CAT Strat
Comments 83

CAT 2019 Analysis: Same bottle, stronger wine

The last time I took the CAT was in 2017 when I was heading IMS Pune (I had to go all the way to Nasik to take the test, and that was the reason I was fed up and did not take the test last year. This year I took the test yesterday in the afternoon slot at Pune, after two years of not teaching at all and the rustiness was more than visible.

The toughest Verbal section in a while

At an overall level, keeping the whole test-taking population in mind, the Verbal section was definitely one of the toughest in recent years. One of the big reasons for the toughness was the nature of the passages itself. Pound for pound, each of the passages was tougher to read than those of the preceding years. When students used to fret over the Verbal in the SimCATs, I used to feel that they will find the actual CAT easy, but this year in terms of the passages and the questions the CAT was as tough as the SimCATs.  One passage in each of the slots was tougher than those that appeared on the SimCATs as well. In a weird coincidence, both passages involved the British! On the way back with my colleagues, I was saying that angrez gaye, par CAT RC chod gaye.

The VA questions were all reasonably tricky as well, especially the odd man out and the summary questions, the answers could not be marked with a great conclusiveness, it was more of a case of elimination. The odd man out is anyway the weirdest question type since last year they declared parts of the actual paragraph in the sequence itself to be the odd one out!

Those who managed to 4 RCs well with not more than one error per passage and managed to confidently solve half of the VA questions can easily clear the cutoffs.

The cutoffs at the higher-end of the spectrum, 99 and above, will not go down by much since the previous years’ papers will not have challenged the people at that range enough, so test-takers at that level will have raised their game to match the level.

I personally had the same problem that I have had with this three-section format — 20 minutes left at the end of VA-RC after having solved all the questions (with a gun to my head I can solve the VA-RC section in 30 minutes) where I go back and comfortably relook at a few questions, but those were the ones that either do have a good option or ones where one has to choose the least offensive option. The 20 minutes could have been more than useful in the DI-LR section :-).

A more deceptive but equally tricky DI-LR section as the previous years

When I took 10 minutes and rated the sets, I thought that the section was way easier than last year. My first reaction was — my friend scrabbler will kill this and score around 280!

I did the two easiest sets in good time, the Spider set on revenues and profits and the Scatter Plot on rainfall, the questions were all closed questions as well. Looking at the sets, I knew that they were following the tradition of the last two years of giving complex looking representations that were, in essence, simple calculations. I think I was about 25 minutes into the section by the time I reached this stage. This was where a mixture of factors led to me not spending the rest of the section optimally.

Instead of picking the next most do-able set, since I was feeling good, I chose the languages set since the content was straightforward and most importantly, there wasn’t much scrolling involved. The complacency of having solved two sets led to me being not fully locked in while solving set. I wasted about 10 minutes on this set and made the cardinal error of not looking at the questions beyond the first question. The set was also a bit slippery in that it was trickier than it seemed.

I quit this set and went to the elections and proposal set, which in hindsight was a terrible idea since even my colleagues found the set painful. I thought I can nail the Venn diagram sort of set, but there were far too many variables.

I then went to the question papers set, MT and ET spent some good time on it and solved a few questions.

The set that I should have done but left was the doctors set.

For this slot, the four do-able sets, according to me were — the rainfall scatter plot, the spider set, the doctors set, and the languages set. The ET/MT and the couch sets were also solvable but with more effort and by those who are comfortable with Mathematical Reasoning.

A QA section that was only a bit easier than last year

The QA section was not markedly easier than last year, it was only marginally so. This is where the rustiness was most visible since I have barely taught or solved the QA section over the past two years. I was really struggling with timing the ball. It was not that I not able to solve — I solved around 22 questions, I even managed to solve a few very fast using answer options, but overall I was not middling the ball at all, it was a very laboured stay at the crease, mostly twos and threes with few boundaries, and I think I made a few mistakes as well.

By the time I came out of the test centre the mood was starkly different from what I was feeling at the end of the first 90 minutes, I was angry and pissed with myself, I calmed down only much later once I met my colleagues at the centre, but I told myself that next year I have to take quite a few mocks before taking the test.

A big reason for my complacence was that I had taken the last year papers and did reasonably well, but the big catch was that I solved the papers with the PDF format open on my screen, which is heaven compared to the scrolling you have to do on a computer-based DI-LR.

