Decoding the new format of CAT

CAT is back and this time in a new avatar. It aims to test the knowledge rather than just aptitude of a student. One of the new features of the exam is a 15-min tutorial. Our expert for today will help us decode the new CAT format. Rahul Reddy is a graduate of IIM Calcutta and has worked in organizations like Lakme, Hindustan Lever and Mirc Electronics. He has been teaching at T.I.M.E. and has over 8-years of experience in CAT test preparation and mentoring.


10:32
Yahoo! India Education: 
Goodmorning!
10:32
Yahoo! India Education: 
Welcome to the live chat on Yahoo! Campus
10:33
Yahoo! India Education: 
Our topic for the day is - the new format of CAT
10:34
Yahoo! India Education: 
Our expert of the day - Rahul Reddy is a graduate of IIM Calcutta and has worked in organizations like Lakme, Hindustan Lever and Mirc Electronics. He has been teaching at T.I.M.E. and has over 8-years of experience in CAT test preparation and mentoring.
10:34
Yahoo! India Education: 
We will start the chat at 11am, thanks for your patience
11:00
Yahoo! India Education: 
Our expert will be online in a bit, thank you!
11:00
Rahul Reddy: 
Shravya jyothi: i am doing my 3rd year B.E,i want to join iimb and am planning to write cat exam in 2013. i would like to know what all books should be referred , name of the tutorials which are good for cat training & what % shud i get to get into iimb.

Dear Shravya, While it is important to have a goal, a very specific goal like joining IIMB would prove counter-productive. There are 6 Very reputed IIMs and another 7 new IIMs available, not to think of FMS, XLRIs of the world. To prepare for the exam, there are enough good coaching institutes available. While this may not be the forum to give the exam names, I suggest that you speak to people in your city to find out the best that is available. Start preparing seriously and you will reach your goal.
11:02
Comment From Dhrubajyoti Deka  
What are the changes that we should expect in the new test format?
11:03
Rahul Reddy: 
sweta: hello ,

I would like to know the changes introduced in CAT 2011. (the topics, time alloted per topic) . Kindly tell us some useful tips required inorder to finish the paper with accuracy.

Dear SWETA,

CAT 2011 will be a two section test. Each section has 30 questions to be done in 70 minutes. First section is QA and DI while the second section is RC, VA and LR (Logical reasoning). Unlike the last few CAT papers, this has a time limit per section (70 minutes). Once you finish one section, you cannot go to the next. While the time limits are specified per section, it is important to use the 70 minutes of the section to ensure that you attempt as many questions as possible.
11:04
Yahoo! India Education: 
Fidaato: Hello Sir,
The article says that they will test the knowledge,can you please tell us how and can you also give us some tips on how to prepare for it and how to improve our knowledge.
And Sir,I would also ask for your help on how to prepare for GD and Interview.
11:04
Rahul Reddy: 
Dear Dhruba,

The changes in CAT are clearly laid out in catiiim.in. And I have briefly mentioned the same in the previous answer. 
11:04
Comment From Krishna  
What kind of questions can we expect in Logical Reasoning ?
11:05
Rahul Reddy: 
Dear Fidaato,

When we say test the knowledge, it means aptitude testing. This includes Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation, Data Sufficiency, Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning. The questions are all multiple choice questions.
11:06
Rahul Reddy: 
Dear Krishna,

Logical reasoning can include three types of questions. a) Analytical ability puzzles b) Symbolic logic (Deductions and Connectives) and c) Critical reasoning (a la GMAT)
11:06
Comment From shrutii  
hi sir, i am preparing of CAT and going to give it this Nov 2011, so can you plz help me as this is my first time and really tensed, can u tell me some tricks and main areas to concentrate more...
11:07
Comment From Pavithra  
Considering scrapping of JMET and FMS, do you think CAT will be more tougher this time than the previous online CAT versions?
11:08
Rahul Reddy: 
Dear Shruti,

I will tell you the most obvious tips for writing any exam and surely true for CAT.
a) Ensure that you have enough attempts to see that you have a chance of scoring at least the minimum cutoff percentile.
b) Make sure that you do not make silly errors.

