Answers to common questions asked by CAT aspirants – Part 1

Hello folks,

Over the next 9 articles, I will answers a few of the most commonly circulated rumors, questions, facts etc related to the feline. You can treat this as a compendium of myths. We will look at the facts, try and argue for and against the fact and see if there are any exceptions to the same and how one should (not) be bothered by the same.

If you are faint hearted, please stop reading this now, and get the hell out of this page, as we proceed to look at some ugly truths hiding behind good looking lies.

Without further ado, lets take a look at what this series of posts are going to cover.

  1. CAT is a monster. It is supercalifragilisticexpialidociously tough.
  2. My classmate is also going to write the exam. Should I worry about him/her scoring more than me?
  3. Joining a coaching institute Guarantees success.
  4. Using facebook groups (erstwhile it used to be pagalguy) is effective preparation, because information is wealth, isn’t it?
  5. Take couple of mocks in the last few weeks and that is enough.
  6. Which IIM conducts the CAT this year matters more than my life.
  7. How many questions were required to obtain a 99th percentile in each section last year matters a lot?
  8. I’m a General Engineer (Male) – I’m done already, the system is screwed against me. I’m a non engineering candidate, the system is screwed against me.
  9. My tenth twelfth and grad score is xx, xy and xz. What are my chances? Knowing my chances will let me concentrate enough on preparation.

In this post, lets just look at the first one.

CAT is a monster

People agonize over CAT being a very difficult exam, and the cat question setters are monsters that are out there to get you. This is NOT true. All CAT wants to do is test is your capability in comprehending numbers, data sets, verbal comprehension and reasoning capabilities. After being in a reasonably okay-ish B school for a year, I am able to understand why all of these put together make more sense than getting really good scores in some sections and screwing up one odd section. But more on this later.

There are requirements for one to understand verbal communication effectively, and so is ability to read charts and analyze things logically. Personally I would claim I’m reasonably above average in the mentioned areas. However Numbers is one thing that haunts me. My CAT score is an attestation to that. I scored 79.8 in Quantitative Ability of CAT 2015. I found it very difficult to undergo and understand courses that used lots of numbers (and believe me most courses are). Doesn’t mean I couldn’t cope up at all. I did what I could to get graceful scores in every subject that I have been through.

Takeaway: CAT tests reasonable abilities that one would expect a manager to excel (or at least be able to work on a day to day basis) at.

The author Bharathwaj works with 2IIM, building the business & teaching. Excellent counselor, bonds with students like no one else, passionate about what he does & Travels a lot. 

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