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Effective tips to crack CAT 2011

Last updated on: August 12, 2011 16:48 IST

Effective tips to crack CAT 2011

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In an online chat hosted by Get Ahead on August 11, Ashish Sinha, an alumnus of IIM-Kozhikode and CAT Director at T.I.M.E. addressed reader queries related to CAT 2011.

Here's the unedited transcript:

rohitb asked,hi i am studying in final year engineering can i appear for CAT
Ashish Sinha answers, at 2011-08-11 14:55:23Yes


red asked,i am planning to give cat this year, when to start studies?
Ashish Sinha answers,Right now!
don asked,as every xam surges on fast and furious act of solving instead of taking long time , what can we xpect from other xams apart from cat-jmet, snap, xat, fms. are they gonna maintain the same pace in solving or par with cat where the solving should be fast a max of 2 min per question? i guess a 35-40 questions in cat will get a seat in iim, but as the accuracy is very important hw far can we achieve it, lik attempting 50-55 question in 140 mins and then by making 35-40 odd correct answer this that wt usually happens?
Ashish Sinha answers,The ideal approach to any test paper is to solve it in three rounds. In the first round, the candidate should go through all Qs, which are not wordy. Here also, if the student is not able to solve a Q, he/she should leave it for a later re-visit. In the second round, the candidate can look at lengthier Qs. Here also, if the student is not able to solve a Q, he/she should leave it for a later re-visit. In the third round (if time remaining), the student can look at all those Qs, which he/she is familiar with but had left for a later re-visit. This would take care of both speed and accuracy, which will give you an edge in any exam. All the Best!
veera asked,hello anyone here?
Ashish Sinha answers,Go Ahead!
avinash asked,sir as there is a change in pattern this year.......do we need a new approach for studying this year
Ashish Sinha answers,Only the pattern has changed, and not the subject and content of the paper. The preparation would remain the same but the test taking strategy would change according to the new pattern. Students should take as many tests as possible to get accustomed to the new CAT pattern. The strategy to approach the paper has been explained in detail in my previous answer.
red asked,am leavin for vacation for 10 days can i come bak n start studies?
Ashish Sinha answers,It depends on what your current state of preparation is.
crackcat asked,i find QA very difficult. is there a way i can do better. m not able to concentrate in the problems what to do
Ashish Sinha answers,Is your problem lack of understanding of Quant topics or not performing well in the test even after knowing the basic concepts ?
Akshat asked,Hi Ashish: Any idea on when the forms for CAT will be released. They have not been so far.
Ashish Sinha answers,17th August
venkat asked,Is there a online/offline option to take cat exam?
Ashish Sinha answers,CAT is a Computer based test (CBT), and not an Internet based test (IBT) like TOEFL. The test is already stored in your designated computer terminal on the day of your test.
veera asked,i am a 27 year old graduate working in HR. i wanted to know how to start studying for HR. What are the subjects i need to start with. can you guide me
Ashish Sinha answers,
You should look at doing a course in HR.

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Image: Start preparing right away
Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Abansal asked,Hi Ashish, CAT 2011 has verbal and logical reasoning in one section; any guess will these be in same proportion ?
Ashish Sinha answers,There is no information. However, VA is expected to have more Qs.


