All posts tagged: CAT Test-Taking Strategy

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 crack the DI-LR section of the CAT – I

Just like I keep getting queries on how to increase RC accuracy, despite the Masterclasses and the Last Mile To CAT sessions, I keep getting queries around the DI-LR section as well. In this series of series of posts  I’ll dive really deep down into actual CAT DI-LR sets and see if I can come up with some kernel of truth beyond just the solving of the set that can help aspirants approach the solving of the sets better.

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…

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: 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, …

How to improve your DI-LR Percentile – I

Just like I keep getting queries on how to increase RC accuracy, despite the Masterclasses and the Last Mile To CAT sessions, I keep getting queries around the DI-LR section as well. In this series of series of posts  I’ll dive really deep down into actual CAT DI-LR sets and see if I can come up with some kernel of truth beyond just the solving of the set that can help aspirants approach the solving of the sets better.

CAT 2019: 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…