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TestFunda Team
Views : 1890
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Chat with 100 percentiler Dr. Shashank Prabhu & get all your queries solved.


sarika.t: hi
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: hey
sakshitiwari00a: hi
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: Hello
sakshitiwari00a: i have a question.from now on how much time one should devote for cat preparation?
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: Around 1-2 hours on a non mock day and 4-5 hours on the days you take a mock are enough to cover all the essential topics and know your strengths and weaknesses. The more important aspect is maintaining your focus/concentration over this period. If you lack the discipline or find it easy to get distracted, the number of hours you put in won't really make a difference.
Hiteshkk: Hi Sir,

Kindly suggest me how i should prepare for cat in this 3 months.. what should be my strategy
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: Ideally, you would need to be done with a big chunk of your 'syllabus' by mid August. So, finishing off previous year CAT papers and basic content by mid August and then shifting your focus to mock taking and strategy formation would be a fair way to go. A couple of mocks a week is recommended and you should try and finish off finalizing your content by the end of October post which, adding new concepts would not help much. So, a total of say at least 30 odd mocks, previous CAT papers and general reading/concept building should be the target.
Malicious: Can you share some of the best techniques to get through the sectional cut offs in CAT ?
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: Good evening. The secret to a balanced CAT score (where each sectional is lesser than the overall score) lies in giving a lot of time to your weak section and not getting engrossed in a particular section/topic simply because it sounds interesting. Unbalanced sectionals are almost always a result of neglecting a particular section because it seems to be tedious or boring. Also, last year, there were sectional time limits and the order was defined and so, there was no scope for strategy formation. In case things change this year, you will have to design a healthy split across sections during the test as well.
NikiRane: How can I crack CAT with self study and score more than 99 percentile?
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: One can easily reach the 95th percentile through finishing off the basic content, identifying strengths/weaknesses and setting challenging but realistic targets. Post that, it is a matter of building a few advanced concepts. To get a 99 percentile you would need around 55-60% marks with a healthy split across sections and so, you can start by understanding the critical topics which account for a major part of the paper (arithmetic, geometry and modern math in quant, arrangements and calculations in data interpretation and reading comprehension, parajumbles, sentence correction in verbal) and tackling them one at a time. Once you have a strong base, you can easily understand and apply the advanced concepts and work on the areas which are less frequent. Build a time table, accounting for 1-2 hours a day, take a couple of mocks a week and you should be on course to a 99+ score.
Akhil1997: hello Sir, What is my chance of getting IIM if I am freshly graduated from engineering without any work experience?
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: It hardly matters. The fresher to workex ratio at any top b-school will be pretty healthy and you would find more than 50% freshers in most cases. So, while there are a few points given to workex, it is not really a make-or-break thing if you can crack a healthy score.
Yashvik: Sir any secret .. How you scored 100%... Any tips you would suggestion.
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: I believe, strong basics, aggression when it comes to exams in general and aptitude tests in particular, lack of a fear of failure which prevented any pressure from building up and good old hard work helped me score well :)
sakshitiwari00a: sir, In the mock test should i concentrate more on solving all D/I sets or 2/3 with more accuracy? And how much questions should i attempt in each section to get a decent percentile
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: Always the second option. In DILR, attempting a few sets with near 100 percent accuracy is always a good ploy. If you would have observed the scores from CAT 2015, someone who had correctly attempted 4 sets out of 8 scored a nice 98.5-99%ile. 

While it depends on your accuracy/risk taking appetite during the test and there is no clear cut answer to this, an ideal split for a 99%ile in CAT 2015 would have been around 80% in quant, 50% in DILR and around 90% in verbal with an overall accuracy of close to 90%. If you are conservative but have a high accuracy, you can scale down the attempts by a bit and if you are aggressive and like attempting more (like I do), you would want to attempt almost all the questions.
sonu12345: heyy sir, i got 96% in 10th nd 70% in 12th both cbse nd m btech 3rd yr student can i got iim bcz my 12th % is low?
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: It would be slightly difficult to get a call at least from the older IIMs but now that you cannot change your past, it would be better to score big in CAT, sit back and let the institutes decide.
mthakkar: Hi Sir,

I want to know, how difficult is it to prepare for CAT exam specially when your weak in math?
