The Coaching Institutes | Top

Many students, especially engineers and more so engineers with work experience believe that they are God’s gift to mankind and
any B-School would be eager to take them in. You may believe that you are smart, talented and good looking, with excellent
academic background and a great software job and so that makes you a perfect pick for any MBA college. But please don’t forget
that there are thousands of more smart, talented and good looking people , with excellent academic backgrounds and a great
software jobs entering the race for CAT, while the number of seats has remained more or less constant. The point is : The only
difference between those who make it and those who don’t is simply the number of hours put in. If you put in more hours than the
others, you have a much better chance than an IIT engineer working with Infosys. Believe me .
So this is where the role of Coaching Institutes comes in. They help you put in your effort in the right places where it reaps
maximum benefit. It’s really like the headlamp on your bike on a dark night. It doesn’t move the bike, but does the show the way to
follow.
It is advisable to all candidates( both freshers and working) to join one of the various coaching institutes in your city. Freshers
should always prefer to go in for a complete 7 to 9 months classroom course as it gives them lots of practice and also helps in all
round personality development. Also attending a group of similar students also gives you an indication of the competition that you
will be facing and thus helps to drive away the complacency. Those working or taking CAT for the second time should prefer the
various Weekend courses or Correspondence courses offered.

The Books | Top
In terms of content, the basic questions asked in CAT are on fundamentals learnt up to Class 10. The reason for this is simple. All
schools, in India, have more or less the same course content up to Class 10. So all students have learned the same stuff until
then. It’s only after that that they get differentiated into different streams such as Science, Commerce and Arts. Since CAT is a
common test for students from all streams, it makes sense to have questions from the subjects known by all. This does prevent
any undue advantage to those from any particular stream.
Given below is the list of books that you should have completed before taking CAT.

Basic Reference Material : This is the material provided your coaching institute.
Quantitative Aptitude :
• Quantitative Aptitude by A.K. GUHA
• Quicker Maths by M. TYRA
Verbal Ability :
• Structured Drills (Part I & II) by Thompson & Martinet
• Verbal Exercises (Part I & II) by Thompson & Martinet
Word Power :
• GRE Master Word-List from BARRON’S GRE GUIDE
• IMS Advanced Vocabulary List.
Logical Reasoning :
• Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning by B.S.Sijwali
• Logical Reasoning by R.S. Agarwal
Previous year CAT papers from any publication.

IMPORTANT NOTE :
It is not mandatory that you prepare from these books only. With the plethora of books available in the market today, you are
literally spoilt for choice. These books have been suggested only as additional reference along with the material provided by your
coaching institute. Also read this page.






The Newspapers | Top
Okay, so all of you read some newspaper or the other. Well. good for you.... But now that you are preparing for CAT, there needs
to be a slight change in your attitude towards newspapers. So read on..
What you should be reading in newspapers :
Ideally, you should be reading at least three pages in your newspapers. These are: THE FRONT PAGE, THE EDITORIAL
COLUMNS and THE BUSINESS PAGE. Plus you can also read the sports and cartoon pages for relaxation, if you wish.
Here is a list pages which you absolutely should be reading daily at least for the next year.
1. All pages from the Times of India
2. The editorial page from THE HINDU
3. The editorial and news page from the Economics Times.
What you should be reading in newspapers :
Irrespective of your interests, you should not be reading the second page of TOI, the regional politics pages from all newspapers,
the crime pages from all newspapers the regional politics pages from all newspapers and the heavy market and finance pages
from the ET. This is because, these pages don’t contribute anything to your intellectual growth and thus don’t serve you at all in
your preparation for CAT. Also develop an allergy to politics simply because otherwise, it will make you skeptical and put you in a
negative frame of mind. Avoid the jargon heavy sections of ET because you will not be able to understand most of it and will lose
an interest in the subject which could prove suicidal in future.
Also please stay away from novels and pornography as they will not only be a waste of time and emotional bandwidth, but also
prove to be distractions in the long run.
PLEASE ALSO GO THROUGH THE READING MATERIALS PROVIDED IN THE DOWNLOADS PAGE





The Magazines | Top
Here again, there are some magazines that are an absolute must for anybody preparing for CAT and other exams.
These include:
• Competition Master ( Great for GK and great articles and essays for both RC and GD )
• Business and Management Chronicle ( Great All-round Magazine )
• Career Economy ( Again great MBA specific Magazine)
• Advancedge ( Published by IMS, a must for GK and all exam related info )
• Business World ( Great Industry Scenario Mag)
Other then these, you may read any publication that you prefer. here is a list of some more very useful magazines.
• News Panaroma
• Effective Manager from the ICFAI Press
• The Sahara Times
• India Today
• Outlook
• Frontline
• Economic and Political Weekly
• The Week
• MBA Review
• Business Today
• Business India
• Competition Success Review
• The Tehelka
• Yojana or Kurukhsetra






What Is CAT all about ? | Top
How often have you heard this statement : CAT is not a test of Math and English ? Your faculty or friends who have taken the test
will testify to this maxim. CAT actually uses Math and English as tools to assess whether the aspirant has the potential to be a
manger.
One of the biggest mental hurdles while preparing for the CAT is the over emphasis on learning the ropes in Math and English and
not understanding the hidden agenda underlying the various topics. Across the CAT, while the topics vary, they are all assessment
tools to check managerial qualities. Thus be it Problem Solving and data Interpretation in Maths or Verbal Ability and Reading
Comprehension in English, right through the 2 hour test, a student is tested on the inherent managerial qualities which can be
polished when selected for admission to a B-School. While English tests one’s language and communication skills, Math
essentially tests your analytical and conceptual skills - two very critical traits in an effective manager.
Thus when seen in this light, the following aspects of the CAT stand out:
• It is one of the most fascinating aptitude tests in the country, if not the toughest. It is complex not because of the level of
Math and English, but because of the competition.
• It is the test of one’s managerial potential and not whether somebody is already a manager.
• It is not a test of one’s subject knowledge but of one’s aptitude to be a corporate manager.
• Thus one of the most critical qualities needed to crack the cat is strong fundamentals and loads of common sense.
All this obviously does not mean that one can ignore the importance of Maths and English to crack the CAT. In a relay race, the
baton is the tool for success. If the baton is not used properly, success becomes elusive. Thus, make no mistake about it, Maths
and English are critical for success in CAT.





Common Mistakes | Top
The first mistake is to take the test too seriously. The hype created by the media and preparatory institutes create an unnecessary
tension in the minds o f the students. When one goes to the exam hall, an average student maybe a bundle of nerves: raring to
attempt questions without waiting to pause and think.
Usually, the moment the paper is received, the candidate starts attempting without giving thought to the test taking strategy. But,
after a while, when one sees that very few questions have been attempted, one tends to panic and then one tends to panic and
mark indiscriminately. This is suicidal, because the number of mistakes will increase and so will the negatives.
The most important lesson to be learnt is to to keep your cool. That is the only thing that separates the winners from the also-rans.
As one attempts the paper, the clock keeps ticking away and in the end one may find the number of attempts below one’s
expectation. This is all right because it is not the number of attempts that are important, but the final score.





How to Keep Cool | Top
Keeping cool, is obviously easier said than done. Usually the pressure mounts when one compares oneself with others and one
feels hopeless. When this happens, remind yourself that you are competing with none other but yourself. What others do, or not
do, is meaningless. If you can conquer your emotions during the exam, you have one half the battle.
When the pressure rises, and you find that you can’t answer a question despite reading and re-reading it, just close your eyes and
shut off your mind for a moment. You will find that you will most probably be able to solve it. It’s a bit like rebooting the computer, it
always speeds up the machine.
Another way to stop panic is to approach the exam with an open mind. Don’t crowd your mind with cut-offs and minimum attempts
and other such thoughts. Just leave it to the day. If the paper is easy, you will automatically attempt more questions and if it’s
difficult, the attempts will drop. Also remember that 99.9% of the people taking CAT are normal people like you with a similar level
of preparation. So if the paper seems difficult to you, it’s almost same for all others and so the cut-offs will almost surely be lower.
So never resort to guess-work to increase the number of attempts. Especially in a tight low scoring paper, since the marks that you
may lose on negative scoring due to guess-work, may prove to be the difference between success and failure. So go to the exam
thinking anyone of the following thoughts.
1. I am very good and have prepared thoroughly and so will do very well. OR
2. Nothing bad can happen to me. It’s only an exam, not the end of life.





Test Taking Strategies | Top
You should have your strategy outlined very clearly during your preparations stage. Do a large number of full-length tests based
on different patterns. Experiment with yourself, attempting different sections and different order in different tests. Soon you will be
able to discover what is your best way to attempt the paper. This will help you decide: (i) which section you should do first; (ii) the
kind of questions you should attempt and avoid; and (iii) your optimum attempt.
The strategy will, of course, vary from person to person. Remember, there is no fixed strategy which is a “magic formula” that can
guarantee 100% success. On the day of the exam, just follow the strategy that you have perfected. Don’t get confused on seeing
the paper. The paper will look formidable at first glance, but don’t let that bother you. Spend a minute to see how the questions
and sections are arranged.
Always strategize the order in which you are attempting the sections. The classic order is first VA&RC followed by PS and then by
DI/DS. This is because VA is the easiest and fastest section and completing it first will give you confidence and momentum which
will carry you through the next 2 sections. You may follow ANY ORDER in attempting the sections. But the thumb rule is start and
end with the sections that you are good at and have the weakest section in the middle.
For more test taking strategies, click HERE.





Speed vs Accuracy | Top
A common question asked by students is, “how many questions should I attempt” ? This is a faulty question, because there is no
point attempting questions if one can’ t keep a measure of accuracy. Too many mistakes simply spoil you score. Each person will
have a different level of attempt.
Generally speaking, the number of mistakes should be kept at about 20 in a full 2-hour full length test. Remember, no one knows
for sure what is the scoring pattern for CAT. It is assumed that there is negative marking of minus one-fourth per question, but you
never know for sure. There could be progressive negative marking, which means that as the number of mistakes increase, the
deduction per question also increases.
I don’t really want to scare you, but the ideal number of attempts in a paper of 3 sections/ 150 questions (3/150) should be 90-100
attempts with around 20 mistakes. That’s what most toppers would be attempting. If you are near that range, you have a very
good chance of getting calls from B-L-A-C-K-I, that’s an acronym for all 6 IIMs (IIMB, IIML...etc)
At the same time, please don’t avoid or favor any section or type of question. This is because the CAT paper clearly mentions
YOU WILL HAVE TO DEMONSTRATE YOUR COMPETENCE IN ALL SECTIONS. So you may get 99.9+ percentile in your
favorite section, but you can be rest assured that if you have neglected any section, then you will be extremely lucky to receive
any IIM calls.





Smart vs Hard Work | Top
What aspirants of CAT need to do is work SMART rather than work hard. This means that the candidate should be able to spot
what is required rather than work it out by lengthy calculation, Whether it is PS, or verbal, many questions can be done simply by
looking at the questions. Same for DI and DS. The technique is called THINK WITHOUT INK. The trick is to try to spot the clue in
the question. For example, in a quadratic equation, it is always faster to obtain answer by substituting the options rather than
solving the equation.
Remember, CAT is not like your college paper, where you had to write lengthy answers ( especially those from Utkal University).
Here, you can score even when you don’t know the answer. YOU just have to find the 3 WRONG answers and your job is done !!
SO how does one get into the habit of working smart ? frankly, that is an attitude that one must acquire. It comes with the way you
approach life in general. It is not about solving questions only. If one is smart in other areas of life, cracking CAT would not be
difficult.
Ultimately, it maybe said that CAT is not difficult to crack. It can be done, simply because so many people have done it in the past.
Simply put in your best effort, solve each question on it’s merit and stay cool and composed for the entire 2 hours. That is the
formula for success.





The Check List | Top
• Do the basics first.
• Do a large number of section tests and identify strengths and weaknesses.
• Attempt all sections: don’t ignore any.
• Work out the best way to tackle problems and look for smart way of doing things.
• Work out your own success strategy by doing a large number of full length tests.
• Do the past 10 years CAT papers.
• Control the number of mistakes to about 20 : avoid wild blind guessing.
• Look at all sections before attempting.
• Don’t panic, keep your cool and follow your strategy.
• Avoid the hype of the exam; don’t compare with others but always compete.
• If you lose control, close your eyes and reboot..
• BELIEVE IN THE LORD. He never lets you down.


What is a Group Discussion ? | Top
A GD is a methodology used by an organization to gauge whether the candidate has certain personality traits and/or skills that
it desires in its members. In this methodology, the group
of candidates is given a topic or a situation, given a few minutes to think about the same,
and then asked to discuss the it among themselves for 15-20 minutes.

Some of the personality traits the GD is trying to gauge may include :-

Ability to work in a team

Communication skills, reasoning ability

Leadership skills

Initiative

Assertiveness

Flexibility

Creativity

Ability to think on ones feet



Why GDs ? | Top
The reason why institutes put you through a Group discussion and an interview, after testing your technical and conceptual
skills in an exam, is to get to know you as a person and gauge how well you will fit in their institute.
The Group discussion tests how you function as a part of a team. As a manager, you will always be working in teams, as a
member or as a leader. Therefore how you interact in a team becomes an important criterion for your selection. Managers
have to work in a team and get best results out of teamwork. That is the reason why management institutes include GD as a
component of the selection procedure.
The purpose of conducting a Group Discussion is to test the participant on areas like communication skills, team skills,
situation handling , listening skills so on and so forth. Fundamentally a GD is conducted to separate leaders from non leaders
from amongst the participants , an opinion which the panel consolidates through 15-20 mins of interview.
Who is a leader? In a group situation when formal leadership has not been defined, the person who is capable of generating a
following emerges as an informal leader. Generally a person who is respected, admired, liked and who can inspire confidence
among others in himself generates a following. Certain attributes that are common to all leaders are:

1) The display of proficiency in the particular area of competence required in the group situation. This inspires respect among
others.

2) The display of sensitivity to others. This generates a level of ease in interaction with others which is conducive to
comfortable group environment.

3) The display of ability to handle rough situations with a cool mind. This induces people to have confidence in you as a
person who will capable of handling stress and manage situations proactively.
This is true in any sphere of life and so also in a Group Discussion for MBA Entrance Examination.




GD Topics | Top
GDs can be topic-based or case-based.

Topic based GD

Topic based Gds can be classified into three types :-
• Factual topic
• Controversial topics
• Abstract topics

Factual Topics
Factual topics are about practical things, which an ordinary person is aware of in his day-to-day life. Typically these are about
socio-economic topics. These can be current, i.e. they may have been in the news lately, or could be unbound by time. A
factual topic for discussion gives a candidate a chance to prove that he is aware of and sensitive to his environment.

E.g. The education policy of India, Tourism in India, State of the aged in the nation.

Controversial Topics
Controversial topics are the ones that are argumentative in nature. They are meant to generate controversy. In GDs where
these topics are given for discussion, the noise level is usually high, there may be tempers flying. The idea behind giving a
topic like this is to see how much maturity the candidate is displaying by keeping his temper in check, by rationally and
logically arguing his point of view without getting personal and emotional.

E.g. Reservations should be removed, Women make better managers

Abstract Topics
Abstract topics are about intangible things. These topics are not given often for discussion, but their possibility cannot be ruled
out. These topics test your lateral thinking and creativity.

E.g. A is an alphabet, Twinkle twinkle little star, The number 10

Case-based GD

Another variation is the use of a case instead of a topic.
The case study tries to simulate a real-life situation. Information about the situation will be given to you and you would be
asked as a group to resolve the situation. In the case study there are no incorrect answers or perfect solutions. The objective
in the case study is to get you to think about the situation from various angles.
IIM A, IIM Indore and IIT SOM Mumbai have a case-based discussion rather than topic-based discussion in their selection
procedures.

For lots of GD topics and reading material visit
http:/www.imsindia.com/csb/gd_bank.htm


How To Prepare for GDs ? | Top
One can be successful at a GD with proper preparation and guidance.
Given below are 5 easy to follow tips which will help you in your GD preparation :-
Tip 1 #
Brushing up on your general awareness is a must. Being aware of current affairs and issues and happenings, which affect our
lives, however remotely, shows a well-rounded personality. Interest in one’s environment is an essential quality for a manager,
as only when he is well informed about all the facets is he able to take correct decisions. Make a habit of reading newspapers
like TOI and Economic Times and general interest and business magazines like Frontline, Outlook and Business India.

Tip 2 #
Being aware of current happenings is not enough. One must also form opinions on those happenings and issues that arise.
Think about what you feel about different issues, say, terrorism. Write down your thoughts. Ask yourself why you feel that
way, what are the premises underlying your thoughts and beliefs. Also question whether your point of view is based on facts,
or on opinions and hearsay.
Tip 3 #
The process of opinion formation is incomplete without getting inputs from others. Get into the habit of discussing issues with
your friends and family. Hear multiple points of view. Listen, question and argue. Express your opinion. If you are proven
wrong, accept it with good grace. Modify your opinions as you go along. This will help you clear your own thought process
plus it will get you into the habit of discussion.
Tip 4 #
While discussing, learn to check your temper. Maybe you’ll find others holding view which are abhorrent to you. But remember
that they have a right to their opinions. Everyone does. Learn to respect their points of views even if you don’t accept them. It
shows maturity on your part. This will be a good training for controlling your emotions, which is of utmost importance in a GD.
Tip 5 #
Practice: Try and mobilize other people who are interested in GDs and simulate GDs. Get someone who has been through
GDs before to observe it and give you feedback on your performance. It is better if the group consists of people who you don’t
know too well



Master Tips For GDs | Top
Certain Dos for a Group Discussion

- Make sure that all the points that you make are original and backed by substantial reasoning as to why you believe so.

- If somebody has already made the point you wanted to make, you can go ahead and either support or oppose the point
provided you can give substantial reasoning as to why you think so.

- Whatever you have to say has to be wrapped around with a logical flow. State your point, substantiate it with a reason and
validate it with an example wherever and whenever possible.

- Modulate the various aspects of your voice, viz. volume, pitch and tone so as to suite the nature of the point that you are
making. Make sure you don’t sound rude or arrogant.

- Your posture should be straight and upfront.

- Make use of hands and facial expressions to make your point more emphatic.

- Whatever position you occupy in the discussion make sure that while speaking you make eye contact with each and every
one in the group.

- When not speaking make sure that you are looking at the person who is speaking.

- Whether you agree with the person who is speaking or not, ensure that you give him credit for what he is speaking by use of
non - verbal like nodding your head, etc.

- If possible, make an attempt at opening the discussion. But if you venture ahead with it make sure that you make a good job
of it. The opening has to be a general introduction to the topic briefly laying the scope of the discussion.

- If the discussion is revolving around a certain point for too long give a new direction by introducing a new angle to it.

- Incase of fish markets first and foremost make sure that you don’t contribute to the mayhem. If the crowd is too unruly wait
for the right opportunity, make your point and get out of it.

- If the discussion is straying from it’s main idea, get it back on track by giving a new directional point.
Don’ts of a GD

- Do not get into arguments with people, remember you are there to make effective points, do not waste time on futile
arguments that do not contribute to the topic under discussion.

- Making yourself heard is important but do not try to hog the lime-light all the time, evaluate the worth of what you are saying,
or you may simply make points that are irrelevant or were better left unsaid.

- Do not act patronising with your fellow group members, it could backfire.

- Do not make use of gestures excessively as you may come across as aggressive, learn to toe the line between assertive
and aggressive.

- Do not slouch but seat yourself comfortably, awkward posture could indicate nervousness or discomfort with your position in
the group.

- Most of all remember belief in your own ability to remain poised in any situation will allow you to sail through.

- Do not fidget or act restless.

- Do not stare at the floor or out of the window, you may come across as uninterested or inattentive.
Knowledge is Supreme – Please read on all current topics – from any current affairs magazine like CSR, Services Chronicle
and don’t forget to include Competion Master. Just brush them up.
Keep your composure – Make salient points and be a good listener


Frequently Asked Questions | Top
What is the normal duration of a GD?
A GD is generally of 15-20 minutes duration.

How many panel members are there to evaluate?
There are usually 3-4 panel members to evaluate.
Is there time given for preparation after the topic is given and before starting the GD?
Usually some time (2-5 minutes) is given to collect one’s thoughts, but there could be instances when this does not
happen, so it is best not to bank on this.
Should I address the panel or the group members?
Don’t ever make the mistake of addressing the panel members. The GD is between you and the other members, not
the panel members. You must avoid even looking at the panel members while the GD is in progress. Just ignore their
existence.
What is the seating arrangement like?
It could be semi-circular, or circular, or seating along side a rectangular table, depending upon the venue. It is best
not to bother about trivial issues like this, which you have no control over.
How should I address the other group members?
If you are initiating the discussion, you could do so by collectively addressing the group as “Friends”. Subsequently,
you could use names (if the group has had a round of self-introduction prior to starting the discussion and you
remember the names) or simply use pronouns like “he” or “she”.
Suppose I have a lot to say on the topic, should I say all of it?
You would not be looked upon favourably if you kept speaking all the time and did not listen to anyone else.
Contrary to the misconception, the person who talks the most is not necessarily the one who is judged the best. The
quality and not the quantity of your contribution is the success factor.
Should I encourage others to speak up?
Do not directly put someone who is consistently silent on the spot by asking him/her to speak up. If someone has
been trying to speak and has a good point but is cut off constantly, you may encourage him/her to continue with her
point as you would like to hear her out.
Are the group members supposed to keep track of the time or will the panel keep track?
It would be good if you are conscious of the time, but not to the point of getting so distracted looking at your watch
that you do not contribute to the discussion.


What is a Personal Interview ? | Top
The end of the first part of the elimination process ,the written test, signals the start of the next and probably the
most important part of your selection process..... the Group discussions and the Personal interviews. A stage which
is not only important but also , to a large extent , psyching out of many of us. In this particular page we shall look at
some parameters on which you are judged through a Personal Interview and also all those things which go into the
making of a quintessentially good PI performance.
Please understand PI is the first time you come face to face with the people who are finally going to select you. How
you need to prepare, there would thousands of advice and methods to do well but the moment you enter the room
90% of all your learning goes into thin air. At the very moment you are what you are.


