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Posted by TCYonline.com on September 8, 2010
Data Interpretation consists of three sections viz. Data Interpretation, Data Sufficiency and Reasoning. It is easily the most scoring section of any exam- if the fundamentals are in place.
Data Interpretation (D.I.) : contains information presented in the form of Bar graphs, Line Graphs, Pie Charts, Tables, Histograms etc. The student is required to analyze the information provided and supply the answer to asked queries related to the data given. Students who are good at heavy mental calculation are at an advantage as it is one of the keys for doing well in this section. This section tests the students’ skills in Percentage calculation, Profit and Loss Analysis, and Ratio Proportion.
Data Sufficiency: is a section where a statement is given and with it are provided two options which could hold the key to the answer. The student is required to independently analyze both the answer keys and see from which the answer can be derived. The student has to tick one of the five options for the answer.
• If answer can be derived from Answer key A- then answer is A.
• If answer can be derived from Answer key B- then answer is B.
• If answer can be derived from both A & B independently- then answer will be C.
• If answer can be derived from a combination of A & B- then answer is D.
• If answer cannot be derived from any of the options, then the answer is E.
Imp: Many times students get confused when the solution does yield an answer with both the answer keys but the answer is different in both the cases. In such a scenario, C would be the correct option is the right one as long as both the options provide unique answers (i.e. it can’t be -2 or +2, it has to be either).
Reasoning: as a section can be tackled very well if the mental calculation is fast. There are broadly three types of reasoning questions: Linear, Circular and Tabular.
To Prepare for CAT 2010 you can get complete study material consists Notes, CAT Test Papers, CAT Practice Papers CAT Sample Papers CAT Previous Papers online. Visit the links given below to prepare for CAT 2010.
CAT Mock Test
CAT Test Paper
CAT Practice Papers
Posted by TCYonline.com on July 6, 2010
The greatest undoing of many CAT aspirants has been the fear of the reading comprehension (RC) section and the consequent inbuilt resistance to RC-based questions. Some test-takers believe, mistakenly though, that RC-based questions are subjective and the right answer could depend upon the opinion of the test-maker, which the test-taker does not necessarily share. Nothing could be farther from truth.
Another misconception is that the online format makes RC more difficult. Some of the fallacious reasons advanced are:
The test-taker can no longer underline important parts of the passage that would have been helpful in locating the correct answer.
Since the passage is displayed on only half of the screen, the test-taker has to scroll up and down a number of times to read the passage.
Since, only one question is available at a time on the other half of the screen, overviewing all the questions becomes time consuming.
Talking of the third fallacy first, let it be known that all the questions are visible on the right half of the screen, while the passage is available on the left. So, the passage and the questions can be viewed simultaneously. Underlining never helped in cracking CAT RC, because the test requires the student to comprehend the underlying idea, rather than the detail. Scrolling up and down the passage repeatedly also means you are looking at the detail whereas you be looking for the underlying idea instead.
In most cases, the test-taker cannot attempt each question based on each passage. So, the best way is to choose what suits you best. Select the passage for attempt that you find interesting. Your interest means you understand, or will understand easily.
Remember every RC passage has a one-line gist. A 10-line gist means you did not understand the underlying idea.
So how should you go about cracking the RC section of CBT CAT?
Construct a “Dot Diagram” of the passage
Remember the dot diagram that you find in the kids section of a paper or magazine? There could be hundreds of dots. When once you join a few dots to form a picture, the other dots become irrelevant. Your RC is like that dot diagram. The hundreds of words are like the hundreds of dots. The questions revolve around the picture and not around the words. So get the picture out of the dot diagram.
Now how do you join the dots? Our advice:
Pre-read (First reading: 1 min)
Get a feel of the passage by reading the opening lines of each paragraph (the opening paragraph in particular) as well as the concluding lines of the last paragraph. Also have a look at the question stems (not the options).
