FAQs on last minute to CAT 2010

What should be the Optimum Strategy for CAT?
There should be no fiddling with your Test-taking strategy at this late stage. As long as you know that the strategy you are using is giving you rewards, don’t change it… For example, you would know if your best bet is to scan a passage and then move onto to the questions, while another person could be more at ease scanning questions before going onto the passage. So just stick to whatever works best for you.

Will the analysis of the MOCK Tests help now?
Test taking is the most important aspect of your preparation now. Take two or at the most three MOCK tests in the last week. Test taking should be followed by an in-depth analysis of the complete Test. Analyse what mistakes you have committed and how you will rectify them. Also check the questions that you have missed, and whether you have missed any ‘easy’ question! That will help in your choice of questions later. Remember, CAT is not about last minute cramming and revising. It’s about being alive and mentally alert, here and now.

What needs to be done to give finishing touches to the preparation?
Do away with your urge to cover the complete syllabus instead of revising or analyzing the test. Besides spending time on why some answers went wrong, also concentrate on why some answers were correct or whether there is any better way of doing the question. Furthermore, in any well-planned CAT Test, you will not be able to complete the whole section or Test. So go through the questions that you did not attempt and see if you made a mistake by leaving out those and attempting the ones you did. Also remember that in every Test, there will be both difficult and easy questions. This is where the concept of revision comes in. With regular revision, you get better and better at questions and are able to do them in a short span of time.
Revise specific fundae, where you feel that there is a lacunae and your score can improve if you have better clarification on that part. For example you can go through the chapter of subject-verb agreement if you feel that you are making too many mistakes in Sentence Correction type Questions because of that chapter.
Acclimatize your body clock: You must acclimatize your body clock to the test timing i.e. you must for the next few days practice test at the time during which you have booked you slot (1000 hours or 1530 hours)
Sleep timings: You must condition your sleep time according to your test timing, for example if you have booked the morning slot then you must start sleeping early and getting up early 2-3 days before your test day. If you sleep late then it is highly likely that you might not be able to get up early having fresh energy on the test day and which might affect your performance.

‘Which is the easiest way out and which are the easiest questions?
One of the biggest pitfalls is that as students we always search for short cuts, asking ‘ A critical issue here is the tremendous urge to skip questions. We tend to lose concentration at different stages during the exam and tend to skip questions because of the time-pressure. But things get better if you follow a couple of golden rules. If you want to identify the questions to attend, it is imperative that you read all the questions. Decide in two readings whether you are going to attempt the question or not. This is perfectly normal and don’t let it bother you. It will take not more than 15 seconds, at a very leisurely pace, to read a question. But if you read the question faster, you would save a few seconds. These can then be spent on understanding the question.
While reading the question, your attitude should be, ‘let me give everything I have.’ Concentrating for those two hours and 15 minutes is not easy, but imperative.

What has been the cut-offs in the past CAT?
If we take QA section historically the cut off marks (93-96.5 percentile) of this section hovers around 30-70 % of the marks allotted to the section in the last 5-6 years, at the same time LRDI sectional cut off marks have varied from 25-60 % . VA Cutoff marks have also been approximately 25-60 percent of the allotted marks in the previous 5-6 CATs.Please bear in mind that the Cut Offs of CAT 2009 touched the upper limits of the given ranges.

Any Final Tips for the C-DAY?
CAT is not the end of your life. Many a time, very high potential students have not made it to the IIMs because they could not handle the pressure. So unwind, go for movies, do things that help you relax, go for walks, listen to soothing music, meditate…. People, who stick it out, hang in there and continue to peg away will make it.
Learn not to carry despair into other sections. Be robotic in those two hours and 15 minutes. Act mercilessly and ruthlessly. Do not yield to sentiments. So what if you have messed up in English, quant is another compartment, maximize your score there. It’s a difficult proposition, but you have to be sensitive to the fact that at the end of the day it’s a game of nerves.
Fluid Management: This would be very important on the test day. Those of you who are taking the test in the morning slot, should not consume any fluid after 6.30 a.m. and those of you taking the test in the afternoon slot must not consume any fluid after 1 p.m. as it has been specified in the instructions by Prometric (www.catiim.in) that you would not be allowed to leave the test arena at least 0.5 hours before the start of the test and you will not be even allowed to go to washrooms. Bad fluid management can affect your test performance.
CAT Instructions: You must visit http://www.catiim.in and read all the instructions carefully and follow them strictly.

All the Best!

Team CL

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FAQs on last minutes to CAT?

 

What should be the Optimum Strategy for CAT?

There should be no fiddling with your Test-taking strategy at this late stage. As long as you know that the strategy you are using is giving you rewards, don’t change it… For example, you would know if your best bet is to scan a passage and then move onto to the questions, while another person could be more at ease scanning questions before going onto the passage. So just stick to whatever works best for you. 