Types Of Question | Top
Lets understand how the questions are been asked to us and what is looked into all of them :
Part 1 – Personal Module
• Tell me something about your self, strength and weakness, hobbies and interests.
• Tell me something about your self – is just to break ice with the student and make him comfortable. Include your
last education, job if applicable, a brief about family, place you belong and what qualities you would like to
highlight like I am optimist and love interacting with others.
• Strength – to find out how many managerial qualities you possess. Please keep them quantifiable and you can
give example to substantiate.
• Weakness – what are you going to do about it? Your urge to improve your self
• Hobbies and Interest – It can be anything no problem, but always mention what you learned from it

Part 2 – Academic or Job knowledge
Prepare your final year paper, project or Hons Subject
If work exp be sure of your industry knowledge
This could be a difficult area to justify each and every question, but in case of any answer you are unable to make please
be honest and don’t make any bluff

Part 3 – Career Objective
What you want to achieve in life, your career goal in specific
How MBA is going to help in achieving it
A strong rationale why you want to do MBA
Please have a good knowledge about the institute, read their prospectus at least once

Part 4- Miscellaneous
What if you don’t get in to our college
Which other institute you have qualified for
What’s the meaning of your name
What you have learnt from your parent, friends, teachers


What is a Good Personal Interview ? | Top
It is really hard to say. If there is any part of the admission process, that is really beyond your control, it is the
Personal Interview. It really depends upon the whim of the panel that is in front of you on D-Day. You may feel that
you have done a really good job at the interview but you might end up getting chucked out. On the other hand,
sometimes you may feel that you have messed up the interview but you may get a final call.
Believe me, it really is that strange. BUT PLEASE DON’T UNDERMINE THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS PROCESS IN
YOUR ADMISSION PROCESS. In fact many believe that this is the round which determines whether you are in or out.
So if you want to do well in this round, read on...


How To do well in an Interview ? | Top
Okay, so if the Interview is so unpredictable, what can you do to ensure that your interview does not become a
nightmare ? Well here are a few tips which will serve you well on the D-Day.
Tip 1 #
Brushing up on your general awareness is a must. Being aware of current affairs and issues and happenings, which
affect our lives, however remotely, shows a well-rounded personality. Interest in one’s environment is an essential
quality for a manager, as only when he is well informed about all the facets is he able to take correct decisions. Make
a habit of reading newspapers like TOI and Economic Times and general interest and business magazines like
Frontline, Outlook and Business India.

Tip 2 #
Being aware of current happenings is not enough. One must also form opinions on those happenings and issues
that arise. Think about what you feel about different issues, say, terrorism. Write down your thoughts. Ask yourself
why you feel that way, what are the premises underlying your thoughts and beliefs. Also question whether your point
of view is based on facts, or on opinions and hearsay.
Tip 3 #
Always remember that the interview is NOT an elimination round. The written tests have taken care of that. If you
have made it this far, then you are one of the better students of the country. Maybe even among the top 1%. Let this
knowledge give you the confidence you need. Be confident. Remember, as you are looking for a good college, the
college is also looking for good students.
Tip 4 #
What ever you have written in the application form of the institute, please read it again and again. It is very possible
and probable that most of the questions will be based on the information given by you in this form. Try asking
yourself as many questions as possible. You are your best judge, no body know better than you as what are your
strength and weakness.

Tip 5 #
Never use jargon. Unless you are really thorough about everything related to that field. The Interview panelists are
usually the most experienced people around and they hate the kind of arrogance that the use of jargon suggests. So
it best to avoid jargons. Even if you do use them, please be sure that you are sure about what you are talking.

Tip 6 #
Never bluff. Okay, so you have found out that the panelists are all from humanities background and so you, being an
engineer, think that you can afford to bluff your way through the technical questions. Don’t even think about it.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Remember that the panelists, irrespective of their background always know
everything about everything. They are very experienced and can detect a bluff even by looking at you. So please
don’t LIE. If you don’t know the answer, please say so. An answer like “ I don’t know..” or “ I don’t recollect..” is
always more appreciated than a bluff. Even if you are guessing, start with something like “I’m not sure, but I guess....
“ You will get points for both honesty and clarity of expression.

Tip 7 #
Do your homework. The Interviews are almost always after the writtens are over, so the tension level is much less
and so students tend to lower their guard a bit. Don’t commit this folly, especially for those who have industry work
experience. Be sure to prepare your graduation subjects and expect a lot of questions on your work experience for
those who do have some of it. Be aware of the latest happenings in your field of study. Be prepared with some of the
frequently asked questions (you will find some of the most important ones in the next section).


Frequently Asked Questions | Top
I am including a few questions below which are asked to students from all backgrounds. I have also included list of
questions specific the students from Engineering, Science and Commerce streams. Also go through the GD/PI
Experiences available on the DOWNLOADS page.
Engineering | Science | Commerce
The following is a list of 50 frequently asked questions in the MBA qualifying interviews. The student is well advised
to prepare complete and convincing answers to these questions before proceeding to the interview.
1. What are your long-range and short-range goals and objectives, when and why did you establish these goals, and
how are you preparing yourself to achieve them?
2. What specific goals, other than those related to your occupation, have you established for yourself for the next 10
years?
3. What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
4. What do you really want to do in life?
5. What are your long-range career objectives?
6. How do you plan to achieve your career goals?
7. What are the most important rewards you expect in your career?
8. Which specialization would you like to take in MBA? Why?
9. Why did you choose the career for which you are preparing?
10. Which is more important to you, the money or the type of job?
11. What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
12. How would you describe yourself?
13. How do you think a friend or a professor who knows you well would describe you?
14. What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
15. How has your education prepared you for a career?
16. What are your reading habits? Favorite book? Favorite author?
17. What qualifications do you have that make you think that you will be successful?
18. How do you determine or evaluate success?
19. What have you learned from your hobbies?
20. In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our institute?
21. What qualities should a successful manager possess?
22. Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and subordinates.
23. What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
24. Describe your most rewarding college experience?
25. If you were the interviewer, what qualities would you look for?
26. Why did you select your college or university?
27. What led you to choose your field of major study?
28. What academic subjects did you like best? Least?
29. Do you enjoy doing independent research?
30. If you could do so, would you plan your academic study differently?
31. What changes would you make in your college or university?
32. Do you think that your grades are a good indication of your academic achievement?
33. What have you learned from participation in extracurricular activities?
34. Do you have plans for continued study?
35. In what kind of an educational environment are you most comfortable?
36. How do you work under pressure?
37. In what part-time or summer jobs have you been most interested? Why?
38. How would you describe the ideal job for you following post-graduation?
39. What are the three major characteristics that you bring to the job market?
40. What do you know about our Institute?
41. What two or three things are most important to you in your job?
42. Are you seeking employment in a company of a certain size? Why?
43. What criteria are you using to evaluate the company for which you hope to work?
44. Why did you choose _____ Institute of Management to conduct your higher education?
45. What have you done in the past year to improve yourself?
46. Why should we take you rather than another candidate?
47. Give an example of something you have done in the past that demonstrates your initiative and willingness to
work?
48. Who are your role models? Why?
49. What major problem have you encountered and how did you deal with it?
50. What have you learned from your mistakes?



B-School Rankings
Okay, Let’s face it. You are probably skeptical of this page already. Here comes another ranking, I hear you think.
Relax I am not going to bother you with another ranking for the simple reason that there is already so many of them
around. So what I am going to do is to give you a compilation of all the rankings, by different agencies on a single
page. Be warned to take these and every other ranking with a pinch of salt.
Remember that life at a B-School and thus it’s final ranking is not something that can always be quantified in
tangible terms. Thus, that which can’t be quantified, can’t be compared. Comparing B-Schools, especially the best
ones, is like comparing apples and oranges. Each has it’s unique pros and cons.
Also, please don’t try to choose a B-School based on the rankings. These rankings are at best just an indication and
at worst, doctored. So don’t EVER try to make decisions based on rankings. There is much more to B-Schools than
the rankings show. But Still for your knowledge...
Here they come.
• Career Forum Rating
• Discipline-Wise Ranking
• Exam-Wise Rating
• Parameter-Wise Ranking
• Business World Ranking
• Business Today Ranking
• Outlook Ranking
• Business Standard Ranking


What Is Statement Of Purpose (SOP) ? | Top
The Statement of Purpose is the single most important part of your application that will tell the admissions
committee who you are, what has influenced your career path so far, your professional interests and where you plan
to go from here.

As the name signifies, the Statement of Purpose is your personal statement about who you are, what has influenced
your career path so far, your professional interests and where you plan to go from here. It need not be a bald
statement of facts; several successful SoPs address these questions through anecdotes, stories or by describing
their hero. But whether your SoP is subtle or to the point, it must be well written to be successful.
This is because the SoP is the only part of your application packet over which you have full control. Your academic
and extra-curricular records are in the past. Most people only take one or two shots at the CAT, XAT or GRE, and
these scores could be adversely affected by conditions on the test day. It is important to choose recommendation
letter writers carefully, but while you hope they give you the best possible recommendation, this is not within your
control.
The SoP is your chance to talk directly to the admissions committee. To make
yourself stand out from among a multitude of similarly qualified candidates. To
convince the committee that you have the spark, the thirst for knowledge that
could add value to your class.
Writing a reasonably good Statement of Purpose is not an impossible task. It
requires care, attention and patience. And enough time for you to be able to
write several drafts, show them to people and polish the essay till you get a
version you are happy with.
Done right, this will even turn out to be an enjoyable process. And you will be the richer for it. Read on.

WHY BOTHER?
"...the SoP is the only part of
your application packet over
which you have full control."




What Do Colleges Look For In SOPs ? | Top
The primary question admissions committee members ask themselves when they read a Statement of Purpose is:
What does this essay tell me about the person who wrote it?
Put yourself in an admission officer’s shoes. From among thousands of applications, you have to choose the
fraction of students that will comprise next year’s incoming class. A mix of interesting, confident and enthusiastic
people who will make the class a stimulating place. Academic achievements and good test scores are important. But
in an era where the majority of applicants have good academic records, it becomes increasingly difficult to
distinguish between individuals and decide who gets the offer of admission.
When you apply, each of the items in the application packet
-recommendations, extra-curricular achievements, work samples - adds an extra dimension to your personality. But
it is the SoP that brings you to life. Which is why each essay is read carefully by at least two and often four or five
people before a decision is taken on the application.
Does this mean that the SoP is the main deciding factor? No. Your academic record . grades and the courses you
took- are the first section admission committee members turn to. Standardized test scores are useful to know where
you stand in the applicant pool. For graduate schools, relevant work or academic experience is important. Being
from a reputed school or college confers a distinct advantage. What your teachers or boss think of you goes a long
way towards the school’s opinion. A good work sample can show your creativity, skill and professionalism.
However, only the SoP or application essays can bring out your uniqueness. And therefore make or break your
application. An applicant who does not take the essay seriously is throwing away the best opportunity available.
So are the admission officers looking for specific personality sorts? Well, yes and no. Creativity, curiosity, pride in
your work, an enthusiasm for learning, a capacity for teamwork, the ability to think independently and so on are all
good attributes, and most of us share these in varying proportions. But what schools look for is a mix of individuals
that together, form a well-balanced class. This would include several personality types.
It is good to go through the school’s brochure or web site, speak to people about it, visit if that is possible; get a feel
of the student mix that they look for and decide if this is the school for you. However, trying to tailor your SoP to
reflect what you think the school is looking for is dangerous business. The people who read your application have
been doing so for years and are skilled at spotting fakes. They are likely to know soon if a particular author is saying
something for effect or if an essay does not ring true. And that means almost certain rejection.
What is this, you might ask. Of course we want to have an effect on the admissions officers. The important thing is to
do so without appearing dishonest. If, for instance, you talk about your deep desire to make society a better place,
your application should reflect it. Have you done anything about this desire? Can you talk about your actions and
experiences? A small example of something you did, not necessarily spectacular, can do more towards boosting
your chances than the noblest platitude can.
Don. t try to be something you are not. Don. t try to tell the admissions committee what you think they want to hear.
Be honest, look inside yourself and do your best.
Which brings us to the next point - self-knowledge. The people who read your essay want to be convinced that you
have thought long and hard about who you are, what are the things you appreciate, what inspires you. What you
want out of life, and where you are going from here. It is not necessary to have all the answers . after all, several
admirable people have no idea where they are going even at age 40 or 50. It is necessary to show that you have
thought about this. And that these life experiences have taught you something.
Finally, you have to show a desire to learn. From your books and teachers, from your classmates, from music or art,
from life itself.


Starting The Essay | Top
Writing your admissions essays or Statement of Purpose (SoP) is a long and intensive process - ten to twelve drafts
over a two-month period are fairly common. It is necessary to put in this hard work to come up with an essay that is
uniquely yourself, and a compelling read which convinces the admissions committee that you are right for their
school. This is a great opportunity to look inside yourself and be rewarded by a better understanding of who you are
and what you want.

Preliminary Research
Write out your resume. It is best to get this out of the way so that your SoP is not a repetition of the information in
the resume. It should instead, use the resume as a reference and highlight the learnings you have received during
some key points in your career. There are a number of sites that help you to write a suitable resume for your college
applications. You could also browse your local bookstore for resume-writing aids.
Research the institutes you are considering applying to. Find out the strengths and weaknesses of each. Good
sources for this exercise are - university and department web sites and brochures, home pages of students, your
seniors or friends who are studying at that university or in the same field elsewhere, your college professors, friends
in the same field. If it is possible for you to access the university’s web site, find out which professors work in areas
that interest you and write to them about your plans. Some professors respond, some don’t - but you have nothing to
lose at this stage. In fact, you could gain a better idea about the areas of research emphasized upon by that
particular department. After finding out some details about your potential universities, decide whether you still wish
to apply there. While you should start work on this as early as possible, recognize that it is a long process and will
continue through the various stages of writing your SoP. At the same time, you will have to draw the line at
background research sometime as you are working on a timetable.
Visit some web sites that talk about how to write your essay. A search for ‘college admission essays’ on Yahoo will
yield some sites. Check out the sample essays. If you do not have easy access to the Internet, go to your local
bookstore and browse through a few books. In India, ‘The Princeton Review: The Student Access Guide to College
Admissions’ is good and easily available. Read their section on application essays. Remember that the essays you
read are usually the best the authors could find. You are not expected to write as well; most people who get
admission to top schools do not
Background Issues
Ask yourself why you want to study further. Take a piece of paper and start writing down all the reasons. Spend
about half an hour on this, so that you can go beyond clichéd ideas like wanting to improve your prospects or
contribute to society. Write a few sentences on any reason that particularly strikes a chord with you.
Make lists of instances you can use in your SoP. For example, if you’ve been asked to talk about an important event
in your life, list down events that have made a significant impression on you. Don’t worry if these are events that are
not ‘conventionally’ important or seem insignificant; what matters is that they have had some influence over you.
Similarly, make a list of people you admire or who have influenced you - this could be a friend, a family member, a
teacher, etc. and need not necessarily be a famous person.
Go through your resume and reflect on what you have learned from your various experiences. How have they
molded your interests and led you to this point? Pick one or two cases that you can talk about in-depth. For graduate
school, it is best to take at least one professional situation and show what you did and learned.
Make a list of schools you plan to apply to. As you continue through the background check, you will add a few
universities and delete several. A final shortlist of ten to fifteen schools is common. Ask yourself why you wish to
study at each of the schools you have listed. For graduate study, it is important to ensure that your interests are
compatible with the research interests of the department you are applying to. As you progress through the
background check and understand more about your interests through subsequent revisions of the SoP, add to and
improve the list.


Writing The Essay | Top
Read the essay question carefully to find out what the university expects you to write about. While you don’t have to
stick to the questions asked, you must be sure to answer them all in your SoP. Refer to your lists of background
research and write about two handwritten pages in response to the essay question. Go through them the next day.
Remember that your essay has the following objectives:
Show your interest in the subject. Rather than saying that you find electronics interesting, it is more convincing to
demonstrate your interest by talking about any projects you may have done and what you learnt from them. If you
have taken the initiative to do things on your own, now is the time to talk about them
Show that you have thought carefully about further studies, know what you are getting into, and have the confidence
to go through with it. Have the admissions committee like you! Avoid sounding opinionated, conceited, pedantic or
patronizing. Read your essay carefully, and have others read it to find and correct this.
Demonstrate a rounded personality. Include a short paragraph near the end on what you like to do outside of your
professional life. Keep the essay focused. Each sentence you use should strengthen the admissions committee’s
resolve to admit you. So while you may have done several interesting things in life, avoid falling into the trap of
mentioning each of them. Your essay should have depth, not breadth. The resume is where you should list
achievements. Remember that you have very little space to convey who you are, so make every sentence count.
Pitfalls your essay must avoid : It is a repetition of the resume or other information available from the application
form, It could have been written by just about anybody; your individuality does not come through, It is not a honest
account in response to the essay question (why you want to study what you do, what you have learned from an
event/person in your life and so on) It has embarrassing, highly personal and emotional content that should be
avoided unless it makes a unique, creative point. The admissions committee would not appreciate reading about the
pain you went through after breaking up with your boyfriend. An account of how you overcame difficult family
circumstances, illness, or a handicap, would be a valid point to include in your essay. However, avoid emotional
language.


Language Issues | Top
Take another 7-8 days to write 3-4 more drafts. Go through the objectives and pitfalls often. Refer to, and edit your
lists as you go along.
Flow
While each paragraph should make a complete statement on its own, the essay should logically progress from
paragraph to paragraph. Read your essay for flow, or have someone else read it, and ask yourself if there seems to
be an abrupt shift between ideas in two consecutive paragraphs.
Structure
This follows naturally from flow. Do all the paragraphs mesh together to form a cogent whole? Does the essay,
through a logical progression of ideas, demonstrate your interest, enthusiasm, and fit in the department you have
applied to?
Language
Avoid slang and abbreviations. For acronyms, use the full form the first time and show the acronym in parentheses.
Use grammatically correct English and ALWAYS read your essay carefully for spelling mistakes before you send it
off - your computer’s spell-check may not flush out all the errors. Try to make your essay crisp, cutting out
unnecessary adverbs, articles and pronouns (for instance, a careful reading may yield several “the’s” that are
superfluous).
Tone
Use a consistent tone throughout the essay - it will only confuse the admissions officers if you alternately sound like
Ernest Hemingway and Shakespeare, and is hardly likely to endear you to them! While you should avoid flowery
language and clichés, there is no harm in looking for the most apt phrase or sentence. Be careful while using humor
- it can misfire and harm your chances.


The ‘In their shoes’ check | Top
Put your essay away for a day or two. When you take it out, lay it face down for two minutes while you put yourself in
the admissions committee’s place. Imagine yourself to be a professor or graduate student who is going through a
few hundred applications and classifying them into ‘yes’, ‘maybe’ and ‘no’ piles. Think of how you would look at
SoPs and try to read yours through a stranger’s eyes. What do you see?
• Remember that for graduate school, your essay need not be great writing. What the school is looking for is a
competently written statement of goals and interests that demonstrates how you think, whether you have
thought through this decision to apply, and whether your interests and strengths fit in with the program you are
applying to. To this end, they expect to see the following in an essay –
What areas are you interested in and why,
How well defined your interests are,
Are these interests based on experience (academic or on the job) that the school may find useful,
Where do you see these interests taking you,
How do you think graduate school will help you,
What experience have you had that will help.
Does your essay cover these points? Does it do so in an honest and interesting manner? Many of the students
applying will have backgrounds similar to yours, so avoid cliched ideas.
• Are you repeating information that is available from the resume? Do so very sparingly, and only if you are
making a point about your learnings or achievements during that experience. Weed out all other information that
sounds like repetition (it will only irritate the reader), or can be included in your resume, or does not actively
contribute towards making a point in your essay.
• Does your essay have an interesting beginning? This need not be witty, but should persuade the reader to stay
with you.
• Have you talked about specific incidents that illustrate your interest or familiarity with the subject, or show
something about you? These incidents might include, for example:
• A college or work project that was instrumental in confirming your interest in the field (be sure to include a
recommendation from your guide!),
• Extra-curricular activities that brought out useful aspects in you (leadership skills or team activities are
particularly helpful for business school applications!),
• A book or person who had a strong influence on you.
• Does the essay bring out your personality? Or could it have been written by just about anybody?
• Have you mentioned why you are applying to that particular school? Does this section of the essay demonstrate
that you have researched the school and the program? DON’T stop at the standard formula phrase, ‘I am
applying to XYZ because of it’s great reputation in _______.’
• Does your essay flow smoothly? If it is choppy and abruptly jumps from paragraph to paragraph, your readers
will have a tough time keeping up. Make it easy on them – smoothen the transition between paragraphs.
• Is the tone too formal or not formal enough? Be professional yet informal – the tone you would take with your
Principal or Head of Department, for instance.
• Does the essay end well? Does it leave the reader with a sense of completion? Avoid usage of cliches like, ‘ I
hope the admissions committee finds my application up to their expectations’.
This self-check will yield a few ideas for improvement. Use it at least 3-4 times during this last stage of polishing up
your SoP.


