CAT Strat, Motivation
Comments 83

A plan for the last leg

At this stage, I realise that all of you are suffering from a different set of problems that occur at different score-levels. It is quite tough to come up with posts for the specific score ranges that different people are in and it is absolutely stupid to come up with a do-this-everyday-for-the-next-30 days sort of a thing (if you even think that is possible then you are preparing for the wrong exam). This post is intended to help you devise the best plan for yourself over the next thirty days.


Fix your desired set of colleges, tests, and percentiles

While everyone should and still aim to get into the old IIMs, each of one of you should also have a clear idea as to what the good colleges are for your profile for you apart from the IIMs.

When I say a good college for you, you should measure it in terms of the outcomes that will be commensurate with your profile at this stage.

An MBA primarily amplifies your current profile, this means that it will multiply whatever is your current earning potential by 2-2.5.

If your current potential is 6 or lower multiply it by 2.5 if it is between 6 to 7 multiply it by 2.25, 8 and above multiply it by 2.

If you are a fresher or studying in a good college, top 5 in your state, and have a good academic profile, you should get a job that pays at the least 6 LPA. This means that you need to look at an MBA college that has an average of around 14 LPA.

If you are a fresher or studying in a college, that will give you a salary of 4 LPA, you need to apply to colleges that will give you a salary of at least 10LPA.

The same applies to working professionals as well, irrespective of number of years of work-ex you need to look at your current salary and do a multiplication by 2-2.5.

Those who are in the higher pay scales should do a multiplication by 2 and also note that in the top-tier colleges the average might be 17-18 but the number of jobs with salaries above the average will be good enough to get you the desired jump.

Based on this list of colleges you need you to fix your desired tests and the respective target scores and percentiles.

The desired list and percentiles though cannot be looked at in isolation, the elephant in the room is your current potential on the CAT and other tests. So you have to choose the colleges both based on your profile and the percentile you are likely to score.

If you have a really high potential on the CAT and other tests as demonstrated in your SimCAT scores, you should aim much higher than your current earning potential. (More than a decade ago, I had a 2.5 lakh job out of campus but I was sure my aptitude on the CAT was good enough to get me a call from IIM-A, which eventually did happen, so I applied only to 2 schools apart from the IIMs) 


Estimate your actual percentile from best Mock percentiles

On the actual CAT, if you perform at the same level as you perform in the Mocks, your percentiles will be much higher.

The simple reason is that the Mocks are taken by the most serious CAT aspirants.

While more than 2,00,000 register for the tests, the Mocks are not taken seriously by more than 25000 students. On test day, out of the registered students around 30000 do not even turn up.

So the fraction that is percentile, x/y, will increase on test day since the denominator and numerator will become 6-digit figures and the rest of the crowd that shows up on test day is not going to do better than those who are preparing (India does not have that much bench strength that people who do not even take mocks can show and perform better than those who are).

What happens to the value of a fraction less than 1 if the numerator and denominator keep increasing — 2/3 < 3/4 <4/5 — it keeps on increasing. The question is how much will it increase by?

By half of the difference between 100 and your current percentile. If your current percentile is 80, it will become 90, if it is 90, then 95 and so on.

If you feel that you can increase your current mock percentiles by 5 more, then estimate your actual percentile after adding 5 to your current percentile.

On the CAT the scores correlate with the percentiles as follows:

95 percentile – 85-90
99 percentile – 100-105
99.5 percentile – 115-120
100 percentile – 140 and above

In short if you cross a score of 100 you are very likely to cross 99 percentile.

Now that you know your target scores, set incremental scores towards reaching them.

You are at 75 and have to reach 105, start with a target of 85-90.

For some of you, this increase might be evenly spread across sections and for others, it might be lop-sided, you have to do the break-up of the sectional increase 

This is not easy to do. For example, if you are scoring 80 and are scoring above 30 in two sections and below 20 in the third, then your first area of focus should be on the one below 20 since the maximum scope of improvement lies here.

A good way to ensure that you prepare optimally is to execute the plan below.


A plan for the last 4 weeks

If this is your second attempt and you have cumulatively taken more than 40 Mocks, take only 8 tests in the last 4 weeks, 1 test every three days.

Everyone else should take 15 tests in the next 4 weeks, 1 test every alternate day.

Take-Home SimCATs are actual SimCATs from the last 3 years they are authentic or difficult as the current SimCATs, they feel different because you do not take them under any pressure.

After the tests and during the days between the tests focus solely on one area per week in whatever order is necessary for you, W1— DI-LR, W2—VARC, W3 — QA, W4 — Overall.

Obviously, this cannot apply to everyone. For those who are doing really well on QA and VA-RC and have a problem only with DI-LR, work for two weeks on DI-LR, you have to customise this plan.

What should you be doing during these weeks?


The four levers to higher scores

The four levers that you have to use to propel your scores are — Selection, Accuracy, Concepts, and Speed

No matter what your score the first thing you have to get right is selection.

Why Selection matters?

When you are consciously selecting the right questions to do you are taking the test and the test is not taking you.

All of you want to (or rather should since you are spending 20 lakhs for an MBA education) become a CEO or Founder in the future. What is fundamentally involves is to decide where and how to invest your money.

If 100 people come to you asking you to invest 2 crores each in 100 ideas and you have 200 crops at your disposal, what will you do?

