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CAT 2008: 'Tips to crack RC?'
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September 16, 2008

Are there methods to improve one's vocabulary?

Do IIMs require work experience in addition to CAT scores?

What other reputed B-schools apart from the IIMs require CAT scores? 

To answer these and many other CAT-related questions, Janardan Singh, regional manager at IMS Learning Resources Pvt Ltd, hosted a chat on September 4 with GA readers. For those of you who missed the chat, here's the unedited transcript:

Janardan Singh says, Hi. This is Janardan. I am ready to take your questions now.

pranav asked, wt is d age limit for cat

Janardan Singh answers,  There is no age limit for cat.

rishika asked, wat should i do 2 increse my quant score

Janardan Singh answers, We need to understand where you are facing problem in quants. If the problem is with concepts, you need to work on concepts. If the problem is with defining questions, you need to understand questions well before answering. Also look out for silly mistakes. Finally, a thorough brush up of concepts and practice should help you. If you ask a bit specific question, I can be specific in my answer.

MASTRAM asked, i am also not well prepared (like p bhai).any tips for me

Janardan Singh answers, hi, Suggest you take a preliminary test. this will help you assess your strength and weakenesses in prep areas. Then you can chart out a study plan for the next 70-75 days. Make sure to brush up concepts, take practice tests, analyse them and revise concepts again.

manish asked, sir, i score around 85 - 96 percentile in mocks.the worst been 54 and highest been 97.How to be constant and what has to the strtegy in last 2 months

Janardan Singh answers, Manish, you need to analyse your test performance thoroughly. You need to understand which sections and topics are your strong areas and which are your weak areas. Based on this analysis, you can chart out a prep plan for the next 2 months. And remember to take the test with a free mind. A number of times, we come under pressure and our performance goes down.

anil asked, how to increse yr score in RC

Janardan Singh answers, Anil, Reading good english is the only way to increase your score in RC. You can take RC tests and assess your performance. There is a lot of material available in the market and on the web. The key in RC is to focus on comprehension. Speed is important by make sure your speed is not hampering your comprehension.

rohit asked, Dear Sir, I Like to do MBA in Finance Kindly provide details which institute is better for Distance learning MBA from Sikkim Manipal Or Naranji Mohanji Institure of Mumbai ( Nmims ) & PGDFM is equivilant to MBA Kindly do the needful answer

Janardan Singh answers, Rohit. My suggestion will be for you to go for a full time residential program instead of a distance learning program. The benefits of a full time program are immense. However, of the two courses you mentioned, my vote is for NMIMS.

rahul asked, Which section should i attempt first and which one last ? I am good in DI/VA , average in maths and poor in VA/RC

Janardan Singh answers, Sequence of attempt doesnt matter. Make sure you are spending almost equal time in all sections to clear cut offs. Once you have cleared cut offs, you can think about maximizing your score in the strong section.

nek asked, what is the bets strategy for CAT-- starting with the strong sections or the weak?

Janardan Singh answers, Make sure you are clearing cut off in all sections.

gurur asked, my syllabus of quant is not completed do you suggest me to give mock without quant preparation

Janardan Singh answers, There is no other way out. Simultaneously, you should work on the remaining areas.

bhawani asked, how to tackle online pattern of cat

Janardan Singh answers, No worries about online CAT for now. It wont come before CAT 2009.

hari asked, is that necessary one should be from reputed high schools as the topics for Rc are mostly alien that a normal high school guy feels tough to answer.

Janardan Singh answers, No. You can always improve your english by pracising reading good english every day for an hour or two.

aks asked, I have 4 yrs of experience now in IT. Will it be better to go for 1 yr program or for 2 yr program? Will CAT be a better option or GMAT? I want to join a good B-School in India only.

Janardan Singh answers, Both the options will be good for you as you have required work experience.

coldfire asked, sir i am working in a IT major with atleast 15+ months of experience when i join mba can i go into specification other an IT like finance,marketing etc

Janardan Singh answers, Yes, you can.

HariNair asked, I am not good in Logical Reasoning type of questions. What should I do to improve my proficiency in the same?

Janardan Singh answers, Try solving puzzles, sudoku, etc.

vishu asked, Hi Sir , I have 4 years of Experience and i am taking CAT this year.Cannot work that hard , can you tell me the minimum percentile which can give me a call from IIM's or if not IIM which college should I chose?

Janardan Singh answers, You should score a minimum of 97-98 percentile to get a call from an IIM. Rather than looking for other non-IIM institute, you should seriously think about taking GMAT and global MBA options.

