The sections in the CAT tests the level to which a candidate can apply skills that are extremely important in daily life first and thereafter in management. The preparation schedule morphs from the needs of one student to the other. Balancing your preparation pattern is particularly useful for sections like Verbal.
Several students appearing for CAT also juggle their jobs, education etc. Hence, intensive preparation for too long (while managing a hectic schedule) can be tiring and can take the fun out of the process. Your preparation pattern needs to incorporate enough time to manage all these activities without being overly burdensome.
Thanks to modern technology, we no longer have the need to calculate everything mentally. Relying on gadgets to constantly solve our calculations causes the mind to become sluggish. Practice simple calculations mentally. The time taken to solve questions on distance-velocity, area-volume and similar questions will be reduced and you will have more time to spend on tricky questions. Try understanding the theory behind topics like probability or Permutation/ Combination. Till August, it is alright to commit less time to Quant and use it to develop your speed of solving questions.
The second half of your preparation schedule must be spent on practice. Practice material that covers all the important topics from CBT CAT point of view. A maximum of 10 per cent of the questions might require a unique tactic and exceptional ability. Avoiding solving these questions would be in your best interest.
Some of us are better at Math than others. If you just can’t seem to ace this section, concentrate on doing well other sections.
Logical Reasoning / Data Interpretation
This section is usually made up of five-six sets of questions. Each set relates to a primary idea. The key to solving a problem is to recognize the structure of a question. Some data are only represented in a certain structure like tables or trees. Once the structure to a question has been identified, the next step is to deduce more data from the given data.
Questions, such as Venn Diagrams, reading tables, are already structured. To exercise deducting new data, puzzles like the Sudoku help. These consist of information in a structured format but inferring difficulty varies. Sorting through available information and inferring more data quickly is critical. Practice as many questions as possible to improve speed and accuracy.
The best use of one’s time till August needs to be made for this section. Students who are voracious readers outperform other students in this section. Ideally, the first two months should be devoted exclusively to profuse reading.
Reading regularly has the following advantages:
i. Reading long stories or articles, will increase your reading speed.
ii. Reading helps you stumble upon new words and hence increases your vocabulary.
iii. It is imprtant to understand not only the text but also what is likely to be leading up to it and what will follow.
iv. Since the CAT is now computer-based, get used to reading a lot of material online.
Read argumentative articles from reliable sources. British magazines are a good source of this kind of writing. Practice fast reading and pay attention to how the writer structures the article and reaches a conclusion. Discuss the article with your colleagues who have read it and discuss the passage.
Exams like GRE use a standard set of word lists. Get hold of these lists and try to finish them. Planned and sincere study during this time will take you far in improving your Verbal section score. Read as much as you can online. Online newspapers are a good start.
In the last 15 weeks, conscientiously solve questions. Passages may contain two answers that are similar and hence confusing. Knowing which the right answer is comes from regular practice.
Read argumentative English, increase your speed and solve as many different puzzles as you can. Starting September, practicing questions will hold the key in each section.]]>
Many a times, best of ideas flash in your mind just before you fall asleep and just after you get up. It is important o grab those ideas and think over them. It is most important and basic step of any writing especially if it is as important write-up as college application essay. It leads you to definite way on the writing essay.
After brainstorming and once you have finalized your topic the next step would be free-writing. You can jot down the points as and when they come across your mind. You can also take help f the research that you must have done for the essay. It might be unorganized piece of writing but you can always manage those things later. What is first important is to jot down critical points that you wish to include in your essay.
Outlining is nothing but organizing the whole essay. Read the free0written piece carefully. Then you can arrange your randomly jotted thoughts in a way you want to. It will give you a specific direction and shape to your essay. Work hard on outlining; it will save your lots of time in long run.
After outlining you can begin with first draft. New ides might even flow in while you document the first draft. It is the first step towards finalizing the essay.
Revision on essay involves rethinking, rewriting, reviewing rearranging. Lot of editions, deletions and additions take place at this level. Your final output of the essay perhaps be completely different than your first draft. Don’t be surprised if it so!
It is the last step of the essay. One you have completed drafting and revising, it is important to polish the language and vocabulary used. This will help you to gain some extra points and a good impression. So do not neglect doing so.
1) Reference Work: Depending on your subject you will need to do lot of research and refer lots of books, journals etc. but don’t get confused. Know the way of your research and then work on it. For example if you are doing an essay on government policies, you will refer lot of legal documents and law journals. However while doing this, keep your theme in mind and don’t go beyond it.
2) Clarification from teacher: If you are confused at any point of time take help of your teacher. They are the best guides to help you out. This is also a quick help for you. Apart from your query, you can also add some simple questions and interviews that will make a good contribution in building your essay.
3) Internet – an Unreliable Source: You can use internet and wikipedia for your reference, but it is always safer to check its reliability. Though it is one of the highly used sources, it may or may not be reliable. Hence it is better to verify the facts from other sources or other portals. Don’t just rely on any one website, may it be even wikipedia. Browse through many website check that they all have same fact given on particular matter.