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: It's definitely not very difficult to prepare irrespective of your competency in a particular section right at the start. Also, saying that you are bad at maths in its entirety would be wrong. You can break down the entire section into smaller topics and subtopics and understand the ones that you are good at and the ones that you are not so good at. Once you understand these areas, it would take a bit of effort from your side to practise all the relevant question types. Preparatory material, past year CAT papers, online forums and websites should suffice when it comes to improving quant.
SINGH0: Regarding logical Reasoning I have found that it takes 13 minutes to 19 minutes on a set. Are these Logical reasoning set can be get any faster in general.
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: 13-19 minutes is bit too much for a set. Irrespective of the level of difficulty, you will always be able to identify 3-4 sets out of 8 that are doable. Investing 40-45 minutes in these and then trying to squeeze in another set or individual questions from the remaining sets would be ideal. If you are taking more than 10 minutes to crack a set, you are either doing the wrong set or doing the right set the wrong way. Go through the explanation and try to figure out where you got stuck and if your selection was right in the first place. It should help.
arnab2912: Sir, what is the funda of mod(i.e. 22^23 mod 6=?)?
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: Binomial + Euler should suffice. (22^22 *11) mod 3 after cancelling a 2 and then reducing the base would give you a remainder of 2. You need to multiply it back by 2 which would give you the final answer as 4. Cyclicity should work fine too. Try finding the remainders of 22 mod 6, 22^2 mod 6 and so on; you will get a pattern.
Anvitaa: How much preparation is needed to get 95+ percentile in CAT?
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: Solving all previous year CAT papers (1990-2008), going through all the basic concepts and formulae from all the chapters, light reading from newspapers and blogs, taking 25-30 mocks and analysing them well should be enough to secure a 95+ score. If you look at the big picture, you need to be among the top 10000 aspirants which is not really difficult.
Rovina.k1: I am working 9-10 hours everyday. How can I focus and prepare? Very difficult to prepare after work as I get tired.
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: This is a huge misconception. One can easily eke out at least a couple of hours by tweaking one's daily schedule and doing away with unproductive activities. This does not essentially translate into letting go of your social life and sitting at home in a corner, studying. Just that you would need an enormous amount of discipline to succeed in the test. In my case, I always knew that I was a night person and so, made sure that I was up till 3-4 am either taking a mock or solving some material and used to squeeze in around 6-7 hours of sleep in a day (at home and during travel). Using scientifically proven techniques like the Pomodoro technique or using productivity measuring apps might be of help too.
Akhil1997: How much time should I devote to self study daily other than weekly coaching classes if I will appear in CAT 2017?
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: Coaching classes are more of a sidekick to your prep than the lead actor. So, 1-2 hours of focused study (solving material, taking sectionals, reading, understanding concepts, etc.) per day should suffice. In addition to this, you would need to take one or two mocks a week and analyse them which would account for an extra 8-10 hours.
Anugrah10: Sir Can you suggest good books for all the 3 sections in CAT which covers theory in detail & have solved problems of different levels ? Specially for DI-LR?
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: Solving previous year CAT papers (20 in total) and XAT papers should help you put in a strong performance in DILR. Application of minor concepts be it in terms of solving a Sudoku, a Kakuro or a towers of Hanoi puzzle is very important. To improve dealing with multiple arrangements and cases, you can use The great book of puzzles and teasers by George Summers. For the other sections, any of the usual suspects are fine and should suffice.
sonu12345: how i manage my time for btech nd cat both bcz m 2017 cat aspirant nd also my placements in 2017
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: I would suggest you try and score as much as possible in your B.Tech, focus on your placements and do minimal CAT prep at the moment. You can have a look at previous year CAT papers and can browse through a few forums/online resources to keep in touch. Peaking at the right time is very important and you should not burn out or get bored by the time CAT 2017 comes.
NC3107: Sir, how can one justify quitting the job at any interview?
Also how to improve LRDI. I am practicing ,but results are not showing yet.
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: There are a lot of ways to justify a gap. I would suggest you don't worry about it at the moment and carry on with your prep. Cracking LRDI requires a lot of effort (especially as the question types are not well defined as is the case with quant and verbal), a good amount of visualisation and an ability to pick and nail the right sets/questions. The best sources to prepare for LRDI are previous year CAT and XAT papers and mocks which should cover almost all the possible question types/logic that you can encounter.
