[Studyplan] CAT 2012 (Common Admission Test): Booklist, Strategy, Tips, How to Get more than 95 Percentile by maintaing diary of mistakes

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Mrunal Polity Lecture

Before starting CAT preparation or dreaming to get admission in IIMs, one must take three oaths.

Paheli Kasam [First Oath]

There are two types of CAT aspirants.

  1. Those who’re sharp in maths so they just keep doing maths 24/7 because it feels “good“, but don’t touch the English portion. (Vocabulary, Sentence Correction, Reading Comprehension)
  2. Those who’re weak in maths (myself included), so they just keep doing maths 24/7 in hope to master it.

Both approaches are wrong – CAT is not made up of maths only. There exists a section II (30 questions) on English! So be well prepared for both.So you first oath must be:
I’ll prepare well for both sections and won’t become a quant-maniac..

Dursi Kasam [Second Oath]

From Auguest to November, Most CAT aspirants donot prepare GK, Current affairs, group discussion or profile based interview questions.
They wait until they recieve the interview calls from IIMs and other assorted MBA factories. This is second mistake, you start preparing for GDPI only in January-February and your interview is in March – you cannot do justice to every topic in such a short time. So daily newspaper reading, business GK etc is must throughout the year. And by Newspapers, I mean The Hindu or Indianexpress only.
Second Oath:
I’ll read newspapers Daily. + I’ll note down the difficult words in a diary to expand my vocabulary.

Teesri Kasam [Third Oath]

Many CAT aspirants start feeling guilty and insecure because of their pathetic scores in 10,12 and college graduation, lack of extra curricular certificates, no work experiance etc.etc.etc. It affects their performance indirectly, during the interview. You must remember that there are people who get admissions in IIMs, despite all of above shortcomings. (Just try to score as high as you can in CAT, to compensate whatever few marks you’re loosing the “profile-weightage” and be thoroughly prepared for GDPI.) If your 10,12 and graduation marks are bogus, you cannot go back in time machine and fix it. So please stop feeling guilty or inferior for that.
And thus, the third and final Oath:
I shall not feel guilty about myself for whatever I’ve done or haven’t done.
Now talking about the CAT booklist and strategy. Google search will throw up all the “ideal strategies” for CAT preparation, but many of them are just ‘ideal but impractical‘.
So here I’m sharing my “ragtag” strategy for CAT success (or atleast getting 95+ percentile), based on my misadventures in CAT-2011.

  1. I did not do this for CAT
  2. But I did this for CAT
  3. Finally My CAT result

The Beginning

I gave first CAT in 2011 and was totally (and that means totally) lame in aptitude stuff.
Just 4-months of preparation and coaching from TIME: 2 hours lectures, 3 days per week. (Not a fan of coaching myself but given the short amount of time before exam and absolutely no idea about how to prepare for CAT, I had no choice.)

Anyways,

I did not

The so called “ideal strategies” on google, prescribe following but I didnot do any of it.

  • I Didnot read any philosophy books, novels for “Reading Comprehension” practice. (there is hardly any time left to breath, let alone browse through Alchemist and similar stuff)
  • I Didnot prepare any dictionary / list for vocabulary.
  • I Didnot try any method for ‘speed-reading’.
  • Had totally bogus AIMCAT scores 6, 9 etc, never did ‘post-analysis’ of questions and later stopped giving them altogether, as they were wasting my time and hurting my confidence.
  • Skipped trigonometry, coordinate geometry, games n tournaments and any topic that I couldn’t grasp on first two tries or anything that wouldnot go in my long term memory.
  • Didnot do much arithmatic series and logarithm. because most of them would require application of some special ‘magic-move’, which won’t go my long term memory.
  • Am still confused about Chinese remainder theorem.
  • Skipped most of Pagalguy quant/LR threads & discussions. (Well most of their sums go above my head anyways.)
  • Can’t do much speed-maths or mental calculation of percentages for DI/Quant.
  • Can’t solve most quant-problems without filling up half page+ calculation: Was scolded many times by the coach that I use pen ‘too-much’ for CAT standards.
  • Don’t know squares upto 50.
  • Can remember multiplication table upto 25, but 13,14,17,18,19,23 still give nightmares.