Dhirendra asked, hi, I m preparing for CAT on my own and hav not joint any coaching class, so is there any need to join the test series?? wht is the scope 4 it???

Janardan Singh answers, A test series will give you a fair idea of your preparation and your standing with respect to the competition. It should help you.

saurabhs asked, sir i'm able to get the RC only after reading it seems pretty difficult after so much practice also to deal with RC...

Janardan Singh answers, Practice is the only key. Dont worry. when going gets tough, tough gets going. All the best!

Kunal Singh asked, Do B Schools consider IT experience as relevant?I have more than 2 years of development experience with last 6 months as Team lead.Would this add value to my profile?

Janardan Singh answers, Surely, it will help you.

fff asked, A slightly different question. Do you think after all the pains one takes to crack the CAT and then go through a gruelling two years at the IIMs, the returns are good enough when compared to a good global B school?

Janardan Singh answers, Yes. The results are good, if you want to make a career in India. However, if you have global aspirations, opting for good global B-Schools might make more sense.

nirmal asked, how many seats are available at IIM.

Janardan Singh answers, You need only one seat. Dont worry about the number of seats. Work on your prep.

saurabhs asked, sir., i want to know few good govt. universities that take admission through cat...

Janardan Singh answers, Good govt B-schools that take admission through CAT are IIMs, NITIE, IIFM, UBS, etc

rishika asked, sir which are the chapters 1 should concentrate for quants?

Janardan Singh answers, Ideally, all the chapters. However, number theory, algebra, geometry are very important.

g asked, Hi I am having 3 years of IT experience and would be writing CAT this year. Please advice me on whether to go for 2 yr prog or 1 yr program?

Janardan Singh answers, At present, you can go for both types of programs. You can also write GMAT and apply to global B-Schools.

haril asked, do iim consider work experience at any level.. even if it is from government organisation

Janardan Singh answers, Yes. Work experience helps.

sahil asked, hello..i gav my gre last yr ..i got a score of 1060..quant-760..verbal-300.i m givin gre again tis yr..i lost my marks in should i improve my RC..i am also finding it difficult 2 remember all the words..

Janardan Singh answers, You dont have to remember words while taking RC test, just focus on understanding as you read. Keep practising and analysing after each test. Spend about 1-2 hours daily on reading from good sources.

sachin asked, What is the selection criterion for FPM?

Janardan Singh answers, CAT score and your interest in pursuing research.

HariNair asked, Sir, I am able to solve mock-CAT questions comfortably at home, but not during the test. Any remedies for it, coz it would be better if it is the other way around.

Janardan Singh answers, In the next test, go with a mind set that you dont have to lose anything. A free mind should help you. I think you are taking undue pressure of the test.

arunthink asked, Dear Janardhan, I am already a MBA Finance grad i just want to know that MBA from IIM's would enhance my career as such or it s better to do something else

Janardan Singh answers, If you have experience of more than 2-3 years, may be you should think about taking GMAT and opt for global B-Schools.

Kunal Singh asked, Sir,my problem is that although I have managed to score 98-99 percentile in SIMCATs a couple of times,most of the times I get stuck in the late eighties.Moreover,I have observed that whenever LOD of the test is high I manage a decent percentile (eg SIM2), but if the test happens to be on the easier side I fall back in the eighties. This is mainly due to my lack of speed.Please advise what should be my approach to preparation in the coming weeks, especially to improve my speed in quant.Thanks.

Janardan Singh answers, Building speed comes with building concepts and practice. There is no other key. Suggest you analyse your previous sim cat performances and figure out if there is any other factor that can help you improve your scores.

spyane86 asked, Hi janardhan,can you please tell me some effective ways to improve vocabulary?

Janardan Singh answers, Read editorials of good Enlgish newspapers daily. Try to understand the meanings of the words through context. Keep a good dictonary with you. And try to use these words in your day-to-day life.

preeti asked, Is there a necessity for job experience before doing cat?

Janardan Singh answers, No, preeti. It's not necessary.

Vaseem asked, Hi I want to know the Maximum Attemps for CAT

Janardan Singh answers, There is no limit.

prap asked, Hello, Is CAT acore compulsory for an executive MBA program also.

Janardan Singh answers, No, it's not. Different executive programs have different requirements. Suggest you to go thru respective websites.

mmwaykule asked, what should i do to increase score in VA and RC section

Janardan Singh answers, Read good english. Focus on comprehension in RC. Take practice test and more importantly, analyse your performance to figure out your weak areas. Focus on strengthening the weak areas.

