‘CAT Questions are aimed at how quickly one can process a lot of Data’ – Prof.Hanumantha on CAT Exam

In continuation with the Test Prep Chats, InsideIIM hosted Prof. Sudhendar Hanumantha Rao from MYRA School of Business.for a chat session to help you navigate these last 15 days for the CAT entrance exam.

Dr.Hanumantha Rao’s corporate journey includes vital stints as Practice Lead, Managed Security Services, Wipro, Bangalore, CEO, Proxis Inc, New Jersey, U.S & Bangalore, India, Consultant – Mphasis Inc & JP Morgan Chase, Senior Technology Officer, JP Morgan Chase, New York, NY and Senior Consultant, KPMG LLP.

I’m looking to go in for CAT 2015 with a mind set to score 90 percentile.Please tell us how many questions to attempt in each section with this new format and what should be my approach?
I’d suggest not to worry about percentile at this time. It depends on multiple factors with your performance only the most important. Focus on answering the best you can. By now you probably have a good idea of what your strong areas are – so focus on fine tuning them and work on improving the weak ones. In the new format, you cannot trade off the time you save on your strong segments towards your weaker segments -so that is a bit of a problem. But it is a problem for all! Never think of the minimum no. of questions to attempt – think of the max you can attempt. The time per section is fixed so you dont gain anything by saving the time from answering a min no. of questions.
Currently i am able to attempt 15 question in Quant, accuracy is 90%, what can I do , in last 20 days , for scoring above 90 percentile, I am able to give max 3 hr in week days?
Your time pressures remind me when I took some of my comp exams – you probably need to block a fixed time slot everyday, come what may. Few of us have the kind of concentration to work in bits and pieces so getting that block of time is a must. I’d check if my manager would help – many would and in any case, why not ask?
What should be the plan to revise quant basics in these 20 days?
Try some of books that coach arithmetic techniques. There is old method called the Trachtenberg system which helps simplify arithmetic calculations – you can try that. However, be careful – given the short time left, you may not want to clutter your mind with too many new things. Sometimes, practicing the same techniques with new problems would be a less risky method.
What should be our score in mocks for now so that we can decide if we are on the right track for 99%ile in cat 2015 ?
Difficult to say. From your own experience, how are you in answering under pressure? Often, may perform a little worse in real situation as compared to simulation. Many of us perform about the same. If you are in the second category, what you see in your mocks should be a good indicator of what you can expect. at this stage, use the mocks to fine tune your approach – use other sources to improve in each segment.
Can you share your thoughts on the difficulty level of questions in quant? What sort of questions can be expected since the new pattern allows the use of calculators?
From what I see in the mock exams, the questions seem to be aimed at how quickly you can process a lot of data in most of the cases. So one thing to do is to have that pen and paper ready and make notes and figures as you read the question and use the calculator to fill the gaps
I am a bit weak in grammar inspite of brushing through concepts earlier, do you think grammar will play a larger role over usage in CAT?
The focus in VRC is how well you understand the matter. Grammar is important in how you express yourself. So this should not be a major drawback in VRC. However, good grammar is always a must in professional life!
Data Interpretation questions pose too many conditions simultaneously. Is it advisable to leave such questions if they are time consuming?
Generally I’d say yes. But two things to keep in mind – one, you have to spend 60 full mins in DILR in the current format. second, a number of questions seem to be doing this in the current format – from what I see the mocks. So you may not have a choice. One technique that I mentioned earlier – write down the facts and figures as you read the question would definitely help. It is time also they now provide you with an on-screen calc.


We thank Prof. Hanumantha for doing this!

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