Polishing The Essay | Top
Showing your stuff around
It is essential to show your SoP to a few people whose opinion you respect – an English teacher from school, a
professor, an older friend, a parent or a relative. Include among these, 2-3 people who know you well. Ask your
readers to pay particular attention to the following points:
The beginning and the end – do they hold interest?
The logical and smooth flow of ideas – does each paragraph smoothly give way to the next?
The structure – does each paragraph bring home a central idea and contribute to the overall ‘feel’ of the essay?
Are the paragraphs in proper positions?
The style and language – are they appropriate and consistent? Does the essay have too many cliches? Does it
repeat particular words or phrases too often? Does it have too many superlatives?
The tone – is it unnecessarily boastful or overly modest?
The quality of the essay – is it boring? Does it bring out the writer’s personality? Does it include superfluous
information? Or conversely, are there incidents or aspects the essay should mention?
Ask your readers to write their comments on the essay. Also, spend some time discussing it with them. Listen to
their suggestions carefully but remember that this is your essay. You don’t have to implement every suggestion,
only those that make sense to you


The Final Printout | Top
Once you have the final draft ready (you have to stop sometime!), do the following before you take a final printout:
• Run a spelling and grammar check.
• Read the essay carefully two-three times for spelling or grammar errors the program did not detect.
• Look for and correct any anomalies in spacing, font and margins.
• Choose a readable font and size, nothing fancy. Avoid special effects like underlining, boldface and italics
(except in the title, if you have one). Don’t use colors. Don’t use special stationery or your letterhead.
• Make sure that the school and program mentioned in the essay are correct. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.
• Include a header in the top right-hand corner with your name and the name of the program you are applying to.
Use a smaller font size for this.
• Take a rough print and show it to someone else who can read it over carefully for errors and anomalies.
• As far as possible, print out your SoP on a separate sheet of paper. Make sure that the printer cartridge is good
enough to print clear, crisp copies. Put in a good-quality sheet of white paper. Keep the printed copy carefully in
a folder till you are ready to transfer it to the application envelope.
If you must print or write your essay on the application form itself, take a photocopy of the form. Print or write the
essay on the copy first, to ensure that it fits easily in the space provided. If it doesn’t, and you don’t have the option
of attaching more pages, cut portions of the essay to reduce its length. This is painful, but a much better idea than
reducing font size to unreadable levels or using tiny, cramped handwriting – the essay should never cause strain
while reading. While writing by hand, use a good pen, write slowly and carefully and if necessary, draw light pencil
lines on the form to ensure that your letters are uniform and in a straight line.


Making it to the MBA : The Nitty Gritty
This article is basically a bird’s eye-view and a synopsis of the skills required to clear the rigorous entrance tests for
the Indian business schools. We hope that this effort will help the students hone their preparations for the final kill.
In this article, we’ll discuss certain basic issues about the selection procedure for MBA.
Fact No. 1
Any business school in India (or abroad), while selecting students, tries to take those who are suited to its
environment and are competent enough to take the rigours of the course. Thus, the entire selection process
comprising the written test, the group discussion (GD) and the personal interview is designed to check three basic
skills : A. academic oriented knowledge, B. capacity to take stress and yet produce results and C. communicate
intelligently and effectively with other humans. Any MBA aspirant must keep all these in mind while preparing for the
tests. Any other approach shall be myopic at best, disastrous at worst.
Fact No. 2
Be ready for the worst, the most unexpected and the least desired! This is a fact that astonishes most of the students
so accustomed to standardized test patterns and the ubiquitous “I-M-P s”. In fact, the moment you decide to enter
the field of high-flying management, you ought to prepare yourself for the rigours of the modern managers’
workplace. The truth is : life is unpredictable and the managers’ lives all the more so. These MBA Entrance tests
basically test your innate capacity to react to new situations. So please put away all your school and college time
conceptions and have the “Managerial Mindset,” as we call it. The simple advice is : Prepare your syllabus
thoroughly and be ready for any test pattern whatsoever. If your fundamentals are in place, rest assured!!

Fact No. 3
Knowledge is the most important aspect but it is not everything. Knowledge of academics helps in the written test,
knowledge of current affairs helps in the GDs and knowledge of your “Self” helps in the personal interviews. But
more important than possessing mere knowledge is the art of presenting it. In the written test, you have to be super
quick; in the GD, extremely suave and cutting-edge; and in the interview extremely cogent. A bland approach to
knowledge gathering can be self-defeating. Ask yourself the simple question : Can I analyse situations ? Can I think
beyond the obvious ? Am I a mere database or a thinking human being ?
Fact No. 4
No matter what happens, concentrate as much as you can on the written test. The reason is pretty simple : if you
crack the written test, you’re miles ahead of the competition. Literally. Hence the cost-benefit analysis proves it
beyond doubt that score maximisation in the written test should be the first priority. This means that : A. You must
have a specific time table for your preparations and B. You must work in every crucial test area (i.e. Reading
Comprehension, English Usage, Mathematical Aptitude, and Data Interpretation). From the next article onwards, we’ll
give a thorough analysis of each test area and its peculiarities.

Fact No. 5
Be aware of the extent and magnitude of the competition. Your competition is not only your local area ! It is Delhi,
Hyderabad, Pune, Coimbatore, Vijaywada, Bangalore, Mumbai, Baroda, etc. There are students all over the nation
fighting for the same few seats in top notch B-schools and you’ll be benchmarked against them. So realize the fact
that unless you are ready to give your 100% to the preparations to these tests nothing may come out of it. This is not
to scare you but to present the factual picture.

Fact No. 6
Be Focussed. Except for geniuses, nobody ever made it to the best b-schools in India without a consistent, smart
and dedicated study schedule. As you prepare for the test, again and again mull over the basic tricks of shortcuts,
try working backwards from the options wherever possible and devise your own strategies to crack new types of
problems. This needs time. And you should be ready to put it in. When you are 4 or 5 weeks into your preparations,
you should be able to identify your core strengths and weaknesses. Build upon your strengths and ensure that the
weaknesses are not too damaging. Thus, for ex. if you’re basically good at English, you must crack the RC and EU
sections in MBA tests at the same time ensuring that your quantitative portions are not left out. (Remember : in most
exams every section carries a cutoff limit).

Fact No. 7
Be sensible and prepare for the GD and Interview stage right from now. In fact, reasonably sensible students need
not be told that when they are preparing for the RC section in CAT, they’re automatically getting prepared for the GD
part of it. Make your informal groups and at least for 30 min per day, discuss current issues and general topics. Don’t
get bogged down by GDs. It should be a simple and pleasant exercise for you before the written test. Be careful :
your prime focus now is cracking as many Written Tests as possible. As far as the PIs are concerned, remember that
academics and personal background may play the most crucial part in it.

Fact No. 8
Visit libraries. Read diverse stuff. With every new type of book you read, your horizons get even broader. This is a
crucial difference between successful students and unsuccessful ones. An average metro student would have been
exposed, by virtue of an active environment, to English books and newspapers all through his life. This develops the
positive mindset towards the language which in turn may help tremendously in the language sections in the written
test and later on at the GD stage. You must try to develop this mindset for yourself. Always have a good friend circle
and discuss things with them. Break the mental barriers. It helps.

Fact No. 9
No teacher in the world can make a champion out of you in a few months. If you have never participated in any extra-
curricular activity, if you’ve never read anything apart from the textbooks, if you don’t have any hobby at all, if you
read English newspapers because your teacher asks you to do so, then it’s not adding up. You must have a good
profile : What’s your niche after all ? Think about it. You ought to have a USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Try to
visualise it from the examiner’s point of view. Out of a mass of thousands of aspirants, why should he choose you
after all. This is the crux of the matter.

Fact No. 10
YOU CAN DO IT. Clearing the MBA tests is a matter of consistent drive, determination and dedication. As
encapsulated in our catchphrase “Vision, Power, Drive”, we urge you to get started now!!
YOU CAN DO IT. Clearing the MBA tests is a matter of consistent drive, determination and dedication. As
encapsulated in our catchphrase “Vision, Power, Drive”, we urge you to get started now!!


The A to Z of MBA Preparation
MBA entrance today is one of the most coveted career pathway as seen by the young graduates and college going
students. Needless to emphasize, that MBA offers every aspirant a challenge to make it to a Top B-school,
Perseverance to survive the grind at the B-School , consequently followed by a very bright and lucrative career.
However clearing the MBA entrance requires specific traits and preparation. These traits are an integral part of a
personality of a student and have to be inculcated as strong values to be made a part of their own system of
learning.
The A to Z of these values can be listed as follows:
Attitude - MBA entrance is all about a perfect mix of attitude and aptitude. These primarily include Speed & Accuracy,
Language Skills, Quantitative skills, Personality, Communication skills & Sincerity. Only a perfect Fit of all these
qualities will make it through.
Balance - In your approach to preparation a balance is a must. Focus on all the test area specifically and not over do
or under do a test area. Usually a student fails to perform only on account of a test area he has been strong in and
therefore had been neglecting it during preparatory stage.
Conviction - MBA entrance is all about a perfect mix of attitude and aptitude. These primarily include Speed &
Accuracy, Language Skills, Quantitative skills, Personality, Communication skills & Sincerity. Only a perfect Fit of all
these qualities will make it through.
Direction – It is imperative to give yourself a proper direction for career pathway i.e. if you are appearing for MBA
entrance, focus on it as a Career Alternative and just an entrance exam, Management has to be taken up as a
profession and not a mere source of Income.
Efficacy - Doing right things is also equally important to efficiency (doing things right). It is possible that you may be
solving the mock entrance papers with correct techniques, but are focusing on the areas that need to be developed
at the same time, analysing your approach for a better score in the test paper?
Face it - Take the MBA entrance preparations head on. It is possible that initially you may feel let down looking at
your performance in the mock papers but every thing takes time, and you have to face it “Rome was not built in a
day”
Gear up - For the challenge ahead. Just when you think you have got the grip on vocabulary for example , you might
simply lose points on account of the same. This happens, you must gear up for the element of surprise in the MBE
entrance test paper.
Home work - Do your homework before you attempt any national level MBA entrance test. Know the patterns of the
question papers in the past, analyse and formulate a strategy to attempt it, manage you time effectively. Bottom line,
go prepared.
Introspection – Do your SWOT analysis, find out the areas you are weak in. If you are unable to improve your scores
in RC (Reading Comprehension), chances are that your reading habits have not been strong or focused on reading a
variety of topics. Work on it, start reading today, it is never to late.
Judge your improvement - During your preparation focus on improvements and not just high scores have you
improved on the test taking techniques ? , have you been able to manage your time well in the test ? evaluate your
performance and be discreet in your judgment.
Killer Instinct - Approach the preparations with a Do or Die attitude, tell yourself “ I am going to make it even if it
takes working long hours and late nights for the preparation“
Like what you do - Many students indicate “I hate reading philosophy !!” well how do you plan to face a
philosophical passage in the RC section in an exam for all you know it might have 12 questions attached to it. You
cannot afford to ignore it honestly you do not have much of a choice but to fall in love with reading, preparing on the
topics you hate or don’t know.
Maturity - Approach your preparations with maturity. Accept first that you need to learn and that there is much more
to learn than what you know. This is the first step for preparation.
Nitty Gritty - Work on the detailing. Check out whether or not you have been able to rectify the errors you made plus
also work on the time factor i.e. could you have solved the same question which you got right in lesser time?
Optimistic attitude - Attitude makes a difference in the kind of scores you can expect. Focus on it for making things
happen for yourself and refrain from thinking parameters like “this is too tough, not meant for me” or “This is so
lengthy, how can a person ever attempt the whole section?”
Perseverance - Keep working no matter what it takes. You cannot afford to take anything for granted or leave it to
chance; your career is on the line. Perseverance is the golden key, things might just happen to be in your favour at
the last minute and you would realise “Thank goodness I worked on it. I can handle it now”
Quality + Quantity - Blindly solving examples 50 questions a day or 100 questions a day or 2 papers a day etc. does
not help go in for the right kind of quantity, get your technique right by using qualitative preparatory material.
Reading - Bead, read and yet more read. Read magazines, Newspapers, Reference books, Management books, etc.
enough is never enough, you will realise when it all adds up in the end.
Sincerity - To self and cause is a pre requisite for MBA entrance preparation. Students tend to lose focus after a
while and try to find out short cuts to learning, cramming, not solving enough examples or even not even revising
regularly remember you need to be sincere to yourself, you are doping for yourself and your career.
Tolerance - To handle frustration and failures. Start with acceptance that “Yes I failed” or “I did not get good enough
marks because I messed up” the fact that you have scored less only indicates that you still have a scope to improve
drastically. Use you performance benchmarks to motivate yourself and a tool for improvement. For this you need to
develop Tolerance.
Ultimatum - Give yourself an ultimatum. “its now or never. I have to make it happen” This will help you to boost your
morale and make you work still more and especially when you need it the most.
Vision and Values - A vision for self is a must. Look at your self 25 years from now. How do you want to see yourself
down the career pathway? Self employed as a consultant or a manufacturer or an exporter; or in the corporate sector
as a CEO. Think about it. 100 years from now when none of us reading this article would be alive, how would you like
yourself to be remembered as…? Give yourself a vision combine it with values and look at MBA as a mere stepping
stone to achieving it.
Wisdom - To work and plan out well in advance. Do not leave anything for the last minute. It is advisable to start at
least 12 to 18 months in advance to give yourself a cutting edge.
Yen - For success (a strong urge/desire – fire in the belly as we say)
Zeal - To reach the Pinnacle of a Successful Career Pathway


Our Future - Give it a thought Now !
Swami Vivekanand has so pithily put it : “All of us wish to be kings but few realize that the crown will come to us on
its own the day we are ready for it.”
Outdated though we may think our own thinkers are, but the above statement by Swami has never been more
relevant! Today when we see huge masses of our youth desperately struggling to gain a foothold in the intensely
competitive marketplace and to carve a niche for themselves, we do get a feel that something somewhere is amiss.
An analysis of the successful clearly tells that there is much more than conventional education that has gone into
their making...in fact, the contribution of regular university education can be dramatically low in many cases.
So, if a young man decides today to make his own mark, what should be an ideal game plan ? Let us try and list
down certain rules-of-thumb. These can serve as a good indicator and a general road-map.
First of all, one must start early. It gives one the terrific advantage of planning at a leisurely pace and then
implementing the plan systematically. This also gives you an ample leeway to effect changes to the plan depending
on expert advice from time to time. To develop such a plan, you must consult as many experts (or so-called experts!)
as possible. It helps...in any case several brains are better than one.
Secondly, you must work on multiple plans at the same time. What this means is that tying your horses to just one
post may be a fatal strategy. So in case a particular game-plan does not work out, you must have an alternative back-
up present. Having a knee-jerk reaction to situations may not be the best thing to do.
Thirdly, diversify your skill-set. This, you will realize in due course of time, is possibly the best preparation you can
do for the future. Thus, not only should you be good at your core competence i.e. your chosen field of academics,
you should also be good at supportive skills like working knowledge of computers, latest trends in information
technology, at least 2 major languages including English, at least one well-known game or sport, extensive reading
skills, interpersonal human skills, and at least one strong hobby. This combination will prepare you adequately for
the future work-place where getting ahead is more a function of personality skills and presentation capabilities than
mere bookish knowledge. Worst of all, these can not be done at all after you finish your schooling...these things
need time, a lot of time and must start during the school days.
One caveat though : Diversification of skill set should not at all mean that one should be scared of specialising in a
skill. It simply means keeping your wild-cards open till the last moment.
Fourthly, be cosmopolitan. Develop a liberal mind-set. Be open to radical ideas and different thoughts, while
maintaining your own identity. The rate at which all the economies are opening up and disparate cultures are coming
together is a clear pointer to the fact that narrow-minded, parochial and provincial mindsets will not be able to
integrate themselves wholly with the mainstream in the coming millennium. Suffocating boundaries of gender, caste,
creed, religion, language and region will be as anachronous in the working place of the next millennium as a steam
engine is today! Your success will be largely determined by your capacity to integrate yourself in a largely
cosmopolitan workplace.
Finally, understand clearly that experience of the past is possibly the worst indicator of what lies ahead ! In fact, the
converse may be true !! Thus, the only thing that we might learn from our past experience is that the entire world is
changing at a breakneck speed and in order to stay where you are you need to run pretty fast. Constant up gradation
of skills, regular learning process and a creative bent of mind is the basis of future progress.
As a young man keen on breaking new grounds, you must learn to manage your time well, remain self-disciplined
and be as open to criticism as possible. Nothing is sacrosanct....business policies that worked in the past are
anachronistic today. Thinking about your future must involve discounting newer technological developments as fast
as possible. The employer of the future will be keener to recruit a holistic individual rather than a mere specialist who
is found wanting in personality areas. Do not harbour the typically public-sector-like romantic notion that your
employer is responsible for ensuring your life-long job....it could well be exactly the opposite. In this age of
retrenchment of the inefficient and survival of the fittest (no social Darwinism intended!), there is little that anyone
can do for an inefficient, outdated and outclassed individual. (Pity that the Indian PSUs still need to understand this!)
Rise, Awaken, Shine....
...and Define your own destiny !!


Culture and Education
Systematic education is the cumulative effort on part of the human society, and especially the established interests,
to perpetuate in the coming generations the knowledge, the skills and the traditions that have been accumulated
over the years through collective human effort.
This is possibly a very cosmopolitan definition of education and it is unlikely that any education system in the world
would be actually ensuring the most democratic distribution of knowledge. What happens practically is that
education gets segmented and parochial. It starts catering to local interests and provincialism rather than focusing
on developing a broad minded individual capable of seeing through things and taking his own decisions.
Talking of culture, what comes to mind (at least my mind) is possibly a very rigid definition of human mores and
customs and the way we are supposed to behave in a society. Culture again is a diffused concept taking into
account several aspects of human existence and it is almost impossible to define it in a compartmentalized manner
or a rigid manner taking into account all its aspects.
Over the past 100 years or so, human society in general and western society in particular has witnessed a dramatic
change in value systems and traditional approaches. Rigid mindsets and Victorian values have given way to open
minded liberalism, provincial lifestyles have been replaced by a cosmopolitan outlook and the overall growth, spread
and development of globalization and liberalization has ensured a “global culture.”
Given these realities, the issue of “culture and education” or “culture v/s education” becomes extremely crucial and
deserves the most open minded appreciation. What we find is that every society has started feeling a need for its
own definition of what constitutes the “right” thing for them—this may not be what is right for the others... Also we
find a hankering for the past values, despite apparent victory and success of the present ones. This brings to mind
the open contradiction in the process of growth of a young human individual.
What I feel is necessary is :
--- an open debate as to what liberalism actually means and to what extent can individual human independence be
guaranteed without affecting societal good
--- who gets the right to define what culture is and more important what “cultural imperialism” is ?
--- should our young people not be left free to decide for themselves, given the right kind of education, what is right
and what is wrong for them ?
--- should educational institutes become a status quo perpetrating mechanism or should they actually encourage
students and young people to break free of shackles and stereotyped moulds?
I believe that the answer to the question lies in the above. For each one of us, it might be different but then, that is
what makes us human! Isn’t it ? Let us take a broad-minded view of life as it shall be in the net millennium. It might
be important lest we should be left irrelevant in the global scheme of things. At the same time, let us not underrate
the collective intelligence gathered by man over millennia.
Ultimately it is going to be a delicate balancing act.


How to Shortlist a Business School
There are over 900 B-schools in India - and about half a dozen rankings. All schools look good on paper, but the
rankings vary widely... so how do you weed out the wannabees? Here is a frame work yu can use to shortlist a
school.
ALUMNI STRENGTH : If a school’s alumni occupy senior positions in major corporates, you can bet the school has a
strong standing - or goodwill - in the corporate world. This goodwill directly translates into better placements.
Naturally, an older school will have a larger alumni network. You can get an idea of the alumni network from the
school brochure, and the current students.
BOARDING PROGRAMME VERSUS DAY SCHOOL : In a typical B-School, classes are held for just four hours per
day, but a student ends up working for more than 10 hours. Thus, a lot of learning happens outside the classroom
through group tasks like case study analysis, projects, presentations, research etc. Besides assessing personality
development, these group tasks also help the student learn from the knowledge and experience of his peers. A
boarding programme offers much more opportunity for this kind of learning. Therefore, B-Schools with a compulsory
boarding programme are rated higher than those with a day programme. Another benefit of the boarding programme
is the increased usage of facilities such as the library and the computer center.
DIRECTOR AND THE ACADEMIC TEAM : The director plays a very important role in building a B-Schools reputation.
For example, MDI shot into the limelight once Pritam Singh became it’s Director. Now that Singh has moved to IIM-L,
a lot is expected from that school. If nothing else, a visionary director ensures that the quality of teaching is above
average.
AFFILIATIONS AND PARTNERSHIPS : Many MBA courses are launched in collaboration with a reputed foreign
business school. For instance, IIM-A started off in active collaboration with the Harvard Business School. These
days schools also have partners for student and faculty exchange. The reputation of partner schools and their
international rankings can tell you a lot about the B-School.
AUTONOMOUS VERSUS UNIVERSITY AFFILIATED PROGRAMMES : Contrary to the common perception, an
autonomous school is rated higher than a school with a university affiliations. Affiliated programmes are usually
burdened with excessive bureaucracy, which can come in the way of fine tuning the course in line with industry
standards. SP Jain was initially affiliated to the Mumbai University but soon opted for autonomy - since by then it
had carved an enviable position for itself.
RESERVATIONS : Reservations of any kind can lead to a mediocre student body. All B-Schools that are part of the
Maharashtra CET, suffer from this drawback: the number of seats for students from outside is less than 10%.The
batch composition is skewed in favour of a certain region and this can create an unfavourable impression on
recruiters.
LOCATION OF THE INSTITUTE : If the school is new, it’s location does affect placements. An HR manager would
think twice before devoting 2 days time to go to a remote area. On the other hand, new B-Schools situated in the
metros or highly industrialized locations might find it easier to attract companies. Of course, location is not much of
a problem once the school has been able to build a reputation in the market.
PLACEMENTS : Placement is a crucial factor most students look for. As we all see it, all the above parameters have
an impact on the placements. Companies will do their own assessment of a school based on the above parameters.
You should not go by the last years placement figures alone. Placements in a particular year may have been an
aberration or simply the results of a great economic boom ( or bust). So look for the placements for at least three
years - an average will give a much better picture.


Preparation Schedule | Top
How you prepare is more important than how much you are preparing. The success at CAT every year is a function
of both level of preparedness and method adopted for it. The idea behind giving this write-up is to help students plan
their step wise preparation in the best possible manner to get maximum benefit out of IMS training program.