PRASHANT asked,Are there any Defined number of questions in a particular section for a particular topic..For ex :- In total of 30 question from the first Section... will we have 15 questions from QA and 15 Questions Of DI?
Ashish Sinha answers,No
heronumberone asked,where can i find mock tests for free? should i keep taking mock tests or should i start studying first. how can i manage my studies?
Ashish Sinha answers,Both have to go hand-in-hand. You need to build a good base in concepts. You need to also take tests simultaneously to build on your test taking strategy. You need to give your best and all the time.
catloser asked,i think two minutes per question is too less for quant. each problem takes some time. how can i improve my timing? what areas should i try first?
Ashish Sinha answers,Don't jump into solving Qs. Scan the paper and attempt those Qs which seem easy and doable to you from all areas. Rest will be taken care of.
Viraj1 asked,Is the five Year Integrated PGP Programme of IIM Indore good?
Ashish Sinha answers,It will be good as IIM Indore is overseeing it.
Abansal asked,I want to join Time Test series..Can I do it now and what is the duration of it ?
Ashish Sinha answers,Yes, you can join. It will run till your CAT exam and it will also cover Other Mgmt. Entrance Tests.
catloser asked,since there is negative marking, what happens if i skip a question? or should i take a chance
Ashish Sinha answers,You should not make wild guesses as you will lose marks this way.
PRASHANT asked,Which section is most important in the order to enter IIMs? I know all of them are important equally..but is there any priority list?
Ashish Sinha answers,No, there is no priority list.
red asked,but i want to crack cat , can i start studies say after a month or so....
Ashish Sinha answers,For CAT12, you mean :)
gupta asked,Hi Ashish can You please let me know about all the criteria that IIM's consider in letting an individual take admission??
Ashish Sinha answers,All IIMs have their own weight distribution. The parameters are - CAT score, Academics, work-ex, GD, PI and Essay (taken by some IIMs). Out of these, CAT score has a good weight in comparison to other parameters,
sshah asked,Can third year engineering student appear for CAT,2011
Ashish Sinha answers,No
PRASHANT asked,How do they calculate percentiles as everyone is giving a different paper with different difficulties?
Ashish Sinha answers,They will have some questions similar in all the papers. These questions are known as Benchmarking Qs and are used to equate the score.
joti asked,can cat be taken by graduates of any stream ? I am from medical stream
Ashish Sinha answers,Yes. There are always some Doctors in IIMs.
sshah asked,Maximum how many times one can appear for CAT
Ashish Sinha answers,No limit.
ANNABHAI asked,SIR. CAN WE GIVE CAT IN HINDI LANGUAGE
Ashish Sinha answers,No
sshah asked,Kindly rank best 5 best mgt instituions in India after IIM A, B AND C
Ashish Sinha answers,IIM L, K, I, S, Rohtak.
Puyang asked,Hi Ashish...I recently wrote GMAT and got 720...I, now, want to crack CAT 2012 as well...considering my score in GMAT do I stand a good chance in clearing CAT exams?
Ashish Sinha answers,Yes.

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Image: You should not make wild guesses
Photographs: Rediff archives
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Puyang asked,Hi Ashish...I recently wrote GMAT and got 720...I, now, want to crack CAT 2012 as well...considering my score in GMAT do I stand a good chance in clearing CAT exams?
Ashish Sinha answers,Yes.


