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CAT: Tips to improve your speed
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November 10, 2008

What is the most effective way of scoring in the 99 percentile?

How can you improve you preformance in DI?

Are there ways to maximise your score in RC?

How can you keep your mind fresh thriough the entire duration of the CAT?

To answer these and other CAT related questions, experts from TestFunda.com hosted a chat on October 23. For those of you who missed the chat, here's the unedited transcript:


TestFunda.com says, Hi, Welcome to the chat. We are now ready to take the questions.


Sahil asked, Hello Sir, Sir,whn I write Mock CAT's Im devoting first 15 mins to english thn i move to Quants n I solve 25% of that section, thn i again move to English for 15 mins n thn to DI section n so on... Is it a good way to keep the mind fresh by usin such strategy???

TestFunda.com answers, If the strategy works for you, then it is a good strategy. The advantage in doing this is that you can devote your time to the questions that you like the most. The possible disadvantage is that you may get confused to the time spent on the various sections. However, if the stategey works for you, then it is good.


Pratik asked, Dear Sir, These days im daily writin a mock CAT...some ppl are sayin tat im over burnin my self by daily writin a mock CAT and some are supportin me.....wat shud I do Sir??

TestFunda.com answers, Pratik, ideally after giving a mock CAT you should spend some time analysing your accuracy, speed, and question selection. This would help you improve your preparation. This implies that daily giving a mock CAT may not give you sufficient time to improve your performance. Ideally you should attempt one mock CAT in 2-3 days.


catkiller asked, Hi..is it good to check the scores after CAT...as it may affect your morale if you find out that it has not gone well

TestFunda.com answers, You should go positively into the exam. It would also be good to check your scores, since that would give you a realistic idea of your performance.


NARAYAN asked, Hello, What is the age limit and minimum qualification to write CAT

TestFunda.com answers, There is no age limit for CAT. The minimum qualification to write CAT is graduation with 50% for general category and 45% for SC/ST. Final year students can also write CAT with the above minimum agreegate up to pre-final year.


yakuake asked, what would be the most effective way to get 99 percentile if I am starting now ?

TestFunda.com answers, If you are reasonably good at the 3 broad ares tested in CAT, you stand a chance to make it. Suggest you move into mock test taking mode, about 2-3 a week. Then keep checking your areas of strengths and weaknesses in each of the mocks. YOu will see a trend of speed and accuracy emerging in your attempted quesions. Suggest you read up this article: http://www.testfunda.com/ExamPrep/CATCentre/Article/50-days-to-cat-its-about-speed-and-accuracy.htm?AssetID=407c9156-a5d8-4217-bd1a-c71327f958ec  


naren asked, how much time period will required to prepare for the CAT for the working professionals like me

TestFunda.com answers, You should try giving a few mock cats or the past years papers to get an idea of your current status. Both are available at www.testfunda.com Based on your performance, you would get an idea of the time required for you to prepare. IF your fundamentals are good, you may not require much time.


vinayak asked,  I am regularly getting a 95+percentile in the simcats...what is my chance in the actual CAT?

TestFunda.com answers, Hi Vinayak, Analyse your performance in the past tests to see your strengths and weaknesses. Even though it would depend on the paper, there would be some trends emerging. Work towards capitalizing your areas of strengths, and improve on your weaknesses. You should have a list of clear preferences on what sections/types of questions you would want attempt. Finally, keep in mind that if the paper plays to your strengths, you will surely shoot up on the percentile rankings. Go into the paper with a positive frame of mind. Good Luck!


MONU asked, Sir kindly suggess me that how i prepare for CAT exam.also sugess me for MAT

TestFunda.com answers, At this stage of preparation, it helps to pay good attention to paper attempt strategy and maximizing your scores. So mock tests definitely yes not more than 2 -3 a week) and polishing on your areas of concern from theory chapters (a few of them). Detailed revision of all the concepts is not really advisable at this stage. You should concentrate on topics with higher weightage. For example, in Quant Number Theory, Circle, Functions, Seuqences Series and Progressions, Data Sufficiency. The syllabus for MAT is almost similar to that of CAT. There are some additional topics that you need to prepare for like Visual Reasoning, Syllogisms etc. Also the test taking strategy would be different from that for CAT.


rahul asked, sir how do yo rate FMS ...is it better than IIM-L?

