CAT 2014

General Knowledge: Hedge your risks now: GK Qs 20 percent of XAT, IIFT, SNAP, CMAT & MAT

Are you focusing only on Quantitative & Verbal ability, Logical Reasoning or Decision Making and not on General Knowledge?

If your answer is yes, then you are probably leaving behind 30 questions in XAT 2014, 40 questions in SNAP, 25 question in CMAT, 28 in IIFT and 40 questions in MAT. Moreover you are also jeopardizing your chances to clear GD PI WAT round of top B schools with your CAT 2013 percentile.

All these major MBA exams like IIFT, SNAP, CMAT and XAT have General Knowledge or General Awareness as part of their entrance exam criteria.  And even though CAT does not have it, you will certainly need it in the 2nd or the final round of your selection process i.e. for Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI).

Aspirants tend to ignore the importance of general Awareness in their attempt to succeed in MBA exams, But General Knowledge is a section which can’t be improved in a fortnight. It needs a continuous and a gradual process from the very starting to increase your chance of scoring high marks in this crucial section of the MBA exams.

Why GK is Important?
General Knowledge never finds a proper place in the study schedule of MBA Aspirants as they tend to ignore its importance. On the contrary, GK is the most unpredictable section of the exam as its syllabus can range from numerous subjects and various field of life. One cannot predict what questions to expect and from where in a GK section of MBA exam.

Importance of General Knowledge has increased a lot in recent years with national MBA exams like CMAT and XAT including GK as part of their entrance exams in the year from February 2012 and XAT 2013 respectively. Other popular exams like SNAP, IIFT and MAT also include GK as a section with crucial number of questions.

In XAT, the marks of General Knowledge will not be used for determining the percentile and cut off at first stage of selection. However, it is used by XLRI and some other Associate Member Institutes at the time of final selection process.

GK can make or break your chances of securing high percentile or getting admission to your desired B schools. This is much more important in exams where there is a negative marking as one needs to know the exact right answer and can’t beat around bush or assume as in case of LR or verbal sections.

CAT is an exam which has not yet included General Knowledge as a part of its entrance exam, but CAT toppers have hailed the importance of General Knowledge and General Awareness in their attempt to secure admission in Top B schools including IIMs, FMS, SPJIMR,MDI, etc.

Rohit Anand Garg , who scored 99.16 percentile in CAT 2012 and secured admission to an IIM, says, “I knew that the WAT/PI stage requires even more efforts than the CAT examination itself. My extensive current affairs knowledge helped me a lot in this. In the WAT/PI process, my topic revolved around government reforms in India. I was well-versed with the current topics which helped me substantiate my article with facts.”

Another CAT Topper from IIM Raipur, Mr Siddhartha Tiwari who scored 98.94 percentile, says, “Scoring well in CAT doesn’t necessitate the final selection. The real competition starts in the second phase i.e. WAT/PI stage. I was interviewed on questions ranging from my hometown to fashion industry. The panel also asked about my viewpoints on some contemporary issues like scams and FDI. Apart from academic knowledge, their main focus was on current affairs. With selection criteria changing every year, the weightage given to CAT score for the final selection has lessened and more importance is being given to WAT/PI stage by IIM’s.”

Table below shows the total number of questions that appear in the General Awareness section of the MAB exam in comparison to its total questions.

MBA Exam

No. of G.K Questions

Nature Of Questions

Total No. Of Questions

SNAP

40

General Awareness General Knowledge, Current Affairs, Business Scenario

180

XAT 2014

30

General Awareness

121 (As per last year)

CMAT

25

General Awareness

100

IIFT 2014

28

General Awareness

128

MAT

40

Indian & Global Environment

200

How to nail GK section?
General Knowledge cannot be built in a week’s time. One need to keep himself updated on the current affairs by reading newspapers, magazines and try to make a note of important events while reading news or articles.

Everyone has their area of interest, like sports or history or politics. Experts suggest starting your preparation with your area of interest as it will not only take less time but will also take less effort in the starting.

Dushyant Agarwal from MDI Gurgaon who scored 99.95 percentile in CAT, says reveals his strategy for GK and says, “While preparing for my CAT exam, I made sure I was regularly reading Economic Times and other news articles. This did not only improve my vocabulary, but also helped me increase my awareness about the environment.”

In the next series of articles, MBAUniverse.com will bring before you various GK questions with their answers to help you prepare for General Awareness section of various MBA entrance exams.

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more news and updates on MBA Exams.

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Logical Reasoning: 7 days to CAT 2013: Verbal Series (Pt 1)

We bring forth the first expert article in this series on preparation, strategy and tips to perform well in Verbal Ability & logical Reasoning section. While the problems in this section can be formed on any topic, this article by Prof S K Agarwal, author and expert in Verbal Area, help you to learn the tips and tricks to solve the questions based on six relatively more important topics in LR namely, Seating arrangements, Team formation, Blood relations, Binary logic, Ranking & Arrangement.

Ten questions of Logical Reasoning that appear in CAT are clubbed with Verbal Ability section. Logical Reasoning alone may award you a credit of 30 marks and may improve your percentile significantly. A good LR score also helps you get away with an average performance in Verbal ability, since the two sections are clubbed together.

If you can hit 7 LR and 14 VA correct you may expect a very good percentile in this section. Ample time is also available to solve these LR problems as you have 70 minutes for 30 questions in this section. The need is to improve your attempts with accuracy.

High percentile with less preparation
Logical Reasoning requires less preparation and the questions in this section are based on the understanding of simple logic prevailing in common life. They can be understood and solved fairly easily, if proper attention is paid to the information given in the problem. With a little logical understanding and following certain tips, one can score high in this section.

Practical tips on how to solve LR questions

Aspirants should remember make use of the following before going to solve the LR problems

The vocabulary used in logical reasoning questions is different from the one used in Verbal Ability hence it is essential to go through the terminology used in LR problems and follow logical rules to solve them. Words like “all” “some”, “none”, “other than”, “only” or “unless” etc. have to be given due care and special attention, since questions will be based on such information.

All the sentences in the question should be carefully read and understood, the clues in the sentences will enable you to find out the relationship between different variables.

There may be multiple conditions and it is expected from the aspirant to logically understand the same.  It is very much advisable to get accustomed to use the scratch sheet, so whenever you are doing the LR problems, keep paper and pencil ready with you.
Do not jump to the answer options unless and until you have carefully read the problem and have understood it. Now go for elimination method. When you go through the options please ensure to understand and eliminate the incorrect option. If you are able to pin point the incorrect ones you are the winner. To achieve this, please go through all the given options carefully, don’t skip any of them.

The problem has to be solved on the basis of given information and not on the assumptions. Please therefore, do not assume any formation which is not available in the problems. Only the given facts are supposed to be used.

You must keep in mind that the information you are provided with, will lead to a valid conclusion since it definitely follows but the conclusion which does not definitely follow from the given information will be invalid one.  This you have to remember, while solving the questions.

1. Seating Arrangement sets
Questions in Logical Reasoning based on Seating Arrangement sets should be solved by preparing a sketch in mind or preferably, on the paper so that you are able to answer more than one questions comfortably.

Final tips
Although topics on Logical Reasoning cannot be restricted to above nor there is any limitation to what should and what shouldn’t appear in LR section of CAT, captioned topics, if prepared well, will lead an aspirant to a well-placed position. This section can get you a good percentile, if the problems in this part are practiced well by using natural human instincts logically.
Next article in the series will on improving the pace of practice in error corrections.

To read more please visit below URL

http://www.mbauniverse.com/article/id/7139/

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10 CAT Toppers on how to effectively use Mock Tests

Experts and CAT Toppers opine that taking Mock Tests systematically and analyzing it thoroughly is best way to use last 15 days to CAT. MBAUniverse.com interviewed CAT Toppers and 99+ Percentilers from IIM Ahmedabad, FMS Delhi, MDI Gurgaon, IRMA, NITIE Mumbai and other top B schools, and asked them how they leverage Mock Tests. This article brings you the tips and strategies from these Toppers.

Why Mock is important?

Before we dive into details, let’s quickly understand why mock tests are crucial to success in CAT 2013. According to the experts, Mock Tests offer the right practice, identifies your mistakes and its analysis helps to overcome your mistakes.

IIM Calcutta alumnus & Quant Expert ARKS Srinivas says, “In such an exam as CAT, you are never fully prepared. Every time you look at a Mock CAT paper or discuss with a friend, you realize that there are enough areas where you are not good at.”

Parag Poddar of IIM Indore gives his credit to Mock test for scoring 99.65 percentile in CAT. He says, “Online mock tests not only made me adept to the habit of reading from computer but also helped me to indentify my weak areas. He further added, “Regular mock tests and analysis is the best way to identify one’s weakness and improve on them.”

How many tests to take?

As per the toppers, importance of mock tests in CAT preparation cannot be denied. But, then the question is, how many Mocks are enough? When to give mocks and what should be its frequency?

Experts believe that 2-3 full length mocks apart from some sectional mocks in the areas of your weakness per week is good for preparations. However, it depends upon student to student and also on the level of their preparation.

When asked on the ideal number of mock test to attempt in the last few days to CAT, Ark Srinivas, CAT expert says, “Plan to take one Mock CAT every 3/4 days from today. For the first three or four mocks, plan the methodology you will use to write the Test. Review your performance as well as the strategy used.”

When to take mocks?

Also, while working executives prefer to give Mocks on weekends, others prefer sectional and chapter based mocks.

Arks Srinivas says, “Your mock test timing should coincide with the time of your CAT exam If you are giving your exam in the first slot, try to give Mock test in the Morning and vice versa. His will make you habitual with the time format and will also help you during exams as you would be adaptable to giving exam in the respective time slot.”

IIM Ahmedabad topper, Arshpreet Singh with 99.97 percentile started his preparation early and devoted maximum time to mock tests. He says, “The ideal duration for study should be around 2 hours a day if you start early with around 3-4 hours on weekends for the online mock tests and their analysis.”

How to Analyze your Mocks?

Pointing out the importance of analyzing your Mock test, Verbal Expert S.K.Agarwal says, “One must start taking Mocks a month before CAT and get them analyzed by experts who can guide them further. Level of difficulty in mocks must gradually increase to score higher percentile.”

According to the experts, it is important to do some smart work along with the hard work. If you worked hard for CAT, now is the time to work smartly. The best formula to work smartly is Practice the mock test-Get it analyzed and Practice it again.

Toppers from MDI, FMS Delhi and IIM Raipur believe that Mock Tests provide the hands on experience for the examination day. Candidate gets an idea to work upon different type of questions. You can realize your mistakes through mocks and as a result, will be able to secure the high percentile. It helps to identify weak and strong areas.

According to the experts, all candidates must take mock tests according to their preparation.  By doing this, one can achieve high percentile in CAT 2013 without obstacles.

With less than 15 days to go for the start of CAT 2013, it’s time to prepare with more zeal and enthusiasm to achieve high percentile.

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Are you taking CAT exam on Oct 16? First day, first show Myths Busted

CAT 2013 is just round the corner. If you have booked October 16, first day for your CAT exam, you are either termed as crazy or a book worm by your fellow CAT takers. This is perhaps the most discussed question during the CAT registration process. There are several myths attached to choosing CAT dates and slots especially the first day.

This year too, in CAT 2013 nearly 10000 brave hearts will sit for their CAT exams on October 16 in two slots. In this article, MBAUniverse.com busts few most common myths around CAT dates & Slots and Choosing 1st Dates.

Anyone who suggests you that there is an advantage on choosing a particular date is only kidding himself or you since Prometric, the agency that conducts CAT exam provides each candidate a different question paper than other candidates sitting in the same hall.

Most common Myths

Myth 1:  The first couple of days are very difficult

Reality: It is probably the biggest rumor among CAT aspirants. This myth is probably circulated by students who must have faced difficult questions during their CAT exam. But the difficulty level of exam varies from student to students and also depends on ones preparation level.

CAT has a very large question bank and the difficulty level in CAT exam is standardized throughout the exam window and every student in each slot gets a share of difficult and some easy questions. IIMs have clearly mentioned on their official CAT 2013 website that, “Post-administration analysis will be conducted by credentialed psychometricians to confirm the validity of the examination scores and to ensure that every candidate was provided a fair and equal opportunity to display their knowledge.”
Myth 2: Choosing a later date give me an advantage of learning about others experiences before my exam

Reality: This is more of a disadvantage than an advantage. CAT exam has a very large question bank and hence knowing of others exam experiences will not give you an advantage in anyway. The large question bank and unique paper for each CAT aspirant makes it virtually impossible for anyone to memorize his/her question paper to help someone else.

Since, your CAT paper will never have the same question similar to earlier slots hence reading too many articles about other CAT aspirant’s experiences and the type of questions they received will further confuse you. All this will have an effect on your mind and you too will start expecting the similar patterns in your paper. This will definitely hamper your preparation schedule in the last crucial days to CAT exam. You will expect a similar CAT paper but will be surprised on the test day when things will vary.  One should be calm and focused on the exam day to think well and any rumor will give invitation to surprises and fears which will hamper your performance in those crucial 2 hours of exam.

Myth 3: Percentiles are calculated by slot and days and hence it’s better to give exam after most of the good candidates have done their exams

Reality: Another popular rumor is that CAT percentiles are calculated by slot and days and thus one must choose a slot/day where the numbers of CAT takers are low or when good students are in a less number.

IIMs or Prometric have said that CAT percentiles are calculated on the basis of normalization process. Aspirants will be benchmarked against all 2Lakh candidates who appear for CAT exam across the 20 day window as a whole and not against a few thousands that appear with you on the same day or slots.
Myth 4: Faculties of coaching institute and CAT Experts take exam on 1st day. So I should avoid the competition

Reality:  It is true that faculties and teachers of coaching institute and seasoned CAT experts take their CAT exam on first day to know the change in exam pattern or any surprise elements. This helps them to advice their students.

But all these play no role in deciding your CAT percentile. Remember, it is irrelevant who is writing the exam with you on the same date or slot. Your percentile depends on your ability to give correct answers to the questions with good accuracy level.

