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.
In the previous two posts, we took a look at the first two building blocks to increase your score and percentile on CAT Quant — Accuracy & Question Selection. In this post, we will look at the third building block — Speed.
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.
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.
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.
In the previous two posts, we discussed the mindset and the tools that you would need for a successful retake. In this post, we will take a look at the specific things you need to do for each section and area.
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.
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 …
I have always been a big believer in the principle that how we approach a thing — an exam, a project, a a relationship — the quality of our thoughts around the same, ends up determining the end outcome to a much larger extent than the actual strategies and the things we do since the mindset precedes all of these things. So, before I post the three-part series on how to prepare for a retake, I thought I should do a short post on the right mindset that you should get into before you set sail once again. Firstly, count only the “proper” attempts I have seen a lot of people talk about attempts as if they were carrying a huge cross — this is my third attempt — as if they have given their lives for this exam and it just does not seem love them back! Well, firstly unless you have taken at least 10 SimCATs, you cannot legitimately say that you have prepared for the exam — it is not true love …
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.