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The Common Admission Test or CAT is the most competitive MBA entrance exam of India taken by around 2 lakh candidates each year. Conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management, CAT is for the admission to 19 IIMs and around 100 B-schools across India.This year CAT has undergone many changes in terms of its exam pattern and time limit. Students may now require having a different preparation and time management strategy. Careers360 brings ‘CAT 2014 Topper Strategies’ to let this year’s aspirants know the tricks and tips to crack the most coveted management entrance exam.
As CAT underwent massive changes in terms of pattern, schedule and test window, last year as well, the students who appeared in CAT 2014 will share the techniques of tackling CAT under the new pattern pressure. [Click here to Get Complete CAT Correspondence Preparation Package]
Raghav Mishra, a post graduate programme (PGP) student at IIM Indore secured 98.2 percentile in CAT 2014. The exam was a different experience for him as the pattern was new and changed. Raghav focused on time management since there were 100 questions to be attempted in just 170 minutes. He valued the importance of time to crack CAT with a high percentile.
According to Raghav, to tackle CAT 2015 changed exam pattern and secure a good percentile one must work on time, speed and the concepts. He shares that Quant and Verbal are the key areas and having good hold over these sections would help the aspirants crack this highly competitive test. He also shares his preparation techniques for CAT 2015 and further GD-PI rounds.
Read Raghav’s interview for CAT 2015 strategies
Careers360: What were your initial thoughts behind pursuing MBA?
Raghav: Masters of Business Administration is one such degree that is required if you have a business acumen. I chose management as I think that my sensibility in business and crisis management would make up for a good manager and help me grow my professional network. I did engineering in a field that intrigued me and made me learn the technicalities. But management is what I find would suit my personality and would not limit my reach as an engineer.
Careers360: How was the overall experience of appearing in CAT 2014? What was your preparation strategy as the pattern was changed?
Raghav: CAT 2014 was a different experience as the pattern was changed and our preparations were based on previous exam pattern. It valued time management more since we were supposed to do 100 questions in just 170 minutes. Even though the questions were on the lighter side in terms of difficulty level, managing your time became quite a challenge.
In order to get a good percentile one must work on speed and the clarity of the concepts. CAT tests your clarity of concepts and how you strategize your time to complete the task.
Careers360: Share your preparation strategy for the Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning separately?
Raghav: Quant was fairly easy and was based directly on concepts. So if you had sufficiently practiced all the quant, it is a cakewalk. DI was still a little difficult and time consuming. As there were no vocab questions in English, everybody had a fair chance to score in sentence completion and grammar etc. RC's and LR were also doable.
Careers360:What was your CAT Strategy, and what should be the strategy for CAT 2015 aspirants?
Raghav: My exam was scheduled on 22nd Nov, so I had the chance to get feedback from the students who appeared in the 16th Nov paper. The level and the kind of questions became known to me beforehand and I worked accordingly for a week and prepared on concepts to ace the exam.
For the CAT 2015 aspirants, time management must be the area to focus, as now there is sectional time limit. Students must focus on managing their time to attempt and revise the answers. According to me, they must divide time, as 5 minutes for analyzing all the questions, so they get to know which questions are easy. It is always better to attempt easy questions in the first 15 minutes, and later attempt the questions that require a bit of calculation. This should be the process for the CAT 2015 aspirants.
Careers360: What were your strong and weak areas?
Raghav: RCs and DI were my grey areas where I had to put in a lot of efforts to match the exam level. I concentrated more on them. I read newspapers and editorials to be able to comprehend literature in a better way. After a month or two the efforts became noticeable. I was able to tackle other sections.
Careers360: After the exam, how you prepared for the PI-WAT rounds?
Raghav: I started with getting abreast with current affairs and reading interviews on internet. I also sought help from my coaching mentor for mock interviews and GD. I selected my favourite subject and read it inside-out to be able to answer technical questions also.
For PI, I worked on the flow of thoughts and then giving the right words to them. Preparing the basic 'Tell me about yourself' was helpful. Along with it, being updated about the current affairs made me prepared for the PI round.
My WAT topic dealt in health care sector of India that accounts for around 1% of GDP. I structured my write up in a way that it has all the information within the word limit.
Careers360:Your message to this year CAT aspirants?
Raghav: Try to get done with Quant as early as possible and improve your verbal ability as it creates a lot of difference. Also, prepare according to Mock Test, as they are an integral part of the preparation. The success mantra for this year CAT candidates will be Time Management, if you succeed in it, you can secure a good percentile.
CAT 2015 Exam Pattern
Expert Interview on CAT 2015
CAT 2014 Topper Strategies
CAT 2015 Convenor Interview
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Stay tuned to www.bschool.careers360.com for more news and updates
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You can calculate your overall rank using the formula
(100-your total percentile)X 869010/100
By this formula , your rank is 167284 i.e between 160000-170000
We don't have category ranks now.
You can use our college predictor for finding the appropriate college based on your rank and category
Link for using college predictor is given below
I will not paint a rosy picture in front of you but with the CAT score that you have achieved, you won’t be able to get into a decent B-School where you can land into a decent salary package after your 2 years of MBA/PGDM. Now, you have two options in hand:
Average Salary Package(in Lakhs Per Annum)
ITM Navi Mumbai
Welingkar, Bangalore Campus
Kirloskar Institute of Management Studies,Pune
Globsyn Business School, Kolkata
However, if you are really sure of getting into a B-School this year, then you must start preparing for Group Discussions and Personal Interviews. You can also try different exams which are left such as TISS-NET, CMAT, MHCET,MAT and try to do well which will increase your chance of getting into a decent B-School .
2.However, if you choose to try for another year, you may increase your score significantly. But, try to get into some organisation and simultaneously take out time to practice, since colleges and recruiters don’t prefer people with gap years. I guess you are familiar with the concepts of the CAT topics. Now just build on them. Solve as many mocks as possible.
I hope I have been able to solve your query. Do write to us if you have anything to ask and we will be glad to help you out. All the best!!!
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