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15 days to CAT 2013: More practice than theory required for Verbal Ability

CAT 2013 is now just 15 days away. How can you best utilize this short period for getting a better score in Verbal Ability section? The answer is ‘one can do a lot, if one follows meticulously a few do’s and don’ts during this period. MBAUniverse.com Verbal expert Prof SK Agarwal, who also coaches thousands of students for CAT test every year, offers you do’s and don’ts, which, if adhered to, will enable the aspirants to systematically prepare and improve their CAT percentile
Expert article by Prof SK Agarwal follows.

Also Read previous article on ‘What’s the right strategy for Quantitative Ability’ http://www.mbauniverse.com/article/id/7132/

What should be the consistent approach by the CAT aspirant – a few Do’s
The most important thing to be immediately done is to Segmentalise the Verbal Ability section in four parts - Reading Comprehension passages (Most important with 9-10 questions out of 30 questions in VA+LR section); Jumbled paragraphs (App. 4 questions); Contextual usage of Vocabulary (Appx. 4 questions); error corrections in sentences (2 questions). This division is as per the current trend of CAT which has been running since 2010. LR has 10 questions in this section; Verbal has 20 questions with 10-11 on core usage and 9-10 on RC passages.

Frame your study schedule now
Your study schedule for next 15 days must cover more practice exercises based on all the above topics and less concept building in these areas.  Focus on punctuality and time consumed on various practice questions. You will have to change the mindset likewise and adhere to this schedule.

Further strengthen the strong areas in Error corrections
So far you have been building the conceptual understanding on fundamentals-like parts of speech in grammar, time zones, punctuations etc. Following the fundamentals, in fact is a consistent process and is time consuming also.  If most of your time is consumed to understand only their usage, it might create confusion instead of giving clarity of concept. Therefore, the next step is to find out the strong areas in each section and then practice more to strengthen them.

The Most important is Reading Comprehension
Concentrate on Reading Comprehension, practice more with the understanding of tone and purpose of the passage, as it is the most important part. Solve two to three passages a day and if there is no question in the passage. These questions are expected to appear in RC section of CAT.

Practice Vocabulary in Context
It is high time that you practiced the Vocabulary in context. An aspirant may have good stock of vocabulary words and might have mugged up thousands of them with synonyms and antonyms. The best way to understand correct contextual usage is to practice more questions with two blanks, as you will be required to fill in these blanks with correct pair of words. This will equip you with appropriate contextual understanding in a week’s time and you may utilize another week with yet more difficult practice questions.

Have fun with Jumbled Paragraphs

Maintain your cool while solving the Jumbled paragraphs. The strategy to solve the surprising jumbled paragraphs is to go for more and more practice and mocks especially with ‘out of context sentence’ in it. The important tip is to find out the connectors to sentences e.g. conjunctions, personal or relative pronouns (He/ she/ it /they /their /who / whose/that/which etc.) as they indicate that they must have been used in place of some nouns. So find the link between the sentences.

Reading editorial in Newspaper is a must
Regular and attentive reading of newspapers especially the editorial part and articles is a must for next 15 days.

Need is the Regular revision
Revise whatever you have learnt and follow the tips to solve the questions based on various topics instead of going for something new. The need is to pay attention on the analysis of Sectional and Full length Mocks.  Follow the expert’s tips given in analysis as they are meant to guide you in sorting the problem out.

More important are Don’ts

Avoid wasting time on concept building now
Don’t go for parrot fashion learning of vocabulary words
No confusion in Mocks
Go for Versatile Reading

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15 days CAT 2013: What’s the right strategy for Quantitative Ability

MBAUniverse.com will help you to best utilize your last few days to CAT. Next article in this series will be on Verbal Ability.

Expert article by ARKS Srinivas follows.

‘Last 15 Days to CAT: What’s the right strategy for Quant?’

Panic wastes precious time:

In such an exam as CAT, you are never fully prepared. Every time you look at a Mock CAT paper or discuss with a friend, you realize that there are enough areas where you are not good at. One fine day you get 7 correct out of 9 questions in RC (or for that matter any area) and the next day you end up with just 3 or 4 corrects. This leads to more despair.

You end up doing more or less of one thing in the process and diverge from your planned action. If any area is tough – be it QA, DI, LR, RC or VA, the marks you get will suffer. Hence, take that in your stride.

Make a plan for the next 15 days (or how many ever days you are left with) and stick to that plan irrespective of the outcome of your Mock CAT results.

How many Mocks are enough for the last two weeks?

There are two ways of looking at this. If you are a person who has been regularly taking the Mocks (say, once a week), then it makes sense to just stick to a similar schedule.

However, if you are a person who has not taken more than 5 to 6 Mocks till date and have been preparing only from June/July, then it makes sense to take two or three Mock CATs a week and hence about 5 weeks in two weeks from now (provided you are writing the exam before the October 20). Please plan as per your actual exam date.

Acclimatize

However, see that you write the Mock CATs at the same time as your actual CAT. If you have chosen the timing for your CAT as 10 am, then take the Mock test at 10 am otherwise take the same at 3 pm (second slot).

Reviewing of Mocks & Strategy

The whole idea of writing Mock CATs is to get you battle ready. Hence you have to ensure that you write these Mocks as if they are the real ones. Only then would you be able to figure out the issues with your strategy.

After every mock, plan to spend at least another 2 to 3 hours to review the exam you have written. Re-solve all the questions that you have got correct and spend time on those that you have not been able to crack. Try solving the questions without seeing the solutions.

At the end of the analysis, pick up at least two areas for REVISION. For e.g.: After one Mock CAT, you may decide to look at couple of topics from Quant to work on. Similarly, if one type of LR or DI questions has gone wrong, then you will take that up for revision. The revision should be done from the previous CAT papers or Smart CAT (Mock CAT) papers.

Important Chapters in Quant:

Since CAT is not a SINGLE exam, it is impossible to predict as to which chapters one should concentrate on in the last two/three weeks. It may happen that one student may get 6 questions of Geometry (out of 21 overall) and another may just get 2. However, looking at what has happened over the past so many years, it is safe to say that the following areas/chapters have to be revised without fail.

Basic Areas     – Numbers, Geometry, Mensuration

Arithmetic     – Percentages, Averages, Time & Work, Time & Distance

Algebra     – Indices, Logs, Quadratic Equations, Inequalities, Progressions

Pure Math     – Permutations and Combinations

Data Interpretation

It is largely expected that DI for CAT, would be more of traditional, calculation oriented DI. Concepts of Averages, Percentage increase/decrease, Market shares, are the most repeated questions through Data given as Tables, Pie Charts, Bar Charts and Line graphs. Last year, special charts such as Spider Graphs and Triangle graphs were used to depict data.

It is recommended that you spend at least 30 minutes in solving DI sets (3 to 5) of them everyday.

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CAT Prep: Irony, Satire or Narrative: Whats the tone of passage?

How important is to identify the tone of the author in the passage? It can be well understood by the fact that CAT 2012 had at least two questions in every session on tone of the passage in Reading Comprehension section of Verbal Ability. What are the key words and sentences that would help you to detect the tone of the author?  Are you aware getting these questions answered correct, could give you an edge of 12-14 percentile? So get some tips and guidelines to detect the Tone or attitude of the Author in the passage.

The tone is supposed to be understood after going through the entire passage, since the writing piece might have more than one tones or the tone may vary after one or two paragraphs, although a careful reader may find out the tone in the beginning itself.

What are different ‘tones’ and how to identify?

Irony conveys a meaning that is the opposite of the actual meaning.  Ironic statements bring attention to words and phrases and show the difference between an ideal and an actual condition.

Sarcasm is harsh or may be described as bitter irony.

Satire uses sarcasm or irony to make fun of something.

Analytical – the tone goes on analyzing the facts with author’s opinion added to it

Descriptive – Description of an event –which may lead to inculcate interest among the readers and with description the piece of writing may lead to form the opinion in optimistic, pessimistic manner.

Narrative – In fact it is simply narration of events without any tone of description or analysis e.g. as the news readers simply narrate the items of news.

Objective -The author’s attitude is expressed through the words and details he or she selects. For example, textbooks are usually written with an objective tone which includes facts and reasonable explanations.  The objective tone is matter-of-fact and neutral.  The details are mostly facts.

Subjective - On the other hand, fiction and personal essays are usually written with a subjective tone.  A subjective tone uses words that describe feelings, judgments, or opinions.  The details are likely to include experiences, senses, feelings, and thoughts.

 

Key points to understand

Writers use words to set the tone. A passage with a dark, ominous tone will probably have more negative descriptions than a light, happy comedy. A passage with a suspenseful, adventurous tone will probably have lots of short sentences and brief, matter-of-fact descriptions. A sad, romantic one will often have long, detailed, sentimental descriptions.

Visualise it

One trick that may help to figure out the tone of the passage is to imagine a key scene from the story as a movie. Do you imagine something dark and moody, somber and thoughtful? It might click to visualize the tone. Try to visualize the scene and hear the abstract characters voices as you read, and you’ll be able to pick out the tone in no time.

Final Tip

Read regularly the articles and editorials in newspaper and periodicals. Whether you are reading George Bernard Shaw or Evelyn Waugh – the tone is the one that you are supposed to understand. An aspirant is strongly advised to make use of the scratch sheet provided in the examination hall and write down the keys words indicating the tone in each paragraph. By the time the passage is over, he or she will be fairly equipped to answer not only the question regarding the tone of the passage but also other questions based on the passage.

You may expect two questions in the RC section of Verbal Ability on Tone of the Author in the passage. If you get the tone right, your percentile is up by 12-14 if not it is down by more than that. So you be the judge.

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Toppers Mantra: How Saumil Shah scored 99.54 percentile in CAT?

Mr Saumil Shah scored 99.54 percentile in CAT and accepted an admission offer from NITIE, Mumbai. Mr Saumil who had a working experience of 23 months in Ernst & Young , received final admission offer from multiple B-schools including MDI, SJSOM and NITIE.

In this Topper’s Mantra session with MBAUniverse.com, Mr Saumil shares his CAT prep strategy and talks on the challenges he faced during his preparation while being a working executive. He also speaks on his GD/PI strategy and suggests MBA aspirants to prepare the same along with their preparation of CAT.

Interview:

Q: What was your CAT percentile and which B-schools offered you final admission?

A: I scored overall percentile of 99.54 in CAT and 99.79 in XAT. I got final admission offers from NITIE Mumbai, MDI Gurgaon and SJMSOM Mumbai.

Q: Did you expect to get this much percentile after your CAT?  How did you evaluate yourself on the basis of your mock test scores before CAT?

A: I did not expect to get such a high percentile in CAT.  I expected to get a score between 95 and 98 percentile. However, to my pleasant surprise, I scored above 99 percentile. One aspect I focused on, during my CAT prep, was to take mock tests regularly. I would score anywhere between 85 and 95 percentile in the mock tests. I would thoroughly analyse my mistakes, try to locate unattempted questions which were absolute sitters and I should have attempted, would again try to analyse attempted questions which were difficult and I would have been better off leaving them and above all, to find areas in which I needed to improve. Apart from this, I would also analyse the time I had taken to solve each question and analyse any question on which I had spent too much time. This entire exercise was to constantly keep improving my speed as well as accuracy.

Q: How did you prepare yourself a day before the D-day (your CAT Test day)?

A: It was important for me to be calm on the day of my CAT. Hence, a day before my CAT I just revised the basics of the Quantitative Ability Section. I did not solve any questions or perform any analysis.

Q: What was your question solving strategy on the CAT testing day?

A: The questions in the CAT have started focusing more on the fundamentals and have become relatively simple since the CAT has been being conducted online. Hence, it has become necessary to maximize attempts while maintaining high accuracy. My CAT was in the middle of the CAT window. The general observation of the CAT in my year was that one of the two sections would be difficult while the other would be simple. Hence, I had decided that I would try to maximize the number of my attempts in the easier section and focus slightly more on accuracy in the more difficult section.

Q: What was the toughest & easiest section for you in CAT? What was your strategy to handle the difficult part?

A: QA & DI (Section 1) was the easier section while VA & LR (Section 2) was the more difficult section in my CAT. I started with section 1 and attempted significant number of questions. I then went on to section 2 and realized that it was more difficult. Hence I made a conscious attempt to focus more on accuracy.

Q: One area that greatly influenced your selection to go for this Top B-school?

A: NITIE is a B school that admits only engineers into its management program. Even though I had a work experience of 23 months, I was aware that there were very high chances that my interview would be focused on my knowledge in engineering subjects. At the same time, it was very important for any candidate with work experience to be very thorough with his work experience. Hence, I had prepared thoroughly on my work experience and on my two favorite engineering subjects. As it turned out, I was grilled on both my engineering subjects as well as my work experience in my interview at NITIE.

Q: Your long-term preparation strategy for GD/PI

A: For GD/PI, I prepared on several aspects. For GDs, it is very necessary not only to be aware of the current affairs but also to have an opinion about them. Hence I regularly read newspapers, a general current affairs magazine and performed research about different topics on the internet. I attended several mock GDs to accustom myself with speaking in GDs. For PIs, I thoroughly prepared on every aspect of my profile. This would include researching right from the history of my work organization to the current happenings related to my hobbies. I attended several mock PIs so as to understand the kind of questions that would be asked during an interview and subsequently prepare for them.

Q: What was your biggest mistake during selection process beginning with CAT

A: My graduation aggregate was low as compared to the national average. However, I underestimated its significance in the B school selection process. Hence, I applied only to a few B schools. However, once the shortlisted candidates for various B schools were declared, I realized that I would not get a call from any of the old six IIMs even at such high percentile. I realized my folly and understood that I should have applied to more B schools. Fortunately, I converted my call at NITIE.

Q: Your advice for CAT 2013 Aspirants

A: The nature of the CAT has become such that a candidate’s performance is heavily dependent on the specific day of the exam. If a candidate is lucky, he may score very well. However, on a bad day, the best of candidates may fail to make a significant impact in the exam. Hence it is necessary for candidates to maintain their composure while taking the exam. Having said that, aspirants should prepare hard, take as many mock tests as possible, analyse their performance, try to constantly improve their speed as well as accuracy and give their best shot at the exam.

Q: What was the change in your prep strategy during last 30 days to CAT?

A: During the last 30 days, I focused more on taking more mock tests rather than basic problem solving. This gave me more practice on solving problems under time constraints and allowed me to decide on an optimal strategy that I was most comfortable with while taking the CAT.

