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CAT 2008: Last minute tips
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October 29, 2008

As CAT 2008 draws rapidly near, what should your strategy be to tackle quant -- is mugging up formulae enough?

Is there a way to improve your reading skills?

What about data interpretation -- are there some topics that you should focus on?

To answer these and other CAT-related questions, experts from, Dacharla Vamsi Krishna and K B Sharma hosted a chat with Get Ahead readers on October 27. For those of you who missed the chat, here's the unedited transcript:

Dacharla vamsi krishna says,  Goodafternoon I am Vamsi Krishna and I am ready to take your questions

vm asked, what should be done to revise geometry concepts .. since with them u never know which way question can turn out

Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, Hi You require to understand all the basic theorems relating to Triangles, Quadrilaterals and circles. The questions would be majorly based on these theorems.

K B Sharma says, Hi I am K B Sharma and I am here to take yr questions

Lovely asked, Hi vamsi, how to improve my DI. consitentle getting low score in it.

Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, Hi try to understand the information and directions given in the set of question. Once the blueprint is made then answering becomes easy.

rohan asked, hi sir!I wud lyk to know whether at this time I need to stress more on revising the concepts or just solve more and more questions.

Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, Hi Rohan At this stage you need to revise the concepts daily.If possible solve the previous CAT papers

Prince asked, Any tips to increase my reading speed in RC?

K B Sharma answers, First forget that you have to read every word of the passage. You have to understand the force of the argument. Take RC understanding in three quick readings: Pre-reading (30 secs)First line every para. Main reading: Two mins. Varying speed. Post view: 20 secs.Looking only for repetitive words and phrases. Pl. visit TCYonline for detailed tips not only on RC, but also on other topics.

uttam asked, Hi Vamsi, I am getting percentile in the range of 90-97(with 99.3 once) in AIMCATs, will this going to be good enough for IIMs? I clear subject cutt-offs most of the time. Please give some suggestions for last few weeks and also other colleges I should consider applying.

Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, Hi Uttam You doing well,at this stage you need to revise all the concepts thoroughly. While taking the Test be careful in selecting the questions.

karan asked, wats d best way 2 revise all d concepts that i hv studied in last 6 mnths as it will b crucial

K B Sharma answers, Put yourself to test, preferably in simulated time-bound conditions. Tke one mockCAT every weak plus one real CAT paper for the last three-four yrs. Analyse yr performance for each attempt in detail. You may visit TCYonline for any number of competive mockCATs as well as for original CAT papers. Benchmark yr performance againt others.

Mayur asked, Can non-Engineering students crack the CAT successfully?or engineering knowledge is must?

K B Sharma answers, Non engineering students have as much chance to crack CAT as an Engineering student. Only they have to devote more time and attention to Quant and DI/DS sections, as Engineering students usually get a headstart here.

Nikhil asked, Hi, I am not able to clear the quant section in most of the mock tests that i am giving. Should i solve questions pertaining to a particular topic in maths or should i attempt the entire quant section in various papers at one go and then analyse?What would be a better approach at this stage?

Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, Hi Nikhil Try to attempt limited number of questions, answer those correctly. Attempt only those questions which you can understand the given information and the question related to it.

catfailure asked, What should be time allotment during preparation for each subject

K B Sharma answers, You have to clear sectional cut offs and for this the min time devoted has to be half an hour each. We suggest that in the first go we devote half an hour to each section to crack the easier questions among each. In the secong go we can take up moderate questions (10-12 min each)in two or all three sections. Whatever time is left should be devoted to the section of yr strength area.

partha asked, Hi what type of format(75 questions or 90 questions or more)can be expected the most this time around?

Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, HI Partha The pattern can not be predicted but you should be flexible to accept any change in the pattern.Whatever may be the pattern try to score one-third of the maximum score.

Mayur asked, Is it necessary to have some kind of business knowledge for CAT?

K B Sharma answers, That is an added advantage and will be needed at the time of GD/PI

peeyush asked, hi...i have been getting 90-97 percentile consistently in mock cats(ims)...what are my chances in CAt

Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, Hi Peeyush IF you are wise in selecting the questions on that day your chances will be bright, don't waste time solving questions which would take more time.

Bhaskar asked, Sharma,vamsi what is age limit for CAT

Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, HI Bhaskar There is no age limit for appearing in CAT.

peeyush asked, what do u suggest should be the strategy for these last 3 weeks...??

Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, Hi Peeyush In the last weeks you need to revise the concepts thoroughly and be calm and focused.

zubaina asked, sirs, what is meant by Test Generator on ur site

K B Sharma answers, Test generator has been devised to help you pick up a test in the area you want and the difficulty level you want to take. Suppose you are weak in X area in Quant, you can select a test in this area. Suppose you are able to crack "Easy" test easily, go to moderate test and then on to challenging/difficult tests.

tejesh asked, At this point, can I leave higher mathematics questions (Above 10th). Its weightage in the Quant section over the past years?

Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, Hi Tejesh Higher mathematics questions don't come in CAT. So don't worry.


Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, For Quant, make short notes ( synopsis) of all the concepts and revise it daily.

space_king asked, hi sir !!...i am a working guy and havir 3 yr software industry experience.i am not well prepared for cat 2008.Will my this year score will affect the chances for getting IIM (if any) after CAT 2009 ???

Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, Hi As they don't consider the previous result therefore this year's result will have no affect.Try your best this year too.

jagan asked, Dear Mr. Sharma .... what are preparation tips for the last weeks? Little confused these days...what studies to be done at this point of time?

K B Sharma answers, Don't get confused. Finalise yr strategies to tackle particular type of questions. Visit for detailed tips in each section. You still have time to try out different strategies. Why not try out these strategies for the real CATs for the last three-four years. All the solved CATs are available again on

alok asked, what is least cut off of each section or aggregate to get a call from any IIM?

K B Sharma answers, You have to score a min of 25% in each section. Aggregate will depend on the difficulty level of questions. Aim to score around 140/300 overall.

Mayur asked, what important role mock tests plays to crack CAT?

Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, Hi Mayur Mocks help in forming the right strategy of selecting correct questions, improving the score and helps you in distributing time properly.

raj asked, Hi, I am scoring 95-98 percentiles in the mock cats..i am not doing too well in the quant concepts are clear but for some reason not doing well in reasoning based quants...please what i should do??

Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, HI Raj If your concepts are clear and still you are scoring low then all you need to do is work on your selection of question. Try selecting the questions in which you understand the information clearly.

Baishali asked, HI Pls help me out in Quant, I cant remember the Formulas

Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, HI you need to understand the concept rather than learning the formulae. asked, how can one improve VA skills at this point of time considering that present scroes are 20_25% less than the cut offs

K B Sharma answers, CAT verbal is more about reasoning now a days than about direct vocab or grammar, though the latter help in reasoning out the answer. For RCs, paragraph completion' parajumbles, sentence completion etc the main thing is to catch what the author is tryng to convey. When you get an answer wrong, analyse what went wrong and what was the difference between yr answer and the right answer. Usually the right answer will be nearer the focus of the argument than yr answer.

Ankur asked, i am comfortable with quant,but not very confident. what should i now do? few days are to revise the topics?

Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, HI Ankur First be confident, make synopsis(all the concepts that you know)and revise daily

sanjana asked, i am not good at RC but have good accuracy in other eng parts. Can i just leave all RCs and attempt other eng questions? can it mar my chances of going through?

K B Sharma answers, Try to befriend RC. It is not all that difficult. The only thing certain in CAT Verbal is RC. Try to read abstract topics (based on philosophy, literature etc) in the comng days. Before you answer the first question based on the RC, answer one question to yourself, what msg is the author trying to convey.Suggest some questions based on aaaaaa at least two psgs

Sumeet asked, Dear Mr. Respected KB, My score in before CAT not good very. What I can do to imprve my scores ? My quant & DI is excallent, but Varbal score not good. I need to do grammer or not to get good score ? Please reply

K B Sharma answers, Have you identified what type of questions you usually get wrong in Verbal? There must be some question types that you get right more often. If nothing else, you can work on yr RC skills.

abhi asked, hi how to go about if there are sub sections in this cat

Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, HI Abhi Subsections don't play any role but you should concentrate on the entire section on the whole.

Raja asked, Hi Vamsi what is the ideal number of attempts per section to get an IIM call

Dacharla vamsi krishna answers, Hi Raja Not less than one-third of the total.

uravesh asked, Hi I have some problems with verbal section which i will like to discuss and hope a reasonable explanation from you. 1. In RC's my accuracy is 50% and whenever i have a doubt between the two. i an always marking the wrong one. Can you tell me what to find in answers to maximize my accuracy. 2. In FIJ's, can you provide tips for differentiating Facts with inferences. 3. in sentence completion, can we go for selecting an option which are extremes. Should we try to stick to options that gives the centre idea of the para. 5. my vocabulary answers are always wrong. i.e. to find grammatical errors. Can you mention some of the most typical errors in statements to search for. I mean a missing preposition/missing word/plural and singular etc. whatever it may be. Can you please reply to these queries, it will be really helpful for me. Thanks in advance

K B Sharma answers, 1. In case you are able to eliminate three options you must attempt the question, even if it is a top up. Even if chances are 50-50, a right answer will get you 4 marks, and a wrong one only _ 1. 2. First look for statements that are definitive judgments and definite facts. Facts cannot be denied; inferences are interpretations of facts; judgments are not based on facts at all. 3. Get the flow of the sentence and try to predict the filler. 4. Normally yes. But be on the watch for the 'fish' REmember a single word (usually difficult) may render yr answer wrong 5. This needs a detailed answer. Pl visit TCYonline for detailed tips

K B Sharma says, That's all for the day. All the very best to all of you

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