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TestFunda Team
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Always wondered about the topper's strategies to ace CAT 2013? Then here's your chance to know them from the one who's been there and done that - Siva Surya Teja.


spectrojin: I will start with the most obvious question. How did you do it ?
Siva Surya Teja: Basic fundamental knowledge in quant and knowing my weak areas in verbal, practicing many tests and maximising my accuracy are the key things that helped me in scoring more. 
gabhishekg: How to improve RCs?
Siva Surya Teja: Concentrating only on the content given inside the passage and not bringing outside knowledge to answer the questions will help in correctly answering most of them. Also, understanding the basic idea of the passage will help you to analyse the questions better
vishwendra: I would like to ask is coaching necessary for getting high percentile for getting admission in good iims?
would also like to know how much time to dedicate and how many months.
what was your strategy for various section in CAT?
Siva Surya Teja: Coaching, in pure terms, is never mandatory. But practicing as many tests as possible before the actual exam and any source, online or offline, to help you clear doubts in preparation are essential.
abhmdg: congrats Surya...
Siva Surya Teja: Thank you
shailgupta.87: How many hours did you devote each day for the preparaton?
Siva Surya Teja: I am an employee and even if I get the time occasionally during weekdays,  I concentrated on my preparation in the weekends to maximum effect. this helped me segregate my work life and career aspirations.
baba9: How many questions did u attempt in both the sections ? How did u tackle DI ?
Siva Surya Teja: 29 in QA-DI and 25 in VA-LR are my attempts. To tackle DI, it is essential you build confidence about the time remaining. Because most of the times, we make mistakes in DI due to time crunch. So I solved simple and less time taking ones first and maximised my attempts taking less time. This helped me concentrate better in DI
accolade: i m very weak in quant .what should i do to improve.
Siva Surya Teja: Get your basic fundamentals strong and keep a target of 12 questions in your initial mocks. Gradually increase it to 15-20 and 22+
ritwizshukla92: First of All...Congratulations on ur feat...!!!..i want to know will it be sufficient to follow a good book for Quantum CAT..along with mock solving..What more can be done to brush up quants?
Siva Surya Teja: Thank you !! Apart from books, keep some online forum for reference like Test Funda, to know the variety of ways you can answer a question. This will make you think out of the box and in quick time.
baba9: Did u go through the comlete sections before starting or u started straight up ?
Siva Surya Teja: I tried both the strategies while practicing but the actual results depend on the ordering of  the questions rather than either of these strategies. In my final exam, i started straight away and solved those questions which i felt will take less than 3 mins and skipped others for the last. 
swamykokkiligadda: hi surya first of all congrats for getting 100 percentile.....
Siva Surya Teja: Thank you !!
abhmdg: how was cat 2013 exam alike?? in terms of difficulty in each section???
Siva Surya Teja: It was like any other CAT exam, tricky ones mixed with some sitters. VA-LR was more difficult with some very philosophical RC's and tricky questions.
amitcg: How to improve your accuracy in both the sections
Siva Surya Teja: Try to make your target of 12 questions initially and answer only 12 which you feel cent percent sure. even if you feel you can answer other questions, stick to this strategy for 3-4 mocks. Gradually, increase your targets to 15-20 and 22+.
abhmdg: what are the key sections where we can increase our speed ?
Siva Surya Teja: You can increase your speed in almost all sections. Some questions in quant dealing with time & work, speed & distance etc, and in one out of three DI's will be more logical oriented than calculation intensive. You can improve your speed in these sections.
spectrojin: Were you always confident that you would be able to so high ?? If not what was your backup plan, I mean if you weren't be able to get into IIMs ?
Siva Surya Teja: I am confident that I did reasonably well and expecting 99.5+. However, i had backup of XLRI and IIFT as well.
swamykokkiligadda: how did u plan ur preparation without coaching any time table u maintained in different sections?
Siva Surya Teja: Practice as many mocks as possible. My target preparation for CAT was simply to write 30 mocks and cover all the mistakes I made them. I was confident that if i can do this, i can easily achieve the top percentile.
accolade: i m very weak in quant .what should i do to improve.
Siva Surya Teja: Already answered.
spoorthyjoshi: congrats for getting 100 percentile..when did u start your preparation for cat?how to score well in quant?
Siva Surya Teja: Thanks !! I started my preparation with the online mocks commencing. Already answered for quant part before.
spectrojin: What would you suggest to a guy who has scored 92%ile in CAT and has a work ex. of 4 yrs?
Siva Surya Teja: You can try hard and give in your best one final time in CAT and also give GMAT a shot which is more suited to your profile.
swamykokkiligadda: how many mock exams have u taken before the d-day?
Siva Surya Teja: 30 mocks
baba9: Which slot did u take ? Date ?
Siva Surya Teja: Nov 10th, morning slot.
baba9: What r ur sectional percentiles ?
Siva Surya Teja: Quant 99.95, VA 99.92
abhmdg: how was cat 2013 exam alike?? in terms of difficulty in each section???
Siva Surya Teja: Answered before.
accolade: which books i have to go through of quant for cat.
Siva Surya Teja: Any book which can give basic concepts of quant is fine for the preparation.
rambaxy: I got a percentile of 81 in quants and 67 in verbal.I want to improve it next time.How is it possible??
Siva Surya Teja: Practice as many mocks as possible and try not to repeat your mistakes in the next mocks.
swamykokkiligadda: i think u got good percentile last year,u backup XLRI and IIFT for now y dont u go for these institutes last year? dont u get any admission last year?
Siva Surya Teja: Last year i hadn't given IIFT and did not clear one sectional in XAT despite scoring overall 99+
ritwizshukla92: I am not so good in Verbal section. What books or material i can follow for this section except Novel reading?
