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November 11, 2008

With less than a week to go for CAT 2008, are there strategies to maximise you RC scores?

What is the best way to tackle the CAT?

What should you time management strategy be?

To answer these and other CAT related questions K B Sharma and Dacharla Vamsi Krishna of Tops Careers & You, hosted a chat with GA readers on November 10. For those of you who missed the chat, here's the unedited transcript:

vijayaraghavan asked, last few days for cat.. wat should we do right now???

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers,  at 2008-11-10 14:29:08For quant revise the basic concepts daily. Relax and be confident.

mohit asked, how to solve rc's ?? what should be the approach?

K.B.Sharma answers, The type of RC questions that you get nowadays require you to concentrate on the message that the author is trying to convey, not on detail. So speed thro. the passage at least twice and answer this one question to yourself before proceeding to answer the given questions. DON'T READ, TRY TO UNDERSTAND THE PASSAGE.

Tejas asked, Hi, I am targetting top non-IIm's and I know that my weaker link would be QA . I decide to devote 55 minutes to english , 55 to DI and the remainder to QA. I believe , that with 6 good attempts in QA , I could register a call . Do I think right ?

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi If you attempt with good accuracy you can get good calls. If you can attempt 2-3 more you can get IIM call too. asked, How much time can I allot to each section for CAT which is coming up this Sunday?

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi Spend 35 mins each to clear the cutoff and remaining 45 mins to maximise the score.

vishu asked, HOw to maximise my score in last few days?

K.B.Sharma answers, Analyse your attempt in all three sections of the past three years real CAT. Compare your answers with the given right answers and see why you got them wrong. Try to avoid similar errors in future. error could also be in the selection of the questions which you thought to be easy, but got trapped. Also visit TCYonline for last minute tips/strategies in all three sctions.

shubh asked, Hi, I am regularly getting 90 - 93 percentile in the test series. I am also clearing the cut offs of VA and LRDI in most of them. It's only the Quant section where I am always in 50 -60 percentile region. Shall I look to maximise my score in CAT or shall I give extra time in Quant. I have done my graduation in arts and am working for the last 30 months. Kindly advice...

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi If you can make 7-8 good attempts in quant too you can get an IIM call. Every CAT paper has 40 % simple questions, try to recognise and answer those.

puneet asked, is it worth to give 55 mins for VA as i cud score 96.6 due to bad score in VA. any other suggestion ?

K.B.Sharma answers, If VA is not your strength, but Quant/DI are,devote no more than 30-35 min on VA, aiming only to clear the cut-off. That is if you are confident of scoring well in other sections by devoting extra time.

skrdon asked, would 7 correct attempts per section be gud enuff to clear the sectional cut off for any of the IIMS?

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi If the total question are 25 then seven attempts in one of the sections is good but overall you have to attempt more than 25.

sanj asked, hi i m sanjay a computer professional working with MNC. M looking for pursuing 1 year MBA, from IMT Ghaziabad. Please tell me whether it would be a fruitful option in terms of placements and career growth after coming out of it. I have location constraint that is why i m looking for this option. please help!!!

K.B.Sharma answers, It appears you are based at or near Ghaziabad. But why one year only? To my mind the best school in India for one year programme is ISB Hyd.

catGOD asked, sirs.... if this time there is no sectionin CAT, what should be the ideal strategy for me, i am very good at math and average in verbal?

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi If there is no section concentrate on maximising the score.

skrdon asked, would 7 correct attempts per section be gud enuff to clear the sectional cut off for any of the IIMS? sir i got your point but i wanted to ask if 7 is gud enuff for sectional cut offs as prescribed by any of the IIMS.overall one needs to score above 100.

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi If you can score around 100(if total is 300) you can get 2-3 IIM calls. 125 is the ideal score.


K.B.Sharma answers, The length of a typical passge nowadays is around 600 words. You don't expect more than 3-4 questions per paqssge. If that is so, you can take UP TO 5 min for two-three readings of the passge, alongwith reading of question stems. The rest of the time is to be spent in answering the questions.

vishu9 asked, In VA, i always end up wasting my time in selection of passage. Many times i hv read half once n left n again came back to find the other passage was easy. Sir,wat would be the decent attempt in VA?

K.B.Sharma answers, You have to pre-read the passage devoting one minute (incl time spent on looking at question stems)before you decide whether you will take it up. Remember, at school level you used to go thro all (say) ten questions before you decided which five you will answer. You can devote one minute on all (say) four passges before you decide which ones you will take up.

swaminathanr asked, Sir, I always manage to do excellently in the English section of the paper, and am good at logic-based questions in is only Quant that has always pulled me down...I tend to leave questions and am not able to judge whether they are tough or sitters. At this stage what would you suggest so I can revise properly and at least clear the cutoff?
Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi Now-a-days the quant questions are the combination of 4-5 simple basic questions,try to follow the question carefully and solve it accordingly by applying the basics. Therefore revise the basic concepts daily for the remaining days.

aman asked, Sir English is my weakest section out of the 3 and i get very impatient while doing very long RC's.what should i do to overcome this problem??

K.B.Sharma answers, Luckily you don't get very long RC passages nowadays. Simply try to get what the author is trying to say in the main.

skrdon asked, sir i got your point but my concern is 7 gud enuff for sectional cut offs as prescribed by any of the IIMS.i m strictly talking of sectional cut offs.

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi If all the 7 questions are right, and over all you get more than one third, you can get 2-3 IIM calls

Krejza asked, my QA is strategy is 1+1+0.5 =2.5hors wid QA (o.5).Is it correct?

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi Try to score atleast 1/4th in Quant section too. It would be easily achievable if the selection of questions is right.

