'Immerse yourself into CAT to gain stamina, conceptual clarity & speed'

Saturday, June 01 2013
This article brings you some questions asked by MBA Aspirants and answer shared by Mr Sandeep Manudhane during the Live Chat session on May 31, 2013.
It is only over a period of time that we build our stamina, strength, conceptual clarity, speed and determination. So "Immerse yourself totally" into the prep from now.
How do I plan my CAT preparation beginning now? What is the average hours I need to put in for CAT preparation daily & weekly? How do I tackle my speed problem while solving quant questions?

These are some of the questions that MBA Aspirants ask to MBAUniverse.com as they seriously take plunge into their CAT journey which can lead them to dream IIMs and other top B-schools like FMS, JBIMS, SPJIMR, IMT etc.

At this stage of your CAT preparation when CAT 2013 is just 150 days away, MBAUniverse.com brings you expert guidance for your CAT preparation strategy and related CAT preparation queries.

In the latest weekly Live Expert Chat, Mr Sandeep Manudhane, Founder Chairman, PT Education guided MBA Aspirants on their preparation queries and shared success tips for CAT. An IIT Delhi alumnus and IIM Ahmedabad select Mr Sandeep Manudhane is Founder Chairman of PT education. He carries rich experience of over 20 years in training CAT Aspirants. He is also a Corporate Trainer and Motivator. His specific areas of expertise include Language, General Knowledge- Current Affairs (GK-CA), Quant, Logical Reasoing & Data Interpretation (DI).

This article brings you some questions asked by MBA Aspirants and answer shared by Mr Sandeep Manudhane during the Live Chat session on May 31, 2013.

Akriti: I have started CAT preparation now. Please guide me how to prepare for the exam now onwards. Which books should I prefer and how should I do it by self study?
Mr Sandeep Manudhane: It's never too late to start. The IIMCAT, as all the other MBA entrance tests, are not about just a few months of preparation, but a sum total of all that you have learnt through your life so far. That's why they are called APTITUDE TESTS. A few tips for you: (1) First of all, decide which all tests you want to write this year. I recommend at least five different tests. (2) Start preparing IMMEDIATELY. There is no time to waste now. (3) Join some preparatory institute. It is strongly recommended as you have only 4-5 months left (for the exams to commence). An institute with its experienced faculty will help you minimise wasted efforts. (4) Focus on your core strengths. Do not waste too much time on weak areas. (5) Take a lot of Mock Tests and once you have taken them, please sit and analyse/revise. That is crucial.

Amol: I am in BBA 2nd year and want to prepare for CAT. Please suggest me how to prepare for it. Is this good time to start?
Mr Sandeep Manudhane: It is the best time to start. The IIMCAT is a test of your commonsense, speed, accuracy and command over basics of 3 Rs - Reading wRiting and aRithmetic. Start by revising all fundamentals in English and Quant. NCERT books (6th till 10th) are good. Basic books in grammar and usage should be referred. You can also talk to your friends or visit various Prep institutes to find the best option for you.

Vishalrulz: I am an Engineering student and preparing for CAT. I am good in DI, LR, Quant, but worried about English section. I am not taking any coaching. Please suggest how do I prepare my English section?
Mr Sandeep Manudhane: The simple tip is: read a lot of useful stuff. Read non-fiction, lots of it. Go through serious and high-quality newspapers like the The Economic Times (ET) and The Hindu. Refer to online editions of magazines like The Economist. All this will help in developing a sense of the 'subtlety and nuance' factor in your understanding of the language. All said and done - you need practice. A lot of practice, with timed tests is a must. I suggest you refer to at least some courseware that can help you do that. Without taking a lot of timed tests, and then revising and analysing your performance, you may be shooting in the dark.

Basant Maheshwari: Please suggest how can I improve my QA speed and calculation speed, what should be the strategy for next 5 months especially for quant section?
Mr Sandeep Manudhane: Practise, Practise, Practise. Take tests. Solve all the questions after the time is over once again. See which of them you could have done using the options. See where you got stuck. See which sitters you missed out on. Keep doing all this diligently till the last day. These all things add up to your preparation slowly and steadily.

Pranav: I have 74% in Engineering, 88% in 10th and 78% in 12th. I come from general category. What are my chances of getting into old IIM or top 15 B-schools, provided I score a good CAT percentile?
Mr Sandeep Manudhane: Going by the present trends (at least till this year), it seems slightly difficult. But once you start preparing for the IIMCAT, you are automatically preparing for most other exams (CMAT, MAT, IIFT, SNAP, NMAT), and a large part of the other big test - the XAT. So your prep will not go waste. My advice to you (and thousands of others who are dead-worried about this aspect) - forget all this and focus on maximising your performance in the exams.

Noor: How should I approach DI Questions? Please help me with steps.
Mr Sandeep Manudhane: Step 1. Read the DI data carefully. Be sure about what is the unit used, and the calibration of the axis. Step 2. See if one of the questions in the set given (3/4/5 questions) can be helped to untangle the entire set. At times, this can be a great help! Step3. If nothing works backwards, start working forward. Pick the first question, and apply your brains!

Amrutha: How much time one weak student have to spend daily for CAT?
Mr Sandeep Manudhane: Hi Amrutha, well! I do not know what a weak student is. I guess all of us are weak in at least one or two sections when we start. It is only over a period of time that we build our stamina, strength, conceptual clarity, speed and determination. So first of all, get rid of the notion that "one is weak". Having said that, my recommendation for anyone seriously targeting the IIMCAT (or any other competitive test for that matter) is to "Immerse yourself totally" into the prep. All the best!

Achal: How should I divide my 130 days for Quant preparation?
Mr Sandeep Manudhane: (1) At least 2 to 3 hours (raw) per day doing problems and tests. (2) At least one long revision session per weekend of everything done in the week. (3) At least one full length mock test per week.

Anamika: I am a working executive in call center. I am not able to give more than 2 hours daily on CAT preparation. What should be the study plan for me?
Mr Sandeep Manudhane: If you have a 5 days week, then the off days are to be devoted entirely to CAT prep (and XAT, etc.) That, in addition to the 2 hrs daily, should add up to enough practice time. And between calls, revise your words and formulae.

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

In the first Live Chat session on May 24, Mr Abhishek Gupta, National Product Head, MBA Test-Prep, Career Launcher India had guided CAT Aspirants on their CAT preparation related queries.

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more CAT Prep features and Expert tips from Live Chat sessions.