cat 2006 :tips

ou filled in your CAT application form. You sent it in well before the required date of September 10.
CAT — a manager’s tale
Take a deep breath and digest this — CAT is designed to test the skill sets you will need to be a great manager.
Just remember — management is a different cup of tea. Your intellectual abilities are important, but they are definitely not the end-all at making you a pro. There are other skills that are just as important.
So, look at the CAT exam like a typical multi-dimensional problem a manager would face.
Normally any such problem would have to be solved in a given time frame. The solution should adhere to certain basic minimum requirements.
A good manager should also be able to provide a solution that is fairly accurate. Besides, he should not crumble under pressure.
These also happen to be the skills you need to ace CAT.
A question of choice
For instance, how good a time manager are you?
Everyone knows the intellectual abilities required to tackle CAT are not exceptionally high.
Instead, make intelligent decisions. Choose questions that will maximise your score in the given the time constraint of two hours.
A multi-dimensional focus
Sometimes, a singleminded focus does not pay.
A manager should have the ability to tackle various problems just as he should be able to tackle various aspects of a single problem.
In CAT terminology, this translates to proving your competence in each of the sections, because each of them tests a totally different aspect of one’s aptitude.
The best of the rest
The important point to note here is that one is not expected to get an equal score in each section. What is more important is proving you are among the best in that section.
For instance, the number of students who get a score of 20 in Verbal Ability is far higher than those who score the same in Quantitative Aptitude.
An ideal allocation of time would be 40 minutes for each section, unless one is exceptionally strong or weak in one of them.
Dealing with stress
Stress is another important factor.
This feeling of pressure is compounded by the fact that one does not know the ideal marks one should score in CAT.
Adding fuel to the fire is the limited number of seats each IIM offers.
The importance of accuracy
Finally, we come to the most important aspect — accuracy.
Students with a modest number of attempts and a degree of accuracy in excess of 85 percent or so manage to outsmart others.
After all, as a manager, one has to take good decisions.
The P of preparation
So how does one prepare? Believe me, it is not too late.
CAT is not about good old hard work. It is about smart work.
For instance, the concept of multiple-choice questions is CAT’s most powerful and user-friendly feature. Very often, you can eliminate answer choices or work backwards or, even better, use a combination of both these strategies.
Time management is something that comes with practice. Choosing which questions to answer, however, is the result of a combination of self-assessment and practice.
Late starters
For those of your who are late starters, I would suggest you avoid focusing on your weak aspects.
For instance, if you are not confident about permutations and combinations, it would be better if you could just learn the basics before focusing on your stronger points which, for example, could be geometry.
This is more applicable in the case of QA, given the relatively low number of average attempts.
It is important you understand and manipulate the constraints of CAT to your benefit.
The B school funda
CAT is the most important part of getting admission into the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management.
A good performance in CAT gives one a head start over the others, and often offsets other factors in the admission process.
Just as the days of cost have given way to the value-for-money policy, so have the


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