Percentile Predictor

Based on the scores collected from our students and last years trends you can calculate your score and get an approximate prediction of your percentile here  —  IMS Percentile Predictor

Getting ready for the next event

I am sure there will be many of you who will be disappointed with what happened on D-Day. All I can say is that it is not easy to crack the test on your first or second attempt unless you are on the top of your game for at least 10 to 15 mocks with additional reserves to handle a tougher paper. I cleared the test on my second attempt.

Even those of you who have set your sights firmly on the old IIMs will be taking a few more tests, at least the IIFT exam and the XAT. Do not let yesterday affect you negatively. Now that you have the monkey off your back go ahead full-throttle on these other tests.

Even if you have decided on another shot at the CAT and IIM-A, give the other tests you have registered for seriously, crack a final admit to IIFT, NMIMS, SIBM, or XL and then reject it. — achieve something this season and set yourself higher goals for next year.

After coming back home from Pune last night at around1 AM, I was not sleepy. I decided to browse the New York Times and see if they added any good articles over the weekend and I came across an article with this famous Zen quote — “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

For Scrabbler’s take on Slot 1 – CAT — S19E01 – The one with the British English

And for the love of God, why the hell doesn’t the TCS CAT test-player have a PREVIOUS button!


  1. Sivaranjani says

    Thank you for this post sir… a must needed one to gear up for the next exam…Sir can you please put some light on how to prepare for XAT DM section and how to allocate and manage the time for each section in XAT.


  2. Gaurav says

    ”Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” — this one is such a deep one , almost hit me like a bullet .

    Liked by 1 person

    • It did hit me as well, it is really, really deep, I have read my share of Zen but this no other comment places you directly in the line of action as this one.

      The real proof of the pudding is always moving beyond reading, beyond getting strongly affected, to acting, as I once put it — practice is theory.


  3. Hello sir..! You have indeed enlightened me so far with ur posts esp. motivation related. And thank you for the audio before the d-day which helped me to perform calmly throughout the CAT even if the first section was way frustrating than the expectations.
    Can u plz one more time help me out in RC section of IIFT? Long passages and not many specific questions, what strategy should I adopt?


    • Hi Kumar,

      Glad the posts helped you on CAT day. I’ll ask my colleagues to do a webinar or video on IIFT RCs. I limit myself to the CAT and the GMAT and the DM section of the XAT, the rest of the tests well I’d leave that to others 🙂

      All the best!


  4. Biswarup says

    I was able to solve the language set in last 5-6 mins remaining. I didn’t even need to frame the entire table but solved the questions based on simple elimination and logic. But your take on it-“The set was also a bit slippery in that it was trickier than it seemed.” scared me to death and makes me wonder weather I have done that correctly or not


    • KUMAR SAKET says

      biswarup yes the set was very easy and straight forward but it actually had possibility of many cases, thats the reason sir said it was bit tricky, fortunately the very first answers we thought with simple logic are cheers 😛


    • Shaila Agrawal says

      I too solved the set in few minutes by just making sense through the questions. But it may have been a lucky day for me as I do not usually follow this technique.


      • If one sliced the set correctly it was a 5-minuter.

        Robert is in team 1, so Arabic and French are done. All teams have to speak Chinese and English and speak exactly 4 languages. So Paula has to be the only other person. Team 1: R&P

        Teams 2 and 3 have to have Paula and Sally since they are on2 teams together, speaking 3 languages, Basque, Chinese, English, thus there is space for only one more language in teams 2 and 3.

        Team 3 with Quentin, Paula, and Sally completes 4 languages.

        The only person left is Terrence who goes into Team 2 since French is spoken in two teams, one of them is Team 1, so the only spot left is Team 2 — P, S & T

        Hence, the saying, hindsight is always 20-20!


  5. Rohan says

    I was in the morning slot and I was able to attempt around 22 in LRDI section where I was able to find the answers but now it seems scary again.


  6. rhinofreak says

    It seemed like the Slot 1 LRDI section was easier than Slot 2? I was able to find 4 doable sets and then some more TITA ones where solving the entire set was not needed.

    So restless for the answer key.


    • It was easier as per my chat with my colleague Scrabbler but not by a big margin, I am also sure that Slot 2 was easier than last year for sure in terms of getting 4 sets. So you can rest easy.


