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CAT 2013: What books can I refer for Quant and Verbal?

August 13, 2013 08:00 IST

On August 12, Naveenan Ramachandran, head, 2IIM, Mumbai addressed queries on how to prepare for the Common Admission Test 2013. Illustration by Dominic Xavier

The Common Admission Test, also known as the CAT is a crucial test for management aspirants across the country.

The last date to register for the test this year is September 24, 2013.

The exam will be held between October 16 and November 11, 2013.

In an online chat with readers on ZaraBol, Naveenan Ramachandran, head, 2IIM, Mumbai shared tips on how to prepare for the upcoming exam.

For those who missed the live chat on Monday, August 12, we bring you the unedited transcript:

vijay: pls refer me some good books for gmat

Naveenan Ramachandran: Hi Vijay ... Are you looking for practice ... Or are you looking for fundae?... Quite a few books available for practice online ...


Naveenan Ramachandran: Hi ... A broad question indeed! What is your current preparation level and what are the areas that you find the most troublesome?

vaishali: hello naveenan, can you tell me which bschools take CAT scores and which dont? Thanks

Naveenan Ramachandran: Hi ... Though the exams are administered by the IIMs, a lot of colleges use CAT as an admission test ... Check out the link at ... Let me answer the question from a different perspective: if you write the CAT, CMAT, XAT, IIFT, SNAP and NMAT - then you would have completely covered ALL the very good quality institutions - Nothing would be left out ... Hope this answers your q.

Dilip Jain: I want to appear for CAT 2013. But I have dont have very good knowledge of Quantitative skill and aptitude exams.How we can overcome the problem?

Naveenan Ramachandran: Hi ... Remember - as you rightly said - this is only an aptitude test. This is neither a maths test or an english test ... It is a matter of practice and comfort level with the underlying fundaes of formulas - not just rote memorizing of the formulas

anil: good evening mr naveenan, how can i prepare for cat along with my work?

Naveenan Ramachandran: Hi Anil ... As more and more working professionals give CAT, you are not alone! Ensure that you spend the first two hours of the day for practicing CAT questions. Do not wait until the end of the day ... Give your first hand energy to CAT preparation over the next few months ... Everything else gets only second hand attention!

guddy: sir i am not great at maths, please suggest important chapters that will help me score more

Naveenan Ramachandran: Hi ... Number Theory (very, very important), linear and quadratic equations (these are the building blocks for all other chapters), ratios (again basis for speed, mixtures, percentages) and geometry. Let me answer from another angle - if you find it too tough: you could skip trigonometry!

Uttam Ghosh: Should I study from home or join classes?

Naveenan Ramachandran: Hi Uttam ... Considering that there are only 2 more months to go, I doubt if you would get a CAT 2013 class which will handle all the concepts. You are better off seeking help on specific topics and giving a lot of mock CATs.

varun chandak: Kindly let me know how to prepare for the verbal section?

Naveenan Ramachandran: Hi Varun ... The first section to tame should be Reading Comprehension ... Out of 20 verbal questions, 9 or 10 are going to be from RC ... Hence - it is the make-or-break section. Improve your reading speed and work on increasing the accuracy of 'global' questions like title of the passage, main idea of the passage, purpose of the passage etc.
Once you get a hang of the RCs, move on to Sentence Rearrangement, Text Completion and Sentence Correction. Most of the SR questions are sourced from newspaper articles. In fact, verbal is the only section that you could completely master - even if you start right now - with just 2 months to go. All the best!

Please click NEXT to continue reading...

CAT 2013: Is work experience helpful to get into IIMs?

anil: how to get into IIMs?

Naveenan Ramachandran: CAT score has *now become an eligibility criteria. It is just a 'necessary' factor and not a 'sufficiency' factor. IIMs are looking for a lot of other parts of the profile apart from the CAT scores. Getting a 99%-ile would ensure that you satisfy the 'necessity' / 'eligibility' criteria.

pawan das: i had 6 year of work experience what isthe best for me either i should go for cat or for gmat?

Naveenan Ramachandran:
Hi Pawan - With 6 years of experience, you might be the senior most candidate in most two year programmes that you can get into through the CAT route. I would suggest the GMAT - which would give you access to the 1 year programmes offered by many colleges in India and abroad. Having said that - it is a personal choice - between the elaborate 2 year programme and the compressed 1 year programme.

varun chandak: thanx for your reply sir, the major problem is in vocabulary. RC m practising regularly.. Maths i can make it out, no problem as such.

Naveenan Ramachandran: No worries Varun - CAT has never been a 'vocabulary' test unlike GRE. If I vaguely remember one of the questions, one had to choose between 'put out a towel' or 'put off a towel' or 'put up a towel' or 'put on a towel' ... It is never about tough or complicated words. The questions are built around the most commonly used words.

harman: I am doing gud in quant,but worst in Verbal i last aimcat got 10 wrong out of 17 attempted..suggest some gud measures...only LR part is gud in verbal rest all is getting screwed..

Naveenan Ramachandran:
Go easy on the number of questions attempted! You know your strengths now ... Ensure that you get a 10 on 10 in LR ... Be very cautious about verbal and attend only the ones that you are most confident of. Reduce the number of questions from 17 to (say) 14 ... The accuracy will definitely go up as you are focusing your attention on lesser questions

ganesh-nadar: How much do CAT preparatory classes cost and how early do you have to join?

Naveenan Ramachandran: Hi Ganesh ... CAT preparatory classes cost anywhere between 18K to 35K (broad range indeed). The CAT course is best taken over a 1 year period. One should start in Nov 2013 if one is serious about the CAT in 2014.

akash das: Hi Naveen , For Cat is it sufficient that we practice mock tests or go for extensive study

Naveenan Ramachandran: Hi Akash ... Mocks help you understand where you are ... It serves the purpose of giving you a snapshot of what your current level is ... It does not 'improve fundaes' ... A judicious mix of mocks and preparation is what one needs to crack the test. Preparation without mocks will mean that one has no clue as to how to manage time on the CAT day.

Mocks without preparation will mean that you do know what your strong and weak areas are - but, you would not have the ability to fix the weak areas!

varun chandak: I have 2 yrs work experience, how much is this helpful? 

Naveenan Ramachandran:
Hi Varun ... 2 years is the numbers of years of experience of the majority students in India colleges. Also, look at it this way - IIM-B's score for experience peaks at around a little more than 3 years. Also, you will have access to the lateral placement process since you have 2 years of experience. Overall, 2 years experience puts you in a very advantageous position as far as admissions go

akash das: Thanks for the valuable advice can u plz guide what are some good books which I should follow for Quant and Verbal.

Naveenan Ramachandran: Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT (by Rajesh) provides a good collection of tough questions. Arun Sharma's book is also an old favorite among serious test takers. By the way, take my inputs with a pinch of salt! I was personally involved in the first book mentioned here ;-) Try to get your hands on questions from the last few years ka CAT ... CAT 2010, 2011 and 2012 gives good reference points.

Dilip Jain: Hi Naveen can you guide which classes are good one in Mumbai? 

Naveenan Ramachandran:
I am a bad person to address this question as I run 2IIM at Dadar, Ghatkopar and Vashi ;-)On a serious note, whichever institute you go to - ensure that you attend a demo class. At the end of the day, what is more important is whether you are able to tune-in to the teaching methodology at that center / at that particular batch. Everything else (books, mocks, workshops, GD, PI) is secondary.