But I did

  • I did solve Arun Sharma’s book on Quantitive Aptitude (TMH publication) (done twice)
  • I did solve and Sarvesh Kumar’s Quantam CAT (Arihant Publication) (done twice)
  • I did solve Demystifying Number System by Nishit K Sinha (Pearson Publication). (done twice)
  • I did read Word power made easy by Norman Louis (not done twice, only once.)
  • I did all questions from booklets & handouts given from the coaching class (done twice).
  • Please note: IF you’re not a student of TIME coaching class, you can still get their study material at a very convinient price from Flipkart. Here is the link: http://www.flipkart.com/author/time
  • I noted down the methods of solving questions (weight-misuse by shopkeeper, allegation etc) from them and kept revising the ‘moves’.
  • Last 15 days before exam: only did online sectional tests @TIME website. (not Aimcats).
  • Even in those online sectional-tests, I would get Quant/DI/sentence correction answers incorrect most of the time, but it taught me the hard way about :
  • which questions to attempt and what to skip altogether because you get in wrong everytime (sentence correction in my case)
  • and which questions take too much time to solve (LR sitting arrangement, DI graphs in my case).
  • Also whenever and wherever I solved any question (be it maths or english grammaer), If I made mistake or had trouble solving it, then I would note it down in my “diary of mistakes for future revision.
  • Similarly I would note down the difficult words I came across during daily-newspaper reading and find their meaning using a free software called “Wordweb” – and noted down those meanings in a diary.
  • Total 3 full-scape notebooks filled up in this exercise. 2 for maths, 1 for English grammar & vocabulary. Kept revising it in last days.

CAT arun qntqqantamcatqqantamcatnumber systemword power

My CAT result Score card

Finally My CAT-2011 result

  • I got overall 96.00 percentile : Attempt 44/60
  • QA: 90.41 : Attempt 17/30
  • VA: 97.05 : Attempt 27/30
  • Anyways 96 percentile feels good only for a few days – bragging in front of friends and relatives, otherwise 96 is as bogus as 55 percentile – can’t get you admission / interview call in any big IIMs. (Especially when you don’t have those fancy paper certificates to prove work-ex and extra-curricular activities and no good marks in 10, 12th and college and GDPI turns into a fish market.) So try to work harder than I did.

My articles on “Aptitude Made Easy without Formulas” can be accessed by clicking ME
All the best to all CAT aspirants of 2012.
Flipkart.com buy books for IAS,IBPS,CAT,CMAT with discount!

Mrunal recommends

236 Comments on “[Studyplan] CAT 2012 (Common Admission Test): Booklist, Strategy, Tips, How to Get more than 95 Percentile by maintaing diary of mistakes”

  1. sir i am not able to read many books and newspapers..
    please guide me how to read them and what actually to grasp from them while reading…..

    and sir vocab to itni saari hai sumtyms i get a feeling ki kitne words yaad kare .. iska bhi koi solution please bata do …??
    thanks a lot

  2. hello mrunal sir , i want to know if coaching is necessary for cat preparation , i am doing desk job , and i am not in touch with studies from one year a , i am very much frustated nowadays, please help me ,, how should i prepare , i gave ssc cgl and my marks will be around cutoff , do i have a chance that i could go through mains. i will be very thankful to you if you can give me 5 min time to answer me.
    regards, deepak

  3. Dear Sir,

    Thanks for posting your reply on my question.

    I have started preparing for CAT with study material from IMS. Is this really sufficient to crack CAT.

    I will try my best to conquer all the questions in the material.

    With this will I have a chance to transcend the 90+ percentile barrier in CAT 2013.

    Please post your reply as soon as possible, as it can help my preparation significantly.

