As Common Admission Test(CAT) aspirants enter into their last leg of preparation for November 29 exam, the changes brought in the examination pattern has left students with several questions. Ramnath Kanakadandi, course director (CAT), of TIME Institute shares a few tips for cracking CAT-2015.
In the wake of the changes, do you think there is a need to tweak the preparation strategy?
The four test areas Quantitative Aptitude(QA), Verbal Ability (VA) and Reading Comprehension (RC), Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR) will continue in CAT 15 and hence ‘syllabus’ will remain the same. The number of questions, which was 34/16/34/16 for QA/DI/VA+RC/LR in that order in CAT 2014 has now only been rejigged to 34/32/34 for QA/DI+LR/VA+RC respectively with the total questions remaining at 100. In summary, no changes as far as preparing for the test areas goes.
One of the major changes has been sectional time limit of one hour for each section and switching between sections is not allowed. Any tips for time management?
The individual section timing is not new - we had this for three years recently in CAT 11/12/13. This takes a huge burden off the students’ minds - time allocation across sections. The students are in effect giving three different tests, and can hence focus completely on a single section at a time, without worrying about the others.
Do you think bringing out Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning as a separate paper will dent chances of aspirants belonging to non-engineering backgrounds?
No, due to two reasons. One, DI and LR were never ‘math’ heavy and hence non-engineers can also perform well in these areas, provided they have enough practice in these areas. Two, with normalisation being done across sections in CAT 2015, the skew that a section can bring in gets eliminated.
How should one prepare for direct answer questions- another major change in the pattern?
This is a first for CAT, the non-multiple choice questions. We are sure that the preparation that students put in for the MCQs will be sufficient to answer these questions also, albeit with a slight disadvantage of not having the options to guide them.