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Alumni Of IIM Ahemadabad Give Tips On How To Crack CAT 2016

Last Updated - September 16th 2019

“Hard Work Pays Off”, Says Arjun Jayasimha, CAT 99.52 Percentile, IIMA.

Arjun Jayasimha, Post Graduated from IIM Ahmedabad in 2007. Considering his 99.52 percentile, it was no surprise he received calls from IIMs and FMS as well. 

He has been in our CAT Toppers List because of his excellent performance in CAT 2007 and brilliant preparation strategy. We interviewed him and he shared his valuable succes mantra with us. He believes that understanding strengths and weaknesses will go a long way in achieving success in CAT 2016 and other MBA entrance exams. 


Q. 1 What is your five-point rule to excel CAT?

  1. Know your basics of English and Math
  2. Know your strengths and weaknesses
  3. Know the format of the exam
  4. Know how long you want to spend on each question before going to the next
  5. Always keep track of elapsed and remaining time
Note: Read Our Official CAT Preparation Guide

Q.2 What were your strong and weak areas? How did you prepare and what special efforts did you put for improving weak areas?

  1. Strong Areas - Quantitative and Data Interpretation
  2. Weak Areas- Verbal

I made a conscious effort to speak in English with friends and family. I read Readers Digest as well as good novels and news articles. I used to watch the debates on TV and also made a note of words whose meanings were unknown to me.

Q. 3 Did you take coaching classes? If yes, how they did help with your story?

Yes. I went to TIME. Their course material and mock CATs were invaluable as they helped me to strategize over which section to attempt first, how many minutes to spend on each section, and etc.

Q. 4 Review the coaching institutes and what was their role in your story?

The most important- weekend mock CAT sessions. Once I got shortlisted for GDPI, I was given grooming sessions and workshops were held with mocks to hone my confidence and helped me to rehearse for most commonly asked questions. The faculty members were sharp, knowledgeable and always available for asisstance.

Q. 5 What mock papers did you take?

AIMCAT by TIME was enough for me. It is a set of 20 mock CATs and is conducted on every Sunday morning. I varied my strategy - once I did a verbal section first, another time I did it last. Through trial and error, I arrived at the best order for me. I also learnt how to eliminate options in multiple choices and take educated guesses based on instinct.

Q. 6 What are the website you followed regularly to practice free sample papers or to get updates?

I didn't use any website.

Note: Solve CAT 2016 Latest Sample Papers with Answer Keys

Q. 7 Quantitative aptitude: Discuss your strategy for the section

There was no specific strategy to follow. I just had a mind set of not wasting much time on single question.

Q. 8 List the name of books you followed for Quant

I only preferred study material provided by TIME classes.

Q. 9 Data Interpretation: Discuss Your Strategy for the Section

Look at the graph. Decide whether to attempt it or not. If attempting, set a cutoff of 2 min. Don’t waste much time if you don’t get the answer, jump over the next question. 

Q. 10 List the Name of Books You Followed for DI

I followed only TIME’s study material.

Check CAT Syllabus

Q. 11 Logical Reasoning: Discuss Your Strategy for the Section

Decide what questions to attempt and what not. If attempting, set a cutoff time of 2 minutes. If you don't get the answer in 2 minutes, please don't waste more time. It isn't an ego issue if you can't get the answer. Don't take it personally - you have to just clear the cutoff.

Q. 12 List the Name of Books You Followed for Logical Reasoning

I didn’t buy any specific book as the provided study material was sufficient.

Q. 13 List the Name of Books You Followed for Vocabulary and Grammar

I only preferred study material provided by TIME classes.

Q. 14 Write some of the preparation tips for someone who is starting a month before the exam?

  1. 4 months before - study all the topics at a basic level. Focus on creating a strong foundation. Understand your strengths and weaknesses. Attempt mock CATs, discuss strategy with friends.
  2. 2 months before - Focus only on mock CATs. Do not discuss strategy with friends as they will confuse you.

Also Check CAT Exam Pattern

Q. 15 How was the interview in counselling? Share some of the Questions.

My interview was good. I remember some of the questions- Tell me about yourself. What are the last 5 movies you saw? What are your views on climate change? What is a binary sort algorithm? If you get admission into multiple colleges, which will you select and why? What is a database? What is your view on Singapore's success model and can it be replicated in India?

Check How CAT Scores Are Calculated?



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