 

Will the analysis of the MOCK Tests help now? 

Test taking is the most important aspect of your preparation now. Take two or at the most three MOCK tests in the last week. Test taking should be followed by an in-depth analysis of the complete Test. Analyse what mistakes you have committed and how you will rectify them. Also check the questions that you have missed, and whether you have missed any ‘easy’ question! That will help in your choice of questions later. Remember, CAT is not about last minute cramming and revising. It’s about being alive and mentally alert, here and now. 

 

What be done to give finishing touches to the preparation? 

Do away with your urge to cover the complete syllabus instead of revising or analyzing the test. Besides spending time on why some answers went wrong, also concentrate on why some answers were correct or whether there is any better way of doing the question. Furthermore, in any well-planned CAT Test, you will not be able to complete the whole section or Test. So go through the questions that you did not attempt and see if you made a mistake by leaving out those and attempting the ones you did. Also remember than in every Test, there will be both difficult and easy questions. This is where the concept of revision comes in. With regular revision, you gets better and better at questions and are able to do them in a short span of time.

Revise specific fundae, where you feel that there is a lacunae and your score can improve if you have better clarification on that part. For example you can go through the chapter of subject-verb agreement if you feel that you are making too many mistakes in Sentence Correction type Question because of that chapter.

Acclimatize your body clock: You must acclimatize your body clock to the test timing i.e. you must for the next few days practice test at the time during which you have booked you slot (1000 hours or 1530 hours)

Sleep timings: You must condition your sleep time according to your test timing, for example if you have booked the morning slot then you must start sleeping early and getting up early 2-3 days before your test day. If you sleep late then it is highly likely that you might not be able to get up early having fresh energy on the test day and which might affect your performance.

 

‘Which is the easiest way out and which are the easiest questions?

One of the biggest pitfalls is that as students we always search for short cuts, asking  ‘ A critical issue here is the tremendous urge to skip questions. We tend to lose concentration at different stages during the exam and tend to skip questions because of the pressures of time. But things get better if you follow a couple of golden rules. If you want to identify the questions to attend, it is imperative that you read all the questions. Decide in two readings whether you are going to attempt the question or not. This is perfectly normal and don’t let it bother you. It will take not more than 15 seconds, at a very leisurely pace, to read a question. But if you read the question faster, you would have saved a few seconds. These can then be spent on understanding the question.

While reading the question, your attitude should be, ‘let me give everything I have.’ Concentrating for those two hours and 15 minutes is not easy, but imperative.

 

What has been the cut-offs in the past CAT?

 If we take QA section historically the cut off marks (93-95 percentile) of this section is hovering around 25-30  % of the marks allotted to the section in the last 5-6 years with CAT-2006 being the only exception when the QA sectional Cut-off marks was approximately 38-40% of the allotted marks, at the same time LRDI sectional cut off marks has varied from 20-30 % with CAT-2007 being the only exception when LRDI sectional cut off was approximately 35-36 % of the allotted marks. VA Cutoff marks has been approximately 20-32 percent of the allotted marks in the previous 5-6 CATs

 

Any Final Tips for the C-DAY?

 CAT is not the end of your life. Many a time, very high potential students have not made it to the IIMs because they could not handle the pressure. So unwind, go for movies, do things that help you relax, go for walks, listen to soothing music, meditate…. People who stick it out, hang in there and continue to peg away will make it.

Learn not to carry despair into other sections. Be robotic in those two hours and 15 minutes. Act mercilessly and ruthlessly. Do not yield to sentiments. So what if you have messed up in English, quant is another compartment, maximize your score there. It’s a difficult preposition, but you have to be sensitive to the fact that at the end of the day it’s a game of nerves.

Fluid Management: This would be very important on the test day. Those of you who are taking the test in the morning slot, should not consume any fluid after 6.30 a.m. and those of you taking the test in the afternoon slot must not consume any fluid after 1 p.m. as it has been specified in the instructions by Prometric (www. catiim.in) that you should entering the test arena at least 1.5 hours before the start of the test and you will not be even allowed to go to washrooms. Bad fluid management can affect your test performance.   

CAT Instructions: You must visit www.Catiim.in and read all the instructions carefully and follow them strictly.

 

Career Launcher CATScan: Solutions to previous years CAT papers

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*CAT 2008 questions will be added shortly to CATScan. Currently it features questions from 1999-2007

CAT 2009 is a computer based test

It has finally been confirmed – CAT is definitely going to be a computer based test (CBT) from this year.

