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Tips for cracking CAT 2009
With less that a week to go for the Common Entrance Test for the Master's in Management Studies programmes in Maharashtra, you need to overcome the time factor by adhering to a scheduled preparatory strategy.
Here's how you can tackle each area that will help you maximise your scores.
This area requires you to comprehend a given passage. Verbal communication offers advantage of using gestures, intonations, etc to supplement the choice of words, which are absent in written communication. Therefore interpretation of written material requires attention. In RC, one is expected to grasp the author's thought behind the passage; hence the focus is not on individual words but rather on the inferences that can be made on the basis of ideas presented.
The best way to tackle a CET Quant question is to solve them logically than mathematically. Of course, you need to have your basic fundamentals in place to solve any quant question using logic. As the number of questions is only around 20-25, this section is not a major worry for CET aspirants.
In this calculation intensive portion you will encounter a large number of graphs and tables from which you will need to reap relevant data.
The most common mistake made by students in this portion is grabbing the wrong data. To avert this potential disaster, I would like to recommend that you point your pencil to the data you want and mark the values clearly required on the bar graph, line graph or the pie chart. Most of these questions check your approximation abilities as well.
The Ancient Greek aphorism "Know thyself" is very apt for solving Logical Reasoning questions. To do that you need to extensively analyse your SimCET papers. It would tell you which kind of Logical Reasoning questions you are comfortable with and also the type where you are making a large number of mistakes. It is important to know your strengths so that you can capitalise on them and to know your weaknesses so that, if possible you can rectify them or at least know which questions to avoid.
The questions in a Logical Reasoning set are closely linked with each other which means that if you get the logic behind the set, you will be able to solve most of the questions otherwise solving even one of them is going to be a tough task. You should follow a three step approach for solving Logical Reasoning questions: a) Read b) Understand c) Solve
While attempting data sufficiency questions you should first memorise the five answer choices and then start doing the questions. It is quite common to make a high number of errors while answering these questions as one of the answer choices is invariably: "The question cannot be answered." Few things that you should keep in mind while answering these questions are:
Do not carry over any information from one statement to the other one.
Take positive as well as negative values while solving inequalities with variable 'x'.
The most obvious differentiator of CET from most of the management entrance tests is that, it tests students Visual Reasoning abilities extensively. This test reflects on a person's ability to visualise elements and structures thus exhibiting his ability to comprehend an open-ended thought process. One of the strategies to tackle this area is to mentally formulate the problems on you own. By and large Visual reasoning requires visual grouping of various elements.
Lastly, no negative marking, CET allows intelligence guessing in case of difficult questions. Ideally one should use the process of elimination in such a manner that the most improbable answers are eliminated to narrow down the option to as few as possible i.e. eliminating 3 out of 5 options. Now you may go ahead and make an intelligence guess.
An overall strategy will be to get a grasp of the basic concepts in the test area and practice. After each test check the mistakes that you have committed and rectify them. Go through each question you skipped during the test, try to solve it first without assistance and subsequently with assistance. Look for explanatory answers, which come with almost all practice tests.
The author is operations manager at IMS Learning Resources Pvt Ltd.
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