  • will you give everybody 50 or 100 each and then depending on how they do will you give the rest or will you first do a quick evaluation of the soundness of the idea using some strong first principles and then decide to invest?
  • will you give money to ideas that are in industries you like or will you give money to ideas that will definitely generate money (if the goal is to make the most of your 200 crores)

During the CAT, you are investing money. So by not selecting questions and spending some time on each question you are investing money without evaluating ideas.

During each section, you are first supposed to play the role of CEO, deciding whether to do the problem or not, then be the worker solving the problem, and in parallel play the manager who is aware of the clock.

If you select and solve the right 75 questions and leave the remaining 25 by spending less than 20 minutes you will end up with a percentile above 99.

So the first task before anything else is for you to go and watch all the videos on how to select the right questions  in the CHANNELs section of the new myIMS, just go there and watch the LMTC videos in the recorded tab. If you have already watched this or attended LMTC sessions and are successfully implementing the methods then you can skip this part.

Accuracy

If you select and solve the right 50 questions and leave the remaining 20-25 by spending less than 10 minutes you will end up with a percentile above 99.

ATTEMPTS CORRECT SCORE
60 48 132
55 44 121
50 40 110
45 36 99
40 32 84

But this, as you would have realised, is contingent on you solving at least 80% of the questions right.

If I am guessing right, accuracy, is the biggest problem in VA-RC for almost all test takers and that is solely because there is in the way of a technique that test-takers apply.

While a lot of students have told me that the methods I suggested in RC-1 have been useful, they have also told me that they still are getting tougher questions wrong. They have seen RC-2 but they feel the methods are time-consuming. Yes, they will seem time-consuming to those who do not think in English.

But there is no way you can answer the questions correctly by reading passively all through and waking up right at the climax when you are caught between options.

All of the gyaan about eliminating extreme options, skimming and scanning, and their ilk are pure quackery, nothing more than candy to children.

There are no shortcuts to crack VA-RC, set a realistic target and solve questions in the technically correct way, else attempt more and be happy with a 60 per cent accuracy as long as you clear the cut-off, do not expect to boost your overall score through

If you have an issue with accuracy in VA-RC, go to the CHANNEL section on the Masterclasses and watch the RC-1 and RC-2 Masterclasses and the VA Masterclasses.

If you have an issue with accuracy in QA, go to the posts on this page —  https://thecatwriter.com/category/quant-strat/

Concepts

Once you are selecting the right passages, sets, and questions, and solving 4 out of 5 you pick correctly, you need to be able to solve a wide range of questions.

In QA, if you are only attempting questions from a few areas and are still not attempting questions from Logs and Geometry, then do so at your peril, there were 10 do-able questions from the two areas last year.

To quickly master concepts and application, go to the LEARN Tab in the new myIMS and watch all the videos there to get a good grasp of basic concepts and application.

If you are facing troubles in higher-level application in a particular area, then do all the problems from the e-MAXIMISER module.

For the DI-LR week or two weeks, the task is clearly cut out — approximately 200 sets — 17 SimCATs  + 6 Actual CAT Sections (2017, 2018, and 2019 both slots)

If you need to learn to how to solve DI-LR sets better  —https://thecatwriter.com/category/di-lr-strat/

Speed

And yeah, at this stage, honestly, I have no tips to increase reading speed in general except to say that concentrate harder and read faster (if only we could embed the Blinkist app in our brains).

To increase solving speed I have no tips but to ask you to stop writing entire solutions on your paper, you do not need to show homework to your teacher. The test-takers scoring above 135 are not writing equations and cancelling out terms on both sides.

Where should I solve questions from

Irrespective of your level you should know how to solve every question in each of the proctored SimCATs and the e-Maximiser.

You can practice executing strategies between tests by solving Section Tests (apart from Section Tests in the Application Builder, you also can use the Take Homes as Section Tests by using exit section option).

You are really weak in an area and need to practice basics then solve the Concept module.

A quick summary

  • 10-15 Tests every alternate day.
  • 1-2 weeks dedicated to one section depending on where you are.
  • For each section move from selection to accuracy to concepts to speed.

Have a plan for each SimCAT

For every SimCAT you need to have a section-wise target score and a plan to reach that score.

  • VA-RC — I am going to get more marks from VA by solving them before RC and applying the right technique
  • DI-LR — I need to select sets better, I am still choosing one wrong set.
  • QA — I am going to get more marks from Geometry

To do this you should analyse a test well. When you analyse a test, especially the incorrect questions ask yourself — should I have attempted this question or set, did I follow the process of solving correctly (VA-RC), did I not read the misread or miscalculate (QA-DI-LR).

When you analyse a test, look at the skipped questions in QA and figure out the areas you need to strengthen and go to the LEARN Module videos.

I want to do well, I will kill this test — these are not plans they are dreams and feelings.


How to manage your feelings

In short, taking a test is not about feelings.

Getting disheartened when you see a low score, starting to feel pressure, anxiety attacks, all of these are things have nothing to do with solving a question.

The only questions to always ask are — Why did this happen, what did I do wrong, did I select the right set, did I pause after reading the RC question frame a shadow answer and then go to the options?

If you cannot get rid your feelings and get the job done when the task involves you and a piece of text on a machine, then you can forget managing others and leading firms. Honestly, you should consider another profession where someone else will handle the pressure and tell you what to do.

