CAT 17 FAQs

If I don’t get into a good B-school this year, should I appear for CAT 2017?

I am a firm believer of the fact that one should only do an MBA from a B-school that can add considerable value to their current profile and help them meet their realistic aspirations. Good or Bad is a relative term and the same should be defined based on one’s own profile. So if you do not get into a “Good B-school ” as per your profile it does make sense to wait for another year.


How should one ideally start preparing for CAT 17? What should one take first, Quant or Verbal?

If you have decided on starting your CAT preparation – I suggest you first take a mock test that is closely based on the CAT. In IMS, for example, we call it SimCAT Zero – the test to be given with zero level of preparation. This test will not only give you an idea of the test pattern and what is assessed in the test, but also give you a fair understanding of where you stand vis-a-vis competition. The test will also tell you if you are considerably stronger in one area compared to another. You may fit in one of the scenarios as given below:

H – High score (75%ile or more)
L-Low score


Can you specify a detailed study plan for working professionals for CAT 2017?

As a working professional, the key difference is that you will be hard-pressed for time during your preparation. Also, planned schedules tend to go haywire due to unforeseen exigences at work. However, let me suggest how you should go about planning your CAT prep.

1

Take a diagnostic test based on the CAT that will help you identify your areas of strength and weakness. At IMS, we call it SimCAT Zero – you can take any test that is closely based on past year papers. Your performance in this test will throw light on the areas that you need to concentrate on while preparing for the CAT (so if you are good at Math but not in English, your plan will have an emphasis on Verbal preparation).

2

Decide on whether you will join a test-prep institute to aid your preparation or go by the self-prep approach. Most institutes have batches to suit working professionals. If you decide to do it yourself, get hold of material that you will be using for your prep – you may join correspondence programs  of national players or online based programs.

3

Decide the number of hours you can give per day, per week for your CAT preparation. Ideally you should not be studying more than 2 hours a day or 12-15 hours a week. If you stay in a place like Mumbai, you can borrow some of of your travel time for your CAT prep. Split the number of hours between the Verbal, Quant and DI-LR – ideally you should be spending around 4 -6 hours each on Quant and Verbal and maybe 2-3 hrs on DI and LR every week. However, this depends on “YOUR” strengths and weakness” as suggested by the diagnostic test. Decide the days and time when you will be preparing for each of the mentioned areas.

4

For each of the areas, make a list of topics that need to be covered and create a time-table accordingly – completing a topic would mean brushing up the concepts and solving enough number of questions from that topic – enough to give you confidence in that topic.

Complete your conceptual preparation by around June of the exam year by following the above plan

5

The next step is to take mock tests like SimCATs and work on your test-taking skills and strategies. In the period from July to November, focus on taking your test-taking ability.

6

Alongside your CAT prep, do well at your workplace – so that you have enough to talk about during your interviews. If the job is too hectic – you can change a job(that too only if absolutely required), but DO NOT leave the job and sit at home for CAT preparation. If you are working for a top Brand, then it is a plus-point at the interview stage – do not let go of such an advantage.
The above approach will work provided you can maintain the discipline and rigour in your preparation all through the plan.

50 thoughts on “CAT 17 FAQs

  1. hello sir i have recently visited dadar branch ims centre the fees is to high cannot afford it can the centre give a discount or lower the fees so i can enrol for cat16 and other entrance exams. my no. 8693072943

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      • Good evening sir. Can you give me a holistic answer whether I’m in the race or out of the race for IIM A,B and C.
        I’ve just given my final 8th sem exam on may 30..and joined IMS for my cat Preparations…I am not working…. 10th ICSE 90%, 12TH CBSE BOARD 70%, UNDERGRAD (MUMBAI UNIVERSITY 6.41 percentile on average excluding the 8th sem score) with almost no extra curricular activities . I’ve read in many places about the emphasis of Undergrad percentage and extra curricular activities emphasis for a strong CV wanted to know whether I’m in the race or out before even writing CAT.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You definitely have a chance if you do exceedingly well at the CAT – at least at IIM C. Don’t think too much about the outcome right now. Focus on the process of preparation – results will take care of themselves. Institute criteria change from year to year – and there is no point speculating right now:-)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello sir, i am in my fourth year of engineering from vit university. I have been trying to get connected to you somehow, could not message you on quora.
    My acads: 10/12/btech: 89,95.5,7.8cgpa
    Obc student
    I got enrolled to ims correspondence course for cat 2016 and i am really worried that my pace is not upto the mark. I just completed module 1 in 2 months time. What makes me worry is that i am totally free now (no classes , final year project already done) . So can u suggest something so that i feel motivated. And i am reading novels of indian authors ( 1 novel per week) . I am worried about verbal section

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    • Hi Saravanan..You need to create a study plan as per your strengths and weakness , and more importantly follow it. Ensure that you finish all your basics by June end. July onwards should be a lot of practice and test-taking. You can write to me vinayak@imsindia.com . If you let me know where you stay – I will connect you with a local mentor if possible.

