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CAT….an entrance examination for the IIMs and other premium Bschools in India

CAT is an entrance examination for the IIMs and other premium Bschools in India that qualifies a candidate to secure a seat in Master of Business Administration (MBA)/ PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management ) programme. The IIM’s minimum cut-off score is anywhere between 99.7 and 99.9 percentile. Students scoring less have the choice of other B-schools . The CAT exam is held once a year. The questions , with negative marking, differ in each test and there is no set pattern.You need to prove your competence in three areas.

Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation:

Quantitative Ability (QA) is looked upon as a challenging section even by students who have been regularly in touch with mathematics during their graduation.
Data Interpretation (DI) is a section that can be cracked if a student understands some basic formats in which data can be presented – like different types of graphs, pie charts, tables, etc.

Verbal Ability:

Questions in Verbal Ability (VA) check your knowledge of vocabulary, usage of words in different contexts , difference between the shades of meaning while using a word/string of words in different situations, etc.

Reading Comprehension:

Reading Comprehension (RC) checks the ability to understand the exact nuances of the presented passage – in the manner in which the author intended it to be conveyed.

Logical Ability :

Exposing oneself to as many types of Logical Ability (LA) questions will help in generating enough practice and to quickly identify any patterns in the given data set. The one thing that is central to cracking LA questions is the flexibility in assimilating the conditions presented. Since there are no formulae here – unlike in Quantitative Ability – the ability to quickly map out the “resources and constraints” in a problem situation becomes the key in arriving at the solution quickly. The advantage with a clear positioning of the problem parameters followed by adequate mapping of “resources and constraints” in a set of questions is that multiple questions could be answered with the initial time spent.

You should be aware of all the question types that could be asked in the section. Go through the previous years papers (before CAT became online ) and understand the basic question types. Your preparation in Quant will come in handy here, as there might be questions based on set theory or on permutations and combinations . Give a few mock tests and analyze your own performance , see where you stand. In most instances you will find that there is a systematic way of analyzing the data given, and you will be able to solve questions easily when you are able to put them down on paper that way. Check the solutions and see how you could have solved those questions. In the exam though, it is all or nothing in this section. If you are not able to solve a particular set, do not try to put in more time with a hope of cracking it eventually. Remember that all questions carry equal marks and you get no extra marks for solving a difficult question.

So one should try to solve as many types of Logical Ability questions as possible as part of the preparation.This could also include puzzles, brain teasers, etc., for variety.

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