Author: Tony Xavier

How to improve your QA percentile – IV

While the previous three posts on Accuracy, Selection, and Speed are more than comprehensive in terms of what is needed to push your score north, I still keep getting messages from students who are unable to come to terms with QA. They say they have done concepts and enough practice as well but none of it seems to be pushing the scores up and the confidence levels are pretty low. It was only a few years ago, that I figured out the core issue with these students when I was sitting with one — he was preparing for the GMAT and had a decent amount of work-ex and by the time I had met him he was already through with two attempts spread over two years with sub-par scores. He was willing to put in another attempt and a year more if required to get a par score. I gave him some broad guidelines and assigned a personal mentor to him, and met with regularly, on overall prep strategy, some specific pointers, and test-taking strategies. …

How to manage your energy, stress, and anxiety during CAT Prep

Everything seems to have speeded up because of COVID, queries that I usually get as we draw nearer to the CAT — test-taking fear, stress, and anxiety — have now turned up in the comments section in early July itself. Due to the pandemic, a lot of CAT-19 aspirants also seemed to have let go of admits into schools they would otherwise have joined. So all of these retakers have got back to the SimCATs 2020 with a vengeance and that is evident in the high scores in the first few Sims. And they are desperate to see their best scores at the earliest. My personal take is that the notification of the CAT is still not out, we do not know when the test will be held this year. It might be delayed for all we know. And whatever be the case everyone is effectively condemned to a rat in a cage existence for the next three months at the least and that is being optimistic.  So what all of us need is to …

How to improve your QA percentile – Part II

In the first part of this post we covered the first building block to achieve higher scores and percentiles on CAT QA — accuracy. In this post, we will take up the next one — selection. QA is the section that gets the maximum attention of test-takers of all stripes and there is always a litany of frustrations and queries that plague aspirants — I am good at Math and like Math but my score just does not seem to go up! Should one attempt the long Arithmetic questions? I feel every problem is do-able! I get stuck for long with one problem without realising it I realise there were many problems I could have solved when I analyse the test The answer to all of these questions lies in the way you select questions and the way you navigate between them.

How to improve your QA percentile – I

Unlike the other two sections, QA is a section that has a direct link to what you have done in school and college. Most of the topics that are tested on the CAT have also been a part of the school curriculum. This I feel is the biggest roadblock in front of test-takers wanting to achieve higher scores on the CAT Quant because high Math scores during X and XII exams do not automatically imply doing well on CAT Quant.

Setting the right targets on your way to a 99 percentile

A few years back, I attended the Chennai convocation function for aspirants who cleared the Company Secretary (CS) exam (a relative of mine had cleared the exam). The Chief Guest was Padmishri awardee T.N.Manoharan, who is a pre-eminent figure in the Banking and Accounting sector in the country with his book being a must-read for all CA aspirants. He was part of the government-appointed team that cleaned up the Satyam mess and paved the way for the transition to Tech Mahindra. His keynote address was leavened with wisdom and had too many punchlines for me to recount here but one of the things he said is spot on when it comes to the way we should deal with success and failure. He said…

My MBA Journey: IIM-Visakhapatnam

The post on the new and baby IIMs was meant to be a sort of reality check for aspirants who have to choose between these schools and others. My intention was not to dissuade anyone from joining but to help them make the right choice when faced with a list of schools to choose from. An alum of IIM-Visakhapatnam and still a regular reader of this blog, Abhishek, commented that the new and baby IIMs were not as bad as the post made them out to be. We got talking and it turns out that since since I had only mentioned established private schools — with schools such as NMIMS and SIBM in mind — it was construed to mean a much longer list. But all is well that ends well and Abhishek has written a piece about his MBA experience from IIM-V And yeah, I will vouch for Vizag (the shorter and more used name), the city I was born and raised in — it has a certain charm to say the least and …

My MBA Journey: IIM L – PGPSM

It was back in the 2015-16 season if I remember correctly that Sachin first managed to track me down by leaving a comment on my blog. I was handling the IMS business in Chennai, he was a student of IMS based out of Kolkata and he wanted some advice on quitting his job and taking another shot at the CAT. The thing with really mature students is that they need guidance only at a  really broad level, the rest they customize themselves (and there is the blog, anyway) and Sachin is one such individual. He went on to get an admission into the relatively new Sustainability Management Program launched by IIM-L. Since then he has been doing quite well and has even played a part in helping an administration out during the current crisis. If you read his post you will find he had all the ingredients that a student joining a new or baby IIM or a new program needs —  this post. Here is his journey in his own words. From back of …