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CAT 2015 is scheduled to be conducted on November 29, 2015 in two sessions. The aspirants must buck up with their preparations as per the changed exam pattern. In this series by Careers360, we bring ‘CAT 2014 Topper Strategies’, where toppers shares their exam preparation and D-day technique that supports you in making a structured preparation, and let you know about the tricks to be followed in CAT to secure a high percentile.
An engineering graduate, Aritra Chaudhuri, appeared for CAT and secured his admission in PGPM programme of IIM Trichy. His preparation strategy revolved around strengthening his fundamentals and improvising on his weak areas. This strategy made him secure a high percentile in CAT 2014, and let him pursue his dream of an MBA degree.
Further, in this interview Aritra shares that by practicing a wide variety of question via mock tests can strengthen the basics. As CAT 2015 will have sectional limit of 60 minutes, he suggests preparing extensively for each section from Top books for CAT 2015 preparations. It is also important for the aspirants to solve mock papers with focus on time, along with speed and accuracy, Aritra shares.
Read his full interview on How to crack CAT 2015 with sectional time limit.
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Careers360: What were your initial thoughts behind pursuing MBA?
Aritra: Having worked as a Senior Programmer Analyst for more than two and half years, I wanted to be more involved in the business aspect of an organization. I realized that an MBA would provide me the necessary knowledge and tools to step into such a role; allowing me the opportunity to grow personally and professionally.
Careers360: How was the overall experience of appearing in CAT 2014? What was your preparation strategy for CAT 2014 as the pattern was changed?
Aritra: The overall experience in CAT 2014 was different compared to expectations as the pattern had changed and the questions were focused more on speed and accuracy last time around. My preparation strategy revolved around strengthening my fundamentals and improving on my weak areas.
Careers360: Share your preparation strategy for the Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning separately?
Aritra: For Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation, I ensured that I practiced all the patterns of Level of Difficulty (LOD) 1 and LOD 2 questions from Arun Sharma to have an idea of basic questions patterns and increase my overall speed. I also took mock tests which helped gauge my weak areas and helped me improve on them.
For Verbal Ability, reading books by prominent authors helped increase my vocabulary and improved my reading speed alongside practicing intermediate grammar.
Careers360: What was your Time Management formula for the CAT?
Aritra: My focus was to devote half of my time to Quantitative Ability and DI, and the rest to Verbal Ability portion. Since VA & LR are my strengths, I had time left over to revise the Quants section and review my answers.
Careers360: What were your strong and weak areas? How did you tackle your weak area in the exam?
Aritra: Verbal Ability has been my strong suit and it helped me giving more time to attempt the Quants section more accurately. I had trouble with some parts of Quant section such as Functions and Inequalities; I made sure to practice a wide variety of question patterns and strengthen the basics in order to ensure that I could better manage this area.
Careers360: After the exam, how did you prepare for the PI-WAT rounds?
Aritra: I prepared for the PI-WAT rounds by regularly reading up on the major events of the year, national and international events. In addition to that, I recommend reading up the basics of your undergraduate specialization subjects since those questions are regularly asked during PI interviews.
Careers360: How did you prepare for your PI? What are the key factors that influence your selection at PI stage?
Aritra: I prepared for my PI rounds by taking mock interviews and ensuring that I have a clear idea about the basic questions asked including my background, why I want to do an MBA and which stream I’m interested in.
It is imperative to be ready for stress interviews and personality related questions as these give an idea to the panel about your character traits. Additionally, it is important to be well prepared about your strengths, the hobbies and achievements you’ve mentioned, the basics of marketing & finance along with your undergraduate studies.
One advice is that it’s important to not take stress and have a conversation with the interview panel as they are trying to get to know you better. Take the opportunity to put forth your best qualities and achievements. It may so happen that you don’t have the answer to some of the questions – how calmly you deal with that is more important.
Careers360: What was your WAT topic and how did you structure your write up?
Aritra: My WAT topic was ‘Which is the need of the hour: Investment in Healthcare or Preventive Healthcare Education’.
A better way to approach structuring the write up would be to give it a flow similar to that of the story. There should be an introduction to the topic, providing brief background information, proceeding to talk about the problem statement,
Careers360: Your message to this year CAT aspirants?
Aritra: Focus on strengthening your fundamentals – Explore your weaknesses and work on them – Ensure that you give adequate focus to all three sections.
CAT 2015 Exam Pattern
Expert Interview on CAT 2015
CAT 2014 Topper Strategies
How to utilize group studies
How to utilize calculator in CAT 2015
CAT 2015 pattern change: Why and how you need to tweak preparation strategy
Other Feature Stories on B-School and MBA:
Life @ B-School Campus
CAT Topper Interviews
MBA Internship Experience
B-School Placement Reports - 2014
Stay tuned to www.bschool.careers360.com for more news and updates
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Your scores are very low and it would be difficult to get good b-schools, I think you should give another try next year. But if you are ready to take up tier 3 colleges, t
here are many colleges which give a call at this percentile too. Based on your overall profile decent colleges give you a call.
But it also depends on what kind of college you are willing to take, like what investment you are willing to do, what kind of place you are preferring, and specifically the ROI i.e. the placement scenario of that college.
Some colleges that i suggest are ISB&M PUNE, IMI KOLKATA, IMT, LEXICON MILES, DSPSR Delhi,etc.
All the best.
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