins for Non- RC questions and 25- 30 mins for the RC questions. This means that 25 mins of an RC DRILL is a MUST each day. Jumbled Sentences Drill is a must for 10 minutes and 10 mins of Verbal Usage Drill everyday. Make grammar sheets of applied concepts with examples of Sentence Correction. Good Luck.


Praveen Vedamuthu says, Hey all. This is all we have time for, today. For more queries you could write to me at ims@imsindia.com. Good Luck. Thank You.



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