The three stage of MBA preparation:
- Basic Concept Build-Up
- Test Taking skill and practice
- and GD/PI & GK Preparation

Basic Concept Build-Up
This is the basic foundation of your preparation. All coaching Institutes provides you Basic Reference Materials( with
different names); its purpose is to introduce various concepts and problems on all the topics across all the sections
of CAT. A thorough reading of it should suffice for students from Maths or Engineering background. However for
students from non-maths background additional reference is suggested. Quicker Maths – M.Tyra, Mathematics for
MBA – R.S Agarwal. The objective is to get thorough with basic concepts and get introduced to different type of
problems.
Short Cut Techniques :
One myth need to be cleared please understand short-cut for all questions are not possible. Don’t try to remember
any formula for short-cut it always leads to confusion rather than help. Learn faster calculation and adopt the
attitude of making approximation as much as possible. Read first 5 chapters of either M.Tyra or Trachenberg for this.

Test Taking Skills :
How much time to devote to each section, which section to start off. These are some basic question are encountered
by everyone. Now there is no definite answer for this, it depends upon individual’s comfort which he develops by
sheer practice.

Schedule of Preparation
Last Week August – Completion of BRM of all sections followed by one week of revision.
1st to 15th Sept – Part B section test and Comprehensive Test + 2 SIM CATs. This will .
give a complete picture of your strength and weakness.
No reference to BRM should be done after this.
3rd Week of Sept - Revision of all class test (all important questions) and part –B
1st Oct to 15th Nov – Only test practice + SIM CATs.
On 21st Nov – Best Wishes to all of you..

This schedule is specific to those taking coaching from IMS, but others can also co-relate this by just changing the
terminology. For example, TIME students read SIM CATs as AIMCATs etc. Besides it is highly recommended that all
those who are preparing should DEFINITELY go in for SIM CATs conducted by IMS, since it is the most
comprehensive and exhaustive test around and the results most accurately predict actual CAT results.
Download my exclusive preparation schedule here.


How to Shortlist a Business School
There are over 900 B-schools in India - and about half a dozen rankings. All schools look good on paper, but the
rankings vary widely... so how do you weed out the wannabees? Here is a frame work yu can use to shortlist a
school.
ALUMNI STRENGTH : If a school’s alumni occupy senior positions in major corporates, you can bet the school has a
strong standing - or goodwill - in the corporate world. This goodwill directly translates into better placements.
Naturally, an older school will have a larger alumni network. You can get an idea of the alumni network from the
school brochure, and the current students.
BOARDING PROGRAMME VERSUS DAY SCHOOL : In a typical B-School, classes are held for just four hours per
day, but a student ends up working for more than 10 hours. Thus, a lot of learning happens outside the classroom
through group tasks like case study analysis, projects, presentations, research etc. Besides assessing personality
development, these group tasks also help the student learn from the knowledge and experience of his peers. A
boarding programme offers much more opportunity for this kind of learning. Therefore, B-Schools with a compulsory
boarding programme are rated higher than those with a day programme. Another benefit of the boarding programme
is the increased usage of facilities such as the library and the computer center.
DIRECTOR AND THE ACADEMIC TEAM : The director plays a very important role in building a B-Schools reputation.
For example, MDI shot into the limelight once Pritam Singh became it’s Director. Now that Singh has moved to IIM-L,
a lot is expected from that school. If nothing else, a visionary director ensures that the quality of teaching is above
average.
AFFILIATIONS AND PARTNERSHIPS : Many MBA courses are launched in collaboration with a reputed foreign
business school. For instance, IIM-A started off in active collaboration with the Harvard Business School. These
days schools also have partners for student and faculty exchange. The reputation of partner schools and their
international rankings can tell you a lot about the B-School.
AUTONOMOUS VERSUS UNIVERSITY AFFILIATED PROGRAMMES : Contrary to the common perception, an
autonomous school is rated higher than a school with a university affiliations. Affiliated programmes are usually
burdened with excessive bureaucracy, which can come in the way of fine tuning the course in line with industry
standards. SP Jain was initially affiliated to the Mumbai University but soon opted for autonomy - since by then it
had carved an enviable position for itself.
RESERVATIONS : Reservations of any kind can lead to a mediocre student body. All B-Schools that are part of the
Maharashtra CET, suffer from this drawback: the number of seats for students from outside is less than 10%.The
batch composition is skewed in favour of a certain region and this can create an unfavourable impression on
recruiters.
LOCATION OF THE INSTITUTE : If the school is new, it’s location does affect placements. An HR manager would
think twice before devoting 2 days time to go to a remote area. On the other hand, new B-Schools situated in the
metros or highly industrialized locations might find it easier to attract companies. Of course, location is not much of
a problem once the school has been able to build a reputation in the market.
PLACEMENTS : Placement is a crucial factor most students look for. As we all see it, all the above parameters have
an impact on the placements. Companies will do their own assessment of a school based on the above parameters.
You should not go by the last years placement figures alone. Placements in a particular year may have been an
aberration or simply the results of a great economic boom ( or bust). So look for the placements for at least three
years - an average will give a much better picture.


What makes a Good MBA Candidate ?
Just wanting the degree is not enough. The strongest candidates competing to gain admission into graduate
business schools are very focused on their intended career paths. They are reasonably clear about what is needed to
get there and what it takes to be successful. Are you one of those people? Can you compete favorably in the
applicant pool?

The MBA is designed for people who want to learn about business across many different disciplines. But schools
want you to have already identified an area of interest that you plan to pursue after you obtain this broad base of
knowledge. Most MBA programs do not provide the time to find those interests during the course of study, so you
need to have a good sense of what you are planning to do with the degree.

Business school admissions counselors want to see evidence of your professional interests to ensure that you will
take full advantage of the MBA program. At a minimum, they consider career history and aspirations, evidence of
leadership potential, and academic achievement. Therefore, the typical MBA candidate has several years of full-time,
post-undergraduate work experience in a responsible capacity and can clearly articulate his or her motivations for
wanting to earn an MBA.

Signs That You Are Not Ready
To be ready for business school, you must have a clear picture of what you want to do with an MBA.

You are not ready if:

Your career goals are no more specific than “I want to manage people” or “I want to command a higher salary.”
There are more would-be MBAs than seats available in MBA programs. You will be competing against candidates
who can articulate why they want the degree and relate their goals to the strengths of a particular program.
Experience has shown that applicants without clear goals will not have them by graduation. Although you may
adjust your original plan while in business school, having that focus from the start is the key to challenging your
assumptions and exploring an MBA field in depth.
You are avoiding the job market by buying additional time in school. This is an expensive way to plan for your future.
It also misses a major point: You should choose a school because it matches your academic and career interests. All
programs are better at some things than others. What criteria are important to you?


Courtesy (www.mba.com)


Preparation Schedule | Top
How you prepare is more important than how much you are preparing. The success at CAT every year is a function
of both level of preparedness and method adopted for it. The idea behind giving this write-up is to help students plan
their step wise preparation in the best possible manner to get maximum benefit out of IMS training program.

The three stage of MBA preparation:
- Basic Concept Build-Up
- Test Taking skill and practice
- and GD/PI & GK Preparation

Basic Concept Build-Up
This is the basic foundation of your preparation. All coaching Institutes provides you Basic Reference Materials( with
different names); its purpose is to introduce various concepts and problems on all the topics across all the sections
of CAT. A thorough reading of it should suffice for students from Maths or Engineering background. However for
students from non-maths background additional reference is suggested. Quicker Maths – M.Tyra, Mathematics for
MBA – R.S Agarwal. The objective is to get thorough with basic concepts and get introduced to different type of
problems.
Short Cut Techniques :
One myth need to be cleared please understand short-cut for all questions are not possible. Don’t try to remember
any formula for short-cut it always leads to confusion rather than help. Learn faster calculation and adopt the
attitude of making approximation as much as possible. Read first 5 chapters of either M.Tyra or Trachenberg for this.

Test Taking Skills :
How much time to devote to each section, which section to start off. These are some basic question are encountered
by everyone. Now there is no definite answer for this, it depends upon individual’s comfort which he develops by
sheer practice.

Schedule of Preparation
Last Week August – Completion of BRM of all sections followed by one week of revision.
1st to 15th Sept – Part B section test and Comprehensive Test + 2 SIM CATs. This will .
give a complete picture of your strength and weakness.
No reference to BRM should be done after this.
3rd Week of Sept - Revision of all class test (all important questions) and part –B
1st Oct to 15th Nov – Only test practice + SIM CATs.
On 21st Nov – Best Wishes to all of you..

This schedule is specific to those taking coaching from IMS, but others can also co-relate this by just changing the
terminology. For example, TIME students read SIM CATs as AIMCATs etc. Besides it is highly recommended that all
those who are preparing should DEFINITELY go in for SIM CATs conducted by IMS, since it is the most
comprehensive and exhaustive test around and the results most accurately predict actual CAT results.
Download my exclusive preparation schedule here.


Finer Points | Top
Lets talk about some finer points in your preparation:
Why so much stress on sectional test:
What a student needs before sitting in the CAT , is to have confidence in all the sections. Next question is how ? Lets
start with PS and VA:
Remember the biggest confidence is with the student who is introduced to all type of problems in both PS and VA
section. Imagine in the first page of PS section in CAT paper there are 10 questions of which 2,4,7 and 8 are type of
problem you have done earlier. Now if I ask which is the problem you would attempt first, of course 2,4,7 and 8. I
hope you understood the point I want to convey. In other words the paper will seem easy the more the type of
problem you have practiced. The more type of problem done, more is the familiarity, the more familiarity, the more is
your confidence. This is the real essence of sectional test. They contain probably the largest and best collection of
questions from all topics.
How to get confidence in DI and RC :
DI and RC are like diamonds the more you brush the more they shine.

For DI follow these 4 steps :
Prioritizing the set of questions:
Generally DI is given in 5-6 sets of questions. First look for DS questions because they are the simplest in the entire
paper. Next glance through rest of set of questions, you need to pick the least complicated set first and then next
and so on. Do I need to attempt all the question of a given set? No, until all of the questions in the set are easy,
which itself is a rare possibility. So what to do: the best is to attempt all easy questions from each set then go
randomly to the difficult ones. In other words you need to attempt all set of DI section.
Choosing the easy questions:
The only way to find the easy questions in a set is to make sure that you see all the questions at least once. Keep
solving all the easy ones and leave the difficult ones. Repeat this for all sets. If still time is left go randomly for the
difficult ones left. The idea is not to get stuck with any question, engineers please don’t get sentimental with any
questions because CAT paper is designed to test your ability more in planning than solving. Never forget IIMs or
others are looking for managers not intellectual.

Time allocation :
DI is all about understanding data clearly and pure calculation after that. 2/3rd of all the questions are easy and rest
difficult and time consuming ones. This could be best understood when solving sectional test. Whatever is the time
allocated in the first 2/3rd make sure you rush through all the sets at least once and must have picked all the easy
ones. I know its not that easy but a sincere practice of sectional test will give you the desired mindset.
Approximation making :
I am a perfectionist; I love to do exact calculation. If this is your attitude then my sincere suggestion is try becoming
a rocket scientist not an MBA. Lot of people do make poor beginning while doing approximation but never lose heart
even a sincere practice for one month will help you reach 70% accuracy level which is good enough. Last but not the
least please stay away from calculators till your exams are not over.
What about RC ?
For most of CAT aspirants RC seems like a horror film. Why is to so? The basic reason most of us don’t possess a
good reading habit. Most talented students who are not able to get through in written are those who fail in RC (please
read this sentence again). Good RC skills can be developed only over a period of time. CAT aspirants are advised to
read newspapers, magazines and books so that the habit of reading is inculcated and the range of reading widens.
The idea is to read everything that one can.
A daily habit of reading editorial of a leading newspaper or any serious stuff for at least 1hour will help to a great
extent. The problem with RC is that it makes a student mentally tired, why, this emphasis on RC because by October
you feel comfortable with most of section but RC always remains a weak point. So you need the daily dose of serious
stuff to make you comfortable on the D-Day.

Suggested Books:
English Grammar – A practical English grammar by Thomson and Martinet
Calculation Speed – Speed System by Trachenberg or 1st 3 chapters of M.Tyra
Reasoning – M.K Pandey or Edgan Thorpe

Preparation Time:
How much time to invest – In next 120 days at least 4-6 hours daily.
Final Advice:
What is all required for CAT is fundamental knowledge and mental strength. There are students who are highly
talented but cannot keep their concentration for more than 1hour it’s all because of lack of zeal and passion to make
success. What ever may be you method of preparation if its not coupled with high motivation you are bound to lose
the race.


Sectional and Full Length Tests | Top
Sectional Tests are very important because they contain large number of questions on similar topics. How this helps
is that by the time you have completed some sectional test, you are very thorough with all the different types of
questions on that particular subject. while appearing for sectional tests aim for accuracy rather than speed.
Full Length Tests are similar to the ones that you face in the real exams. They are meant to be taken in one seating
without any breaks and never more than one a day. They are meant to test both your test taking skills and
concentration. Try to maintain a balance between speed and accuracy.
I have added some Tests below. I will be adding more test as soon as I have time. Enjoy solving these for the
moment.

Sectional Tests :
Quantitative Aptitude : Test 1 | Test 2 | Test 3 | Test 4
Reading Comprehension : Test 1 | Test 2 | Test 3 | Test 4
Logical Reasoning : Test 1 | Test 2 | Test 3 | Test 4
Verbal Ability : Test 1 | Test 2 | Test 3 | Test 4
Full Length Tests :
Test 1 | Test 2 | Test 3 | Test 4 | Test 5 | Test 6 | Test 7 | Test 8


Vocabulary Resources | Top
Almost 15 to 25 questions in the Verbal section of CAT and about 40 to 50 questions in XAT are direct word based
questions. These include FIBs, Meanings, Analogies, Antonyms and Synonyms etc. Now the thing about these
questions is that you either know the words or you don't. If you know the words, you can solve these 20 questions in
about 7 to 8 mins. Which means you will have the time to devote extra attention to the other sections, because you
would have cleared the cut-off in this section even without attempting the RC questions.
The point I am trying to make is that you can never do enough as far as words are concerned. The absolute must dos
are the IMS Vocabulary List and the GRE Guide's Wordlist by BARRONS. I have added some more resources here
that you may find useful in your efforts to build up your vocabulary. Do go through them. I will add more stuff as
soon as I get them.
• The Dictionary
• The Top 1000 Most Used Words
• Most Commonly Used Nouns
• Ad-World Vocabulary
• Business Vocabulary


CAT-alogue | Top
Objective of a CAT Paper
• Minimum number of attempts
• Desired level of accuracy
• Securing sectional cut-offs

The three Mantra required to achieve the above stated:
• Time Management
• Choosing the right question
• Positive mental frame work

The final CAT-alogue for November 21st
• Ensure that you are carrying the CAT admit card, watch / stop watch, eraser(s), sharpener(s) and enough number
of HB pencils.
• Reach the test venue well in time and make yourself comfortable.
• Fill in your details properly in the AFAS.
• When asked to begin the test, take note of the time as per your watch.
• When you begin the test, take a minute or two to familiarize yourself with the test pattern and general
instructions. Make a mental assessment of the order in which you will attempt the questions. It is advisable that
you attempt questions in your ‘strong’ areas initially and not leave your weakest section till the very end. For
instance, a section like RC should not be done at the fag end when mental fatigue is likely to have set in.
• Read the question instructions carefully. Scan and look for words like except, untrue, not, apart from, dissimilar
etc.
• Do not hesitate to skip a question. Be prudent. Bear in mind that your aim is not to attempt all questions but to
select questions carefully and to try to attempt most of them correctly. Always try to hit the end of the section
without becoming unduly nervous about the number of problems you have had to skip in the process. If time
permits, you can always come back to those skipped.
• Do not get into an ego hassle with any question. If you have already spent time on a question without making
any significant headway just forget it and move on. Be clear when to give up. Be reassured that you would have
left a lot of questions unanswered anyway.
• Whereas some amount of caution is necessary, there is no harm in intelligent guessing. For example, if you are
unable to decide between two options, guess but guess fast; however only in those cases, where you have
clearly narrowed down your choice to the two “close” ones. This is especially true for questions that are
inherently subjective (typically in the English part of the test).
• Success in CAT depends to a considerable extent, on your stress management skills. You should keep a cool
head and not get stressed. Avoid losing your concentration due to a tough section or a string of tough
questions. If the test or a particular section seems inordinately difficult to you, chances are that most others are
also facing the same music.
• Always remember that CAT is a ‘relative marking’ test where the cut-off scores will vary according to two factors
namely the difficulty level of the test and others’ performance. Hence do not have any pre-conceived notions
about the score that you need to attain – if the paper is easy, the cut-offs will shoot up and vice-versa. Simply,
put in your best.
• A very good overall score without the minimum required in each section is of little use for most top-level
institutes. Do not go overboard in sections or areas that you are strong in at the expense of your weaker ones.
• Stay focused on the job at hand till the very end. Most people give up halfway through the test due to a
combination of mental fatigue and a growing feeling that their chances are diminishing with every minute. The
day will surely belong to those who maintain a peak rate performance throughout the test.
• Last but not the least, ensure that no mismatch happens between your answer and the oval which you shade in
the AFAS. For those who prefer block transfer, do make sure that you transfer all your solved answers to the
OMR sheet correctly at regular intervals.


More Gyan | Top
Time Distribution – The first and most important thing to keep in mind. Until unless you make proper appropriation of
timing its not possible to get cut-offs. VA- 15-20min, RC- 20-25min, PS- 40min, DS- 10min, DI/LR30min.
Cut-Offs – Cut offs are always for the entire section not for sub-section. For example it’s enough to get 18+ in VA/RC
combined. There is no rule how much to attempt in VA or RC separately. But don’t ignore any sub-section. It simply
means if VA is simple do more from it and less from RC or vice versa.
Chose questions wisely – This is key to your number of attempts and overall score. Do not hesitate to skip a
question. Be prudent. Bear in mind that your aim is not to attempt all questions but to select questions carefully and
to try to attempt most of them correctly. Always try to hit the end of the section without becoming unduly nervous
about the number of problems you have had to skip in the process. If time permits, you can always come back to
those skipped.
Freedom to choose – The best part of CAT is that there are lots of question to choose from. Do not get into an ego
hassle with any question. If you have already spent time on a question without making any significant headway just
forget it and move on. Be clear when to give up. Be reassured that you would have left a lot of questions unanswered
anyway.
Intelligent Guessing - Whereas some amount of caution is necessary, there is no harm in intelligent guessing. For
example, if you are unable to decide between two options, guess but guess fast; however only in those cases, where
you have clearly narrowed down your choice to the two “close” ones. This is especially true for questions that are
inherently subjective (typically in the English part of the test).
Keep Your Cool - Success in CAT depends to a considerable extent, on your stress management skills. You should
keep a cool head and not get stressed. Avoid losing your concentration due to a tough section or a string of tough
questions. If the test or a particular section seems inordinately difficult to you, chances are that most others are also
facing the same music.
The most important - Always remember that CAT is a ‘relative marking’ test where the cut-off scores will vary
according to two factors namely the difficulty level of the test and others’ performance. Hence do not have any pre-
conceived notions about the score that you need to attain – if the paper is easy, the cut-offs will shoot up and vice-
versa. Simply, put in your best.
CAT is easy – Though difficult to believe, in my last 7 years of CAT taking every year I find there at least 70-80
questions which an average student could always do and get them correct. So never lose hopes even if the first few
question of each section are tough. There would certainly be some sitters in each section, go ahead and find them.
CAT look for smart people more than those who are academically superior.


More Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) | Top
Are the Section cutoffs for IIMs mentioned sacrosanct?
The cut-offs which we have mentioned, are possible cut-offs and lot many other factors such as work ex and acads
will be significant. Though the sectional cutoffs are compulsory you can expect a call from IIM with the net score of
more than 65.
What are the cutoffs for SP Jain; MDI?
The cutoffs for SPJain and MDI would be around 58-60. Though the essay for SPJain will make a difference in
selection. The last date of applying to MDI is 29th Nov.
What are the cutoffs for TAPMI, MICA?
The cutoffs would be around 55. But remember the MICA tests you on others skills through its own test and if you
should always apply only if you are interested in the career of Advertising. The last date for applying to MICA is over.
What are the cutoffs for FORE School, IMI Delhi, NIRMA?
The cutoffs at these levels are very difficult to determine, it depends on many factors as how many students have
applied to these institutes and again a very high number of students are in the score range of 50, hence the cutoff
could be guessed at 48-50.
I have attempted 60-70 and can get a score of 45, which Institutes I should apply?
Most of the students have attempted around 60-70 and, if you can get a score of around 45, you can apply to
Institutes like TAPMI, KJ Somaiya, NIRMA, IMI, and Fore School of Mgmt.
I have attempted 50 in English and expect 40, but other sections attempted only 40, will I get a call?
IIMA prefers people good in English, will I get a call from IIMA?
If you expect a call from IIMs, then you have to clear the sectional cutoffs, you might get a call as DI/DS and Verbal
Sections relatively have low cut-offs. As a stray cases IIMA must have given calls, but at the same time the academic
performance of such students is also very good.
I hope to get a slightly low score of 58-60, but have a good 2 years work ex, what are my chances with IIMs.?
It is seen that work ex helps and the net score can be less than the normal cutoffs for freshers. If you have a good
work ex more than 2 years and can get a score of 58+ you have a chance of getting a call from either of the IIM.
How many students all India took the CAT, TOI said 40,000, you have said 90,000 does it make a difference?
The number of students is more than 80,000 and it does not make much of a difference, as the seats of IIMs are
constant.
Does IIMB prefer work ex?
Though last year IIMB had called many students who had work ex, the same thing might not be valid as the selection
criteria changes every year.
Does your SimCAT cutoff take into account the actual performance of majority of students?
I had consistently got 98+ percentile in SimCATs with similar scores in actual CAT, can I expect a call?
The SimCAT percentile score largely takes into account the national performance of the students. If you have score
more than 95 percentile consistently and also shown similar performance in the CAT then there is a very high chance
that you would get a call.
Note: If you are sure that you might score more than 40+ score in the CAT, without spending much time in
anticipating, you should start your preparation for Group Discussion and Personal Interview.
How to prepare
July 14,
2003
Start early on MBA preparation
Times News Network

If securing a place in a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programme in the coming year
is your goal, the time has arrived to start planning on preparations for the entrance examinations.

