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'How to crack CAT in two months? Pls advice'

Last updated on: August 27, 2012 10:14 IST

'How to crack CAT in two months? Pls advice'

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In an online chat with readers on August 24, ARKS Srinivas, ex-director, TIME and CEO, Vista Mind addressed queries related to CAT 2012, b-school admission and more.

For those who missed the live chat, here's the unedited transcript:


Chandra asked, What do the interviewer expect from a candidate after the CAT?

ARKS Srinivas answers, at 2012-08-24 16:01:34
The Interviewer wants to select candidates who can thing rationally ad have basic level of awareness
crackcat asked, pls tell how to crack cat in 2 months... is it possible?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Anything is possible. 2 months is 60 days, 1440 hours!! Start building your concepts in each subject area for next 40-45 days and keep last 10-15 days for testing
crackcat asked, when should i start taking mocks?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Depends on when you started your preparation. Ideally 70-75% time should go into preparation and remaining into testing
rahul asked, Please advise as to how to improve upon Vocab, RC and VA sections

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Vocab and RC takes some time and serious effort to improve. Read a lot of varied topics that appear in CAT for RC. For Vocab, do mugging from some word list, learn from root-prefix-suffix approach and through reading. For VA, identify the various question types that have appeard in CAT rcently and work on each of them
Kaustabh asked, Sir, can you suggest me how to improve my time required to do QA questions, as I have found in the past that I take a lot of time to work them out, though I am able to arrive at many of the answers at last....!!

ARKS Srinivas answers,
You should be happy that your first level of preparation is done. All that you need to do is reduce the time taken to solve a question. For that you need to redo all the questions once again. And again. When you solve questions multiple times, you gain confidence and hence can do faster.
Kaustabh asked, Also please suggest the strategy/approach which we can take for the first section, i.e. QA and DI....

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Scan the section in 2-3 minutes. You will get an idea of what it contains. Then start the section, try every question and do the ones which you are familiar with and can do in reasonable time. The ones that are time consuming or you are not sure of, should be bookmarked. Finish the section in 45 mts. Then try the questions that you had bookmarked.
amit asked, what is the pre-requisite for executive MBA from IIM's?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
You will need Work Ex of a certain number of years. For ex, IIMA asks for 5 years of Work Ex. Apart from that you should be a graduate with 50% or more marks
Auro asked, Sir, being a working professional, the time dedicated to preparation fluctuates on a day to day basis. Can you guide me what should be the procedure for attempting mocks in d last 1 month??

ARKS Srinivas answers,
One mock every 2-3 days is good. What is important is what analysis you do after the mocks. Spend at least 5-6 hours analysing the Mock, solving the questions you cud not do earlier, checking the solution of the ones you did and got right - to see which method is better, and revising the concepts of questions you got wrong
Auro asked, Is attempting sectional mocks a good practice rather than goin fr the full one from now onwards??

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Sectional Mocks is good. CAT is nothing but 2 sectional Mocks :o). You can start the Full Length Tests one month before CAT
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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Tags: ARKS , CAT , RC , IIM , VA

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'Please suggest some good books for CAT'

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Kaustabh asked,
Sir, what are the most important concepts/topics in DI which we need to extensively prepare for?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Tables is by far the most important one. Then bar charts, line graphs and pie charts. The important concepts are of change, fractions and percentages
shreyas asked, Sir, if there is gap in education will it affect the chances if getting good college inspite of high CAT scores ?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
You will need to make up for that by good performance in CAT and the second round. While 1 year break after 12th or Grad is considered ok, beyond that should have a very good reason and they should buy that
bnd asked, Pl tell me in each section how much percentage of questions I should give correct answer in each section wise to crack CAT 2012.

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Do not go with any number of attempts in mind. It varies as per the difficulty level of the paper. Just give it your best shot
tkets asked, Well I do not want to spend 8-10 lacs for mba , tell me good instituion with best placement s & cheap fees?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Go to FMS Delhi. You will spend around 40k only and placements as good as the IIMs
rahul-r asked, sir please suggest some good books on each section of CAT

ARKS Srinivas answers,
First work on you NCERT class 6-10 books for Maths, some good functinal grammar and vocab book. Read variety of humanities based topics for RC Then you can join the test series of any coaching institute and start taking sectional and full length tests
sumit14040 asked, does work ex play a role in placment from iims??