As you can see, these are obvious ones. How you do the same is the crux of the test taking ability. For CAT, you should look towards getting at least 50 percent of the total net score which will ensure that you are in a position to get cutoffs comfortably.
11:09
Comment From shravya  
sir, is entire cat paper of multiple choice questions
11:10
Comment From shalini  
hi sir, i want to know d strategy one should adopt during last two months.....how many hours to study and which areas to focus upon?
11:11
Rahul Reddy: 
Dear Pavithra,

FMS is not scrapped as yet. JMET has been done away with, Yes.

But, the above two things have no relation to CAT becoming tougher. Infact, please realise that just because the questions are easy does not make it easier to get into the IIMs. Once you realise that your getting into a good institute depends on the number of people who write the exam, it ceases to matter if the paper is easy or tough.
11:11
Rahul Reddy: 
Shravya, the paper is a Multiple choice question paper only.
11:13
Rahul Reddy: 
Shalini, Preparation strategy depends on the state of your preparedness today. Someone who has already prepared all the areas and is now gearing up for the exam should spend more time in writing MOCK tests and analysing the same after every test. Hence the time required would be less.
However, if one has not done enough preparation, then it is imperative that one gives enough time to cover all areas/topics that come in CAT. So the time required could be close to 30 hours a week too.
This however depends on person to person.
11:14
Comment From deepak  
sir m also attempting cat dis year..as per my self analysis, the biggest constraint to my CAT score is english.. sir i want to know how can i improve my vocabulary in this short period?
11:15
Comment From S Ghosh  
Sir, how much minimum percentile is required to get admission in good b-schools?
11:15
Comment From Avneesh  
good morning sir. can you please elaborate more on the 15-minute tutorial feature? Also please throw some light upon the marking strategy as in negative marks and which section has the highest marks.
11:17
Rahul Reddy: 
Dear Ghosh,

Depending on different institutes, the percentile requirements differ. For the IIMs, you should look at a more than 98 percentiles with exception of IIM Kozhikode and Bangalore (where the percentile requirement is less). For other good institutes such as MDI and NITIE, you will need more than 95. Insitutes like IMT, XIMB, and others will need 90+.
11:18
Rahul Reddy: 
Avneesh,

Tutorial feature is just to make you comfortable with taking the test. If you are writing the MOCK exams of TIME or IMS or CL, then you may not even need this.
11:19
Comment From Karthik  
What will be the break up of questions in each section ? Say QA 20 DI 10 as is the case with most coaching institutes or could there be variations in each slot in CAT ?
11:19
Rahul Reddy: 
Dear Deepak.

In the VA/RC/LR section you can expect some decent number of questions in Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning. Since your Vocabulary is weak, the best way is to tackle the above areas first and not take too much of a chance with guess work on Vocab based questions. Practice RC for the next 50 days and you will improve.
11:21
Rahul Reddy: 
Hi Karthik, This is an excellent question. While most coaching insitutes are giving the variation as 18 QA - 12 DI; 20 QA -10DI and all, you can very well get 15 QA-15DI too. In fact, my bet is that, each paper will have a different pattern (out of the 40 papers that will be given over 20 days)
11:21
Comment From Rohit  
Sir, i have been appearing for AIMCATS i get close to 60-80 percentiles, considering that i havent started preps and that i start now, what is my probability of making it into an IIM. Please reply sir :)
11:22
Comment From Nikhil  
Hello Sir, There are lots of books and material on CAT in the market. Can u please suggest some books or guides that can be helpful for preparation? I am not doing any coaching so please suggest some good stuff to prepare.
11:23
Comment From Guest  
Is there any age restriction for application to IIM's?
11:23
Comment From Khamba  
Dear Sir, what is the new format?
11:23
Rahul Reddy: 
Dear Rohit,

If you are touching 80 %ile in the AIMCAT, then you have a chance. Please put in effort.
11:24
Rahul Reddy: 
Guest - no age limit.
11:24
Rahul Reddy: 
Khamba - please see the chat earlier. I have answered the question.
11:24
Comment From Vishal  
sir,can you please give me some tips and advice for doing well in rc passages
11:25
Comment From Guest  
dear sir,could u pls tell me how appropriate is the combination of mba(fin)+cfp, also about their scope
11:25
Comment From shrutii  
sir i am giving my mocks but couldn't score more than 70 -75%, but do u think at this core i could get into any good collages.....
11:25
Rahul Reddy: 
Nikhil,

