All posts filed under: CAT Strat

Should I quit my job to prepare for CAT?

Every year in the March-May period, a lot of CAT aspirants contemplate quitting their jobs to prepare for the CAT, this post is outlines the things that you need to consider before taking that call.

To re-take or not to re-take the CAT

At this juncture, it doesn’t take a magician to see what kind of anxieties aspirants might be going through. A small fraction of you have got the calls you want and are all excited and nervous about the impending interviews or the results of the same, others have  GD-PI calls but are not sure whether the b-schools that have given them the calls are really worth it, and still others knowing that this year is done have hit snooze mode till June. This post will primarily deal with the dilemma of those in between — to re-take or not to re-take the CAT. It is not an easy call to take but your task will become easy if you ask yourself the right questions and give the most honest answers you can to them.

CAT 2019 Analysis: Same bottle, stronger wine

The last time I took the CAT was in 2017 when I was heading IMS Pune (I had to go all the way to Nasik to take the test, and that was the reason I was fed up and did not take the test last year. This year I took the test yesterday in the afternoon slot at Pune, after two years of not teaching at all and the rustiness was more than visible. The toughest Verbal section in a while At an overall level, keeping the whole test-taking population in mind, the Verbal section was definitely one of the toughest in recent years. One of the big reasons for the toughness was the nature of the passages itself. Pound for pound, each of the passages was tougher to read than those of the preceding years. When students used to fret over the Verbal in the SimCATs, I used to feel that they will find the actual CAT easy, but this year in terms of the passages and the questions the CAT was as tough …

Getting ready for CAT D-day

I did something yesterday that I do not normally do (a few colleagues have been asking me to do this for a long time) — make a video log. Marshall McLuhan, a visionary sage whose predictions and analyses have mostly stood the test of time, famously said that the medium is the message. What he meant is that the nature of the medium ends up changing or determining the message. One of the reasons why I have never done a video log is that in a visual medium the focus is on engaging the eyes of the viewer — photography, ads, movies — and my message is just words. So no wonder that after editing the video my colleague came and told me that at 40 minutes it is way too long and asked me if I can tone it down to 4 minutes! I ended up giving him a short sermon — if my goal is to engage the eyes of the students then I have to start performing in front of the camera, …

How to manage your 180 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 180 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 60 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.

CAT 2019 Miscellany: Morning Slot, Nervous Insomnia

I was (though I should not have been) surprised that the post on the afternoon slot blues elicited requests for a post on how to handle the morning slot for those who are not morning people at all. It is natural that given the binary nature of tendencies at a broad level, for every aspirant who is a morning person there will be a corresponding night owl. I can’t say I have a cure for this but I can put forward a tentative plan that those uncomfortable with a morning slot can try out over the next few weeks. Personally, I am not a morning person either, I would call myself a mid-morning person (I work best between 11 and 2). My natural time to wake up without an alarm (irrespective of when I sleep) is 7, the real waking up time is between 7:30 and 8:00.  Whenever I have to wake up earlier than 7, usually to catch an early morning flight, I end up not sleeping that well since I am aware of having …

CAT 2019: 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 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 it will …

CAT 2019: 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 fixed the selection problem using 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 — 120, 135, 150. 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.Well this post a more or less a summation of a long chat answering the same question that I had with an old student of mine today morning. Are you squeezing every drop out of your brain cells One of the things I know about test-taking is that your best scores will take everything out of you, you will not be doing it comfortably. All of us, including me, …