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TestFunda Team
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Strategies to crack NMAT


deepch: hello
Gaurav Dave: Hello
deepch: my weak part is verbal, i have been reading newspapers for one last year but there wasn't much improvement and now i have shifted to novels and i have read around 15 novels in 30 days , is this right or wrong approach
Gaurav Dave: There is nothing wrong with this approach but it has to be mixed with application to exam level questions. Reading newspapers or novels or magazines will improve your English and vocabulary, but you will need to test your understanding of the same by solving exam level questions. Hence, practice as many mocks along with your reading and then try to measure your improvement
amrishkumarmaggu1990: hello everyone
Gaurav Dave: Hi. How can I help you?
mabhir: can you please explain strategy while answering quant section in NMAT? how many questions dow e need to answer to clear the cutoffs?
Gaurav Dave: You need to target a score of anywhere between 75 and 90 in the QA section to be confident of clearing the cutoffs. This translates to 25-30 correct attempts. Since there is no negative marking, you should anyways attempt all the questions. Typically, if you can solve 3 of the 5 DI sets, 2-3 of the 6 DS questions 15-18 of the 22 QA questions properly, you will be able to clear the cut-off
deepch: of late i gave icat and scored 141 and my percentile was 99.69 but in in real cat this score would have fetched me around 94 percentile , so what about this discrepancy
Gaurav Dave: Partially this is because the number of test takers in the actual CAT is way higher. Secondly, keep in mind that it is very difficult to predict your percentile in the actual exam based on a mock score as the difficulty level, normalisation mehod and your performance on that day are completely unpredictable
deepch: so on an average how much score should we target in testfunda
mock tests so as to get get 98 percentile in real cat
Gaurav Dave: I would say, anything in the 145-150 range would be really really good. 140 also should be fine. 
mabhir: Thank you.Also throw some light on other two sections' cutoff and no of questions to be attempted
Gaurav Dave: Sure. In VA, you should have a score above 69-72. This converts to 23-24 correct answers. This is possible if you target close passages, fill in the blanks, vocabulary and errors.
In LR, you need to target a score of 78-84 i.e. 26 to 28 correct answers. However, the NMAT of LR is generally full of a number of short puzzles that keep varying each year. Hence, for LR, you can try to solve as many mocks as possible and practise the various types of LR questions (as quickly as possible) in these mocks. The LR section also has 10-12 critical reasoning questions. Hence, to clear the LR cut-off, you need to be adept at solving critical reasoning questions.     
deepch: i gave cat last year and my percentile was in early nineties and i have planned to give it this year too .I started only 3 weeks before so please suggest me some strategies and can it be done in 3 months
Gaurav Dave: Yes, it can done in your case due to two reasons: you have already taken CAT earlier and you have a reasonably decent percentile. 
On the theory side, you need to isolate specific chapters that you weren't comfortable with last year and strengthen your basics there.
On the mock side, try to identify specific question types in each section, where you tend to lose marks and focus on extensively understanding them, rather than just practice. With one hour per section, you have enough time to solve questions. You need to identify the easiest to answer and solve them first.  
sunakshipahari: i have heard from couple of my friends that booking the slot for NMAT early in the month of Oct is advantageous since one gets easy set of questions.How true is that?Does the level of difficulty actually varies.
Gaurav Dave: This is not necessarily true. Booking a slot early in October has its own advantages but there is no definite truth in the statement that you will get easy questions. I always book day 1 slot 1 and I once had questions as tough as CAT. However, the clear advantage of booking an early slot is that you get your first slot result early enough and hence enough time to use up your remaining two attempts, if required
sunakshipahari: and what is your take on NMAT OG by GMAC? can we expect the same pattern of the questions as given in OG.
Gaurav Dave: Frankly, that cannot be guaranteed. From what I have seen and the feedback from students, the general opinion is that the OG questions are on the easier side compared to the actual exam. 
deepch: sir last year's nmat was not easy , it had some cat level questions , can you predict something about the difficulty level in this year's nmat
Gaurav Dave: This has been the trend in NMAT since the last 2-3 years. However, that is not true for a specific section. I have seen tough VA sections one year, tough QA section in the enxt and so on. But generally, I have never seen any NMAT where all three sections are simultaneously tough or an NMAT where an entire section is tough. There are generally enough sitters lying around in each section. You may have to spend a few minutes trying to identify them.  
mabhir: Sir In cat mocks my marks are varying in the range of 90-130. want to get to 150-160 range. how do i do that? also can you please suggest strategy for DILR section in CAT?
