“Focus on your strengths. Starting a very new topic at this point is counter-productive” – ARKS Srinivas on CAT 2014 Strategy

Transcripts of the Live Chat with ARKS Srinivas on 18th Oct 2014 (between 6:30 pm -7:30 pm)

Riddhi Sharma

Hi sir. My scores in Aimcats are not at all stable…Moreover it has never crossed 95. My last 5 mock scores were 80,94,69,84,95 in AIM CATS. In others like BullsEye , I was able to score above 100 (around 110)..Please can you help me in understanding the expected percentile? Can I expect anything around 95 % in Cat or is it impossible?

ARKS Srinivas

Riddhi, if you can score a 100 odd score, you can expect a 95%ile on a medium to slightly difficult paper.

Cat Astic

I am having a peculiar problem. I had regularly obtained 85-90%ile in CL mocks from April-September. With the onset of the new pattern, I don’t know why my percentile has dipped and its now below 70-80%%ile always, plus my nervousness in mocks are linearly increasing as 16th November is coming. Please tell me what to do? Are the current mock scores reflection of my ability or the previous one? How to control the anxiety during the exam? And what %ile should I aim for now and my plan should be for next 20 days?

ARKS Srinivas

It clearly means you have not changed your strategy although CAT pattern has changed. Your plan for the next 20 days should be to brush up on the topics you are good at. Starting a very new topic at this point is counter-productive. You should ensure that your comfort level in the areas of your liking is maximized.

Suresh Vasani

I am narrowly missing the cutoffs in both sections. I am getting 85 plus in both sections, and 90 plus overall. But the 99 percentile remains elusive. What should I do? I have been able to give only three mock tests so far…..this is the story based on those three mock tests. Attempted about 50% of the questions with 75% accuracy.

ARKS Srinivas

Suresh, 3 mocks are not enough to formulate a strategy. Please take up 2 mocks each week for the next two weeks. do not take any mocks in the last 7 days. In the mocks you take, figure out what should be the timing break up for the sections. Experiment a bit. A general suggestion is give more time to sections you are good at.

Ashwin Krithik

Hi. Assuming a medium difficulty paper, would 100 marks be sufficient for 99 percentile?

ARKS Srinivas

Ashwin, for a moderate paper, a 99%ile would be 120+

Shishir Agarwal

What should be a minimum number of attempts in each section I should make in order to clear the cut off for the Top 4 IIMs? Also the overall number? Can you please tell.

ARKS Srinivas

Shishir, a minimum number of attempts should be 35 in section 1 and 45 in section 2 with a 60% accuracy. The idea is to score above 125 to be in the 99%ile range

Team InsideIIM

Guys, We will be meeting you all in Bangalore in person on 2nd Nov at 2 pm for an Open House. Meet IIM graduates and ARKS Srinivas (who is also an IIM graduate). It is a CAT 2014 special open house. You can register for it here :http://insideiim.com/openhouse

Ronit Varshney

Sir.. I am facing difficulties in second section. However I can manage to solve all LR questions with almost cent percent accuracy. But it is the verbal and reading comprehension which takes away my score. Can you please suggest minimum number of attempts in each section? If I have almost 90 percent accuracy in section 1 and for LR I have 95-100 percent accuracy. Plus sir I have now started to read newspaper and articles. Can you please share good links from where I can read about various topics?

ARKS Srinivas

Ronit, your scores are spectacular at the rate you are mentioning. What you need to do is just take up RC as practice. Do at least 5-6 RC a day at least for two weeks. Don’t do them at a stretch. Do it over the whole day. Take breaks. This should boost up your score. The best is to read editorials from newspapers online. Not TOI but from Hindu, Mint, Economic Times etc.

Ronit Varshney

Thanks a lot Sir. Can you also suggest few topics to read. Like History, geography, Political etc. So that I can just search on google for these kind of articles and I could become a bit familiar with these areas.

ARKS Srinivas

Ronit, read philosophy, anthropology, history – basically ready anything that puts you to sleep.  The point is you need to read these articles and learn how to stay focused.

Shishir Agarwal

Sir, any strategy to pick questions? I generally find that I leave many sitter questions in the mocks. Afraid that it may happen on the actual day as well.. Need to fix this immediately.

ARKS Srinivas

Shishir, you need to read all questions. Leaving questions without reading is sacrilege in CAT.