If you want to increase your concentration levels and manage work as well go through these posts:

I usually refrain from giving our set prescriptions like a doctor does, do these things every day because I do not think such things exist for test prep. I can only name problems and solutions, the better you are at diagnosing your problems the better you will be able to tailor a solution.

I feel this is an important part of the test itself —  if you cannot maximise your own performance using all the resources at your disposal, how will you maximise a company’s resources later in life!

Even an MBA will give you all the insights of what successful firms did and some technical knowledge specific to certain areas but when it comes to your first job post your MBA, you cannot cut, copy, paste anything that you learnt at business school, you have to tailor a customised solution using the resources you have.


Cut the flab and the feel-good

I hope you have already deleted all the social media apps on your phone. If you have not then all I can say is that you are not committed to achieving your goal.

I hope you have nothing other than CAT and other tests till the end of the first week of Jan. If you have other plans are then all I can say is that you are not committed to achieving your goal.

And the most important part of the last four weeks — get off all online CAT groups and CAT forums. Do not waste precious time discussing any more prep strategies with peers and finding out how much they have scored and commenting on the great scores someone else is getting.

As far as I know, back when I was preparing to take the test and right now when you guys are preparing to take the test, the goal was the same — squeezing every drop out of oneself and the test.

Everything was IRL then and I never went up to the guy who was topping my city (despite knowing him from college and being in the same test-prep institute) and told him — bhai tu toh phod raha hai.

Even today I would not look at top 10 percentilers attempts and accuracy on specific questions, since my ability is unique — I have solved the question and I have seen the solution. The questions I ask myself are

  • could I have solved this faster, irrespective of others’ data, were there any wasted steps, I myself try to look for shorter methods (should I have substituted answer options), or
  • should I have left this.

I am the batsman, the question is the ball, there are no others since remember during the test I am not chasing, during the test everyone is batting first, everyone is facing the same bowling, every one has to decode how the pitch is playing and score as many runs as possible.

I do not remember even discussing one thing about my prep with my friends who were preparing with me, we hung around after classes for some banter but that was it, I did not think there was any need to discuss anything with my peers since it was just me and the test.

It takes a village to raise a child, the saying goes, I do not think it takes a community to get a score, it takes a lot of brains to figure out where one is going wrong and more importantly why one is going wrong, and a lot of mental stamina and drive to push oneself to just max out.

Only two things should exist in the world for the next 9 weeks (till the XAT is over) — you and your test-prep material — no one else and nothing else.

83 Comments

  1. Sir, up until simcat 14, how much should we be scoring in mocks to be confident of scoring 98+ percentile in CAT?

    Like

    • If you are consistently scoring between 95-97 percentile you should be able to cross 98 on the CAT.

      Scores are not that relevant since even the slots vary in difficulty.

      All the best!

      Like

  2. Sir, I have hit a burnout. Please suggest something regarding this. I simply can’t bring myself to study QA and DILR at this stage. I try to do my studies in a single 3-4 hour stretch. I would read 2-3 articles on Aeon and call it a day.

    Moreover, my scores in QA and DILR are simply not going up and they are pathetic in themselves(around 50-60 percentile). My question is if I do only QA and DILR for 2-3 weeks, won’t VARC scores start going down as well? (I score 90 percentile plus currently in this section)

    Like

    • Hi Ash,

      Take a break for three to four for days — go running, watch a few movies, hang out with friends (not in person) — basically unwind but not through the phone, and then restart.

      You do not need to practice VA-RC, you will be taking around 2 tests a week, that should suffice.

      All the best!

      Like

  3. I am consistently facing difficulty with VARC ( less than 60%ile)section and not scoring great with QA and DILR too( scoring around 80-85%ile ) most of the times. I’m being able to solve almost all the questions while practice but not in the exams. How do I Practice to score good in all the three sections?

    Like

    • Hi Greeshma,

      It does not matter what you do outside of the test, what matters is what you do during the test, which depends on 7 things

      1. Selection (which is nothing but time-management)
      – Covered in-depth in the three LMTC sessions and all of my blogs
      2. Accuracy (a technique to solve VA-RC, DI-LR questions, application on Math)
      – Covered in-depth in the Masterclasses and blogs
      3. Conceptual Clarity
      – Covered in-depth in the concept videos
      4. Speed
      5. Language Comprehension
      6. Reasoning Skills (just raw brain power)
      7. Calmness under pressure

      The first three is all anyone else can help you with, the next three are tough to improve drastically in three weeks, for the last one I will be doing a session.

      You have to figure out where your problems/scope for improvement lies in each section first and then in each area.

      – [ ] For example, the VA technique might be missing
      – [ ] QA selection and accuracy might be there but conceptual clarity in Modern Math might be lacking

      Your first task is to not think a score of 120 but to think 75 and execute the five steps to score 72 with 24 across each section and for that, you need to attempt 12 questions and get 9 correct.

      So your task is to attempt 36 questions, get 27 correct, and treat anything above that as a bonus.

      And before you take a shot at a score 72, you need to figure which step is your biggest problem and fix that using the tools at
      your disposal — the LMTC videos, the Masterclasses, the blog posts.

      If it is time management and selection then blog posts and LMTCs, if it is accuracy then Masterclasses.

