How to utilize calculator in CAT 2019
Sreetama Datta, 5 days ago, #CAT
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CAT or the Common Admission Test is famous for throwing surprises every year. It was in 2015 that the IIM introduced screen calculator along with a host of other changes. The objective to provide on-screen calculator is to help the candidates carry out basic computations. Careers360 spoke to experts who shared spoke about the use of the screen calculator and the impact on the students who are not very comfortable using it. CAT registration has been closed.
The experts believe that the introduction of calculator will definitely boost the morale of those candidates who are weak in the Quantitative Ability area or from non-engineering background. As Gautam Puri, Vice Chairman, Career Launcher says, “I am sure the introduction of calculator has been welcomed by almost all the candidates. While many students might interpret that the provision of calculator will mean that questions will be more calculation intensive but that is unlikely.”
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While on screen calculator is not exactly uncommon as SAT and GRE exams already have this feature, for CAT takers, it is definitely something new. Although the introduction of calculator is meant to save your time and ease your preparation for calculation intensive questions, you need to adapt yourself with it in order to utilize the tool. In this article, we bring to you the methods on utilizing the calculator to improve your performance in CAT 2019.

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Practice using on screen calculator – In order to be able to utilize the on screen calculator to the fullest, you must practice before hand. Use the calculator on your computer screen while taking mock tests or test series. This will give you an idea how much time it takes for you to solve a problem with or without the calculator. Vinayak Kudva, Product Head, IMS Learning says, “While the CAT never had too many calculation-intensive questions in the past, the introduction of the calculator will definitely help students while performing calculations in Data Interpretation and maybe a few Quantitative Ability questions.”

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Identify the questions where you can use calculator – Although you will get the on-screen calculator, it does not mean that you need to use it for each and every question. Since you will get a basic calculator, solve Arithmetic and Data Interpretation questions. Pranay Jha, Education Consultant, BYJU’s Classes shares, “Calculator shall play a very important role when it comes to DI where generally a lot of calculation is involved. Quant questions with roots and fractions should become easy as well.”

Know the short tricks of calculator usage – Like the short cut methods you use for solving Quant problems, there are short tricks for using the calculator as well. For example, if you are to calculate the 30% of 60, rather than dividing 60 by 100 and multiplying with 30, simply multiply 60 and 30 which is 1800 and remove the 100s, which make it 18. If you have practiced speed calculations or Vedic calculations, you will be habituated with the shortcut methods. Do not stop practicing the speed calculation techniques owing to the presence of calculator.

Avoid using more time than necessary on calculator – Although you might be lured to use calculator for every possible question, you may avoid the usage for questions which are not too calculation intensive or does not involve decimals. The speed calculation which you can do in your mind would be less time consuming compared to that of the usage of calculator. As Arks Srinivas, CEO, VistaMind Education says, “The student, as they normally are, would happily stop working on the speed calculation part and would end up actually taking more time with the calculator than without one.”

Ensure Accuracy - If you are weak in calculation or have a tendency to commit silly mistakes, it is better to use the calculator for every calculation specific questions you are attempting. Even if you are comfortable with your calculation skills, ensure the accuracy during revision by checking the answers with calculator. This would help you avoid unnecessary negative marking.

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i m 34 yrs old, having work ex of 5 yrs as an Officer in Ministry of Defence. I wanted to do full time MBA from top IIM-A/B/C through CAT exam. M having poor academics record below 65%, also belongs to Reserve category. is thr any chance for me to get into TOP IIMs, nt interested in Exe-MBA.plz help

Yash Dev Student Expert 19th Nov, 2019
Hello Akash Gupta with this percentage its tough to get into top IIMs but IIMs also consider work experience so I request you to please appear in CAT and give your best as you've less marks in your previous courses so you need to score high in Cat,If a student have 90%in 10th and 90%in 12 and 80%in graduation stand a chance to getting a call from top IIMs even with less percentile in cat around 95-95%tile than you who have score 99%tile.
So yes it's tough to get into top IIMs but still there's hope so do your best.

Feel free to comment if you have any doubt
Good luck

I have 96% in 10th, 92.4% in 12th and 81.1% in Engineering. What percentile should I score in CAT to get calls from IIM Indore, Kozikhode and Trichy(NC- OBC Category)?