munshi asked,hello sir, i plan to appear for CAT, but i am also working. can you help me with a schedule? i have just started with the how many hours should i dedicate
Ashish Sinha answers,4-5 hrs either before or after your office timings.
joti asked,how long is it requireed to prepare for gmat ? and how much time is adequate for preparing for cat..if you have to start from scratch and you are from a different field (i.e. medical )
Ashish Sinha answers,3-6 months for GMAT & 6-12 months for CAT, if aiming for the top percentile.
pps asked,I am a final year engg student. I have lot of pressure of studies,like assignments, project, test etc.. how to adjust my time with CAT preparation. pl. help.
Ashish Sinha answers,Unfortunately, we all had to balance CAT prep. with either a job or college studies. Just give as many hrs. possible to CAT prep. after finishing your college work.
Puyang asked,Ashish, is it a fact that even some of the IIMs passouts also struggle a lot in their career...I have one acquaintance, who is IIM L pass out (2006) and currently working on a package of INR 6 per annum... Viraj3 says, Will the Aptitude Test of IPGP be similar to CAT?How should I prepare for it?
Ashish Sinha answers,Unheard of case. The model papers of IPGP is available on IIM Indore's website. Contact your nearest T.I.M.E. center for more details as we have started a course to train students for IPGP.
Viraj3 asked,Does time has a course for IPGP?
Ashish Sinha answers,yes
GhostRRider asked,Dear Sir, Kindly give your take on for those who keep riding the CAT for 5 to 6 years continuously but no result in the end. The GHOST keeps Haunting but Get ADDICTED to give again and again. HOW TO throw the GHOST (CAT)..either in overcoming it or for seeking alternative routines for doing MBA. Iam already 29
Ashish Sinha answers,Give it your best shot this year. Accept the CAT percentile this year and join a B-school eventually.
Puyang asked,Ashish, is it a fact that even some of the IIMs passouts also struggle a lot in their career...I have one acquaintance, who is IIM L pass out (2006) and currently working on a package of INR 6 per annum...
Ashish Sinha answers,Unheard of case.
BellCat asked,What reasons do you attach to the fact that IIM has lost its sheen and growing feeling that pursuing Management Course is purely a drain of one's effort and money in additon to time.
Ashish Sinha answers,Why do you have this perception? Placement season 2011 has been rocking this year.
pps asked,what is expected score for +99 percentile. any guess from previous results.
Ashish Sinha answers,You will get a scaled score of 0-225 for each section, and a total of 0-450 score for the entire test. These are scaled scores and not the raw (real scores), arrived at after equating. Hence, one can never know the actual score corresponding to percentile.
Kimix asked, IIMs are better or ISB?
Ashish Sinha answers,IIM
gupta1 asked,...but my academics are on the poor side, rather very poor infact....do i stand i chance in getting into any of the IIm's?? i do have a 2 year experience with an E-commerce company... class X % -45% class XII %- 61% engg- 55% and a 2-year experience..how do i stand...please let me know Ashish...that would be very helpful.
Ashish Sinha answers,Try going for a very high percentile of 99.5 +. There are many students in IIMs with poor academic background. You will be no exception. They make up for it by scoring a high CAT percentile and convincing the interview panel that they will be a value add to IIM fraternity.
raejnder asked,What's your perception about working managers program of FMS or IIM-L. How do you rate these? Are these comparable to regular PGP programs of reputed institutes.
Ashish Sinha answers,no
Kimix asked,And Mr. Sinha any comment on IIPM (think beyond IIM) :)
Ashish Sinha answers,NO COMMENTS!
dbgd asked,sir my 10th and +2 %ge are 60,70 will iget admission in iim even if i score 99
Ashish Sinha answers,yes, you will get IIM calls for GD&PI
Kimix asked,But i guess IIMs lack good research work like the top notch B schools of USA and Europe
Ashish Sinha answers,As per London based newspaper FINANCIAL TIMES, which comes up with the most authentic B-school Rankings, IIM A is 11th and ISB is 13th in the world. In terms of placement, IIM A is 2nd in the world after Stanford.
dbgd asked,iam 33 years now is it a bar joining iim in view of panalists
Ashish Sinha answers,no it is not a bar. In my batch at IIM, we had an IAS after MBBS. In my senior batch, we had a DIG, IPS.

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Image: are many students in IIMs with poor academic background