Gaurav Dave: Increasing your marks will require very detailed analysis of each mock and might be beyond the scope of this chat. However, on a genral note, you should try to identify easy to medium that you have either left or incorrectly solved and tough questions that you spent a lot of time on. Working on these two areas generally helps improve scores quikly.
For DI, identification of the top-4 sets to attempt is absolutely critical. Do not try to solve all 8 sets
deepch: sir as far as verbal section section is concerned , many times passages are easy but questions are tough , comprehension can be improved by reading but what about skill in solving questions specially closely related options
Gaurav Dave: Generally, when options are close together, the way to eliminate them is also hidden in the options itself. An option may either be generalizing a specific example given in the passage or doing the reverse. Sometimes, if fact A has been given as a cause for incident B, the option may reverse it and so on. One way to improve is to check the solution of the practice RCs and understand the line of reasoning to try and apply it next time. The second way is to improve your understanding of critical reasoning questions as a lot of RC questions are critical reasoning questions, in disguise. This will also help you get more marks in the LR section.   
deepch: sir reasoning section has got tough whether its nmat or cat , any lr books would you suggest
Gaurav Dave: Not really...the core concepts covered are the same. The mocks that you have should help. The questions in NMAT are actually simple in LR, but because there are so many individual puzzles, you need to solve them quickly. Hence, use this approach while solving NMAT LR. For CAT, you should focus on question selection. 2-3 sets out of 4 is a very good performance 
mabhir: Sir can you please explain us about how your approach is while attempting NMAT?
Also the approach for CAT.
Gaurav Dave: In NMAT, I generally attempt in the sequence QA-LR-VA. In QA, I first identify the 2 easiest DI sets and solve them. This gives me a psychological boost that I have solved 8 questions at a go. Then, I have a look at the other DI sets and apart from the toughest one, I try to solve the others. Finally, I move to QA and solve based on my gut feel for a question i.e. if I feel it is easy, I attempt it, or I leave it for the end. I use this same approach for LR as well. In QA and LR, I generally leave a question if I am stuck on the approach for more than a minute. In English, I attempt questions in sequence, as I generally am able to solve the whole English section in 18-19 minutes instead of 22 (luckily :-)
deepch: sorry for the repetition of questions it was server fault
Gaurav Dave: No worries :-)

deepch: sir i got 97 percentile in quant section year but still i get some glitches in mock tests sometimes i score 61 and next time 38 . Any remedy?
Gaurav Dave: No particular remedy. Just more practice and detailed analysis of your performance. You need to worry if you are going wrong in the same type of questions all the time. Secondly, you need to worry if you are missing easy questions and attempting the tough ones. 
mabhir: thanks. how much time sholud we distribute to DI out of 60 mins in NMAT?
Gaurav Dave: Maybe 25-30 depending on how many sets you attempt. It also depends on how good your DI skills are. Remember that solving DI and QA everyday is what brings my salary, so I have to be good at it and solve it quickly. You can try to attempt 3 out of 5 sets in approx half an hour and focus on Maths as well. But you would be the best judge of how good you are at Maths vs DS vs DI. Take a call accordingly. 
deepch: thank you
Gaurav Dave: Always welcome. All the best!
sunakshipahari: is there any specific wordlist for NMAT vocab? any source if you could suggest. Also can if you can give an approx idea about number of questions we can expect from geom,number sys,algebra and others in quants section for nmat
Gaurav Dave: Any standard wordlist, such as the one that we use for GRE/GMAT should suffice. Typically, there is significant focus on Geometry (6-7 questions) and Modern Maths (5-6 questions). But this is something that varies in each slot. So, be prepared for all QA chapters really.  
Gaurav Dave: Thank you for participating in this chat. If you have further questions, please feel free to write to us as All the best for your exams!
sunakshipahari: how would be the difficulty level of questions on probability since in CAT questions on probability is tough.
Gaurav Dave: Generally, questions on probability are tough but there is an occassional sitter as well. So, unless you are dead sure, you can leave them for the end. 
mabhir: sir also calculator which is provided for CAT has put me in trouble. My DI calculations of NMAT have become poor and hence it takes a lot of time which is affecting my no of attempts. how to strenhthen my calcluation skills?
Gaurav Dave: You will need to have a different mindset while practising NMAT. You don't have calculator plus you have to solve the questions really quickly. If CAT is like a Test match, NMAT is like a tricky T-20. You have to practice differently. 
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