Speed read (Second reading: 3 min)
Say you have to drive a train from Delhi to Mumbai. Should you drive at the same speed throughout? What about the stations that fall along the way? You will definitely slow down and even stop at some of the stations. Do the same thing in the case of RC.
I keep forgetting as I proceed: Speed read the first paragraph. Write down its gist in one single phrase on your scratch sheet. Do the same thing in case of the other paragraphs. Now you have five ideas for (say) five paragraphs. The common link among these five ideas is your dot diagram.
Post-read (Third reading: 30 sec)
This is to make sure that the picture you made was right. Look for repetitive words and phrases in the passage. These have to be part of the picture.
The opening paragraph and the concluding paragraph are important. But remember if the test-taker is smart the test-maker is smarter. Sometimes there may be nothing much in these paragraphs. So don’t overdo it.
Linking up the answers
You will be able to view all the questions together. But the answers to various questions based on a passage should have some link. And the link is provided by (you guessed it) the picture that you formed.
Posted by girish seshamani on
The stage has been set for the CAT November 2010 exams. With the CAT going online from last year, and the format also undergoing a change, it is essential to ensure that we get the basics right.
One major factor, which I notice, is students complaining about CAT going online. There was this fear of the unknown which haunted nearly everyone.
The only difference is, instead of a paper and pencil test, the test will be online. Everything remains the same. Students are given sheets to make their rough calculations. The right answer has to be clicked using the mouse. Candidates can scroll the entire paper and start from wherever they want. Likewise they can also change their answers.
If we look at GMAT, it is a computer adaptive test. A computer adaptive test will throw up questions according to your level. Just to cite an example, if you have clicked on the right option of a question which is difficult, the next question will be more difficult than the previous one. If you get this question wrong, the system will again start throwing questions, depending on your level. The marking will also happen according to the level of difficulty. If a candidate has got lot of difficult questions right, he will obviously get a higher grading than a student who has answered all simple questions correctly.
Coming to CAT, we have three sections, Quantitative Aptitude and Data Sufficiency, Analytical and Logical Reasoning and the English Language which includes Comprehension also.
As individuals we have our strength and weakness. Go to the section, where you are very confident and finish it off first. Ensure that you crack it fully. Once you are over with this, come to the other questions, where you will need some time. Taking the new format into consideration, you are required to answer 60 questions in 90 minutes. Ensure that you manage your time well.
I would like to focus on the Verbal Ability Section. The English Language happens to be the section, where I have seen students take a huge beating. Let’s have a look at all the possible question formats:
- One Word Substitutes
- Idiomatic Phrases and Phrasal Verbs
- Foreign words
- Jumbled Sentences
- Fill in the blanks with the right word
- Error Correction
- Cloze Test
- Sentence Improvement
- Reading Comprehension
If we look at the all the above exercises, the bottom line is vocabulary. If we do not have an excellent vocabulary, we are bound to take a beating. If you do not understand the meaning of one word, you will find it extremely difficult to pick the right option. This applies to all the sections in Verbal Ability. Unfortunately vocabulary is the most neglected part during the CAT preparation. I have seen all the so called reputed coaching classes giving a book full of words in alphabetical order from A till Z with their meanings and asking students to mug up all the words. Rote learning will never work for you. It is virtually impossible to recall the meaning and more importantly by doing this you are in a way, blocking your career also.
A committed vocabulary building exercise involves two major activities. The first is adding new words to your arsenal. The second is to keep in mind the vocabulary you already know. The English Language has over one million words and the average speaker is well versed with only 30000 words. You can see the huge gap. A good vocabulary is a prerequisite for professional growth.
There is only one proven method to increase your vocabulary and also ensure that you do not forget the usage of the words, which you know. Make it a habit to read a newspaper or magazine. You are bound to come across words whose meaning you do not know. First try to guess the meaning of the word with respect to the whole sentence. Only then look up the dictionary and understand the precise meaning. Once you comprehend the meaning, make a sentence using that word in a sentence and have it corrected by a person who is excellent at the language.