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Be ready for surprise element in CAT 2013: Sample questions and tips

With CAT 2013 round the corner, heart beats going up, aspirants are getting more involved in their study to crack this coveted entrance examination. While the CAT organisers have assured that “there wouldn’t be any surprise elements in CAT 2013”, they have shied away from the key point whether the ‘type of questions’ will remain the same. So be ready for the unpredictable twisting and tricky questions that could greet you in the examination lab.

Past record itself tells the story. Aspirants had a tough time when CAT gradually moved down from the set of 240 questions in 120 minutes in 90’s to 60 questions in 70 minutes in 2010-11. While the structure and sections will hopefully not surprise the CAT takers and the basics on which questions are supposed to be formed will also remain the same, the aspirants may definitely expect some surprises in the type of questions asked in the test. In fact, it’s the Verbal Ability section that has seen many twists and turns in recent past.

What zapped students in 2006

Let’s look at what are the changes in recent past in the verbal ability section.

A new type of question – Inferring/completing the last sentence of a paragraph — appeared in CAT 2006 and came as a blow to the aspirants. Most of them got it incorrect. Nevertheless, those who knew the nature of CAT, devoted their time on versatile reading and practice, for them, it was another question on jumbled paragraph, where they had complete paragraph and concluding sentence was to be opted. The understanding of the question led them to pick the right answer

Reading Comprehension gets tougher  

With the reduction in number of questions and size of Reading comprehension passages from 1400+ words to 800-900 words, is CAT getting benevolent by giving more time to complete the test. In fact, CAT played a smart game by increasing the difficulty level manifold. The questions have no longer remained direct, one has to dig out the answer out of the close given options.

Vocabulary Questions get ticker

Vocabulary questions are now based on contextual usage and confusing words/phrasal verbs/figurative language are predominantly used in Verbal Ability section. The message conveyed by CAT year after year is that no parrot learning is required. IIMs will welcome only those who understand what they are communicating either in writing or verbally.

Para Jumbles spring surprise in CAT 2012

The difficulty level in various types of questions based on jumbled paragraphs in CAT has already been high enough and on the top of it, a surprise element appeared in CAT 2012 that is – the question to pick ‘Out of Context sentence in jumbled paragraphs’. It was something new for the aspirants and as such they had tough time, finding it difficult to solve it. The concept was formation of coherent paragraph and simultaneously picks out the ‘out of context sentence’.

So how to tackle the surprises in CAT

If we wish to analyse such surprise elements, we must put ourselves in the shoes of those who frame the examination paper. What thoughts behind setting these questions? The questions could be on these lines:

1.    Will the type of question change the basic pattern of examination?

2.    Will the majority of test takers understand the question?

3.    Will it adversely affect the credibility of the examination?

4.    Will the question be easy for a particular type of test taker and tough for other type?

5.    Isn’t the difficulty level same vice-versa other questions?

Unless the answer to all the above questions is NO, the so called surprising question may not appear in the examination. Hence rest assured, if you have worked hard, studied more and practiced much, you will be able to crack every type of surprise whether it is 2+2=4 or 6/2-1=2.

Surprise_2509013_420

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Toppers Mantra: What made Jayesh Ruchandani to score 99+ CAT Percentile?

Mr. Jayesh Ruchandani scored 99.12 percentile in CAT and accepted an admission offer from one of the new IIMs.  In this Topper’s Mantra session with MBAUniverse.com, Mr. Jayesh shares his CAT prep strategy and talks on the challenges he faced during his preparation. He also speaks on his GD/PI strategy and suggests MBA aspirants to prepare the same along with their preparation of CAT.

Interview:

Q: What was your CAT percentile?

A: I scored overall percentile of 99.12 in CAT and took admission in IIM Kashipur.

Q:  What was the change in your prep strategy during last 30 days to CAT?

A: During the last 30 days to CAT, besides focusing on mock CATs, I decided to solve at least 2 Reading Comprehensions and 2 Data Interpretation exercises daily. I devoted around 25 hours/week towards preparation for CAT besides teaching hours of coaching institute.

In QA, my strong areas were time-distance, time-speed-work, numbers, P&C, probability and geometry. I made a habit to solve at least two-three problems of each of the above topics daily so that I was in touch with the topics and further strengthen my concepts. Remaining time was devoted in improving other areas in quant.

I was good in verbal ability. Besides solving RCs daily, I solved exercises from handouts and book material provided by coaching institute and also revised the vocabulary words.

Q: Did you expect to get this much percentile after your CAT? How did you evaluate yourself on the basis of your mock test scores before CAT?

A: In my mock CATs, I consistently scored more than 95%ile and at times scored more than 98%ile. My mock CATs helped me analyze which areas are my forte, time taken to solve a problem of a particular difficulty level, accuracy and speed. Taking inputs from my previous mock CATs, I adopted a preparation strategy accordingly and was able to inch closer to the 99%ile mark with each test. With each coming test, my performance was improving which boosted my confidence to perform on D-day.

Q: What was your biggest mistake during selection process beginning with CAT

A: In a time critical exam like CAT, we try to solve each question as quickly as possible. One mistake I did in QA section of CAT was proceeding to solve the questions in haste without reading and understanding the problem properly. It is better to first fully understand the problem and then proceed to solve it than to stop in between and realize that you are stuck. This mistake cost me critical few minutes in the exam.

Q: How did you prepare yourself a day before the D-day (your CAT Test day)?

A: One day before the D-day, I revised formulas from geometry and reviewed some concepts from numbers, probability and permutation and combination. I was relaxed and even went to a movie in the afternoon.

Q: What was your question solving strategy on the CAT testing day?

A: In quant section, I first solved data interpretation questions since I am good at analysis and fast calculation and had already solved a variety of exercises on data interpretation. Also, DI questions save a lot of time if you are good at speed mathematics because with a single set of data, 3 questions are solved and much time is saved. After solving DI questions, I solved questions from areas in which I was strong.

For VA section, I approached logical reasoning part first since most of the time, they are easy and quick to solve and do not take much time. After that, I moved to solving other VA questions.

Also, I took care that I do not spend too much time on a single question if I was stuck and moved on to other questions.

Q:  Your advice for CAT 2013 Aspirants

A: My advice is to solve as many as problems as you can, take feedback and adopt your own preparation and test-taking strategy. Success constitutes of perseverance, hard work and discipline. As is the mantra of IIM Kashipur students, “Every peak is within reach if you keep climbing.” Best of Luck to CAT 2013 aspirants.

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All about Common Admission Test (CAT)

Common Admission Test (CAT) is the entrance exam conducted by the IIMs. From the year 2009, the mode of CAT has changed from paper pencil test to computer based test. Last year the number of non IIM B-schools which were accepting CAT scores has increased to more than 120. Some of the B-schools which have been added in the list include SPJIMR Mumbai, Indus Business Academy Bangalore, Department of Business Administration, Tezpur University, Assam, School of Business Studies, Sharda University, Department of Business Management and University of Calcutta among others.

CAT Exam:

Exam: CAT

Sections: Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation (QA & DI)
Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning (VA & LR)

No. of Questions: QA & DI –30, VA & LR –30, Total – 60

Duration: 70 minutes for each section. 140 minutes in total

Marking Scheme: Total marks – 240.

4 marks for correct answer.
¼ negative marking.

Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult

The first section which will appear on your screen will be Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation (QA & DI) followed by Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning (VA & LR). These two sections will be implemented sequentially with separate time limits.

The examination will be for 140 minutes. Candidates will have 70 minutes to answer 30 questions within each section which will have an on-screen countdown timer. Once the time ends for the first section, they will move to the second section and will no longer be able to go back.

A 15-minute tutorial will be provided before the start of the test, and candidates are advised to go through that carefully before starting the main examination. The total duration will be two hours and 35 minutes including the tutorial.

CAT Syllabus:
CAT Verbal/English Ability Syllabus: Reading comprehension, verbal reasoning, syllogisms, analogies, antonyms and synonyms, fill in the blanks, sentence correction, idioms, etc. …More

CAT: 5 year Analysis
The CAT exam is the common entrance exam of MBA, which is conducted to gain admission to 11 Indian Institutes of Management and over 150 B-schools this year. …More

CAT Eligibility:
The candidate must hold a Bachelor’s Degree, with at least 50 per cent marks or equivalent CGPA [45 per cent in case of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Differently Abled (DA) categories. (It may also referred to as Persons with Disability (PWD) category)], awarded by any of the Universities incorporated by an act of the central or state legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India

Aspirants of CAT 2013, its time to fasten your belt. Start your CAT preparations early to Crack CAT and excel in CAT 2013 Entrance Exams. MBAUniverse.com provides you the best chance to unlock the doors of IIMs and other Top B-schools. MBAUniverse.com is your one stop shop for CAT 2013 preparation. We provide quality CAT preparation material with regular Live Online classes throughout the week.

Want to know Shortcuts to Crack CAT 2013 from Top Mentors of IIMs, Register Now!
http://www.mbauniverse.com/mba-exam-preparation/CAT_Preparation/mba_preparation_package.php

CAT Exam

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Topper’s Mantra: What led 98.99 percentiler Puneet Manot to enter an IIM?

Mr Puneet Manot scored 98.99 percentile in CAT and accepted an admission offer from one of the new IIMs. Puneet who had a working experience of 19 months along with his high CAT percentile, received final admission offer from multiple B-schools including most of the new IIMs.

In this Topper’s Mantra session with MBAUniverse.com, Mr Puneet shares his CAT prep strategy and talks on the challenges he faced during his preparation while being a working executive. He also speaks on his GD/PI strategy and suggests MBA aspirants to prepare the same along with their preparation of CAT.
Interview:
Q: What was your CAT percentile and which B-schools offered you final admission?
A: I scored overall percentile of 98.99 CAT. I got final admission offers from many B-schools including IIM Raipur, IIM Rohtak, IIM Udaipur, IIM Kashipur. I finally chose IIM Raipur.

Q: What was the toughest & easiest section for you in CAT? Why?
A: The toughest section for me while appearing for CAT was Data interpretation. This was because I had not devoted enough time during my preparation in practicing DI questions. I lacked speed while solving these questions and at the end, I had to forgo some of the questions of this section. The easiest section was logical reasoning. I could attempt all the questions of LR with confidence taking less than the expected time.

Q: What were your strategies to handle the difficult part?
A: While preparing for CAT, I knew that I lagged behind in verbal ability. Therefore, I concentrated on VA throughout my preparations by indulging myself into reading books and articles.

Q: How did you manage your weekly study schedule? What should be the ideal duration for study in a week for CAT prep?
A: While preparing for CAT, I was a working professional. Hence, I had no fixed weekly study schedule until a month before the test. However, I continuously tried to improve my verbal ability by reading books and articles. Once the day came closer, I started revisiting the Quantitative concepts, scheduling them on a weekly basis. I gave two mock tests per week. An ideal duration of study in a week is subjective. During the last month, I devoted around 20-25 hours a week to CAT preparation.

Q: One preparation area which influenced your selection to this Top B-school heavily. How?
A: Developing my verbal ability would be the prime reason for my selection to IIM Raipur. It reflected in my CAT score for the VA/LR section and hence my overall CAT score.

Q: What was your long-term preparation strategy for GD/PI?
A: Being in touch with the current affairs and continuously reading opinions about them, was one thing I targeted to prepare for GD/WAT. A thorough knowledge of my field of work came inherently with my working profile. I also devoted some time in self-introspection.

Q: Your advice for CAT 2013 Aspirants
A: CAT is not a difficult test to crack. It needs some preparation on the weaknesses of a candidate without neglecting the core-competency section (something I overlooked and suffered for). If someone is confident enough, there is no need to obtain formal coaching, but there is a need to follow a consistent pattern for preparing oneself. Continuously testing oneself with mock-tests is crucial to develop the required speed and attitude towards solving questions. Reparation of WAT/PI and GD is also an integral part in actually cracking CAT, and it should be pursued passively throughout the course of one’s preparation.

Q: What is the best part of doing/being an MBA?
A: A management course gives individuals opportunities to hone their skills, requisite for handling responsibilities in an organization. The importance of self-management becomes lucid while doing an MBA. But, the best part of doing an MBA is that it provides an opportunity to interact with some of the best brains in the country.

Q: Mention one unique aspect of your Institute.
A: The uniqueness about IIM Raipur is the level of student participation in the functioning of the college on the whole. It provides a lot of opportunities for a student to learn from common managerial issues that one will face in the due course of the corporate journey.

IIM_Raipur_1809013_420

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Top 10 B-schools to apply with your CAT scores

The CAT score accepting top B-schools which have opened their applications include MDI, SPJIMR, IMT Ghaziabad, IMI Delhi, XIMB, IRMA, LIBA Chennai, IFIM Bangalore etc.

After your CAT exam, you will require B-school options which can shortlist you on the basis of your CAT or XAT scores.  So, it’s time you apply to top management institutes even as some of the top PGDM institutes like IMI Delhi, IMT Ghaziabad, MDI Gurgaon close application before the CAT exam begins on October 16.

We bring you here a list of 10 top B-schools where registrations are open now. All these B schools will accept CAT 2013 scores or XAT 2014 score.

While registration for CAT 2013 exam ends on 26 September, 2013, the sale of voucher will close on 24 September. Computer based CAT 2013 exam will be held in a 20 days window from 16 October to 11th November 2013.

Registration for XAT 2014 will end on 22nd November 2013 while the XAT paper pencil exam will be held on 5th January 2013.

Following are the list of top B schools where application is now open for 2014-16 sessions. Most of the remaining top B-schools are likely to announce their admission over next fortnight.