  7. Rajender Saini says

    Thank you sir for your all posts till now, they all are must needed articles for an aspirants.
    I admire you as my great mentor from when I met you in last mile to cat , Mumbai and that conversation till everyone left out & that last hand shake have made me to admire you.
    (I have weak section VA-Rc & doubts for the same) you might recognize me now.

    CAT 2019 , I have attempted 14 VA -Rc question , 9 DI LR Question (language set , revenue cost set , and rainfall set )with 100 % accuracy ,and in Quants I attempted 10 questions with 80 to 90 % accuracy, I think the score will not be helpful to bring the world cup home this year. After being a non math student , VA-Rc as weak section, I enjoyed the journey of CAT 2019.
    So I am planning for CAT 2020 now is it a good decision?
    And also planning to have CFA level 1 exam in June 2020
    CFA was pre planned, if result is good it will be an edge. if result doesn’t turn good till June I can clear CFA and 6 months for CAT 2020,
    And for reading Aeon magzine and new York times can be done side by side from jan 2020.

    So what is your opinion or suggestion, is it a good or bad strategy?.


    • Hi Rajender,

      I remember you from the LMTC in Mumbai.

      I would suggest that you forget about everything else till you are through with XAT and other tests you are going to take. Only after that start planning for next year.

      All the best!


  8. KUMAR SAKET says

    sir the very last zen quote cleared my biggest dilemma, i was feeling bit tired and exhausted and somehow the feel that i have done paper well was making me lazy , (though cat is something which we cant predict unless we match our answers with answer key) but as the zen quote said to keeping fetching water, i will continue to do so, juss fan of your blogs sir.
    thank you


  9. Riya Neema says

    Hello Sir,

    Thank you for all your articles as well as the Webinars on VARC, it really helped. Also, the podcast before the CAT was really useful. Apart from this sir, could you please share your Gmail id so that we can write directly to you in case of any educational queries.

    Thank you.


    • Hi Riya,

      If I give out my id on this platform you know I am going to be inundated with mails 🙂

      You can post your query as a reply to this comment. I know it might seem like a public forum but that’s okay, other students might benefit as well if they are facing the same predicament.

      All the best!


  10. pwnuts says

    Hi sir, been following your blog for a month now and there’s always been a takeaway for me from each of your articles – thank you very much!
    I did put in a lot into CAT this year and I’m pretty sure it’s going down – think my nerves got the best of me.

    I want to go all out for XAT and believe if I spend the coming month well – I may just have a decent shot at it (given it’s less quant centric). I know you’ve written down a lot on XAT earlier, but I was hoping for a more focused prep strategy, given my CAT quant prep, VARC inclination, and DILR aversion – would love to (and be very grateful if we can) correspond over email/call and understand your thoughts.. many thanks again.


    • Hi,

      You can put down the specifics in the comments here itself and I’ll reply. Sharing my personal id or number on a public forum will leave me with no time to do my other IMS work, which is substantial 🙂

      All the best!


  11. Sir, will the cut offs go beyond 30 for QA & LRDI (which is 10 questions)?
    I know we’ve to wait for the results for the same, but just wanted to know your point of view.


  12. mmihir16 says

    Hello sir,
    Thank you so much.
    Isn’t the proposal and election set from slot 2 a 4-circle venn diagram? (I’ve been really worried if I got the set right).


    • A 4 circle Venn diagram maps the intersection between 4 elements. Here there are more than 4 – A, B, Both A and B, Neither A or B, Sunita, Rajini, and the intersections between these elements.


  13. Om Prakash says

    HI Sir,
    I am in serious depression.In last 5 simcats I used to score in 120 s and 130s.In Dilr (20-44)and VARC(50+) while my quant used to varry(din’t take it seriously)(40 to 50)…But in CAT I couldn’t handle VARC pressure(it was my lowest attempt in all simcats-23 that too I am not sure)..then after that I was so much demotivated I started doubting myself in paper and it was my worst dilr attempt(1 set)..Even in most difficult simcat 9 and 10 I scored in 20s…after that I was like stone for 15 min in quant and wasted that time…somehow started solving paper and solved 23 questions in quant (almost all correct) …I don’t know what to do next…


    • Hi Om,
      Really sad to hear that you kind of had a meltdown on CAT day. I know it’s easy to say but the fact is that the worst that can happen as happened. The rest of the season can only get better.

