“Permutations & Combinations is not a major area. Algebra / Geometry are lot more important” – Ravi Handa, on CAT 2014 Strategy


Kunal Shivalkar  Hello Sir, I am able to score 95 to 100/300 in ims mocks. I am OBC candidate. What percentile could i expect

Ravi Handa  probably in the late 80s or early 90s. If you can manage 100 in the CAT exam, with the OBC status – you should get IIM calls.

Kunal Shivalkar Sir. I have a mental block in quant which affects my score, but during analysis I am able to solve 6 – 7 question more easily without going through option.

Ravi Handa  that is what exam pressure is all about. That is something you need to overcome. One simple way to do it is to give 2 mocks a week. That should do the trick.


Akshay Shah Hello Sir, I am able to manage the score of average 95 to 100 in mocks, what will be the final percentile in the final cat ??? I used to have around 40 right and around 20 wrong, how should I improve myself….

Ravi Handa Although it is hard to predict percentiles, I guess at a score of 100 you should land up in the 90s

Akshay Shah and what about 95+? How much should I score?

Ravi Handa  Don’t know what to say to that. My guess is that it would be somewhere in the 100-120 range



Amlandeep Nandi Hi Ravi Sir, is there any topic which can be skipped in QA?

Ravi Handa Depends on what you define as the QA syllabus. You can easily skip stuff like advanced remainders – eulers, fermat, etc. You can also skip anything in P&C and Probability that requires more than nCr and nPr 

Amlandeep Nandi Okay but I am quite comfortable with those. @Ravi Sir, can I skip polynomials?

Ravi Handa – I would not recommend that because Algebra is an important part. Some of the stuff related to polynomials will be relevant in Functions – which is probably the most important topic

Amlandeep Nandi  in VA how many questions from Critical Reasoning & I,J.F would I expect?

Ravi Handa  My guess is that entire VA (other than RC) would be 12-15 questions. Out of that,more than half would be on logic based reasoning like CR, FIJ, Parajumbles.

Amlandeep Nandi  How to grow self-belief before appearing in D-DAY? As more than 100 marks sometimes come with just a mere 85 percentile or so in CL’s mocks

Ravi Handa  look at data to gain confidence. If you are consistently getting mid 90s, that should do trick. If not, do not aim for 98+. Try getting 90-95, that should be easy.


Damini Goyal   Ravi Sir will the paper be more structural. Sir by structural I mean will all the chapters be given equal weight-age

Ravi Handa   No, Not at all. On the contrary, I believe this time CAT would give lot of freedom to students to pick and choose the stuff they like

Damini Goyal  Then Sir what is the expected weightage per chapter

Ravi Handa  My guess is QA (30-35) DI (15-20) LR(15-20) RC(15-20) VA(12-15)

Team InsideIIM   No one can give you weightage per chapter. Not even Ravi. Unlike your 12th and Grad exams, CAT does not follow any rules. Definitely not this CAT

Damini Goyal Ravi Sir, as the whole CAT procedure is very expensive and for every college we are required to fill a separate form so, will you please guide us in choosing the proper college whose form is to be filled



Abhishek Roy When I practice from test booklet, it’s easy and I can do a number of sums with good accuracy but whenever it’s the AIMCATs, my accuracy becomes low and questions seem to be tougher. What is the level of difficulty in AIMCATs?

Ravi Handa I personally do not recommend TIME mocks. You can have a look at any other mocks like IMS, CL, or ours. You can have a look at our mock tests here:http://handakafunda.com/online-test-series-cat-mock-tests/


Akash Roy  How much time per quant ques should we allot ? as the pattern has been changed

Ravi Handa  I believe the ideal time distribution would be 30 minutes each to LR, DI, & RC. The remaining time should be split between QA & VA. As far as time per question is concerned, there are no guidelines to that – just do as much as you can.


Team InsideIIM @Ravi….I can imagine a lot of people must be scoring consistently in the low nineties..up to may be 95 %ile. Most of these ppl are serious students and must be aiming at IIM ABCLIK. With just a month to go, they must be getting desperate. What would you advise them at this juncture..

 Ravi Handa If a student is consistently scoring 95%ile in the mocks – rest assured, they will land up in 98+ category in the final exam. They just need to continue what they are doing and do not try anything drastic for the D-DAy


 Shubh Srivastav I am new so want to know 1 year prep is fair enough to score 99 plus percentile. I had given last year, I was around 74 percentile without preparation. Can you recommend something to focus on in the next one month?

 Ravi Handa I think 500 hours of prep is more than enough for anyone to reach their peak potential. So if a student is smart enough, 1 year is more than enough to reach that level for him. If not, then probably it won’t happen in 2 years also. In the last 30 days, I recommend that majority of your time is given to LR / DI / RC

Shubh Srivastav I want to know how to work on vocab and grammar.?