Frankly, like any other exam, the books that are given are mostly outdated or not fully useful for the preparation. While you don't have to join any coaching institute, you can borrow from your friends and use the material.
11:26
Comment From ram  
sir which part of english should we start from ... like rc or grammar
11:26
Rahul Reddy: 
Shruti, 75% ile should be good in getting into some very good institutes. You still have 2 months to go and I am sure you can improve from here.
11:26
Rahul Reddy: 
Ram,
You can start with whatever is comfortable. However, RC may not be the best to start with.
11:27
Comment From Avneesh  
Sir, is it acceptable to have no work experience and are applying to any of the IIMs directly after your graduation? Also if i foray into the industry, how much minimum experience is needed to enter in an IIM?
11:27
Comment From Rohit  
sir with what percentile in aimcat, can one aim for SIBM, NMIMS, and all?
11:27
Comment From Srikkanth  
Hi. How to choose a specialization in MBA ? I am basically an Electrical Engg. I am unable to pin down on any of Mkt, Fin, Op & Sales, Etc.. Give advice
11:28
Comment From chaitu  
Wud there be equal weightage for Logical Reasoning and VA in the second section??In most of the AIMCATs it was found that comparatively less weightage is given for Logical Reasoning
11:30
Rahul Reddy: 
Dear Vishal,
I'd recommend you read a lot of articles form newspapers with a focus on spreading your reading this will help you be more familiar with topics that eventually come up on the D-day
11:30
Comment From Rahul Anand  
Sir, what kind of questions do you expect in this CAT? Since the questions will be fewer, is the difficulty level going to be higher?
11:31
Comment From jennifer  
sir, can u please say me if business GK will come??
11:31
Rahul Reddy: 
Jennifer, CAT will not have any GK
11:32
Comment From Amrit  
sir, is there limited no of attempts to appear in CAT exam
11:32
Rahul Reddy: 
Rahul Anand,

Since the paper is going to be normalised for all test takers, it won't make any difference if the paper is easy or tough.
11:32
Comment From abhinav  
I was very good at Quants last year and had secured 95 %tile in XAt overall but this year in aimcats I am facing problems in quants.I am comfortable in solving questions in class or from books but in AIMCATs , I just touch 80...in QA especially....what should I do? plese help it was my strongest section and earlier I used to score 95+ in AIMCATs too
11:32
Comment From Priyanka  
Sir, Do the IIMs also consider the experience from an NGO like Teach for India?
11:32
Rahul Reddy: 
Amrit,.

NO.
11:33
Rahul Reddy: 
Priyanka, They will consider if it is full time experience.
11:33
Comment From rajesh  
totally how many questions from each section?
11:34
Rahul Reddy: 
Rajesh, 30 questions in each sections. Two sections in total.
11:34
Comment From Guest  
Dear sir,...in either of the two section, say in first section, would it be mandatory to attempt both quant question and DI questions? or if one leaves out DI(say) but gets more than cutoff in first section..is it okay?
11:35
Comment From Guest  
Hi Rahul, whats the cut off in CAT for attempting MICAT this year?
11:35
Comment From dheeraj  
sir, i've read that from this year onwards iim's will be giving less preference to engineering students!! is this true??
11:35
Rahul Reddy: 
Abhinav,

I guess you are getting into the DI problem. I guess you should work on DI too to ensure that your QA and DI section goes well.
11:35
Comment From abhigya  
sir can u give the tips on how to prepare for quant considering so less time left .
11:36
Rahul Reddy: 
MICA will be have a low cutoff. May be around 80 percentile per section.
11:36
Rahul Reddy: 
Dheeraj,

NOT true.
11:37
Comment From Sudipta  
I have always had problems with Verbal Ability or Reading Comprehension and then answering their questions. The time taken is the problem as the passage is huge. Can you suggest me a way to quickly read the passage and then answer their questions.
11:37
Rahul Reddy: 
Abhigya,

Please see that you go through areas such as Geometry/Mensuration, Numbers, QE/Prog, Inequalities, P&C, and Arithmetic.

