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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Strategy for last minute CAT preparation

A very important thing for you to do is to analyse your test scores and performance in a detailed manner. If you have been taking mock test, you should sit down with your performance results and try to spot a trend. Crucial aspects to look out are:
In the English section
• Within the Reading Comprehension section, which type of passages are you comfortable with and scoring well?
• Conversely, in which type of passages do you struggle-is it that you are weak with passages dealing with philosophy for example? Do you struggle with inference based questions?
• What kind of strategy works for you in Reading Comprehension, to read the questions first and than attempt the passage or vice versa?
• Within English, are you more comfortable doing the Reading Comprehension part first or Verbal Ability?
• Is your Vocabulary up-to-date?
• Are you comfortable with Grammar?
In the Quant Section
• Are you strong or weak with a particular type of question-Example: Are you weak in Probability or Geometry?
• Do you take too much time solving some particular type of questions?
In the Data Interpretation and Analytical Reasoning Section
• Are you comfortable with all sorts of diagrams such as tables/graphs etc. or struggle with a particular type?
• Are you good with analytical reasoning/logic based questions or have trouble with them?<
The reason for doing this is that it is time for you to decide your strategy to attempt the paper. Of course, this is only an ‘interim’ or ‘draft strategy’. The reason why it is called interim is that there is no way you can actually predict the CAT paper, and hence your actual final strategy must be decided only when you get the actual question paper in your hand/view the questions on the computer screen, as we shall see in the next chapter, since there is always some unpredictable aspect in the CAT exam.
Nevertheless, it is beneficial to have an interim strategy in place. As Louis Pasteur said “Chance favours the prepared mind”. This will ensure that there is some method you adopt in tackling the CAT exam and that you do not panic and attempt the paper in a random, haphazard way.
It is the time to decide what type of questions you will definitely take a shot-at in the exam, what you will most likely leave and what you think you should work more on in the remaining month. For example, let us say that you are weak with passages pertaining to philosophy. What you can do is read 5-6 passages on this theme from a journal or a site like and improve your confidence and comprehension abilities in such passages.
Similarly, if you realize that you are weak in Geometry, you can go back and revise the basics from any of the CAT preparatory material you may have with you. In addition, you can decide to practice 15-20 questions on this topic every day for the next 7-10 days, thus attempting to improve yourself in these types of questions.
Or if you are weak in Mathematical/Analytical Reasoning based questions, you can practice the same from a good book on the same lines (10-15 questions a day for 7-10 days).
The important thing is to take stock of where you currently stand a few weeks before the CAT and focus your preparation accordingly.

Personal experiences of Best Students at IIM MBA interview

-- Ankit GargAnkit Garg had his D-day fixed at IIM Ahmedabad on Monday, March 15, 2010. The topic of essay was ‘Diversification is not an indicator for inclusiveness’. This was indeed a complex topic and involved a lot of thinking before penning down the appropriate words. But for those who have the ability to articulate well and razor sharp mind can make the best use of the 10 minutes.
The interview questions for Ankit were generic. He was first asked to introduce himself. “There was another question which was ‘ Sell yourself to IIM A for mba,” said the 100 percentiler. In this question he had to emphasize his strengths and convince the panelists that he is the apt candidate for IIM Ahmedabad MBA. The marketing skills were also tested through this question. He was also asked questions on Math and his city, Chandigarh. Some general questions on hobbies and interests were also asked. 

-- Manu BajajThe essay topic for Manu Bajaj on Sunday, March 14 was ‘Child artistes are an exploited lot’.  Manu touched the lines of the child artistes in films as well as the reality show where the participants are children and the immense pressure they have to undergo at such young ages.
The PI round for Manu started with the basic questions on introduction and academics. He was asked about his favorite subject. Being a student of Computer Engineering, he had to answer quite a handful of questions on quantum computing and other such facets.
Then he was asked ‘Why MBA?’ In this, he gave an overall answer. “I have always been part of Extra Curricular Activities and I am a good team leader. I want to leverage the leadership skill by being a positive drive force for an organization,” was what Manu answered to the question.
Apart from this he was also asked questions on what he had written on the essay topic. Here a general discussion went on regarding the society, reality shows etc. In the last question, he was asked about his views on the Women Reservation Bill.
“When I answered that it was a good move, they started grilling me! A debate ensued on whether the reservation should be done on the basis of gender or caste,” Manu reflected on his interview. According to him, 10 minutes of the interview was on academics and five minutes each on essay and Women’s Reservation Bill. 

-- Anshul SinghThe essay writing and personal interview round for Anshul Singh was on Wednesday, March 17, 2010. His essay topic was ‘Lay offs can give a new direction.’ Here the advantages of lay offs in an organization had to be discussed.
The interview was pretty generic for him. He was asked questions on his hobby, which is cricket and on his graduation subjects. “My graduation marks were low, so I was asked the reason,” Anshul said. “The interviewers check the practical application and presence of mind,” he cited.  

(.an article from )