IIM CAT Preparation Tips

IIM CAT Preparation Tips: August 2004

Aug 26, 2004

Keep track of your time. Get your 12 X 10 rhythm in place

Having set time limits for each of the sections that appear in CAT, you need to ensure that your progress is keeping pace in the set time limit.

From my experience of following the last few five or six CATs, I believe that attempting 85 to 90 questions in CAT and getting over 65 as net score is a definite recipe to get calls from couple or more of the IIMs.

With 120 minutes at your disposal, the arithmetic essentially translates to about 7 to 8 questions every 10 minutes. Therefore, divide your 2 hours mentally into 12 slots of 10 minutes and at the end of each 10 minutes do a status check. In reality, you should be doing better in the first half of the time allotted to each section in terms of the number of questions attempted (over 10 every 10 minutes) than the second half. The reason is that you are expected to attempt the easier questions that consume less time in the first half than in the second half.

If you find yourself slipping in any one slot, you need to buck up in the next couple of ones to maintain your average.

If you are in the habit of using a stop watch, make sure that you start it as soon as you get the signal from the invigilator to start the test. There have been instances of students getting tensed on account of not starting their stop watches.

Will add more shortly...

K S Baskar
Ascent Education - Let's get cracking with CAT Preparation

Aug 22, 2004

Some essentials to do during the last 90 days to CAT


With just about 90 days left for CAT here are some things any serious cat aspirant should follow religiously.

First things first. You have less than 15 days to send your completed CAT application forms to the IIMs. So do it as soon as possible. Do not wait for the eleventh hour to send your application and pray that the courier delivers it on time. If you still have not got your application, you have about four days left to get it from one of the IIMs. So do it now!

Here are some of the things that worked for me as I prepared for CAT and things have worked for many others to whom I have had the opportunity to assist in their CAT preparation.

1. Have a clear strategy before your Mock CATs - fine tune it - and use it on November 21st.
Most wars are won not on the power of the ammunition and armor a country possesses but on the power of its think tank. The same is true when it comes to CAT. Before you take any CAT comprehensive test put down on paper the strategy that you want to adopt for that test.

Though the last few CATs did not have any section wise time limit, it would be to your advantage to set those limits yourself.

Typically, students spend about 30 minutes in the verbal section, 40 minutes in the DI section and 50 minutes in the Quant section. This split could vary from individual to individual.

Having set this limit, shave off 5 minutes from each of the sections and keep those 5 minute blocks as reserve. After the first 105 minutes of the test, take a quick call on your performance. If you realize that you have done equally well in all three sections, spend the last 15 minutes in the section that is likely to give you the maximum returns. On the contrary, if you realize that you have not done particularly well in a section, spend the last 15 minutes in this section.

This way you never run short of time for any section. Also this strategy helps you to maximize your returns within the given time frame.

Essentially, do not ever start the test without assigning time limits for the different sections of the test.

Will continue with more tips in subsequent blogs....

Best wishes

K S Baskar
PGDM - IIM Calcutta - Class of '94
Director - Ascent Education - Classes for CAT - XAT - GMAT

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