 Ravi Handa In 1 month, you can’t do much. In 1 year, read, read, and then read some more. Read books, papers, magazines, shampoo bottles – whatever you can lay your hands on.


Shishir Agarwal  Sir, how to tackle PnC questions? Will the difficulty level be too high? I have been giving TIME Mocks and have PnC as a weak area. Can you help please?

Ravi Handa  Much better idea would be to avoid TIME mocks. You will be much better placed giving mocks of IMS / CL

Shishir Agarwal okay sir, but then also PnC is a major area – should I skip?

Ravi Handa P&C is not a major area. Algebra / Geometry are lot more important. You should not skip P & C. You should be comfortable with nCr & nPr – anything beyond that would be way too complex for CAT.


Rekha Perecherla Helllo Ravi sir…I want to know how many questions should I attempt in each section at what accuracy will you please give me a brief idea?

Ravi Handa It depends on the individual. I recommend 30 minutes each to LR / DI / RC. I also recommend attempting 2 sets in each one of them if you a student who is happy would 90-95 ile. Rest of the time should go to QA & VA and attempt as much as you can in those areas. Attempt as much as you can. I would recommend attempting 15-18 in each section – all correct – for a 90%ile and a decent college


Rohan Desai  Sir I have quit my job to focus more on CAT.. I am giving TIME’s AIMCATs regularly and am scoring around 98%ile (130 marks oddly). However, since the past 2 mocks I’m unable to clear the cut-off in Section-2. This is because the LR’s have been tough. Please suggest a strategy to improve scores in section-2. How do I tackle PJ’s, PC’s and RC’s?

Ravi Handa As said above, avoid TIME mocks. In my opinion, they do not give a clear picture.

Rohan Desai Sir my usual strategy is solve Section 1 in 90 mins and remaining time for section 2. In section 2, I try to get 12-14 LR’s correct on 15 and solve another 13-15 questions from RCs PCs , PJs and critical reasoning. Sir I get stuck in section 2 when the LRs are tough. Could you please help in solving RCs and PJs? Also Sir, for a moderate paper what score in section 2 would help to get 98+ percentile? Moderate paper

Ravi Handa  I don’t think you are doing the right thing. You should give time to LR / DI / RC first – 30 minutes each and keep the remaining time to focus on QA / VA. Not sure about what scores would get what %iles on a section basis

Rohan Desai  But Sir, I’m lagging behind in PJs/PCs and RCs. Could you provide some insight on solving them?

Ravi Handa   I am afraid I don’t have a one-liner tip for this. 


Rahul Kankane Hello sir What’s the overall score I should target in CAT for 99 percentile?

Ravi Handa Whatever you are doing in mocks to get mid 90s. If you are not getting mid 90s – do not try for 99. As far as score is concerned, my guess is 120+ would be required. I might be way off target here as well.

Rahul Kankane Do JBIMS takes CAT score?

Team InsideIIM Historically only a few seats are open through CAT. Let’s wait for the notification this year.

Rahul Kankane Sir, For last 15 mins of the exam what do u suggest should be the ideal questions to attack. As on these minutes accuracy falls drastically.

Ravi Handa QA / VA – depending on what your strength is. Avoid LR / DI / RC in the last 15 minutes.


Ram Narayan –Hi I have 2 and a half years of experience so far. Does domain matters are any experiences count? Because I have 13 months experience in a BPO and 13 months in a startup firm as executive in client relations and now working in a background verification company as a quality analyst. How are my chances?

Ravi Handa – it does matter at the time of interview.If you get a call, your chances are good because of the variety of experience that you have. Don’t worry.


Priyansh Jaiswal – Sir, with 90% + in 10th and 12th , what percentile should I aim for to get old IIM calls? I have been scoring like 90-95 percentile in TIME mocks?

Ravi HandaTIME mocks are not a good reflection in my opinion. Having said that, I think if you graduation is also 90+ and you perform on a similar level in the actual CAT exam – you should get calls from old IIMs


Kiran Kumar – I have scored 97+ percentile in QA in cat 2012 and cat 2013 by attempting 18 questions each time. I have been taking CL mocks.I couldn’t attempt more than 20 in this changed pattern.

Team InsideIIM – CAT 2012 and CAT 2013 cannot be compared with CAT 2014 since the pattern has completely changed. Same paramters do not apply.

Kiran Kumar – It is too late to open funda books… Please suggest what to read/practice for the remaining 30 days apart from taking and analysing mocks

Ravi Handa – not at all. As a matter of fact, you would be much better placed if you studied for LR/DI/RC in the last one month. They also have “fundas”. Don’t waste too much time and effort on QA / VA now


Parthaprateek how much is normalisation is going to play a role this year?

