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'Never do more than one mock test a day'

Last updated on: October 4, 2011 14:39 IST


In an online chat with readers on September 29, Aziz Manva, an IIM-Lucknow alumnus and head of Testfunda.com addressed queries related to cracking the CAT 2011 in one month. For those who missed it, here's the transcript:


red asked,
I wanna crack cat this year when to start studies?

Aziz Manva answers, at 2011-09-28 15:50:38
Since you have very limited time, start as soon as possible. Try and cover the important theory concepts and try to attempt 6-8 full length tests in this period
mindovermatters asked, hello aziz sir, i want to know if i can still apply for CAT... has the deadline been extended? will my money be refunded if for some reason i am unable to take the exam? please tell me

Aziz Manva answers,
The deadline for sale of CAT vouchers has been extended upto 1st October and the deadline for CAT registration has been extended upto 4th October. However, in case you are unable to appear for the exam, you will not get any refund
crackcat asked, Dear Aziz Sir, kindly suggest me some strategies to solve Quant problems. Also how to improve efficiency in solving problems

Aziz Manva answers,
There cannot be one common strategy to crack Quant. Each chapter has its own nuance. First identify the areas within Quant where you are strong and weak, and then accordingly practise each chapter
red asked, am goin out can i start nxt week?

Aziz Manva answers,
Yes you can, but once you start you should not skip even a single day
red asked, di tips

Aziz Manva answers,
First have a look at the number of questions asked in the set. If a set requires too much calculation for very few questions, say 1 or 2, then it does not make sense to attempt it. Also, look at whether calculating one extra parameter will help in answering most of the calculations in the set. Be careful when reading the units given in the graph or table e.g. whether the data is given in terms of actual values or percentages
coolbrady asked, Please tell us the important theory concepts in 1) Quant & DI 2) Verbal and DS

Aziz Manva answers,
For Quant and DI you can focus on Numbers, Equations and Inequalities, Circles, Triangles, Sets, Sequences and Series, Functions, P & C, Time and Distance as well as Time and Work. For the DI part, look at Tables and Caselets and multi figure charts. For Verbal and LR, focus on Reading Comprehensions, Fill in the blanks, jumbled sentences, paragraph summary and completion, word usage. For the LR part, look at Venn Diagrams, Numerical Logic, Arrangements, Logical Conditions and Groupings
mukul asked, HELLO SIR, I WANT TO KNOW WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE TO APPLY FOR IIM-A FOR NEXT YEAR

Aziz Manva answers,
You will need to apply for CAT by buying the CAT voucher and then register online. Once you do so, prepare and appear for CAT, and then based on your percentile, you get a call from the IIMs
dawg asked, Aziz, IIM L is supposed to be rated higher than the ones newly come up ?

Aziz Manva answers,
Going by student feedback, IIM L would definitely be ranked higher than all the other new IIMs. In fact, among all the IIMs, it can be placed fourth, after IIMs A, B and C
kk asked, Sir how can i prepare verbal and LR in 4 weeks

Aziz Manva answers,
For Verbal, practice as much RC as you can. For LR, focus on practicing Venn Diagrams, Numerical Logic, Arrangements, Critical Reasoning as well as Logical Conditions and Groupings
kk asked, sir how many mock-test in a day u will advise?

Aziz Manva answers,
never do more than one mock test a day. you will not be able to concentrate on the second as well as you would have in the first one. Also, i would suggest that you attempt a mock CAT at the same time that you have chosen for the actual CAT. i.e. if you have taken the 10 a.m. slot, try and attempt a mock CAT at 10 a.m. to get accustomed completely
kk asked, How can i increase my speed in solving DI question?

Aziz Manva answers,
This can happen only with more practice and analysis of how a particular question was solved in the official solution. Also, your calculation skills have to be good.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

'Make notes of important formulae as well as properties'



LKG asked, what is your take on the new pattern, what should be our strategy since LR and VA section are combined....

Aziz Manva answers,
Don't have any preconceived strategy for Verbal and LR. Spend the first 6-7 minutes of that section in scanning it completely. Identify the questions that you solve quickly (irrespective of whether they are from Verbal or LR) and mark them. Solve them first so that you start getting marks. Then scan the remaining questions for those areas where you know that you are strong. This way you will get a few more questions to attempt
jagan asked, I am Sure CAT cannot be cracked in just 4 weeks. Extensive preparation is required. There are no Short Cuts. What do you say?