In next 10 days almost all the top B-school will announce their admission;

Institute: Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon
Eligibility: 50% marks or equivalent CGPA in both X and XII; 50% marks or equivalent CGPA in Bachelor’s degree; Valid CAT 2013 Score
Last date for applications: 15 October 2013
Programme Fee: Rs 11,29,000
Application Fee: Rs 1800

Institute: S.P. Jain Institute of Management Research, (SPJIMR), Mumbai
Eligibility: Graduation (10+2+3 stream) from any recognized university with minimum of 50% marks; CAT 2013 scores/ XAT 2014 Scores/ GMAT scores
Last date of application: 18 November 2013
Programme Fee: Rs 10,50,00
Application Fee: Rs 1200

Institute: Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad
Eligibility: CAT 2013 Scores or XAT 2014 Scores or GMAT score; Graduation (10+2+3 stream) from any recognized university with minimum of 50% marks
Last date for applications: 15 October 2013
Application Fee: Rs 1750

Institute: International Management Institute (IMI), Delhi
Eligibility:
CAT 2013 scores or GMAT Score taken not earlier than October 2011 and not later than October 2013; Graduation (10+2+3 stream) from any recognized university with minimum of 50% marks
Last date for Applications: 15 October
Programme Fees: Rs 13,50, 000
Application Fee: IMI has three campuses- New Delhi, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata. Fee for a common application to the three campuses is Rs 1500 plus a program fee of Rs 500 per program per campus.

Institute: Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB)

Eligibility: Graduation (10+2+3 stream) from any recognized university with minimum of 50% marks; CAT 2013 Score/ XAT 2014 score/GMAT taken in 2012 or 2013 (minimum score 550).
Last date for online applications: 30 November, 2013
Application fees: Rs 1300

Institute: T A Pai Management Institute
Eligibility: Graduation (10+2+3 stream) from any recognized university with minimum of 50% marks; CAT 2013 score/XAT 2014 score/GMAT score
Application Date: Starting next week
Application Fee: Rs 1500(as per last year)
Programme Fee: Rs 9,90,000

Institute: Institute of Rural Management (IRMA), Anand
Eligibility: CAT 2013 Score; Graduation (10+2+3 stream) from any recognized university with minimum of 50% marks; All applicants who apply to IRMA with CAT 2013 score will appear for IRMA admissions test on “Issues of Social Concern” subject to their application forms being complete and accepted by IRMA.
Application forms for IRMA admissions will be available online and in hard copy at IRMA Admissions Office from September 25th, 2013 onwards.
Programme Fee: Rs 4,17,700

Institute: Institute of Management, NIRMA University
Eligibility:
Graduation (10+2+3 stream) from any recognized university with minimum of 50% marks Valid CAT 2013 Score
Last Date for applications: 31st December 2013
Application Fee: Rs 1500/-
Programme Fee: Rs 7, 90,000/-

Institute: LIBA, Chennai
Eligibility:
Graduation (10+2+3 stream) from any recognized university with minimum of 50% marks with a consistent record of first class in Std X, Std XII and graduation; CAT 2013 or XAT 2014 Valid scores
Last date for online applications: 24th January 2014
Application Fee: Rs 1250

Institute: IFIM, Bangalore
Eligibility: CAT/ XAT/MAT/CMAT/GMAT/ATMA Graduation (10+2+3 stream) from any recognized university with minimum of 50% marks
Last date for online applications: 31 January 2014
Application Fee: Rs 1100
Programme Fee: Rs 10,50,000

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Toppers Mantra: Know D-day strategy from 99.95 percentiler Dushyant Agarwal

Mr Dushyant Agarwal scored 99.95 percentile in CAT and 98.83 percentile in XAT. Presently, an MDI Gurgaon student of PGP-IM (Post Graduate Programme in International Management), Dushyant was also offered admission at IMT Ghaziabad. The engineering graduate had a working experience of about two years before joining the programme at MDI.

In this topper’s Mantra session, Dushyant shares his success strategies for CAT preparation and GD/PI. He also speaks on his question solving strategy on D-day and other tips for scoring high percentile in CAT.

Q: What was your sectional and overall percentile in CAT?

A:  My sectional percentile for QA-DI and VA-LR section was 99.94 and 98.8 respectively in CAT. The overall percentile was 99.95. My XAT percentile was 98.83.

Q: What was the change in your prep strategy during last 30 days to CAT? 
A: I started my preparation in early February 2012 and dedicated around 3 hours a day for studies. I completed the full syllabus a month well before the exam and thereafter I focused on appearing for online mock tests. I used to give mock tests on weekdays and during the weekends, I concentrated on revising the basics.

Q: Did you expect to get this much percentile after your CAT? How did you evaluate yourself on the basis of your mock test scores before CAT? 
A: I consistently scored in the range of 95-99 percentile during my mock tests so I was pretty positive for the final exam. I focused on continuing my preparation without getting overconfident. I performed well on the actual CAT testing day and was confident that I would score a high percentile, but 99.95 still came out as a surprise to me.

Q: How did you prepare yourself a day before the D-day (your CAT Test day)? 
A: I have a convention which I consistently follow during all my exams. I stopped studying 2 days before the final exam and allowed myself a lot of sleep and rest. I also tried to hang out with my friends. I believe this kept me positive during the exam.

Q: What was your question solving strategy on the CAT testing day? 
A: My strategy was simple just like most candidates. After looking at the question – I asked myself if it can be solved or not. If yes, I tried to do it as fast as I could and if not, I just marked the question and came back to it after solving all the other questions.

Q: What was the toughest & easiest section for you in CAT? What was your strategy to handle the difficult part? 
A: To be honest, I felt equally comfortable on both the sections but I worked harder in Verb Ability because I felt this was where more preparation was needed. I focused on solving Reading and Comprehension passages and para-jumbles because these constituted a large part of the section. My aim was to attempt all these questions at a 90-95% accuracy rate.

Q: One preparation area which influenced your selection to this Top B-school heavily. How? 
A: I feel one area that has really developed my personality is the general awareness. While preparing for my CAT exam, I made sure I was regularly reading Economic Times and other news articles. This did not only improve my vocabulary, but also helped me increase my awareness about the environment.

Q: Your long-term preparation strategy for GD/PI ?
A: I realized that scoring well in CAT exam was only a half job done. The other half was to score well in GD and PI to get into my dream college. I started my preparation for the same early August. I consistently read newspapers and attended mock GD and PI sessions. I also practiced on common GD topics by speaking loudly in front of the mirror almost every day. I feel it really helped me a lot, not just for selection in MDI, but also for my personal development.

Q: What was your biggest mistake during selection process beginning with CAT?
A: I prepared thoroughly for my GD and PI but I lacked the confidence during the final show at interview. I think this was a result of giving more importance to GD than PI during my preparation stage. I realized later that both are equally important.

Q: Your advice for CAT 2013 Aspirants 
A: Focus on both the sections because both are equally important. Giving online mock tests is very important because one can’t improve the score unless one knows what went wrong in the paper. Finally, don’t leave GD and PI preparation for the end; it should go along with the preparation of the written exam.

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CAT Self Preparation@ Self Study Guide for CAT 2013

CAT 2013 exam has two sections namely; Quantitative Ability and Verbal ability.

Quant section also comprises of Data Interpretation while Verbal section is paired with Logical Reasoning.

Quantitative Ability:

The quantitative ability section of CAT tests you primarily on three areas — Arithmetic , Algebra and  

Geometry, Even if you are weak in the section, you must ensure that you score enough marks that help clear the requisite cut off.

The new pattern of CAT offers time-bound sections of 70 minutes each. The quantitative ability area will have 20 questions and 10 questions will be asked from the data interpretation area. So, you need to plan accordingly.

Arithmetic:

Arithmetic is considered a weak area for many aspirants. Apart from algebra and geometry, arithmetic is the area from which the maximum number of questions comes in CAT.

Topics under arithmetic:-

The arithmetic area comprises averages, profit & loss, ratio and proportion, percentages, time, speed & distance, number systems, simple & compound interest, mixtures, progression, directions, etc.

Preparation strategy:-

Arithmetic is not only based on formulae, but can be identified with day-to-day life as well. You can relate many of the problems on profit & loss, percentage, time & distance, etc with your daily activity. If you are weak in arithmetic, take up one topic every day, revise the concepts and practice as many question as possible from that topic

Speed is an important factor in solving questions in arithmetic. The faster you can read all the questions and select the ones you think you should attempt; the better will be your chances of a good score.

Most CAT problems can be solved through multiple methods. So, make sure that you are not using long methods. Lastly, practice speed calculation for 20 minutes a day.

Algebra:

Algebra is all about formulae and knowing which formula will be appropriate for a particular problem

Topics under Algebra:-

The algebra section mainly consists of linear and quadratic equation, logarithm, progression, binomial theorem, inequalities, permutation & combination, probability, function, set theory, percentages, ratio proportion, profit & loss.

Preparation strategy:-

As algebra is mostly formula-driven word problems, you should be thorough with the basics and the formula first. As the first step of preparation, you must know all the formulae by heart. Take a topic at a time and solve more than 50 questions on it. This will put you in a good state.

Always make it a point to revise things that you have already covered, but do not exhaust yourself doing all these in the last few days

Algebra is meant to be tackled through answer choices. To choose the right option in the questions, you need to follow the process of elimination (POE). If you have a good grip over algebra, you can utilize the techniques such as assumption and substitution .

Geometry:

Most of the test takers are perturbed with the Geometry section.  It can be considered as a tough area for many, if you are not clear conceptually or do not know the right application methods.

Topics of Geometry:-

Geometry part consists of the topics such as Lines, Angles, Triangles, Polygons, Circles, Mensuration, Trigonometry and Co-ordinate Geometry. Equations (linear + Quadratic), Series & Sequences, functions, Triangles, Circles, are more important of these.

Preparation strategy for Geometry:-

Like every other section, improvement in geometry section depends on practice. Geometry is about shapes. The best way to handle Geometry is to draw the figure to scale and then visually analyze the problem.

One should focus only on geometry for a week. On Day 1, go through theorems on Triangles. On Day 2 and Day 3, solve all Geometry questions from study material first and then past CAT and XAT papers. Study the theorems on circles and polygons on Day 4. On Day 5, 6 and 7, solve all problems from circles and polygons

Books for Quantitative Ability :-

•     The NCERT Maths Books of Class 8 to 10

•   Any one of the following books by R.S. Agarwal: Objective Arithmetic, Mathematics for MBA, Quantitative Techniques

•     ‘How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT’ by Arun Sharma

•     ‘The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT’ by Nishit Sinha

•     ‘Quantitative Aptitude for MBA Entrance Examinations’ by Abhijit Guha

To Read More

http://www.mbauniverse.com/mba-exam-preparation/mba-preparation-guide.php

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How mock tests helped 99.32 percentiler Apurv Jain to secure admission at FMS Delhi, IIMs?

Mr Apurv Jain scored an overall percentile of 99.32 in CAT 2012 and secured final admission offers form many IIM and other top B-schools like FMS-Delhi, IMT Ghaziabad, MDI Gurgaon, SIBM Pune.

The engineering graduate who worked for two years with Deloitte Consulting India before joining 2-year full time MBA programme at FMS Delhi in 2013-15 batch, shares his key CAT preparation strategy in last 30 days and long-term strategy for GD/PI. In this Topper’s Mantra session, he advises CAT Aspirants to go for as much practice as possible. He also shares his experience on how mock CAT tests helped him enhance his performance and boost his confidence for the D-day.

Q: What was your sectional and overall score in CAT? Please also name some of the B-schools which made you final admission offer.
A: While my overall score in CAT 2012 was 99.32, the sectional score in QA & DI and VA & LR was 98.05 and 98.71 respectively.  I received final admission offers from many B-schools including IMT-G, MDI Gurgaon, SIBM Pune, IIM Trichy, IIM Udaipur, IIM Kashipur, IIM Rohtak.

Q: What was the change in your prep strategy during last 30 days to CAT?
A: My CAT preparation strategy for the last 30 days before CAT was to practice as much as I can from the previous CAT papers. In spite of the fact that the pattern has changed, I still feel that solving questions from the previous years’ papers helps understand the type of questions. I solved one CAT paper everyday and analyzed it after attempting it. I also revised the important questions and concepts that I had jotted down. Apart from it, I made it a point that I remained in practice with the reading comprehensions.

Q: Did you expect to get this much percentile after your CAT? How did you evaluate yourself on the basis of your mock test scores before CAT? 
A: I was expecting a good score but getting a 99.32 was unexpected. I found QA section as my strength but to my utter surprise, I got a higher score of 98.71 percentile in the VA & LR section and 98.05 percentile in QA & DI section. During the mock tests I never got a comparable score in the VA & LR section but motivation to improve helped me increase my score. Mock Tests helps you analyze your preparation and judge yourself amongst the competition and also helps you to improve and overcome your weak areas.

Q: How did you prepare yourself a day before the D-day (your CAT Test day)? 
A: A day before CAT is only meant to relax. I only revised my notes for an hour that I had prepared over past few months. Apart from that, I tried to keep myself calm and stable because I think it is very important as you need to be afresh for the next day. I went out with my friends to hang out for some time to divert my mind and feel fresh. My suggestion is that aspirants should have confidence in their preparation and they should just relax the day before CAT.

Q: What was your question solving strategy on the CAT testing day?
A: My strategy for QA & DI section was to first attempt the QA questions as it was my strength as compared to DI. I tried to attempt as many questions within first 40 minutes and marked questions that I thought I can do in second attempt.  After going through all the 30 questions of the section, I went back to attempt the marked questions. This helped me maximize my score within the stipulated time. For VA & LR section, I attempted LR questions first and then VA questions following the same strategy as for the first section.

To read more

Apurv_1009013_420

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30 days to CAT: Focus on 4 key areas to realize your B-school dream

you shape your last-month preparation strategy for this prestigious MBA exam.

So, where should be your focus in last one month of preparation? What factors are critical towards scoring high percentile in CAT? How should you make best out of last 30 days of your CAT preparation?

Experts suggest that your preparation in last one month to CAT is very crucial which can make or break your dream for your desired B-schools. Your efforts in last 30 days hold the key to success towards your dream run for top B-schools like IIM, FMS-Delhi, SPJIMR, JBIMS, IRMA, IMT Ghaziabad, MDI Gurgaon amongst others.

Build on your strengths and concepts:
By this time of your CAT preparation, you must have been thorough with basic concepts in all the sections of CAT exam. Now it’s time to build on your strong areas and apply your concepts towards solving more and more questions.

CAT Toppers and Experts suggest that you should not pick many new areas of preparation now. Your focus should be on revisiting your basic concepts and practicing more and more questions based on the same.

Arks Srinivas, CEO, VistaMind Education and former director, T.I.M.E believes that solving questions on the concepts learnt so far will boost your confidence. “Confidence builds up if you find that you can solve almost every problem that you see on a particular area,” he says.

