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TestFunda Team
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Preparation & Strategies to crack MBA entrance exams


abhishekgupta90: Hi Gaurav,

To be very precise minimum how much marks should i score to get 95+ percentile in cat-2016? For now I am getting around 120 in Mock-Icat by testfunda. Should I also join another test series for better result?
Gaurav Dave: You can generally go for two mock series for greater variety in mocks. However, more important is your analysis of the mocks that you take. Secondly, it is not possible to predict the score at which you will be assured of a 95+ percentile. However, you can try and aim for atleast 140 with a balanced sectional performance in your mocks
abhishekgupta90: What is the best way to solve questions on para-jumble sentence as without options I always solve them wrong?
what are the ways to improve the speed and attempts in Quant Section as I am able to solve 18-19 questions with 90% accuracy?
Gaurav Dave: For para jumbles, there are three main ways to create a sequence - identify the start, identify the end and create linkages between two sentences. e.g. a sentence may first generalize a phenomenon and then give an example or it may arrive at a conclusion using an example. So, the theory and example have to immediately follow each other, in different orders. Sometimes sentence may talk of two contrasting ideas. 
More importantly, when you solve Jumbled Sentences, make it a point to hide the options and look at them only when you are checking your answers. That will also increase your confidence level in tackling such questions. 
For Maths, the questions have generally been on the simpler side last year. Hence, you should try to identify the sitters right at the beginning. Once you are done with that, have a look at the other questions and try to solve them. If you are unable to understand the logic of a question initially, look at it again later. Your accuracy seems to be good though. 
sanakapoor: hello sir,
i gave cat last year but scored 76 %ile. this year i am giving it again but my performance in mocks is almost the same. it is v disappointing. and verbal is my weakest section. there is improvement but only lil bit. plz suggest me something. i really want a good score this time.
Gaurav Dave: VA section typically has 24 questions in RC and 10 in numerical entry. Since the numerical entry questions generally do not have negative marking, you should definitely attempt all of them. For RCs, the trend is that CAT is moving more towards current affairs, national and international political and economic news, environment etc, and discarding a lot of its fixation with areas such as psychology, sociology etc. Hence, you should make it a habit to read up on latest topics in politics, economics, business and finance, environment and climate change and technology. 
Also, while answering an RC question, do not assume external information. base your answer on the data given in the RC only. 
sonai1992: sir what is the right stratergy to analyse the mocks sometimes we just concentrate on the scores and thinks increasing the score in the next mock.
Gaurav Dave: There is no definite right or wrong strategy. However, in my opinion, you should focus broadly on three areas: 
1) In which sections > chapters > question types am I generally going wrong and where am I good. 
2) In areas where I am wrong, what is causing the mistake (wrong understanding of question, silly errors, wrong application of concept etc) 
3) Where am I slow. What can I do to improve my speed without affecting my accuracy
Gulve.Saahil: hi Gaurav
- how should one prepare for NMAT exam - given the fact that i am a working professional, and if a start preparing now and able to put in 2 hours a day every day and around 5-6 hours a day on weekend i need to scale up ? and what must be the ideal strategy plan for it ..please advise
Gaurav Dave: The answer to this partially depends on whether you have taken any MBA exam earlier and whether you are attempting only NMAT this time round? In any case, the time that you are putting in seems fine, but you will need to practice roughly 10-12 mocks because NMAT is essentially a speed test
sanakapoor: is it possible to jump from 70z to 90z (percentile) in the time left ?
Gaurav Dave: Yes it is possible, but it generally does not happen overnight. If you are at 70 percentile, you will definitely be making mistakes. Look at those mistakes and identify the areas that could have been avoided with a little bit of care and some practice. As soon as you correct that, you will see a jump in performance. After that, as you keep working on your weak areas one by one, your score will show an incremental improvement.  