      Once you hit 72, then move the target up to 84, and then to 96 and so on.

      Attempt-Correct-Score
      36-27-72
      
40-31-84

      44-35-96

      48-39-108

      I can only tell you what ingredients are required, give you the recipe, and some tips — the cooking has to be done by you.

      All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sir, I am not able to score well in QA, although I am doing good in the other two sections. When I analyze the test, I am able to do 80% of the QA questions with ease.
    Please help me!!

    Like

  5. kashish says

    Hi sir,
    My problem is I am getting consistently low scores in SimCATs (around 50). By analysis of mocks I found that I do silly mistakes and there is some lack of practice. Currently I am working on it. My question is “Can I score more than 90 as there are only 30 days left for cat. Provided I do regular practice and give mocks on alternate days?”
    I am an Obc non enginner aspirant and i am targeting BLACKI only.

    Like

    • Hi Kashish,

      Is possible to increase scores to 90 in 30 days, yes!

      Can you do it, that depends on your capabilities!

      Good scores depend on 7 things

      1. Selection (which is nothing but time-management)
      – Covered in-depth in the three LMTC sessions and all of my blogs
      2. Accuracy (a technique to solve VA-RC, DI-LR questions, application on Math)
      – Covered in-depth in the Masterclasses and blogs
      3. Conceptual Clarity
      – Covered in-depth in the concept videos
      4. Speed
      5. Language Comprehension
      6. Reasoning Skills (just raw brain power)
      7. Calmness under pressure

      The first three is all anyone else can help you with, the next three are tough to improve drastically in three weeks, for the last one I will be doing a session.

      You have to figure out where your problems/scope for improvement lies in each section first and then in each area and make an appropriate practice/testing schedule that works for your needs.

      – [ ] For example, the VA technique might be missing
      – [ ] QA selection and accuracy might be there but conceptual clarity in Modern Math might be lacking

      Your first task is to not think a score of 120 but to think 75 and execute the five steps to score 72 with 24 across each section and for that, you need to attempt 12 questions and get 9 correct.

      So your task is to attempt 36 questions, get 27 correct, and treat anything above that as a bonus.

      And before you take a shot at a score 72, you need to figure which step is your biggest problem and fix that using the tools at
      your disposal — the LMTC videos, the Masterclasses, the blog posts.

      If it is time management and selection then blog posts and LMTCs, if it is accuracy then Masterclasses.

      Once you hit 72, then move the target up to 84, and then to 96 and so on.

      Attempt-Correct-Score
      36-27-72
      
40-31-84

      44-35-96

      48-39-108

      I can only tell you what ingredients are required, give you the recipe, and some tips — the cooking has to be done by you.

      All the best!

      Like

  6. Kashish says

    Thank you so much sir. What should be the minimum score should I target for BLACKI provided I am an OBC non-engineer with 79.8/80.6/56.6% in 10th/12th/Grad.

    Like

  7. Pranav says

    My problem is in QA
    Sir in the post-test analysis i am able to solve lots of QA questions but during the test, the timer scares the crap out of me.. or I am not able to focus
    Section test for QA i score around 20-27 but in the full mock it drops to 10ish please help.

    Like

    • Hi Pranav,

      I’ll be taking a session on Sunday that will address test-taking fears that might be of help.

      What you should do though is to set a super modest goal of attempting only 10 questions and getting 8 right using the A-B-C approach covered in the LMTC-QA session.

      Keep your head calm focus on mastering A-B-C approach selection to achieve this goal, move to the next goal, only after you have achieved a goal in a SimCAT.

      You might be scoring 20-27 without executing selection properly but that is because there is not test pressure.

      Question-Correct-Score
      12-9-24
      13-10-27
      15-12-33

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

      • Pranav says

        I am looking forward to the session sir!
        Thank you for the advice I will try that in the Sim cat tomorrow!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Pranav says

        Hi Sir! Quick update.
        I tried your suggestion in the last sim cat and the small target worked I got 17 is QA which is not much but still better than the single digits! This has also reduced the fear of test, As earlier I used to panic in the middle of the paper and that used to bring my score further down!
        Also my I am scoring consistently in the VARC section between 36-40.
        LRDI I will take the masterclass and a few sectional tests and further update you on the progress.

        Like

      • Pranav says

        Hi Sir! (Update)
        I worked on QA ..attended all the QA masterclasses again and worked on selection .. QA score went up from single digits to 17 to 27 in the last mock! There is still lot of juice left if the QA as I got to know after analysis!!
        In VA too which was tough this time I managed cleared cutoff
        In LRDI am still facing challenges.. Can you suggest something to manage the LRDI!! (I am scoring in 10-20 in this section!

        Like

      • Hi Pranav,

        Good to hear that you have made appreciable progress in your sectional scores.

        For LR-DI I suggest, setting yourself a really modest goal — selecting 2 of the easiest sets and getting 24 marks — nothing more, nothing less. Once you can execute that, anything above that will be a bonus in the 40-minute time slot.

        All the best!

        Like

  8. Sir, what would have been your 30-day study plan if you haven’t had started serious preparations yet and are a second time test taker. I scored 88%ile last year and scored 60 in SimCAT 12 this month.

    Like

    • Hello KM,

      Firstly I will set realistic goals in terms of progression from one SimCAT to the next.