TestFunda.com answers, FMS does rank as one of the top 10 B schools in the country. IIMs have their own aura, be it IIM A or IIM L. It would be better to decide where you want to get into after you get the final admission call. Currently, pls. concentrate on maximizing your scores and paper attempt strategy.


abu asked, hi, how can get good percentle in quant

TestFunda.com answers, Go through the formulae. Concentrate on topics with higher weightage. For example, in Quant, the important topics are Number Theory, Circles, Triangles, Functions, Sequence and Series, TSD, P&C.


Sushant asked, hello sir, as we know the complexity level is increasing year by year so around 50% of the marks is still going to be good enoough ?

TestFunda.com answers, Last year 50% of marks would have been a very good score.....it would have definitly got you calls from all the institutes provided you managed to make sectional cutoffs. This year if the paper is more difficult, then the scores may go even lower.


ddd asked, hello sir how to improve speed in di?

TestFunda.com answers, In DI you need to follow these guidelines 1. Interpret given information correctly and precisely 2. Develop your own ways of representing the data by practice 3. Practice to intuitively solve problems 4. Concentrate more on accuracy in LR 5. As far as possible do not attempt LR in the beginning 6. Use the option substitution method judiciously 7. Read and understand the common data and questions thoroughly.


kriti asked, sir i have a phobia about the quant section...no matter how hard i try i m never able to score well in dat section..what do i do?

TestFunda.com answers, You should remember that you just need to clear the cut-off in the quant section. Try to score more in other sections and attempt bare minimum questions in quant to clear it. Try not to get nervous during the exam as that would affect your accuracy and thinking process. Understand that everybody is nervous on such an important day. Use the energy from the nervousness positively.


Anjan asked, Hello I want to ask I am 28 years old S/W Enginner having 3+ years of exp. I want to sit for CAT. but will be good for me because maximum of the students in B-School IIMs will be freshers. So will there be a problem for my age? Maximum are of much lower age than me.WILL I GET THE SAME ADVANTAGE DURING PLACEMENTS? PLZ ANS ME

TestFunda.com answers, Anjan, Far from being a handicap, your work ex will prove to be an asset. Although IIMs do select freshers, a large part of IIM batch comprises people with work ex. In fact, the concept of 'lateral placements' should help you clinch a better placement than your batchmates who have no work ex. For more info the same check out http://www.testfunda.com/ExamPrep/CATCentre/CATInfo


ravish asked, sir, can i knw which section is most probable to be tough this time?

TestFunda.com answers, CAT is, at the end of the day, a test checking your skills in managing stress, performing under pressure, decision-making and time management- maximizing output within the given constraints of time and accuracy. Since its inception, CAT has tried to do just this. So whatever the paper pattern with the number of questions, know that all 2.9 lakh aspirants will face the same paper. It helps not to think too much about what the test setter is thinking right now. Just stay put with the basics of your preparation and take mocks regularly. Whatever the paper pattern will be- spend about 4 -5 minutes scanning the paper and you'll now what's in store. Having said that, it looks like the number of questions are highly likely to be a repeat of CAT 2006 and 2007- 25-25-25 across the three sections. What it actually turns out to be is anybody’s guess.


ravishk asked, sir, I am frm SC category..i think english is a strong topic fr me and i am able to clear sectional cutoff for Quant...bt still DI/LR is a prob? what shall i do?

TestFunda.com answers, You should concentrate on improving your accuracy, question selection and speed. After every mock analyze your performance as to why did you score less and how you could have performed better. Also in the last days prioritize and concentrate more on the more important topics. Do not get disheartened by performance in mocks. Remember records are made in Olympics [Images] and not in practice sessions.


ravishk asked, can i knw what shall be the cutoff for SC (percentile for getting a call frm IIM A)

TestFunda.com answers, You can look at last years cutoffs at the link below http://www.testfunda.com/ExamPrep/CATCentre/Article/Cat_2007_Cut-offs.htm?AssetID=506afcf9-fe37-4c87-8de9-e3dbb1c13cd1  


kriti asked, i have always managed around 95%ile above in d verbal section...which z d B school which gives weightage to verbal section??