Siva Surya Teja: Try practicing more mocks, it really helps for VA. Last year, my VA was 83. This time it is 99.92. The change is due to reasonably more mocks i have practiced this year.
AnveshSundeep: will clearing cat itself with high percentile guarantees a seat in IIM?
Siva Surya Teja: No, definitely not. Your acads and performance in interview matter much. But getting high percentile will help you in final score ( CAT weightage + GD/PI weightage) and help in securing an IIM seat.
abhmdg: how long is it since you have been working surya???
Siva Surya Teja: i have been working for the past 28 months.
AnveshSundeep: as a working professional that too in IT how did u manage to crack
Siva Surya Teja: I separated my weekday life and my weekend preparation. Actually, being in IT helped me a lot because of two day off every week. :)
spoorthyjoshi: which material did u refer for ur preparation?
Siva Surya Teja: Nothing in specific. I used to refer online for any doubts i get during my preparation and tried to learn the concepts right from basics.
kedariyer: Congratulations Surya! I am finding it difficult to study as well as work simultaneously as my office 6-day working and Sundays is the only days for practise alongwith classes, I scored a dismal 50%ile in CAT! With the current situation its really not possible to crack CAT. Should I quit my job because otherwise 2-3years I will devote most of my time in office only, Will that have a bad impact while admissions?
Siva Surya Teja: It will have a bad impact in admissions. try to continue your job and take medical leave or any other long leave for 30-45 days and practice more. It will be sufficient enough time given you practice well.
swamykokkiligadda: u have taken mock all mock exams from testfunda r any other?is ur target for iim ahmadebad?
Siva Surya Teja: I have taken mocks from many resources including test funda. And TF has very good quant questions which will test your nerves and time management.
Sivashree: Hi surya...first of all congrats...I'm software engineer working in wipro..I gave cat this year for the first time but the score was not that is because I don't get enough time to please tell me how many manage both your work schedule nd cat preparation
Siva Surya Teja: Answered before.
spoorthyjoshi: As of know I don't have any work exp..does it have any impact in getting into IIM's?
Siva Surya Teja: Unlike GMAT, work ex is not mandatory in CAT. good CAT score with decent acads are good enough to get you into IIM's. 
spectrojin: How did you manage to study so hard while working? (A study plan description in answer would be nice)
Siva Surya Teja: Writing two mocks per week and analysing each mock after exam was my primary study plan. I used to allot 4-5 hours to each mock including analysing my answers and actual solutions. Just before the exam, i took a week off to revise all my earlier mocks
prdk: First of allcongrats for getting 100%ile. and can u suggest how to improve in english?i attempted 24 but got only 69%ile in that section...should i attempt questions which i am 100%sure rather than taking calculated risks in va..will 14-0 give me better %ile than say 17-7?
Siva Surya Teja: Thank you for your wishes !! Yes, accuracy matters and 14-0 is better than 17-7. Choose carefully and answer those you are really sure of. You can take 2-3 calculated risks but not more.
spoorthyjoshi: how to improve score in va section?
Siva Surya Teja: Already answered.
ritwizshukla92: Please do reply..I am not so good in Verbal section. What books or material i can follow for this section except Novel reading?
Siva Surya Teja: You can make newspaper reading a daily habit even if it's online. It helps you in your GK as well as in grasping the content of a passage.
Sivashree: Sorry how did u manage
Siva Surya Teja: Sorry I didn't understand your question. Can you please elaborate it ?
swamykokkiligadda: u got good percentile in cat last year, y dont u convert it?
Siva Surya Teja: Last year, my cat percentile was 96 and i got 83 in VA. Before that, i scored 99 but didn't get calls from top league IIM's. So given CAT again.
accolade: how much time i should devote to study for cat according to different sections.
Siva Surya Teja: It really depends on individual strengths. But in general preparation for QA-DI can be quantified whereas prep for VA is a daily process as part of your reading habits.
AnveshSundeep: can a person with average academics and average intelligence can crack the CAT exam?-(is it that much difficult whats your opinion)
Siva Surya Teja: CAT was never a difficult exam and will never be. you can overcome what you lack in intelligence with your sheer dedication, passion and hard work.
accolade: congrats,i wish that you should cherish your dream.
Siva Surya Teja: Thank you !! All the best for your dream and let all of us be responsible for building a better India.
ritwizshukla92: It was great talking to you. Thnx a lot for all your guidance & All d Best for ur GD-PIs..!!!
Siva Surya Teja: Thank you !! All the best for your dream and let all of us be responsible citizens for building a better India.
spoorthyjoshi: which material would u suggest for quant?
Siva Surya Teja: Answered before .
Sivashree: can you please tell how to improve DI section?? like which book you referred for or any other online resources??
Siva Surya Teja: DI appears to be difficult because of the time crunch you face in the exam. try solving DI's individually without time limit and understand different data representation techniques. Also, improve your calculation speed and learn some principles in comparing fractions etc from vedic maths.
accolade: which newspaper i should prefer for va.
Siva Surya Teja: THE HINDU has much better depth. But if you refer online, there are many more resources. You can also use your smartphone apps for getting variety of articles from online.
prdk: And another question is last year in mocks i usually attempted a lot of questions focussing not a lot on accuracy..and raw score was ok..but in cat i found this tactic cost should i change my strategy and try to get 90%+ accuracy and decreasing attempts...
Siva Surya Teja: In trial mocks, there is no normalisation and there is no equating process. That makes the difference in real CAT.
Siva Surya Teja: We end the chat here. Thank you for your participation :)
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