    Eagerly, awaiting your reply.

    Thanks & Regards,

    Praveen

  4. hello sir please reply to my question , also i want to ask i am from obc category , and my 10th marks are 76%,12 marks are 68%,btech marks are 65.32 %, how much minimum %tile should i have to get in to iims or fms..?????????

  5. really nice of u man to share such experience…opened up many bottlenecks i had in ind regarding CAT..thanx a lot…

  6. hi, there are four important books:

    1.VA+RC – Arun Sharma – TMH.
    2.LR – Arun Sharma – TMH.
    3.DI – Arun Sharma – TMH.
    4.A modern approach to Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning – RS Agarwal – S.Chand.

    Can you please tell us MINIMUM number of above book to buy keeping in view BOTH set of exams viz.
    I.Management related CAT MAT XAT etc.
    II.Govt. sector related SSC, LIC, SBI, IBPS etc.

  7. sir in arun sharma it is written that in the same paper of cat 09 the scenario was: 14 attempt 1wrong – 98.3 and 19 attempt 3 wrong – 92.6
    how are wrong ans so penalised?
    i am unable to figure out.

  8. Hi,

    I am Sashi and wants to tell something about the The Gate Academy that it is having the
    best Gate Mock Test Series.It really helps students in getting success.It is conducted
    in classroom environment, where a candidate is required to answer by shading OMR Sheets similar to GATE Exam. It consistently provides Rank and Percentile, and will
    continue till the GATE Exam .

    It is really very good about THE GATE ACADEMY that it is having different types of
    correspondence Programs .The Gate Academy is having different types correspondence exams like Regular, Advance and premium.The students can go through it as per his/her requirements. Correspondence Learning Program consist of complete GATE syllabus in the form of booklets with theory, solved examples, model tests, formula and questions in various levels of difficulty in all the topics of the syllabus. The material is designed in such that way that it’s proven to be ideal material in-terms of an accurate and efficient preparation for GATE.

    If you are thinking of GATE,then you must make efforts for it and go through some
    coaching Programs,because the Diamonds are also need to be polished.As per me THE GATE ACADEMY is having the better class room training Programs. Here the Classroom
    Training Program is designed for Students who wants to start their preparation early
    and would like to take the advantage over the others in terms of spending more time
    on fundamentals of the Subjects. Focused sessions of Concept buildings will orient
    the students approach towards solving GATE problems in minimal time.

  9. hello mrunal,

    i am preparing seriously for cat 2013.
    QUANT- I AM DOING TIME MATERIAL IS IT SUFFICIENT . BUT IN TIME MATERIAL WE ARE NOT GATING BASIC QUESTIONS WHICH WE ARE GETTING IN OUR AIM CATS. SO, I AM UNABLE TO ATTEMPT SIMPLE QUESTIONS ALSO.SO, SHALL I DO EVEN ARUN SHARMA OR SARVESH VARMA. SUGGEST ME 1 BOOK OF THE 2 AS WE HAVE LESS TIME.
    DI- I HAVE LITTLE FEAR IN THESE I AM UNABLE TO ATTEMPT DI QUESTIVA & LR – I AM PRACTISING TIME MATERIALS .
    ALSO I AM PREAPRING FOR NMAT SO TELL ME THE BOOKS FOR NMAT ALSO .

    PLEASE SUGGEST ME IF ANY CHANGES HAVE TO BE MADE IN MY PREPARATION

  10. is the paper pattern for english section somewhat same as that of SSC-CGL.
    please guide how to prepare english section.
    plzzzzzz

  11. RESPECTED MRUNAL SIR ! I AM UR BIG FAN.SIR U ARE DOING A GREAT JOB OF GUIDING ASPIRANTS FOR VARIOUS COMPETITIONS .I AM AN IAS ASPIRANT, I FOUND UR WEBSITE EXTREMELY USEFUL AS U NOT ONLY GUIDE US BUT ALSO PROVIDES US VALUABLE NOTES AND PRECIOUS PIECE OF ADVICE AND THAT ALL FOR FREE.ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO CAN NOT AFFORD COACHINGS LIKE MYSELF,UR WORK IS LIKE A BOON,THANK YOU SIR AND CONGRATULATIONS FOR UR GREAT WORK.