Sonali Sahu Student Expert 18th Nov, 2019


your score is good until now. You have did your best all the way. For CAT exam, IIM Consider 90% to get an admission.

For IIM Kozhikode:- 75% for CAT,Sectional Cutoff:- 65% for  10th:- 60% and for 12th 60%.

For IIM Trichy:- 78% for OBC-NC

for IIM Indore :- 80% for OBC-NC

for OBC category there will very less relaxation. But there is high competition but number of seats available is very less.

So you have to prepare accordingly and get an admission.

CAT exam score hold a 45-50 % weightage for admission at IIM Kozhikode. You have so good qualification in the rest. If you put more effort into it then you can get it.

Hope it helps!


when can I apply for CAT and when are the admissions for MBA open?

Ruchika Chauhan Expert 18th Nov, 2019


Common Admission Test (CAT) is the most popular national level management entrance exam. CAT 2019 application process has been completed and the exam is scheduled to be conducted on 24th November 2019.

Application forms were available from 07 Aug, 2019 - 25 Sep, 2019.

Aspirants seeking admission to the MBA course have to appear for entrance exams such as CAT/XAT/MAT/SNAP/etc. After the entrance test, candidates have to apply to colleges for admission.

Check the details about the CAT exam using the link below and do let us know if you have any other queries.

Good Luck!


what is the pass mark of cat exam

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 17th Nov, 2019
There is no pass or fail marks for CAT. For example if you get 70 percentile, it means that ypu have done better than 70% of the Candidates who appeared for the exam.

How I crack CAT examinations for MBA to take admission in IIMs.. I also want to go abroad for further studies after completing my bcom degree but i am confused so much what path can I go for future if I want to earn good money ?? Please give me advice guys..

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 17th Nov, 2019

Ayush, CAT exam paper can be Categorised into 3 parts:

Quantitative Ability
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

The Verbal Ability section and Reading Comprehension has 34 Questions, Data interpretation-Logical Reasoning section has 32 MCQ questions and Quantitative Ability has 34 MCQ questions totalling up to 100 questions. Each Question has 3 marks and a wrong answer takes away 1 mark.

Quantitative Aptitude covers almost 30% of the CAT question paper. QA can be categorised into Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Advanced Mathematics. Practise chapter by chapter and develop mental calculations. Like practise more of basic summation, subtraction, fractions and tables. Numbers, Percentage, Profit and Loss, Simple and Compound Interest, Ratio, Proportionality, Time-Distance, Time-Work, Mixtures, Averages, Partnership, Permutation and Combinations, Probability, Set Theory, Progression and Series, Line, Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Polygon, Circles, Ares, Volume, Height and Distance, Coordinate Geometry, Basic Trigonometry are few important topics.

In Verbal Ability session, command on your English, Grammar, Vocabulary, Understanding of the given paragraph are of more importance. Reading English NewsPaper will also help you in your preparation.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning needs to be practised as much as possible. Comparison of data, Data Analysis, taking clues, interpreting missing data, coming to conclusions and making future projections will be covered under this Category. The questions here are interlinked and so if you get one formula correct, cracking the next few questions will be easy. So it's important to memorise and practise formulae. You should cover topics like Data tables, Data Charts, Bar Diagrams, Pie Charts, Graphs, Data Comparison and Analysis.

IIMs shortlist candidates for the interview stage based on their own criteria, which may be independent of each other. The process may include Written Ability Test, Group Discussion, and Personal Interviews. Performance in the CAT examination is an important component in the admission process. IIMs may additionally use other factors such as the previous academic performance of the candidates, relevant work experience, gender and academic diversity and other similar inputs in shortlisting and ranking of candidates at various stages of the admission process. The processes, academic cut-offs and the weights allocated to the evaluation parameters may vary across IIMs. Now based on your Category, to be shortlisted for an IIM, you should score atleast 85 and more percentile.

Now the IIMs part has been cleared, you need to decide one among MBA in India via CAT or go abroad for higher studies. You cannot be double minded on this. You know your strengths and capabilities and so this should be completely your call.

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