The MBA examination is a test of speed and knowledge in reading comprehension, numeric
ability, capacity for analysing situations, drawing deductions and decision-making. Management
entrance exams are an elimination process. Since performance is judged on a relative scale, both
knowledge and speed are of equal importance. While the former is broadly present in every
individual, it is normally the latter that needs to be developed and can often prove to be a crucial
in the written test.

Testing pattern
The Common Admission Test (CAT) jointly conducted on behalf of the six Indian Institutes of
Management (IIM), Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) exam and Faculty of Management
Studies (FMS) exam are some of the most sought after examinations in India.

The examinations are different from conventional examinations and are conducted in various
stages to test knowledge, general awareness and inter personal skills. Broadly, the testing
process can be classified into three stages - written test, group discussion and personal interview.

The first stage is an objective type written exam, testing skills in English and mathematics. These
are subdivided into quantitative ability, data interpretation and sufficiency, reading
comprehension, verbal reasoning and ability.

Some exams carry a section on general knowledge.

Analyse weak areas
Competition being stiff, no area of testing can really be ignored or overlooked. A good starting
point is to identify weak areas since that can improve performance tremendously.

Based on your core skills, evaluate a strategy that would help you gain expertise in them. For
instance, if you find verbal ability section a weak one, make a conscious effort to improve verbal
skills. Indulge in extensive reading on complex issues - imbibe the habit of reading editorials in
newspapers and magazines. Look up meanings of all unfamiliar words you come across in a
thesaurus and try to remember them. Perhaps, maintain a separate lexicon of your own to note
these words down and refer to them regularly.

Extensive reading has a two-pronged benefit - it improves vocabulary and reading speed as well
as concentration levels. It will enhance your level of comfort while reading abstract and tedious
passages in the reading comprehension sections.

On the other hand, those from a non-science background fearing mathematics would benefit from
starting with an elementary high school book to understanding basics of algebra, commercial
mathematics, geometry and trigonometry. Most questions in the numeric section would be based
on these mathematical concepts. Once the basics are clear in a few weeks, graduate to a higher
level of mathematics.

At the same time, train the brain in quick mental calculations. Practice additions, multiplications,
working out average, squares and cubing of integers. Working quickly with numbers increases
problem-solving speed and enables tackling voluminous calculations with remarkable ease. A
critical area in a well-rounded preparation in the early days is to keep abreast of current
developments in the economy, politics, corporate sector and major world events. Think of some
relevant topics and attempt to organise mock GD sessions with your peer group. This would help
you develop a fluency of expression and overcome any inhibitions you may have of public
speaking.

Supporting preparation
It may be early days but given the complexity of the testing process and the competition being
stiff, an early start to preparation can put you ahead of the game. Now, devote at least two hours
to test preparations every day. Once you are clear on your basics and have gained adequate
familiarity with all patterns of questions, shift focus towards attempting mock tests, which come
with coaching manuals.

The Newspapers | Top Okay, so all of you read some newspaper or the other. Well. good for you.... But now that you are preparing for CAT, there needs to be a slight change in your attitude towards newspapers. So read on.. What you should be reading in newspapers : Ideally, you should be reading at least three pages in your newspapers. These are: THE FRONT PAGE, THE EDITORIAL COLUMNS and THE BUSINESS PAGE. Plus you can also read the sports and cartoon pages for relaxation, if you wish. Here is a list pages which you absolutely should be reading daily at least for the next year. 1. All pages from the Times of India 2. The editorial page from THE HINDU 3. The editorial and news page from the Economics Times. What you should be reading in newspapers : Irrespective of your interests, you should not be reading the second page of TOI, the regional politics pages from all newspapers, the crime pages from all newspapers the regional politics pages from all newspapers and the heavy market and finance pages from the ET. This is because, these pages don’t contribute anything to your intellectual growth and thus don’t serve you at all in your preparation for CAT. Also develop an allergy to politics simply because otherwise, it will make you skeptical and put you in a negative frame of mind. Avoid the jargon heavy sections of ET because you will not be able to understand most of it and will lose an interest in the subject which could prove suicidal in future. Also please stay away from novels and pornography as they will not only be a waste of time and emotional bandwidth, but also prove to be distractions in the long run. PLEASE ALSO GO THROUGH THE READING MATERIALS PROVIDED IN THE DOWNLOADS PAGE

The Magazines | Top Here again, there are some magazines that are an absolute must for anybody preparing for CAT and other exams. These include:

Business World ( Great Industry Scenario Mag) Other then these, you may read any publication that you prefer. here is a list of some more very useful magazines.

• • • • •

Competition Master ( Great for GK and great articles and essays for both RC and GD ) Business and Management Chronicle ( Great All-round Magazine ) Career Economy ( Again great MBA specific Magazine) Advancedge ( Published by IMS, a must for GK and all exam related info )

• • • • • • •

News Panaroma Effective Manager from the ICFAI Press The Sahara Times India Today Outlook Frontline Economic and Political Weekly

• • • • • • •

The Week MBA Review Business Today Business India Competition Success Review The Tehelka Yojana or Kurukhsetra

What Is CAT all about ? | Top How often have you heard this statement : CAT is not a test of Math and English ? Your faculty or friends who have taken the test will testify to this maxim. CAT actually uses Math and English as tools to assess whether the aspirant has the potential to be a manger. One of the biggest mental hurdles while preparing for the CAT is the over emphasis on learning the ropes in Math and English and not understanding the hidden agenda underlying the various topics. Across the CAT, while the topics vary, they are all assessment tools to check managerial qualities. Thus be it Problem Solving and data Interpretation in Maths or Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension in English, right through the 2 hour test, a student is tested on the inherent managerial qualities which can be polished when selected for admission to a B-School. While English tests one’s language and communication skills, Math essentially tests your analytical and conceptual skills - two very critical traits in an effective manager. Thus when seen in this light, the following aspects of the CAT stand out:

• • • •

It is one of the most fascinating aptitude tests in the country, if not the toughest. It is complex not because of the level of Math and English, but because of the competition. It is the test of one’s managerial potential and not whether somebody is already a manager. It is not a test of one’s subject knowledge but of one’s aptitude to be a corporate manager.

Thus one of the most critical qualities needed to crack the cat is strong fundamentals and loads of common sense. All this obviously does not mean that one can ignore the importance of Maths and English to crack the CAT. In a relay race, the baton is the tool for success. If the baton is not used properly, success becomes elusive. Thus, make no mistake about it, Maths and English are critical for success in CAT.

Common Mistakes | Top The first mistake is to take the test too seriously. The hype created by the media and preparatory institutes create an unnecessary tension in the minds o f the students. When one goes to the exam hall, an average student maybe a bundle of nerves: raring to attempt questions without waiting to pause and think. Usually, the moment the paper is received, the candidate starts attempting without giving thought to the test taking strategy. But, after a while, when one sees that very few questions have been attempted, one tends to panic and then one tends to panic and mark indiscriminately. This is suicidal, because the number of mistakes will increase and so will the negatives. The most important lesson to be learnt is to to keep your cool. That is the only thing that separates the winners from the also-rans. As one attempts the paper, the clock keeps ticking away and in the end one may find the number of attempts below one’s expectation. This is all right because it is not the number of attempts that are important, but the final score.

How to Keep Cool | Top Keeping cool, is obviously easier said than done. Usually the pressure mounts when one compares oneself with others and one feels hopeless. When this happens, remind yourself that you are competing with none other but yourself. What others do, or not do, is meaningless. If you can conquer your emotions during the exam, you have one half the battle. When the pressure rises, and you find that you can’t answer a question despite reading and re-reading it, just close your eyes and shut off your mind for a moment. You will find that you will most probably be able to solve it. It’s a bit like rebooting the computer, it always speeds up the machine. Another way to stop panic is to approach the exam with an open mind. Don’t crowd your mind with cut-offs and minimum attempts and other such thoughts. Just leave it to the day. If the paper is easy, you will automatically attempt more questions and if it’s difficult, the attempts will drop. Also remember that 99.9% of the people taking CAT are normal people like you with a similar level of preparation. So if the paper seems difficult to you, it’s almost same for all others and so the cut-offs will almost surely be lower. So never resort to guess-work to increase the number of attempts. Especially in a tight low scoring paper, since the marks that you may lose on negative scoring due to guess-work, may prove to be the difference between success and failure. So go to the exam

and (iii) your optimum attempt. where you had to write lengthy answers ( especially those from Utkal University). The paper will look formidable at first glance. Here. but the ideal number of attempts in a paper of 3 sections/ 150 questions (3/150) should be 90-100 attempts with around 20 mistakes. Remember.9+ percentile in your favorite section. many questions can be done simply by looking at the questions. OR 2. It is assumed that there is negative marking of minus one-fourth per question. you can score even when you don’t know the answer. or verbal. but don’t let that bother you. attempting different sections and different order in different tests. the deduction per question also increases. which means that as the number of mistakes increase. you have a very good chance of getting calls from B-L-A-C-K-I. just follow the strategy that you have perfected. This will help you decide: (i) which section you should do first. There could be progressive negative marking. Whether it is PS. Same for DI and DS. You may follow ANY ORDER in attempting the sections. Generally speaking. If you are near that range. For example. This is because VA is the easiest and fastest section and completing it first will give you confidence and momentum which will carry you through the next 2 sections. (ii) the kind of questions you should attempt and avoid. Each person will have a different level of attempt. because there is no point attempting questions if one can’ t keep a measure of accuracy. Test Taking Strategies | Top You should have your strategy outlined very clearly during your preparations stage. Remember. It’s only an exam.. I am very good and have prepared thoroughly and so will do very well. For more test taking strategies. in a quadratic equation. The classic order is first VA&RC followed by PS and then by DI/DS. The strategy will. the number of mistakes should be kept at about 20 in a full 2-hour full length test. Speed vs Accuracy | Top A common question asked by students is. “how many questions should I attempt” ? This is a faulty question. that’s an acronym for all 6 IIMs (IIMB. it is always faster to obtain answer by substituting the options rather than solving the equation. The technique is called THINK WITHOUT INK. Always strategize the order in which you are attempting the sections. IIML. Experiment with yourself. YOU just have to find the 3 WRONG answers and your job is done !! . then you will be extremely lucky to receive any IIM calls. Soon you will be able to discover what is your best way to attempt the paper. I don’t really want to scare you. Don’t get confused on seeing the paper. But the thumb rule is start and end with the sections that you are good at and have the weakest section in the middle. but you can be rest assured that if you have neglected any section. 1. Spend a minute to see how the questions and sections are arranged.thinking anyone of the following thoughts. So you may get 99. but you never know for sure. click HERE. Remember. The trick is to try to spot the clue in the question. That’s what most toppers would be attempting. there is no fixed strategy which is a “magic formula” that can guarantee 100% success. On the day of the exam. Nothing bad can happen to me. no one knows for sure what is the scoring pattern for CAT. Do a large number of full-length tests based on different patterns. of course. This means that the candidate should be able to spot what is required rather than work it out by lengthy calculation. This is because the CAT paper clearly mentions YOU WILL HAVE TO DEMONSTRATE YOUR COMPETENCE IN ALL SECTIONS. CAT is not like your college paper. Too many mistakes simply spoil you score. vary from person to person. not the end of life. please don’t avoid or favor any section or type of question.etc) At the same time. Smart vs Hard Work | Top What aspirants of CAT need to do is work SMART rather than work hard..

It can be done. Simply put in your best effort. Do the past 10 years CAT papers. Work out your own success strategy by doing a large number of full length tests. The Check List | Top • • • • • • • • • • • • Do the basics first. That is the formula for success. In this methodology.. reasoning ability Leadership skills Initiative Assertiveness Flexibility Creativity Ability to think on ones feet . Work out the best way to tackle problems and look for smart way of doing things. keep your cool and follow your strategy. Control the number of mistakes to about 20 : avoid wild blind guessing. Don’t panic. Attempt all sections: don’t ignore any. Ultimately. don’t compare with others but always compete. that is an attitude that one must acquire. simply because so many people have done it in the past. close your eyes and reboot. Some of the personality traits the GD is trying to gauge may include :Ability to work in a team Communication skills. the group of candidates is given a topic or a situation. it maybe said that CAT is not difficult to crack. He never lets you down. cracking CAT would not be difficult. It is not about solving questions only. Avoid the hype of the exam. given a few minutes to think about the same.SO how does one get into the habit of working smart ? frankly. BELIEVE IN THE LORD. solve each question on it’s merit and stay cool and composed for the entire 2 hours. What is a Group Discussion ? | Top A GD is a methodology used by an organization to gauge whether the candidate has certain personality traits and/or skills that it desires in its members. If one is smart in other areas of life. If you lose control. It comes with the way you approach life in general. and then asked to discuss the it among themselves for 15-20 minutes. Do a large number of section tests and identify strengths and weaknesses. Look at all sections before attempting.

Why GDs ? | Top The reason why institutes put you through a Group discussion and an interview.g. GD Topics | Top GDs can be topic-based or case-based. situation handling . after testing your technical and conceptual skills in an exam. These can be current. there may be tempers flying. This generates a level of ease in interaction with others which is conducive to comfortable group environment. The education policy of India. This induces people to have confidence in you as a person who will capable of handling stress and manage situations proactively. E. A factual topic for discussion gives a candidate a chance to prove that he is aware of and sensitive to his environment. Managers have to work in a team and get best results out of teamwork. as a member or as a leader. That is the reason why management institutes include GD as a component of the selection procedure. As a manager. This is true in any sphere of life and so also in a Group Discussion for MBA Entrance Examination. the person who is capable of generating a following emerges as an informal leader. The idea behind giving a topic like this is to see how much maturity the candidate is displaying by keeping his temper in check. Typically these are about socio-economic topics. 2) The display of sensitivity to others. or could be unbound by time. State of the aged in the nation. Therefore how you interact in a team becomes an important criterion for your selection. They are meant to generate controversy. Fundamentally a GD is conducted to separate leaders from non leaders from amongst the participants . an opinion which the panel consolidates through 15-20 mins of interview. Tourism in India.e. admired. i. Controversial Topics Controversial topics are the ones that are argumentative in nature. The Group discussion tests how you function as a part of a team. Topic based GD Topic based Gds can be classified into three types :- • • • Factual topic Controversial topics Abstract topics Factual Topics Factual topics are about practical things. Generally a person who is respected. the noise level is usually high. by rationally and . is to get to know you as a person and gauge how well you will fit in their institute. In GDs where these topics are given for discussion. which an ordinary person is aware of in his day-to-day life. you will always be working in teams. Who is a leader? In a group situation when formal leadership has not been defined. they may have been in the news lately. listening skills so on and so forth. 3) The display of ability to handle rough situations with a cool mind. liked and who can inspire confidence among others in himself generates a following. The purpose of conducting a Group Discussion is to test the participant on areas like communication skills. Certain attributes that are common to all leaders are: 1) The display of proficiency in the particular area of competence required in the group situation. This inspires respect among others. team skills.

Get someone who has been through GDs before to observe it and give you feedback on your performance. A is an alphabet. These topics are not given often for discussion. Twinkle twinkle little star. Maybe you’ll find others holding view which are abhorrent to you. Tip 2 # Being aware of current happenings is not enough.imsindia. however remotely.com/csb/gd_bank. It shows maturity on your part. say. Learn to respect their points of views even if you don’t accept them. This will help you clear your own thought process plus it will get you into the habit of discussion. Women make better managers Abstract Topics Abstract topics are about intangible things. or on opinions and hearsay. learn to check your temper. terrorism. as only when he is well informed about all the facets is he able to take correct decisions. E. This will be a good training for controlling your emotions. In the case study there are no incorrect answers or perfect solutions. question and argue. Also question whether your point of view is based on facts. Make a habit of reading newspapers like TOI and Economic Times and general interest and business magazines like Frontline. IIM Indore and IIT SOM Mumbai have a case-based discussion rather than topic-based discussion in their selection procedures. Think about what you feel about different issues. Interest in one’s environment is an essential quality for a manager. The number 10 Case-based GD Another variation is the use of a case instead of a topic.htm How To Prepare for GDs ? | Top One can be successful at a GD with proper preparation and guidance. Being aware of current affairs and issues and happenings. E. If you are proven wrong. which is of utmost importance in a GD. Tip 4 # While discussing.g. It is better if the group consists of people who you don’t know too well . For lots of GD topics and reading material visit http:/www.g. which affect our lives. Get into the habit of discussing issues with your friends and family.logically arguing his point of view without getting personal and emotional. Information about the situation will be given to you and you would be asked as a group to resolve the situation. One must also form opinions on those happenings and issues that arise. These topics test your lateral thinking and creativity. The case study tries to simulate a real-life situation. what are the premises underlying your thoughts and beliefs. Hear multiple points of view. Listen. Given below are 5 easy to follow tips which will help you in your GD preparation :Tip 1 # Brushing up on your general awareness is a must. The objective in the case study is to get you to think about the situation from various angles. Express your opinion. IIM A. Ask yourself why you feel that way. But remember that they have a right to their opinions. Outlook and Business India. Tip 3 # The process of opinion formation is incomplete without getting inputs from others. Write down your thoughts. but their possibility cannot be ruled out. Everyone does. Modify your opinions as you go along. accept it with good grace. Tip 5 # Practice: Try and mobilize other people who are interested in GDs and simulate GDs. shows a well-rounded personality. Reservations should be removed.

.verbal like nodding your head. you can go ahead and either support or oppose the point provided you can give substantial reasoning as to why you think so. get it back on track by giving a new directional point. it could backfire. substantiate it with a reason and validate it with an example wherever and whenever possible.Make use of hands and facial expressions to make your point more emphatic.Master Tips For GDs | Top Certain Dos for a Group Discussion . ensure that you give him credit for what he is speaking by use of non . . . . make an attempt at opening the discussion.Do not slouch but seat yourself comfortably. volume. evaluate the worth of what you are saying. awkward posture could indicate nervousness or discomfort with your position in the group. .Make sure that all the points that you make are original and backed by substantial reasoning as to why you believe so. If the crowd is too unruly wait for the right opportunity.Whether you agree with the person who is speaking or not.Making yourself heard is important but do not try to hog the lime-light all the time.Whatever you have to say has to be wrapped around with a logical flow. make your point and get out of it.When not speaking make sure that you are looking at the person who is speaking. .Whatever position you occupy in the discussion make sure that while speaking you make eye contact with each and every one in the group.Do not act patronising with your fellow group members.Do not fidget or act restless.Incase of fish markets first and foremost make sure that you don’t contribute to the mayhem.Do not get into arguments with people. . . remember you are there to make effective points. State your point.If somebody has already made the point you wanted to make. pitch and tone so as to suite the nature of the point that you are making. . or you may simply make points that are irrelevant or were better left unsaid. do not waste time on futile arguments that do not contribute to the topic under discussion. The opening has to be a general introduction to the topic briefly laying the scope of the discussion. Make sure you don’t sound rude or arrogant. .If the discussion is revolving around a certain point for too long give a new direction by introducing a new angle to it. . learn to toe the line between assertive and aggressive. . . . . Don’ts of a GD .If the discussion is straying from it’s main idea. But if you venture ahead with it make sure that you make a good job of it. etc.Most of all remember belief in your own ability to remain poised in any situation will allow you to sail through.Modulate the various aspects of your voice. . . . viz. .Your posture should be straight and upfront.Do not make use of gestures excessively as you may come across as aggressive.If possible.

the person who talks the most is not necessarily the one who is judged the best. you could do so by collectively addressing the group as “Friends”..Do not stare at the floor or out of the window.. The quality and not the quantity of your contribution is the success factor. What is the seating arrangement like? It could be semi-circular.the written test. The GD is between you and the other members. but there could be instances when this does not happen. the Group discussions and the Personal interviews. Knowledge is Supreme – Please read on all current topics – from any current affairs magazine like CSR. If someone has been trying to speak and has a good point but is cut off constantly. or circular. Keep your composure – Make salient points and be a good listener Frequently Asked Questions | Top What is the normal duration of a GD? A GD is generally of 15-20 minutes duration. In this particular page we shall look at some parameters on which you are judged through a Personal Interview and also all those things which go into the making of a quintessentially good PI performance. Please understand PI is the first time you come face to face with the people who are finally going to select you. A stage which is not only important but also . depending upon the venue. How you need to prepare. or seating along side a rectangular table. Is there time given for preparation after the topic is given and before starting the GD? Usually some time (2-5 minutes) is given to collect one’s thoughts. psyching out of many of us. you could use names (if the group has had a round of self-introduction prior to starting the discussion and you remember the names) or simply use pronouns like “he” or “she”. which you have no control over. Should I address the panel or the group members? Don’t ever make the mistake of addressing the panel members. you may come across as uninterested or inattentive. Services Chronicle and don’t forget to include Competion Master. Are the group members supposed to keep track of the time or will the panel keep track? It would be good if you are conscious of the time. there would thousands of advice and methods to do well but the moment you enter the room 90% of all your learning goes into thin air. signals the start of the next and probably the most important part of your selection process. How should I address the other group members? If you are initiating the discussion. Just ignore their existence. Contrary to the misconception. but not to the point of getting so distracted looking at your watch that you do not contribute to the discussion. Subsequently. Should I encourage others to speak up? Do not directly put someone who is consistently silent on the spot by asking him/her to speak up. Suppose I have a lot to say on the topic. to a large extent . You must avoid even looking at the panel members while the GD is in progress. What is a Personal Interview ? | Top The end of the first part of the elimination process . How many panel members are there to evaluate? There are usually 3-4 panel members to evaluate. should I say all of it? You would not be looked upon favourably if you kept speaking all the time and did not listen to anyone else. ... not the panel members. At the very moment you are what you are. you may encourage him/her to continue with her point as you would like to hear her out. so it is best not to bank on this.. Just brush them up. It is best not to bother about trivial issues like this.

strength and weakness.Types Of Question | Top Lets understand how the questions are been asked to us and what is looked into all of them : Part 1 – Personal Module • • • • • Tell me something about your self. job if applicable. teachers . hobbies and interests. Tell me something about your self – is just to break ice with the student and make him comfortable. Include your last education. Strength – to find out how many managerial qualities you possess. read their prospectus at least once Part 4. friends. Weakness – what are you going to do about it? Your urge to improve your self Hobbies and Interest – It can be anything no problem. project or Hons Subject If work exp be sure of your industry knowledge This could be a difficult area to justify each and every question.Miscellaneous What if you don’t get in to our college Which other institute you have qualified for What’s the meaning of your name What you have learnt from your parent. a brief about family. your career goal in specific How MBA is going to help in achieving it A strong rationale why you want to do MBA Please have a good knowledge about the institute. Please keep them quantifiable and you can give example to substantiate. but in case of any answer you are unable to make please be honest and don’t make any bluff Part 3 – Career Objective What you want to achieve in life. but always mention what you learned from it Part 2 – Academic or Job knowledge Prepare your final year paper. place you belong and what qualities you would like to highlight like I am optimist and love interacting with others.

