The Best of Pagalguy

Hi All, Before commencing any topic in any section of MBA prep, one needs to get acquainted with the topic, types of questions appear in various exams and different observations, tricks and techniques to solve the questions. Since, PG came int…

Hi All,
Before commencing any topic in any section of MBA prep, one needs to get acquainted with the topic, types of questions appear in various exams and different observations, tricks and techniques to solve the questions.
Since, PG came into existence, many intelligent puys/mentors have posted something really good, helpful (sometimes their own notes like Subodh Sir and sometime from other sources) in various threads.
By this thread, we can share the links of all those good threads containing lessons posted by various expert puys. This can help newcomers to get links available without exhaustive searching....

Hope, the idea will add flavors to our prep.


Topic: Parajumbles
Nature: Tutorial, Basic Lessons to crack PJs
My Ratings: 5/5 (Really Helpful)

Here comes another link from the same legend, Subodh Bhai

Topic: Fill in the blanks
Nature: Tutorial, Basic Study Material(BSM)

I hope these lessons will really help all of us to excel fast in exams. I request puys to post the links they find really helpful. Please prefer basic study material/funda links because all of us are already subscribed with latest practice material on PG.

-Fungus AmongUs

For Sentence Correction (Systematic Material for Sentence Correction)
Topic: Parajumbles
Nature: Tutorial, Basic Lessons to crack PJs
My Ratings: 5/5 (Really Helpful)

Good job sir. I wouldnt have found this link.Awesome thread.
For Sentence Correction (Systematic Material for Sentence Correction)

The link is not working bhayi... it is giving me error of "No Thread specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator"

Please post the right link....!!!

Here is a link to a thread which has preparation material.

Please note that uploading material which violates copyrights is not allowed. The link has some very good content.

The link is not working bhayi... it is giving me error of "No Thread specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator"

Please post the right link....!!!

The link is actually not working. don't know the reason. Do one thing search on PG 'Subodh Kant' You can get this there..




So the big bad CAT is round the corner. This is it! The ultimate test of your mathematical, communicative and managerial skills!

Yes, you read right. CAT does happen to challenge your managerial skills, and if you aren't applying any in the test, chances are that you're performing way below your potential. This note seeks to explain why.

Let's begin with a few examples of what has happened over the years.

1. In 1990, for the first time in its history, CAT did away with time limits for each section. In an unprecedented move, the test asked candidates to decide how much time they wanted to spend on each section, instead of the usual way of pre-decided time limits. A bit like practising cycling all your life only to discover that on the day of the race, one wheel has been removed!

2. In 1996 and 1997, there was a one-hour time-limit imposed on the communication and the maths parts. You had to do RC/VA in the first hour, and the PS/DI in the next. Those who followed unequal time distribution had to forego the liberty of self-timing: harder to adjust than you think!

3. In 1999, CAT moved from being a four section test to a three section one. VA and RC seemed to be have been clubbed. People happily assumed that the second section would be PS and the third, DI/DS. They didn't realise that towards the end of the third section, there were 24 questions related to syllogisms (the ones you would learn in verbal reasoning). These were sitters, but unfortunately, by the time most people got to this part of the test, it was too late. They had missed out on sitting ducks.

4. The following year saw the same pattern, except that the difficulty level of the test went up a few notches,and that took most by surprise. Mid-way through the test, many people gave up, since things were just not going as planned: only to come out of the hall and realise that it was tough for everybody. They, of course, had a full year to regret. Those who decided to carry on nonetheless, won.

5. Last year, the same pattern featured, but suddenly the difficulty level nose-dived. It was, as I keep saying in class, a slow ball from the fastest bowler in the world. Those who quickly realised it immediately raised the bar on their ideal score, and went about taking CAT with the newfound perspective. Some wasted time and energy looking for a catch: there was none.

The examples could go on and on, with specific instances of how the questions appear in varying order of difficulty, how the instructions can try to bamboozle you, et al. The point is that we need to learn from them.

These examples are screaming from the rooftops and saying one thing: TAKE CAT LIKE A MANAGER.

But then, first questions first. Who IS a manager? How do you define one? Knowing who a manager is will doubtlessly lead to what he is expected to do. I looked up the Webster's and the Oxford dictionaries, and here's what I found.

The Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary: (n.) 2. a person charged with the control or direction of an institution, business, or the like.

The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary:
man.ager (n) 1. (a) a person controlling a business, etc.