Rudra asked, I am a working professional.How can I use my time to good effect in these last few days for the consolidation?

K.B.Sharma answers, Don't overload your mind. There is no time for fresh preparation. There is time only for ANALYSIS of your CAT 2005 to 2007 attempt and for REVISION NOTES for which you can visit you have something specific in mind, Take a couple of days off, not later than Friday. No worries; no reading; only gupshup on Sat.

suraj asked, Do you think is it necessary to attempt 2-3 passages to clear the cutoff in RC-VA..?

K.B.Sharma answers, I will suggest min two out of four

Akash asked, sir,how should we manage time.. i am confused wid my time management strategy

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi Spend 35 mins on each section and remaining 45 mins to maximise the score

vishal asked, Sir , Is this Cuttoff relaxed in case of Experience Candidates , Like I have close to 4 years of IT Experience

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi In the Test there is no relaxation, it will be helpful in GD and PIs

vishu9 asked, At what time we should devote our time 2 RC?

K.B.Sharma answers, Unless RC is your strength area, attempt it in the second hour of CAT - not in the first one hour, nor in the last half an hour. You may also space your attempt in the two RCs by taking up some other questions in between.

PR asked, Could you tell the options available for 90-95%?Is IIM-B possible??

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi If you can make 90-95 in all the three sections individually it is possible.

ankit asked, n test series that I have been taking , am regularly getting above 98 percentile ( among 32,000 students) . What percentile would it translate to, in the final CAT exam? Will it remain the same or vary??

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi If you perform in the same way then the same is possible.

rishabh asked, sir maths is weakest section out of the 3 and i get very impatient while doing very long RC's.what should i do to overcome this problem

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi Attempt less to score more

nikhil asked, Sir, I have been getting 80+ %tiles consistently and around 95 %tile in the last two AIMCATs, with heavy scores in VA. In QA and DI I just manage to clear the cutoffs. Is QA and DI in the actual CAT as tough as those that come/have come over the past few AIMCAT papers ?What are my chances this time around? What should I do now so as to maximise my scores in QA and DI ? How much %tile in AIMCAT QA and DI translates to about 90 %tile in the actual CAT ?

K.B.Sharma answers, Try last two years real CAT papers under simulated conditions and see for yourself.

rania asked, hello QA is the weakest section but then i am able to attempt atleast 5-6 questions from not attempting more thinking that they might be wrong.should i do guess working \?

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, HI Instead of guess working spend that time to select a few questions and answer those correctly.

Akash asked, sir,how many questions should i target in those 35 mins..i start wid quant and i devote arnd 1 hr in order to maximise the score but i am able to get only7-8 ques correct

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi In 35 mins try to answer atleast 1/4th and in the remaining time try to score more than 1/3rd overall. Then you can expect IIM call.

hi asked, Sharma Sir last week tips please

K.B.Sharma answers, Already given. Pl see other answers.

ankit asked, ctually I am aiming mainly for IIM-A, as i have a very strong academic as well as professional background. What should be the target percentile ?

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, HI around 35 in each section(assuming maximum is 100) and overall 125

vishal asked, What shhould we aim at? Clearing the sectional cuttofs or getting maximum scores and if we don't manage to score cuttoffs. Can we get call from other MBA Colleges in India like SP Jain, FMS,NarseeMunji etc?

K.B.Sharma answers, First aim to clear sectional cut offs (30 min each section to tackle the easier among the questions)Second aim to maximise your score in the last one hour. Visit the areas of your strength.Many good B schools, but not the IIMs, look mainly for aggregate score.

piu asked, i score really well in quant and english both in 96 percentile but lrdi pulls me down what to do

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi Read the information for the given set of questions carefully, then pick the sets in which the information is clearly understood and answer the related questions.

PR asked, If I am able to shortlist to two of the options would you suggest taking a chance?

K.B.Sharma answers, If you can eliminate with certainty at least three options, you MUST take a chance. It is no longer 50-50. If you get the answer right, you get four plus. If you get it wrong, you get only one minus.

ankit asked, Thanks Vamsi. DI is my strongest section (99.8 - 99.9 percentile) and VA the weakest. Can you suggest a suitable ordering strategy to attempt the paper? Also, I am able to attempt 75% of DI in just 40 minutes. Should I try to reduce it further so that I can give more time to QA?

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi It is not advisable to reduce the time for DI let it be 40 mins, remaining time distribute to the other two sections and score as much as you can. try to score atleast 30 %

aditya asked, i am extremely weak on verbal some times my rc's have 90% accuracy and some times 0% .Can you suggest me some stratagies.

K.B.Sharma answers, Your answer should preferably connect with the main point of argument. The right answers to all questions based on one passage are like beads in a rosary. If they can fit in the chain (main idea)they are more likely to be right. If they don't, well you know. So your answers should connect.

capt_lms asked, Hello Sir !what all materials i should prepare aiming for CAT2009.Am not in a position to attend classes as am serving near border.Can u suggest what alll i should buy for self study and acheive good percentile??

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, Hi You can visit our website for practise papers and free online material.

vishal asked, When Questions in each section is 25.. the cuttof goes at around 9 correct per section.. How does it change when Number of questions are 50 per section

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna answers, HI The cutoff is around 15-18

test1 asked, What is the reason that i am not able to solve a question in the exam but i solve it easily at home

K.B.Sharma answers, Think the exam hall is also your home. Be as relaxed as you are at home. CAT is only an Exam, not your life. Do your best and forget

K.B.Sharma says, That's all for today. All the very best to all CAT aspirants.

Dacharla Vamsi Krishna says, Dear CAT aspirants! be cool and confident at the same time be careful while selecting the questions and try to maintain good accuracy. All the Best!!!

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