TestFunda.com answers, kriti, MICA, most likely, is known to give more importane to your scores in Verbal. You could also consider other institutes where overall percentile is more important than sectional percentile. You should look at taking NMAT, SNAP and Maharashtra CET apart from applying to Nirma, Fore, Great Lakes, Somaiya, Welingkar and Amity (through CAT). Try and see if you can stretch it to 90- 92%tile(overall) by mid November. Then you can also look at TAPMI, UBS Chandigarh, IMI & IMT Ghaziabad (through CAT). Good Luck!


ramesh asked, Is it advisable to read through all the DI sets (to spot for the easy ones) before attempting to solve any? Or is this just a time-waste?

TestFunda.com answers, You can try to judge a question from the way it appears, though this is not always going to give you the best results. You might apply some thumb rules. For example, questions on tables, grouping, network diagrams are simpler and questions on logical reasoning are tough. Generally, the more the data in the question, the logic is easier. We also suggest you read the question a little bit before judging it. Do enough practice of solving DI/LR sets and you would develop an intuitive sense about the difficulty of the set by reading it a little bit.


gkk asked, after the exam on nov 16,where can we get the solutions for the papers immediately ?

TestFunda.com answers, Watch out for all the details on TestFunda.com You can also look forward to a lot of prepratory material on GD PI by end of November. Just be an active part of the community to gain a lot from all the offerings.


ravishkumar asked, what sort of english passaages can turn up this time?

TestFunda.com answers, If the past trend continues, the passages may be shorter, but denser. If you look at the past two years, the topics are based on philosophy, abstract reasoning.


rav asked, what r the best way to takle english

TestFunda.com answers, Solve a few tests, then see your strong/weak areas. Read up on editorials regularly.


ww asked, tell me how to solve logical DI/LR

TestFunda.com answers, Remember the following things while practice DI/LR 1. Interpreting given information correctly, and precisely 2. Develop your own ways of representing the data by practice 3. Practice to intuitively solve problems 4. Focus more on Accuracy 5. As far as possible do not attempt LR in the beginning 6. Use the option substitution method judiciously 7. Read and understand the common data and questions thoroughly


ravishkumar asked, it happens to me that i get very depressed when someone of my mentality, preparation and standard scores more than me...although i also prepare sincerely and hard..where might be the shortcoming?

TestFunda.com answers, Just relax! Keep in mind that scores do fluctuate based on the paper that you are giving. What is important is that you do well on the day of the CAT. Take the CAT as just another MOCK test and forget about the competition. How many IIM seats are you fighting for? 1 or 1200? If it's just one seat you need, don't bother about what others are doing. 1) Spend time recreating and relaxing everyday for an hour or two, doing the things you enjoy (consider it time invested not wasted). 2) Stay away from pessimistic people, especially those who have already given up on CAT 2008. 3) Visualize yourself to be in the choice of your B school every day (very powerful reinforcement technique). Implement these 3 ideas and tell us next week (during chat) if you are don't feel much better about your preparation.


ravishkumar asked, what shall we do if the options in english are too close and we have to attempt the question..aa case which appears when all questions are tough and coming up to clearing a cuttoff is a difficult task?

TestFunda.com answers, Ravish, that is what the verbal section is all about. Throughout the verbal section, Suggest you read the data thoroughly, identify the subtle change in meanings in the words used in the option. Identify if the option changes the tone, style and presentation of the data. Those options can be eliminated. Look out for sweeping words such as 'all', 'none', 'always', 'never', 'only' used in the options (specially in RC) Unless the common data states it explicitly, avoid those options. Finally, if the RC passage is too dense, with 2 - 3 paragraphs, break it down into manageable 5 - 6 paragraphs and read it. THis may slow you down a little but defintely improve your comprehension and thus the chances of getting the answer right. Good Luck!


Anand asked, Hi, my strategy in mock tests in RCs, Quants and DI have been to spend the initial 5 minutes reading the entire section first before attempting them, but I am not able to improve on my scores, should I go back to serially attempting all the questions or is there any way I can fine tune this strategy?