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  3. Good afternoon sir, i recently visited dadar branch for cat preparation and reliased that the fees for prep is too high comparatively… can u help me out please sir. My no. Is 09780944663 and email id prangup@gmail.com

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  4. Hello! I’ll be giving CAT’16. I’ve had 90+ %ile in both 10th and 12th exams. But a very low CPI 6.5 in college. Can I never get a call from IIM Bangalore, even if suppose I perform exceptionally well in CAT?

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    • Hi Parijat…please do not worry about things not in your hand…the selection criteria of IIMs have been known to change in the past…so simply focus on maximising your CAT Score & percentile…the rest will take care of itself.

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  5. Hello Sir, I attempted the SIMCAT zero test today. I was just given the absolute score for each of the three sections. The percentile for each section and the percentile for the entire test was not told. Can you please let me know how to interpret the scores (H/L) or what my likely percentile in each section is? Thank you.

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    • Hi Avidipto…right now check for your %attempt and %accuracy…the percentiles do not matter much at this stage…the objective is to reach an attempt % of about 80% with an accuracy of 85 to 90% in future tests….and in the CAT eventually.

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  6. hello sir
    I am cl online test series student and now I am enrolling for ims test series also
    I am able to reach 90 percentile in LRDI and Verbal ability respectively
    but sir really worry for me is quant ,I am only able to reach 60 percentile in it
    can you please guide me what action plan I should follow from now onwards so that I can score well in CAT 2016.

    thanku

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    • A 60 percentile in Quant can only be attributed to knowledge gaps…first work on being able to solve questions across most areas(if not all) without time-limits…once you have achieved this you will automatically see a substantial increase in your percentile…you can then focus on improving your test-taking skills in this section (choosing right questions to solve, using options etc) to improve your percentile further.

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  7. Hello Sir, I have attempted the SimCAT-1 (Proctored). From where, I can see the solution of the same so that I can see my mistakes and also visit some miss out questions.

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    • The solutions and the detailed analysis of SimCAT 2 will be released on Wednesday – on the myIMS portal under the myPrep Zone tab –> Test Skill Builder–>Proctored SimCATs.

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  8. Hi Sir ! I have recently joined IMS cat classroom coaching for cat 2016. My acads include 91.2% in 10th (Anglo-indian) , 67.08% in 12th (T.N state board) and 82.70 % in B.E with decent extra-curricular activities. I’m little worried about missing out on IIM A,B and C due to my low 12th score. Does my profile look good enough to make it to the top 3. I’m a NC-OBC grad. Please clarify. Thank you.

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    • Hi Andrew…do not worry about the outcome for now. Focus on getting as high a score in the CAT as possible. Apply to all your desired list of colleges – let them decide on whether to choose you or not.And yes – your profile does have a chance, but keep working on improving your profile.

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  9. Hello Sir, I have enrolled with both CAT and GMAT courses, at IMS Mysore Center. As CAT is approaching sooner, I am confused about the prep strategy among both these courses.
    I am unable to cope up with both at a time. Plz suggest me the right plan. Thanku

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    • Hi Govardhan,
      You need to decide which exam you are going to take first and prepare accordingly. If you are taking the CAT first, then focus on your CAT prep until November and then take the GMAT in December or early January (as per your application deadlines. If you are taking GMAT first, then ensure you take the GMAT by mid-September and have enough time for CAT preparation. In any case, do not try to prepare simultaneously for both tests.

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      • Thank you Sir. I would like to first attempt CAT(100% effort) and later take up GMAT.
        I am 2015 (B.E) passout with 8.98 CGPA, 88.8% in 10th, 88.2% in 12th and currently working with Infosys. I have a very good mentor here in IMS Mysore center. But my study plan is not good enough, as I have started in july for preparation.

        Could you plz suggest me a study plan, that suits me.(Good in quant,Not good in verbal,can spare 4-6 hrs a day after work).

        Eagerly waiting for your response. Thanku once again

        Like

      • One RC passage a day…initially time yourself for 10-15 minutes and focus on getting answers right. You can then look at reducing the time limits. For VA – pick a particular question type eg Jumbled para – solve a whole lot of questions of this type for 1.5-2 hours a day until you develop confidence in the same. Then move to the next question type.

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  10. Over all Section I Section II Section III
    Test Name Score Percentile Score Percentile Score Percentile Score Percentile
    SimCAT – 1 84 80.96 45 90.26 16 52.78 23 74.53
    SimCAT – 2 76 83.92 45 88.49 12 63.92 19 77.56
    SimCAT – 3 90 86.04 46 94.11 21 78.59 23 67.72
    Sir, I am a student @IMS Pune, these are my SimCAT scores,Please suggest me a plan,so that I can get a good percentile,in order to get calls from the top 15 B-schools.
    DI-LR,QA is proving to be the Achille’s heel .Please help Sir

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    • Hi Pratik…This will call for someone to guide you on a one-to-one basis…I suggest you meet up with Roy Sir at Deccan or Vishwajeet Sir at DP Road centre or Anvesh Sir at Aundh/Pimpri. I will be in Pune for the Last Mile to CAT workshop on 21st Aug – could possibly give you some tips on that day:-)

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  11. hi sir,, I am enrolling with ims Kolkata center…and preparing for cat16..i am confused about the form fill up criteria as well as which exam of 2016 is apt for me to get good enough percentile and to get admission in good business school..

