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CAT 2016 Preparation Tips by Vastav K

Last Updated - August 19, 2016

Vastav K cracked CAT in 2011 with a percentile score of 97.2 and secured admission in IIM Lucknow. He has done engineering in his graduation. During his interview with us, he says, refer good books and it can help you in clearing fundamentals. He shares with us his experience of how he prepared for CAT and cleared it. The following questionnaire can help you for preparing for CAT 2016.

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Ques. The institutes that offered you admissions?     

Ans. I couldn't clear IIMA, IIMB. I chose IIM-L because of the long illustrious history associated with the institute and the fact that it is one of the highest ranked B-schools in India. Apart, I was offered admission in the following institutes, all the remaining IIM's, ISB, Xavier’s, FMS, and JBIM etc.

Know More CAT 2016 Participating Institute

Ques. Apart from CAT which exams do you appear? 

Ans. I appeared in CAT, SNAP, IBSAT, XAT (for XLRI)

Ques. Mode of Preparation?  

Ans. Tutoring (For Particular Subjects)

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

Ans. I didn't have much of coaching but in my view coaching classes are means to save time and finding the better approach. I followed TIME institute material, borrowed from my friend. IMS also provided me material, which was quite good. At IMS we used to get handouts in each class session. Apart from that, we also used to get subject materials. The materials were a brief of classworks and handouts.

Know More Top Coaching Institutes for CAT 2016

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

Ans. I am a B.E 2010 pass-out, I wrote CAT in 2010, but got just 82%ile, as my preparation was not up to the mark. Yet I tried reading in the late hours, but not with focus. I started preparing for cat after my final exams. I prepared for whole year, my preparation is concerned to online material gathering and self-study.

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Ques. What is Your Five Point Rule to Excel CAT 2016? What Mock Paper You Took?  

Ans. List out the topics- Channelize them
1. Solve short/ easy questions first.
2. Never stick to one question for too long.
3. Practice more mock tests.
4. Time management is a crucial factor.
5. Take adequate rest and relax your brain.

I took IMS Test series, Career Launcher series, Hunda Ka Funda Online Test series and TIME test papers from my friend and practiced at home.

Check Your Preparation with CAT 2016 Practice Papers

Ques. Rate the role of your coaching Institute (Classroom or Online Both) in cracking CAT?   

Ans. 7

Ques. Name the Coaching Institute (Online or Classroom)?     

Ans. I didn't ,join any coaching but I underwent a crash course for VA and LR at IMS, Indore

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

Ans. My strongest areas were Quant and Verbal sections; I had to work hard on DI and RC passages. I practiced speed mathematics and solved 10 DI exercises at a stretch to get the hang of it. For RC, I practiced Critical Reasoning questions and read up on fallacies to eliminate options.

What should be the Exam Strategy for CAT 2016

Ques. What are the websites you followed regularly to Practice Free Sample Papers or to Get Updates?

Ans. 1. Hunda ka funda- for material and tests
2. Career Anna - for news articles
3. Pagalguy
4. Careers 360.com
5. Mindworkzz.com, and some more

Ques. Quantitative Aptitude: Discuss Your Strategy for the Section?

Ans. Quantitative Ability Section is a combination of majorly simple concepts merger with advanced mathematics. List out the topics and also sub topics. Start with easy questions from any of the section. In the beginning, don't focus on time management...after first hour of practice, average your each question time in each day, try and reduce 20 % of time for next question practice hour. Do this until you reach the appropriate threshold time point.

Ques. List the Name of Books You Followed for DI?           

Ans.For simple and basic questions- TMH's How to prepare for the data interpretation and logical reasoning for the CAT 3rd Edition by Arun Sharma
For advanced approach- The Pearson Guide to Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning for the CAT (With CD) by Nishit K. Sinha Publisher: Pearson
For practice- short book on DI by RS Agarwal

Ques. Data Interpretation: Discuss Your Strategy for the Section?

Ans. My strategy was to scan the question carefully and then interpret the data but don't just start doing calculations. Understand analyzing the data and the start calculations. Get familiarize with all types of DI questions with much of practice.

Ques. List the Name of Books You Followed for Quant?    