TestFunda.com answers, You are following a good strategy. You need to see if you are spending too much on the question selection as every minute saved would help you improve your score. Its a trade-off between strategizing and saving time. While you are spending valuable time on the questions keep in mind that you should not feel at the end of the test that you have missed out on the easy questions. You need to analyze your performance at the end of the test to see how did you fare on question selection, accuracy and speed.


Shaad asked, Hello sir I am a regular User of Test Funda it is one of the best site for CAT Aspirants. Well I am Scroing quite well in mocks around 90%iles and applied for around 6-7 institutes how would you rate ICFAI IBS as I am Planning to sit for IBSAT exams.

TestFunda.com answers, ICFAI IBS is ranked in the top 100 colleges in India. If you are scoring 90% in CAT, there is a very good chance you will do well in IBSAT. Good Luck!


Naveen asked, Hi I was consistently getting 95-96%ile in mocks but in last mock I got only 66%ile.What should I do?

TestFunda.com answers, Naveen, do not get disturbed by bad performance in just one mock. Consider that as an exception. You should now concentrate on how to improve further from 95-96%tile. At this stage of preparation, it helps to pay good attention to paper attempt strategy and maximize your scores. So mock tests definitely yes (not more than 2 -3 a week) and polishing on your areas of concern from theory chapters (a few of them). Detailed revision of all the concepts is not really advisable at this stage. Concentrate on topics with higher weightage. For example, in quant concentrate on Number Theory, Circles, Functions, Data Sufficiency, Permutations and Combinations.


Dhivya asked, Hello sir, while I practice for mock CATs I feel difficult to complete within time, esp. quants. Could you pls advice how I could get on faster?

TestFunda.com answers, You should concentrate on improving your accuracy and question selection first and then on speed. After every mock analyze your performance as to why did you score less and how you could have performed better. Also in the last days prioritize and concentrate more on the more important topics. For example, in quant the important topics are Number Theory, Circles, Functions, Permutation & Combinations etc. Do not get disheartened by performance in mocks.


Sarvesh asked, I am not good at RCs, especially abstract philosophical ones which I find boring and difficult to understand.What do I do?

TestFunda.com answers, Reading up on philosophical topics may help. The advantages are two: 1. You will get used to reading such topics 2. You will have some idea of the background matter. Reduce your reading speed. Don't spend too much time on answers that you are not confident of.


Sarvesh asked, I am not good at RCs, especially abstract philosophical ones which I find boring and difficult to understand.What do I do?

TestFunda.com answers, Reading up on philosophical topics may help. The advantages are two: 1. You will get used to reading such topics 2. You will have some idea of the background matter. Reduce your reading speed. Don't spend too much time on answers that you are not confident of.


ramesh asked, how many people will get calls for GD/PI from the IIMs after the CAT, given that there are 2.93 lakh people attempting the cat this year?

TestFunda.com answers, The number of calls is irrespective of number of applicants. For 1200 - 1500 odd seats in the 7 IIMS, one can expect around 8000 calls (not necesarily unique calls). All that maters is your percentile scores - overall and sectional.


Sarvesh asked, My memory is not very good.How do I memorize formula?

TestFunda.com answers, The best way to memorize formulae is to derive them yourself, and understand the derivation. You can also solve some practice questions based on the use of those.


AMITESH asked, HOW TO IMPROVE RC

TestFunda.com answers, Practice a few RC's. Then see where and why you are going wrong. First you need to get the accuracy high, then look at the speed. Also, improve your readig.


Oni asked, I am weak in Maths and am nervous during examinations. Will this affect my performance in CAT?

TestFunda.com answers, You should remember that you just need to clear the cut-off in the quant section. Try to score more in other sections and attempt bare minimum questions in quant to clear it. Try not to get nervous during the exam as that would affect your accuracy and thinking process. Understand that everybody is nervous on such an important day. Use the energy from the nervousness positively.


Parag asked, Hi. Now 20 days left for CAT. What would be the best way to prepare?

TestFunda.com answers, At this stage of preparation, it helps to pay good attention to paper attempt strategy and maximize your scores. So mock tests definitely yes (not more than 2 -3 a week) and polishing on your areas of concern from theory chapters (a few of them). Detailed revision of all the concepts is not really advisable at this stage.


kriti asked, is there any co relation between the mock cat score and actual cat performance??