      Attempt-Correct-Score
      36-27-72
      
40-31-84

      44-35-96

      48-39-108

      Since the goal is to maximise the scores in the least possible amount of time and iterations, the next thing I would do is watch all the LMTC videos to understand the selection process and time-management for each and execute them a couple of section tests to get hang before I take the next test.

      The third thing I will do is to perfect my technique and application using the 12 Masterclasses, I will start with masterclasses in the areas — VA, RC, DI, LR, Arithmetic, Numbers, Algebra, Geometry, Modern Math — that I am weakest in so that I can attempt easy and medium questions from that area and have time to develop expertise.

      Between tests, I will take the section test to perfect question selection, time management, and technique since it will not happen overnight.

      If concept learning from scratch at this stage is required then that is a problem!

      All the best!

      Like

      • Sir, is it advisable to completely omit Algebra concepts(like inequalities, maxima-minima, higher orders) and focus more on Arithmetic, Numbers, Modern Maths and some concepts of Geometry.
        Algebra is my Achilles’ heel, and given the short time frame, I feel that omitting Algebra and some Geometry concepts from my preparations will prove to be effective and somewhat beneficial.

        Like

      • Essentially, on the one hand, you are you are locking yourself out of some scoring areas and on the other you are saving prep time.

        As long as you are hitting your desired scores then go ahead.

        All the best!

        Like

  9. Hi Neeraj,

    You have more or less diagnosed the problem yourself — you are comfortable only with 2 out of 5 areas and that too without the pressure of time limit. So it is definitely an uphill battle given this level of skill.

    The task is very simple, attempting the fewest number of questions with maximum accuracy to clear the cut-off.

    If you execute the A-B-C approach, which has been discussed in detail in the LMTC session by VK Sir and the QA Strat three posts on my blog, properly then you should have no trouble clearing the cut-off.

    Start worth modest goals, with the task being to achieve the desired score through the perfect application of ABC rather than getting your best QA score.

    Questions-Correct-Score
    10-8-22
    12-9-24
    13-10-27
    15-12-33

    Keep your head calm focus on mastering A-B-C approach selection to achieve these goals, move to the next goal, only after you have achieved a goal in a SimCAT.

    All the best!

    Like

  10. Harsh says

    Hello Sir,
    I am able to score around 40-42 in most of the take homes in the DILR section(with good accuracy). But the same isn’t reciprocated into the proctored Simcats. I am scoring a mere 16-18 marks in the section. I apply the same strategy in both the tests, but still I am unable to find the problem. The sets in Take homes look very easy(and I find them to be such) whereas, sets in the proctored test feel like Mt. Everest. This is stopping me from boosting my overall score.
    Please help me with this sir.
    Thank you!

    Like

    • Hi Harsh,

      The TakeHome tests are very recent Proctored SimCATs made by the same team and test-takers have found them to Mt.Everest in that year.

      So basically it is a function of you being very relaxed and very tight.

      Set yourself a very modest goal of solving only the two easiest sets fully and without error and scoring 24 and not even trying to solve any other set.

      Since your capabilities are otherwise good, during a proctored SimCAT you are likely to take a shot at more sets.

      Once you get 2 sets right, increase it 3 and look at the fourth set as a bonus.

      In essence, you might be capable of scoring a scintillating hundred but start with a goal of a prudent 50.

      All the best!

      Like

  11. Aditya Bathwal says

    Hello Sir,
    I am able to score 95-100(marks) in mocks but my score in VARC section is fluctuating like anything, sometimes i score more than 35(marks) and sometimes less than 25(marks). What should be my approach to increase consistency.My score is VARC generally gets low because of VA section in RC my accuracy is about 80 %.

    Like

    • Hi Aditya,

      Lack of consistency is a result of a solid and reliable process/technique to solve each unique question type.

      The only way is to look at your technique on VA questions. I have covered them in detail in the VA Masterclass.

      Take area-tests to execute the techniques to the T. I have also taken the video solutions for SimCATs 6, 13 and 15 from which you can learn the techniques.

      All the best!

      Like

  12. Shubh says

    Hello sir! I have been scoring 90-95 percentile in the past simcats. I am a working professional. Until now I have been attempting 2-3 tests on the weekends, and analyzing them and working on my mistakes during the weekdays. In the last 30 days as you mentioned we should be attempting a test every alternate day. With respect to that I want to ask if its a grave mistake to focus on giving more and more papers and analyze only the part you went wrong with? Or is analysis > new mocks?

    Like

    • Hi Shubh,

      The key thing about Analysis is that it has to yield a clear plans for improvement in terms of fine-tuning your approach for the next test (need to get better at selection) and areas of improvement to work between tests (need to work on logarithms, VA etc)

      If there is nothing to learn or fine-tune then the focus can be on tests but even then a test every alternate day is the most you should take.

      Beyond a point more mocks will lead to fatigue as well before the actual test.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  13. Rohan Mehra says

    Sir I have an important doubt.
    I got 84.06%tile in CAT 2019.

    Are there any good bschools which will accept this score for PGDM 21-23? I know CAT score is valid for a year but just confirming sir!

    Like

    • Hi Rohan,
      The only program that may accept the CAT-19 score is the IIM-K Business Leadership (BL) program but they haven’t opened applications for the 21-23 batch yet.

      No other programs that I know of.