Another excellent technique is to use the word in any area of your liking, as in your hobbies or extra curricular activities. Since you already like that line, you will find it motivating to use the word and the learning process becomes interesting and quick. Once you do this you will never forget the meaning and application of that word. Vocabulary Building is a long term process. There are no short cuts.
Having an excellent vocabulary has got lot of advantages. A better vocabulary will help you to enjoy reading more. Likewise having an excellent vocabulary will also give you the confidence to interact with professionals at the highest level. It will undoubtedly be a huge boost for your self esteem.
Another effective method is to understand the meanings of root, prefix and suffix. A root is the basic building block or a key which will help you to understand the meanings of many words.
To understand the importance of a root, let us take the word ‘ali’ which means another. From this, we can easily get to know the meaning of the word, alias, which means an assumed name. Another example is the root ‘am’ which means love. From this, we can understand the meaning of the word, amiable, meaning friendly.
Coming to prefix, it is a word which comes at the beginning. For example, the prefix ‘bi’ means two. We can easily understand the meaning of the words; bisect, bimonthly, bigamy and so on.
A suffix is a word which comes at the end of the word. For example, if we take the suffix ‘cide’ it means killing. We can easily get to know the meaning of the words, homicide, patricide, matricide, regicide, etc. If we take the suffix ‘mania’ which means madness, we get the meaning of the words, megalomania, kleptomania, and so on.
Another area I would like to touch on is Synonym and Antonym. Synonym means words which are similar in meaning. But this does not mean it can be used interchangeably. The right synonym needs to be used taking into consideration the message, we want to communicate. For example, if we take the word active, we have lot of synonyms like, agile, alert, efficient, energetic, quick, prompt, assiduous, indefatigable, etc
Let us take three examples to understand the usage of synonyms:
Mahesh is an efficient worker
A prompt reply is always appreciated
The guard was quite alert and this helped to catch the thief
The same logic applies to antonyms also.
Lastly, coming to Reading Comprehension, lot of books mention words like speed reading, skimming, etc. Let me tell you that all these skills can be acquired only through practice. Start practicing with small comprehension passages and gradually go to bigger ones. Read the questions first and understand what is required. Then go through the passage. While going through the passage, try to get the answers and mark the respective option.
The same technique applies to Cloze Tests also. Go through the whole passage. You will get an idea of what the passage is about, as in, the central idea. After this, filling up the blank with the right option becomes easy.
With this, I conclude my write up and wish you all the best. Ensure that you
BELL THE CAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by TCYonline.com on July 5, 2010
People often go to soothsayers and astrologers to find the most opportune time to embark upon a project of importance. Whether or not that helps is a matter of personal belief. We, however, have some timely advice for those preparing for CAT this year. Most serious CAT aspirants will give anything to find out the perfect moment to start preparing for the exam. We spoke to Vaishnu Dass, Quant faculty at TCY and sought his expert views.
Vaishnu is an authority on Quant preparation and gives coaching for CAT, GRE & GMAT. Faculty at TCY, he has been coaching aspirants for these exams for the last 14 years.
Is there a ‘magic number’ of hours of coaching that one should get while preparing for Quant part of CAT?
There is no ‘magic number’ of hours as such. Nevertheless, there are an optimum number of hours of classroom lectures that are required. From my experience of over 14 years, I feel that at least 84 hours must be allocated for Quant in order to excel in it.
How do you divide these hours? How many hours a day? How many days a week?
I would divide CAT test prep into three distinct categories. Rush Hour, Optimum and Ideal. Let’s talk about ‘Rush Hour’ first.
Rush Hour: is when a candidate sincerely starts his CAT prep after his final year exam. With just about six months to go for the CAT, the entire preparation schedule has to be completed in a relatively short time. For instance, at TCY, classes are scheduled six days a week and here, the onus is on the student to keep up with the hectic pace.
The student has to understand that a very self-disciplined effort in self-study will be required on his part to make it to the top.