Anvitaa: What is the good Cut off to get into good college this year?
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: Depends on your definition of a good college. Anything above 95% in CAT and an equally strong performance in other entrance tests should give you a fair shot at the top 20 odd institutes.
JEETmhptr: Sir, I have appeared CAT twice and could manage 97.xx and 96.xx %ile (2nd attempt scoring less than the 1st one). What strategy shall I have to opt for to secure a 99+ percentile?
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: I am sure that you understand that it is only a matter of 3-4 questions. You have reached that stage of your prep where broad suggestions won't be of any help to you. You will have to carefully analyse your mocks, nit pick a bit when it comes to your preparation status and try to cover specific areas (be it technical competency when it comes to sentence correction, getting comfortable with a lot of topics while solving RCs, solving higher level PnC/numbers questions and so on).
hazzy: hii sir,
how to prepare DI because diff.-diff question in DI some time i confuse.
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: Solving previous year CAT papers (20 in total) and XAT papers should help you put in a strong performance in this section. Application of minor concepts be it in terms of solving a Sudoku, a Kakuro or a towers of Hanoi puzzle is very important. To improve dealing with multiple arrangements and cases, you can use  The great book of puzzles and teasers by George Summers. The key to acing this section is to attempt extremely selectively and not making any silly mistakes. To give you an idea, last year, correctly attempting 50% of the paper would have easily taken you above 99 percentile which was pretty doable for a prepared candidate if s/he were calm and composed during the test.
aseemchawla3: sir, d same questn fear of failure distresses a lot. i have placed a target of just 92%ile and still it seems difficult . i dont know dat shld i leave d prep. beleiving that CAT is above my level or what shld i do
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: Fear of failure generally leads to a lack of intent, which leads to a decline in scores, which leads to further fear. The best way to come out of this is by attempting your mocks with a bit of intent and aggression. You can start off with an aim of attempting the 10 easiest questions in each section and then scale it up bit by bit.
chirag.arora001: Hi Sir,
Please suggest to improve verbal abilities as I already good inquatn and logical reasoning and both of them are my strong part...
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: The key to improving verbal lies in developing a genuine interest in the section and improving your technical skills. A lot of students think of it as being abstract which is not true at all. It would be a good idea to improve your technique by going through GMAT/GRE/LSAT material and previous year CAT and XAT papers at least. And it goes without saying that to develop an interest in verbal ability, one needs to have a habit of reading quality material. A few recommended blogs/websites are: The Hindu, Livemint, Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Harvard Business Review, The Economist, Arts and Letters daily, Project Syndicate, and Swaminomics.
JEETmhptr: Sir, Earlier when CAT was conducted in pen and paper mode, I guess solving DI questions was a bit simpler cause we could mark missing blanks in the paper itself. But in the online mode, at times, we have to copy the entire data(usually in case of tables) to the rough sheet, thus making DI very time consuming. How can I tackle such sets ?
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: No shortcuts at all. You will have to replicate the data and solve it the good old way. You might want to have some notations of your own (while dealing with multiple case scenarios and using a single table, while dealing with blood relations questions, while trying to solve sets based on incomplete tables, etc.) while solving to make it easier for you. Also, understand that everybody is facing the same situation so it won't matter much. The computer based test is good in a sense that there is no disproportionate time allocation across centers which used to happen in a few cases and also, you are saved from the nightmare that used to be filling the OMR sheet.
JRCB6A024: Sir i am not able to clear even cutoff in english section. I find it difficult as i am not a critical reader. how can i improve this in the remaining time?
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: While it takes years to develop an interest in reading, you will have to make do with whatever time you have. Reading quality stuff across areas (philosophy, psychology, history, art, etc.) helps and so, you can try out one or more of The Hindu, Livemint, Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Harvard Business Review, The Economist, Arts and Letters daily, Project Syndicate, and Swaminomics. Also, I would suggest you indulge in a bit of light reading (fiction/history based novels, blogs, etc.) to improve your speed and comprehension.
arnab2912: Sir, can you please suggest some good resources for getting well versed with the short cut techniques for the MBA exams?
