Time Management For CAT – Live Chat Transcript

Abishake Koul graduated from BIT Mesra in 2013 and had a 2 year stint with Maruti Suzuki before joining IIM Lucknow where he is a part of Media & Communication Cell. His hobbies include writing, poetry and running. He conducted a live chat to help aspirants manage time while giving CAT as well as manage time while preparing for CAT.

Here are some excerpts from the live chat:

Hi, the CAT exam is just a month away but still my percentile in mocks vary from 80 to 96 percentile. In RC, I am not able to attain accuracy above 80 %ile. Also, I have an issue with easy questions in LR section. I am not able to solve easy sets but am comfortable with the tougher sets based on the mocks of AIMCAT. Can you please let me know the preparation strategy till D-Day. Is solving from more practice material gonna help or a through revision of mocks should be done?

Hi Shibashish, You have an amusing query. Though %ile in mocks vary but you should try to narrow the horizon from 95-99 For RC, 80% accuracy is good, try to improve by practice. For easy sets, I think you are getting a little complacent. Don’t get complacent and take all questions seriously. Also, you need to keep practicing and do a revision as well. Like give mock on one day and analyze it on the next day, revise it after 10 days.

Hi, I wanted to know how do we utilize this last one month at its best? What should be the everyday schedule be like?

Important Things for last 30 days: Give mocks once in 2 days. Go through the key on next day analyzing where you are going wrong. You need to be certain of your strengths and weaknesses before the exam. For weak portions, try to revise again. Give the mock in which you did badly again after a week. Also, solving last year Qs gives you the confidence of tackling the exam. I did the same. For the last week, keep time to revise everything. All concepts and chapters. You can actually start it a little earlier. Also, try to form a schedule and stick to it like doing Quant in the morning and Verbal in The evening… Also, keep specific portions & topics for specific dates and complete them at all costs.

Hi, I want to know how to work on accuracy in Quant and LRDI.

Both are mathematical sections. So, practice will improve accuracy. Also, try to find difficult questions which you won’t be able to solve. Try to skip them to improve accuracy as well as save time.

Hi, As only 1 month is left now. I want to know what should be my strategy for the quant section.

Quant is mathematical. So, practice will improve accuracy. Also, try to find difficult questions which you won’t be able to solve. Try to skip them to improve accuracy as well as save time. Try to cover all topics as the questions are a mix of 2-3 topics… Give online mocks.

Hi, my QA score is terribly low. Should I focus on basics right now or revise through mocks?

Both. Go from basics to advanced level questions. Also, give mocks and then, revise the mocks.

Hi there, I am scoring between 70-90 percentile in the AIMCAT and I belong to the OBC category, what percentile can get me a call from IIM? Also, I am scoring less in quants compared to the other sections, how do I improve in the time that is left?

Hi, Don’t worry about calls right now. Focus on CAT exam, Quant is mathematical. So, practice will improve accuracy. Also, try to find difficult questions which you won’t be able to solve. Try to skip them to improve accuracy as well as save time. Try to cover all topics as the questions are a mix of 2-3 topics… Give online mocks.

My mock percentiles are in the range of 93-98 with average being 95 but the consistent issue I am facing is low scores in qa. Although i have spent last two months on QA yet I m struggling in QA. What should be the strategy for last month? QA sectionals or revising mocks? Also how many mocks should I take in the last month ?

Quant is mathematical. So, practice will improve accuracy. Also, try to find difficult questions which you won’t be able to solve. Try to skip them to improve accuracy as well as save time. Try to cover all topics as the questions are a mix of 2-3 topics… Give online mocks preferably 10 in the last month. They help you to handle the exam better.

Hi, I want to know last one-month strategy ? For SNAP GK too?

Important Things for last 30 days: Give mocks once in 2 days. Go through the key on next day analyzing where you are going wrong. You need to be certain of your strengths and weaknesses before the exam. For weak portions, try to revise again. Give the mock in which you did badly again after a week Also, solving last year Qs gives you the confidence of tackling the exam. I did the same For the last week, keep time to revise everything. All concepts and chapters. You can actually start it a little earlier. Also, try to form a schedule and stick to it like doing Quant in the morning and Verbal in The evening… Also, keep specific portions & topics for specific dates and complete them at all costs. For SNAP GK, read newspapers daily for now. Other than try to pick up Manorama if you have enough time or TIME/CL material for GK is sufficient.

Sir, I am facing problems in managing time in DILR section, the max score I have reached is 30. How to improve?

You will have to practice to improve timing. DI LR is very important as it is the key to a good %ile. Also, there is a fixed time for each section. So, you can’t switch. Try to give only DI LR sectional mocks to improve.

I want to know strategy and most importantly time management for working professional as it’s getting hectic every next day. What should I do if I am not get getting enough leaves before the exam? How to maintain the temperament even after peaks and valleys in my score?

I faced the same issues. I had joined coaching and used to go after hours for Class and on Sundays for mocks. If you can get up early, try to give sectional mocks at that time. Also, take a leave of atleast 7-10 days before exam to revise and mentally prepare for the exam Try to relax and give your best. Leave the rest to fate.

Hi, I am unable to manage my time in quant section. While re-doing the sums after the mock, I find around 23-24 accurate attempts in the respective mock but while taking the mock, I somehow manage to attempt only 15 questions in the quant section. How do I improve in a month?

Try to use faster methods/tricks for calculation. Also, it is that you get a little nervous during the mock. Be confident and keep practicing. Try to find out easier questions and do them first Then go ahead to tackle difficult ones.

Can you give some important tips to prepare for quant section?