According to the experts, polishing more of your strong areas and picking a few select weak areas will increase possibilities of better accuracy on the number of attempts made by you in the mock and actual test. “An equal command on all areas may not be necessary as you can always reduce the number of attempts and instead go for more accuracy in your strong sections,” says another CAT expert.

Give it a best shot in last one month:
The last 30 days of concentrated effort may bring you in the club of high percentilers and also bring you admission opportunities to top B-schools. Since revising the concepts and applying the same again and again while solving questions or taking mock require a great amount of effort as well as time, you should schedule your last month in such a way that CAT remains on top over all other priorities.

“It will all depend on the rigor that you put during the last one month. You need to sharpen your focus and devote as much time as possible on practice and mocks,” says a CAT topper, adding, “you must make out most of the last 30 days as it is bound to reflect in your CAT percentile.”

More amount of time you put for practice, the better are the possibilities for your CAT percentile. Rajesh Balasubramanian, an IIT, IIM alumnus, and CAT Trainer, says “While taking CAT, one has to have intensity, and a certain stamina level to maintain this intensity over 140 minutes. This also comes with a lot of practice.”

Mr Srinivas also suggests Aspirants to take computer based mock tests during last one month as it will make them more familiar with the actual testing environment. Since CAT is a Computer Based Exam, it is useful to get comfortable with the mouse (clicks!). Reading on a Computer instead of on a paper should become a habit,” he says.

To read more

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CAT Toppers from IIM A, FMS Delhi, NITIE unveil their secret behind 99+ Percentile

Don’t you dream of scoring 99 percentile in CAT 2013 Exams?

With CAT 2013 just 40 days away, MBAUniverse.com brings CAT Toppers to share with you their success mantras for section-wise scoring and mock tests. The CAT toppers who are currently students of Top B-schools like IIM, FMS Delhi, NITIE also share their strategy on mock test and actual test.

So let us hear how did the CAT toppers crack the toughest MBA entrance exam in the country and how they scored high in individual sections like Quant, Data Interpretation, Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning?

Success Mantras for Quant Section:
While Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation section is regarded as the difficult section in the CAT exam by most of the aspirants, the section is one of the high scoring area also for successful candidates.

Arshpreet Singh who scored 99.05 percentile in Quant & DI section with an overall percentile of 99.97 in CAT 2012 also believes that the toughest section for her was the QA+DI section, specifically the DI part. He says, “I could not solve the DI questions in the ideal amount of time in the mock tests. To handle the difficult part, I practiced a lot of question sets in DI to improve my speed as well as to gain much needed confidence. I made sure that every set I attempted was time bound. I devoted ample time in analyzing my mistakes after the mocks.”

Ratika Mittal, CAT 2011 Topper with 97.21 percentile suggests a simple strategy for Quant and DI section, “practice, practice and practice. The more varieties you are exposed to, the better it is!”

For Sumedha Deogharia , a NITIE Mumbai students who scored 99.35%ile in CAT 2012 the toughest part was solving the DI questions. In the beginning, she could attempt only 1 out of the 3 problems. This was due to the fact that the DI questions needed a lot of calculation in a short span of time.

Success Mantras for Verbal Section:
The second section of CAT exam comprises Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning question. Anusha Subramanian of IIM Bangalore says, “Developing a good reading habit helps to do well in this section. Apart from taking mock tests, reading newspapers, good novels and magazines does not only help in solving verbal ability questions but also in interviews.”

For Parag Poddar, the editorial sections of the newspapers helped him to increase his vocabulary and gain speed and hone his comprehension skills. Apart from these, reading articles dedicated to various fields and story books helped him to inculcate interest in various domains.

Rohit Anand Garg of IIM Raipur had a liking for Verbal section, yet he identified easy questions before attempting the section in mock and actual CAT tests. “A cursory glance at the section helped me to have a fair idea of the complexity level of the questions. I attempted the easier and less time consuming questions first. This increased the accuracy and saved time which I could utilize for logical reasoning section. This strategy was practiced thoroughly in the mocks before I implemented it in on the D-day.”

Debjit Nag of IIM Ahmedabad who scored 99.97 %ile in CAT 2012 and also secured final admission offers from 10 top B-schools including 9 IIMs and FMS Delhi believes that for improvement, there is no other way than practice.

Siddhant Gupta of IIM Raipur who apart from scoring 98.67 percentile in CAT 2011 also appeared for XAT (98.63 percentile) and IIFT (missed cut-off by .25 marks) believes practice is a must for Verbal and Logical Reasoning.

Why you must take Mock tests?
CAT toppers unequivocally told MBAUniverse.com that taking mock test and evaluating your performance by analyzing your weak areas and mistakes, brings an edge to your preparation.

Anurag Goyal (99.56 percentile) says, “The last month before the CAT exam should be spent on strengthening the concepts. The best way to do this is to be thorough with the concepts tested in the mock tests.”

For more Toppers’ Mantra, read other published interviews with CAT 2012 Toppers. Links below:

Sumedha Deogharia scored 99.35%ile in CAT 2012
Rohit Anand Garg cracked CAT 2012 with an overall 99.16 percentile
What made 9 IIMs, FMS Delhi to select 99.97 %iler Debjit Nag?
Right Mock-strategy is key to cracking CAT, says 99.97 percentiler Arshpreet Singh

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Crash course for CAT 2013 @ MBAUniverse.com for Just Rs 1999. Enroll Now!

Get 24*7 LIVE tips, tricks & advice from Top CAT Experts and Authors from IIMs

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Highlight’s of the CRASH Course:

ü  60 hours live classes of Verbal ability + Quant+DI/LR  covering full course

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ü  Reading Material for Quant & DI/LR

ü  5 Full length Mock tests.

ü  Exercises and Quizzes for solving in live class with mentor’s guidance.

ü  24 hours forum access to post your doubts and queries.

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Right Mock-strategy is key to cracking CAT, says 99.97 percentiler Arshpreet Singh

Arshpreet Singh cracked CAT 2012 with an overall 99.97 percentile and secured admission to IIM Ahmedabad. Mr Arshpreet is a CBSE Merit scholar & scored 6th Rank in Punjab state in AIEEE. He has done his Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering from IIT Kanpur. Arshpreet is an Academic Excellence Awardee with CGPA of 9.1.

In this Exclusive interview with MBAUniverse.com, the IIM Ahmedabad student advises CAT 2013 aspirants to revise all the concepts thoroughly before the CAT and attempt a lot of mock tests. Arshpreet also shares his success strategies, weekly study plans, D-day strategy and also speaks on how he handled his difficult areas during CAT preparation.

Our readers will remember that MBAUniverse.com has earlier published interviews with other CAT 2012 Toppers. Links below.

Sumedha Deogharia scored 99.35%ile in CAT 2012

Rohit Anand Garg cracked CAT 2012 with an overall 99.16 percentile

What made 9 IIMs, FMS Delhi to select 99.97 %iler Debjit Nag?

What was your overall and sectional CAT 2012 percentile?

My CAT 2012 percentile was 99.97. I scored 99.05 percentile in Quant & DI section and in Verbal and LR section I scored 99.99 percentile

What was the toughest & easiest section for you in CAT? Why?

The toughest section for me was the QA+DI section, specifically the DI part. I could not solve the DI questions in the ideal amount of time in the mock tests and also, my overall attempt in this section used to be low due to slower speed.

The easiest section for me was the VA+LR section. I felt I had a good enough grasp logical reasoning skills combined with a good grasp on English, as I am an avid reader.

How were your strategies to handle the difficult part?

I practiced a lot of question sets in DI to improve my speed as well as to gain much needed confidence. I made sure that every set I attempted was time bound. I devoted ample time in analyzing my mistakes after the mocks.

To read more

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CAT prep for working executives: Mantras for Time Management and Prep Strategy

Are you a working executive and preparing for CAT also? If yes, you are most likely to get admission in a top B-schools provided you score a high percentile in CAT.

For working executives, however, the factors like ‘Time Management’ and ‘getting the academic rigor back’ remain huge challenging areas while they prepare for CAT and other MBA entrance exams like XAT, IIFT entrance, NMAT etc. When they start preparation for CAT, it becomes a bit difficult for them to take both – work and preparation, simultaneously. While their profession consumes a lot of time and energy, the CAT preparation is equally demanding and requires a lot of concentration along with regular study schedules.

Work-Ex a great advantage

But, the fact remains that work experience brings you an edge over other aspirants and increases your selection possibilities at IIMs, FMS, JBIMS, SPJIMR, MDI and others top B-schools which offer weightage to candidates on their years of work experience. The admission data from top B-schools suggests that working executives comprise 80 per cent or more share of the total students in top management institutes.

Sample this admission data for 2012-14 batch from two IIMs:

- In the batch of 381 students in IIM Ahmedabad, 286 have 1-3 years of work experience.

- At IIM Lucknow, out of the batch of 414 students, 301 students has more than 1 years of work experience

So, how do you take advantage of your work experience to prepare for CAT? How do you balance your work and study hours? What do you do to bring back academic rigor in your life again while preparing for CAT?

In this article, we bring you success mantras from working executives who successfully cracked CAT. These CAT toppers were working also during their CAT preparations, yet they scored high CAT percentile and secured admissions to top B-schools in India.

Manage your Time

Rohit Anand Garg cracked CAT 2012 with an overall 99.16 percentile and secured admission to IIM Raipur. Mr Garg worked for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for 34 months after his Engineering degree. On his time management during CAT prep, he says, “I was a working professional while preparing for CAT. In order to balance my work commitments and CAT preparation, I designed a schedule to devote minimum 30 hours per week to my preparation assigning appropriate weightage to all the sections. I devoted 2-3 hours daily after work and 7-8 hours on weekends to meet my targets. I believe an average of 4-6 hours a day of serious efforts would surely help a student to bell the CAT.”

Parag Poddar scored 99.65 percentile in CAT 2011 and after a stint with the industry, he now plans to own a start-up venture which will cater to the needs of the society. He used to prepare mostly on weekends and took tests every Tuesday and Saturday. On other weekdays, he used to analyze the paper and focused on brushing up his weak areas. Regular feedback from friends and perseverance helped him to cope up with the hectic schedule.

MBAUniverse.com offers a comprehensive preparation package coupled with over 200 online interactive classes with Top CAT experts including from IIMs for CAT 2013 preparation.

Visit the link below for more information and new batch schedules:
http://www.mbauniverse.com/mba-exam-preparation/CAT_Preparation/mba_preparation_package.php

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Speed and accuracy matter the most in CAT, says 99.16 percentiler Rohit Garg

Mr Rohit Anand Garg cracked CAT 2012 with an overall 99.16 percentile and secured admission to an IIM. Mr Garg, who worked for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for 34 months after his Engineering degree, says that speed and accuracy matter the most in the CAT examination. He however feels that WAT/PI stage requires even more efforts than the CAT examination itself.

In this interview with MBAUniverse.com, The IIM Raipur student advises CAT Aspirants to ‘practice’ as much as possible. Mr Garg also shares his success strategies, weekly study plans, D-day strategy and also speaks on how he handled his difficult areas during CAT preparation.

What was the toughest & easiest section for you in CAT?

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension was the toughest section for me in CAT. During mocks, I was usually able to attempt a good number of questions in this section, but was low on accuracy. On the other hand, the Quant & DI section was relatively easier than VA & RC. It involved applications of basic quant fundamentals and was my area of interest as well. My speed and accuracy in this section helped me to maximize the score.

How did you handle the difficult part during your preparation and CAT test date?

I identified my strong and weak areas for VA. A cursory glance at the section helped me to have a fair idea of the complexity level of the questions. I attempted the easier and less time consuming questions first. This increased the accuracy and saved time which I could utilize for logical reasoning section. This strategy was practiced thoroughly in the mocks before I implemented it in on the D-day.

How did you manage your weekly study schedule?

I was a working professional while preparing for CAT. In order to balance my work commitments and CAT preparation, I designed a schedule to devote minimum 30 hours per week to my preparation assigning appropriate weightage to all the sections. I devoted 2-3 hours daily after work and 7-8 hours on weekends to meet my targets. I believe an average of 4-6 hours a day of serious efforts would surely help a student to bell the CAT.

Which is the one preparation area which influenced your selection to this Top B-school heavily?

The WAT/PI stage of the admission process checks your mettle. I knew that the WAT/PI stage requires even more efforts than the CAT examination itself. My extensive current affairs knowledge and sound know how of technical and functional areas of my work experience helped me a lot in this. Apart from that, good writing skills are also required in WAT. In the WAT/PI process, my topic revolved around government reforms in India. I was well-versed with the current topics which helped me substantiate my article with facts.

What was your biggest mistake during selection process beginning with CAT?

Since I was a working professional with more than 30 months of experience, I believed that my interview would be focused more on my work experience and rather than my graduation subjects. So, I didn’t concentrate much on brushing-up my graduation subjects and concentrated more on preparing other areas. This proved to be a huge mistake as I was asked a large number of questions that required thorough knowledge of the graduation subjects. Somehow, I managed to evade those questions in the interview by requesting the interviewers to ask questions on my Work experience.

Your advice for CAT 2013 Aspirants

I believe that speed and accuracy matter the most in the CAT examination. To improve upon this, the only Mantra is ‘practice’. I would advise to solve a large number of problems with various levels of difficulty. Also giving Mock tests regularly helps in analyzing the performance. Taking mocks will help one to identify weak and strong areas. An important advice will be to work hard on one’s weak areas, while side by side polishing strong areas. As most of the top B-schools in the country have individual sectional cut-offs, it is important to score high in each of the sections.

One unique aspect of IIM Raipur

One unique aspect of the institute is the close proximity of the hostels and academic building which facilitates group studies that help in peer learning.

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Toppers Mantra: What made 9 IIMs, FMS Delhi to select 99.97 percentiler Debjit Nag?

Mr Debjit Nag scored 99.97 percentile in CAT 2012 and also secured final admission offers from 10 top B-schools including 9 IIMs and FMS Delhi.  Presently a student of 2013-15 PGP batch of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, Mr Nag shares his success mantras on cracking CAT.  In this exclusive session with MBAUniverse.com, the computer engineer who worked with Cognizant for 22 months before joining 2-year full time PGP programme at IIM-A, talks on the challenges he faced while preparing for CAT. He elaborates on part of his preparation which helped him secure admission to India’s top B-schools.