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: Shortcuts, though they look glamorous and attract a lot of aspirants are not really the way to go. I would strongly suggest you to go for strengthening your basics and build your concepts the traditional way. Remember that solving a question in a quicker manner and applying a shortcut are two different things. Successful candidates will almost always be quicker than the rest without resorting to shortcuts.
SINGH0: In Logic reasoning Truth tables in four variables is it good to make one table or binary table of two variables at a time.
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: I assume you are asking about a combination based LR set. I would always recommend a single main table and a few notes here and there listing the other matches instead of two separate tables. It becomes difficult to link the two tables and there could be a lot of confusion. 
SINGH0: For working people going through this any help if they not want to leave their job.What aternatives that they have prepration of CAT levelthey can use in their job.
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: I didn't get your question. CAT preparation is limited to CAT and it won't find any application in your job. However, it might add a bit to your overall persona in terms of planning, learning from your actions, communication, etc.
SINGH0: How do you consider revising the questions that one didn't solve in it and read its answer.Should one note doen the question that went wrong or were more time taking and review only those.Or just mark them on the test itself and revisit only the marked question of the test.
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: When you do not attempt a question in a test, it would mean
1) You saw it but did not attempt: If you figure out during analysis that it was better left alone, you have done a fine job letting go of that question
2) You saw it, attempted a bit and then left it: If you figure out that you should have attempted it and you were on the right track, you probably have a fear of failure. Be on the lookout for such occurrences and make sure you finish attempting the question. If you figure our during analysis that the question was not worth an attempt, make a mental note and be sure to skip the question type next time you see it. 
3) You did not see it at all: Try going for some techniques like attempting the easiest among a group of 3/4 questions and then moving on to the next group. That way, you would have seen the entire paper by the time you reach the 40th-45th minute.
incredablend: sir, i had given CAT 2015 and scored 85%ile and converted IIFM bhopal.
but i decided to go for another attempt but the problem is that i am a Btech passout of June 2015 batch
so i am not having any work experience during this 1.5 year gap
please tell me how can i tackle this question during interview time and also plz tell what percentile i have to achieve for getting good college
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: Too early to worry about justifying a gap. You take the tests, get the calls and then we can tackle the question with a bit of introspection and some storytelling. Also, looking at the fact that you have scored an 85%ile, I would definitely recommend that you target a 95+ score and target the top 25-30 institutes.
aseemchawla3: sir , any suggestionns by ur side to reduce the pressure as all my nears and dears have good cat scores so this pinhces me a lot to perform well
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: The idea is to place yourself in a silo and forget about everything around you. Only once you are in that zone would you see yourself improving. I would strongly suggest you to look at your scores and preparation status in isolation and not get disheartened by what your friends/colleagues are doing. 
Pasumarthi: I have 3+ years of work ex but not a great salry... i am preparing for 2016 cat... but my prep is not up tothe mark and my graduation percent is 59.5... what should i do... TIA
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: Now that you can do little about your grad score, you simply have to give the entrance tests your best shot. I would suggest you take all the exams that you can (including XAT, SNAP, NMAT, TISS, IIFT, MAT, CMAT, ATMA, CET) and then take a call of whether you want to join or not. 
Pasumarthi: There are only130 days for the D-Day.. but am still running in basics... is this 4 mnths enough for cracking 95%. Can u suggest me any good plan
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: 130 days is a huge amount of time. One can easily reach 95%ile if one is dedicated and can put in a bit of effort and a lot of application. Regarding strategy, finish off previous year CAT papers and basic content by mid August and then shift your focus to mock taking and strategy formation. A couple of mocks a week is recommended and you should try and finish off finalizing your content by the end of October.
aseemchawla3: sir, d same questn fear of failure distresses a lot. i have placed a target of just 92%ile and still it seems difficult . i dont know dat shld i leave d prep. beleiving that CAT is above my level or what shld i do

even in mocks i hardly score 50+ in any with 46 d maximum in 6 mock tests
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: If you are sure of doing an MBA, I would suggest you prepare well and take all the tests sincerely without worrying about the result. 
Dr. Shashank Prabhu: Thanks for all the questions and wish you all the very best for your prep.
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