Author: Tony Xavier

Getting ready for CAT D-day

You have about 3 days left and some of you might still be awaiting answers  to some questions such as should you listen to what happened in the earlier slots, what should you do if you know you might not get sleep Saturday night etc. Last year I made audio clip (initially shot as a video) that answered all of these queries, queries that deal specifically with the three days leading up to the test and all the pending questions. As promised I am also taking a stress buster session — Anything But CAT — along with my colleagues at 8 PM today. We will host five rooms where we will discuss specific non-CAT topics of interest: Cricket & Tennis, Football and other sports, Harry Potter & Fantasy Books, Music Room, Quizzing. I’ll be handling the Cricket & Tennis room along with Amit Sir and Param sir (and all of our other stalwarts will also be there in each of the other rooms). I am looking forward to evening sessions and interacting with all the …

Are you ready for a real test?

From very early on in our lives we are exposed (or subjected) to this word called TEST. As we enter the higher grades, the role that TESTS play or are supposed to play in our lives steadily increases. If we look back, for most of us, tests have always been part of a trinity, they have always been concomitant with two other things —  fear and prayer. At some point of time all of us, when faced with a test (including yours truly), have felt at the least a sliver of fear running through our bodies prior to a test and even the most unbelieving of us has muttered a tiny, little, prayer under our breaths.

CAT 2020 Miscellany: Early Morning Slot, Insomnia, and other blues

I did my last webinar for the season recently and any of you who still have queries around how to increase your scores in the last few weeks, what scores to target for what percentiles, what to prepare, will find my take on all of them and a few more queries in the recording of the same. But there are a still a few non prep queries that will be swirling around in your head. This post is will cover all of those niggles that do not prevent you taking to the field but are a bother that you can do without. Is there a chance you might have burnt out or are running solely on adrenaline? Those of you who have attended all of my webinars know how much store I set on having optimal mental energy. So for me a lot of issues can be traced back to the quality of our mental energy. Some of you might not realise that you have depleted your energy sources and are running solely on adrenaline …

How to manage your 120 minutes

We have reached the last stretch now. If you are in a track and field race, you have turned the last curve and hit the straight. We have done enough concepts, practice & strategy. We have now crossed an invisible frontier, we have moved from the general to the specific, from what is outside of you to what is inside of you, to that space between your ears. Those who have taken the CAT before will attest that how well you manage your 120 minutes, how well you react to tough set or a section, how well you are able to execute Plan A or switch to Plan B, everything, depends on how well you manage the space between your ears. So let’s take it section by section, let’s look at each of the 40 minutes, let’s look at what you need to do right, what you need to watch out for and most importantly what can go wrong.

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 …

My scores have plateaued, how do I push them north

We have about 40 days left for the CAT and the queries I am getting are reflecting the same. Aspirants have written to me saying that they have learnt selection —  the A-B-C approach and set selection approach for DI-LR and VA-RC and right now they have a different problem — scores have hit a plateau at their respective levels — 75, 90, 100, 120. And most are facing the same dilemma —  I don’t want to increase my speed and go below the current scores and get demotivated, but if I don’t increase my speed my scores will not go up, what do I do. I have from my end more or less covered everything that needs to be done. The catch now lies in how you are going about executing things. Based on my interaction with students across the years and also my own experiences of preparing for tests I will try and put forth things that you might be doing or are prone to but are not consciously aware of and that …

CAT 2020 Changes: Are you ready for a sprint?

The reason behind the changes It is more than obvious that the reason behind the changes is not any sort of dissatisfaction with the pattern that has remained unchanged more or less the last 5 years but or the need to test newer or different skill sets. Long before even the notification was out, I thought that they would go back to holding the test over two days with four slots or even a week to account for social distancing requirements but when the convener announced that it will held in one day as it has been over the past few years, it did come as a surprise. I remember thinking to myself that they are either winging it or we are in for a surprise. Their way of managing has been to increase the number cities to six and the slots to three and it was the latter that caused the reduction in the duration of the test. The CAT has never been a test-taker friendly exam — so those who will end up …

How to fill the S.P.Jain profile-based form

S.P Jain (SPJIMR in full or SP as it is usually referred to) is one of the most underrated business schools in the country. One of the highlights of the S.P.Jain admissions process is that applicants have to choose their specialization at the time of application. While this might be tough for freshers who do not have enough information and self-awareness to choose a specialization, it is a boon for applicants with work experience.

One of the many ways

A few mornings ago, at the end of holding a particularly strenuous Yoga pose, my brother let out a gasp and his back slumped back on to the mat, but it was one of those days when my mind was sharp and still like the tip of an archer’s arrow, and I went back to ground with an even breath and a straight spine, it was the first time it happened in a long time. Straight away in my ears, I heard the voice of Shaji, shouting at me from one end of a really large room – I only said relax, back straight! The yelling was from a warm morning in the year 2013. I had just moved to Chennai after taking up the IMS franchise for the city. I had taken a place very close to the miniature beach in Besant Nagar (or Bessie as the locals call it). On one of the very first evenings there I took a stroll around the beach and came upon this structure or building or rather …