      I can’t possibly say I understand what you are going through since the last time I had a meltdown – in the first year of my engineering when I failed in my favourite subject, engineering mechanics, I scored 27/100 – was a long time ago. Those feelings are too far in the past for me say that I know what you must be feeling.

      What you need to do is to know that the only paper on which this can happen again is on the XAT that has really tough VA-RC. If you keep that aside, IIFT has long but easier RCs than CAT, and SNAP as well.

      If you genuinely like solving questions and have developed decent skills over the season, then the only place you will find peace is in front of a test paper.

      The best way out is to start practicing the IIFT mocks for Sunday.

      It takes a lot of courage to confess that you bombed on Sunday, the next step now that you have let it out of the bag is to get going again.


  14. Hii sir,
    Very first Thank you so much for all your blogs, that was really motivating. I usually scored 115-120 in SIMCATs. But on the CAT in my first 20 mins. i was completely blocked, It seems like i lost somewhere or i dont have words to express myself. But somehow i manage to getup and done with 18 questions in VARC, which i dont no what the accuracy was. Then moving to the DILR section that was something okay for me as i attempted 14 questions with good accuracy. when i moved to the quant section all i know that i have to perform exceptionally well in the section for making my CAT (as quant is my most scoring section) So, the pressure in increased so much and may be because of that i ended up with only 16 questions (usually in SIMCATs that was around 22-24). So all and all after the test the thing came in my mind was this was my WORST SIMCAT ever Now i am feeling like lost, i cant handle the test pressure. And dont no what to do. I expected very much from CAT19.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Riya,

      I think a lot of students have had a really, really, bad day at the office last Sunday, especially because of the way the VA-RC section panned out. I can only say it happens to the best of people; it has happened to me thrice so far and once it was on the CAT.

      So do not use treat this as a reflection of your capabilities to test pressure, if you genuinely suffer from anxiety then you would be someone who feels similarly overwhelmed on SimCATs as well as other things in life. Also, imagine a situation where the passages were easier and the rest of the paper was the same, what would have happened in that situation? Would you still have succumbed to pressure? I don’t think so. This was a case where the extreme pressure right from the get-go derailed not just you but a lot of people.

      So do not be too harsh on yourself. You can only blame yourself if you crumbled to a regular paper, not this paper, which began this way.

      I am sure you have other tests lined up as well and you should know that the skills you have developed over the last few months will not disappear because of one day.

      Get ready for the next test, it is a different pitch, a different bowling attack, a different day.

      All the best!


      • briya888 says

        Thank you sir. Yes sir I am trying to concentrate on my IIFT now and hoping something good on this.


  15. Riya Neema says

    Hello Sir,

    CAT preparation itself has taught many things like how to be calm and composed in tough situations, how to get back to the grid even after failing and the list is quite long. I just wanted to ask you how can I improve my decision making capability not just in exam but in life when encountered with difficult situations and how I can improvise the rational thought process. Is there any book you would suggest or any sort of advice which you would like to give.

    Thank you.


    • Hi Riya,

      Good to see that you are seeing your whole preparation from a much larger perspective, which is something that I have always wanted students to do.

      As far as decision-making in life goes, I have not read any books one the same, so my googling is as good as yours.

      All I can say though is that 9 out of times in life the impasse when having to make a decision stems from wanting to maximise all the variables at the same time and not giving different weights to different variables.

      Let me give you an example. Say you are on campus and you have differentiate between two jobs what are the parameters — sector, brand, role, salary, location. Most of the time it is impossible that there is a job that ticks all of these checkboxes. People get torn because they do not rank-order these variables, ask themselves which one is more important, let go of a few things and then decide. We get anguished or frustrated because we want everything at the same time and then blame the situation.

      This will always happen in life — managing work-marriage-family — it is rare that we can have it all. I am sure even people who seem like they have it all will say that they wish they had more time to devote to one specific thing but they know that they have made a conscious choice to have less of it by prioritising something else.

      This is maybe a short summary of what I think about decision making. The first step though is to always step back, be slightly detached and then take a call. The thing with life though is that one approach might not always work — sometimes being impulsive, involved, and spontaneous might be the best way; at others being thoughtful, and detached works better — but at all times keeping in mind that all decisions involve a trade makes taking a decision and more importantly living with the consequences, easier.

      All the best!


  16. Atul Shenoy says

    Sir, Can you do a post or help me out through comments on any good tips for Snap or how to crack it?? Any easy methods to manage my 120 mintures along 150 questions and clear cutoffs for SIBM Pune??

