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The most challenging part of MBA studies, is to crack the entrance exams. CPLC faculty gives you tips and tricks to ace these exams and get into your dream B School

CAT or Common Admission Test is the flagship management entrance examination in India, and also one of the most talked about. Every year, more than 1,00,000 students appear for CAT.

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While preparing for the entrance tests, it becomes extremely important to read on a regular basis. The World Wide Web offers invaluable reading sources of high intellectual value.

The following is an extract from “Reading Comprehension for the CAT” published by Pearson Education. Author, Sujit Kumar, is a faculty at CPLC, Mumbai.

Any management entrance test - CAT, XAT, SNAP CET – always has two main areas viz. Quantitative Aptitude and Verbal Aptitude. There may be differences in the other sections but these two areas are common for all the tests. Generally, the Verbal consists of Reading Comprehension, Grammar, Vocabulary, and reasoning questions. Generally, these different areas are given equal importance in terms of number of questions and marks allotted.

Reading Comprehension questions involve a passage, followed by questions based on the passage. The length of passage and number of questions vary from test to test. The nature of questions also differs. Generally, the tests have 3 passages with different lengths in terms of number of words. The small passage contains around 400 words and medium sized passage has around 400-700 words. Passages with more than 700 words are the long passages.

An attempt has been made by us over here to cover almost all doubts that the students face while tackling the Reading Comprehension questions.

This week we will discuss the Verbal Ability Section of the CAT (Common Admission Test). Over the years the CAT has established itself as the most sought after, yet the most difficult entrance test for MBA in India. The perception that the CAT is difficult is entrenched among the candidates. And this perception – whether right or wrong – is largely attributable to the Section on Quantitative Ability. IIM aspirants, especially non-engineers, approach the CAT rightfully with loads of material in mathematics discussing the fundamentals, solved problems, shortcuts, strategies and simulated tests.

The DI section in CAT can be rewarding but also your downfall if not attempted carefully. In today's article we outline some strategies that you could use to make sure that you attempt DI correctly. We have also added a smaller section on how to study for DI in the last month of preparation.

Over the last few years, the DI section of CAT has moved from “Data Representation” to “Data Interpretation”. Confused? What we mean to say is that in the past, your decision of whether to attempt or not attempt a particular set depended on what kind of Data Representation it was. Thus a student comfortable in graphs would search for sets containing in the paper and solve them. Or for that matter, a student who was not so comfortable in caselets would end up skipping all the sets on in a paper. However this strategy would no longer be valid. CAT has moved beyond a caselet or a graph or a table or so as to say, it is no longer important to establish how is the data represented. As the statistics suggest, graphs have almost gone missing in the last 8 CAT papers and special kind of data representations have crept in.

Data can be represented in the form of tables, graphs or even caselets. Data represented in the form of a table is raw and usually is quite time consuming to process such data. Analyses such as trends, problem areas, percentage distribution are quite difficult to perform when the data is represented in the form of a table. Graphs on the other hand represent the same data visually. Graphs offer the luxury of processing data by observation as we can easily see the trends and distribution. Even problem areas are easy to identify by looking at the deviation from the trends. Representing data in the form of caselets is quite uncommon in the real world. However, it is very popular with CAT examiners. In this case, date is hidden between paragraphs and you have to unearth the data as you go on reading the paragraph. This is probably the worst case of data representation when it comes to analyzing and drawing conclusions out of it. In this article we bring to you the shortcuts that will help you master these types of data representation.

At first glance at a set, no one can grasp what the set is pertaining to. It is as you go on reading and solving and unearthing information bit by bit, the set reveals itself as a whole. The sets are logical, based on reasoning. Before one attempts to solve the question, he will have to think over it for 5-7 mins. The questions in such sets are NEVER direct. Most of such sets have to be left directly on the face of it.