As per this press release from IIM Bangalore:

  • The Common Admission Test (CAT) of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) is going to be a Computer Based Test (CBT) from this year onwards, comparable to the existing tests such as GMAT, GRE, and TOEFL.
  • The test will be conducted in a window of about ten days sometime at the end of the calendar year.
  • CBT CAT will be a candidate-friendly test in terms of flexibility in the selection of test date, ease of registration process, better physical environment and test experience, and enhanced security in terms of biometric identification of candidates and video monitoring.
  • IIMs have selected Prometric ETS to be their partner in delivering the computer-assisted CAT.
  • More details will be available on the computerised CAT along with the advertisement for CAT to be released later this summer.

To know more about the impact of CAT going online on your preparation, please read this post from the CL Academic Team.

To take an online test, click here.

CAT 2009: Online or Offline, IIMs need to answer

It was last year that the big news was unveiled to the world. Common Admission Test (CAT), the examination for securing admission into the IIMs, was to transfigure into an online format, starting 2009. CAT had retained it’s paper-pencil format since it’s inception. There was much debate about the pros and cons of the decision. While IIMs saw this decision as a move towards a) ensuring smoother administrative operations b) less chances of papers being leaked at the centers across India c) taking CAT in the domain of well known international exams, such as GRE/GMAT; certain section of students opined that taking the test online might be a disadvantage to the rural IIM aspirants, who are not well conversant with sitting for tests online. Many students might actually not even be comfortable using a computer! Then there were questions raised about matters that could pose a problem to conducting the exam online. These included things like slow Internet speed in India, security against hacking, infrastructure to conduct the requisite online module, standardization of the question papers etc. Tenders were floated nonetheless, to conduct the online version on behalf of the IIMs and 4 specialist companies were shortlisted for the same.

The news gradually died down. The IIMs were to confirm the news of this year’s test being online, first in January and then in March. There is no concrete announcement to the effect till now. Some recent articles have actually augmented the confusion.

Indian Express in an article dated 5th April states “Decks are being cleared for the Combined Admission Test (CAT) for admission to the Indian Institutes of Management and other premier business schools to move online starting November 2009.” (Read the full article here- http://www.indianexpress.com/news/iims-push-for-online-cat-this-year-on-lines-of-gmat-many-dates-many-…/443260/)

On the other hand, an article published in Business Standard on 15th march and on 16th March at Rediff, mentions, “CAT may not go online this year” (read the full article here- http://www.rediff.com/getahead/2009/mar/16cat-may-not-go-online-this-year.htm). IBNlive, the online version of news channel CNN-IBN, adds further to the confusion by stating that “CAT will go online from next year”, not mentioning anything about the exam this year (Read the full article here- http://ibnlive.in.com/news/iim-entrance-test-to-be-computerbased-from-next-year/89487-3.html).

It is April now and about 3 lakh students are expected to appear for this year’s CAT. But the IIMs are still silent about the format the exam will take this year. If students are to wait for the official notification (which usually appears some time in July), it would leave them with just about 4 months to prepare for the new format. The situation might be worse for people who are not well accustomed to using computers and need more time to prepare themselves for taking tests online. Ideally, the students in urban areas, who are relatively well accustomed to using computers, should not have an advantage over their brethren in rural areas, if CAT intends to keep it’s unbiased image intact.

What’s been surprising is the fact that students have not shown any interest in doing something that may pressurize the IIMs into sharing the details of CAT 2009 at the earliest. Some students are under the impression that the examination will be similar, whether online or offline. But that, according to experts, is not the case. Instead, the experts feel that if CAT goes the GMAT way, the change will be substantial. The preparation and the skill set required would need to be re-molded quite actively. Substantial amount of practice will be required before the students sit for the real online exam.

Students need to take concrete action to have their concerns addressed. They need to realize and make use of the various means at their disposal to do so. The recent Symbiosis result fiasco and the subsequent student outcry that CL also supported, lead to concerned authorities making amends, and is a neat illustration of effectively wielded Youth Power. Students need to take similar actions in this situation as well, such as, starting signature or e-mailer campaigns, writing letters to the relevant authorities including HRD ministry, taking their issue to the media, and so on.

This matter deserves greater attention than it is presently receiving. Students need to get organized and get cracking! CL is there to help and support as always.

CAT may not go online this year

Summary:

Last Dec. IIMs had floated a tender and short-listed 4 companies to conduct CAT 2009 online.

Logistics issues might hinder possibility of CAT going online this year. 300,000 students to take exam on same day on computer terminals – large scale provision of infrastructure and facilities involved – huge task.

Pankaj Chandra, director, IIM Bangalore: “In the next few weeks, we will take a call if we will go online this year or not.”

Decision to be taken by April or May.

Career Launcher too says if IIMs were to go online with CAT this year, they should have notified the students by now. Career Launcher is investing around Rs 30 lakh across its centres to facilitate online CAT training on computer terminals to its students.

IIMs say they’ve been occupied earlier with placements and now with admissions. Once these processes are in place, they would look into the matter of online CAT.

Source: Business Standard

CAT Quant – The True Picture by Shivku (IIMC)