Author: Tony Xavier

The real reason why your QA scores are below par

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 him regularly on overall prep strategy, some specific pointers, and test-taking …

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 doable! I get stuck for a long time with one problem without realizing it I realize 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.

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.

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 – 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 secure 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 envelope …

My MBA Journey: IIM-Udaipur

Given the number of queries I get about the new and the baby IIMs, I thought the best way to shed a bit more light on them is to get my students who have gone there to write about their experience. This one is by Siddharth, who is not a student, but was part of the IMS Team in Kochi. I met him whenever I went down there to take a session, which was usually once a year. Siddharth graduated recently from IIM-U and this is his take about the same. Some of the parts were new to me as well, especially the part about why he chose IIM-U —  I think knowing why you want something, being clear about it, and not trying to invent ten other reasons apart from the sole reason is not a common trait (a great lesson in no FOMO) So here are his two cents on his experience at IIM-U. MBA was a kind of an escape plan for me back in 2017. But it turned out to be …

Work With Us

As most of my students would know, I have been with IMS for more than a decade now. But I started teaching for aptitude tests way back in the past, right after my graduation while preparing for the CAT a second time around. At that time I felt that the teaching stint had a great role to play in my cracking the CAT; I felt the teaching made my thought process very clear when faced with a problem since one has to have utmost clarity of thought to explain a problem in such a way as many students understand the solution right away. Also one is always looking to find better, cleaner or to put it simply more elegant solutions to problems. Over the past year, I have interacted with a lot of students across the country who are readers of the blog, so I was wondering if any you might be interested in working in the Learning Management Department along with Amit Sir, Parameshwar Sir, Shashank Prabhu Sir, and me (IMS students will be …