    Thanks in Advance!


    • Hi Atul,

      I have never given SNAP nor taught for the same and hence will not be the right person to give any strat for the same, I limit myself to the CAT, the GMAT, the GRE and the XAT — tests that I have prepared for and taken.

      You can look at the SNAP prep videos in the CHANNEL section of the new myIMS or the same video here —

      Al the best!


  17. Pingback: CAT S19E01: The one with the British English – CAT-holics

  18. Kartik thakur says

    Thank you for the little push, Sir. After going through this post and the comments section I actually feel a better than all the sympathies people are giving on the streets.

    On a lighter note, am I the only one who didn’t get the Zen quote ? 😅 please care to explain the quote Sir ?


    • Glad the post was helpful in whatever small way.

      Well, you not the first person today who has asked me the exact same question about the Zen quote.

      Enlightenment is what all monks strive for in their Zen practice. As part of the practice all people at the monasteries, especially the novices, do all the chores like sweeping the floor, chopping wood and carrying water. The quote means that life doesn’t change even after enlightenment, one still has to the work, working hard and doing what needs to be done does not stop.

      All the best!


  19. Hello Sir,
    I have just recently discovered your posts starting from the SP Jain one till your vlog before CAT and I am glad to have found it.

    I was allotted the 2nd slot as well and as per usual my anxiety was through the roof and I was just able to remain under check by convincing myself that CAT is just the back-up to my main priorities which are XAT and TISS(I am interested in HR primarily).

    But I had anticipated this type of paper since our mentor at IMS said that IIM K is crazy about academic and gender diversity so they will more than likely ask easy Quant and tough English and same level of LRDI as last year so I had been prepping a strategy based on that itself and was glad to find the same pattern. The LrDi was expected to have an easy DI and tough LR so my strategy revolved around the same

    But coming back to the exam itself, I found the VA quit tricky w.r.t Odd one out and ParaJumble and the one passage on British colonialism tough to read(wasted around 10mins on it) which caused me to take more than 50 mins for the first time ever this SimCat season but I found the rest of passages interesting to read and was just having fun with them until I saw the tedious Inference based questions. I have attempted around 31 Questions overall and now I am scared about my accuracy since I did not expect everyone else to find the paper that difficult and now am second guessing my attempt and the actual difficulty level.

    With DI/LR, I made the mistake of selecting the very first set regarding the money pouches and then realized that all the questions were TITA so that wasted around 5-7 mins of mine. But then I cleared off the Doctor set and rainfall set and then starting picking around 1-2 Qs from 6 other sets and cleared the cost/revenue DI set as well towards the very end.

    I was glad to find Quant easy and straight forward even though they were lengthy since I am quite averse to Quant itself and find myself suffering from PTSD ever since I got a 61 in my 12th Boards and barely passed. I attempted around 21 Q’s with a high accuracy.

    All in all, I am just anxious because of all the fear I encountered around me after the exam got over and my anxiety has taken over. My next stop exam is XAT and TISS which are extremely opposite in terms of prep and would like to hear any tips or time management strategy that would enable me to tackle both the tricky GK of the latter and the tough English/Quant and DM of the former.

    Thank you so much for all your posts this CAT season and will be looking forward to your DM videos that you said you would release in the previous comments.


  20. Payal Mishra says

    Thank you so much, Tony! As always, all your words inspire me a lot. Will be there any workshop for DM – XAT?


  21. Rahul Dugar says

    Hi Sir,
    Thanks again for the constant guidance.
    I am scoring 155 overall (55 VARC; 53 DILR; 47 Quants) in CAT (Slot 1)
    My profile in brief is :
    Xth: 10 CGPA (CBSE)
    Xiith: 88% (CBSE)
    Engineering (GEM) : 83.36%
    Work Ex (Till July): 12 Months.

    Can you please tell me the expected percentile and calls.

    Thank you 🙂


  22. Shlok Khemani says

    Hi Sir,

    I secured a decent score in the CAT (could’ve been better though) and I just wanted to thank you for the crisp, to-the-point and motivating posts you’ve put up over the last few weeks. I have no doubt they contributed to my score. The blog helped me during the worst moments of my prep. The internet is scattered and filled to the brim with “strategy” and “guidance” information for the CAT, but your blog cut through all the BS and gave the most logical and practical solutions to almost every problem faced by test takers.