Aziz Manva answers,
What you are sayig is partially true. CAT preparation requires extensive work. However, if you are an avid reader and have very strong mathematics fundamentals, then it is possible to do well in CAT provided you put in dedicated 5-6 hours of work everyday from now. But yes, it is not an easy task
pratul asked, sir, my concern is though I have concept of a chapter,the time to solve a ques. is quite high.In the first 15-20 min. of the 70 min, I manage only 3-4 questions. Consequently, In the alloted 70 min. I can only attempt 15-16 questions.If pressure grips me, accuracy and speed takes a toll. My question is 1)how should I reduce time per question. 2) With which part of QA&DI, I should start. Earlier, as the accracy level in DI is usually higher. I used to devote max. time in DI

Aziz Manva answers,
If you can 3-4 questions in the first 15 minutes it is not such a big concern as the time per question is a little more than 2 minutes. In the next 2-3 mock tests, try and attempt anywhere between 18-20 questions per section and get around 90% right. Also, if you feel that you are strong in DI, then scan the section for the DI questions and start solving the DI questions if they are not extremely difficult or time consuming
Shephali asked, For analysing & understanding complex situations, can we refer some material that u have come across...particulary in QA?

Aziz Manva answers,
What exactly do you mean by complex situation in Quant...if it is about multiple concepts intermingled in a single question, then that can come only if you are fundamentally strong in those concepts as you have to correctly identify which concepts are applicable in each case.
sachin asked, sir is there any limit on no. of attempt for CAT And MH-CET(MMS)

Aziz Manva answers,
No, there is no limit on the number of attempts, either for CAT or for MHCET
auro asked, can you also share tips on how to write an effective CV? before applying to a college?

Aziz Manva answers,
Start with your basic details, then have your work ex in tabular format (last to first), then you acads, then your achievements and finally your hobbies and interests
Mayank asked, sir please suggest me hw can i prepare for cat11

Aziz Manva answers,
Focus on the important theory chapters and try to solve 7-8 full length tests in the given period as you have limited time left.
Shephali asked, You are right, because I have a non-mathematical background. I am not that fundamentally strong...though I practice hard. But sometimes, the questions simply bounce off. So, I was asking if there were some quick fire books that could help me as of now?

Aziz Manva answers,
To be honest, no single book will have those "shortcuts" that will completely prepare for such complex problems. One way to prepare here is to make notes of important formulae as well as properties and then identify "types of questions" where each formula is used e.g. when you solve time and distance questions, identify the kind of questions where the concept of relative speed is used and how it is used. So, the next time you see such a question, you know that you can probably try to use relative speed here. However, this decision has to be taken on a case to case basis
coolbrady asked, What is the correct strategy for doing RC problems, reading the whole passage then the questions OR reading the questions first and then the passage????

Aziz Manva answers,
Neither is incorrect...it depends on the comfort level of a student with a particular strategy. A third way to look at it is to mix the two i.e. skim through the passage first by reading it quickly and getting a feel of what the passage is trying to convey. Then look at the questions so that you know clearly what part of the passage you need to get the relevant information from. Then read that part of the passage again to get the answer. However, this will require substantial practice
shrutika asked, hello sir, my concern is that I am not able to strike a balance between between the two sections. At times i do well in QA/DI and at other times in VA/LR. How should i go about my preparation to improve this?

Aziz Manva answers,
This happens with all students as different papers have differing difficulty levels for these sections. As long as your performance in either section is not fluctuating wildly, you don't need to worry.
shrutika asked, Thanks Mr.Aziz. Sir, having completed the course once, how should I go about my revision? Should I concentrate on giving some full length tests or some chapter wise tests?

Aziz Manva answers,
since you have limited time, focus on the full length tests...then if you find during your analysis that you are weak in a particular section or area then go for those specific sectional or chapter level tests
Aziz Manva says, Thanks for your questions. Unfortunately I will not be able to take any more questions right now. Hope to see you again on this forum! All the Best!

Illustration: Dominic Xavier