      All the best!

      Like

  14. ADITYA RATHORE says

    Hello sir,
    i am getting around average 27-24-18 in DI-LR, QA, VARC in simcats and the big reason due to which i am not able to score good marks is my CALMNESSwhich affects me the most in varc section and i want to reduce it.
    so, i want to ask that what should be my strategy in next 30 days as i am targeting 95 percentile around.

    Like

    • I covered what I can in the session I took yesterday — Zen and the art of test-taking — the recording will be up on the Channel page of myIMS soon.

      Like

  15. Chirag says

    Hello sir!
    Sir I am facing a strong execution problem during the test. For ex. I am able to score around 80+ marks when I time the test (take small breaks in between the test or in short not completing it in a single go of 2 hours). But during a normal 2 hour mock I score just a pathetic 40 odd score. Not able to really get a hang of where to work upon (apart from practice) to improve such a situation . Also during regular practice I know things and I am able to solve them pretty well. Would really like your help.

    Like

  16. Jyotheeswar Reddy A says

    Hi sir,
    I am getting low in VRC and LRDI, How can I spent next 4 weeks for the same?

    Like

    • Hi Jyotheeswar,

      I have covered and taught everything that I know in the Masterclasses and LMTC sessions, it is about being able to execute those things during a test that matters.

      You have to figure out the things you are able to and unable to execute and work on them.

      All the best!

      Like

  17. Ashwani Kumar says

    Hi Sir, I am able to score 130+ in every simcat but only if I time myself on my phone for 40 mins each. I put on a timer and keep the phone away. I stop when it beeps. (I do this when analyzing). When it comes to appearing for a 2 hour straight mock with the clock on the website interface, it gives me kind of a brain freeze every time in DILR and QA. I am not even able to do simple calculations at that time. There is a huge difference in anxiety levels when there is a clock there in front of me. There is no difference in the VARC section though, I score a 95 percentile plus almost every time whether there is a clock running in front of me or not.
    Can you suggest something, I am sure this must not be happening with just me.

    Like

    • Hi Ashwani,

      Somewhere the test-taking fear is kicking in and thus on VA-RC, where you know you can do well, not just belief, you do not feel the pressure but on the other areas, you still lack belief.

      I covered this part in detail in the session I took yesterday — Zen and the Art of Test-taking — it will be available on the IMS YT Channel.

      All the best!

      Like

  18. Parnika Kumat says

    Hi Sir,
    The scores to percentile mapping that you have provided seems to be quite different from the one mentioned in LMTC.

    According to LMTC’s Expected score vs percentile in CAT 2020:
    Percentiles: 80 85 90 95 98 99 100
    Overall% 25% 30% 35% 40% 50% 55% 80%

    SIMCATS so far:
    70questions (210) 52.5 63 73.5 84 105 115.5 168
    72questions (216) 54 64.8 75.6 86.4 108 118.8 172.8
    74questions (222) 55.5 66.6 77.7 88.8 111 122.1 177.6
    75questions (225) 56.25 67.5 78.75 90 112.5 123.75 180
    76questions (228) 57 68.4 79.8 91.2 114 125.4 182.4

    According to this article:
    Percentiles 95 99 99.5 100
    Scores 85-90 100-105 115-120 >=140
    “In short if you cross a score of 100 you are very likely to cross 99 percentile.”

    Sir, I am confused with the approximations here. According to LMTC, it seems like the range for
    98 percentile is 105-114 and for 99 percentile 115-126.
    Can you please confirm once? It’ll help me set the target better and to make the decision whether 100+ should be the target or 115-120+!

    Thank You! 🙂

    Like

  19. Virendra Chandel says

    Hello Sir,
    How to get a good measure of the percentile required for getting into any of the top B-Schools based on my profile so that I can target the required percentile .
    My profile is
    10th – 93.2%
    12th – 81%
    Graduation(Engineering)-72% (to be competed in 2021)
    I also have a gap year between my 10-12th
    Can you please help me here with setting my target if i have to get any of the top 6 IIM’s or private institute like S.P.Jain or M.D.I

    Thank You!

    Like

    • Hi Virendra,

      The gap year does not matter at all for a first call.

      You have a competitive profile for all b-schools.

      If you belong to the general category a score above 96 will put you in contention to get calls from MDI and SPJIMR, and the baby IIMs, as the percentile gets higher more IIMs and FMS and others kick in.

      All the best!

      Like

  20. Rohan Mehra says

    Hello sir!

    Apart from the common PGDM programmes in Fin,Marketing,HR and Op what are some other options or unique Bschools to apply for? I would love a creative job, involving meetings with new people, not a desk job necessarily. A job which deals with new challenges and changes scope of work often unlike a monotonous job. I know this seems like an ideal expectation but I don’t want to regret not applying to any such programme. (Also should pay well cause I will be the sole earning person in my family).

    Like

    • Hi Rohan,

      Most management jobs involve all of this to some degree, but Sales & Marketing over the longer-term will involve all of this to the maximum, so do not worry it will not be a desk job it will involve dealing with many people.

      Also, after a point, it does not make any sense to think about a career in such abstract terms, it is no different form describing a dream woman, both do not exist!

      Think more in terms of the skill sets that you have — what are the things that you are best at doing and then map those skills to different domains.

