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CAT 2016 Preparation Tips by Rohit Kumar

Last Updated - August 19, 2016

Rohit views are more focused on hard working students. He emphasizes the role of mock paper and insists solving it on the regular basis. He suggests following strict routing for someone who is preparing for CAT with a job. His tips are more like one man army and firmly establish the importance of Self Study.

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QUES. Review the Coaching Institutes and what was their role in your story? 

Ans. Frankly speaking, TIME was not much of a help for me apart from the mock papers that i got. But nowadays coaching classes are necessary because they help a student to grasp topics faster and in a better way, which is not possible in every school. Yes of-course, if a student thinks that he/she can do well without them, please go on. My advice would be don’t solely depend on them because my coaching was not much of a help to me. It was self-study and practice and only practice.

Know More Top Coaching Institutes for CAT 2016

QUES. How did you manage CAT preparation schedule along graduation studies/working hours?

Ans. It is actually quite difficult to cope with your studies along with your hectic work routine but to tackle this challenge i made a daily planner, scheduling all my daily activities, managing time and preparing a chart for each hour activity. I prepared a complete plan and followed this time table which helped me allot at least three hours every day towards preparation.

QUES. What is Your Five Point Rule to Excel CAT 2015? 

No restricted five point rule but from my end will share my own experience which when inculcated will surely help one. Prepare a timetable (i did the same as mentioned above) of how you plan on to complete your preparation and work hard. Try to spend a few hours a week enjoying yourself to make sure you don't feel burnt out as the exam approaches. Finally stay confident and relaxed during the exam. If you can handle the pressure you will enjoy taking the CAT.

QUES. What Mock Paper You Took? 

I had taken at least 50 mock tests.
TIME AIMCATs – Definitely the best as far as VA/DI/DS/LR are concerned. This year VA/RC have been better. But nowhere near what cat VA/RC are like.
IMS SimCATs/ACT/MCT/FCT - very good VA/RC papers. DI and QA were calculation heavy and sometimes meters away from what CAT tests. Overall, decent papers.
CL Mock CATs/FLTs - Decent English, QA and DI. Sometimes, brilliant DI and no doubt one of the cheapest packages available in the market. I got some 30 tests for 2000 if i remember.
Rate the role of your coaching Institute (Classroom or Online Both) in cracking CAT?

Check Your Preparation with CAT 2016 Practice Papers

QUES. Name the Coaching Institute (Online or Classroom) :

TIME, Bokaro
Well i also subscribed to BW 3 year offer in late second year. Then started reading reader's digest, India today and other books. Daily in the morning 6-8 used to attend those classes
Apart from the regular TIME Material, I had Xerox some IMS papers and did them off and on.

QUES. What were your strong and weak areas? How did you prepare and what special efforts did you put for improving your weak areas?

My preparation strategy was to mainly focus on Quant as that was my weakness. I started my preparation in September and prepared a timetable of what topics I would complete every week and stuck to it. Breaking the portion into manageable chunks and then knocking them off one at a time makes it more manageable. This is how I improved my weak area quant. Also, i was told for most engineers the Quant concepts are pretty simple, which means that it all comes down to practice. Therefore all I did was practice which went on and on.
My strong area was Verbal and my weak area was Quant.
Another benefit of solving a lot of sums is that getting it right gives your confidence a boost.

What should be the Exam Strategy for CAT 2016

QUES. Quantitative Aptitude: Discuss Your Strategy for the Section

For Quantitative Ability, I tried to be generic and worked towards strengthening my basics.

I also tried solving the problems with alternate possible solutions which helps you a lot in analyzing each questions with different aspects along with increasing the ability of answering the questions right and on time.

I focused on the concepts for the Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation section.
I feel that as long as your concepts are clear you can solve any question in the exam

QUES. List the Name of Books You Followed for DI:

Again Pearson guides by Nishit Sinha and TMH Books by Arun Sharma

CAT 2016 Exam PatternCAT 2016 SyllabusCAT 2016 Paper AnalysisCAT 2016 Paper Analysis for QACAT 2016 Paper Analysis for DICAT 2016 MCQ Questions

QUES. Data Interpretation: Discuss Your Strategy for the Section:

For Data Interpretation, the key and strategy is to practice as much as you can.
I also followed the same and it supported me to make this area strong.

QUES. List the Name of Books You Followed for Quant:

  • I still have these books and was of a good help.
  • How to prepare for quantitative aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma
  • The Pearson guide To quantitative aptitude for CAT by Nishit Sinha
  • Quantitative aptitude quantum CAT

QUES. Logical Reasoning: Discuss Your Strategy for the Section:

I did not really prepare for the Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning section apart from reading the newspaper.
However, I know many aspirants suggest reading books to improve your grasp of the language. For verbal ability and logical reasoning, the best is to focus on reading comprehensions and increasing vocabulary, which you can do by reading the newspapers, searching for difficult words and learning their meanings.

QUES. List the Name of Books You Followed for Logical Reasoning:

How to prepare for logical reasoning for the CAT 1st Edition by Arun Sharma was the book given to me and I loved it.

