Sunday, May 29, 2011


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There's no fixed formula to ace CAT.However, a combination of strategy, planning and implementation should help you score well in this test.Try and understand why you want to do an MBA. Your reasons should be good enough to constantly motivate you during the preparation stage. You should also inculcate the habit of reading regularly.
1.CAT is not a test to prove your mettle in specific subjects; you need to prove your overall ability.
2.The identification of easy questions is a difficult task and comes only after practice. Depending on a person's level of ease with the topics, the amount of preparation required may vary,you should try to leverage your strengths to the optimum. In the process, however, don't forget clearing cut-offs is essential to getting calls; doing well in one section and not clearing the cut-off in another will not help.
CAT is a pseudo standardised test-This means that, even though you cannot predict the exact pattern of questions like you can with GRE, you can still predict the answer pattern -- a net total of about 60 to 65 easiest possible questions Out of the 120 to 150 odd questionswith an equitable distribution in all three sections of the paper will get you calls from most institutions.

4. Most of you must have already started giving mock tests; this is the only way to figure out how you will fare at the
national level. There is no need to panic if you are not able to match your expectations in the mock CAT tests; look at every test as a learning experience.Do your best in all the tests. After returning home, analyse your performance. Adequate practice will give you the knowledge to make informed decisions -- for example, you will realise attempting a reading comprehension question might not be a good idea if you only have a few minutes left before the test ends.

5. You should be careful not to repeat the mistakes made you made in either the mock CATs or while practising at home. Make it a point to take a couple of tests every week from now on.

6. Set a goal while revising or studying the CAT preparation material.Here is an example of what I mean. If you have planned to study for two hours, you should also know what you hope to achieve at the end of those two hours. This will help you focus your effort. By setting a goal, you will achieve much more in those two hours.

7. As I had mentioned earlier, CAT is all about strategy. There are many talented people who have given this exam but have not got admission into the IIMs. One of the major differences between these people and those who made it to the IIMs is that the latter had learnt to maximise their result in the two hours allotted to CAT.They knew all sections were equally important and should, ideally, be given equal time unless you are exceptionally weak
in a section.

8. Coming to the paper, you should look at accuracy as a priority. Adequate practice will help you increase your
speed at a later stage of preparation, but absence of accuracy will lead to widely varying results and not help you get admission in the institution of your choice.

9. Lastly, flexibility matters.
One can have a strategy is place, but it may not work for you during the actual exam. You should always have a fallback plan. One particular section in the paper might be particularly difficult or you may find two sections have been merged into one. Such possible combinations should be analysed; you should also have a strategy ready in case you are faced
All the best for your CAT preparation and examination!

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