      B-schools which profess to be unique are schools that have taken a new positioning to make money 🙂

      All businesses are about Fin, Mark, Hr and Ops.

      The only exception is MICA if you want to consider — advertising management

      All the best!

      Like

  21. Subham says

    Hello sir,
    I am having low accuracy in RC. I have seen both the masterclasses. Would you still advise to solve the CR questions from GMAT OG and then solve RCs from the GMAT OG?? I am solving the past CAT papers RC. So should I also solve the GMAT OG keeping in mind the time left?

    Like

  22. Subham says

    Hello sir,
    I am having low accuracy in RC. I have gone through the RC masterclasses. Currently, I was solving the previous year CAT RC passages. Do you still recommend solving the CR questions from GMAT OG and then solving the RC questions from the GMAT OG keeping in mind the time left??

    Like

    • Hi Shubham,

      What matters is the quality of your Verbal Reasoning skills. If you have those skills and you answer inference, assumption, strengthen-weaken questions in RCs correctly then you do not need to solve the GMAT OG.

      Please understand that solving or not solving something is not going to make you better or worse — the alignment of what you are doing with the skills you need to develop is what is most important.

      All the best!

      Like

      • Subham says

        Thank you, sir, for the advice! I will now be aiming at developing my skills rather than just solving.

        Like

  23. Tanmay Sagar says

    Hello sir,
    SIMCAT 14 was the first proctored one in which I got 113 i.e. above 100 score and in SIMCAT 15 I got 115, but sir my DILR set selection is pretty bad. In these 2 SIMCATs I selected the right sets so got pretty good marks but in the previous one, I selected the wrong ones. Please suggest a more simpler way to select the right sets. Moreover I have an inner feeling that my QA is degrading since I am not practicing much but I don’t know from where should I start practicing. Will revising all the previous mocks suffice my practice. Please provide some ways.

    Like

  24. Vinod Kumar says

    Hi sir,
    I have been taking all the simcats according to the schedule.
    My percentile is mostly in the range 90-94.
    But occasionally It drops and reaches 80-85.
    I have scored 100+ marks in new pattern for first time in SIMCAT 15.(106 marks)
    And also I felt it was the SIMCAT Closest to CAT dificulty level.
    What can I do to stabilize my scores?
    And wont it be tiring to take a mock every two day?

    Like

    • Hi Vinod,

      The inconsistency in scores is due to the lack of a solid technique/application skills

      What you have to first do though is to figure out which section among the three contributes most to the drop or climb (whichever way you want to look at it) — does a tougher Verbal, DI-LR, or QA dent your score the most?

      You need to then use the Masterclasses to work on your technique.

      The thing with technique, say the ones I suggest in VA-RC(Masterclasses) and DI-LR (LMTC), is that it is more or less dispensable on an easy to moderate question, it is when the level goes up that each and every element of the technique comes into play.

      A 2-hour test every alternate day should not be tiring. If you feel it is for you, take one every three days.

      All the best!

      Like

  25. akshat bansal says

    Hi sir,
    I have noticed a pattern forming in my SIMCAT scores. With an increase in the difficulty level of the test, both my score and percentile goes down. I understand that scores going down is fine but the fluctuation in percentile concerns me (range 85-98%ile), and this happens every time. I scored 107 (i am guessing around 97%ile) in SIMCAT 15, while 91 (90.28%ile) and 80 (90.47%ile) in SIMCAT 14 & 13 respectively.

    Please help me on what can I do to stabilize my percentile?

    Like

    • Hi Akshat,

      Dropping percentiles on tougher tests means that your technique is not good enough to handle questions above a particular level — much like say Indian batsmen in seaming conditions.

      What you have to first do though is to figure out which section among the three contributes most to the drop or climb (whichever way you want to look at it) — does a tougher Verbal, DI-LR, or QA dent your score the most?

      You need to then use the Masterclasses to work on your technique.

      The thing with technique, say the ones I suggest in VA-RC(Masterclasses) and DI-LR (LMTC), is that it is more or less dispensable on an easy to moderate question, it is when the level goes up that each and every element of the technique comes into play.

      All the best!

      Like

  26. Aman Agarwal says

    Sir I have a doubt in SIMCAT 13 VARC, in the first RC about thylacine tasmanian tigers. In question 3 – main purpose you said ans is option 3 which says – To recount the passing of Benjamin, the last thylacin that lived on earth. But sir how can we infer he was the last one, he passed away and then few months later species was declared extinct but there could be another thylacin which wasn’t found and died after Benjamin. As per this conclusion, shouldn’t the ans be option2 – To discuss the circumstances that led to the extinction of Tasmanian Tigers.

    Like

    • Hi Aman,

      There was a mistake in the second half of the option, it should have read “last known” and thus the question has been removed from the scoring process for all test-takers.

      All the best!

      Like

  27. Aditya Narayan says

    Hello sir,
    will we be asked to wear gloves and masks during the exam, as we are suppose to carry both.

    Like

    • You might be, Aditya.

      I think gloves for sure since people have to use the same machines later.

      In case you are wondering whether to practise with gloves on or not, you should 🙂

      All the best!

      Like

  28. Hi Sir,
    I’m an IMS Student and absolutely love reading the blogs/webinars you do, they’re always a source of great motivation & guidance.
    You did a Webinar on last Sunday, however i wasn’t able to attend it live, just wanted to ask if you’re going to be uploading it?

