Former CAT Convenors advise CAT 2015 aspirants to focus on basics, take mocks, stay cool

From L to R: Prof Rohit Kapoor, Prof Himanshu Rai, Prof SSS Kumar

PaGaLGuY brings you pearls of wisdom from none other than some  time-tested-trusted people – past CAT Convenors. . Here’s what the the last three CAT Convenors have to say to CAT 2015 aspirants

PaGaLGuY asked three simple questions. Read on.

What advice
would you like to give aspirants taking the CAT 2015 exam?

Prof Himanshu Rai (CAT Convenor 2011): Focus on
the basics; in quantitative section, practice as much as you can using a
computer calculator similar to what you would use eventually on the test day,
and in verbal, hone the way in which you process information by reading as much
as you can, and then some more. For logic and data interpretation just practice
and practice. Most importantly, keep the big picture in mind: the potential
b-school. Choose your potential b-school wisely, and your guiding parameters
ought to be the quality of their faculty, the degree of international flavour
in their curriculum. And it’s fit with your own ambitions; a b-school which
will walk with you and help you in fulfilling your aspirations.

Prof SSS Kumar, (CAT Convenor 2012): CAT has
transformed over the years and the changes in CAT 2015 are communicated well in
advance therefore there is no surprise element. In fact the changes require
aspirants to prepare and speed in calculation is not going to be rewarded. stay
cool and remind yourself about the hard work put in by you will be richly

Prof Rohit Kapoor (CAT Convenor 2013-14): Prepare
with the objective for clearing the basics. Good practice along with deep
understanding is important.

different should the strategy be considering the changes in the exam?

Himanshu Rai:
With the test pattern different from the previous editions in
terms of both content and delivery (it will now be one-day-two-slot exam with
different weights in 3 sections), it is necessary to pause, take a deep breath
and revisit some of the fundamentals necessary to bell this elusive CAT. Remember that the time for the
different sections is fixed; you cannot go back to a section once you the time
for that section is over. If you have to choose between speed and accuracy, go
for accuracy. Don’t get into an
ego trip with a question thinking that you have to solve it come what may!
Also, don’t panic if you think the questions are too hard or different (if they
are hard for you they are hard for others too).

Prof SSS
Kumar: I
f you are relying too much on reverse engineering i.e., ability
to confirm the answer from the alternatives chances are you have little elbow
room!! and your understanding of the process is what can only take you to the
correct answer.

Prof Rohit
Devise your plan according to the time constraints applicable
in the respective sections.

What should
be the approach for the next five days?

Himanshu Rai:
For the next one week, do ONLY mock tests and nothing more, and
keep the day before the test as a blank day. Keep your wits about yourself
closer to the D-day, and never despair. There is a life beyond CAT, and your
dreams can be realized in many other ways. Get
a good night’s sleep a day before the exam; get up early on the D-day, take a
30-minute walk, breathe in some fresh air, and check that you are carrying all
the documents required for exam. Most importantly, don’t lose belief in yourself
come what may.

Prof SSS
Approach – Focus on activities that builds your confidence or at
least those that won’t disturb your confidence levels.

Prof Rohit
: Do not stress yourself much. Whatever you have prepared, it
will be ok. Accuracy may matter more than attempts.