Optimum: is when a student is in his final year and starts preparing in January/ February of his graduation year. With around 9-10 months to go, the pace of instruction is brisk but not as breathless as ‘Rush Hour’. For Instance, at TCY, classes are scheduled three days a week and a student gets optimum time to revise what is being taught in the classroom. A break of one day between classes allows students the luxury of self studying at the pace most suited to their temperament.
Even an average student who studies sincerely and consistently has every chance of making it to the B- School list.
Ideal: This is when a student enters the penultimate year of his graduation degree course. A good faculty gets the time to teach students to crawl before making them walk and run hard! Basics are covered in depth and preparation starts at the very grassroot level. At TCY, we schedule classes only twice a week over the weekend initially.
The first few months are spent entirely in concept building. It can be compared to being able to dig the foundations oneself before laying them and finally constructing upon them. By the time a student reaches the final year of his degree course, his foundation is so strong that he is more than halfway ready to take on the CAT. The best part about this is that it is of longer duration and more exhaustive than Optimum, but generally costs less.
What preparation strategy would you suggest for each of the three distinct categories you just mentioned?
In Rush Hour, I would recommend the student to take a Diagnostic Test first. A diagnostic test is a mock test especially made to gauge an aspirant’s grasp of concepts. Once the strengths and weaknesses are clear to a student, it is recommended that a student start working on his weak areas first as they are the ones that offer maximum chance of improvement. Areas of strength can be worked upon later in the day. At TCY, we put such students on extensive online testing with a strong focus on performance analysis with the help of TCY Analytics. With TCY Analytics, a student is able to benchmark his performance of each sub-section, section and subject against all his previous attempts. This helps him in analyzing his progress with each test. Later on, the aspirant can start benchmarking his attempt against lacs of other aspirants on our website, www.TCYonline.com.
The success in ‘Optimum’ category rests majorly on the optimum trade-off between self study and disciplined prep. Self study is any day the best test prep strategy. However, disciplined prep calls for following a light but consistent weekly schedule. The CAT programme on TCYonline works on lecture by lecture schedule for each test section. This helps the candidate decide what fraction of the total available time for CAT prep he should invest in a particular month.
Additionally, joining a classroom programme would add to your disciplined effort.
The ideal prep calls for, obviously, the ideal way. For a candidate, this means understanding what skills the exam tests and taking a few sample tests in each area to know his ‘Best’ and ‘Worst’ areas. A good faculty will help the student by chalking out a plan till December to develop the lower and middle level skills required. For instance, working on one’s vocabulary, reading regularly on topics that come in the exams, improving one’s reasoning ability and re-visiting the Class VIII, IX and X math concepts of 2-3 major boards viz. CBSE, ICSE and Maharashtra SSC can be very useful. One can find a lot of this basic stuff on TCYonline and can generate customized tests on any topic to move up the learning curve skill by skill.
What advice would you give to CAT aspirants?
First, the student has to be very clear ‘if’ he wants to go for MBA. To explain, let us take a hypothetical situation. A BBA student is in his second year and he has consistently been getting good percentage so far. If he is extremely sure that he will not take up a job straight after graduating, he can afford to take his foot off the pedal a little bit and start preparing for CAT. As long as his overall percentage remains above 50%, he can appear for CAT. A high CAT score will see him secure a call from the best B- Schools in the country.
On the other hand, even if he gets overall 70% in BBA, he can’t secure a call from a good business school with a low CAT score. I again say, vision is very important. If MBA is not of paramount importance, focus fully on your current academic pursuit. If MBA is your ultimate goal, learn to keep your focus and prioritise accordingly.
Posted by TCYonline.com on June 10, 2010
Contributed By IIM Lucknow Students
As the B-school admissions pick up steam, candidates are busy preparing for the nerve-wracking group discussion-personal interview phase. To assist aspiring management grads in their preparation, students at IIM Lucknow [ have come together to pool their experiences of the admissions process and present these tips.
