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How Does One Crack CAT: Decoding the Structure

With increased scramble for jobs and a rising demand for technical knowledge, a simple graduation is no longer enough. An MBA (Masters of business Management) course thus facilitates both job expectancy and additional qualification gives an edge to your personality, but you already know that.

What you need to know is how to get into such a course as the bar for admission in Indian colleges is rising by the day. Well, to begin with there are different examinations to choose from like CAT, MAT, CMAT.

The CAT (Common Aptitude Test) is an all India computer based examination. Clearing this test will give you an opportunity for an MBA from the IIMs (Indian Institute of Management), the top institutes of management in the country.

Eligibility for appearing the test includes 50% marks in any undergraduate course. In case the institute awards grades i.e. the CGPA system, this needs to be converted. Website is HERE.

The MAT or Management Aptitude Test is a test that provides admission to over 600 B-schools in India apart from the IIMs which have their own test.

It has been conducted every year since 1988 by the All India Management Association (AIMA).  Registrations for MAT 2015 begin from 1st July, 2015 and are open to all graduate students including those in their final year of graduation.  Website is HERE.

The CMAT (Common Management Admission Test) is held twice a year by the All India Council for Technical Education for admission to AICTE affiliated institutions.

Graduate students of any discipline can apply and the better of the two tests is considered for evaluation. Website is HERE.

To give you an idea of the examination pattern, following is a general course structure of MBA entrance exams held in India. The syllabi can be divided into four broad sections:

Mathematics:

Further categorization includes-

Quantitative Ability: Number Systems, LCM & HCF, Percentage, Profit and Loss, Simple and Compound interest, Speed, Time and Distance, Time and work, Average, Ratio & Proportion, Linear Equations, Quadratic Equations, Complex Numbers, Logarithm, Arithmetic & Geometric Progressions, Binomial theorem, Surds & Indices, Inequalities, Permutation and Combination, Probability, Functions, Set Theory, Mixtures and Alligations, Mensuration, Co-ordinate Geometry, Geometry.

Data interpretation: This section basically tests the candidate’s analytical ability via graphs, tables and charts. This includes Tables, Column graphs, Line charts, Venn Diagrams, Pie Chart & Bar Graphs.

Logical Reasoning: the topics included under this is the same as that of data interpretation the only difference being that evaluation is based in logic and reasoning.

Language

This includes verbal ability, vocabulary and grammar. The pattern of tests that are taken under the verbal ability sub-section could be sentence correction, synonyms & antonyms, jumbled paragraph, fill in the blanks to test usage of prepositions, articles and verbs, reading comprehension, analogies or reverse analogies, etc.

The vocabulary test will examine your knowledge of words and their usage in idioms and phrase, antonyms and synonyms, homonyms, primary and secondary shades of meanings, a thorough understanding and capability of expression through the language.

High school level grammar is tested and includes areas like subject-verb agreement, use of modifiers, parallel construction, redundancy, phrasal verbs, use of articles, prepositions, etc.

This will ensure that the student has problem solving capacity when it comes to language. Also the test is designed to check whether the candidate can establish relationships between word and sentences.

General Knowledge

This is a section included in select institutes like IIFT and SYMBOISIS where they test the candidate’s knowledge of current developments in the business world as it is imperative to know of contemporary affairs to facilitate further developments.

Public speaking skills

This is usually tested during group discussions conducted after the qualifying test.

Although there is absolutely no shortcut to hard work, there is definitely a procedure to it. For those students aspiring to crack the considerably difficult but highly desirable entrance exams to good MBA institutes in India a well protracted plan is required. The following points will give you an idea how to go about it:

  1. Begin preparing well in advance as last moment studying will get you nowhere.
  1. Assess your strengths and weaknesses. Know what you are good at and where you will need to work more and begin will the difficult portion, which is not to say that you neglect the easy part.
  1. Isolate yourself for the time period except for relevant associations; trust me, the end results will be worth it.
  1. If you are from an engineering background or mathematics or science graduate you probably don’t need to worry about the math section but if you are not, better get some help. Thus, it necessary to decide on an MBA course well before hand. It will enable you to take decisions like private coaching and optionals.
  1. On the other hand, students of professional course usually neglect their language skills which are limited to viva exams. Do not forget that language is a substantial portion of your syllabus and if you have ignored it for long its time you saddle up.
  1. Read newspapers, magazines and journals to polish your grammar and if possible even practice writing for the comprehension part. Practice makes a man perfect remember?
  1. For the spoken English portion which you will require during the GD sessions watch TV shows and converse in English as much as possible, preferably with your betters as they can correct your mistakes.
  1. Increase your awareness via contacts, try and connect with as many MBA students as you can those who have made it, others who are still trying, and learn from their experience.
  1. Take as many tests as you can be it online or otherwise to asses yourself.
  1. The best option probably is to join a coaching institute for a full time course. Make sure you attend the classed physically and avail all resource kits and test sessions they have to offer you.

Pratyasha Ghosh


www.MyTrustedTutor.com

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