    Thank you so much sir and I’m genuinely looking forward to all your future posts!


    • Hi Shlok,

      Really happy to hear that you did well in a paper with a change (the tough VA-RC).

      Thanks a lot for the generous praise. I wish I followed the advice I gave out, I would have done better in the last two sections 🙂

      The internet, in general, is just a whole lot of noise and trying to find really good test prep advice is not easy because it is not solely a function of having cracked the test. I feel a good teacher’s job is to help remove the obstacles that are preventing the student from achieving his or her best. Most of the time we know what to do but we do not know what is stopping us from doing it just like in cricket it can be a small technical/process flaw — the bat coming down from third man, a crouched stance, leaning over too far forward — that prevents us from maximising our capabilities.

      More posts are lined up for XAT, starting Monday, and maybe one for all test-takers who unfortunately could not deliver on test-day.

      All the best for the rest of the season.


      • Shlok Khemani says

        I couldn’t agree more, sir. Your posts did exactly what you mentioned.

        Hope to see you at the Achiever’s bootcamp!


  23. Hi Sir,

    I secured a decent score in the CAT (could’ve been better though) and I just wanted to thank you for the crisp, to-the-point and motivating posts you’ve put up over the last few weeks. I have no doubt they contributed to my score. The blog helped me during the worst moments of my prep. The internet is scattered and filled to the brim with “strategy” and “guidance” information for the CAT, but your blog cut through all the BS and gave the most logical and practical solutions to almost every problem faced by test takers.

    Thank you so much sir and I’m genuinely looking forward to all your future posts!


  24. Aditi says

    Hello Sir,
    I cannot thank you enough for being a constant source of inspiration and guidance to me. Your blogs have been an important part of my CAT prep and have helped me immensely in keeping my morale high throughout the prep 🙂
    I am an Engineer with 22 months of experience in business intelligence. I left my job in July to prepare for CAT. Coming to my performance in CAT, my score is 124 (I know I can do better than that, however, it is the best I could do on that day in that paper). I know I gave my best to it under those circumstances but I also know that it might not be enough to make the cut.
    I am having a hard time deciding what would be the best thing to do now. I am preparing for the remaining exams. But what should my approach be post XAT? Should I take up another job immediately or do some certification courses in the meanwhile till the calls are out and I get more clarity?
    It would be really nice if you could guide me regarding this as you have always done in some way through your posts.
    Looking forward to more of you posts!
    Aditi 🙂


    • Hi Aditi,

      Really glad to hear that the blog was useful for your prep and that you are more or less happy with how you handled CAT day.

      I think the best time to take a call will be at the end of January. In case you do well on the other tests and get some calls then it will be best that you are not working so that you can prepare for the interviews and more importantly be able to attend them without having to ask for leaves as soon as you join.

      If you do not get any calls you can start looking and join. I know there will be a case of the time taken to find a job but trust me it is best not to have too many things cooking at the same time.

      If you have spare time after preparing for XAt and any other tests that you are taking, go ahead and do some certifications.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!


      • Aditi says

        Thank you soo much Sir!
        Can’t wait to read your posts on XAT.


  25. Sir
    Please check if the following question in CAT 2019 SLOT 2 is vague or not and should i file for objection?
    I’m seriously considering to and would rely on your reply.

    “Amal invests Rs 12000 at 8% interest, compounded annually, and Rs 10000 at 6%
    interest, compounded semi-annually, both investments being for one year. Bimal invests
    his money at 7.5% simple interest for one year. If Amal and Bimal get the same amount
    of interest, then the amount, in Rupees, invested by Bimal is*

    I took the semi annual interest as 6% instead of 3% for the two 6-months period as the rate was not *PER ANNUM*. I got the answer as 29280 instead of 20920.
    Should i file for objection or are they correct?


    • Hi,

      While there is a point that they have not mentioned the p.a bit they will argue that it is understood since it is most commonly understood as p.a if it’s not explicitly stated.

      Your case would have been strong had the wording been ‘compounded semi-annually at 6%’.

      You won’t lose anything by objecting but you won’t win anything either unless you want to go the whole hog and contest it with a law suit.

      Hope this helps.


