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CAT 2013 Tips: 'Please focus on algebra and geometry more'

Last updated on: October 17, 2013 12:28 IST

CAT 2013 Tips: 'Please focus on Algebra and Geometry more'



In an online chat with readers on October 17, IIM-K alumnus and CAT expert Nishant Priyadarshi answered questions on CAT 2013, MBA programmes and b-school admissions.

Approximately 4,000 students appeared for the nation's most competitive management entrance exam, the Common Admission Test, that commenced October 16, 2013.

The exam will be held over a 20-day window and will be taken by 1.94 lakh students from across the country. The last day of the exam is November 11, 2013.

Click here to read all about CAT 2013's paper pattern and difficulty level this year!

To help readers better understand the paper pattern and learn new strategies to crack the exam, had organised a chat with IIM-K alumnus and CAT expert Nishant Priyadarshi, co-director of VistaMind Education, a CAT coaching institute based in Bangalore.

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

Nishant Priyadarshi: General tips for CAT Takers – 1) Revise basic calculation oriented data tables and bar charts 2) Practise addition, subtraction, percentage and fractions 3) Please focus on Algebra and Geometry more than other areas

rahim: I have one more week for the exam so is attempting sectional mocks a good practice rather than going for the full one??

Nishant Priyadarshi: Write 70 minutes sectionals....

Jitesh: Is CAT the only way to make it to IIMs? what about those who are better with their skills? why do ppl with work ex have to sit through this 140 minute exam?

Nishant Priyadarshi: you will have to ask that question to IIMs. But institutes across the world test your aptitude first....

risa-verghese: Sir, which is the best way to tackle QA?

Nishant Priyadarshi: Focus more on algebra and geometry

Waman: I have always wondered how are CAT scores normalized? Also, what strategy will help to score in QA and LR?

Nishant Priyadarshi: Don't worry about things that are beyond your control. Practise basic calculations and puzzle varieties

Sudaram: Sir I am unable to break 90 percentile barrier in mocks...what should be my strategy?

Nishant Priyadarshi: Try completing the sections in 40-45 minutes, solving questions that you know and marking the ones that you are not very sure of. Then from the 'review marked' button, attempt the marked questions

risa-verghese: Thank you sir. For VA how do we go about with the vocabulary part?

Nishant Priyadarshi: Just revise once all the words that you have learnt so far. Y'day there was no vocab/no grammar though...

Waman: Sir did you take the CAT this year? what to expect from the exam?

Nishant Priyadarshi: Yes, I took the exam. It has become very predictable and boring :o)

Waman: Does it also mean that it has become easy to crack?

Nishant Priyadarshi: No. It has become predictable for everyone. So every one has the same advantage. Remember it not the score but percentile that matters.

Have questions on CAT? Post them here!

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Image: For representational purposes
Photographs: Illustration by Dominic Xavier/


'CAT is not a pass or fail exam'

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Appa: How to prepare for English reading passages? My speed is very bad.

Nishant Priyadarshi: Very difficult now to do much in the last 15-20 days. Will advice you to read the questions first and then try searching for the answer in the passage. You can solve direct questions this way. Also try to maximise score from VA and LA questions. It's part of the same section.

Guddy: Sir in CAT mocks my marks are fluctuating between 75 percentile to 95 percentile. How can I work on consistency?

Nishant Priyadarshi: Are you still trying different strategies in the mocks? The next 3-4 mocks should be taken exactly the same way, same strategy. Still a variation of 5-10 per cent will be there, but 20 per cent is a bit too much. You gotta narrow it down

Guddy: In case I don't make it to CAT, what are the other options I can try now?

Nishant Priyadarshi: There are lot of options. But CAT is not a pass or fail exam. You will have colleges at every score. The next big exam is XAT on 1st Sun Jan. Then you will have Feb CMAT.

Shirish: Sir I still refer to CAT solutions while solving Quant. How to improve confidence. I am scared of negative marking

Nishant Priyadarshi: Jo dar gaya samjho mar gaya. On CAT day, there will be no solutions. So just try solving questions from area where you are relatively comfortable. Also, try cracking DI that is 9 questions, in the same section

Jeswal: What about data sufficiency? What was this year's paper pattern like? How to prepare?

Nishant Priyadarshi: No questions on DS yet. But you should remain prepared. See, DS questions are based on QA and LA. So just prepare these areas and be clear with the steps of solving DS questions.

Jeswal: Is there a break between the two sections?

Nishant Priyadarshi: No. But you have to click to start the second section. And the timer starts only when the first question is on your screen. Hence you can take a small break.

Have questions on CAT? Post them here!

Image: For representational purposes only
Photographs: Illustration by Uttam Ghosh/
Tags: CAT , CMAT , XAT , VA , QA

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