IIM CAT Topper Talks


10:09 PM |

Before I talk about group discussions and interviews, I want to share my experience - about taking CAT. I come from an engineering background. As Mathematics was one of my subjects during graduation and Computer Science my area of expertise, I was confident about the QA and DI/LR sections. However, language has been my weak point since my school days (I got a measly 60-plus in English in the CBSE 12th standard exams). Hence, this was the area I was most concerned about.
The most important thing that you need to keep in mind while formulating the CAT strategy is that you need to do equally well in all the sections. If you miss the cut-off in any one section, your chances of getting a call from the IIMs reduces greatly, even if you top the exam. You also need to manage your time properly during the examination. Since QA and LR/DI were my strong areas, I attempted these first, giving roughly 35 minutes to each section to try and clear the cut-offs. I tried to do around 20-22 questions in QA (cut-off is 16-18) and 28-30 questions in LR/DI (cut-off is 23-25). Then I went on to the EU section and tried to attempt 40-plus questions in the remaining 50 minutes, as this was my weak area. The intention was to come back to QA to maximise my gains, if any time remained.
Since I was doing my exam preparations alongside my professional duties, I did not have enough time to put in any extra effort. This was because, after my graduation from IIT Delhi in 2003, I joined UT Starcom, a telecom equipment manufacturer, as software engineer in their Gurgaon centre. So, I focused on the material provided to me by my coaching institute and found that it was more than sufficient. However, despite my best efforts, I was able to finish only 60-70 per cent of the reading and practice material provided to me. However, I made it a habit to read newspapers and books regularly.
Group Discussions
First and foremost, one should always remain calm in a group discussion (GD). It is very easy to get into one-to-one situations with other group members who do not agree with your point of view. However, one must remember that a GD is all about the group. The more you become part of the group and help bring out new, innovative points and perspectives into the topic under discussion, the better chance you have in the GD. Equally important is to listen to what the other members of the group are saying because you may be asked by the panel to summarise the discussion, either orally or on paper. If you are busy thinking about what your next point would be, you might miss the flow of the discussion. Another member of the group might give the topic a whole new dimension and by the time you come back to your senses, you will be totally clueBefore I talk about group discussions and interviews, I want to share my experience - about taking CAT. I come from an engineering background. As Mathematics was one of my subjects during graduation and Computer Science my area of expertise, I was confident about the QA and DI/LR sections. However, language has been my weak point since my school days (I got a measly 60-plus in English in the CBSE 12th standard exams). Hence, this was the area I was most concerned about.
The most important thing that you need to keep in mind while formulating the CAT strategy is that you need to do equally well in all the sections. If you miss the cut-off in any one section, your chances of getting a call from the IIMs reduces greatly, even if you top the exam. You also need to manage your time properly during the examination. Since QA and LR/DI were my strong areas, I attempted these first, giving roughly 35 minutes to each section to try and clear the cut-offs. I tried to do around 20-22 questions in QA (cut-off is 16-18) and 28-30 questions in LR/DI (cut-off is 23-25). Then I went on to the EU section and tried to attempt 40-plus questions in the remaining 50 minutes, as this was my weak area. The intention was to come back to QA to maximise my gains, if any time remained.
Since I was doing my exam preparations alongside my professional duties, I did not have enough time to put in any extra effort. This was because, after my graduation from IIT Delhi in 2003, I joined UT Starcom, a telecom equipment manufacturer, as software engineer in their Gurgaon centre. So, I focused on the material provided to me by my coaching institute and found that it was more than sufficient. However, despite my best efforts, I was able to finish only 60-70 per cent of the reading and practice material provided to me. However, I made it a habit to read newspapers and books regularly.
Group Discussions
First and foremost, one should always remain calm in a group discussion (GD). It is very easy to get into one-to-one situations with other group members who do not agree with your point of view. However, one must remember that a GD is all about the group. The more you become part of the group and help bring out new, innovative points and perspectives into the topic under discussion, the better chance you have in the GD. Equally important is to listen to what the other members of the group are saying because you may be asked by the panel to summarise the discussion, either orally or on paper. If you are busy thinking about what your next point would be, you might miss the flow of the discussion. Another member of the group might give the topic a whole new dimension and by the time you come back to your senses, you will be totally clueBefore I talk about group discussions and interviews, I want to share my experience - about taking CAT. I come from an engineering background. As Mathematics was one of my subjects during graduation and Computer Science my area of expertise, I was confident about the QA and DI/LR sections. However, language has been my weak point since my school days (I got a measly 60-plus in English in the CBSE 12th standard exams). Hence, this was the area I was most concerned about.
The most important thing that you need to keep in mind while formulating the CAT strategy is that you need to do equally well in all the sections. If you miss the cut-off in any one section, your chances of getting a call from the IIMs reduces greatly, even if you top the exam. You also need to manage your time properly during the examination. Since QA and LR/DI were my strong areas, I attempted these first, giving roughly 35 minutes to each section to try and clear the cut-offs. I tried to do around 20-22 questions in QA (cut-off is 16-18) and 28-30 questions in LR/DI (cut-off is 23-25). Then I went on to the EU section and tried to attempt 40-plus questions in the remaining 50 minutes, as this was my weak area. The intention was to come back to QA to maximise my gains, if any time remained.
Since I was doing my exam preparations alongside my professional duties, I did not have enough time to put in any extra effort. This was because, after my graduation from IIT Delhi in 2003, I joined UT Starcom, a telecom equipment manufacturer, as software engineer in their Gurgaon centre. So, I focused on the material provided to me by my coaching institute and found that it was more than sufficient. However, despite my best efforts, I was able to finish only 60-70 per cent of the reading and practice material provided to me. However, I made it a habit to read newspapers and books regularly.
Group Discussions
First and foremost, one should always remain calm in a group discussion (GD). It is very easy to get into one-to-one situations with other group members who do not agree with your point of view. However, one must remember that a GD is all about the group. The more you become part of the group and help bring out new, innovative points and perspectives into the topic under discussion, the better chance you have in the GD. Equally important is to listen to what the other members of the group are saying because you may be asked by the panel to summarise the discussion, either orally or on paper. If you are busy thinking about what your next point would be, you might miss the flow of the discussion. Another member of the group might give the topic a whole new dimension and by the time you come back to your senses, you will be totally clueless about the point being discussed.


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