  26. Nashra says

    Hello sir, I’ve got 151 overall in slot 1.
    (72-VA, 46-DILR, 33-Quant)
    I’m a female general ba final year student (so no work ex)
    10th-94.5(Icse) 12th-86.66(Cbse pcmb) Grad-75.1 (arts)
    What are the possible calls I can get?
    If I don’t get any of the older IIMs, would it be wise to take a drop to prepare again or try to get a job and prepare alongside?


    • Hi Nashra,

      With a 151 you will be close to a 99 and given gender and education diversity you can expect a few calls from the old IIMs provided you clear the QA cut-off (33 is surprising given your DI-LR score).

      As of now prepare for XAT and see the season through. Incase nothing works out take another shot for sure, you should be able to work and get a higher score since you are already at a 99.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!


  27. Anmol Shaha says

    Hello sir,
    My score in CAT 2019 as per the answer key is 187 (52/52/83).
    My profile, in brief, is as follows:
    10th 91.2% in CBSE,
    12th 90.6% in CBSE,
    Graduated from IIT Dhanbad with 80.4%,
    I have 11 months and 29 days (2nd july’18 to 30th June’19),
    I would love to know where can i expect interview calls from. (IMS predicts 99.79 percentile)
    Also I ve been trying to get the answer to this question from multiple sources, almost all of them said that the above scores and profile should definitely be able to secure an interview call from IIM C.
    Assuming this to be true, should I spend December preparing for the further processes(WAT, interview etc.) or should I focus on XAT?(I did not register for any other examinations other than CAT and XAT). Had you been fairly confident in cracking the interview if you started right away, what would you do?
    Hoping a helpful and detailed reply(sorry if this is too much to ask).
    Thanks a ton 🙂


    • Hi Anmol,

      Back in day, I cooled off on XAT right after giving the CAT, since I knew I did a fairly decent job and my mentor told me that I’ll get all 6 calls (these were the days when there were only 6 and we got only calls, no calls or percentiles).

      I’d suggest that you give XAT a shot and prepare for the WAT-GD-PI, I am sure at your level it need not be an either-or situation.

      Just devote an hour every day to chewing up the newspaper and reading NYTIMES and Scroll. The rest of the time for XAT.

      As for the calls, you should get all of them, B might be an exception because of the CAT Score weightage (a very small chance of not getting a call).

      All the best!


      • Anmol Shaha says

        Thanks for the response sir. It was helpful and to the point.
        There are a few things I must ask though.

        Firstly, I prepared for CAT solely by myself (no guidance, no mentor whatsoever), in just
        5 months after I left job back in july which was again unplanned and rather spontaneous. However, I think this sort of preparation for WAT-GD-PI might not be a very good idea. I would love to hear your thoughts on the same.

        Secondly, my grad score is actually 85.4% but due to some tragic events I had to fill 80.4% while filling up the form. Also I got to know from few sources that for IIMs, 11 months and 29 days of job experience is not the same as 12 months. If given a chance, I can rectify these errors and come up with a better application overall. I wanted to know how much of an impact these rectifications would make regarding my chances of securing a seat in IIM A, B and C.
        Thanks 🙂


  28. dharini ram says

    Hi Sir,
    Your posts were really motivating and helpful for working professionals.You are guiding us alot. I am very thankful for all your posts .I am stuck now and I really looking forward to your suggestion as I am totally confused and down after D day. I am getting around 115 as per response sheet check. I am general engineer Female and my score is 48/23/44 . I have 27 months experience in consulting till date. Is there any chance of getting calls and converts from good IIMs or MDI or SPJAIN or atleast IIT M /D? My acads in percentage are 95/97/90 . Is it good to attempt CAT next year ? I feel my work ex will be way higher and placements will become problem. Also is it worthy to try outside India , in that case what kind of courses /universities you will suggest sir? – I know I am asking too many questions sir , but I am really confused and worried sir.


    • Hi Dharini,

      Glad you find the blog useful.

      115 will be between 90 and 95 percentile. Your best chance for a call is from IIT-M, I am doubtful about IIT-D. The rest of the schools will need in excess of 95. May be a few new or baby IIM calls might come in.

      I would say as of now focus on the XAT. By January end there should me more clarity in terms of calls and it’s best to take a decision then.

      About another shot, 27 months is not too high. By next June you will have less than 40 months in total, which is not really on the higher side. You can take another shot for sure; IIM-B will be a good bet, I have had female students with 5 years of experience get into B with a 96.5.

      You can look at ISB and some international schools as well provided you have the budget and want to build a career abroad (a more detailed round up international options won’t be possible in this space)

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!