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  12. Sir,
    I have been preparing for CAT’16 from February. I am scoring 90-95%ile in AIMCATs as well as SIMCATs but I haven’t been able to clear VA section Cutoff(2-3 times). As CAT is close,what can you suggest for me to improve upon it.
    Also,I want to improve my speed for the Quant and DI section. Your advicewould be highly appreciable.
    Thank You.

    Regards.

    Like

    • Hi Vinay…A 90-95 %ile is great at this stage…As you have identified VA as your weaker section – you need to now drill down further and find the question types or concept areas where you need to improve your accuracy and/ or attempts. Once the same is identified, you need to specifically work on improving in these areas and the results will follow.Do read up the Quant, DI-LR and VA-RC blogs I piut up last year before the CAT on how to tackle each of the sections.

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  13. respected sir
    i am a student of ims dhanbad centre.i hae enrolled for cat17.i am mechanical engg graduate.
    kindly guide me for cracking cat
    thanks

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  14. Good afternoon sir, looking at my qualifications, can I hope for IIMs? Class X : 90%, Class XII 88% (arts), BA : 54% Also did CS (Company Secretary course) after BA, and have scored more than 60% there. Category : PWD/DA Female non engineering.

    Like

    • Yes…you have a very good chance of making it. Just go ahead and give it your best shot at CAT 2016. I am sure you can make it to one of your dream B-Schools:-)

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    • The CAT is reputed for being unpredictable – in terms of structure and content. There is no fixed syllabus – however we can be sure that they will not test on areas that will put a certain section of the test-takers at a disadvantage. So, derivatives IMO is out of question. Over the last few years we have seen 1 or 2 questions based on logarithm – but this is no indication of the future.

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  15. Hi sir, looking at my qualifications,what chance do I have of making it to one of the 6 old IIMs? Class X : 94%, Class XII 81.2% (Science), BE : 59.2% from Pune University .I have 4 years experience as software developer in product -based companie till now in . Category : General ,Engineering background.

    Like

    • You do have a chance of making it to at least one of the 6 old IIMs provided you score sufficiently high in the CAT..go and give it your best shot at CAT 16:-)

      Like

  16. Hello Sir, I am currently in final semester of engineering. I got placed in an IT company. My joining date would be between August-September 2017. Should I prepare for CAT 2017 or 2018?

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    • Prepare for CAT 2017 – give it your best shot, if you make it you save a year. If not, you can build on this preparation to ensure you crack CAT 18. In any case, do take up the job you have in hand and improve your profile.

      Like

  17. Hello Sir, I am currently in final semester of engineering. I got placed in an IT company. My joining date will be between August-September 2017. Should I prepare for CAT 2017 or 2018?

    Like

    • Prepare for CAT 2017 – give it your best shot, if you make it you save a year. If not, you can build on this preparation to ensure you crack CAT 18. In any case, do take up the job you have in hand and improve your profile.

      Like

  18. Hello Sir, I am Engineering Graduate, 2015 Pass out. I have work experience of 17 months and for CAT 2016 I left job and completely prepared for exam. But secured 84 percentile only.
    Right now, I am about to complete 3 months internship at Startup firm.
    I have enrolled for IMS test series 2017. I just want to know, should I prepare for CAT full time or try to get another Job? Will it affect my chances to get into IIMs.

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    • Do not leave your job – you may change to a less demanding job in terms of work timings, but sitting at home and preparing is a strict NO.

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  19. Hello Sir, I am in final year of engineering, and I have completely withdrawal my mind from placements and want to focus entirely on CAT.
    Can you please suggest what strategy should I keep in mind while preparation.
    At present, I have Completed BRM’s of almost whole aptitude section (2-3 topics left), about DI, completed all BRM’s exercises and half portion of LR as well.
    But I haven’t given any time bound test, in fact, in BRM’s also sometimes I took on an avg 20 min more than the specified time.
    And I am quite weak in English, or u can say I have not practiced much.
    So what should be my strategy? Please help me out.
    Thank You

    Like

    • Hi Nitin, Since you have completed the basics, you need to now focus on solving as many CAT-level questions as possible. The A section on myIMS will give you access to such questions – they are classified based on the various areas assessed in CAT. You may simultaneously start taking SimCATs to know where you stand and track your progress. As you take SimCATs, you need to have goals in mind before each SimCAT and then strive towards achieving those goals.

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