Author: Tony Xavier

How to manage work and prepare for the CAT

With the mountain called the CAT now in sight, most working professionals will be wondering how to mount another challenge to get into the old IIMs. The biggest obstacle in front working professionals will be juggling a job and prepping for CAT at the same time. Some of you in this situation will have decided to quit your job, hopefully only after having read my post on the same and having understood the implications of quitting.

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…

The IIM Selection Criteria: Will I get a call from the IIMs?

Apart from the — how many questions should I answer to score a 99 percentile on the CAT — question, one of the questions that I get asked to answer most frequently both from my students as well as people on Quora is the one that is more or less framed as follows: I have X% in X, Y% in XII and Z% in GRAD, will I get a call from the IIMs? Given the popularity of the question, I think a post on the same is more than par for the course.

CAT ’20 Achievers’ Meet: How to make the most of your MBA

Every year the final session that I do for all of those who have secured admits (or are waitlisted) into the Top 30 schools is called How to make the most of your MBA. I had hoped that we will be able to conduct at least this session for CAT 20 students in person and that I could may be meet a few of you who have attended my Masterclasses over the course of the year. The world has bigger problems than this and so we go ahead and do the session online. Date & Time: Sunday, 13th June 2021 @ 11:00 AM Register before Friday, 11th June 2021 till 2:00 PM via Note: Students who have registered for the Campus meets need not fill up the registration form again. They will automatically get a zoom invite for the achievers’ meet session.

DI-LR: Improving your core strength

DI-LR, as we know, has been the nemesis of many a CAT aspirant over the past few years, and every serious aspirant asks me that — how do I improve my DI-LR skills. Over the last two years, I thought that it is primarily about two things — set selection and comfort with mathematical reasoning (many sets over the last few years have been based on Arithmetic and Modern Math concepts). But even so, I knew that to select the right sets and then solve 4 sets, one needs to solve the two easiest sets quite fast, and this pace would come from the regular practice of DI-LR sets (irrespective of difficulty level) and Sudoku. Even then I still felt that a lot was left to the “natural” capability of the student. There was nothing concrete I could communicate (apart from a 5-minute average for Medium Sudoku sets) like say a particular reading speed or a particular set of concepts.

My MBA Journey: IIM-L

Recently, a colleague was asking my if I knew any fresh B-school graduates for some events and I told him that of late given that I am no longer actively teaching or running cities, most of my students are Eklavyas, who just read my blog and attend a few sessions, and not Pandavas! Kaushik, was a student of mine back in my IMS Chennai days but as you will read from his post, we did not interact much. He got in touch with me whenever he had to make a big decision, which, if I am not wrong was once a year before or after each of his CAT attempts. In a way he was an Eklavya who occasionally spoke to me! So, when Kaushik texted me a fortnight ago, with a DP that wasn’t his face, I had to figure out who he was and asked him to confirm if my hunch about his background and appearance were right! And thankfully, I was. Kaushik had an exceptional academic profile, was a CA, worked in …

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 pandemic. 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 the …