TestFunda.com answers, Mock tests are supposed to be a simulation of the original CAT. If the mock that you are taking is of the level of difficulty and quality of real CAT, your mock scores are definitely a great indicator. Suggest you benchmark your mock scores by taking the 4 free iCATs available on http://www.testfunda.com/LMS/Student/TestCentre.aspx  


imran asked, Do Considerable good number people from Goverment Organization quit and join IIMS.I m 27,B.E and working in a PSU.Kindly suggest.

TestFunda.com answers, Getting into an IIM would broaden your horizon and provide you tremendous opportunity for growth. It doesn't matter whether you are from PSU or not. You should go ahead and give it a try.


Parag asked, I am afraid of Quants and DI despite being an engineering student. My mock CAT scores are not improving. What should I do?

TestFunda.com answers,  Answer: You should concentrate on improving your accuracy, question selection and speed. After every mock analyze your performance as to why did you score less and how you could have performed better. Also in the last days prioritize and concentrate more on the more important topics. For example, in quant the important topics are Number Theory, Circles, Functions, Permutation & Combinations etc. Do not get disheartened by performance in mocks. Remember records are made in Olympics and not in practice sessions. Finally, remember that your quant basics would be much stronger than a commerce or arts students, and work to your strengths.


Arun asked, I am good at Maths, should I start the test with a section in which I am strong or the other way around?

TestFunda.com answers, Yes, you can start the test with the quant section. You will get confidence when you realise you have score well in that section. Quant questions are generally individual questions, and hence can be done at the start or at the end. You can also use the quant questions as a buffer for when you are tried, and want to take a break. You can also look at the article on
CAT Paper attempt strategy


Parag asked, Hi, Are coaching classes necessary for CAT and other management entrance exams?

TestFunda.com answers, Hi Parag, If your fundamentals are good, you may not need a class at all. However, it helps to improve your concepts, and practice through the use of concept builders, and mock question papers. If you are working, you can choose to study through a method of distance learning. Whether you choose a coaching institute or not, do ensure you are an active part of the online CAT community (CAT is going online in 2009). It will help you be on your toes and keep benchmarking your preparation to other CAT takers. Practice a new question daily, an odd puzzle every week and improve your vocabulary the fun way with games. Good Luck!


Pranesh asked, Hello sir?.. which books are very useful for CAT preparation wen we choose self study?

TestFunda.com answers, Some good books are "Higher Algebra" by Hall and Knight, "Higher Algebra" by Bernard and Child, "Mathematical Circles" by Dmitrii Vladimirovich Fomin, Sergei Aleksandrovich Genkin, Coordinate Geometry" by S L Loney. You can subscribe to the daily QoDs offered by TestFunda.com which would keep you in touch with content regularly. Also, give freeMock CATs and previous years CATs available on testFunda.com


Pranesh asked, Hello sir.. Can u answer my question?.. IS there any useful online material u refer For CAT?.. And Best BOOKS for self study?

TestFunda.com answers, You can go to Testfunda.com. There are free mock CAT's, as well as previous years CAT's. You can also subscribe to Question of the Day, and Puzzle of the Week as well as Wordlist.


Girish asked, Hello sir, please tell me how to improve on the probability and permutation and combination problems?

TestFunda.com answers, Girish, study from good reference books like Higher Algebra by Hall & Knight. A book by the same name is also authored by Bernard and Child and you can refer to that. These two are very tricky topics and you need to have very strong basics to solve it. And yes practice is the key to master these topics.


vivek asked, i am confused in selecting proper answers in english

TestFunda.com answers, Practice and see which topcics you are going wrong on. Then brush up your concepts on those topics. Also, make sure your basics are right by wordlist, reading editorials.......


suhasini asked, sir i beleive in confidence approach. am BE Electrical and looking for cat paper very positve way.... please guide me more

TestFunda.com answers, At this stage of preparation, it helps to pay good attention to paper attempt strategy and maximize your scores. So mock tests definitely yes (not more than 2 -3 a week) and polishing on your areas of concern from theory chapters (a few of them). Detailed revision of all the concepts is not really advisable at this stage. After every mock you should analyse your performance to see how you fared on accuracy, question selection and speed. Concentrate on topics with higher weightage. For example, in quant Number Theory, Circles, Functions, Sequences, Progressions and Series, Permutation and Combination.


