Finally, the CAT results are out and the heartbeat of all the aspirants has been pounding hard ever since. Now that the shortlists of some dream B-schools are out, the very thought of preparing for the dreaded interviews seems to be sending the chills down the spine. Well, lets make this task a bit more structured and break it into easy manageable modules.
Four basic areas where an aspirant should focus his WAT-PI preparation are as follows:
- Brushing up the basic concepts of the undergraduate subjects (especially for Freshers) & a clear understanding of your job and organization.
- Your in-depth knowledge about your personals (city FAQ, family background and all the important events of your life)
- Clear understanding of major events happening worldwide and its implications on various businesses and lives of people (try having an opinion based on a definite reason instead of being neutral or merely agreeing/disagreeing with the news)
- Quantitative questions
Let’s delve deeper into the last section – preparing for the quantitative questions. One might assume that it requires no extra effort after having cracked CAT’s quantitative section with such panache, however, there are some topics which you might want to revisit to give your most at the interview. Also, even though some colleges are famous for grilling over mathematical concepts, these might come handy even in the most unexpected ones. The most important thing to remember is that the questions asked mostly are conceptual with little to no need for pen-paper kind of solving.
- CALCULUS – Since this is a topic you haven’t studied during your CAT preparation; it might be a good idea to revisit it. Starting with graphs of basic functions, focus on formulae of differentiation and integration (ex. Integration by parts) and practical application of these formulae (area under curve, maxima/minima, curvature of graphs).
- PROBABILITY – In spite of it being in the CAT syllabus, Probability remains one of the most dreaded and confusing topics asked in the interviews. Also, it requires mental solving which makes it convenient for the interviewers to grill you over it.
- STATISTICS – Owing to the fact that this topic has its application in MBA courses, it might be really good to revise. (Sometimes the topics asked have no correlation to the fact that whether or not you have studied this in undergraduate. A student of Life Science was asked the questions related to Correlation and Regression).
- GUESSTIMATES – Now comes the most important part – handling all the weird mathematical questions like ‘How many cars are present in your city?’. Such questions when thrown out of blue, have the potential of unnerving even the most confident aspirants. Answers to such types of questions isn’t expected to be accurate instead the interviewers try judging you on your presence of mind and structured approach taken.For examples, if you know the approximate population of your city and assume average the family size is four. Suppose 40% families own one car on an average and remaining 60% own two, you can calculate a rough estimate of the number of cars present in the city.Important thing to notice here is that you might have to take some reasonable assumptions, logically justify these assumptions to interviewers and give a rough estimate.
(Being a resident of Agra, I was asked to roughly estimate the year when the construction of Taj Mahal was completed. Knowing the year when Akbar ascended the throne and number of years Taj Mahal took to build, I was able to give a fair estimate). To read more on Guesstimates, you must read this article!
Even though these suggestions might seem a little overwhelming, it is imperative to remember that no one can know each and everything, instead try doing your best. And if you aren’t able to answer, instead of losing your confidence or faking confidence and forcefully answering it just for the sake of answering, the best thing to do confidently smile and let them know that you aren’t able to recall the formula at the moments. Honesty, humility and passion to learn are the qualities much more appreciated than having an arrogant know-it-all.