In this interview, Mr Nag also talks on his GD/PI strategy, weekly study plans and what he finds as the best part of doing an MBA.

You scored 99.97 percentile in CAT. How many B-schools made final admission offers to you?

After the GD-PI process was over, I was offered admissions from more than 10 top B-schools including many IIMs. I made into the final admission list of IIM-A, IIM-C, IIM-L, FMS Delhi, IIM-Ranchi, IIM-Trichy, IIM-Raipur, IIM-Rohtak, IIM-Kashipur, IIM-Udaipur amongst others. I however, opted for IIM-A.

What was your percentile in two sections (QA-DI, VA-LR)?

While I had an overall percentile of 99.97 in CAT 2012, my percentile in QA-DI was 99.82 and the same for VA-LR was 99.79.

What were your strong and weak areas? Why?

Quantitative Aptitude (QA) and Data Interpretation (DI) was the easiest section for me while Verbal Ability used to trouble me the most. Logical Reasoning (LR) was also an area of strength for me. The reason for strength in QA, DI, LR was my analytical ability and problem solving skill. On the other hand, initially I didn’t have much reading habit which used to lead to fluctuated scores in VA.

So, what was your strategy to cope with challenges in VA?

 I think, for improvement, there is no other way than practice.  I started reading a lot to improve my VA skills and gradually things got better.

How did you manage your weekly study schedule?

I studied regularly for 2-3 hours on weekdays and 5-6 hours on Saturdays and Sundays. This used to include time spent in mock tests and thereafter the analysis of the same.

What was the one preparation area which influenced your selection to this Top B-school heavily? How?

I think, my preparation for the post-CAT part was the key deciding factor during my selection process at IIM-A. Without a good interview, even a 100 percentiler in CAT doesn’t guarantee selection in top IIMs nowadays. For me, sincere preparation of Group Discussion (GD) and Personal interview (PI) helped me a lot during the final stage of selection.

What was your long-term preparation strategy for GD/PI?

As I was working with Cognizant for 22 months, I was out of touch with academics for 2 years. But for GD/PI preparation I mostly devoted time to study statistics and 3-4 core subjects of Engineering and I found questions from these areas in all top IIM interviews. Apart from that, I used to keep a tab on current affairs regularly.

What was your biggest mistake during selection process beginning with CAT?

 Initially I used to attach too much value to mock tests. Later, I realized that those were just mocks and started to invest more time in self-improvement by targeting weak areas one after another.

Your advice for CAT 2013 Aspirants

Focus on accuracy on the D-Day. Lack of accuracy is penalized heavily in CAT. Maintain your composure and you will definitely do well.

What is the best part of doing/being an MBA?

From the experience of two months at IIM Ahmadabad, I would like to say that MBA is really worth investing time and money if pursued from a top notch B-School of the country. The kind of industry exposure we get at IIMA is indeed a great value addition and learning opportunity.

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more news, CAT prep features & Topper’s Mantra.

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CAT Prep: Tips to solve LR questions on direction sense

The Logical Reasoning (LR) section in Common Admission Test (CAT) carries different types of questions including questions on your direction sense.

While you must have been taught in your school days that there are four directions namely – East, West, North, South, the CAT questions also twist your sense on four more directions that lay in the middle of each pair of subsequent main directions. So instead of four, you are generally faced with eight directions in related LR questions.

You should have a broad idea of map before attempting such questions. The map defines the following eight directions – East, West, North, South and Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, Southwest. You need to understand and visualize the directional movement to arrive at the correct answer option. Definitely, those candidates who are good at the affiliated subjects of social studies (Geography for instance) will be more skilled to crack it quickly and accurately.

But a few basic concepts can make you solve such questions easily.

Tips to solve-

1.    Learn the basic concepts of map and directions

2.    Have the understanding of angles ( 90,45, 360 degrees etc.) if one is asked to locate the direction after turning to 45 degree Northeast – where will the person be heading to- it should be clear

3.    Develop an ability to visualize the movement of direction

4.    Carefully go along various clues in the questions and use them to arrive at the right answer option

Example CAT Questions-

The author of this article Mr S K Agarwal is a CAT Expert, a seasoned CAT trainer with over 25 years of experience, & author of many CAT books. He also guides Verbal Ability Section to CAT Aspirants through MBAUniverse.com online coaching classes.

MBAUniverse.com offers a comprehensive preparation package coupled with over 200 online interactive classes with Top CAT experts including from IIMs for CAT 2013 preparation

Visit the link below for more information and new batch schedules:
http://www.mbauniverse.com/mba-exam-preparation/CAT_Preparation/mba_preparation_package.php

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more CAT Prep features and MBA Exam updates.

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50 days to CAT 2013: Re-think your prep strategy to score high percentile

With just 50 days remaining for Common Admission Test which is scheduled to be held in a 20 days window beginning 16 October, 2013, you must re-think your prep strategy based on some crucial factors which can influence your CAT percentile.

In this article, we bring you expert advice on how you can fine-tune your prep strategy for last 50 days of CAT to boost your percentile.

Schedule your CAT date:

It you are yet to register for CAT, plan your test date after evaluating your preparation level now.

Arks Srinivas, CEO, VistaMind Education, and former director, T.I.M.E says that the date should be selected depending on your preparation level and also your personal convenience. “You should evaluate your preparation and if you feel that 15-20 days of extra preparation can make you more confident, you should definitely go for the last week for the test. But if your preparation is good, make it in the first week of the testing window and save more time for the next big exam which is XAT,” he says.

If you are confident with your preparation, you can go for early dates as it will save your time for preparation of other major MBA exams like XAT, NMAT, IIFT Entrance which can bring you many more admission opportunities to top B-schools in India.

Take as many mock CAT as possible:

Toppers and Experts suggest that you should practice a lot and take as many mock CAT as possible in last few weeks.

Arks Srinivas says that the Mock CAT helps you improve on your weak areas.

While mock is must at this stage, Mr Rajesh Balasubramanian, an IIT, IIM alumnus, & 2011, 2012 CAT Topper and the author of CAT books, cautions that you should not try to attempt more questions in Mock CAT at the cost of your accuracy.

“A student may scores 98th percentile in one exam and in the very next exam he might fall at 76th. If score volatility is this high, this will hurt confidence in the last lap of your preparation and panicky decisions will creep into the system on D-Day,” he said.

Plan your calendar:

As you approach nearer to your CAT date, you should devote more time to study.  Suggesting the time you need to devote in a 100 days framework for CAT prep, Mr Rajesh Balasubram says, “For the first 6-8 weeks, 10-14 hours per week would be sufficient. The next 6-8 weeks, one should do 16-18 hours. The final few weeks, one should shoot for 25-30 hours.”

Working executives should plan leave in the last 2-3 weeks so that they can completely concentrate on their preparation.

Work more on strong areas and identify doable weak areas:

With 6-8 weeks remaining for your D-day, you should clearly identify your strong areas and weak areas. Once you identify the same, you should build on your strength now and pick a few weak areas which you can work afresh from a concept level.

Experts suggest that an equal command on all areas may not be necessary as you can always reduce the number of attempts and instead go for more accuracy in your strong sections.

Forget other exams, focus on CAT:

As you must have worked on the basic concepts for your MBA exams in last few weeks, it is time to focus completely on CAT now.

While basics for almost all the MBA exams remain the same, you can focus on specific nature of different exams like XAT, NMIMS, IIFT Entrance after your CAT.

The MBA entrance exam season will begin with Common Admission Test (CAT) starting October 16, 2013, and other exams will follow in the month of November-January. This will give you some time for specific preparation for other exams.

The dates for all major MBA entrance exam has already been announced. NMAT 2014 Exam is scheduled in a two and half month window beginning October 5 and ending 18 December. While XAT 2014 exam  will be held on 5 January, 2014, IIFT 2014 Exam is scheduled on 24 November, 2013. SNAP 2013 Exam will be conducted on 15 Dec, 2013.

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Critical Reasoning in CAT: How to infer last sentence of a paragraph?

Critical Reasoning is part and parcel of Logical Reasoning section of CAT. This includes Para-completion which is an important part of critical reasoning questions. Since it is more inclined towards verbal ability, an aspirant with better command over VA will be better equipped to solve such problems. This type of question comes with an incomplete paragraph, leaving the last line, which is required to be opted out of the four alternative concluding statements, given as possible answers, to complete the paragraph in the most appropriate way. CAT began with such questions in 2005, creating a great deal of confusion among the CAT aspirants as all the options appeared quite close to one another.

But a good understanding of the text, idea and tone of the author can lead you to the correct answer. You may expect two questions based on completion of a paragraph which would give you an edge of six marks and might improve your percentile by 12 to 15.

Completion of a paragraph is nothing but a test of your comprehension skills. However, knowing well that CAT is always full of surprises and the difficulty level is rather high, you should be aware how to attempt such questions with some tips beforehand.

1. Understanding the unity and coherence in the paragraph is a must. Beginning of the paragraph may well provide a lead to its topic and tone. The paragraph develops its main body by discussing the details and facts. Try to link the sentences by spotting the key words and logical arguments.

2.    Identify the gist of the paragraph by following the thread of thought (steps cited above).

What to do now:

1.    Read the first sentence of the paragraph, it has got the tone and idea to proceed to main body of paragraph

2.    Find out the main points and main idea in the paragraph while giving it a thoughtful reading. If you are unable to decide the main points importance wise – check whether the point you have chosen has due relevance to your reading.

3.    Think carefully now, what should close the paragraph

4.    Choose the most appropriate option-the option that concludes the paragraph, instead of taking it to some other thought, idea, action or any other domain

5.    Mark the answer

The author of this article Mr S K Agarwal is a CAT Expert, a seasoned CAT trainer with over 25 years of experience, & author of many CAT books. He also guides Verbal Ability Section to CAT Aspirants through MBAUniverse.com online coaching classes.

MBAUniverse.com offers a comprehensive preparation package coupled with over 200 online interactive classes with Top CAT experts including from IIMs for CAT 2013 preparation
Visit the link below for more information and new batch schedules:
http://www.mbauniverse.com/mba-exam-preparation/CAT_Preparation/mba_preparation_package.php

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Toppers Mantra: Know success strategies of 99.35%iler Sumedha Deogharia

Ms Sumedha Deogharia scored 99.35%ile in CAT 2012. Presently a student of 2013-15 PGDIM batch of NITIE, Mumbai, Ms Deogharia shares her success mantras on cracking CAT.  In this exclusive session with MBAUniverse.com, the alumni of DAV Shyamali, Ranchi and Jadavpur University Kolkata, talks on the challenges she faced while preparing for CAT and which part of her preparation helped her score high percentile in CAT and secure admission to the top B-school like NITIE.

She also talks on her GD/PI strategy, weekly study plans and what she finds as the best part of doing an MBA.

What was the toughest & easiest section for you in CAT? Why?

For me the toughest part was solving the DI questions. I could attempt only 1 out of the 3 problems. This was due to the fact that the DI questions needed a lot of calculation in a short span of time. A lot more practice on mental calculation and vedic mathematics could have helped me solve the problem.

I found the QA section really easy which had simple formula based calculations. As a result of which, I was able to attempt all the questions in that section. It was only because of a good accuracy in this section that my percentile shot up to an overall of 99.35.

What was your strategy to handle difficult parts?

First of all, I glanced through all the questions quickly.  I knew that there was no individual cut-off for QA & DI separately. So, when I found out that the DI questions were difficult and needed rigorous calculations, I thought of doing them in the last. First, I solved all the questions in the QA section and then started with the DI questions where I was successful in solving one out of them.

How did you manage your weekly study schedule? What should be the ideal duration for study every week?

I attended my coaching centre regularly in the evenings.  As I am a fresher, I used to study for two hours in the morning.  I used to study for another 2 hours after college.  A total of 5-6 hours of effective study per day would do the magic!! I used to take a day off and enjoy myself during the weekends so that I could start the next week with renewed energy.

Please mention one preparation area which influenced your selection to this Top B-school heavily. How?

Since NITIE only takes engineers, I already knew they would harp at my technical knowledge. So, I had prepared all my subjects very well. And as expected, the professors in the panel chose a random subject from each of the semesters and started throwing questions one after the other, all of which I was able to answer. It was only because of my thorough preparation that I was able to get through NITIE.

What was your long-term preparation strategy for GD/PI

The 5 points that I kept in mind as an effective GD/PI strategy are:

  1. Be thorough with the current affairs and read newspapers daily
  2. Participate in GDs regularly in your coaching classes.
  3. Watch videos of prior GD-PI workshops conducted by your coaching classes
  4. Make sure that you appear for at least three mock PIs
  5. Read as much as you can from internet, magazines, books and television.

What was your biggest mistake during selection process beginning with CAT?

The biggest mistake that I had committed was that I had not given much importance to the HR questions and did not prepare for them.  Most of the B-Schools access the candidates on the interpersonal and management front by asking a lot of HR questions during the PI.

Your advice for CAT 2013 Aspirants

One good piece of advice for CAT 2013 aspirants from my side is that you should practice a lot; only practice can make you perfect and improve your accuracy. Take as many mock tests as you can. Come out with a proper analysis of your performance after each mock test and try to find out weaknesses and strengths.  Read editorial columns in newspapers to improve your knowledge base and reading ability. Keep revisiting your CAT preparation material from time to time. Work very hard if you want to bell the CAT this year itself!

CAT Toppers Tips

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CAT and Cricket: How winning formulae of cricket work for CAT?

In this special column CAT expert and author Mr Rajesh Balasubramanian draws analogies between CAT, the most prestigious MBA entrance in India, and Cricket, the most popular sports of the country.

We in India get cricket analogies better than anything else. So here is a list of ideas for CAT with cricketing parallels.

Plan like the Kiwis

In cricket, the New Zealand team probably maximises its limited potential the best. In the 1992 world cup, they unleashed Greatbatch at the right time, opened with an off-spinner against India, and possibly tanked their last league match in order to play the semi-final at home.  More recently, a promoted Chris Harris scored a century in a world cup quarter-final at Chepauk.  It is astonishing how a team with such limited resources has competed so well for so long. It is because they read the opponents well, understand their limitations and play astute cricket.

Before going into CAT, you should know which topics you hate, which ones you are likely to get carried away with, which questions get you switched on, etc. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses well can improve your performance by 20-30%.