Dhivya asked, Thank you sir. Another thing is that I get correct answers to whatever I solve with understanding, but I lack in strategy (as I sit and solve one question for 5 mins). This leads to me losing out time. pls suggest

TestFunda.com answers, You need to practice in order to improve your speed. Also see the topics that you are slow, and work on those more.


Kaushik asked, I am frightened about the CAT exam, whether I will score well or not. In such a situation, I am feeling frustrated. what should I do?

TestFunda.com answers, Kaushik you need to relax! Take an hour or two off from your CAT preparation everyday. Give your mind some positive reinforcement and take the final CAT as jsut another mock test. It also helps to stay away from people who have already given up on CAT. Just keep cool, enjoy the journey for the next 3 weeks and you will become better at managing stress and the paper. Good Luck!


Subhash asked, How should I prepare for GD and PI? Any books or material on the net that I can refer to?

TestFunda.com answers, It would be best to start full-fledged GD/PI preparation after the CAT exam. However, you can start off by reading the newspaper on a regular basis which would keep you updated with the news, and also help you with the verbal section. Also, TestFunda.com is launching a GD/PI preparatory module soon. Watch out for the announcement.


Prashant asked, Hello sir, i got around 92-95%tile in my mock test, but couldn't cross 55%tile in VA section can you suggest any method for next 15 day which improve my performance in va drastically.

TestFunda.com answers, You might try giving more time to the section. Also, work on your weakest areas to improve your performance in them.


Randhir asked,  I started studying for CAT just a month or so ago and don't have enough time now.What topics or what area should I concentrate on? Now I am concentrating on quants. Also how do I prepare for verbal?

TestFunda.com answers, Based on the previous CAT experience, the important topics are: Number theory Geometry (especially circles and triangles) Functions Sequence and series Time, speed and distance Apart from these 5 topics, Permutations and Combinations, Sets, and Equations are also important.


nimisha asked, hello sir I am not getting good score in mock cat . what should I do.

TestFunda.com answers, Hi Nimisha, Pls. read up the article on speed and accuracy. It has helped a lot of testtakers. The link to the article is http://www.testfunda.com/ExamPrep/CATCentre/Article/50-days-to-cat-its-about-speed-and-accuracy.htm?AssetID=407c9156-a5d8-4217-bd1a-c71327f958ec  


Reshmi asked, I tend to leave lengthy looking questions, so what should I do to to improve? Are CAT questions generally on the lengthier side?

TestFunda.com answers, For the past 3 years, the number of questions is reducing and the length of the questions is increasing in different sections at different times. Unfortunately, there is no avoiding long questions!! 1) Try breaking them in parts. Example: If an RC passage has 2 long paragraphs, break them down into 4 to 6 manageable parts and try comprehending them. 2) Try and work with the answer options first and then go to common data. This will get you into purposeful reading mode. Finally, not all lengthy questions are difficult. For example, the jumbled sentence questions that came in CAT '07, were quite lengthy, however they were easy to solve.


anup asked, What is ur guidance to reduce my wrong attempts which is leading to get less score in my mocktests.

TestFunda.com answers, Anup, you need to analyse why are you getting the questions wrong. If it is because of hurry or simple mistakes, you can avoid these by being more patient. If you are getting them wrong because of problems at the conceptual level, you should start concentrating on refreshing your concepts. At this stage it may be difficult to refresh all the syllabus hence concentrate on topics with higher weigthage to increase the efficiency of your preparation. For example, in Quant section concentrate more on Number Theory, Circles, Functions, Sequences, Progressions and Series and Permutation and Combination.


Suma asked, Which institutes should I apply to if I am a 90 percentiler?

TestFunda.com answers, Hope you improve your percentile up to 95 atleast. At this level TAPMI, KJSOM, MICA, Welingkar, SOM-IITM, XIM, SIBM can be considered. IRMA, TISS and IIFM are also doing well in their niche area.


TestFunda.com says, Thank you all for the particiaption, If you have further queries, you can log on to regular weekly chats on TestFunda.com. Good Luck to all of you in your journey to your dream B school.



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