4) Research Management: Ensure that you have a typical format of your convenience to manage your research. Keep your research organized. For this, you can take help of the some writing software that will contain research templates. Follow their structure, if it suites you.]]>
1) Reading essay loudly will help you to get rid of flows. It is a very effective technique. Many a times reading out to yourself even for several times does not bring out the errors which reading out loudly can bring out. You can also tell somebody else to read it loudly for you. While they read, you can take some notes.
2) Opening of the essay is most important, as it will drag readers to read further. It should crispy and short. You can ask reader some question that will have answer in the body of the essay. Besides, you can also build reader’s interest through interesting quotes, crazy statistics or some provocative statements. Apart from grabbing reader’s total attention to the essay, the opening will also help you to obtain extra marks.
3) While reading through the essay, change the words which have occurred quite often. Instead, you can use synonyms. Usage of same words brings dullness to the essay. Hence reader might get bored to read it. Novelty of words can make users glued to your piece of hard-work.
4) Apart from repetitive words also check grammar. Check if the sentence construction is right. Read your essay carefully and find if there is any mistake in building sentence. Form small but effective sentences that will create interest for reader.
5) Another thing to be taken care of is digression. See to it that the meaning of your essay is clear and it is clearly put forward. Avoid mentioning those points which do not support you main theme. Choose right words and convey the meaning directly.]]>
1) First and foremost point to remember is, choose the right people to read and make remarks on your essay. Do not choose just great writers or editors or successful professionals in writing. But they should also be knowledgeable about college application essay writing. Wise choice will help you to seek right guidance and correct advice. Teachers, tutors might be able to help you in this. You can also consider students and writers.
2) Consider three opinions per draft. Do not exceed number of feedbacks more than three. This will leave you with confusion. If two or all three readers give you same remark, consider it seriously and work on it. After polishing the essay once again show it to new readers and get their feedback. Continue this process until you get all positive comments.
3) Listening to the feedback, be attentive and listen carefully. Do not rush and don’t be defensive too. This will help you get maximum of information from the reader. First grab all feedbacks, later you can decide if you agree with the reader’s point of view or not and to imply it in your essay or not.
4) Don’t be totally silent. Ask questions to readers. If a reader says that your essay is accurate, ask him/her why he/she thinks so. Clarify and understand what reader has to say and feel about your essay. It will help you to a great extent.
5) Apart from all readers’ opinions, trust yourself. If reader suggests some changes, that you think, do not convey what you want to put forward, you may choose to ignore them. Essay topic reflects your values and personality. Also essay elaborates about your thoughts, so believe in yourself completely and make changes that you feel are fair to do.]]>
Preparing for an interview is not rocket science. But it certainly demands confidence, poise, personality and the commitment to excel. Interviews are always pre-planned and well structured. So, you, as an interviewee must also be prepared to answer questions with considerable aplomb.
There are different kinds of interviews - Hiring interview, exit interview, appraisal interview, persuasive interview, college/ university interview, counseling interview, etc. This article emphasises on college/ university entrance and hiring interview.
Hiring interview or entrance interview is one of the most popular interviews. Here are some skills to lessen your chances of being rejected.
Relax yourself before the interview. Get a good night’s sleep. Educate yourself about the company or educational institution. Research as much as you can, well in advance. It helps when you are familiar with the company’s/institution’s aims and goals, its vision, profile, etc. You can learn about the organizational structure, type of their students/clients, departments and branches, etc.
Prepare yourself to answer basic questions like, “What do you think about our organization?”, “Tell us about your weaknessess and strengths?”, “Tell us more about yourself?”, “Why do you want to join our organization?”, “Anyone you idolize and why?”, etc.
Dress right. Dress elegantly. Needless to say, your clothes should be well ironed. Go for basic hosiery and comfortable shoes. Avoid casual clothing, flashy ties and athletic shoes. Avoid wearing too much of jewellery and cologne. Make sure your portfolio is updated. Carry extra copies of your resume.
On the day of the interview, avoid eating anything that contains onion or garlic. Avoid heavy make-up. Preferably, arrive at least 15 minutes earlier. Give a firm hands hake when you introduce yourself. Greet everyone with a smile. Face the interviewer and be comfortable. Listen to their questions and answer them with confidence. Eye contact with the interviewer is a must.
Exhibit your degrees and certificates only if you’re asked to do so. Sit straight. Don’t slouch. Look confident. Avoid complaining about your previous employer, employees and organization.
A few other customary interview questions are as follows: Why did you choose our organization? Are you ready to relocate? Tell us about your scholastic record? Tell us about your interests? Why should we hire you? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Once your interview is done, thank everyone and inquire about the next step. Make sure you follow up.]]>
It is important for candidates to be well prepared for phone interviews. The employer can call at any given time, hence preparedness to tactfully tackle all questions is a must. You are given a few minutes to answer all questions.