The Interview panelists are usually the most experienced people around and they hate the kind of arrogance that the use of jargon suggests. Try asking yourself as many questions as possible. then you are one of the better students of the country. It is very possible and probable that most of the questions will be based on the information given by you in this form. In fact many believe that this is the round which determines whether you are in or out.. as only when he is well informed about all the facets is he able to take correct decisions. Remember. If there is any part of the admission process. the college is also looking for good students. BUT PLEASE DON’T UNDERMINE THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS PROCESS IN YOUR ADMISSION PROCESS. it is the Personal Interview. irrespective of their background always know everything about everything. being an engineer. Being aware of current affairs and issues and happenings. start with something like “I’m not sure. Remember that the panelists. An answer like “ I don’t know. Tip 3 # Always remember that the interview is NOT an elimination round. Tip 4 # What ever you have written in the application form of the institute. Interest in one’s environment is an essential quality for a manager. Ask yourself why you feel that way. On the other hand.What is a Good Personal Interview ? | Top It is really hard to say. so if the Interview is so unpredictable. which affect our lives. So please don’t LIE. Even if you do use them. “ You will get points for both honesty and clarity of expression. read on. Outlook and Business India. Think about what you feel about different issues. Make a habit of reading newspapers like TOI and Economic Times and general interest and business magazines like Frontline. Maybe even among the top 1%. Let this knowledge give you the confidence you need. so you have found out that the panelists are all from humanities background and so you. or on opinions and hearsay. however remotely. Be confident. Nothing could be further from the truth. Okay. it really is that strange. Tip 5 # Never use jargon. what are the premises underlying your thoughts and beliefs. Tip 2 # Being aware of current happenings is not enough. sometimes you may feel that you have messed up the interview but you may get a final call.. It really depends upon the whim of the panel that is in front of you on D-Day. How To do well in an Interview ? | Top Okay. So if you want to do well in this round. The written tests have taken care of that. Even if you are guessing.. but I guess. shows a well-rounded personality. Also question whether your point of view is based on facts. Write down your thoughts. If you have made it this far. Tip 1 # Brushing up on your general awareness is a must. So it best to avoid jargons. that is really beyond your control. think that you can afford to bluff your way through the technical questions. please be sure that you are sure about what you are talking. Don’t even think about it. They are very experienced and can detect a bluff even by looking at you.. You are your best judge.. terrorism. You may feel that you have done a really good job at the interview but you might end up getting chucked out. say. If you don’t know the answer.” is always more appreciated than a bluff. . what can you do to ensure that your interview does not become a nightmare ? Well here are a few tips which will serve you well on the D-Day. please say so. please read it again and again.. One must also form opinions on those happenings and issues that arise. as you are looking for a good college.” or “ I don’t recollect.. Believe me. Unless you are really thorough about everything related to that field. Tip 6 # Never bluff. no body know better than you as what are your strength and weakness.

1. 23. How would you describe the ideal job for you following post-graduation? 39. especially for those who have industry work experience. What are the most important rewards you expect in your career? 8. Do you think that your grades are a good indication of your academic achievement? 33. Science and Commerce streams. Why did you select your college or university? 27. when and why did you establish these goals. Frequently Asked Questions | Top I am including a few questions below which are asked to students from all backgrounds. What have you learned from participation in extracurricular activities? 34. What do you see yourself doing five years from now? 4. In what kind of an educational environment are you most comfortable? 36. Do you enjoy doing independent research? 30. The Interviews are almost always after the writtens are over. What are your long-range career objectives? 6. Which is more important to you. If you could do so. What are the three major characteristics that you bring to the job market? . what qualities would you look for? 26. How do you plan to achieve your career goals? 7. If you were the interviewer. Be sure to prepare your graduation subjects and expect a lot of questions on your work experience for those who do have some of it. Do you have plans for continued study? 35. What are your reading habits? Favorite book? Favorite author? 17. Don’t commit this folly. Describe your most rewarding college experience? 25. How do you think a friend or a professor who knows you well would describe you? 14. Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and subordinates. In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our institute? 21. What are your long-range and short-range goals and objectives. What changes would you make in your college or university? 32. What academic subjects did you like best? Least? 29. the money or the type of job? 11. The student is well advised to prepare complete and convincing answers to these questions before proceeding to the interview. In what part-time or summer jobs have you been most interested? Why? 38. What have you learned from your hobbies? 20. Also go through the GD/PI Experiences available on the DOWNLOADS page. I have also included list of questions specific the students from Engineering. Be aware of the latest happenings in your field of study. What do you really want to do in life? 5. Be prepared with some of the frequently asked questions (you will find some of the most important ones in the next section). What specific goals. What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses? 12. What qualifications do you have that make you think that you will be successful? 18. What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort? 15. have you established for yourself for the next 10 years? 3. would you plan your academic study differently? 31. How would you describe yourself? 13. Which specialization would you like to take in MBA? Why? 9. How has your education prepared you for a career? 16. Why did you choose the career for which you are preparing? 10. What qualities should a successful manager possess? 22.Tip 7 # Do your homework. How do you work under pressure? 37. and how are you preparing yourself to achieve them? 2. other than those related to your occupation. Engineering | Science | Commerce The following is a list of 50 frequently asked questions in the MBA qualifying interviews. What led you to choose your field of major study? 28. What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why? 24. How do you determine or evaluate success? 19. so the tension level is much less and so students tend to lower their guard a bit.

your professional interests and where you plan to go from here. Also. is like comparing apples and oranges. What two or three things are most important to you in your job? 42. What have you done in the past year to improve yourself? 46. So what I am going to do is to give you a compilation of all the rankings. what has influenced your career path so far. Thus. Why did you choose _____ Institute of Management to conduct your higher education? 45. What major problem have you encountered and how did you deal with it? 50. But Still for your knowledge. the Statement of Purpose is your personal statement about who you are. It need not be a bald statement of facts. please don’t try to choose a B-School based on the rankings. You are probably skeptical of this page already. Each has it’s unique pros and cons. What have you learned from your mistakes? B-School Rankings Okay.. Comparing B-Schools. what has influenced your career path so far. Your academic . I hear you think. Be warned to take these and every other ranking with a pinch of salt.40. especially the best ones. As the name signifies. can’t be compared. that which can’t be quantified. This is because the SoP is the only part of your application packet over which you have full control. Let’s face it. There is much more to B-Schools than the rankings show. your professional interests and where you plan to go from here. Here comes another ranking. it must be well written to be successful. Are you seeking employment in a company of a certain size? Why? 43. Why should we take you rather than another candidate? 47. But whether your SoP is subtle or to the point. Here they come. several successful SoPs address these questions through anecdotes. What do you know about our Institute? 41. stories or by describing their hero. doctored. by different agencies on a single page. • • • • • • • • Career Forum Rating Discipline-Wise Ranking Exam-Wise Rating Parameter-Wise Ranking Business World Ranking Business Today Ranking Outlook Ranking Business Standard Ranking What Is Statement Of Purpose (SOP) ? | Top The Statement of Purpose is the single most important part of your application that will tell the admissions committee who you are. So don’t EVER try to make decisions based on rankings. Relax I am not going to bother you with another ranking for the simple reason that there is already so many of them around. Who are your role models? Why? 49. Give an example of something you have done in the past that demonstrates your initiative and willingness to work? 48.. Remember that life at a B-School and thus it’s final ranking is not something that can always be quantified in tangible terms. These rankings are at best just an indication and at worst. What criteria are you using to evaluate the company for which you hope to work? 44.

the ability to think independently and so on are all good attributes. This would include several personality types. But it is the SoP that brings you to life. And enough time for you to be able to write several drafts. To make yourself stand out from among a multitude of similarly qualified candidates. They are likely to know soon if a particular author is saying something for effect or if an essay does not ring true. an enthusiasm for learning. For graduate schools.adds an extra dimension to your personality. What is this. It is important to choose recommendation letter writers carefully. However. When you apply. form a well-balanced class. The important thing is to . visit if that is possible. extra-curricular achievements. work samples . confident and enthusiastic people who will make the class a stimulating place. Creativity. Which is why each essay is read carefully by at least two and often four or five people before a decision is taken on the application. Most people only take one or two shots at the CAT. However. show them to people and polish the essay till you get a version you are happy with. And you will be the richer for it. Your academic record . you have to choose the fraction of students that will comprise next year’s incoming class. Writing a reasonably good Statement of Purpose is not an impossible task. The SoP is your chance to talk directly to the admissions committee. a capacity for teamwork. this will even turn out to be an enjoyable process. Being from a reputed school or college confers a distinct advantage. attention and patience. only the SoP or application essays can bring out your uniqueness. XAT or GRE. Of course we want to have an effect on the admissions officers. To convince the committee that you have the spark. Standardized test scores are useful to know where you stand in the applicant pool. It requires care. From among thousands of applications. it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between individuals and decide who gets the offer of admission. Done right. skill and professionalism. speak to people about it. each of the items in the application packet -recommendations.and extra-curricular records are in the past. but while you hope they give you the best possible recommendation. this is not within your control. yes and no. you might ask. WHY BOTHER? What Do Colleges Look For In SOPs ? | Top The primary question admissions committee members ask themselves when they read a Statement of Purpose is: What does this essay tell me about the person who wrote it? Put yourself in an admission officer’s shoes. The people who read your application have been doing so for years and are skilled at spotting fakes. get a feel of the student mix that they look for and decide if this is the school for you. An applicant who does not take the essay seriously is throwing away the best opportunity available. A mix of interesting. Read on. And that means almost certain rejection. the thirst for knowledge that could add value to your class. and most of us share these in varying proportions. and these scores could be adversely affected by conditions on the test day. What your teachers or boss think of you goes a long way towards the school’s opinion. And therefore make or break your application. But in an era where the majority of applicants have good academic records. relevant work or academic experience is important. So are the admission officers looking for specific personality sorts? Well. But what schools look for is a mix of individuals that together. curiosity. grades and the courses you took. trying to tailor your SoP to reflect what you think the school is looking for is dangerous business. pride in your work. A good work sample can show your creativity.are the first section admission committee members turn to. Academic achievements and good test scores are important. Does this mean that the SoP is the main deciding factor? No. It is good to go through the school’s brochure or web site.

you will have to draw the line at background research sometime as you are working on a timetable. and where you are going from here. Remember that the essays you read are usually the best the authors could find. While you should start work on this as early as possible. for instance. several admirable people have no idea where they are going even at age 40 or 50. ‘The Princeton Review: The Student Access Guide to College Admissions’ is good and easily available. so that you can go beyond clichéd ideas like wanting to improve your prospects or . Don. your seniors or friends who are studying at that university or in the same field elsewhere. not necessarily spectacular. and a compelling read which convinces the admissions committee that you are right for their school. Spend about half an hour on this. you talk about your deep desire to make society a better place. after all. decide whether you still wish to apply there. you have to show a desire to learn. If you do not have easy access to the Internet. Be honest. Find out the strengths and weaknesses of each. You could also browse your local bookstore for resume-writing aids. It is best to get this out of the way so that your SoP is not a repetition of the information in the resume. You are not expected to write as well. recognize that it is a long process and will continue through the various stages of writing your SoP. It is not necessary to have all the answers . from your classmates. Research the institutes you are considering applying to. And that these life experiences have taught you something. from music or art.self-knowledge. what are the things you appreciate. Visit some web sites that talk about how to write your essay. A search for ‘college admission essays’ on Yahoo will yield some sites. Some professors respond. home pages of students. Take a piece of paper and start writing down all the reasons. If it is possible for you to access the university’s web site.university and department web sites and brochures. find out which professors work in areas that interest you and write to them about your plans.but you have nothing to lose at this stage. In fact. Don. After finding out some details about your potential universities. It is necessary to put in this hard work to come up with an essay that is uniquely yourself. What you want out of life. t try to tell the admissions committee what you think they want to hear. In India. can do more towards boosting your chances than the noblest platitude can.do so without appearing dishonest. t try to be something you are not. It is necessary to show that you have thought about this. go to your local bookstore and browse through a few books. Preliminary Research Write out your resume. There are a number of sites that help you to write a suitable resume for your college applications. most people who get admission to top schools do not Background Issues Ask yourself why you want to study further. you could gain a better idea about the areas of research emphasized upon by that particular department. It should instead. This is a great opportunity to look inside yourself and be rewarded by a better understanding of who you are and what you want. Starting The Essay | Top Writing your admissions essays or Statement of Purpose (SoP) is a long and intensive process . Have you done anything about this desire? Can you talk about your actions and experiences? A small example of something you did. From your books and teachers. If. look inside yourself and do your best. At the same time. your application should reflect it. Good sources for this exercise are . friends in the same field. Check out the sample essays.ten to twelve drafts over a two-month period are fairly common. some don’t . Which brings us to the next point . what inspires you. Read their section on application essays. from life itself. The people who read your essay want to be convinced that you have thought long and hard about who you are. Finally. your college professors. use the resume as a reference and highlight the learnings you have received during some key points in your career.

Make a list of schools you plan to apply to. Remember that your essay has the following objectives: Show your interest in the subject. It is not a honest account in response to the essay question (why you want to study what you do. your individuality does not come through. The admissions committee would not appreciate reading about the pain you went through after breaking up with your boyfriend. what you have learned from an event/person in your life and so on) It has embarrassing. Refer to your lists of background research and write about two handwritten pages in response to the essay question. know what you are getting into. Make lists of instances you can use in your SoP. illness. you must be sure to answer them all in your SoP. would be a valid point to include in your essay. add to and improve the list. Write a few sentences on any reason that particularly strikes a chord with you. so make every sentence count. list down events that have made a significant impression on you. Go through your resume and reflect on what you have learned from your various experiences. For example. now is the time to talk about them Show that you have thought carefully about further studies.contribute to society. Remember that you have very little space to convey who you are. it is important to ensure that your interests are compatible with the research interests of the department you are applying to. So while you may have done several interesting things in life. How have they molded your interests and led you to this point? Pick one or two cases that you can talk about in-depth. it is more convincing to demonstrate your interest by talking about any projects you may have done and what you learnt from them. a family member. Rather than saying that you find electronics interesting. and have the confidence to go through with it. Each sentence you use should strengthen the admissions committee’s resolve to admit you. Your essay should have depth. avoid falling into the trap of mentioning each of them. A final shortlist of ten to fifteen schools is common. For graduate study. and have others read it to find and correct this. it is best to take at least one professional situation and show what you did and learned. For graduate school. It could have been written by just about anybody. etc. make a list of people you admire or who have influenced you . Go through them the next day. and need not necessarily be a famous person. Read your essay carefully. As you continue through the background check. If you have taken the initiative to do things on your own. Have the admissions committee like you! Avoid sounding opinionated. highly personal and emotional content that should be avoided unless it makes a unique. . creative point. or a handicap. While you don’t have to stick to the questions asked. what matters is that they have had some influence over you. Writing The Essay | Top Read the essay question carefully to find out what the university expects you to write about. Pitfalls your essay must avoid : It is a repetition of the resume or other information available from the application form. pedantic or patronizing. Include a short paragraph near the end on what you like to do outside of your professional life. Demonstrate a rounded personality. you will add a few universities and delete several. As you progress through the background check and understand more about your interests through subsequent revisions of the SoP.this could be a friend. An account of how you overcame difficult family circumstances. a teacher. if you’ve been asked to talk about an important event in your life. The resume is where you should list achievements. Similarly. avoid emotional language. not breadth. Keep the essay focused. conceited. Don’t worry if these are events that are not ‘conventionally’ important or seem insignificant. However. Ask yourself why you wish to study at each of the schools you have listed.

Are these interests based on experience (academic or on the job) that the school may find useful. they expect to see the following in an essay – What areas are you interested in and why. and edit your lists as you go along. through a logical progression of ideas. and whether your interests and strengths fit in with the program you are applying to. What the school is looking for is a competently written statement of goals and interests that demonstrates how you think. When you take it out. Tone Use a consistent tone throughout the essay . lay it face down for two minutes while you put yourself in the admissions committee’s place.Language Issues | Top Take another 7-8 days to write 3-4 more drafts. enthusiasm. Flow While each paragraph should make a complete statement on its own. demonstrate your interest. Refer to. The ‘In their shoes’ check | Top Put your essay away for a day or two. Where do you see these interests taking you.it can misfire and harm your chances. and ask yourself if there seems to be an abrupt shift between ideas in two consecutive paragraphs. ‘maybe’ and ‘no’ piles. . Imagine yourself to be a professor or graduate student who is going through a few hundred applications and classifying them into ‘yes’. Read your essay for flow. What do you see? • Remember that for graduate school.your computer’s spell-check may not flush out all the errors. the essay should logically progress from paragraph to paragraph. or have someone else read it. Think of how you would look at SoPs and try to read yours through a stranger’s eyes. use the full form the first time and show the acronym in parentheses. and fit in the department you have applied to? Language Avoid slang and abbreviations. cutting out unnecessary adverbs. a careful reading may yield several “the’s” that are superfluous). articles and pronouns (for instance. whether you have thought through this decision to apply. For acronyms. Go through the objectives and pitfalls often. Structure This follows naturally from flow. To this end.it will only confuse the admissions officers if you alternately sound like Ernest Hemingway and Shakespeare. Do all the paragraphs mesh together to form a cogent whole? Does the essay. Be careful while using humor . Try to make your essay crisp. there is no harm in looking for the most apt phrase or sentence. your essay need not be great writing. How well defined your interests are. Use grammatically correct English and ALWAYS read your essay carefully for spelling mistakes before you send it off . and is hardly likely to endear you to them! While you should avoid flowery language and clichés.

Polishing The Essay | Top Showing your stuff around It is essential to show your SoP to a few people whose opinion you respect – an English teacher from school. • Are you repeating information that is available from the resume? Do so very sparingly. Is the tone too formal or not formal enough? Be professional yet informal – the tone you would take with your Principal or Head of Department. so avoid cliched ideas. but should persuade the reader to stay with you. Make it easy on them – smoothen the transition between paragraphs. Extra-curricular activities that brought out useful aspects in you (leadership skills or team activities are particularly helpful for business school applications!). A book or person who had a strong influence on you. and only if you are making a point about your learnings or achievements during that experience.How do you think graduate school will help you. Include among these. an older friend. or show something about you? These incidents might include. Does your essay cover these points? Does it do so in an honest and interesting manner? Many of the students applying will have backgrounds similar to yours. Does the essay end well? Does it leave the reader with a sense of completion? Avoid usage of cliches like.’ Does your essay flow smoothly? If it is choppy and abruptly jumps from paragraph to paragraph. Have you talked about specific incidents that illustrate your interest or familiarity with the subject. a parent or a relative. for instance. a professor. or does not actively contribute towards making a point in your essay. your readers will have a tough time keeping up. 2-3 people who know you well. Does your essay have an interesting beginning? This need not be witty. Ask your readers to pay particular attention to the following points: The beginning and the end – do they hold interest? The logical and smooth flow of ideas – does each paragraph smoothly give way to the next? The structure – does each paragraph bring home a central idea and contribute to the overall ‘feel’ of the essay? Are the paragraphs in proper positions? . Use it at least 3-4 times during this last stage of polishing up your SoP. or can be included in your resume. Weed out all other information that sounds like repetition (it will only irritate the reader). What experience have you had that will help. Does the essay bring out your personality? Or could it have been written by just about anybody? Have you mentioned why you are applying to that particular school? Does this section of the essay demonstrate that you have researched the school and the program? DON’T stop at the standard formula phrase. ‘I am applying to XYZ because of it’s great reputation in _______. ‘ I hope the admissions committee finds my application up to their expectations’. • • • • • • • • • • This self-check will yield a few ideas for improvement. for example: A college or work project that was instrumental in confirming your interest in the field (be sure to include a recommendation from your guide!).

print out your SoP on a separate sheet of paper. and you don’t have the option of attaching more pages. spend some time discussing it with them. boldface and italics (except in the title. tries to take those who are suited to its environment and are competent enough to take the rigours of the course. This is painful. Listen to their suggestions carefully but remember that this is your essay. communicate intelligently and effectively with other humans. 1 Any business school in India (or abroad). to ensure that it fits easily in the space provided. You don’t have to implement every suggestion. . Look for and correct any anomalies in spacing. Don’t use colors. Avoid special effects like underlining.The style and language – are they appropriate and consistent? Does the essay have too many cliches? Does it repeat particular words or phrases too often? Does it have too many superlatives? The tone – is it unnecessarily boastful or overly modest? The quality of the essay – is it boring? Does it bring out the writer’s personality? Does it include superfluous information? Or conversely. academic oriented knowledge. Use a smaller font size for this. Choose a readable font and size. Take a rough print and show it to someone else who can read it over carefully for errors and anomalies. B. are there incidents or aspects the essay should mention? Ask your readers to write their comments on the essay. we’ll discuss certain basic issues about the selection procedure for MBA. Put in a good-quality sheet of white paper. while selecting students. If you must print or write your essay on the application form itself. cut portions of the essay to reduce its length. Fact No. Also. if you have one). nothing fancy. the group discussion (GD) and the personal interview is designed to check three basic skills : A. use a good pen. While writing by hand. Print or write the essay on the copy first. Thus. the entire selection process comprising the written test. Making it to the MBA : The Nitty Gritty This article is basically a bird’s eye-view and a synopsis of the skills required to clear the rigorous entrance tests for the Indian business schools. disastrous at worst. font and margins. do the following before you take a final printout: • • • • • • • • Run a spelling and grammar check. cramped handwriting – the essay should never cause strain while reading. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. crisp copies. only those that make sense to you The Final Printout | Top Once you have the final draft ready (you have to stop sometime!). We hope that this effort will help the students hone their preparations for the final kill. Any MBA aspirant must keep all these in mind while preparing for the tests. capacity to take stress and yet produce results and C. take a photocopy of the form. As far as possible. Any other approach shall be myopic at best. but a much better idea than reducing font size to unreadable levels or using tiny. draw light pencil lines on the form to ensure that your letters are uniform and in a straight line. Keep the printed copy carefully in a folder till you are ready to transfer it to the application envelope. If it doesn’t. write slowly and carefully and if necessary. In this article. Make sure that the school and program mentioned in the essay are correct. Make sure that the printer cartridge is good enough to print clear. Read the essay carefully two-three times for spelling or grammar errors the program did not detect. Include a header in the top right-hand corner with your name and the name of the program you are applying to. Don’t use special stationery or your letterhead.