No surprises here, for that's what CAT is all about: CONTROL. Legend has it that if you don't control CAT, it will control you in much the same fashion as a wild horse. If you can't stay on top of it, it will topple you.

So if the definition is so simple, what's the catch? What prevents us from being in control of the test, if it's all so easily understood?

The answer is simple, yet startling. In business, there are managers, and then there are workers. The manager's job is to tell the worker what to do, and to make sure that the work given is being done. He has the overall picture of where the company is heading, and will take important decisions affecting the future of the company.

The worker's job, on the other hand, is to execute instructions. He simply does what he's told. What's more, he will continue doing his job until he receives instructions from above to do otherwise.

You see, the worker's job is to execute tasks as efficiently as possible. But to be in CONTROL is the manager's job. And to control CAT, you must don the manager's hat: something you may not be doing.

Most poor scores in CAT boil down to lack of PLANNING and SELECTION: the primary tasks of a manager. Candidates tend to go after the test, question-by-question, expending all their energies on moving through this maze of questions as quickly as possible. Little do they realise that only a bird's eye view of the maze (meaning the test) would tell them which direction to take, without which they might as well go in blindfolded.

The catch, therefore, is that while taking CAT, YOU ARE A MANAGER AS WELL AS A WORKER, rolled into one. You MUST play BOTH these roles if you wish to do well.

Let's get more specific. The tasks of deciding which sections to attempt first, how much time to devote to each section, how many attempts you are likely to make, which passages you decide to attempt, et al, are the tasks of a MANAGER. Actually going about reading, solving and answering the questions are the tasks of a WORKER. It is important to distinguish the two tasks and make sure you're doing BOTH.

In fact, I would go further and look at THREE roles that you must play in order to take control of CAT. You'll find that it isn't very different from managing a factory or an office, after all.

1.The role of the CEO.
Imagine you're the newly appointed CEO of CAT, for the next two hours. It is 10.30am on the 24th of November, and your job has just begun. Here are some things you could look at, right at the beginning of the test.

- Is the test familiar, or different? If different, how is it different, and how is it going to impact time to be spent on each section? Are there any big surprises? What is the overall assessment of this test?

- How many sections are there, and what seems to be the difficulty level? How much time should I devote to each section? What should be my order of attempts? WHAT IS MY PLAN FOR THE NEXT TWO HOURS?

As you can see, the CEO's role is vital, but he has the least time to take his decisions. Perhaps the CEO needs to spend no more than three to four minutes to plan the order and set time limits for each section. This is PLANNING.

Having done that, he must hand over the baton to the next level.

2. The role of a SECTION MANAGER.
Here, your task is to make sure you make the most out of the section, and strictly adhere to the time limit given to you by the CEO. You are like a departmental head. Your job is to tackle these issues.

- What seems to be the difficulty level of this section? What could be a good score?

- Which questions should I begin with, and which ones should I attempt only at the end? What is the order? (Since you're a section manager, you, of course, have the specific expertise in that section on how to tell the easy ones from the difficult ones. Your practice will help you here.)

- While attempting the section, am I getting too involved with one particular question or passage? Should I junk it and move on? For example, a good assembly-line manager would ask his worker to ignore a mistake and carry on with the assembly, because in the time he takes to repair one product, the worker can make three new ones.

The section manager decides which questions to solve and which ones to omit. this is SELECTION.

3. The role of the WORKER.
Now that you've got instructions from your section manager on what to attempt and what to leave, it is your duty to execute the instructions. This is clockwork, and the more you're familiar with it, the more you'll enjoy it. You objective is to GET MARKS, and NOT just attempt as much as possible. Your section manager will have given you a target. It is your job to attempt as few questions as possible to achieve that target. Consider this: would you rather have a worker who makes 10 cars (4 of them faulty) or 5 cars (none faulty)? What makes more business sense? While both strategies may yield the same net score (10 attempts with 4 mistakes would give you a score of 5, assuming a -0.25 negative), what about the time wasted in making mistakes?

Consider this. If you attempted 100 questions and made 50 mistakes, you actually spent one hour in increasing your score, and one hour in decreasing it! Even 60 attempts with 10 mistakes would have been better!

Also, from time to time, it will be the worker's job to report the progress to the manager. In other words, this means that you must keep a tab on where your attempts are going at an overall level, and not get bogged down by the operative task of solving questions.

Remember that for any task to be successful it must be done EFFICIENTLY and EFFECTIVELY: It is the worker's job to make sure it's efficient, and it is the manager's job to make sure it's effective. You can't have one without the other. During the test you need to constantly change roles: from CEO to manager to worker, and the other way round.