QUES. Verbal Ability: Discuss Your Strategy for the Section:

The short answer is this check-list:

  • Don't prepare for verbal like you would for quants!
  • Read, Read, Read!!!
  • Evaluate the answer options critically
  • Don't worry about grammar and vocabulary
  • Approach systematically

QUES. List the Name of Books You Followed for Vocabulary and Grammar:

Grammar, pick up Wren and Martin for now (we know it is very boring but sometimes you got to swallow the bitter pill). Read the part-1 of the book in about two months (that is more than sufficient time),

QUES. Vocabulary and Grammer: Discuss Your Strategy for the Section:

I don’t know what to say for this section as I was pretty boomed up with grammar and vocab from childhood. But to follow up one can focus on following types of questions from past CAT papers.

Synonyms and antonyms: it is not sufficient to know the meaning of the word in the question. U will have to know the meaning of all other words in the options too.

You need to mug up aal the words and sentence correction questions from these papers. In each paper identify the word and sentence correction that you have a problem remembering, mark these words and revise everyweek.

QUES. What should be the Strategy for Someone Who is starting just two months before the exam:

  • The most important and crucial thing as of now is to take mock tests. Please mark my words carefully.
  • Do mock test as much as you can now and remember these points while practicing them. Stick to time.
  • If you are taking a 2 hour test, take it for 2 hrs. only. Be merciless, especially if you are taking them in your room/home. Don’t let anything disturb you in those 2 hrs.
  • Use a watch and make it a habit
  • Have a strategy in mind before you start the test. Take 2-3 min to analyze the paper and say to yourself something like 'VA is verbal heavy, there are 4 parts, quant has some diagrams and sets of questions, DI is lengthy, some ds questions were there, LR is absent, let me start with VA and then move to QA and at last di'. Once you know the order of sections, stick to time limits with in the section. Never let your ego come into the picture in those 2 hrs. I used to feel like, VA was tough, let me spend few minutes more here' to avoid that, i have devised a new method. I used to give time limits as 35 minutes for each section. And at the last i used to visit the toughest/easiest section and make up for a good overall score.
  • Most importantly realize that, you have to get most out of the test. Don’t be egoistic and solve a problem for 2-3 minutes. If you get it in 1 min, its ok, beyond that, learn to leave problems. Try to read as many as possible and decide what to solve quickly. This knack for identifying so called sitters comes from taking 30-40 mocks in a span of 3 months.
  • After the paper, don’t rush to key. Take a break, relax for some time and start looking at the paper. Try to find out correct answers without key. Analyze your answers and see if there is any fast/better method to solve the problems/questions. Try to reason out, why you have not attempted that RC or DI Set and cross check whether that is really a tough one. Try to estimate your score before jumping to the key. This will help you in giving a better idea about your accuracy. After the analysis is over, then verify the answers with key and if needed go through the detailed answers. For me, most of the times, my mistakes used to come out in the analysis phase. Checking with key was something like validating my analysis.
  • Always try to share your mock scores/analysis with others. This will give you a better overall picture and good understanding of your relative standing. Use CAT Blogs for this purpose. For many ppl, these groups are for posting scores. But realize the fact that, they are not notice boards. Instead, try to analyse the paper and post that also. With that you are helping no one else but yourself.
  • Always calculate accuracy/speed figures for individual sections and net. And try to maintain a stable figure of speed and acc. If there is an abrupt change in those figures, try to investigate and findout the reasons. Ideally 60% speed with 80% + accuracy will help you in getting good scores. But speed sometimes varies with easiness of the paper. Identifying the trends of speed/acc in aug/sept will help you to fine tune your strategy before the d-day.

QUES. What will be Your Prescription for Students in the Last Phase of their Preparation for CAT 2015:

  • Plan preparation as per new CAT 2015 pattern
  • Remain updated about the past and prospective changes in CAT exam. Your preparation has to be on these updated lines for CAT 2015.
  • Consistent study: Key to success
  • Solve past papers: All papers have a certain style which they follow. Even after all the changes in format, there will be a core style which is hard to get rid of. By practicing the past questions you get a feel of the type of questions that can be expected. Often I have seen a certain type of questions making a return after 3-4 years.

All the best guys. Do well. May the force be with you and wishing u a bright future ahead.

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QUES. How was the interview? Share some of the questions:

All basic open ended questions. HR questions and questions related to thermodynamics, my engg background questions.

Only one point and the most imp of all which i would request all the aspirants to do is do your homework
have well thought out answers for questions such as "What are your strengths? Why are you right for that particular business school? Why is that particular program right for you?"

It shows organization and forethought if you know some specifics about the program to which you are applying and can explain why those features fit well with your career goals. For example, if you are applying to the Xavier Labour Relation Institute (XLRI), through some simple research you will discover that they are strong in Human Resource Development. Perhaps, you have worked with a recruitment company or have been a trainer in an institute. Relate these in the interview. Most important because I have experienced this throughout life.

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