Gulve.Saahil: Hi Gaurav,
yes i am giving MBA exam for the first time and i am basically targetting NMAT and preparing for CAT also though. More inclined towards NMAT
Gaurav Dave: Ok. Then you should look at NMAT as three attempts and prepare such that CAT and NMAT are both in Dec. If you plan that way, you should be well prepared for both exams by Nov end
sanakapoor: ok. thank u sir for the guidance and for showing me a ray of hope.
Gaurav Dave: You are welcome. Feel free to ask us if you need guidance or help. All the best!
Gulve.Saahil: thanks Gaurav -
Can you advise for a tentative preparation or target plan which i must follow for this 2 months now so that i can do well these exams
Gaurav Dave: Focus on theory from now till a month i.e. approximately till Dussehra. On one of these weekends, take one mock each of NMAT and CAT to get a feel of where you stand. Do not get rattled if your score is low in this mock. From the second week of October, start taking a mok every 5-6 days and see how you are doing. Based on the performance in each mock, you will have to spend the interim period revising stuff and working on your weak areas.   
abhishekgupta90: Which second Test Series I should Join CL/Time? Please look into Quant Section of Icat-05. Personally I found it really difficult in comparison to other Icat and cat sectional test. I scored 15 marks in that. Was it really difficult or my preparations are going bad. Generally I score between 40-50
Gaurav Dave: Well... I cannot comment on the mocks of other institutes. So you can take a call as per your schedule and convenience. iCAT 05 was a deliberately tough test after 4 easy to moderate mocks. SO dont worry too much if you didn't score as well as expected. 
venkata03: Hi Gaurav
The left over 90 days are quite good enough for one who wants to attempt CAT-2016. That too if he starts freshly. Can you please comment on this?
Gaurav Dave: Theoretically yes...they are good enough. However, it also depends to a large extent on how much time a person puts in every day, how good (or bad) his concepts already are and how regularly he takes and analyses mocks. Secondly, if that person is also going to NMAT and IIFT, which will happen before CAT, he will have to keep aside a few days each before the two exams. That also needs to be factored in. To summarise, it is possible but requires a very detailed schedule and meticulous execution on a daily basis. 
abhishekgupta90: Should I give daily one mock and analyse it properly or practice first with rank Booster. Just advice the exact way how should i approach as I am new to it. Eg. One Day rank booster next day mock or first i should go with mocks? Please mention it very clearly for the strategy?
Gaurav Dave: You should take a mock first and identify chapters where you have clear weaknesses in terms of accuracy and/or speed. Based on that, you may need to revise from the Skill Builder (theory) and Rank Booster for those specific chapters. The, you should again take a mock and repeat the cycle. 
venkata03: thanks for the reply and one more i have. How many longer hours he need to put in to really get into good slab of percentile or even i can say like this "into top B-Schools"?
Gaurav Dave: Again no fixed answer for this. But as a thumb rule, if you are working or in college, try to put in 2-3 hours on weekdays and 7-8 hours on weekends. If you are at home, the sky is the limit. 
venkata03: ya thank you master...! really boosts. Is that true cracking a verbal is tougher task and spending on that may effect the other sections during the practice
Gaurav Dave: Not necessarily. Varies from person to person. So, you need not maintain pre-conceived notions about any one section.  
Gulve.Saahil: thanks a lot gaurav.
How much effect does having working experience have for the selction process for NMAT ? I have overheard a discussion that having more experience say 3 years has negative impact ...want to clear my understanding around this ? can you help ?
Gaurav Dave: Not really. This is a myth. In fact, if you have significant work-ex, say 3-4 years, it helps you in the interview process as well as during your MBA. So, don't worry on that front. 
Gulve.Saahil: as suggested by you i will go for 3 attempts - when should be my first attempt ?
and if i have to target around it what should be my ideal strategy
Gaurav Dave: If you want to take all three attempts, you should try to take the first one in Oct itself, say in the first 10-15 days of NMAT. This gives you enough buffer time for the other two attempts
Gaurav Dave: Thank you for participating in the chat. Feel free to post your questions on All the best for your exams!
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