All posts filed under: CAT Strat

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 …

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…

How to prepare for a CAT retake – Part II

In the previous post, we discussed the mindset with which one should approach a CAT retake; in this post, we shall look at a few more aspects with respect to a successful CAT retake. Since each one of you readers will have a different back story with respect to your first attempt and there will also be some non-IMS students among you as well, the focus of this post will be a bit wider.

How to prepare for a CAT retake – Part I

Most of the institutes have given out their calls (or at least most of you know your chances) and many of you might be planning to retake the CAT. For some of you, it might be a case of almost getting there but missing out because of one poor section or just missing out on the overall percentile. For others, the CAT-day might have been a bad day at the office and you knew straight away that nothing much was going to happen. On my first attempt, I fell into the latter group — I knew I was out of my depth when I saw the Quant paper, there was no way I was going to clear the cut-offs. This despite consistently doing very well in the Sims leading up to the test. I decided to take another shot since I was very clear that it was not out of my league. This post, in three parts, is for all those re-takers who are NOT hoping to get lucky next time around but want to ensure that …

CAT Preparation: Changing The Default Settings

Every year a lot of young men and women toil away at this thing called CAT preparation. The most sincere and determined ones, come in full of energy and enthusiasm to do whatever it takes to ace this test and get into the hallowed portals of an IIM. But do they come in with a blank mind ready to understand what this test is all about and attune themselves to it? The answer as we all know is, NO. A CAT aspirant beginning his prep will be at the least 20 years old, long enough to start the test with a sizeable psychological baggage — a mental make up that stems from one’s experiences and successes with education & tests throughout school & college.