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CAT 2008: Time management tips
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August 11, 2008

With just about three months to go for the CAT 2008, how are you holding up under the pressure?

Are there any specific strategies you should be looking at to improve your sectional scores and accuracy?

What percentile should you be targeting to ensure a call from the IIMs?

To answer these and many other CAT-related questions, R Shiva Kumar, director -- R&D, Career Launcher, hosted a chat with GA readers on August 8. For those of you who missed the chat, here's the \unedited transcript:

raj asked, quant important topics which are most important for cat point of view plz tell me

SHIVA KUMAR answers, The critical Topics at a broad level are Numbers, Algebra and Geometry

raj asked, how can i mprove my logic in di section

SHIVA KUMAR answers, The most difficult part of any preparation is to train your mind into "thinking"...If you have practised enough...look at certain books that have puzzles in them...You could actually conditioned your mind into the pattern of thinking logically...IF YOU HAVE HAD ENOUGH PRACTICE OF THE BASICS !!


SHIVA KUMAR answers, oF COURSE IT IS POSSIBLE...But to crack it with 3 months of preparation your fundamentals in Math and English need to be good...In which case Practice for the next 3 months is adequate...If you have started learning the basics now...It could be a tough ask ( especially in English )

sunil asked, In CAT people says your basics should clear but cat is not the basics exams ,how one can clear this exam only knowing the 10 class maths

SHIVA KUMAR answers, Look at any CAT paper...You would find sufficient number of questions that fall in the purview of class 10th...Grammar / RC / DI do not need post class 10th fundas...Yes there are a few concepts in Quant which are beyond the class 10th...So in essence it is possible to do with class 10th fundas...

Rajat Aggarwal asked, i got 95 percentile in CAT 2007, still i did not get any admission in colleges I wanted to. I had one year experience in the banking sector. I am a BBA in Finance from Ip University. I am sure that top MBA colleges are either looking for a fresh engineering graduates or a person with a good number of work experience. What do you think??

SHIVA KUMAR answers, There definitely is a trend of increasing numbers of work ex guys getting into the top B Schools...It is a plus....But that does not mean that the deserving freshers are kept out

sunil asked, The reasoning section is totally analytical no institute can reach upto the expectations of the cat exam , how one should prepare for this unending probabilities exam

SHIVA KUMAR answers, There needs to be sufficient practice for logic too just as in the case of a typical quant question. Ofcourse, as you rightly say there are unending possibilities...It is impossible to cover all of them. But every one of these questions ( if I take CAT as an example ) has a few starting points need to learn to identify this. Please spend a lot of time analysing the logic questions.

lalit asked, is it possible to start now for cat 2008 and get a fair %?

SHIVA KUMAR answers, It is possible to get a good %ile... I have known a lot of guys who have cracked CAT starting as late as july / August....Your knowledge of the basics and reading habits would decide how good a %ile you can get

zishan asked, strategy for CAT 2008..???

SHIVA KUMAR answers, When you say strategy...Are you asking ...How many questions are likely to come ?...At a broad level...Expected to be not too far away from 75...Spend the last 3 months fixing the topics that you still are not comfortable with...Focus on reading every day... Take sufficient tests...Any other info ?

Bharat asked, When are CAT exams for 2008

SHIVA KUMAR answers, :)...The last dates for buying the applications is today !!...Exam on 16th Nov

mudit asked, plz some1 answer my question.... I HAVE NOT STARTED THE CAT PRE. CAN IT BE POSSIBLE IN 3 MONTHS TO CRACK THE TEST??

SHIVA KUMAR answers, I have known quite a few people who have cracked with 3 months practice...Key thing is at the present moment how good is your fundamentals in Math, and how good are u at Reading

umesh asked, hello..i want to ask i hav prepared for cat but i have got a placement to in keane india.should i take a job or go for cat

SHIVA KUMAR answers, If the option is between IIMs or a couple of other top colleges...It may be preferred over a job...If you are aspiring to get into a very good B school and you do not see these possibilities pick up Keane

nish asked, Hello... How many hours should one read per day if they are starting there CAT-08 preparation now?

SHIVA KUMAR answers, depends on when you started...For someone who started a few months back ...3 to 4 hrs sufficient.

sandy asked, will the no. of questions be 75 or more?/

SHIVA KUMAR answers, I am not sure if it will be 75...I can stick my neck out and say it would not be too far away from it...Looking at the trends...

mudit asked, Hello... How many hours should one read per day if they are starting there CAT-08 preparation now?

SHIVA KUMAR answers, If you are the average type...maybe 4 hours of practice at the study table...Reading need not be practiced at the table...

sanjay asked, hi,good after noon sir sir , i want to know about the books which covers all the topics of CAT(quant,logical,di)

SHIVA KUMAR answers, If you have enrolled with any of the coaching institutes make sure that you complete that material before shopping for any books...Look at the CAT papers...There is no magic stuff that in it that would not be included in the material that you have... If you are not enrolled ...enrol for some test series to get adequate practice...I am hoping you are not starting from zero..

The most comprehensive would be "material" created for coaching ...any institute...If you do not have it buy some standard books available in the market for CAT preparation...There are three standard Publications...Tata McGraw Hills, Pearson, Arihant...Pick any of them

vinay asked, hi would like tips on how to manage time for each section in CAT?

SHIVA KUMAR answers, Take the average as 50 min per section...Now tweak your planning around this...for instance if you are very good at Quant, maybe 45 min...If you are relatively weak at a section you could give 55 min...all this if you are clearing or are close to cutoffs in your practice tests...Else spend time on maximising your scores...if that is my strategy i would give 55 min to quant and 45 min to the wek section...Experiment with your practice tests b4 deciding on a strategy

shyam asked, hi, i have work-ex of 2years in one firm and 6 years in another firm. i m an IITian. Should i go for PG through CAT or EDP.Will it be disadvantageous to mention in CAT form 8 years of work ex.

SHIVA KUMAR answers, Shyam...You must ideally look for a foreign university / ISB / only the IIMs...It is a fact that in India 8 years of work ex could be a disadvantage unless you have been working the same space that you want to specialise in...Else EDP is an option...but it is unlikely to increase your value in the job market

suman asked, Hi I am suman from kolkata can you give me idea to crack English(Verbal+ reading comprehension)

SHIVA KUMAR answers, Grammar....It is rule based, make sure you have seen enough to remember the rules... Rest ...All the others have reading element attached to them...Hence, unless you make your reading process more efficient and approach it logically ( and not as a mechanical process ) it would be tough to improve this section. Take the previous CAT papers and analyse closely the RC / Crital Reasoning...and see how questions are framed / can they be approached thru options ...This could be very revealing and would help you be more efficient in attempting the paper...

sunil asked, In cat academics plays a vital role or it's just for meeting the eligibility criteria.

SHIVA KUMAR answers, The past couple of seems to be getting a little more importance...For instance, all the instiitutes are giving more weightage to acads...But at the end of the day if you do get a call how good you are beyond academics has a very large role to play in your final admission

sunny asked, Bhaiya ISB mein kaisejaa sakte hain?

SHIVA KUMAR answers, ISB is thru GMAT ...Plus Interview plus all the process of writing SOPs just like any other foreign univ...You are expected to have GMAT scores in excess of 690...( In fact the average GMAT score in ISB is close to 720 )

SHIVA KUMAR says, OK Guys...That's it for today...It was nice chatting with you all...Happy CATTING ...

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