“It is a myth that only people with work-ex and great academic records get into IIM Ahmedabad” – ARKS Srinivas, CEO Vistamind

InsideIIM’s Weekly Test Prep Live Chat Series with ARKS Srinivas got off to a rollicking start with the Live Chat Session on Thursday 4th September 2014, at 10:00 pm. The Live Chat Series is aimed at guiding you towards your goal of cracking the top MBA exams coming up over the next few months(CAT, XAT and IIFT), and helping you every step of the way. Tune in at 10:00 pm next  Thursday for more Test Prep related gyaan on the Live Chat. Meanwhile, those of you who missed yesterday’s chat can read the abridged transcripts below.

Shishir Agarwal: Hi sir, I take one mock a week – I need some pointers on analyzing those mocks.What is the best way to analyse them? specially the Quants section.

ARKS Srinivas: Shishir – Very good question ! Once you finish writing the Mock, take another 20 to 30 minutes to SOLVE all the questions you have NOT answered Or got the answer wrong. This way, you would know whether your choice of questions (during the actual test) was right! Once you accumulate FIVE Mocks. Then, analyse, which of the areas in these FIVE mocks have been your weakness and work on those topics!

Deepak Ram: Good evening sir. Is there any specific strategy for tackling RC passages in the CAT? Should I skim through the questions first?

ARKS Srinivas: Deepakram – Good Evening! One of the best ways to tackle RC is to skim through the passage first and then quickly go to the questions ! You may then proceed to answer the questions as per the question and read the passage a bit more carefully. The first skim usually gives you a broad understanding of the passage as well as gives you an idea as to where to look for an answer for a particular question.

Rachit Deshpande: How should I go about the new CAT if I am targetting only FMS ? What should be a safe score for the Open Category to get me through FMS Delhi, considering decent extempore and PI?

ARKS Srinivas: Rachit – While it is nice to target FMS, it is also imperative that you first try to maximise your score and if you get into IIMA, B or C, I am not sure you would leave them for FMS. Having said that, 98.7%ile was the cutoff of FMS last year. Hence, the same can be expected this year too (give or take a point ).

Jay Palnitkar: Sir , how to attain consistency in scores? Sometimes I score good , but suddenly scores plummet in the next mock .

ARKS Srinivas: Jay – Such a change is possible only if you are trying too many things or you are writing mocks with different mindsets/physical energy! Try to get consistency in the atmosphere you create when you write a Mock. Ideally, start writing a Mock on a Saturday or Sunday (as it would be for the real exam).

Prakash Sahajwani: Sir, with 70 days to go, can you please suggest a plan to work on to maximize VA scores.

ARKS Srinivas: Prakash – To ensure that you get good scores in VA, first you have to maximise the attempts. I suggest that you start increasing the attempts to 30/35 questions. This will force you to take decisions faster. Once you achieve the desired attempt level, then a thorough analysis of each type of question (which anyway has to be done) will help reduce the mistakes and increase accuracy.

Shishir Agarwal: Sir, while analyzing mocks I generally see I have left a few very easy questions in Quant section. How to minimize the loss?

ARKS Srinivas: Shishir – What I have given above will give you an idea of how you are selecting your questions. This will automatically help your selections over the next 10 weeks!

Gaurav Pathak: I am in the final year of my grad,  score till now is 64% and I am thinking of going for cat after a work experience of 3-4 years. What other courses should i go for to get admission into IIM A B C and what strategy should I adopt to prepare for CAT to score 99 to 100 percentile.

ARKS Srinivas: Gaurav – I suggest that you write CAT this year with preparation. If you have not prepared, then it makes sense to skip this year. However, I strongly urge you to prepare now and write. You may not have that amount of time to prepare (while working).

Aravindh: I seem pretty comfortable with my RC/LR scores ( I attempt almost all of them and get around 70% accuracy) But I get too many negatives in other section of VA/LR paper. What should be my strategy now? Should I concentrate more on my strengths ( RC/LR ) or put more time to my weaker sections ( Grammar,Vocab,phrasal verbs) at this stage?

ARKS Srinivas: Hi Aravindh! your accuracy percentage is good! I expect that if you touch 45 attempts, your score in the section 2 would be very good!

Ashwin Krithik: What should be the total number of attempts to target in a moderately difficult paper assuming 80% accuracy? Will going through past CAT papers help?

ARKS Srinivas: 60 to 65 attempts would be ideal, assuming +3 and -1 marking pattern. Going through past papers would help immensely whether or not the paper is set by IIMs.

Nikhil Nagraj: Hello sir, what would be the average length of an RC in the new pattern? Can we expect it to decrease since there are more questions?

ARKS Srinivas: Nikhil – I expect that word-length of the RCs will still be in the 600 – 700 words range.

Jasmeet Singh Saluja: My scoring is around 80 to 90 out of 300 in mocks (3-4 papers that i attempted) my accuracy is quite low about 60% overall , i find myself really weak in VA part can you please help.

ARKS Srinivas: Jasmeet – The best way to increase the marks is to attempt more. The accuracy will go for a toss initially. However, by reducing silly mistakes and improving on certain areas in each of the sections, your scores will start going up !

Shishir Agarwal: Sir, any sureshot formula for tackling the GK sections of IIFT and other exams?

ARKS Srinivas: Shishir – I wish there was a sure shot formula or a magic wand !!!!

Final note by Team InsideIIM: We would like to thank ARKSS Sir for his time. We will have him on our platform again next Thursday (11th September 2014). Till then you can keep following him here vistamind.insideiim.com. You can read the abridged transcripts of our earlier Live Chats with ARKS  Srinivas here, and here. To solve questions live on InsideIIM along with hundreds of other aspirants go here: http://insideiim.com/admissions/

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