Please practice from AIMCATs.
11:38
Comment From rajesh  
whether work experience is mandatory in IIM's?
11:38
Comment From Nikhil  
How is the total percentile calculated? Is it section dependent?
11:38
Comment From Avijit  
Sir, there are many online coachings available is it enough for preparing cat exam?
11:39
Comment From jennifer  
sir is it necessary to get updates with business news for CAT
11:39
Comment From Ajay  
How does the change in pattern encourage more students from Humanities background rather than Engineers ?
11:39
Rahul Reddy: 
Sudipta,

A quick scanning through the passage, irrespective of how large the passage is, can quickly help place key points and flow of thoughts in the passage. Then a second more careful reading will enable you to answer most questions.
11:40
Comment From abhinav  
ohh..yes sir..it might be the case..thank you sir..will work on DI definitely.. thanks again sir:)
11:40
Comment From rohini  
sir what is d cutoff 4 iim bangalore?
11:41
Rahul Reddy: 
Rajesh,

work Ex is NOT mandatore for the IIMs
11:43
Comment From kapil  
hi sir, is FMS-DU not conducting any entrance exam? and this year FMS-DU consider CAT score? is it true?
11:43
Comment From Guest  
how to prepare for maths in case of latest CAT format???
11:44
Comment From Priyanka  
Do you think this yr the paper is going to be comparatively difficult
11:44
Comment From Ankita  
My percentile in aimcat is stuck in 50s n60s wot should i do to improve it..??
11:44
Comment From A Achar  
Sir, should I include Part time exp under work exp in the CAT Application. Do they consider part time work exp?
11:44
Rahul Reddy: 
Preparation for the exam will not be any different just because the pattern has changed. However, the test taking strategy may change and that depends on your strengths and weaknesses.
11:45
Rahul Reddy: 
Achar,

Part time experience is NOT counted.
11:46
Rahul Reddy: 
The cutoffs expected for all IIMs are given on their respective websites, please go through the same.
11:48
Comment From Janarthanan  
In the 20 day window, will all slots have the same difficultly level ? There is lot of speculation about this.. Pls clarify
11:49
Comment From TANUSHREE  
sir iam lecturer in engg college from last one month should i mention this?
11:49
Comment From pooja  
Hi Sir, I score at around 75-77%tile in aimcats so far. I fall short of time in the QA part. My no of attempts come to about 7-9 questions from 30 in QA!! I get majority correct in it. But still, i can nvr clear cut offs due to this problem. I manage to score around 40-45 in VA and clear cut offs. Is there any scope for improvement now, with the exams round the corner? if yes, what should my strategy be?
11:49
Comment From Amrit  
who many times CAT held/ year?
11:50
Rahul Reddy: 
Each of the papers will most probably be of different difficulty level. Overall the difficulty level will be similar to one another. However, since they are going to normalise the scores, it really does not matter in the final run.
11:50
Rahul Reddy: 
Amrit,

CAT is held only once in a window of 20 odd days (as of now).
11:51
Comment From Rahul agrawal  
Any preferred book for the new two sections of cat >>>
11:51
Comment From Guest  
how much qns should a candidate attempt successfully in each section so that he can get a remarkable percentile/score to get calls from top mba institutes
11:52
Rahul Reddy: 
Pooja,

There is enough time to improve. 50 days to go at the very minimum and hence I believe that if you use it correctly, you can increase your scores by 10 to 20 marks which could improve your percentiles by 10 to 15 percentile overall.
11:52
Rahul Reddy: 
More than 50 percent correct.
11:53
Comment From rohini  
sir wat is d validity of cat score? is it 1yr or 2yrs?
11:53
Rahul Reddy: 
Well friends. I hope this chat was useful. Wish you all the very best. Please get in touch me at rahul.reddy@time4education.com, for further questions. 
11:54
Yahoo! India Education: 
Thank you so much for your time, hope everyone will perform their best in CAT this year. 
11:55
Yahoo! India Education: 
We will continue to conduct more chats as we get closer to CAT. So do stay tuned at - http://campus.yahoo.com
11:55
Yahoo! India Education: 
This chat will be available at the same URL for future reference.
11:56
 

 

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