Strut in like Ponting: “Purposeful stride to the centre”, “raring to go”, these are the phrases used to describe Ponting coming in. The only other player to convey so much with the walk was probably Viv Richards. But because it is not good to ‘swagger’ into an exam hall, let us go with Ponting. Whether it is actual CAT or a mock CAT, it is key to start with an eagerness that gives an adrenaline rush when you start the exam. In the 10-minutes before the exam, if you can work yourself up to start at your best, it can also feed into your belief. To use a Shastri-ism, you should walk in like you “mean business”

Start like Sehwag: Once the exam begins, the whole idea shifts to going one question at a time. All of the pre-exam agonizing and fretting should be left at the door. Here, Sehwag’s philosophy of see-ball hit-ball works best. It really does not matter whether it is Dale Steyn at 148km/hr or Paul Strang’s pie throwing. If it is in the zone, it goes to the boundary. As a student, the first few questions are when the mind does some wandering, when all the pre-exam strategizing comes into play. But in the 2 minutes that you spend to crack a question, all of this should fade into the background. It is amazing what a few correct answers can do to your thinking.

To give a parallel, in the world cup match quarterfinal Pakistan in 2012, Sehwag hit Pakistan’s best pace bowler Umar Gul for five boundaries in an over. The pitch was not that easy to bat on, Saeed Ajmal bowled magnificently later on. But because Sehwag had given a good start even before one could digest all these factors, India had an enormous buffer in the middle overs. Imagine a paper where the quant is very tough, where questions from 11 to 16 are impossibly tough. But say you jumped headlong into this paper, and attempted 7 out of the first 10 within 12 minutes because you had this vague adrenaline rush with you. You can crash and burn yourself in the rest of the sections, but you have already guaranteed yourself a 99th percentile.

Leave like Dravid: When batting is tough, the key to survival is leaving the maximum number of deliveries. Something Rahul Dravid was very good at. In CAT also, attempting a question that you should not have tried extracts a far higher price than leaving a question that you should have tried. So, when in doubt, leave.

Finish like Dhoni: Whenever Dhoni is managing a chase, it is obvious that he knows which bowlers to target, how many overs are remaining from the 5th bowler and how high a required run rate he can handle. As a test taker, at any point of time during an exam a student should know the following

  • how many questions one has done thus far,
  • how many more can be reasonably done in the remaining time
  • What kind of questions are yet to come – as in Data Interpretation, or Sentence Rearrangement, or Logical Reasoning?
  • This knowledge gives you a sense of what to expect, which in turn helps you retain composure.

To read more

CAt Preparation  Tips

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CAT Preparation@ Build on your accuracy to cover speed problem

Mr. Rajesh Balasubramanian is an IIT, IIM alumnus, & 2011, 2012 CAT Topper and the author of CAT books published by ‘Access Publishing India’. He scored 100 percentile in CAT 2012.  In the live chat, he shared success tips from his own experience of taking CAT, and guiding MBA Aspirants on Quant and DI sections.

This article brings you some questions asked by MBA Aspirants and answer shared by Mr Rajesh Balasubramanian during the Live Chat session on August 16, 2013.

Suraj: I am a B.Com Graduate preparing for CAT for last 1 year. I struggle to clear the CAT Quant section cut off in Mock Exams. Please guide.
Mr Rajesh Balasubramanian: Lots of people face this same problem. Don’t let it get to you. Start topic by topic and slowly increase difficulty level.

Venky: Sir, I am good in verbal, DI and LR but get stuck in quant.  Generally, I can solve 5-6 questions in quant with 99% accuracy. Sir how do I manage both the things?
Mr Rajesh Balasubramanian: It is great if you have one strong area. This gives you a lot of confidence. As far as quant goes, focus on few topic first. Then expand from here. If you get confident in, say, Speed time distance, geometry and number systems, you might suddenly find yourself answering 10-11 questions consistently (including DI). Remember, you need only 14 correct to hit 98th percentile or thereabouts

Mounika: Should I spend more time for my weak section at this stage or focus on my strong areas and make them stronger?
Mr Rajesh Balasubramanian: This depends on what your weak segments are. If the weak section is something like Binomial theorem, face inference judgment, or vocabulary, forget about this, build your strengths. If your weak section is Geometry or Reading Comprehension – these are way too crucial to gloss over. Have another go.

Atul: How to decide number of attempts?
Mr Rajesh Balasubramanian: Aim for near 100% accuracy. Do not plan a trade-off based on guesses. Simple thumb rule – for 99th percentile you need to attempt roughly 15 questions in quant and 21 in verbal (assuming almost all are correct). Of course, this changes from session to session. But this is roughly what you are shooting for

Manoj: Please share some tips for next two months.
Mr Rajesh Balasubramanian: Lots of mock CATs. Through analysis of mock CATs is also very important. From now on, a clear understanding of strengths/weaknesses will be crucial. So, focus on question selection. Learn how to avoid pressure when you are handling mock CATs. These are the things that become more important. Also, revisit basics before the exam once. It would be a crime to know the best method and then get stuck while recalling the same.

Sanchit: I am weak in DI & LR section. Do you think I can improve this section in three months of time? Please suggest me ways.
Mr Rajesh Balasubramanian: You can definitely improve. DI LR  requires Lots of practice. It requires one to build stamina. Very often, we get tired while attempting DI/LR questions. First one has to kill this. This can happen only when you hit lots of practice sessions on these.

Mohini: Sir, I have a problem in comprehension section of verbal ability. Kindly give some tips on this.
Mr Rajesh Balasubramanian: Read slower. Forget time taken. Pick practice passages and tell yourself that you will get ALL questions right even if it takes 30 minutes for 1 passage. If you can confidently get things right without worrying about speed, you can improve speed later.

MBA Aspirants seeking guidance and advice from renowned CAT Experts can login to MBAUniverse.com Chat page and post their query to the expert who shall revert on real time basis and guide them with their CAT insights. The Aspirants can also post their pre-chat queries on editor@mbauniverse.com to seek information and guidance on preparation for CAT 2013.
MBAUniverse.com also offers a comprehensive preparation package coupled with over 200 online interactive classes with Top CAT experts including from IIMs for CAT 2013 preparation. 
Visit the link below for more information and new batch schedules:

http://www.mbauniverse.com/mba-exam-preparation/CAT_Preparation/mba_preparation_package.php

CAT Preparation

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Logical Reasoning in CAT: How to factor strengths & weaknesses of statements

The questions based on merits of statements appear frequently under Logical Reasoning section of Common Admission Test (CAT) paper. You must tackle these questions strictly on the basis of information and arguments provided in the questions.

Any statement made for any reason may appear strong or weak, depending upon the supportive arguments. Logical reasoning questions of this type are placed before an aspirant to test his/her decision taking ability and to test his understanding of the language twist. In this logic, propositions are labelled with a representation of the arguments which strengthen or weaken the validity of statement. Arguments are supposed to be analyzed before going for appropriate answer option.

Factors that strengthen or weaken the arguments

There will be 4/5 options and an aspirant is required to choose the most appropriate option that strengthens or weakens the argument. One must carefully go through the options to analyze the best one. Let us understand the process –

i)    If the question is asked to select the option that best strengthens the argument, find out the option that has strong supportive evidence and/or reason for the argument.

ii)    In case the question is asked to find out the option that weakens the argument most, one has to locate the option which is equipped with the reason/evidence that shakes the very claim of the argument

iii)    It depends upon the question and followed options. Please remember you have nothing to add or delete even while thinking of an answer option since the statement/argument/information may be imaginary or may not be based on facts of life.

Example question – Let us share a question that appeared in XAT-

Question – Analyse the following passage and provide an appropriate answer for questions 1 & 2 that follow-

Silver is especially and repetitively savage about what he sees as the extravagant claims made for particle physics, arguing that once the proton, neutron, and electron were found and their properties experimentally confirmed, the very expensive searches for ever more exotic particles, such as Higgs Boson, were increasingly harder to justify other than by their importance to particle physicists. Most of the particles resemble ecstatic happiness. They are very short lived and have nothing to do with everyday life. His repeated assault goes to the level of sarcasm: ‘Finding the Higgs Boson will be a magnificent technical and theoretical triumph. Like a great Bobby Fisher game’. Of course this is a tad unfair, even if some of the claims of its practitioners invite such assaults on their field.

Q.1 – Identify the statement(s) that is (are) logically consistent with the content of the paragraph

i)    Identifying more information about Higgs Bosom is a significant contribution to particle physics.

ii)    Silver is an ardent critic of Higgs Boson theory.

iii)    Everyday life has nothing to do with experimental confirmation of the properties of proton, neutron and electron.

iv)    Research on exotic particles in particle physics is an expensive proposition.

A.    Only IV    B. only II   C. Only I   D. Only I and IV   E. Only II and IV

To read more

CAT Logical Reasoning

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Over 1 lakh CAT vouchers sold in 10 days; CAT Convenor hopes record numbers

The CAT voucher sales has crossed 6-digit mark with more than one lakh MBA aspirants purchasing the application forms in less than 10 days since the voucher sale opened on August 5 even as CAT Convenor hoped applications to reach a record high this year.

CAT 2013 Convenor Dr Rohit Kapoor told MBAUniverse.com that the total number of CAT application may reach record high this year even as online voucher sale is receiving a good response from the MBA candidates. Dr Kapoor said that the overall number of sold CAT vouchers has already increased by around 6 per cent as compared to last year for the same duration.

“Over 10,000 vouchers are being sold every day through online & offline mode. The number has already crossed one lakh in last 10 days and we expect the numbers to reach around 2.5 lakh when we close the process on September 24,” said Dr Rohit Kapoor, adding the online voucher sale introduced from this year has outsmarted the offline sale.

According to official data, the percentage of online voucher sale is more than 55 per cent of the total CAT voucher sale.

With the number of CAT applicants likely to increase this year, the competition might get tougher for entry to IIMs and other top B-schools. The number of CAT takers dipped significantly since the year 2008 and only showed a sign of revival last year when the number grew to 2.14 lakh.

CAT numbers over past years:

Year

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

CAT Application Numbers

2,46,000

2,41,000

2,04,000

2,05,000

2,14,000

The early trend of voucher sales for CAT 2013 indicates to a continued revival in CAT applications. While this may be a welcome trend for the B-schools which are struggling to fill their seat capacity, the growing applications will make the exam more competitive for MBA Aspirants.

Simultaneously, the IIMs have also increased capacity to accommodate more students from this year. The 13 Indian Institutes of Management have altogether added 115 more seats for admission year 2014. “This year’s CAT Aspirants will have greater opportunity for admission into the IIMs,” Dr Kapoor said, adding, “Across all IIMs, 115 seats have been added for B-School admissions this year, taking the total number of seats in IIMs to 3,335.”

The gateway to the prestigious IIMs and many other top B-schools in India, CAT is scheduled to be conducted in a 20 days window between October 16 and November 11, 2013. The last date for CAT 2013 registration is September 26. Prometric is the testing partner for this prestigious MBA entrance exam.

CAT 2013 Registration

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CAT Prep: How to crack Jumbled Paragraphs with out of context sentences

The difficulty level in various types of questions based on jumbled paragraphs in CAT has already been high enough and on the top of it, a surprise element appeared in CAT 2012 that is – the question to pick ‘Out of Context sentence in jumbled paragraphs’. It was something new for the aspirants and as such they had tough time, finding it difficult to solve this benevolent surprise from CAT. The concept was to decode the jumbled paragraph and pick out the ‘out of context sentence’ as well. A few of the mentors who anticipate such surprises ( since CAT has the reputation of bringing surprises every year, although it is denied every year) always try to gear up the aspirants for any eventuality like this and the only ‘Mantra’ is versatile study pattern.

Is this type of para-jumble so tough? No it is not, if you recall our childhood school days when you used to solve small puzzles, answer the riddles in fun and play, you may find what you did, had you continued with it, most probably you would have not crammed your head to study so much on this part of Verbal Ability. Nevertheless, since you have it, you must

crack it with a good skill and understanding.

This type of para-jumble has four-five sentences labelled A, B, C, D, and/or E-because the 5th sentence E may or may not be there.

These four-five sentences when placed in a sequential order will form a coherent paragraph, but one of the sentences will be out of context and will convey a different message than the other sentences taken together. Remember the rules to pick the odd man out of the four five related words – the same rule applies but with much advanced thought process and understanding to click the right sequence.

Try to solve the following small examples on words – If I write, pick the odd man out of the following five words, it will be more appropriate –

 Ex. 1) 1. Gujarat   2.Kerala   3.Uttar Pradesh   4.West Bengal 5.Maharashtra

Explanation – how would you proceed – alphabetical order, literacy, population or what?  But nothing of the sort is informed here. You know they are the states of Union of India – all have Legislative Assemblies – the information like population etc. if not divulged should not be accounted for. All the states but one is missing on something very important and that is the coastline which Uttar Pradesh doesn’t have. So the right answer is 3.Uttar Pradesh.

Ex.2)  A. Engineer B. Architect C. Mechanic D. Mason E. Blacksmith

Explanation – C. Mechanic is odd man out since he doesn’t help in building house.

In the same manner – when you try to locate an out of context sentence you should be aware of number of things like – actions, objects, statements, whether the same idea is followed in the entire paragraph or the stand has changed.  If the paragraph is all about the current state of affairs in the country; all the sentences describe it but one sentence proposes some relevant action to be taken on the issue- this sentence has got to be out of context.

The fragments in jumbled paragraph – One is required to link the sentences in accordance with the information provided in the paragraph. It is necessary to ensure that the idea and action expressed in the jumbled paragraph move in the same line, any sentence expressing different idea and differing the coherent formation of the paragraph will be an out of context sentence. Hence, a paragraph fragment, in fact is a sentence in the paragraph that breaks the consistency and coherence of the paragraph. This sentence is the ‘out of context sentence’ in the paragraph as it neither expresses the coherence nor supplements to the complete thought.

How to solve it – If a sentence doesn’t seem to convey the continuity to the thread of a complete thought, it should be placed as out of context sentence.

MBAUniverse.com offers a comprehensive preparation package coupled with over 200 online interactive classes with Top CAT experts including from IIMs for CAT 2013 preparation.