Ans. 1. How To Prepare for quantitative aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma is simple and easy to understand
2. Quantitative Aptitude for competitive examinations by Abhijit Guha
3. This is a good book for building concepts of quantitative aptitude
4. For advanced level The Pearson guide for DI and QA book by Nishit K. Sinha
5. Shakuntala Devi's puzzle book is also a relaxation game book

Ques. Logical Reasoning: Discuss Your Strategy for the Section?      

Ans. My LR strategy was-
1. Read both the factual passage and the sentence completion instruction carefully.
2. Be sure to read all the response choices carefully before choosing one.
3. In questions that ask you to select a valid conclusion, always choose the one conclusion that must definitely follow from the information you are given.
4. Pay special attention to words like “all,” “some,” or “none” when you read the factual information each question gives you.
When you encounter a question that is difficult for you, try drawing diagrams or other schematic notes on the “scratch” paper provided to support and confirm your thought processes.

Ques. List the Name of Books You Followed for Logical Reasoning?  

Ans. 1. The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha
2. Trishna's Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning for the CAT and Other MBA Examinations by TIME
3. A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning Revised Edition by R. S. Aggarwal

Ques. Verbal Ability: Discuss Your Strategy for the Section?    

Ans. For Verbal Aptitude, focus on critical reasoning. If you are good in stuff like Para-completion, Para-jumbles, Fact Inference Judgement. Following are some of the strategy points of Verbal Aptitude-
1. Prepare to do well in VA
2. Improve your ability to read and understand language
3. Improve your ability to solve specific question types
As far as preparation for these is concerned, I would highly recommend the use of previous year papers for both LR and RC. You need to understand the level of questions that get asked.

Ques. List the Name of Books You Followed for Vocabulary and Grammar?          

Ans. 1. Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis
2. Wren and Martin English Grammar
3. A Communicative Grammar of English by Geoffrey Lee
4. Reading any popular newspaper. I preferred Economic Times.

Ques. Vocabulary and Grammar: Discuss Your Strategy for the Section?

Ans. Because vocabulary knowledge is critical to reading comprehension, it is important to develop a large “word bank” and effective vocabulary learning strategies.
Word Power Made Easy (or any other Vocab building tool) is helpful in CAT but Vocab is not an important parameter. You barely get a couple of direct question on it but it makes your life easier in RC and other areas.

Ques. What should be the strategy for someone who is starting just two months before the exam?   

Ans. 1. Schedule your CAT date
2. Take as many mocks as possible
3. Analyze each paper-identify weak areas
4. Work more on stronger areas

Ques. How Would You Rate the Following Preparation Strategy in terms of their efficiency in your story?

Coaching ClassesNCERT Text BooksOnline Study MaterialCoaching Printed Study MaterialMock & Sample Test PapersStudy GroupsSubject Wise ClassesSelf-Study
HighLowVery HighHighVery HighLow HighVery High

Ques. What will be Your Prescription for Students in the Last Phase of their Preparation for CAT 2016?     

Ans. Don’t waste time and energy on questions that you are unable to solve; learn to channelize your efforts in the right direction.

  • Investing excessive effort in the wrong direction is equal to putting no effort at all.
  • Give lots and lots of mock tests. Identify and rectify your weak areas.
  • Once you've prepared well, just relax and be confident.

Ques. How was the interview? Share some of the questions?  

Ans. There were 3 persons in the interview panel. There were some casual questions in the beginning, some of the questions that I remember are:

  • Why should we admit you into our MBA program?
  • What are your strongest abilities?
  • What are your three major accomplishments?
  • What are you looking for in this program?
  • Tell me something about yourself?
  • Where do you want to be in 5 years?
  • Why do you want to study in this institute?
  • What does "success" mean to you?
  • What does "failure" mean to you?
  • What major problem have you encountered and how did you deal with it?
  • There were some questions about business management and entrepreneurship.
CAT 2016 ResultsCAT 2016 CounsellingCAT 2016 Score CalculationCAT 2016 Cutoff

Ques. List the Name of Books You Followed for Verbal Ability?      

Ans. 1. Student's Companion by Wilfred D. Best Verbal Ability by Arun Sharma
2. English Proficiency manual
3. Business English and Communication by Clark

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