So every time you take a practice test, ask yourself this question: how well do I perform these roles? Chances are, if you do well, you will maximise your score. Of course, that does not mean that you will DEFINITELY make it. Your score may still not be good enough for that year. But at least you'll know that you did your best. And that's a far better deal than saying "if only I had managed the test better..."

So are you taking CAT like a manager?

All the very best!

Shekhar Deshpande
Faculty, IMS
[email protected]

It seems that some one posted the Zelers Rule but the doc doesn't seem to open so here is the complete rule:[IMG][/IMG]

Zeller's Rule : With this technique named after its founder Zeller, you can solve any 'Dates and Calendars' problems.

Zellers rule can be used to find the day on any particular date in the calendar in the history. All you have to know is the formula given below and how to use it.

Zeller's Rule Formula:

F = K + [(13xM - 1)/5] + D + [D/4] + [C/4] - 2C
K = Date => for 25/3/2009, we take 25
In Zellers rule months start from march.
M = Month no. => Starts from March.
March = 1, April = 2, May = 3
Nov. = 9, Dec = 10, Jan = 11
Feb. = 12
D = Last two digits of the year => for 2009 = 09
C = The first two digits of century => for 2009 = 20

Example: 25/03/2009
F = 25 + [{(13 x1)- 1}/5] + 09 + 09/4 + 20/4 - (2 x 20)
= 25 + 12/5 + 09 + 09/4 + 20/4 - 2x20
[ We will just consider the integral value and ignore the value after decimal]
= 43 - 40 =

Replace the number with the day using the information given below.

1 = Monday
2 = Tuesday
3 = Wednesday
4 = Thursday
5 = Friday
6 = Saturday
7 = Sunday
So it's Wednesday on 25th march, 2009.

If the number is more than 7, divide the no. by 7. The remainder will give you the day.

I hope you will find the above method very useful.


With about a month or so to go, the question that junta is asking at this point is not "Do I have it in me to crack CAT?" as much as "Do I have it in me to crack me in crack CAT in a month?"

Now let us presume that you present your problem to a management consultant like say McKinsey, what would they come up with? Remember they would give you only strategic advice, no actual implementation level micromanagement. Here are a few pointers that could actually turn up in their analysis report:

(1) Don't boil the ocean

Simply put, don't try to do something unimaginably huge (boil the ocean) to bring results that are not proportionate (get salt). This ways you will just cause more anguish when you realize half way through that the latent point of boiling for the ocean is pretty huge. Another way to put it is: Work smart, not hard.

Try to come up with a list of possible tasks for CAT and try figuring out what the amount of effort required to do it is. At the end of it, you can either lessen the effort or cross it out completely. Here is an example. A lot of you may be wondering if it is really wise to "do" the word-list. Go through a realistic run of where you are. This is a good time to go through the kind of words given over the last 4 years (over which CAT has kind of streamlined the questions) and figure if you really need to go through those huge word-lists. Amazingly at the end of the exercise, you might want to do away with it all together, or go through a selective portion just to ramp up your rusted skills. (For example, you might decide to do only the "High Frequency" words from Barron's GRE.)

(2) Pluck the low-hanging fruits first

An important point that many students don't realize at this juncture, due to immense pressure, is that it makes more sense for one to consolidate what he/she knows, rather than make an immature attempt to try learning everything. Do not attempt anything that is difficult. I have seen many students coming to me at the nth moment asking if they should be attempting "Permutation Combination". My simple answer is - If you have not done it in your schooling, if you have not done it in college, if you have not done it through out your CAT prep so far, then the chances that on November 21st the neurons in your brain actually go into a synaptical surge and the answer will plop in front of you are .........well, to be frank - quite bleak! Rather I would strengthen topics I know well - percentages, profit-loss, mensuration etc.

On the flip side, is it wise to be completely ignorant about these topics? The answer is a resounding NO!!!! I strongly suggest you take out some time (a few hours perhaps from an otherwise eventful study schedule) for each of these dreaded topics and figure out which are the formulae and basic types of problem. The test-setters of the more diabolic variety are known to sneak in a few deceptively. Most test-takers are blissfully unaware of this till the coaching institutes print a bold "SITTER" next to that question a day after the CAT and the cutoff seems all the more further away. Better safe than sorry!

(3) Think out of the box

Edward De Bono once famously remarked "An expert is someone who has succeeded in making decisions and judgments simpler through knowing what to pay attention to and what to ignore."