7 Be sensible and prepare for the GD and Interview stage right from now. These MBA Entrance tests basically test your innate capacity to react to new situations. they’re automatically getting prepared for the GD part of it. 4 No matter what happens. The simple advice is : Prepare your syllabus thoroughly and be ready for any test pattern whatsoever. You must have a specific time table for your preparations and B.Fact No. you should be able to identify your core strengths and weaknesses. Your competition is not only your local area ! It is Delhi. This needs time. When you are 4 or 5 weeks into your preparations. It should be a simple and pleasant exercise for you before the written test. for ex.e. 6 Be Focussed. It helps. rest assured!! Fact No. Be careful : your prime focus now is cracking as many Written Tests as possible. we’ll give a thorough analysis of each test area and its peculiarities. If you have never participated in any extracurricular activity. you ought to prepare yourself for the rigours of the modern managers’ workplace. Break the mental barriers. Coimbatore. Fact No. again and again mull over the basic tricks of shortcuts. Reading Comprehension. An average metro student would have been exposed. The reason is pretty simple : if you crack the written test. You must work in every crucial test area (i. Read diverse stuff. remember that academics and personal background may play the most crucial part in it. discuss current issues and general topics. your horizons get even broader. A bland approach to knowledge gathering can be self-defeating. And you should be ready to put it in. Mathematical Aptitude. Bangalore. If your fundamentals are in place. Build upon your strengths and ensure that the weaknesses are not too damaging. With every new type of book you read. in the GD. you have to be super quick. This is not to scare you but to present the factual picture. Fact No. extremely suave and cutting-edge. Baroda. Vijaywada. So realize the fact that unless you are ready to give your 100% to the preparations to these tests nothing may come out of it. 9 No teacher in the world can make a champion out of you in a few months. (Remember : in most exams every section carries a cutoff limit). So please put away all your school and college time conceptions and have the “Managerial Mindset. Fact No. Always have a good friend circle and discuss things with them. concentrate as much as you can on the written test. and Data Interpretation). Hence the cost-benefit analysis proves it beyond doubt that score maximisation in the written test should be the first priority. you must crack the RC and EU sections in MBA tests at the same time ensuring that your quantitative portions are not left out. This means that : A. As far as the PIs are concerned. 5 Be aware of the extent and magnitude of the competition. to English books and newspapers all through his life. nobody ever made it to the best b-schools in India without a consistent. English Usage. you’re miles ahead of the competition. by virtue of an active environment. Thus. the most unexpected and the least desired! This is a fact that astonishes most of the students so accustomed to standardized test patterns and the ubiquitous “I-M-P s”.” as we call it. 8 Visit libraries. the moment you decide to enter the field of high-flying management. From the next article onwards. You must try to develop this mindset for yourself. There are students all over the nation fighting for the same few seats in top notch B-schools and you’ll be benchmarked against them. if you read English newspapers because your teacher asks you to do so. Except for geniuses. Make your informal groups and at least for 30 min per day. Fact No. Hyderabad. In fact. if you don’t have any hobby at all. But more important than possessing mere knowledge is the art of presenting it. This develops the positive mindset towards the language which in turn may help tremendously in the language sections in the written test and later on at the GD stage. smart and dedicated study schedule. 2 Be ready for the worst. if you’ve never read anything apart from the textbooks. In the written test. Mumbai. Ask yourself the simple question : Can I analyse situations ? Can I think beyond the obvious ? Am I a mere database or a thinking human being ? Fact No. etc. Literally. and in the interview extremely cogent. then it’s not adding up. Pune. This is a crucial difference between successful students and unsuccessful ones. reasonably sensible students need not be told that when they are preparing for the RC section in CAT. In fact. knowledge of current affairs helps in the GDs and knowledge of your “Self” helps in the personal interviews. You must have a good . The truth is : life is unpredictable and the managers’ lives all the more so. 3 Knowledge is the most important aspect but it is not everything. As you prepare for the test. if you’re basically good at English. try working backwards from the options wherever possible and devise your own strategies to crack new types of problems. Knowledge of academics helps in the written test. Fact No. Don’t get bogged down by GDs.

analysing your approach for a better score in the test paper? Face it .Do your homework before you attempt any national level MBA entrance test. Know the patterns of the question papers in the past. Focus on all the test area specifically and not over do or under do a test area. This happens. Language Skills. Direction – It is imperative to give yourself a proper direction for career pathway i. Only a perfect Fit of all these qualities will make it through. Clearing the MBA tests is a matter of consistent drive. focus on it as a Career Alternative and just an entrance exam. Home work . These traits are an integral part of a personality of a student and have to be inculcated as strong values to be made a part of their own system of learning. These primarily include Speed & Accuracy. Personality.MBA entrance is all about a perfect mix of attitude and aptitude. These primarily include Speed & Accuracy.e. Fact No. Efficacy . Quantitative skills. 10 YOU CAN DO IT. we urge you to get started now!! The A to Z of MBA Preparation MBA entrance today is one of the most coveted career pathway as seen by the young graduates and college going students. Perseverance to survive the grind at the B-School . It is possible that initially you may feel let down looking at your performance in the mock papers but every thing takes time. Only a perfect Fit of all these qualities will make it through. that MBA offers every aspirant a challenge to make it to a Top B-school. why should he choose you after all. you must gear up for the element of surprise in the MBE entrance test paper. go prepared.profile : What’s your niche after all ? Think about it. Just when you think you have got the grip on vocabulary for example . determination and dedication. we urge you to get started now!! YOU CAN DO IT. Clearing the MBA tests is a matter of consistent drive. Conviction .Take the MBA entrance preparations head on. Power.MBA entrance is all about a perfect mix of attitude and aptitude. Communication skills & Sincerity. Try to visualise it from the examiner’s point of view. As encapsulated in our catchphrase “Vision. consequently followed by a very bright and lucrative career. This is the crux of the matter. determination and dedication.For the challenge ahead. Out of a mass of thousands of aspirants. and you have to face it “Rome was not built in a day” Gear up . Usually a student fails to perform only on account of a test area he has been strong in and therefore had been neglecting it during preparatory stage. It is possible that you may be solving the mock entrance papers with correct techniques. Power. The A to Z of these values can be listed as follows: Attitude . analyse and formulate a strategy to attempt it. Management has to be taken up as a profession and not a mere source of Income.Doing right things is also equally important to efficiency (doing things right). if you are appearing for MBA entrance. Bottom line. Needless to emphasize. Balance . As encapsulated in our catchphrase “Vision. Language Skills. Drive”. Quantitative skills. Personality.In your approach to preparation a balance is a must. . However clearing the MBA entrance requires specific traits and preparation. you might simply lose points on account of the same. Drive”. manage you time effectively. You ought to have a USP (Unique Selling Proposition). but are focusing on the areas that need to be developed at the same time. Communication skills & Sincerity.

enough is never enough. Nitty Gritty . Accept first that you need to learn and that there is much more to learn than what you know. You cannot afford to take anything for granted or leave it to chance. etc. does not help go in for the right kind of quantity. Wisdom . Reference books.To handle frustration and failures.Blindly solving examples 50 questions a day or 100 questions a day or 2 papers a day etc. For this you need to develop Tolerance. how can a person ever attempt the whole section?” Perseverance .Many students indicate “I hate reading philosophy !!” well how do you plan to face a philosophical passage in the RC section in an exam for all you know it might have 12 questions attached to it. how would you like yourself to be remembered as…? Give yourself a vision combine it with values and look at MBA as a mere stepping stone to achieving it. I can handle it now” Quality + Quantity . Ultimatum . start reading today.Approach your preparations with maturity. “its now or never. Perseverance is the golden key. Read magazines.To work and plan out well in advance. Look at your self 25 years from now. not meant for me” or “This is so lengthy. Work on it. Start with acceptance that “Yes I failed” or “I did not get good enough marks because I messed up” the fact that you have scored less only indicates that you still have a scope to improve drastically.Give yourself an ultimatum. read and yet more read. Killer Instinct . could you have solved the same question which you got right in lesser time? Optimistic attitude . tell yourself “ I am going to make it even if it takes working long hours and late nights for the preparation“ Like what you do . or in the corporate sector as a CEO. How do you want to see yourself down the career pathway? Self employed as a consultant or a manufacturer or an exporter. If you are unable to improve your scores in RC (Reading Comprehension). Check out whether or not you have been able to rectify the errors you made plus also work on the time factor i.Keep working no matter what it takes.A vision for self is a must. Reading . cramming. 100 years from now when none of us reading this article would be alive. have you been able to manage your time well in the test ? evaluate your performance and be discreet in your judgment. Vision and Values . preparing on the topics you hate or don’t know. Focus on it for making things happen for yourself and refrain from thinking parameters like “this is too tough. you are doping for yourself and your career.Introspection – Do your SWOT analysis. Sincerity .To self and cause is a pre requisite for MBA entrance preparation. get your technique right by using qualitative preparatory material. It is advisable to start at least 12 to 18 months in advance to give yourself a cutting edge. Newspapers. not solving enough examples or even not even revising regularly remember you need to be sincere to yourself. I have to make it happen” This will help you to boost your morale and make you work still more and especially when you need it the most.Bead. you will realise when it all adds up in the end. Judge your improvement . Tolerance . find out the areas you are weak in.Attitude makes a difference in the kind of scores you can expect. Students tend to lose focus after a while and try to find out short cuts to learning. Think about it.During your preparation focus on improvements and not just high scores have you improved on the test taking techniques ? . things might just happen to be in your favour at the last minute and you would realise “Thank goodness I worked on it.Approach the preparations with a Do or Die attitude. chances are that your reading habits have not been strong or focused on reading a variety of topics. it is never to late. Use you performance benchmarks to motivate yourself and a tool for improvement. Maturity . Management books. Do not leave anything for the last minute.Work on the detailing.e. . your career is on the line. You cannot afford to ignore it honestly you do not have much of a choice but to fall in love with reading. This is the first step for preparation.

latest trends in information technology. creed. To develop such a plan.these things need time. Having a knee-jerk reaction to situations may not be the best thing to do. if a young man decides today to make his own mark. The employer of the future will be keener to recruit a holistic individual rather than a mere specialist who is found wanting in personality areas. we do get a feel that something somewhere is amiss. and at least one strong hobby. at least one well-known game or sport. In this age of retrenchment of the inefficient and survival of the fittest (no social Darwinism intended!).For success (a strong urge/desire – fire in the belly as we say) Zeal . a lot of time and must start during the school days. Nothing is sacrosanct. be cosmopolitan. at least 2 major languages including English.. This also gives you an ample leeway to effect changes to the plan depending on expert advice from time to time. One caveat though : Diversification of skill set should not at all mean that one should be scared of specialising in a skill.. Thirdly. you must learn to manage your time well.. you must consult as many experts (or so-called experts!) as possible. As a young man keen on breaking new grounds. you should also be good at supportive skills like working knowledge of computers. extensive reading skills. These can serve as a good indicator and a general road-map. Suffocating boundaries of gender. the converse may be true !! Thus. This combination will prepare you adequately for the future work-place where getting ahead is more a function of personality skills and presentation capabilities than mere bookish knowledge. (Pity that the Indian PSUs still need to understand this!) .in any case several brains are better than one. your chosen field of academics. Be open to radical ideas and different thoughts.. regular learning process and a creative bent of mind is the basis of future progress. First of all. Thus. What this means is that tying your horses to just one post may be a fatal strategy. is possibly the best preparation you can do for the future..business policies that worked in the past are anachronistic today. one must start early. Worst of all. what should be an ideal game plan ? Let us try and list down certain rules-of-thumb.. Constant up gradation of skills. Develop a liberal mind-set. It gives one the terrific advantage of planning at a leisurely pace and then implementing the plan systematically. you must work on multiple plans at the same time.e. the contribution of regular university education can be dramatically low in many cases. but the above statement by Swami has never been more relevant! Today when we see huge masses of our youth desperately struggling to gain a foothold in the intensely competitive marketplace and to carve a niche for themselves.in fact. diversify your skill-set. interpersonal human skills. while maintaining your own identity. religion. remain self-disciplined and be as open to criticism as possible. An analysis of the successful clearly tells that there is much more than conventional education that has gone into their making. So in case a particular game-plan does not work out.. It helps. language and region will be as anachronous in the working place of the next millennium as a steam engine is today! Your success will be largely determined by your capacity to integrate yourself in a largely cosmopolitan workplace. Do not harbour the typically public-sector-like romantic notion that your employer is responsible for ensuring your life-long job. This.Yen .. parochial and provincial mindsets will not be able to integrate themselves wholly with the mainstream in the coming millennium. Thinking about your future must involve discounting newer technological developments as fast as possible. caste. understand clearly that experience of the past is possibly the worst indicator of what lies ahead ! In fact. Secondly. there is little that anyone can do for an inefficient. The rate at which all the economies are opening up and disparate cultures are coming together is a clear pointer to the fact that narrow-minded. these can not be done at all after you finish your schooling..Give it a thought Now ! Swami Vivekanand has so pithily put it : “All of us wish to be kings but few realize that the crown will come to us on its own the day we are ready for it.. the only thing that we might learn from our past experience is that the entire world is changing at a breakneck speed and in order to stay where you are you need to run pretty fast. So. outdated and outclassed individual. It simply means keeping your wild-cards open till the last moment... Fourthly. Finally.To reach the Pinnacle of a Successful Career Pathway Our Future .it could well be exactly the opposite. you must have an alternative backup present. not only should you be good at your core competence i.” Outdated though we may think our own thinkers are. you will realize in due course of time.

What happens practically is that education gets segmented and parochial.who gets the right to define what culture is and more important what “cultural imperialism” is ? --. For each one of us. Ultimately it is going to be a delicate balancing act.Rise. and especially the established interests.should educational institutes become a status quo perpetrating mechanism or should they actually encourage students and young people to break free of shackles and stereotyped moulds? I believe that the answer to the question lies in the above. Awaken. what comes to mind (at least my mind) is possibly a very rigid definition of human mores and customs and the way we are supposed to behave in a society. This brings to mind the open contradiction in the process of growth of a young human individual. provincial lifestyles have been replaced by a cosmopolitan outlook and the overall growth. let us not underrate the collective intelligence gathered by man over millennia. Rigid mindsets and Victorian values have given way to open minded liberalism. what is right and what is wrong for them ? --.... given the right kind of education. How to Shortlist a Business School . Also we find a hankering for the past values.an open debate as to what liberalism actually means and to what extent can individual human independence be guaranteed without affecting societal good --... to perpetuate in the coming generations the knowledge. ..and Define your own destiny !! Culture and Education Systematic education is the cumulative effort on part of the human society.” Given these realities. At the same time. it might be different but then. despite apparent victory and success of the present ones. Over the past 100 years or so. It starts catering to local interests and provincialism rather than focusing on developing a broad minded individual capable of seeing through things and taking his own decisions. Talking of culture. What I feel is necessary is : --.. spread and development of globalization and liberalization has ensured a “global culture. human society in general and western society in particular has witnessed a dramatic change in value systems and traditional approaches. Shine. This is possibly a very cosmopolitan definition of education and it is unlikely that any education system in the world would be actually ensuring the most democratic distribution of knowledge. that is what makes us human! Isn’t it ? Let us take a broad-minded view of life as it shall be in the net millennium. Culture again is a diffused concept taking into account several aspects of human existence and it is almost impossible to define it in a compartmentalized manner or a rigid manner taking into account all its aspects. the issue of “culture and education” or “culture v/s education” becomes extremely crucial and deserves the most open minded appreciation.should our young people not be left free to decide for themselves. What we find is that every society has started feeling a need for its own definition of what constitutes the “right” thing for them—this may not be what is right for the others. It might be important lest we should be left irrelevant in the global scheme of things. the skills and the traditions that have been accumulated over the years through collective human effort.

an older school will have a larger alumni network.The batch composition is skewed in favour of a certain region and this can create an unfavourable impression on recruiters.or goodwill . For instance. Preparation Schedule | Top . a lot of learning happens outside the classroom through group tasks like case study analysis. Thus. these group tasks also help the student learn from the knowledge and experience of his peers. AFFILIATIONS AND PARTNERSHIPS : Many MBA courses are launched in collaboration with a reputed foreign business school. RESERVATIONS : Reservations of any kind can lead to a mediocre student body. Affiliated programmes are usually burdened with excessive bureaucracy. research etc. These days schools also have partners for student and faculty exchange. All B-Schools that are part of the Maharashtra CET. All schools look good on paper. suffer from this drawback: the number of seats for students from outside is less than 10%.in the corporate world. Besides assessing personality development. The reputation of partner schools and their international rankings can tell you a lot about the B-School. B-Schools with a compulsory boarding programme are rated higher than those with a day programme. all the above parameters have an impact on the placements.. DIRECTOR AND THE ACADEMIC TEAM : The director plays a very important role in building a B-Schools reputation. you can bet the school has a strong standing . You should not go by the last years placement figures alone. Now that Singh has moved to IIM-L. an autonomous school is rated higher than a school with a university affiliations. As we all see it. For example. classes are held for just four hours per day. Another benefit of the boarding programme is the increased usage of facilities such as the library and the computer center. location is not much of a problem once the school has been able to build a reputation in the market.and about half a dozen rankings. A boarding programme offers much more opportunity for this kind of learning. new B-Schools situated in the metros or highly industrialized locations might find it easier to attract companies. projects. Naturally. MDI shot into the limelight once Pritam Singh became it’s Director. LOCATION OF THE INSTITUTE : If the school is new. SP Jain was initially affiliated to the Mumbai University but soon opted for autonomy . but a student ends up working for more than 10 hours. BOARDING PROGRAMME VERSUS DAY SCHOOL : In a typical B-School. which can come in the way of fine tuning the course in line with industry standards. a visionary director ensures that the quality of teaching is above average.since by then it had carved an enviable position for itself. Placements in a particular year may have been an aberration or simply the results of a great economic boom ( or bust). Companies will do their own assessment of a school based on the above parameters. so how do you weed out the wannabees? Here is a frame work yu can use to shortlist a school. You can get an idea of the alumni network from the school brochure. but the rankings vary widely. ALUMNI STRENGTH : If a school’s alumni occupy senior positions in major corporates. Therefore. and the current students. On the other hand. presentations.. IIM-A started off in active collaboration with the Harvard Business School. This goodwill directly translates into better placements. a lot is expected from that school. If nothing else. Of course. AUTONOMOUS VERSUS UNIVERSITY AFFILIATED PROGRAMMES : Contrary to the common perception. An HR manager would think twice before devoting 2 days time to go to a remote area. it’s location does affect placements.an average will give a much better picture. So look for the placements for at least three years . PLACEMENTS : Placement is a crucial factor most students look for.There are over 900 B-schools in India .

.. However for students from non-maths background additional reference is suggested.S Agarwal. Quicker Maths – M. 1st to 15th Sept – Part B section test and Comprehensive Test + 2 SIM CATs. Now there is no definite answer for this. On 21st Nov – Best Wishes to all of you. it depends upon individual’s comfort which he develops by sheer practice.How you prepare is more important than how much you are preparing. Mathematics for MBA – R. No reference to BRM should be done after this. A thorough reading of it should suffice for students from Maths or Engineering background.Tyra. Test Taking Skills : How much time to devote to each section. 3rd Week of Sept . Learn faster calculation and adopt the attitude of making approximation as much as possible. . The objective is to get thorough with basic concepts and get introduced to different type of problems. These are some basic question are encountered by everyone. This will give a complete picture of your strength and weakness. All coaching Institutes provides you Basic Reference Materials( with different names). which section to start off. Schedule of Preparation Last Week August – Completion of BRM of all sections followed by one week of revision. its purpose is to introduce various concepts and problems on all the topics across all the sections of CAT. Read first 5 chapters of either M.Tyra or Trachenberg for this. The success at CAT every year is a function of both level of preparedness and method adopted for it. Short Cut Techniques : One myth need to be cleared please understand short-cut for all questions are not possible. The idea behind giving this write-up is to help students plan their step wise preparation in the best possible manner to get maximum benefit out of IMS training program. Don’t try to remember any formula for short-cut it always leads to confusion rather than help.Revision of all class test (all important questions) and part –B 1st Oct to 15th Nov – Only test practice + SIM CATs. The three stage of MBA preparation: Basic Concept Build-Up Test Taking skill and practice and GD/PI & GK Preparation Basic Concept Build-Up This is the basic foundation of your preparation.