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Rakesh Sinha asked, Why B Schools do not given emphasis on churning our Entrepreneurs rather bragging of producing high qualified employees for Corporate world ?
Ashish Sinha answers, The trend is changing slowly. The Entrepreneurial Cell of premier B-schools is highly active these years.
raejnder asked, Whats better for working professional from growth perspective? working manager program or regular pgp program
Ashish Sinha answers, Depends on the quality of your work-ex.
Viraj3 asked, Your Noida TIME centre says there is no program for IPGP.
Ashish Sinha answers, Contact the Delhi center.
Rocky asked, Do IIMs accept GMAT score for Executive MBA programs?
Ashish Sinha answers, yes. EMBA is a very good program in IIMs. Even during economic slowdown, the average domestic placement was INR 29 lakh for EMBA at IIM A.
mayank asked, I am into final year of Mechanical Engineering.Do you suggest I should work for year or so before giving CAT or I should give it straightaway.
Ashish Sinha answers, straightway, as even after having one yr. of work-ex, you will be con
mayank asked, I am into final year of Mechanical Engineering.Do you suggest I should work for year or so before giving CAT or I should give it straightaway.
Ashish Sinha answers, Straightaway as even one-two year of work-ex, you will be considered a fresher in selection process.
pps asked, IS INTEGRATED PROGRAMME AT IIM INDORE AT PAR WITH REGULAR COURSE?
Ashish Sinha answers, no. it is a program for students after 10+2.
Abansal asked, I am 6+ year of experience...which is better for me ; IIM or ISB ???
Ashish Sinha answers, You should try for both.
PRASHANT asked, I should Try CAT this year as a fresher or is it better to go for it after some EXPERIENCE?
Ashish Sinha answers, As a fresher
ZinadineZidane asked, I think Career Launcher's success rate is much higher...is it correct?
Ashish Sinha answers, We are the only test prep which has its results audited by E&Y. And even in the audited results, we had the highest number of IIM joiners in the last 4 years in a row.
abc asked, Is IT professional work-ex for 5 years is eligible for executive program of IIM in finance?
Ashish Sinha answers, You can try but they look at more senior profiles.
Goodluck asked, Sir, I have been in to my family business (Saree & garments shop) after my under graduation. I am good at academics and am sure that I can crack GMAT or CAT with good scores. I want to pursue EMBA, will the panel consider my work experience of 5 yrs in a saree shop?
Ashish Sinha answers, EMBA looks at more senior profiles. You should aim for the regular PGP program of IIMs.
rajesh asked, Which course in IIM is better?
Ashish Sinha answers, For those with less that 8-9 years of experience - PGP/PGPM/PGDM/PGDBM. For those with more than 8-9 years of experience - Executive MBA
radhika asked, what is emba and wats pgp?
Ashish Sinha answers, EMBA is Executive MBA for people with managerial experience. PGP - Regular MBA in IIMs
tiptoes asked, How an economically poor but bright student can aspire to get admission in IIM ?
Ashish Sinha answers, You will get all help in education loan.
rajesh asked, IIM requires what type of qualification and preparation for the course?
Ashish Sinha answers, 50% in graduation and 45% for reserved categories (SC/ST/DA)
abc asked, i mean that for doing executive program in finance , it is required to have work-ex in finance only??
Ashish Sinha answers, E-MBA is the course and not E-MBA in finance. For a finance course only, you should look at a specialized finance course.
Churchill asked, My father, mother, elder brother, 3 cousins are IIM graduates. Mentioning this fact in interview - will it help in any way?
Ashish Sinha answers, yes, it adds value.
mayank asked, Is the 10th & 12th percentage counted in any other institute except IIM?
Ashish Sinha answers, yes
tiptoes asked, Education Loan is ok but if economic scenario worsens and job dries down, how can person repay the loan. Besides, loans are not charity business as something we have to keep as security. If I am not in a position to part anything then how I can pursue my course.
Ashish Sinha answers, no security/collateral is required for top B-schools. You get security free loans at low interest rates.
pps asked, WILL A PASS OUT OF INTEGRATED PROGRAMME AT IIM INDORE BE TRATED EQUIVALENT TO A PGP CANDIDATE.
Ashish Sinha answers, Difficult to say
Peshawar asked, Hello, I am from Pakistan and want to do my MBA from one of the IIMs. Would my nationality be of any barrier to my admission process. I have not heard yet any Pakistani having an IIM diploma. That's why I am curious...
Ashish Sinha answers, No there will be no bias
Ashish Sinha says, Winding the chat. All the Best! and Take Care.

Image: Even during economic slowdown, the average domestic placement was INR 29 lakh

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