Dear CAT 2016 Achievers, Like we did last year, we have created a folder with articles curated to cover topics that might pop in this year’s WAT-GD-PIs. The articles are not easy reads by far since they are from sources such as EPW and McKinsey. More than trying to agree or disagree with the views expressed, it would be best to look at them to get a more diverse set of examples and also incorporate view points other than your own into your essays and GDs. The toolkit also contains all institute specific processes and topics from previous years. Also, we will be updating this once a week, so do download the folder again next Monday. CAT 2016: WAT-GD-PI Toolkit Happy Reading!
Now that the dust has begun to settle on CAT 2016, we can may be take a step back — beyond score calculators, the expected percentiles and incorrect questions — and take a look at it in terms of the evolution of the test. The test itself, if I am not wrong, for only the third time in its history did not change at all in terms of structure. On the face of it CAT 2016 and 2015 look like twins but like with twins there are significant differences beneath the surface.
It is that time of the year when most of my students are most nervous with random questions popping out from various crevices of their brains. A few can be answered, a few can’t but the ingredients to succeed remain the same every year.
From very early on in our lives we are exposed (or subjected) to this word called TEST. As we enter the higher grades the importance that TESTS play or are supposed to play in our lives steadily increases. If we look back, for most of us, tests have always been part of a trinity, they have always been concomitant with two other things — fear and prayer. At some point of time all of us when faced with a test (including yours truly) have felt at the least a sliver of fear running through our bodies prior to a test and even most unbelieving of us have muttered a tiny little prayer under our breaths.
We have just finished SimCAT 9 and if the scores & percentile charts are any indication, test-takers are beginning to find their footing. But here is the catch — for every set of people hitting the 100s for the first time, there will be a set hitting 120s, a set hitting 135s and a set hitting 150s as well for the first time. So some of you while feeling happy to see high scores will also be feeling a bit of a bother when you see your percentiles. Well firstly, the happiness is warranted so don’t let the percentiles bog you down. What you need to now do is to see your scores, percentiles and the task ahead in the next 60 days in the right perspective.
In the previous two posts we took at a look at the first two building blocks to increase your score and percentile on CAT Quant — Accuracy & Question Selection. In this post we will look at the third building block — if the first two blocks provide the impetus towards the higher score, this block is the one from where you take off towards a higher score — Speed.
In the first part of this post we covered on the first building block to achieve higher scores and percentiles on CAT QA — accuracy. In this post we will take up the next one — selection. QA is the section that gets the maximum attention of test-takers of all stripes and there is always a litany of frustrations and queries that plagues aspirants — I am good at Math and like Math but my score just does not seem to go up! Should one attempt the long Arithmetic questions? I feel every problem is do-able! I get stuck for long with one problem without realising it I realise there were many problems I could have solved when I analyse the test The answer to all of these questions lies in the way you select questions and the way you navigate…
Unlike the other two sections (which we have already covered here and here) QA is a section that has a direct link to what you have done in school and college. Most of the topics that are asked on the CAT have also been a part of school curriculum. This I feel is the biggest roadblock in front of test-takers wanting to achieve higher scores on the CAT Quant irrespective of their relationship with Quant with high Math scores during X and XII exams not having any direct correlation with ability on the CAT QA.
This is a question that we get asked frequently, more so this year given last year’s yough DI-LR section. One place where you can get more SimCAT-level questions whose level of difficutly is quantified is in a book called CAT 500. This is a book that we publish every year with new questions across all areas and classifed topic-wise. The USP of this book is that the questions are selected based on actual SimCAT data. The questions in the book are classified into two categories: Score Enhancers: Questions that have been attempted correctly by a majority of the test-takers who scored above a 90 percentile, making them must-solve questions to break the 90-percentile barrier. Score Maximisers: Questions that have been solved incorrectly by a majority of the test-takers who scored above a 90 percentile, making them the kind of questions you would need to…