Shashankjha

I always find DI questions quite dicey. I am confident with quant. Should I focus on strengthening in quant to qualify?

ARKS Srinivas

Yes Shashank. Strengthen Quant. But do not leave DI without reading the question. There are many DI sets where 3 out of the 4 questions are very difficult but one will be a sitter which will not require any working at all. You need to get these. Do not attempt a lengthy DI in your case if you know it will take time or you are clueless on how to solve.

Hiteshchawla

Sir, I have three years of IT work experience. Am I too old for CAT? I am clearing cutoffs consistently, but should I focus on GMAT instead?

ARKS Srinivas

Hitesh, you are at the perfect position as far as work-ex is considered. You will get decent weightage for your work ex.

Rohit Singh

Sir, I read about attempts in first section to be 35 and 2nd to be 45?? Isn’t that too much?

ARKS Srinivas

Yes Rohit. Generally accuracy level in section 2 is lesser for students hence more attempts.

Rohit Singh

Sir less attempts with more accuracy won’t work?

ARKS Srinivas

Rohit, if you accuracy level in section 2 is above 85 or so, then you can look at attempting around 30-35.

Rohan Desai

Sir I am unable to focus well when I am attempting the VA section.. As a result, I my QA score is futile. Can u suggest a strategy to attempt section-2, if one is good at LR?

ARKS Srinivas

Rohan, you need to take up sectional tests. Practice smaller tests of 15 questions each. Whichever institute you go to, you will definitely be given sectional tests. Look at section 2 as a combination of 2-3 such smaller tests.

Akshay Katiyar

Sir at what percentile does IIMA take students of NC-OBC for PGP-ABM. Sir, I’m having 75% in 10 60% in 12 and am in my last year of B.Sc and average percentage is 76. But am having a 1 year gap in b.sc because I left the exams of one semester, reason was I was waitlisted for the IPM programme of IIM-INDORE. Will there be any problem in interview

ARKS Srinivas

Akshay, this will definitely be asked. However, it is not an unsurmountable problem. It can be definitely handled. But we can discuss this once you crack CAT. Right now focus on CAT.

Akshay Katiyar

Thanks, sir can u tell me approximately what percentile I should get anyhow so that if in case my interview doesn’t goes well, my percentile will help me in making the merit list.(NC-OBCs). I have heard that IIMA gives calls to student who score approximately 70%tile for GDPI.

ARKS Srinivas

Akshay, for OBC the minimum cutoffs were 75 %ile in each and 80%ile overall. However, please remember that these are only qualifying cutoffs. Meaning, if you get less than these, you will not be called for sure but there are no guarantees of getting a call if you get these.

Riddhi Sharma

Please compare the difficulty level of MICAT with NMAT or TISS??

ARKS Srinivas

Riddhi, MICA exam is different than NMAT or CAT. you have essay writing and GK which are not there as a part of CAT. However, the questions will be a bit easier than CAT. Similar to NMAT actually. NMAT will be easier than CAT

Riddhi Sharma

I meant level of Quants , VA and LR in comparison with NMAT /TISS?

ARKS Srinivas

Riddhi, Level will be same as NMAT.

Shashankjha

Sir I have a Bachelors in Architecture, but working for an IT firm for the last 3 years. Will this be looked at negatively (disconnect between education and work-ex)?

ARKS Srinivas

No shashank. But you are expected to defend why you did this. Again as I said earlier, don’t worry about interview. Focus on CAT.

Rohit Singh

Is general marketing better coz it gives more flexibility and options or MICA PGDM C.

ARKS Srinivas

Rohit, MICA is a different case altogether. It is known for marketing. However, a marketing from any of the top IIMs is better off than MICA because of the brand IIM.

Riddhi Sharma

What are the average and highest salary packages of MICA?

ARKS Srinivas

MICA average last year was around 9 lakhs. But this information is available on their website.

Daya_yadav

Hi sir facing problem with RC and para jumble and completion

ARKS Srinivas

Daya, the single mantra for RC is practice. Try solving around 5-6 RC passages per day but with breaks. You should learn to focus on what you are reading. keep doing this for the next 2 weeks. You will see results.

Rohan Desai

Sir what should be the approximate score in section-2 to get 98+ percentile for a moderate paper?

ARKS Srinivas

Rohan around 50-55

ARKS Srinivas

Thank you friends. All the best!

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