Ravi Handa– Not much. Considering the fact that there are only 4 sets. – And even if it does, what can you do about it. Worry about stuff you can change and the things which are under your control. You are wasting time and energy on irrelevant stuff


 Nikhar Mattu – Sir is accuracy a factor in normalisation or is raw score the only criteria?

Team InsideIIMNo one knows the kind of questions you are asking. Such things are revealed only on the day of the exam.

Nikhar Mattu Wait so then that means taking mocks with 5 options is beneficial as well? But the only problem is CL/IMS aren’t providing them and even though TIME is, it’s TIME…their mocks are something else, so what do you suggest sir?

Ravi Handa It is not going to make too much of a difference. Stick to TIME / IMS – that should work 

Nikhar Mattu Also sir do you think doing past papers is beneficial and if yes then how far back should I go, is 2004-2008 enough or all the way back to 91?

Ravi Handa 2004-08 should be more than enough. Do them first. Then the mocks. Then the books / material. If you still have time left, try the other papers.

Nikhar Mattu Ok one last thing sir, assuming a medium difficulty exam(akin to CL/IMS), estimated raw score for 99 percentile?

Ravi Handa My guess is 120+

Nikhar MattuOh okay I know I said one last thing but this is definitely the last thing .Sectional cutoff i.e 85-90 percentile would be in what range? (Both QA and VA) (Same assumptions as before)


 Akshay Joseph – Why is the HRM program from XLRI considered superior to that of TISS ? The placement reports for both seems more or less the same . Why is the HRM program from XLRI considered superior to that of TISS ? The placement reports for both seems more or less the same.

Ravi Handa the college has a better brand name I guess that is the reason.

Team InsideIIM You need to look at a school in totality apart from the placements

Akshay Joseph How is HRM from TISS ? the degree is quite valuable no. ?

Ravi Handa Once again, TISS is a great college and hence a great option


Abhishek Roy Any reviews about EMPI and XIME?

Ravi Handa Don’t know much about EMPI. I think XIME is a good option for people in 80s.


Aniket Kibe Hi Sir,I’m not able to go pass 90 in aimcats, and not able to score more than 50 in maths, what should i do in last one month, would a score of 110+ be sufficiecnt for IIM calls, I’m a guy with work ex for 18 months

Ravi Handa  give some other mocks.

Aniket Kibe Sir, I’m giving other mocks in which I have 115 and on average i’m scoring 100+ there, is the cat level expected to bhi lesser than last year

Ravi Handa The difficultly level should be lesser considering number of questions has gone up drastically.


Pratap Singh Rathore Sir, In RC should reading question first then going for passage is good or the other way round

Ravi Handa it is an individual choice. I personally prefer a quick glance over the questions (not reading) and then going to the main passage.

Pratap Singh Rathore Sir, any trick for tone and background of the author in RC as I can’t get them right .

Ravi Handa  Probably you need to read a lot that should do the trick.

Pratap Singh Rathore Last Question, Are there any good institutes which have last date before cat exam date which one should apply for session 2015-17.

Ravi Handa But as a thumb rule – if a college is pushing for forms before CAT date, it typically is done to increase form sales – which is not a good sign.




Sanyam Raheja Sir do you know which colleges usually take more sudents from diverse backgrounds..since most of them usually have 80% engineers..i am from merchant navy background

Ravi Handa Most colleges like to have students from diverse backgrounds. In my personal opinion, SP Jain does a pretty great job at this.


Gururaj Sunder  Hi Sir.I am narrowly missing the cutoffs in Quant every time.Problem area is DI – what should I do?

Ravi Handa  Tweak the amount of time you allocate to that section. 


Kadiyam Naveen How about NITIE? Is that gud .they are offering PGDIM . Is it gud ? I am looking to apply either MDI or NITIE. Which one you suggest sir?

Ravi Handa Yes. NITIE is a good college. So is MDI. I think you should apply to both.

Kadiyam Naveen The word PGDIM is what about I am backing …. Industrial management. Is it as gud as PGDM ?

Ravi Handa The name of the college matters a lot more than what the certificate says. Don’t worry about that stuff.


Cat Aspirant – Sir getting around 90%ile in CL mocks. Should I apply to FMS and MDI?

Ravi Handa– It would be foolish not to.


Last note from Team InsideIIMThe clock has struck 11 pm and with that we end this lively LIVE chat! Thank you Ravi for answering the queries. Thank you all for joining us. You can checkhttp://handakafunda.com/. We will be doing our customary LIVE Chat with ARKS Srinivas on Saturday – 18th October, 2014 at 6.30 pm. We should also be doing a session on Verbal on 19th October at 12.30 pm. Till then – happy studying!



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