IIM Lucknow’s post-CAT selection process consists of three parts:
1. Written ability test (of 15 minutes duration)
2. Group discussion (on a given topic for 20 minutes)
3. Personal interview
Last year, the process began with the written ability test, which is typically an essay-writing exercise. Over the past three years, the topics for this test have been one line abstract topics and the time allotted for this is 15 minutes.
Evaluation of the essay is done on the parameters of perspective and communication. This is followed by a group discussion on the same topic. The maximum time allotted for the GD is 20 minutes.
GD topics for CAT 2008
- He who knows how to be poor knows everything
- Habit and routine have an unbelievable power to waste and destroy
- A fool can ask more questions in an hour than a wise man can answer in seven years
- You have to break a few eggs to make an omellette
- When all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail
- If you want peace, prepare for war
- Patience is a bitter plant but it bears sweet fruit
- Cursing the weather is bad farming
- It is better to be born lucky than rich
- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement
- If you are not a part of the solution, you are part of the problem
- Rules are made to be broken
GD topics for CAT 2007
- Business and Ethics do not go together
- Performance enhancing drugs should be legalised in sports
- The test of a successful man is not an ability to eliminate the problem before it exists, but to meet and resolve it whenever it arises
- Good economics is bad politics
- A successful man is not one who has ability to eliminate problems before they occur, but who can face the difficulties as they arise and solve them
- Good things always arise from good thinking
- A successful man is one who plans for the problems and avoids them and not one who faces problems as they come and solves them
- Faith is to believe what you do not yet see, reward for faith is to see what you believe
- Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative
- When you find that you are on the side of majority, it is time to reform
- Science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind
- Morality is the creation of the weak to deter and limit the strong
- Winning is what matters, whatever may be the cost
- Education is a progressive way of discovering your ignorance
- Great spirits face violent opposition from mediocre minds
- Helping hands are better than praying lips
- Necessity is the mother of all invention
- Thinking about the worst prepares you for the worst
- A closed mouth catches no flies
- You don’t have to be different to be good; but you have to be good to be different
- If you give a man a fish, he eats it once. You teach a man to fish, you lose a business opportunity
- A man with words and no deeds is like a garden full of weeds
- For an idea to be accepted it has to be advertised by a good salesman
- Law is the creation of the strong to rule the weak
- Happiness is a mystery like religion, and it should not be rationalised
- Hope for ill gains is the beginning of loss
- Education is what remains after one forgets what one has learnt in school
GD topics for CAT 2006
- Life has become dangerous in this unipolar world
- A permanent seat in the UN Security Council is neither necessary nor sufficient for India to become a world power
- A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in teaching the students
- In business, the rear view mirror is clearer than the windshield
- True happiness can be got only when you make the others feel that they are responsible for it
- A room without books is like a body without soul
- Speculation is an art of life
- The validity of science lies in its power to predict
- Freedom is the freedom to say 2 + 2 = 4. Once that is granted, everything else follows
- That so few people now dare to be eccentric, is the chief danger of our times
Typically personal interviews begin with the “Tell us about yourself” question. Candidates have to be well prepared for this question as the rest of the interview would be based on the answer they give to this question.
Candidates are also asked about their strengths, weaknesses, long-term and short-term goals. Candidates are asked questions on the core subjects of their academic stream and recent developments in that area.
Engineering students are expected to be well-versed with engineering maths as well as their final year projects. Those having prior work experience are questioned on their roles and responsibilities, their company and its competitors, recent performance, and industry trends.
The candidate is expected to have a sound reason for leaving his/her job and pursuing an MBA. Interviewers also ask questions on current affairs in the world of politics and business. Through this, they not only try and assess a student’s knowledge and awareness but also his ability to think.
A candidate may also be asked to share details on his extra-curricular achievements and the hobbies that he has pursued.
While a candidate may not be questioned on all the above mentioned areas, it is always better to be prepared for them.
This is a compilation of student experiences and interaction with the faculty, and is not officially endorsed by IIM Lucknow.