  29. Anmol Shaha says

    Hi sir,
    My tentative score in CAT 19, as per the answer key, is 187(52/52/83) (slot 2).
    My profile, in brief, is as follows:
    10th 90.17% CBSE
    12th 90.6% CBSE
    Graduated from IIT Dhanbad with an overall 80.4% (actually it’s 85.4% but due to some unexplainable or rather long reasons I had to fill 80.4% but if given an opportunity I can change it to 85.4%)
    11 months and 29 days of job experience (02/07/2018 to 30/06/2019) (someone told me this wouldn’t be counted as 12 months)
    IMS predicts 99.79 percentile while TIME predicts 99.96 percentile.
    Where can I expect interview calls from?
    Also, assuming that the above score and percentile should fetch me a call from IIM C, should I focus on further processes(WAT, interview etc) right away or should I focus on XAT? (I did not register for any other exams).
    What would you do if you were fairly confident that you can crack the interview if you start preparing right away?
    Hoping a helpful and detailed response (sorry if that is too much to ask)


  30. rhinofreak says

    Hi sir,

    My CAT went a bit disappointing, even more so after I realised that I messed up two TITA by writing 80*11 = 8800 and inputting 900000 instead of just 9 (where they explicitly mentioned they wanted answer in Lakhs).
    I also messed up 1 entire set in DILR by making a silly mistake, even not attempting that set now would have gotten me 4 extra marks, let alone the 15 mins bonus time.

    I got 58/29/31 overall – 118.

    What I want to ask is that, should I give the exam next year and try to work on silly mistakes? Or should I get a decent college for now and give my best there?
    For context, I am SC Male Engineer with 9 months work ex.

    Really looking for some advice!


    • Absolutely no way you are not giving another shot. You have to take it again. You have only 9 months of experience, you can afford another shot to make it to an old IIM.


      • rhinofreak says

        Thank you so much sir! I am now seriously considering giving it another shot and challenging myself to overcome this. I will also be giving XAT and would try to focus on awareness for it.

        Your blogs and comments have been insightful and inspiring throughout this preparation journey, I’ll be looking forward to reading them regularly!


    • rhinofreak says

      I also want to add that I gave 40+ mocks this year, but even till the end, I was not able to rid myself of silly mistakes at all. In a few mocks where I felt my brain functioned optimally, I scored 98-99 percentile.

      Do you think at this point, my silly mistake trait can be fixed if that many mocks didn’t fix it?


      • May be you need take fewer mocks and concentrate harder on the steps rather taking as many mocks as you can. Silly mistakes can only be avoided through slowing down and awareness something that runs counter to doing more and more tests.

        I think it can be overcome but it would at some level require you to reprogram yourself, it’s not something that not been done before. You can’t do it with will power alone though, you have to take up other things like yoga, pranayama, and may be even learning another language online.

        It’s a long road to next November might as well look at it like a major overhaul and not just a CAT score.

        All of this if you believe you deserve to be in an old IIM. If you do not (and there is no compulsion that you should) then am sure the other colleges will give you decent options as well.


  31. Anand says

    Sir, waiting for your post on XAT verbal ability. Would really appreciate it.


  32. Aditya says

    Hi Sir,
    I would like your guidance regarding profile building for the interviews. I am scoring a 164, slot-2 with sectionals(VA-58, LR-56. QA-50). I am a GEM, with 95/82.6/88 in 10/12/ and having 2 years WorkEx in construction industry, I quit my job in Aug to focus on CAT. Now, I am confused whether to shift my complete focus on XAT or start prepping for GDPI, if its the latter then how to go about it so that by feb end I have something good to show if asked about about my current gap.
    Your response would be a huge help.
    Thanks in advance.


  33. Hi sir
    i would like to know which calls can i expect from top B-schools and also possibly have a realistic chance of converting them?
    work ex from 1st of June 2019 (can continue till January 31st if it’ll help me)

    CAT Slot 2- 170 (69/51/50)
    Have decent extracurricular and this would be my final attempt.


    • Hi YG,

      With a 170 you should have a percentile around between 99 and 99.5.

      Given your marks and work-ex, you should get calls from L, I, and K. You have a strong chance with IIM-A as well given your education diversity but it depends on how the rest of the Commerce students have done. If the scaling pushes your percentile above 99.6, then B and C will happen.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.