Gaining Momentum in CAT Preparation – Interaction with Vistamind CEO

There are few coaches in India who know the CAT exam as well as ARKS Srinivas. He is the CEO of Vistamind and a Master Coach, who spoke to students on InsideIIM through a LIVE Chat earlier this week. Below are the answers to some of the burning questions asked in that session.

Despite taking several Mock Tests, my performance is not improving. How should I proceed?

If you believe your preparation is sufficient (completed at least one entire prep series), then you can start giving Area-wise Timed Mocks to help locate your strengths and weaknesses.

Generally, Mock Tests are tougher than the actual paper. So don’t be disheartened if you’re unable to improve your score quickly. After attempting a Mock, make sure to analyse it thoroughly and identify your weak points. Choose one Weakness per week and work on it to improve your overall score.

How can you improve Data Interpretation in a short period?

For improving DI, you have to be good at basic Speed Math (Addition, Subtraction, Fractions, Division). In addition, work on types of Data (Tables, Bar, PI, Triangle, Line, etc.). Also, the questions asked for each of these types of Data will still be very similar. Hence, you will be in a position to gain familiarity.

Is spending 3-4 hours to analyse the results of Mock Tests enough?

Spending 4 hours per Mock is more than enough. Here, you don’t need to resolve each and every question you got wrong. Just get an idea of which areas you’re struggling at and work on them. More than weaknesses, work on your opportunities. Opportunities are the questions you missed out despite knowing or being strong in them. Next time, you shouldn’t miss out on those.

What would be the ideal source to build vocabulary?

Picking words from your daily readings is good. Maintain a schedule wherein you read at least three articles every day from a respectable business daily. Word Power Made Easy/All About Words are two excellent books for Vocab.

Another effective way to remember difficult words is to note down often-repeated words and make word associations around them. For example, all synonyms or similar meaning words for one particular word are written together. Likewise, you can also club the word’s antonyms with each group. This way, when you remember one word from that group, you recall most of the related words as well. And if you forget the meaning of one word but still remember an associated word, you can answer a question.

How to prepare for General Knowledge questions asked in some of the MBA Entrance Exams, particularly IIFT and SNAP?

The areas from which GK questions are asked are pretty limited – Economy, Current Affairs, Business & Static GK. In the case of IIFT and SNAP, there’s a heavy tilt towards business GK. Hence, reading newspapers such as Mint and ET would help.

Read VistaCareer magazine which is available in a pdf format at It is a monthly magazine and available for free.

Would there be any negative marking for non-MCQ type questions?

There is NO negative marking for non-MCQ type questions.