Quant is mathematical. So, practice will improve accuracy. Also, try to find difficult questions which you won’t be able to solve. Try to skip them to improve accuracy as well as save time. Try to cover all topics as the questions are a mix of 2-3 topics… Give online mocks.

As an Engineer, I have all the concepts of quantitative but within 1 hr of allocated time I am unable to attempt more than 13 questions so any suggestion will be privileged and also how to choose easy quantitative qstns over difficult ones?

Try to use faster methods/tricks for calculation. Also, it is that you get a little nervous during the mock. Be confident and keep practicing. Try to find out easier questions and do them first. Then go ahead to tackle difficult ones. Finding out that would come with practice.

How many questions one should attempt to get 85-90%ile in Quant section ?

Attempts depend on how tough the section is. It varies every time But to get a good %ile, You need to attempt more than 75% which again is not a fact.

Hi, my average score in mocks is 65….What strategy should I undertake to improve my score? Moreover I am able to attempt less questions.

I have answered your question through other answers. Kindly go through them. To attempt more, you need to solve faster which will come with practice.

Hi, for LRDI nd QA, I manage to get around 97 %ile, but the VA perc lowers down my overall perc. Despite consistent effort, score isn’t improving much. My attempt is around 26 ques but accuracy varies from 55-65%. Grammar ques i mainly skip, para jumble is fine, I have mainly issue with RCs and vocab based ques. I can’t resist the temptation not to mark all the answers of a particular RC. Also, it takes me around 10 mins to solve a 5 ques RC. What do u suggest to be my focus area for the coming days to clear atleast sectional cut-off and ideal attempt for me?

10 minutes is OK for a 5 Question RC. Try to bring it down to 8. Attempt all RCs but don’t attempt all the Qs of a particular RC leave out the difficult ones specially inference based questions Try giving separate verbal section mocks to improve scores. Find your strong and weak areas and capitalize the strong ones and don’t waste time on weak ones. It will improve accuracy. 26 out of 30 odd is good I guess don’t leave grammar because it can be 100% correct.

Hello! VA has consistently proved to be my strongest section and DI/LR is almost there. However time management happens to be a major issue in Quant and at times, even DI, which affects my percentile. Any tips on how to increase my speed in these two sections?

Hi, Quant & DI Both are mathematical sections. So, practice will improve accuracy and help you to better manage time. Also, try to find difficult questions which you won’t be able to solve. Try to skip them to improve accuracy as well as save time. You can try faster calculation & solving techniques as well to increase speed.

No of correct question for 99%ile ?

85 -95% accuracy is considered good

What is the level of quant in nmat exam?

It is of a decent level. If you prepare well for CAT, you don’t need to prepare separately for NMAT.

How important is vocab for solving RCs?

It is important but not extremely important. You can manage with a decent vocab. To improve I would suggest Norman Lewis Word Power Made Easy.

How close are mock tests for CAT to the actual exam? My scores, at times take a sudden dip and that scares me. What was your total score/percentile in the actual exam and how close was it w.r.t the mock tests?

Mocks help you prepare for the D-day. They are close in terms of the simulated experience. My scores were consistent to my %ile but sometimes they also used to take a sudden dip as is in your case. So, don’t worry and keep practising.

Sir, I am doing 11-13 question in quant and DILR both but with accuracy like 1-2 wrong questions normally, so how many question I need to do to get more than 95 %ile.

Around 75-85% attempt with 85-95% accuracy is the key. But depends on the exam as well. May change if it is very tough or easy.

what is more important giving mock or clearing concept of some untouched topic

Both are related. Don’t leave any topic because Qs can come from any where and are a mix of 2-3 topics. You will be able to give the mock better.

Sir, I am not good in VRC section, like able to do 13-15 questions but with at max 10 questions correct with correct ques. 8 in RC and 2 in VA, how should I approach to have more than 95%ile? Should I practice VA more as it consumes less time or work on RCs mainly ?

VAs get solved quickly if you know the right answer but RCs take time. So, practice both. Attempt all RCs but don’t attempt all the Qs of a particular RC leave out the difficult ones specially inference based questions. Try giving separate verbal section mocks to improve scores. Find your strong and weak areas and capitalize the strong ones and don’t waste time on weak ones. It will improve accuracy.

Any Strategy to manage time for the sections especially verbal. Not able to manage all 34 questions. Will reading books like how to read better and faster at this stage help ?

Try to read difficult articles in newspapers, yes, you can improve if you read the newspaper daily. For verbal, Attempt all RCs but don’t attempt all the Qs of a particular RC leave out the difficult ones specially inference based questions. Try giving separate verbal section mocks to improve scores. Find your strong and weak areas and capitalize the strong ones and don’t waste time on weak ones. It will improve accuracy.

How many questions should we attempt to score around 85-90% and with what accuracy?

Hi, Tamanna Generally, 75-85% attempts with 85-95% accuracy is considered decent.

Which one should we attempt first TITA or RCs?

Depends on your strengths. If Rc is that, do RC first. Also, attempt TITA as they have no -ve marking.

As i am not having very good speed like my attempt is normally 40-50% questions in CAT but 85-95% accuracy is there, so how should i prepare for TISS and Cmat which demands speed and accuracy both?

If you prepare well, you should give all exams because you never know So to improve your chances of success, give all exams Improve speed by practice, not wasting time on difficult questions, using tricks for faster calculation, counting in head.

In mocks, I am scoring more than 40 consistently in verbal and DILR section but in quant I am not able to cross the 30 mark. What should I do to improve ? What should be strategy to select the easy questions and a score of around 40 in each section will get me what percentile considering the mocks were of moderate difficulty level?

Depends on the mocks. Improve speed by practice, not wasting time on difficult questions, using tricks for faster calculation, counting in head.

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