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CAT 2009- What it can be? How to be Ready?

CAT 2009- What it can be? How to be Ready?

implex ,  25-Sep-09
Online CAT! 60-70 Questions! 15 minutes less! 20 different sittings! There are so many new things with this CAT, that one of my friends told me, why so new things when he is taking it, may be because he is unlucky. So if there are such thoughts in your mind as well, I won't comment whether they are right or wrong, but that you have to get over it and be ready for the job in hand.

I have written about the changes you need to make for online exam, so I will focus on the rest in this article.

60-70 Questions
First time CAT has declared the number of questions beforehand, still they have a lot of margin to stump you. First strategy for a 60 question paper and a 70 question paper is obviously different, but even the preparation needs more focus. The fact being is with reduced number of questions, the level of difficulty might be a bit on the higher side, along with the lack of questions you could skip. Let me stress this point, now we will find less questions, as a result there will be lesser questions we can leave straightaway. This requires a much more flexible areas of strength, rather one should be good in all kinds of questions, leaving topics can prove costly. The other thing will be with less questions, sitters will be less and thus more difficult to find, and believe me solving a sitter is like turbo mode in a race car. Sitters give you a lot of confidence and help score marks as well as save time.

Lesser number of questions means lesser variety, especially in VA and DI, as in these two sections, questions come in groups. Students wont have the luxury of leaving a set in DI or an RC  or VA set altogether.

What is required is the ability to solve a variety of questions, from various areas. In quant, one should be able to tackle all kind of questions, numbers, algebra, geometry arithmetic everything. In verbal as well grammar and RC both are important. You need to practice everything in equal measures, You will off course have strengths and weakness, but try to murder your weakness and boost your strengths. Work hard on basics, which will help you not to skip a sitter from an area which you generally feel is your weakness.
Practice old mocks and CAT papers now, and try to test yourself with CAT level questions. During the mocks, don't just do your strength areas, try to work problems from your weak areas as well. This might reduce your mock scores but will make you do better in CAT.

15 Minutes less
As there will be 15 minutes less, the natural choices for a 20-20-30 paper will be 40-40-55 and 20-20-20 paper will be 45-45-45. But you need not stick to this, because of one basic fact, the OA should be high, along with cutoffs. So. as per my view, break every section into two time slots, one for cutoff and other for improving ur score. What this does, it will save you from any debacle, if you are stuck in the last section and you feel you need more time to get the cutoff. Cutoff in each section is absolutely necessary, and if one gets the cutoff in all three, he will for sure get overall cutoff.

How do you know you have the cutoff? This is a tough question, taking mocks and analysing past cat data helps.  generally cutoffs hover around 25-33% for 3-4 IIM calls, but for IIM A, C, K the cutoffs may be a tad higher than other IIMs. So, keep a safer target of 35% in each section and around 38-40% overall.  Once you have the sectionals, you will get your OA.

For sectionals, in Quant, it is not necessary to solve all, you just need 30% marks, which will be around 7 question in a 20 question paper. The recommended attempt is 9-11 depending on your accuracy. It will ensure that you get the cutoff. If you have time left, try 2-3 more questions.

In verbal, the number of questions may be 20 or 30, and In my view verbal attempts should be higher, as the accuracy is generally low there, attempt atleast 60% of the questions in verbal to ensure cutoff is achieved.

In DI, generally the cutoff can be achieved by cracking 2-3 sets with 100% accuracy, depending on the number of questions in the sets. So, look for easy sets and solve them. Another thing, it is not necessary to crack all the questions in a set. Try to solve the easy ones in each set.

Hope this helps!
Good Luck

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