Naseer asked, sir, i want to know top business schools in india and how much percentile do one need to get a call from IIMs. and how much percentile to get a call for top business schools in india.

Janardan Singh answers, Please visit for the list of b-schools. You need 98-99 percentile to get a call from IIMs. Other top b-schools require anything from 90-97 percentile.

amitgodse asked, Hi Janardan, i m a 25 years old guy...taking CAT this year..after completing my MBA i will be 28. i have 20 months of work experience it true while recruiting company gives preference to younger age of 23-24 over 27-28?

Janardan Singh answers, There is no such thing. But given your experience, you can consider taking GMAT too.

AnujK asked, Sir I am mainly preparing for GMAT is there any difference in pattern for CAT. Do I need to do something special for CAT exam which is not there in GMAT

Janardan Singh answers, CAT keeps changing, whereas GMAT pattern remains constant. You might need a different test orientation. Suggest you take a few CAT practice test and check out additional prep requirement yourself.

sudhansu asked, after how many years work ex, is doing MBA ideal ? now iim's incl IIMB have launched 1 year MBA prog

Janardan Singh answers, Whenever you feel you are ready for an MBA, you should go ahead. There is no ideal age or experience. The choice is very specific for an individual based on his or her circumstances and aspirations.

jay asked, is it true that engineers get an unfair advantage in the CAT?

Janardan Singh answers, No such thing. In fact, I suspect if there are two equally capable candidates- one from engg background and the other from non engg background, the IIMs will most probably select the non engg candidate.

parthans asked, Are the MOCKs of IMS deliberately set at a level much higher than the actual CAT? By say, 25 - 30% of higher difficulty level? If yes, does it not demotivate even the good student with lower scores than he / she would otherwise have got in an actual CAT?

Janardan Singh answers, There are some easy tests and some difficult tests so that our students get to take all kinds of tests befor they tackle the real CAT. Secondly, the difficulty levels of the test doesnt really matter much in a test like CAT. What matters is that how better your performance is with respect to your competition.


Janardan Singh answers, CAT Intensive workshops with SimCATs should help you take your preparation to the next level.

akki asked, If i pick up a question in DI and it turns out to be a really tough one. I realise it after spending a good 10 mins into it. Should i leave the question and jump to the next one OR keep solving that question(Since i have already spent 10 mins into it)?

Janardan Singh answers, If you beleive that the time you are going to spend now will help you solve the question, keep at it. Otherwise move on. Dont throw good money over bad money.

javed asked, Sir,I am graduate and wanted to do MBA(HR).Can you suggest me how to apply for CAT

Janardan Singh answers, The deadline for purchasing CAT forms is already over. So for that you need to wait for the next year. However, you can apply for TISS and XAT.

sudhansu asked, wat kind of strategy shud one make for CAT 08 ? is there any order of importance and emphasis reqd on any section more than others ?

Janardan Singh answers, Solve each question to its merit. Your strategy should be entirely based on your preparation and the actual paper pattern and questions. Go thru the instructions thoroughly before the test begins. Read questions quickly (but understand them) to decide whether you want to solve them or leave them. Decide your specific strategy in the test hall. There cant be any generic strategy for CAT 2008.

vk asked, hello sir i m poor in rc wht should be my approach for that basically i face problem in inference based questions. in rc wht should be my approach since i face problem only in inference based questions

Janardan Singh answers, Good that you know your weakness. Half the battle is won for you. Now, practice inference based questions and understand why you are getting them wrong. Go through explanatory answers carefully and move to the next question only when you have understood the solution of the preious question.

niks asked, sir i am in the IT industry but have been benched for the last one year even though i am studyin on my own in the domain... Will i be at a disadvantage when placed in front of another IT fellow who has been working on a project ?

Janardan Singh answers, You cant do much about it. Just focus on your CAT prep.

avik asked, Sir,I am getting percentiles of aroung 60-70 in mocks till now ...what will be the key for me from now onwards to raise my percentile to the 90s.....I am getting tensed.. Will it be possible???Please suggest.... avik

Janardan Singh answers, Analyse all your previous test and work on your weak areas. Analysis is a very important part of prep. Ideally, if you are taking test for 2.5 hrs, you should analyse and learn from it for about 6-7 hours. If you are able to identify gaps in your prep, you need to plan your studies accordingly. It's possible but will require focus and effort. All the best.

Janardan Singh says, Guys, this is all we have time for, today. Please feel free to write to me at  incase of any further/unanswered query.All the best...

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