CAT Expert Chat: 'Go back to 9th & 10th books to strengthen your basics'

Saturday, May 25 2013, 01:25 AM
This article brings you some questions asked by MBA Aspirants and answer shared by Mr Abhishek Gupta during the Live Chat session.
If you think you have a real problem with some topic, pick up your 9th, 10th standard books and start by trying to finish them quickly. Then you can go to the more advanced problems.
With five months left for CAT 2013, has launched weekly Online ‘Live Chat’ session with renowned CAT Experts to guide MBA Aspirants on their CAT 2013 preparation strategy and related CAT preparation queries.

In the first Online Expert Live Chat of CAT 2013 season held on May 24, Mr Abhishek Gupta, National Product Head, MBA Test-Prep, Career Launcher India shared his tips on section-wise strategy, time management and other related queries on CAT 2013.

Mr Abhishek Gupta is currently National Product Head for MBA Test-Prep at Career Launcher India. A Bachelor in Information Technology (IT) and an MBA, Mr Gupta carries training experience of over 7 years in guiding CAT Aspirants and has held several key positions at Career Launcher including its Academic Operation Head.
This article brings you some questions asked by MBA Aspirants and answer shared by Mr Abhishek Gupta during the Live Chat session.

Ranbir Singh: How much time an average candidate should spent daily for CAT? What should be the section-wise distribution?
Mr Abhishek Gupta: The section wise distribution of your available time would depend on one's current level of preparation, what all topics the person has already done, whether the person is working or not, and a few other things. However, a serious candidate should definitely give it at least 4 hours daily at this stage.

Nagpal: What are the most important chapters in Quant as well as in DI? Given the huge syllabus, should I go for selective preparation in this section?
Mr Abhishek Gupta: There are no important chapters in QA-DI as such which you can pick and prepare. I would strongly recommend doing everything that's there. I won't agree that the syllabus is huge for somebody to leave certain topics. Instead, it would be a huge risk. I would suggest you to pull up your socks, and start working hard...

Anu Aggarwal: Please suggest me which section need more focus in Quant. How do I keep my interest alive during my CAT preparation?
Mr Abhishek Gupta: The most important topic in Quantitative Aptitude would be Algebra, though you need to prepare all the topics to be successful. You need to devote some time regularly to all three subjects - VA, QA and LDI. This is the best way to prepare. The preparation won't get monotonous and boring, and you wouldn't ever feel as if you have forgotten some topic since you haven't been in touch lately.

Kumar Kohli: How should I work on my basics to score a good percentile in CAT?
Mr Abhishek Gupta: If you think you have a real problem with some topic, I would advise going back to the basics textbooks. Pick up your 9th, 10th standard books and start by trying to finish them quickly. Then you can go to the more advanced problems.

Arpita: I am a tech professional and my working hours is 9.00 am to 7.00 pm. How do I manage my time for CAT preparation?
Mr Abhishek Gupta: Dear Arpita, I understand that preparing for CAT along with working in an IT company can be very tough. However, it is definitely not impossible. Try to dedicate your weekends completely to CAT prep. During the weekdays, if not more, devote 1-2 hours daily along with some serious reading. This is the minimum that you need to do.

Anushka: I have a commerce background. I started my self-reparation for CAT and joined a local coaching center with an experienced mentor. Please tell me if I am heading to right prep direction.
Mr Abhishek Gupta: As long as you are confident, I don't have an issue. But I would strongly recommend subscribing to a good Test Series though. Your scores in Mock tests will give you an idea if your preparation is on track.

Basant Maheshwari: I have not scored well in my academic career. In 10th std, I scored 89%, in 12th 68.4%, and in Graduation 75%. I want to take the CAT 2013. Is there any chance to get a call from top B- Schools?
Mr Abhishek Gupta: IIMs would be difficult to get a call from. All others top ones, including XLRI, FMS, SPJIMR, MDI, NITIE etc. are not very finicky about your academic record if you do well in the admission test.

Anurag raj: Sir, I am an average student and starting preparation for CAT 2013 now. Are the next 5 months sufficient for my CAT preparation?
Mr Abhishek Gupta: Yes.. It is. If you are ready to work hard and are able to get the right guidance.

Sameer Kansal: What is the best way to prepare for CAT, attend some coaching classes or buy some CAT books and do self preparation?
Mr Abhishek Gupta: It depends on your preparedness for CAT at this stage. I would suggest taking some diagnostic test or previous papers and going for counselling...

Amrutha: I take lot of time on solving each chapter in Quant and DI. Due to this, I think I will not be able to finish my prep at right time. Please suggest me a solution.
Mr Abhishek Gupta: Hard work is the key. Practice till you improve... It's okay to be slow at this stage; you cannot afford to be slow on the day of your exam. Isn't it? And you cannot improve your speed unless you trudge your way through these tough times. All the best!

Vinny Shrinu: I have prepared for GMAT. Now I also want to appear for CAT. How similar is CAT prep to that of GMAT?
Mr Abhishek Gupta: Preparation of GMAT & CAT are quite different actually. GMAT is a very structured exam with a set pattern. Though CAT is moving in this direction, I would still call it much more unpredictable than GMAT. You would especially need to work hard and do a lot of new topics in QA and DI.
Do these three things: 1. Do a lot of reading from different subjects 2. Get hooked to solving puzzles, riddles, brain-teasers etc. 3. Take a good test series at least and follow a systematic study plan, if not keen on a regular classroom programme.

Ambika: I started my cat preparation but how should I prepare for GD simultaneously..and how should I prepare for RC section?
Mr Abhishek Gupta: Answer to both of your questions lie in doing a lot of reading. That will prepare you to handle the Group Discussions with ease (at a later stage) and also make you more comfortable with those "incomprehensible and boring" RC passages.

Rimmi Shah: I have a B Sc Honors background. I feel confident in quant section but DI creates problem for me. Please suggest how to find a way out.
Mr Abhishek Gupta: It's very surprising. If you can handle QA, I don't see a reason why you will struggle in DI. In fact, DI should be easier as all the data is already given there and just have to analyse it and answer. You need to learn to calculate faster, do approximations, avoid tedious calculations wherever possible and answer using the options.

Rohit Kumar: I secured 99.97% in CAT but I could convert only my IIM-Lucknow call. I am a fresher with in mechanical engg from IIT Bombay. I am interested in Finance. Should I take my IIM Lucknow call or appear for CAT to get into any of the top three IIMs- IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore & Calcutta?
Mr Abhishek Gupta: IIMs have actually become very unpredictable these days with their shortlisting/admission criteria. Wait for one more year only if you feel that something went wrong this year in ABC interviews (if you had the calls). If you didn't have ABC calls this year, I don't see you getting them next year as well since there is hardly any scope for improvement in your CAT score and your profile is not going to change in a few months.

MBA Aspirants seeking guidance and advice from renowned CAT Experts can login to Chat page and post their query to the expert who shall revert on real time basis during the weekly Online Chat hour. The Aspirants can also post their pre-chat queries on [email protected] to seek information and guidance on preparation for CAT 2013.

Stay tuned to for more on weekly CAT 2013 Expert Live Chat.