Telephone interviews are not as easy as they appear to be. One has to be well versed with telephone skills to be able to deal with all questions. Mock interviews are a great way of assessing your conversation skills on phone. You may request your family member or a friend to conduct such interviews for you. Thereafter, you can tape record the conversation and listen to it.
Using ‘ums’, ‘uhs’ and ‘okays’ in formal interviews are a strict no-no. Avoid using them. Make sure you rehearse answers to customary questions likely to be asked in an interview. Prepare in a way you would prepare for a regular job interview. Compile a list of comprehensive answers to typical questions relating to your background, strengths and weaknesses, skills, etc. Keep a pen and paper handy for making any notes. Also, keep a glass of water handy, if need be.
Remember to turn off ‘call waiting’ to avoid unnecessary interruptions. Switch off your music system and television. Keep your pets and children away. Request the employer to call on your landline if you face call drops on your mobile. Keep your resume handy to promptly answer any questions pertaining to your educational background, your accomplishments, etc. Smile all through the conversation. It portrays a positive image about you. Keep your answers short. Don’t forget to thank the employer.
Avoid smoking, eating or chewing gum during the course of the interview. Don’t ever interrupt the interviewer. When you address the person, use their title- i.e. Mr. or Ms. followed by their last name. Use the first name only if you’re asked to do so.]]>
1) Start mock tests right away: Many students harbor the notion that one should start taking mock tests only after completing the full syllabus. Unfortunately, what they forget is that CAT is a lot about basic English and basic Math. The key is begin. To take action. Start with mock tests right now. Don’t procrastinate; don’t put away anything. Begin right now.
2) Expect the unexpected: You must acclimatize yourself to different patters of CAT. This is because CAT is all about expecting the unexpected. Though the IIMs have consistently maintained that the CAT pattern would be similar to the previous year, you still need to prepare yourself for the unexpected. It is like the survival of the toughest.
3) There is more to CAT than difficult questions: Students have this misconception about CAT that the more difficult the practice tests, the better the preparation for CAT. This is the general view of students and it is wrong. There has never been a CAT paper with only difficult questions. Mild twisters should not be mistaken for tough questions. Roughly, about 40% of every CAT test consists of very simple questions. You just need to identify them and get them right.
4) Practice indeed makes you perfect: This adage holds true as far as CAT is concerned. There couldn’t have been a more appropriate way to describe the best way to prepare for CAT. Optimal practice is the way out. There are no short cuts as far as CAT goes. Never reach out for short cuts. Practicing is far more beneficial in the case of computer-based CAT exam. Also, relax yourself. Self belief is a must. Unless you believe you have the potential to succeed, you will not succeed. Remind yourself from time to time that you will make it to your dream institute.
5) Pay attention to your English skills: If you are fairly good at DI and Math, but bad in English, you need to extensively work on it. Do not overlook this section. If you do so, your chances of cracking CAT are not promising. Poor vocabulary impacts your English scores. Spend quality time working on your weaknesses.]]>
1. Reach your destination 15-20 mins in advance. It always helps to get familiar with a place before an interview. Don’t reach too early nor too late. Don’t wear casual dress nor overdress. Wear comfortable formal clothing
2. Relax and don’t be nervous. Remind yourself of all your achievements; this helps to boost energy and makes you confident of answering any questions. Avoid negative body language such as biting nails, etc
3. Remember to switch off your cell phone before entering the room
4. Have sufficient information about the company you are being interviewed with
5. Keep your answers very precise and concise. Don’t brag too much about yourself and at the same time don’t be sheepish
6. Avoid showing any kind of disrespect or resentment towards your past employer or manager
7. You must have technical expertise about your job and work responsibilities. You should put across your strengths gracefully and let employers know to what extent you can contribute to the company
8. Keep at hand all the major contributions that you made to the last job and what you would expect from the new job and also your short-term and long-term goals
9. Your body language should exhume qualities like honesty, friendliness, dedication, alertness and curiosity.
10. Be respectful of people in general, never boast about your achievements and do not criticize people or work you have done in past. In short, be humble and take things in your stride
6. Group Interview
Here, selected candidates are formed into an informal group. The interviewer will start the conversation and the candidates should take in over from there. The aim of this style of interview is to understand how can one can converse with other group members and influence or convince them. So, in short, it tries to gauge the leadership potential of each candidate.
7. Lunch/Dinner Interview
This is an interview planned over lunch or dinner. Though the setting at lunch or dinner may be casual, you should never get lax or complacent about yourself or the people around you. Since it’s a business meal, you need to maintain your composure and table etiquettes. For this, try to take the lead from the interviewer. Avoid consuming alcohol or eating messy food during the interview. That may leave to bad taste!
8. Stress Interview
This type of interview was very popular among sales position but rare today. Stress Interview tries to see how you handle pressure and under what circumstances will you give up. The interviewer may try tricks like being argumentative or may try to put you down or make a nasty comment – but you should realize it’s just a deliberate attempt to break your morale. So keep your cool and take time to answer each question without being in any hurry. The interviewer may also take into abrupt silence when asking a question; don’t get nervous and ask for clarification if needed.