Besides it is highly recommended that all those who are preparing should DEFINITELY go in for SIM CATs conducted by IMS. new B-Schools situated in the metros or highly industrialized locations might find it easier to attract companies. which can come in the way of fine tuning the course in line with industry standards.and about half a dozen rankings. All schools look good on paper. AUTONOMOUS VERSUS UNIVERSITY AFFILIATED PROGRAMMES : Contrary to the common perception. B-Schools with a compulsory boarding programme are rated higher than those with a day programme.since by then it had carved an enviable position for itself.This schedule is specific to those taking coaching from IMS. AFFILIATIONS AND PARTNERSHIPS : Many MBA courses are launched in collaboration with a reputed foreign business school. but others can also co-relate this by just changing the terminology. a lot is expected from that school. IIM-A started off in active collaboration with the Harvard Business School. Naturally. Besides assessing personality development. an older school will have a larger alumni network. Affiliated programmes are usually burdened with excessive bureaucracy. DIRECTOR AND THE ACADEMIC TEAM : The director plays a very important role in building a B-Schools reputation. All B-Schools that are part of the Maharashtra CET. LOCATION OF THE INSTITUTE : If the school is new. MDI shot into the limelight once Pritam Singh became it’s Director. these group tasks also help the student learn from the knowledge and experience of his peers. Now that Singh has moved to IIM-L. since it is the most comprehensive and exhaustive test around and the results most accurately predict actual CAT results. RESERVATIONS : Reservations of any kind can lead to a mediocre student body. suffer from this drawback: the number of seats for students from outside is less than 10%. an autonomous school is rated higher than a school with a university affiliations.in the corporate world. This goodwill directly translates into better placements. presentations. SP Jain was initially affiliated to the Mumbai University but soon opted for autonomy .or goodwill . . Of course. For example. but the rankings vary widely. BOARDING PROGRAMME VERSUS DAY SCHOOL : In a typical B-School. a lot of learning happens outside the classroom through group tasks like case study analysis. On the other hand. How to Shortlist a Business School There are over 900 B-schools in India . so how do you weed out the wannabees? Here is a frame work yu can use to shortlist a school. it’s location does affect placements. For example. The reputation of partner schools and their international rankings can tell you a lot about the B-School. TIME students read SIM CATs as AIMCATs etc. Thus. Therefore. Another benefit of the boarding programme is the increased usage of facilities such as the library and the computer center.. An HR manager would think twice before devoting 2 days time to go to a remote area. A boarding programme offers much more opportunity for this kind of learning. For instance. ALUMNI STRENGTH : If a school’s alumni occupy senior positions in major corporates. research etc. If nothing else. Download my exclusive preparation schedule here. you can bet the school has a strong standing . but a student ends up working for more than 10 hours. and the current students. You can get an idea of the alumni network from the school brochure.. location is not much of a problem once the school has been able to build a reputation in the market. classes are held for just four hours per day. These days schools also have partners for student and faculty exchange. projects. a visionary director ensures that the quality of teaching is above average.The batch composition is skewed in favour of a certain region and this can create an unfavourable impression on recruiters.

As we all see it. All programs are better at some things than others. Business school admissions counselors want to see evidence of your professional interests to ensure that you will take full advantage of the MBA program. The idea behind giving this write-up is to help students plan their step wise preparation in the best possible manner to get maximum benefit out of IMS training program. and academic achievement. This is an expensive way to plan for your future. having that focus from the start is the key to challenging your assumptions and exploring an MBA field in depth. They are reasonably clear about what is needed to get there and what it takes to be successful. You should not go by the last years placement figures alone. The success at CAT every year is a function of both level of preparedness and method adopted for it. What makes a Good MBA Candidate ? Just wanting the degree is not enough. It also misses a major point: You should choose a school because it matches your academic and career interests. But schools want you to have already identified an area of interest that you plan to pursue after you obtain this broad base of knowledge. Experience has shown that applicants without clear goals will not have them by graduation. so you need to have a good sense of what you are planning to do with the degree. evidence of leadership potential. Signs That You Are Not Ready To be ready for business school.” There are more would-be MBAs than seats available in MBA programs. You will be competing against candidates who can articulate why they want the degree and relate their goals to the strengths of a particular program.mba. Companies will do their own assessment of a school based on the above parameters. .com) Preparation Schedule | Top How you prepare is more important than how much you are preparing. all the above parameters have an impact on the placements. At a minimum. You are avoiding the job market by buying additional time in school. Placements in a particular year may have been an aberration or simply the results of a great economic boom ( or bust). So look for the placements for at least three years . the typical MBA candidate has several years of full-time. Most MBA programs do not provide the time to find those interests during the course of study. What criteria are important to you? Courtesy (www. Are you one of those people? Can you compete favorably in the applicant pool? The MBA is designed for people who want to learn about business across many different disciplines. they consider career history and aspirations. You are not ready if: Your career goals are no more specific than “I want to manage people” or “I want to command a higher salary. Therefore. post-undergraduate work experience in a responsible capacity and can clearly articulate his or her motivations for wanting to earn an MBA. Although you may adjust your original plan while in business school.an average will give a much better picture. you must have a clear picture of what you want to do with an MBA.PLACEMENTS : Placement is a crucial factor most students look for. The strongest candidates competing to gain admission into graduate business schools are very focused on their intended career paths.

3rd Week of Sept . The objective is to get thorough with basic concepts and get introduced to different type of problems.. which section to start off. since it is the most . Schedule of Preparation Last Week August – Completion of BRM of all sections followed by one week of revision. All coaching Institutes provides you Basic Reference Materials( with different names). TIME students read SIM CATs as AIMCATs etc. Quicker Maths – M. This schedule is specific to those taking coaching from IMS.Revision of all class test (all important questions) and part –B 1st Oct to 15th Nov – Only test practice + SIM CATs. Short Cut Techniques : One myth need to be cleared please understand short-cut for all questions are not possible. No reference to BRM should be done after this. Besides it is highly recommended that all those who are preparing should DEFINITELY go in for SIM CATs conducted by IMS. Test Taking Skills : How much time to devote to each section. but others can also co-relate this by just changing the terminology. it depends upon individual’s comfort which he develops by sheer practice. Read first 5 chapters of either M. .Tyra or Trachenberg for this. its purpose is to introduce various concepts and problems on all the topics across all the sections of CAT. On 21st Nov – Best Wishes to all of you. For example.Tyra. This will give a complete picture of your strength and weakness. Learn faster calculation and adopt the attitude of making approximation as much as possible. A thorough reading of it should suffice for students from Maths or Engineering background. Now there is no definite answer for this. Mathematics for MBA – R. 1st to 15th Sept – Part B section test and Comprehensive Test + 2 SIM CATs. However for students from non-maths background additional reference is suggested. Don’t try to remember any formula for short-cut it always leads to confusion rather than help. These are some basic question are encountered by everyone.The three stage of MBA preparation: Basic Concept Build-Up Test Taking skill and practice and GD/PI & GK Preparation Basic Concept Build-Up This is the basic foundation of your preparation.S Agarwal.

of course 2. more is the familiarity. The more type of problem done. They contain probably the largest and best collection of questions from all topics. The idea is not to get stuck with any question. This is the real essence of sectional test. If still time is left go randomly for the difficult ones left. Next question is how ? Lets start with PS and VA: Remember the biggest confidence is with the student who is introduced to all type of problems in both PS and VA section.4. which itself is a rare possibility. 2/3rd of all the questions are easy and rest . Download my exclusive preparation schedule here. is to have confidence in all the sections. Keep solving all the easy ones and leave the difficult ones. Next glance through rest of set of questions. the more is your confidence.7 and 8 are type of problem you have done earlier. So what to do: the best is to attempt all easy questions from each set then go randomly to the difficult ones.7 and 8. In other words the paper will seem easy the more the type of problem you have practiced. until all of the questions in the set are easy. the more familiarity. How to get confidence in DI and RC : DI and RC are like diamonds the more you brush the more they shine. Never forget IIMs or others are looking for managers not intellectual.comprehensive and exhaustive test around and the results most accurately predict actual CAT results. engineers please don’t get sentimental with any questions because CAT paper is designed to test your ability more in planning than solving. Choosing the easy questions: The only way to find the easy questions in a set is to make sure that you see all the questions at least once. I hope you understood the point I want to convey. Finer Points | Top Lets talk about some finer points in your preparation: Why so much stress on sectional test: What a student needs before sitting in the CAT . Do I need to attempt all the question of a given set? No. Time allocation : DI is all about understanding data clearly and pure calculation after that. Imagine in the first page of PS section in CAT paper there are 10 questions of which 2. Now if I ask which is the problem you would attempt first. you need to pick the least complicated set first and then next and so on. In other words you need to attempt all set of DI section. For DI follow these 4 steps : Prioritizing the set of questions: Generally DI is given in 5-6 sets of questions.4. Repeat this for all sets. First look for DS questions because they are the simplest in the entire paper.

Sectional and Full Length Tests | Top . I love to do exact calculation. I know its not that easy but a sincere practice of sectional test will give you the desired mindset. Final Advice: What is all required for CAT is fundamental knowledge and mental strength. The problem with RC is that it makes a student mentally tired. Approximation making : I am a perfectionist. There are students who are highly talented but cannot keep their concentration for more than 1hour it’s all because of lack of zeal and passion to make success. Most talented students who are not able to get through in written are those who fail in RC (please read this sentence again). why. this emphasis on RC because by October you feel comfortable with most of section but RC always remains a weak point.K Pandey or Edgan Thorpe Preparation Time: How much time to invest – In next 120 days at least 4-6 hours daily.Tyra Reasoning – M. Why is to so? The basic reason most of us don’t possess a good reading habit.difficult and time consuming ones. magazines and books so that the habit of reading is inculcated and the range of reading widens. Suggested Books: English Grammar – A practical English grammar by Thomson and Martinet Calculation Speed – Speed System by Trachenberg or 1st 3 chapters of M. What about RC ? For most of CAT aspirants RC seems like a horror film. The idea is to read everything that one can. CAT aspirants are advised to read newspapers. If this is your attitude then my sincere suggestion is try becoming a rocket scientist not an MBA. This could be best understood when solving sectional test. What ever may be you method of preparation if its not coupled with high motivation you are bound to lose the race. Last but not the least please stay away from calculators till your exams are not over. Lot of people do make poor beginning while doing approximation but never lose heart even a sincere practice for one month will help you reach 70% accuracy level which is good enough. Whatever is the time allocated in the first 2/3rd make sure you rush through all the sets at least once and must have picked all the easy ones. Good RC skills can be developed only over a period of time. A daily habit of reading editorial of a leading newspaper or any serious stuff for at least 1hour will help to a great extent. So you need the daily dose of serious stuff to make you comfortable on the D-Day.

Do go through them. I will be adding more test as soon as I have time. Antonyms and Synonyms etc. Now the thing about these questions is that you either know the words or you don' If you know the words. They are meant to test both your test taking skills and concentration. Meanings. The absolute must dos are the IMS Vocabulary List and the GRE Guide' Wordlist by BARRONS.Sectional Tests are very important because they contain large number of questions on similar topics. I have added some more resources here s that you may find useful in your efforts to build up your vocabulary. How this helps is that by the time you have completed some sectional test. Analogies. because you would have cleared the cut-off in this section even without attempting the RC questions. Enjoy solving these for the moment. Which means you will have the time to devote extra attention to the other sections. The point I am trying to make is that you can never do enough as far as words are concerned. you are very thorough with all the different types of questions on that particular subject. about 7 to 8 mins. They are meant to be taken in one seating without any breaks and never more than one a day. Full Length Tests are similar to the ones that you face in the real exams. while appearing for sectional tests aim for accuracy rather than speed. Try to maintain a balance between speed and accuracy. These include FIBs. you can solve these 20 questions in t. I have added some Tests below. Sectional Tests : Quantitative Aptitude : Test 1 | Test 2 | Test 3 | Test 4 Reading Comprehension : Test 1 | Test 2 | Test 3 | Test 4 Logical Reasoning : Test 1 | Test 2 | Test 3 | Test 4 Verbal Ability : Test 1 | Test 2 | Test 3 | Test 4 Full Length Tests : Test 1 | Test 2 | Test 3 | Test 4 | Test 5 | Test 6 | Test 7 | Test 8 Vocabulary Resources | Top Almost 15 to 25 questions in the Verbal section of CAT and about 40 to 50 questions in XAT are direct word based questions. • • • • • The Dictionary The Top 1000 Most Used Words Most Commonly Used Nouns Ad-World Vocabulary Business Vocabulary CAT-alogue | Top . I will add more stuff as soon as I get them.

there is no harm in intelligent guessing. Bear in mind that your aim is not to attempt all questions but to select questions carefully and to try to attempt most of them correctly. watch / stop watch. put in your best. the cut-offs will shoot up and vice-versa. ensure that no mismatch happens between your answer and the oval which you shade in the AFAS. Avoid losing your concentration due to a tough section or a string of tough questions. For instance. where you have clearly narrowed down your choice to the two “close” ones. Do not get into an ego hassle with any question. Reach the test venue well in time and make yourself comfortable. Whereas some amount of caution is necessary. sharpener(s) and enough number of HB pencils. Always remember that CAT is a ‘relative marking’ test where the cut-off scores will vary according to two factors namely the difficulty level of the test and others’ performance. Do not hesitate to skip a question. take note of the time as per your watch. eraser(s). It is advisable that you attempt questions in your ‘strong’ areas initially and not leave your weakest section till the very end. not. When asked to begin the test. dissimilar etc. chances are that most others are also facing the same music. Fill in your details properly in the AFAS. Be reassured that you would have left a lot of questions unanswered anyway. Last but not the least. For those who prefer block transfer. A very good overall score without the minimum required in each section is of little use for most top-level institutes.Objective of a CAT Paper • • • Minimum number of attempts Desired level of accuracy Securing sectional cut-offs The three Mantra required to achieve the above stated: • • • • Time Management Choosing the right question Positive mental frame work The final CAT-alogue for November 21st • • • • • Ensure that you are carrying the CAT admit card. Make a mental assessment of the order in which you will attempt the questions. Stay focused on the job at hand till the very end. on your stress management skills. however only in those cases. guess but guess fast. For example. If you have already spent time on a question without making any significant headway just forget it and move on. Success in CAT depends to a considerable extent. do make sure that you transfer all your solved answers to the • • • • • • • • • . untrue. Always try to hit the end of the section without becoming unduly nervous about the number of problems you have had to skip in the process. apart from. When you begin the test. Most people give up halfway through the test due to a combination of mental fatigue and a growing feeling that their chances are diminishing with every minute. take a minute or two to familiarize yourself with the test pattern and general instructions. you can always come back to those skipped. Be clear when to give up. You should keep a cool head and not get stressed. The day will surely belong to those who maintain a peak rate performance throughout the test. If the test or a particular section seems inordinately difficult to you. If time permits. Simply. Scan and look for words like except. This is especially true for questions that are inherently subjective (typically in the English part of the test). Be prudent. a section like RC should not be done at the fag end when mental fatigue is likely to have set in. Do not go overboard in sections or areas that you are strong in at the expense of your weaker ones. if you are unable to decide between two options. Read the question instructions carefully. Hence do not have any pre-conceived notions about the score that you need to attain – if the paper is easy.

Be prudent. go ahead and find them. VA.Success in CAT depends to a considerable extent. Until unless you make proper appropriation of timing its not possible to get cut-offs.Whereas some amount of caution is necessary. if you are unable to decide between two options. RC. But don’t ignore any sub-section. where you have clearly narrowed down your choice to the two “close” ones. So never lose hopes even if the first few question of each section are tough. There would certainly be some sitters in each section. Bear in mind that your aim is not to attempt all questions but to select questions carefully and to try to attempt most of them correctly. Cut-Offs – Cut offs are always for the entire section not for sub-section. Hence do not have any preconceived notions about the score that you need to attain – if the paper is easy. in my last 7 years of CAT taking every year I find there at least 70-80 questions which an average student could always do and get them correct. Freedom to choose – The best part of CAT is that there are lots of question to choose from.Always remember that CAT is a ‘relative marking’ test where the cut-off scores will vary according to two factors namely the difficulty level of the test and others’ performance. put in your best. For example it’s enough to get 18+ in VA/RC combined. Do not get into an ego hassle with any question. If you have already spent time on a question without making any significant headway just forget it and move on. Chose questions wisely – This is key to your number of attempts and overall score. however only in those cases. More Gyan | Top Time Distribution – The first and most important thing to keep in mind. Be clear when to give up. the cut-offs will shoot up and viceversa. You should keep a cool head and not get stressed. Simply. guess but guess fast.10min. on your stress management skills. Keep Your Cool . there is no harm in intelligent guessing. More Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) | Top . Do not hesitate to skip a question. Intelligent Guessing . CAT look for smart people more than those who are academically superior. The most important .20-25min. chances are that most others are also facing the same music. If the test or a particular section seems inordinately difficult to you. DI/LR30min. There is no rule how much to attempt in VA or RC separately.OMR sheet correctly at regular intervals. Always try to hit the end of the section without becoming unduly nervous about the number of problems you have had to skip in the process. If time permits. PS.15-20min. It simply means if VA is simple do more from it and less from RC or vice versa. you can always come back to those skipped. DS. This is especially true for questions that are inherently subjective (typically in the English part of the test).40min. Avoid losing your concentration due to a tough section or a string of tough questions. CAT is easy – Though difficult to believe. For example. Be reassured that you would have left a lot of questions unanswered anyway.

I have attempted 60-70 and can get a score of 45. But remember the MICA tests you on others skills through its own test and if you should always apply only if you are interested in the career of Advertising. and Fore School of Mgmt. If you have score more than 95 percentile consistently and also shown similar performance in the CAT then there is a very high chance that you would get a call.000 does it make a difference? The number of students is more than 80. How to prepare July 14. will I get a call from IIMA? If you expect a call from IIMs. What are the cutoffs for FORE School.000. Does your SimCAT cutoff take into account the actual performance of majority of students? I had consistently got 98+ percentile in SimCATs with similar scores in actual CAT. Though the sectional cutoffs are compulsory you can expect a call from IIM with the net score of more than 65. I hope to get a slightly low score of 58-60. IMI. 2003 . you should start your preparation for Group Discussion and Personal Interview. What are the cutoffs for SP Jain. NIRMA. but at the same time the academic performance of such students is also very good. TOI said 40. it depends on many factors as how many students have applied to these institutes and again a very high number of students are in the score range of 50. What are the cutoffs for TAPMI. without spending much time in anticipating.? It is seen that work ex helps and the net score can be less than the normal cutoffs for freshers. KJ Somaiya. but other sections attempted only 40. what are my chances with IIMs. are possible cut-offs and lot many other factors such as work ex and acads will be significant. if you can get a score of around 45. If you have a good work ex more than 2 years and can get a score of 58+ you have a chance of getting a call from either of the IIM. but have a good 2 years work ex. Does IIMB prefer work ex? Though last year IIMB had called many students who had work ex. MDI? The cutoffs for SPJain and MDI would be around 58-60. How many students all India took the CAT. I have attempted 50 in English and expect 40. hence the cutoff could be guessed at 48-50. NIRMA? The cutoffs at these levels are very difficult to determine. you can apply to Institutes like TAPMI.Are the Section cutoffs for IIMs mentioned sacrosanct? The cut-offs which we have mentioned. The last date for applying to MICA is over. will I get a call? IIMA prefers people good in English. can I expect a call? The SimCAT percentile score largely takes into account the national performance of the students. As a stray cases IIMA must have given calls. then you have to clear the sectional cutoffs. IMI Delhi. you might get a call as DI/DS and Verbal Sections relatively have low cut-offs. MICA? The cutoffs would be around 55. The last date of applying to MDI is 29th Nov. Though the essay for SPJain will make a difference in selection.000 and it does not make much of a difference. Note: If you are sure that you might score more than 40+ score in the CAT. the same thing might not be valid as the selection criteria changes every year. you have said 90. as the seats of IIMs are constant. which Institutes I should apply? Most of the students have attempted around 60-70 and.

those from a non-science background fearing mathematics would benefit from starting with an elementary high school book to understanding basics of algebra. group discussion and personal interview. commercial mathematics. Once the basics are clear in a few weeks. Think of some relevant topics and attempt to organise mock GD sessions with your peer group. politics. make a conscious effort to improve verbal skills. The MBA examination is a test of speed and knowledge in reading comprehension. Analyse weak areas Competition being stiff. the time has arrived to start planning on preparations for the entrance examinations.it improves vocabulary and reading speed as well as concentration levels. Working quickly with numbers increases problem-solving speed and enables tackling voluminous calculations with remarkable ease. testing skills in English and mathematics. verbal reasoning and ability.Start early on MBA preparation Times News Network If securing a place in a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programme in the coming year is your goal. The first stage is an objective type written exam. evaluate a strategy that would help you gain expertise in them. squares and cubing of integers. the testing process can be classified into three stages . if you find verbal ability section a weak one. Most questions in the numeric section would be based on these mathematical concepts. Indulge in extensive reading on complex issues . Testing pattern The Common Admission Test (CAT) jointly conducted on behalf of the six Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). graduate to a higher level of mathematics. Some exams carry a section on general knowledge. data interpretation and sufficiency. capacity for analysing situations. Perhaps. Broadly. Look up meanings of all unfamiliar words you come across in a thesaurus and try to remember them. The examinations are different from conventional examinations and are conducted in various stages to test knowledge. Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) exam and Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) exam are some of the most sought after examinations in India. working out average. geometry and trigonometry. While the former is broadly present in every individual. Practice additions. general awareness and inter personal skills. For instance. corporate sector and major world events. A good starting point is to identify weak areas since that can improve performance tremendously. maintain a separate lexicon of your own to note these words down and refer to them regularly. numeric ability. On the other hand. A critical area in a well-rounded preparation in the early days is to keep abreast of current developments in the economy. no area of testing can really be ignored or overlooked. Since performance is judged on a relative scale. These are subdivided into quantitative ability. Extensive reading has a two-pronged benefit . both knowledge and speed are of equal importance.imbibe the habit of reading editorials in newspapers and magazines. This would help . reading comprehension. it is normally the latter that needs to be developed and can often prove to be a crucial in the written test. It will enhance your level of comfort while reading abstract and tedious passages in the reading comprehension sections. Management entrance exams are an elimination process. Based on your core skills. multiplications. train the brain in quick mental calculations.written test. At the same time. drawing deductions and decision-making.

Supporting preparation It may be early days but given the complexity of the testing process and the competition being stiff.you develop a fluency of expression and overcome any inhibitions you may have of public speaking. an early start to preparation can put you ahead of the game. . Now. which come with coaching manuals. devote at least two hours to test preparations every day. shift focus towards attempting mock tests. Once you are clear on your basics and have gained adequate familiarity with all patterns of questions.

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