Try to ensure that whatever you do from now on is not something that is mechanical or by rote, but something that involves you actively in the process. So take up each problem and try figuring out stuff like - can it work with some variation? How can anyone twist this problem? Is there a simpler way of doing this? How I can design a problem for someone along these lines? etc. etc. In short - try to "internalize" the problem you are solving.

A classic example is the mock CATs you have taken so far. Even for those questions which have helped you inch towards the elusive cut-offs - try to figure which were ill-considered attempts. I have seen many instances in the past when my reason for choosing a correct answer was preposterous to say the least (I have, in good humor and on occasions, picked up answers because, from among others, it "sounded" correct!) and yet managed to get them right. Try to sit and figure if the same problem has a better way of doing it.

(4) Peel the onion

Layer by thing at a time

Let us presume you have a problem with reading large data in DI. In short, number crunching is not exactly one of your virtues, (normally these are areas you would not touch with a ten-foot pole!), yet is a necessary evil which cannot be avoided (like say P&C;). We need to figure out how best to deal with this.

Take a couple of the mocks you have taken and try figuring out how you have done in it. See what is it that actually stopped you from getting in the top percentile. "I suck at numbers" is an answer which will neither aid your morale nor help you analyze yourself better. Be more objective and tough. Speed? Bad at approximation? The questions were too ambiguous? Whatever the reasons - try making a list of those things. Now instead of racking your brain alone over what can be done for that, speak to someone at your institute. Better still, catch a friend/mentor who has "been there and done that" for his/her insights on what can be done to help bridge this gap. Remember that you may also use the "boiling the ocean" principle here and remove any ideas of indulging in frivolous activities like learning Vedic mathematics at this point.

(5) Pareto's principle

The 80/20 rule. Some of the variations are :
20% of the time goes in doing 80% of the tasks, 20% of the business brings 80% of the revenue,20% of the world controls 80% of the money etc. The point here is: Try to figure which is the 80% that is bringing you the marks and focus on that. I read somewhere what one of the CAT 2003 100%iler had written - he had wanted to maximize on Verbal and tried to get cutoff in quant. And sure he maximized in Verbal with a score of 45 (and just around 17.5 in QA)!! There is no use spending all 1hour in quant and getting 2 marks more than the cutoff and spending 20mins in verbal and get barely get the cutoff.

(6) Parkinson's Law

The law states - "Work expands to fill the time available to do it" I think the scourge of every self-respecting graduate is doing a "night-out" to write that college journal a day before the submission. And we carry this habit with us to the work place too. Just look around you it keeps happening all the time - software project, advertising campaigns, government decisions - you name it! So is it with CAT.

Set yourself challenging schedules and stick to it. Tell yourself you are going to analyze those dreaded mock cats which have been piling on a corner for the last few months. Sounds impossible right? But as the Nike ad says "Just do it!" Even if you are not able to complete it, so be it, at the least you started and finished in a go. Keep challenging yourself; try sneaking out every last minute you have to get something done. Do those distasteful tables when you are having your smoke after lunch. Do those obnoxious RC practices when you are reading the morning newspaper.
And remember you cannot really challenge yourself unless you have a hard target to achieve.

(7) The fish cannot bat and I cannot swim

Words from Boycott could not be truer in the CAT perspective. Realize what your areas of strength and areas of weaknesses are. But still at the end of the day there will be the odd ball "stud" who licks the field clean. So in your approach you would be wise if you remember to steer clear of any ego-issues. Don't try tackling that extra toughie DI problem set which goes into 3rd decimals of approximation or the arcane RC passage on Madhubani paintings just because you are out there trying to prove you too are one. The point in case is that if you were one, you would not have been struggling.

Last year there was this guy in IIT Chennai. He was a math and physics Olympiad with an IIT-JEE AIR of 12. He ended up with a 100%ile (and a score of 103 in CAT 2003!). He went on to join IIM-B. Realize that there are always going to be guys like this. Instead of worrying about them, realize that at the most there are going to be around 100 odd guys like this. Forget about them. Think about the 1100 others who are vying for the same seat as you. And if you are really bothered about such guys, then stock your fridge with some cold beer!

( Fail to plan then you plan to fail

Put in excruciating detail into the planning/scoping work before you start out. Make sure every waking hour is accounted for. Doesn't mean you have to go overboard and start planning to account for each minute. Rather, a detailed account of how you are going to spend time over the next month. A caveat to the fore-mentioned point. At times we do things just because it was in the original plan. Make sure your plan is flexible. If a week before CAT you figure that doing more practice in RC is going to pay off, so be it!! But make sure you constantly check your plan and ask "Is it the right thing to do?" rather than "Am I doing it correctly?"

