Convert IIM and FMS: Popular knowledge says there are three brands of top B-schools in the country namely the IIMs, XLRI and the FMS. Every year, lakhs of students take the intense and highly competitive CAT exam so as to bag a seat in one of these institutions which can seal the deal for a glorious management career for them. CAT Topper Tanmay brings to you tips to convert IIM and FMS through Online CAT Coaching. In case you are a CAT 2019 aspirant looking to crack either IIMs or FMS or both, this article will be highly beneficial to you. Read on!

Convert IIM and FMS

Why MBA?

I was a general male engineering graduate who worked with a Big 4 for around five months before leaving it to prepare for the GD-PI rounds. I decided to go for an MBA as I was quite involved in extracurriculars during college and was into organising fests and other college events. While working, some of the top level partners I consulted suggested that I should go for an MBA.

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Preparation for the CAT exam

I started preparing for the CAT exam around July-August. I took the first couple of months a bit easy but stepped on the pedal during the last two months.

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Convert IIM and FMS: Preparation Strategy for CAT 2019

Post gaining familiarity with the CAT Syllabus and identifying your own strengths and weaknesses, you should start off by strengthening your basics and gradually move on to spearheading individual sections.

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1. Verbal Ability and Reasoning Comprehension (VARC)

Most engineers excel at Quant and are weak at Verbal, but for a few others like me, the exact opposite is true! In any case, this one is an important section as it constitutes one-third of the CAT exam. You can also enrol into an Online CAT Verbal Course to perform better at this section.

Here’s breaking down the VARC section for you:

  1. Reading Comprehension – 55% to 70% of questions
  2. Critical Reasoning – 5% to 10%
  3. Parajumbles – 5% to 10 %
  4. Paragraph Summary – 5% to 10 %
  5. Pick the Odd Sentence Out – 5% to 10 %
  • A good score in the VARC section will not only help in boosting your overall CAT percentile but also your confidence. To nail this section, you must be thorough with the basics of English grammar and have decent practice with Reading Comprehension (RC).
  • You must dedicate yourself to reading for one hour every day and your reading matter can comprise of reading a top-notch newspaper like The Hindu, both good fiction and non-fiction books, magazines, journals and editorials.
  • Your reading speed must improve slowly yet steadily to consume and comprehend as much matter as you can.
  • Kill the habit of lipreading and subvocalization as it reduces your reading speed.
  • After finishing off any book or good piece, jot down a summary of a couple of chapters and get familiar with a variety of writing styles and genres to perform better at RCs.
  • An ideal number for Mocks is 50, however, practicing over 30 Mocks will help you gradually identify the right answer from wrong and help you assess your own preparation for the VARC section.
  • Avoid going linear while solving the VARC section. The first thing you should do is to scan the paper and begin skimming all questions and passages. Attempt the passage first which has direct and less inference-based questions. This way you get to solve the easier passages early on and with a due ROIT (Return on Invested Time).

2. Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

  • This rather complicated section can only be solved through lots of practice. Additionally, you can equip yourself with an Online CAT Quant Course to boost your score.
  • Start by solving basic questions first and gradually move on to higher and more difficult questions, which will help you identify your strong and weak areas in the process. 
  • Avoid using a calculator until you actually feel the need to use one.  Most CAT Quant questions can be solved within 1-3 minutes without a calculator. You must be quick with both calculations and conversions.
  • Avoid spending over 2 minutes on one question.
  • Backsolving is a great strategy to cross-check your work as you go through Problem Solving questions. Go through the answer choices and plug each one into the question, starting with either (B) or (D). This way you will have a solid chance of finding the correct answer based on your first round of calculations.
  • Have a strategy up your sleeve when it comes to Quant, as multiple questions of varying difficulty levels will be thrown at you. Evaluate the question from ALL angles before deciding whether it seems easier for you to do the math traditionally or use a specific strategy.
  • Analyze the questions thoroughly, break complex questions into simple ones and label effectively.
  • Guess correctly and eliminate the options intelligently. This you will be able to master only after diligent practice.
  • Open Sky Approach: Try keeping an open mind before the exam, because cramming at the last minute and trying to solve everything at one go can prove disastrous on the exam day. Therefore, have faith in whatever you have prepared and try to approach this section with an open mind without fearing the consequences.

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3. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

  • This section has sandbagged the CAT scores of many test takers and has earned the title of the most difficult and unpredictable sections of the exam. To ease pressure, you can enrol into an Online CAT LRDI Course as well.
  • Before identifying a preparation strategy for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, you must attempt to understand the section, which tests on you on two very basic things:
  1. Common sense and your ability to apply it.
  2. Staying calm under pressure.
  • The three most important means to solve any DILR set would be:
  1. Selection of set for solving questions
  2. Decoding the basics as early as possible
  3. Moving a problem if it needs a lot of time
  • For the DILR section, it is advised that you prepare offline only, though you can opt for an Online CAT Coaching as well, if you feel that is going to help you better.
  • The first thing that you must do is to view DILR as not a section of 8 sets, but like a 32-question ball-game. Try not to attempt everything at one go and begin your personal process of unlearning.
  • The next step would be identifying the sets you are comfortable in solving and can capitalize on. Needless to say, you should solve them first. To identify such questions, spend the initial 10 minutes of the section skimming through all sets. The ones starting with ‘If’ and which include ‘Cannot be Determined’ (CBD) in their options are signaling you to leave them alone. Identify the priority (order) in which you would want to pick up the sets, based on your own comfort and familiarity.
  • Try not to be an expert in it since it is pretty difficult, however, you should be able to spot a not-to-attempt set in about 4-5 minutes and leave it alone and move on to the other questions that you CAN attempt.
  • Keep in mind that it is not important to solve ALL of the questions, rather, as many easy questions as you can! This would boil down to a good 14-16 questions, to be precise. That can be achieved by identifying 4 sets, wherein you solve almost all questions; or, solving around 2 questions from each of the 8 sets.
  • Alternatively, if you require additional help with your DILR section, you can resort to an Online CAT DILR Course, which will help you clear your concepts and boost your overall performance in the exam.

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Cracking the IIMs or FMS is no easy feat and there still are many students who despite scoring a 99+ percentile fail to convert either of the two owing to various reasons. So, if you do manage to convert both or even either of the two, pat yourself on the back! With my topper tips to convert IIM and FMS this fall, you would definitely be able to score high in CAT 2019 exam. Good Luck!

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