Visit the link below for more information and new batch schedules:
http://www.mbauniverse.com/mba-exam-preparation/CAT_Preparation/mba_preparation_package.php

To read more

CAT 2013 Preparation

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5 important info to be kept ready while registering for CAT

With CAT registration open and around 10000 CAT vouchers sold every day, you must hurry up to register early so that you can schedule your testing on a desired date and place. But before you go for CAT registration online, what key information should you be ready with? What information do you necessarily need to smoothly complete your CAT registration?This article brings you details on what important information you should be ready with & how this will help you complete CAT registration smoothly. CAT will be held in a 20-day testing window between October 16 and November 11. The last date for CAT registration is September 26, 2013.

First, let’s see the important steps towards registering for CAT.

Once you have bought your CAT voucher and received voucher number, you are required to register for CAT online in three steps:

1. Creating a profile: Creating a profile with your name exactly as it appears in your schools leaving certificate.  You also need to enter a unique email ID. This will lead to generation of a login ID for your CAT application.

2. Filling out the CAT application: A this stage you will need to fill up you personal information and academic details. You will also be required to select the IIMs and respective programmes that you wish to apply for. You will also need to give details of your work experience at this stage.

3. Scheduling your test: After filling up the CAT application form, you are given options to select your date, time and venue for your testing. You will be asked to choose a site and pick an available date and time at that site. The CAT 2013 will be taken in a 20 day window beginning 16 October and ending 11 November.

The estimated time to complete CAT registration process is 20-30 min, provided you are equipped with the following 5 important information when you begin the process:

1. Unique email ID: Ensure that you have a valid and unique email address before you begin the registration process. All the further correspondence related to your CAT will be done on that ID only.

2. Details on Academic record and work experience: Make a table clearly mentioning your academic record along with percentage marks at 10th, 12th, Graduation Master’s degree. Also keep ready details of your work experience.

3.  IIM Listing: Make a list of IIMs and your respective management programmes that you wish to apply for

4. Priority Listing of testing date & time: Keep three options ready in order of priority for choosing your date and place of CAT testing. Making a priority list will help you avoid any confusion in case you don’t get your first or second testing options.

5. Identification proof: Ensure that you have a photo identification which matches with the name you are filling in your CAT registration. This is necessary as you will be allowed to take test only when you produce the same to the test authorities at the CAT test centre. The name on the photo identification must match to your name as entered in the CAT registration. Acceptable form of photo identification are limited to driving license, passport, Pan card, voter ID, College ID  (supported with a valid ATM/Debit Card with your name), employee identification card, Unique Identification Card (UID), or a nationalized Affidavit with photo signature, date of birth and residential address.

Equipped with the above information while beginning the CAT registration process, you make a perfect start for CAT journey which may lead you to your desired IIMs or other top B-schools in India.  As the CAT test centers and testing dates are allotted on ‘first come, first serve’ basis, you must prepare list of key information and go for CAT registration now to get your desired CAT testing date, timing & place.

CAT 2013 registration

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Planning your MBA exam calendar: Take CAT early but avoid first few days, say Experts

With CAT registrations open and testing window approaching nearer, it’s time for you to slot your CAT testing day in the pre-scheduled 20-day window between October 16 and November 11, 2013. An advance planning for taking other major MBA exams like XAT, NMAT, IIFT Entrance after your CAT exam can give you an edge over others and may bring you many more admission opportunities to top B-schools in India.

So, how do you select your testing days? What is the ideal testing week? What should be the criteria for choosing your testing date?

CAT Experts suggest that it is better to take the test in the first half of the window, even as they say that the testing dates should also depend on your preparation level.

Arks Srinivas, CEO, VistaMind Education, and former director, T.I.M.E says that the dates should be selected depending on your preparation level and also your personal convenience. “You should evaluate your preparation and if you feel that 15-20 days of extra preparation can make you more confident, you should definitely go for the last week for the test. But if your preparation is good, make it in the first week of the testing window and save more time for the next big exam which is XAT,” he says.

Warding off myth that the CAT paper goes tougher in the second half of the testing window, Mr Srinivas says, “The difficulty level of the CAT paper remains almost the same through out the window. Also, if there is any difference in difficulty, the normalization process of CAT scores during the evaluation of your CAT performance takes care of that.”

The dates for all major MBA entrance exams have already been announced. CAT 2013 Exam is scheduled in a 20-day testing window from 16 Oct -11 Nov, 2013.

NMAT 2014 Exam is scheduled in a two and half month window beginning October 5 and ending 18 December. While XAT 2014 exam will be held on 5 January, 2014, IIFT 2014 Exam is scheduled on 24 November, 2013.

CMAT 2014-15 First Test window is between 26 Sept and 30 Sept, 2013. SNAP 2013 Exam will be conducted on 15 Dec, 2013.

To Read More

MBA Exam Dates

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Expert Insight: Focus on ‘controlling the controllable’ through your CAT journey

As far as CAT and the selection to the IIMs is concerned, there are a bunch of issues on which students expect more certainty than is available -

1. If I score 99.6th percentile, will I get a call from the top IIMs, given my academic record? (or some version of this).

The accurate short answer for this – “I do not know”. Based on past cut-off trends, the scores they give for 10th standard, 12th standard and under-graduation scores, we might be able to hypothesize which IIMs one is more likely to get a call from for a given CAT score. But we can do little better than that. More importantly, the answer to this question does not (should not) make the slightest difference to your preparation. Think about this, suppose some expert says “with your record, a 99.5 should get a call from all the IIMs”. Are you likely to leave a couple of questions in each section to ensure that you do not end up scoring more than 99.8th percentile?

Very often, fixating on this question before CAT leads to under-performance in CAT. Specifically, two types of errors creep in – i) I can any way not get into the best IIMs because of skeleton X in my cupboard. May be I need 2 more years of experience in order to crack this process. Or ii) I need to get 0.5 percentile more than anyone else, so I need to attempt more questions. The former leads to a defeatist attitude, the latter to one that makes you attempt the ‘wrong’ questions.

2. CAT follows a normalization process for getting to the final score. Does this mean I am better of attempting the tougher questions?:  Do not bother with the normalization process. Questions you consider tough may be benchmarked easy and vice versa. The team conducting CAT has conveyed that questions carry marks based on levels of difficulty, but we do not know what the exact process is. As it is, students need to worry about ‘n’ different things in an exam hall; this is one you can live without.

To read more

CAT Expert Tips

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CAT Prep: How to solve LR questions on ‘statements & conclusions’?

Not only CAT/XAT or IIFT are inclined to test you for various aspects of Logical Reasoning but also other important Management examinations are fond of putting up the candidates on Logical Reasoning test scale.

Statements and conclusions are the type of questions that test the quick and accurate presence of mind of the aspirants.

Question contents-

Questions of this type contain some information and on the basis of this information the candidate has to draw specific conclusion – whether the same can be drawn or can’t be drawn.  It means if we can draw an inference based on the given information, we can reach the conclusion. No conclusion can be followed in case the inference cannot be drawn.

Tips and strategy-

Read the question attentively and carefully. Do not be in a hurry as you are there for the very purpose of skill improvement

Imagine the situation and draw the inference based on the given information

The information given in the question must be thoroughly understood and no assumptions other than the provided facts or information should be made

Get the direct and indirect clues that could be used to quickly arrive at the correct answer option

Conclusion will either definitely follow the given information or will not follow, the third alternate could be non-determination of the conclusion due to lack of information.

While viewing the answer options do remember to apply elimination method.

  
Question Examples

In each question below is given a statement followed by four conclusions numbered 1, 2, 3 & 4. You have to assume everything in the statement to be true, even if it does not confirm to the accepted facts. Read the four conclusions carefully together and decide which of them logically follows beyond a reasonable doubt from the information given in the statement.

Statements –

Some boys are scholars

Some teachers are boys

All scholars are observers

Conclusions:

Some scholars are boys

Some scholars are not boys

Some observers are boys

Some teachers are scholars

Answer options –

(a) and (c) follow

(a) (c) and (d) follow

Either (a) or (b) and (c) follow

None of the above

Statements:

All teachers are professors

All professors are researchers

All researchers are consultants

Conclusions:

Some consultants are teachers

All professors are consultants

Some researchers are teachers

All professors are teachers

Answer options:

Only (a) and (b) follow

Only (a) and (c) follow

Either (a) or (d) follow

None of the above

Cracking the Questions-

(a)- Means (a) and (c) follow- Try to visualize by forming bigger and smaller circles. While drawing the figures you will find that there are two possibilities for boys – how they could differ in the context of statements and the relationship between observers and boys. Again while drawing figures for teachers, it will be observed that they inclusions cannot be negated vis-à-vis scholars and observers.  So, if we go by conclusion(a) there is no situation where we could reject the situation that ‘some scholars are boys’-hence conclusion(a) is definitely correct; conclusion-(c) similarly has the same situation where we can not reject that ‘some’ observers are boys’ hence it also follows. Conclusion (b) & (d) are liable to be rejected as it is possible that all scholars are boys and (d) no teachers are scholars.

(d)- Means- None of the above. If we go by the conclusions – 1 follows, 2 also follows and 3 follows as well. This answer option doesn’t exist, hence (d) is the only option left to be marked

 Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more prep articles on CAT and other MBA exams.

CAT LR Preparation

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CAT 2013 online registration begins; Over 9000 online CAT vouchers sold

The CAT exam is the common entrance exam of MBA, which is conducted to gain admission to 11 Indian Institutes of Management and over 150 B-schools.

The online registration for Common Admission Test (CAT) 2013 began today even as the number of online voucher sale reached near five digits on August 5, 2013.

According to the official CAT website the number of online voucher sale, launched from this year, was over 9000 at 5.00 pm on August 5. The CAT 2013 convenor Dr Rohit Kapoor said that the online voucher sale is aimed at adding convenience to the registration process.

The last date for CAT 2013 registration is September 26. The test is scheduled to be conducted in a 20 days window between October 16 and November 11, 2013.  Prometric is the testing partner for this prestigious MBA entrance exam.

Common Admission Test (CAT) is gateway to the prestigious IIMs and many other top B-schools in India.  The 13 Indian Institutes of Management have altogether added 115 more seats for admission year 2014. “This year’s CAT Aspirants will have greater opportunity for admission into the IIMs,” Dr Kapoor said, adding, “Across all IIMs, 115 seats have been added for B-School admissions this year, taking the total number of seats in IIMs to 3,335.”

Similar to last year’s exam, the CAT 2013 will have two sections. The first section will carry questions on Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation; and the second on Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning. These two sections will be implemented sequentially with separate time limits. The examination will be for 140 minutes. Candidates will have 70 minutes to answer 30 questions within each section which will have an on-screen countdown timer. Once the time ends for the first section, they will move to the second and will be unable to go back.

The dates for CAT 2103 has been announced more than 160 days in advance which gives much more time for MBA aspirants to register and prepare for the same as compared to CAT 2012 when the test dates were announced just 84 days in advance.

“We have announced the CAT 2013 dates much in advance to give MBA Aspirants more time to prepare their mind for the test,” Professor Kapoor added.

The CAT scores are the gateway to the admission for MBA Aspirants to most coveted Indian Institute of Management and other top B-schools in the country including FMS, MDI, SPJIMR, JBIMS, IMT etc. The number of CAT 2012 applicants was 2.14 lakh, an increase of 9,000 compared to CAT 2011 numbers.

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more news and updates on CAT 2013.

CAT Exam Dates

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New website launched for CAT 2013; only 89 non-IIMs register for using CAT score so far

IIM Indore has launched a new website for Common Admission Test (CAT) 2013. The CAT aspirants can log on to http://www.cat2013.iimidr.ac.in/ to register for the online testing scheduled in a 20 day window between October 16 and November 11, 2013. The registration process for CAT 2013 begins on August 5.

Surprisingly, the new website indicates a sharp drop in the number of non-IIMs registered for using CAT 2013 scores for their admission process. According to the CAT 2013 website, only 88 non-IIMs have registered for using CAT 2013 scores so far as compared to a list of 138 non-IIMs B-schools which registered for using CAT scores last year. The CAT 2013 officials from IIM Indore, however, said that the registration for non-IIMs for officially using CAT 2013 scores is still open and more B-schools are expected to register over next few days.

According to the new official website, the revised registration window for CAT 2013 is August 5- September 26. Earlier, the registration window for CAT 2013 was announced from July 29 to September 24, 2013. Prometric is the testing partner for this prestigious MBA entrance exam. The results for CAT 2013 will be announced on January 14, 2014.
The registration fee for CAT 2013 is Rs 1600 for General category candidates and Rs 800 for candidates belonging to reserved category. Read more

CAT New website

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CAT Preparation: Learn contextual use of foreign words in English

While preparing for vocabulary in Verbal Ability (VA) section, you often come across English words that are borrowed from other languages. If you can form divisions in practicing the vocabulary for your CAT preparation, it will be easier to correlate them in correct context.

The English language reflects centuries of its historical close contacts with East. Words from Hindi, Arabic, Persian have found prominent place in English Dictionary. A few words given below will equip you to move further, taking a lead to contextual usage. Choose the word or phrase that is the closest in meaning to the key word. Try to think of the reason before selecting an answer.

1. Hookah :

A. A pipe
B. A bird
C. A market
D. A narrow window

2. Kedgeree:

A. A stringed instrument
B. A lowly servant
C. A dish of fish and rice
D. A velvety fabric

3. Kowtow:

A. to run awkwardly
B. To spring back
C. To be over-respectful
D. To meditate

4. Nabob:

A. A wealthy and important man
B. A desert animal
C. A card game
D. An item of furniture

5. Pagoda:

A. A turban
B. A gold coin
C. A temple
D. A high ranking nobleman

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CAT 2013

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IIMs revise CAT 2013 dates; Online registration to begin on Aug 5

Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) has revised registration dates for Common Admission Test 2013 (CAT 2013) with the new registration window opening from August 5. The revised last date for CAT 2013 registration window is September 26.

Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) has revised registration dates for Common Admission Test 2013 (CAT 2013) with the new registration window opening from August 5. The revised last date for CAT 2013 registration window is September 26.

“The registration window will be open from 5 August through 26 September 2013,” said Dr Rohit Kapoor, Common Admission Test (CAT) 2013 Convenor. …More

 

http://openpr.com/news/save.html

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