ARKS Srinivas answers,
If you have relevant work-ex for a decent duration, companies might consider you for higher than entry placements
shreyas asked, How important is it to have good 10th,12th and graduation marks ?? can i not compensate with good CAT score

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Yes you can!! Those marks are history anyway. Do your best in CAT and the second round.
raven asked, Hi..my percentile in va is fluctuating in the mocks i'm giving.In two i got around 99 %le while in two i got 58 n 28 %le respectively..now this aint giving me any clear indication on how my preparation is churning out..wat 2 do?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
More practice will reduce the variation. Just check if you changed any strategy for the tests where u did not do well. Do more sectional tests for the section where the score is fluctuating more. And then analyse
shreyas asked, , Sir, if there is gap in education will it affect the chances if getting good college inspite of high CAT scores ?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Good CAT score and second round performance can make up for everything else
raj asked, sir.. i have 3 years of work exp, but find CAT a bit tough as far as speed is concerned.. Can we go for some other papers like GMAT... will that be easy than CAT??

ARKS Srinivas answers,
GMAT looks at slightly different skills. You can try that. Or XAT which is on 6th Jan. Or Feb CMAT. You will get more time to prepare. Also remember in all these exams including CAT, there are institutes at every score.
parth asked, Hello Sir, I am an Engineering Grad, having 3yrs of Work Ex. My Quant is an drawback and English is problem. Can u suggest me some books where i can buy them, practise them and give my best shot for CAT.

ARKS Srinivas answers,
You can practice from Arun Sharma and Meenakkshi Updadhyay books of Tata McGraw series
shakir asked, hi sir, i have been giving test series of CAT from TE and have been getting very high scores in VA LR but low in QA and DA, im bit of a slow starter and used to pick up VA first but with advent of new format, im finding it difficult to customize my style of test giving.I am working and have 1 yr exp and didnt give CAT last yr so thats made my sloggy pls advice ways to do well in (section I ) of QA DA

ARKS Srinivas answers,
You need tons and tons of practice. Go chapter by chpter, day by day, and have a target date to finish the chapters once. Then do it all over again. Then take some sectional tests.
srinivas asked, can students pursue a PhD from US schools after IIMs or do they face the problem of having a diploma and not a valid post graduation degree ?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
You may do that. The IIMs are set up through an act of the Parliament,a nd hence they are recognised worldwide
rajen asked, sir i want to be appear in CAT 2015, because currently i am studying in B-TECh Ist year, please tell me study schedule to CRACK CAT-2015?

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Take some rest yaar. You would have worked ver hard for your engg admission :o)Start next year same time
Kaustabh asked, Sir, do you have any idea about the difference in the CAT papers during the initial days and during the last few days, is there a difference in difficulty as some people say that papers initially are much easier and its better to write CAT early?!

ARKS Srinivas answers,
No such pattern established. Anyways the scores are adjusted for difficulty level, so it makes no difference
srinivas asked, Thanks.. secondly why is there such a mass appearance for CFA exams even after a 2 yr stint at IIMs.

ARKS Srinivas answers,
If you want to make it big in the finance world, where there is lot of moolah, MBA+CFA is a very good combination. You can do your CFA while working
shakir asked, sir,whats bothers me here is that first time i gave CAT my QA percentile was 99im engineering grad and have good mathematic skills,im unable to choose which questions,often no DA questions are solved in the mocks

ARKS Srinivas answers,
You got 99 percentile in Maths. So where is the problem?
raj asked, thanks for your response sir... one more thing, what are other papers apart from cat/xat, that people having work exp, can look forward to??? where accuracy is more imp than speed... n what kind of colleges will be under that???

ARKS Srinivas answers,
In all exams other than CAT, you get about 1 minute or lesser per question. So speed is equally important. You should also try SNAP of Symbiosis and NMAT of Narsee Monji
sumit14040 asked, what are the other components apart from 10th 12th marks??how much is their weightage??

ARKS Srinivas answers,
Work Ex, Extra Curriculars, Graduation Marks, School/College performance
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh



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