    Like

    • Hi Yash,

      Always good to hear from a regular reader of the blog.

      The recording of the webinar will be uploaded on the Channel TAB of myIMS and the IMS India YT Page later today.

      All the best!

      Like

  29. Cat aspirant says

    Sir I want to solve one past cat paper daily from now so is there a good book with reliable and correct solutions? IMS resources have only a few on the portal.

    Like

    • There is no book for that since the CAT had expressly prohibited anyone from putting up the questions online for a long time. It is only in the last three years that they themselves released the papers.

      Which is the reason why we also have not put up the papers.

      For all pre-2017 papers, everyone will thus only have re-creations based on memory of the actual paper, and the re-creations are usually possible only for QA, no one can reproduce entire VA, RC and DI-LR sets.

      All the best!

      Like

  30. Rohan Mehra says

    Sir are there any good MBA/PGDM programs in India starting in Jan 2021? Or earlier than other PGDM programmes. I am a fresher!

    Like

  31. ABHISHEK KUMAR says

    Sir, i panic a lot in exam conditions and this affects my performance and accuracy in all sections very badly. After the test i am able to solve a decent amount of question with accuracy. please suggest what should i do to curb this..

    Like

  32. Mohit Bohra says

    Hi sir,

    I’m scoring around 90 in the mock tests and as you have mentioned, score above 100 will fetch a 99 percentile. In 2019, I scored 95 percentile, this year my aim is for 99 percentile but not able to get the clear picture of the score I should aim which will definitely fetch me the desired percentile. I wanted to ask what will be the range of score to get 99 percentile if the total questions varies on the upper side.

    And sir moreover, I wanted to thank you for the RC masterclass videos, it have certainly helped me increase my accuracy.

    Like

  33. Aditya says

    Sir,

    I used to score 95 in 3 hour test and in this 2 hour format test i have scored 25 and 32. I have lost my motivation.

    I have done B.E+M.E and have 2+ years of experience. Current salery 4LPA. I dont think things will get much better with current job. My base score is 90marks in march and i was only scoring 90-95 marks in mock papers(3 hours).

    IMO to have any significant change i need 98%. But with these 20s and 30s in last two test I have lost my steam. Please suggest.

    Thanks

    Like

  34. Aditya says

    Sir,

    I used to score 95 in 3 hour test and in this 2 hour format test i have scored 25 and 32. I have lost my motivation.

    I have done B.E+M.E and have 2+ years of experience. Current salery is 4LPA. I dont think things will get much better with current job. My base score is 90marks in march and even after completing syllabus i am still scoring 90-95 marks in mock papers(3 hours).

    IMO to have any significant change i need 98%. But with these 20s and 30s in last two test I have lost my steam. Please suggest.

    Thanks

    Like

  35. Anand says

    Sir, I have been scoring above 95 percentile in SIMCATS for most of the time. I scored above 99 percentile on two occasions, one in 3 hrs format, one in new format. I would like to hit 99 for last two mocks to give me confidence for the exam. Is it possible to convert 95 to 99 now? Even if i dont get above 99 in mocks, and only score what i am currently getting, can i still expect to do better on CAT and score above 99? If i use the logic of reaching halfway, then i should get around 98, but I am a GEM, and above 99 will provide me shots at lots of decent schools. How can i go about it?

    Like

  36. akshat bansal says

    Hi Sir,

    During my mocks, I have realized that the very first RC that I attempt, irrespective of the difficulty of the RC, it makes me really uncomfortable in terms of easy-reading and understanding the passage (Even after I have applied all your formulae i.e the monk-mode, the deep breaths, looking at the screen for a few minutes etc.). From the second Rc though, I am up at almost the best version of myself and everything is more comfortable and easier.
    Also, I do a proper selection of Rc before starting with one, which is generally correct as well, so that’s not a problem I guess.
    So sir what according to you could be a possible solution to this problem?

    Thank you so much Sir.

    Like

    • Hi Akshat,

      I think the issue is that the brain is usually cold at the beginning of the test and processing a huge chunk of text first up with full concentration might not be that easy.

      For example, despite RC and VA being my strong suits, I will not start with VA on the GMAT (given that we have options to choose which sections we want to start with) precisely because of the same reason — the brain is not warmed up yet — I prefer to warm it using QA and then taking on VA.

      I would suggest starting with VA, with the question type that you like the most — Jumbled Paragraphs or Incorrect Sentence in Context or Summary — solving all the questions in that q-type, and then taking up the first RC.

      Try it out, you do not lose anything.

      All the best!

      Like

  37. Cat aspirant says

    Hi sir,
    My graduation results are out and I’ve got 95 percent in TY Bcom. However my average for first 2 years was 59.3 and that had to be entered in the CAT 2020 application form. My actual avg now is 78.5 but the thought that I could put only 59.3 in the form due to late results is scaring me. Will it be a hurdle to get IIM calls?

    X – 97 stood third
    XII- 94 topper in Commerce.

    Like

    • Hi,

      Well, the situation is tricky, the calls can get affected by the fact that the grad marks are low but it will matter only in the case of schools where grad marks have a pretty decent weightage, so the damage will be very limited.

      As of now just focus on what you can control and what is your hands — your CAT performance.

      All the best!

      Like

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