  12. Hi Manu, the guidelines provided on your site is really appreciable. I never came across any site which provided me such a great information with so much ease.. even I want to fight for CAT but my academics are not that good.. I have taken drop after 11th and my engineering scores were horrible which I have completed after 2 years of gap.. currently working with reputed organization and have work experience of 7+ years.. so what do you think will CAT guys will ever consider me if any how I managed to crack CAT.. I really want to overcome all of my failures in my life with one great jump into my carrier to wash out every gaps.. will CAT help me to achieve the same..

  13. Mrunal , you doing MBA from IIM or working in Govt sector currently .. ?

  14. SIR IS IT POSSIBLE TO SCORE MORE THAN 90 PERCENTILE IN CAT IN 50 DAYS OF PREPRATION……. PLS REPLY

  15. mrunal sir, i want to now what should i do to crack the english section of cat??

  16. Mrunal sir, I want to get previous 10 years examination paper for CAT as in PDF format.

  17. I am not able to score well in CRT’s and MC’s. My cat is on 5th November.Could you suggest me what to do for this?

  18. sir
    this is anubhav….my % in 10th is 68…..in 2 is 56…..and in b.tech….55 only…. year experience…..is there any chance of getting into any of IIM or MDI OR FMS OR ANY TOP LEVEL MBA COLLEGES….IF YES HOW MCH TO SCORE IN CAT…i know its must me above 99 percentile…..if i score this mch is there any chance for those collegeds.

  19. I got 98.59 percentile and got iim indore offer . i wanna tell all my friend that securing above 99 percentile is not a game of practice rather a gift of god. i never consult any book mentioned above.
    ashish (b.tech iitd).most of my friend selected in iim ahemdabad too never consult any book. it not too hard as presented by couching institutes.

  20. Is there any min score req in 10th and 12th? First class or something like that? Pls do reply

  21. sir logical reasoning aur verbal ability k sambhavtah topic ka list likh dijiye aur kitabe bhi suggest kijiye , plz plz plz coaching nahi kar raha . aap hi sahara ho ,

  22. helo sir m weak in apti n reasning…m preapring for bnk exams ..mny xams i had gve bt nt clear wat shud i do plz suggest me n in nxt mnth ibps specialist it officer xam hld..worried abt apti n reasning ..plz gve advce me regarding time management n time schedule for regularstudy

  23. Sir,
    For quant I have TIME material and Sarvesh Sharma with me, is it sufficient or i have to go for Arun sharma also?//

    And Arun Sharma Books for DI/Reasoning and Verbal are sufficient for CAT?//// as i don’t want to do it from TIME material….

    For vocab i am doing Word power made easy,should i still refer newspaper for vaocab because i realy hate to stop reading in between for vocab….

    Please help me ASAP sir, as i missed my chance this year but realy wanted to work hard for CAT2014.

    Thanks in advance.

  24. One more thing is Sarvesh Sharma alone sufficient for CAT quant?//

  25. sir,please I want to some information about Mba(cat and GMAT exam),how to prepare and get qualified ,so please give me some important tips or rules sir…

  26. hey bro mrunal!exactly same story here! what a co-incidence.didn’t give aimcats and all that. infact i didnt even finish books except arun sharma. and my result,95.6

  27. Sir pls tell me either go with arun sharma or sarvesh verma pls…i m confused..

  28. dear sir what is the cut off for the minority (eg:SC,ST,OBC )in CAT score to get into the IIMs for phd??
    thanks

  29. anyone preparing for CAT 16? What is the best way to start with during grad?

  30. Sir how prepare for grammar portion ?

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