(9) Life is what happens when you are busy making plans - John Lennon (1940-1980)

Some words of wisdom that I keep telling myself everyday, CAT or no CAT. "The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. "

At the end of the day it is a just an exam. Nothing more. Nothing less. No reason why you should treat it differently. No reason why you should worry more. No reason why you should not think about other things in life. No reason why you should not keep your cool. If you were expecting a list of dos and don'ts I am afraid I might have disappointed you. But this is not meant to serve as one in the first place - the institutes are already doing a pretty good job of that. What I have done is tried summarizing a few points (which I believe are neither mutually exclusive nor collectively exhaustive) to give you a checklist against which you can verify the usefulness of everything that you would be doing from now on.

Arun (Ask A Consultant!)

Wonderful Thread!!!

Now problems -

1. 4 points out of 8 points are collinear . Number of different quadrilaterals that can be formed by joining this is

1. 56 2. 53 3. 76 4. 60

=> total points = 8

=> Collinear points = 4 , Non collinear points = 4

=> Standard approach =

=> 4c0 * 4c4 + 4c1* 4c3 + 4c2 * 4c2

=> 1+ 16+36

=> 53

2. The number of points of intersection of 8 different circles is

1. 16 2. 24 3. 28 4. 56

=> Guess easy now ; Standard Formula = 2* nc2= n*(n-1) = np2

=> 8 * (8-1)= 8*7

=> 56

3. The max . number of points of intersections of 8 straight lines

1. 8 2.16 3. 28 4. 56

=> Standard formula = nc2

=> 8c2 = 8*7/ 2= 28

4. The max. no of points into which 4 circles and 4 straight lines intersect is ,

1.26 2. 50 3. 56 4.72

=> Since max. no of points is asked

=> ( no. of points possible due to intersection of 4 circles with each other ) +

( no. of points possible due to intersection of 4 straight lines )

+ ( no. of points possible due to intersection of 4 circles with 4 straight lines )

=> 4p2+ 4c2+ 2*4*4

=> 4*3+2*3+32

=> 12+6+32

=> 50

5. If 5 straight lines are intersected by 4 straight lines , The number of parallelograms possible

=> Standard formula

=> 5c2 * 4c2


6. Now problems on Formation of triangles

If there are 7 points out of 12 lie on the same straight line , then number of triangles thus formed is.

=> Here total points= 12

=> These 12 points can formed 12c3 triangles

=> and 7 collinear points can also form 7c3 triangles

=> Thus total triangles possible = 12c3-7c3

=> 185

7. The sides BC,CA,AB of triangle ABC have 3,4,5 interior points respectively on them. How many triangles can be formed using these points as vertices.

=> Here total number of points will be A+B+C+3+4+5

=> 3+3+4+5= 15 Points

=> Total number of triangles possible = 15c3

=> 3 points are collinear , 4 points are collinear , 5 points are also collinear

=> So triangles formed with these points is omitted , thus answer is

=> 15c3 3c3-4c3-5c3

=> 205

Basic funda : Given in funda list , above

There are 6 straight lines in a plane, no 2 of which are parallel and no 3 of which pass through the same point. If their points of intersection are joined, then the number of additional lines thus introduced is
(a) 45 (b) 78 (c) 105 (d) none of the foregoing

=> solution for this =>

Total points formed from the intersection : (6c2)c2 = 105

Number of existing lines from these points : 6*5c2 = 60

So, 105-60 = 45

9.which one is the list containing the number of points at which a circle can intersect a triangle ???
2, 4
2, 4, 6
1, 2, 3
1, 2, 3, 4
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

=> 1,2,3,4,5,6

10.if there are 7 pts. on a circle and 10 non collinear pts outside circle in same plane
how many circles can be made?

=> Total Points = 7+10 = 17

=> For a circle formation 3 points are required - 17c3+ 1( This one is added cause 7 points can give one circle )

=> 7 points are collinear , so circles are omitted - 7c3

=> Thus the answer is 17c3 + 1 -7c3

11.if there are collinear 7 pts and 8 collinear pts. on other line parallel to it and 3 non collinear pts outside two lines and all are in same plane , find no. of circ can be made

=> Total no. of points = 7+8+3= 18 Points

=> Number of circles that can be made with these points = 18c3

=> And since 7 points and 8 points are collinear , the circles made with it are omitted

7c3 and 8c3

=> Thus answer is 18c3-7c3-8c3