What to do after CAT!

  • Admin
  • Dec 03, 2020

So CAT is over. Now what? Some of you would have done exceedingly well. Others not so well. Regardless of how you performed this is not the time to celebrate or for that matter to lick your wounds. Every year out of 40-45 students from AnkGanit who make it to top 15 B Schools at least 20 are those who fail at CAT and crack non CAT exams. This blogpost aims to point out what those 20 students do differently from those who do not make it to any decent B School.

Let us look at the major exams left and try and find out what we need to do differently.

1) IIFT:- The four major things you need to do differently for the IIFT are

a) Learn Vocabulary: This is a section which takes minimum time and can be most scoring. For your benefit I have uploaded various resources on the portal. Do them in this order.

1st  Reading 6 tone words

2nd Class Notes

3rd Vocab Workshop sheet

4th GRE High Frequency Word List

5th  Foreign Words and Phrases

This will cover nearly 1500 excellent  words which is more than enough to do well in IIFT

b) Revise Grammar: Don’t spend too much time on the same yet do it.

c) Prepare GK: This is also a high output low input section which is not very time consuming. Again various resources have been uploaded which need to be done in the following order

1st Nobel Prize, Jnanpith, Booker Prize and Indian winners of Ramon Magsasay Award

2nd Static GK

3rd  Comprehensive GK 2020  and

4th  Current Affairs MCQ from any free resource like gktoday

d) Write Minimum Three Mock Tests as soon as possible. I have shared a blogpost on what is the best strategy for IIFT at https://www.ankganit.in/blog/30 . It was written in the paper based IIFT era but is still absolutely relevant in the CBT format with 4 sections.

2) XAT- The first thing any good student does is APPLY to XAT and not fall prey to the belief that XAT is tougher than CAT. The belief is only partially true and we see students who do poorly at the CAT ace the XAT. Apart from Verbal and Quant which require roughly the same level of preparation following are  what students need to focus on

a) DM Workshops: I take the DM Workshops. Don’t miss them! Every single student who has common sense can do well in DM guided by the rules I teach. Decision Making is different from anything you have prepared for the CAT but absolutely learnable.

b) GK: Read directions for IIFT. Absolutely the same rules apply

c) Write three mocks if not four

3) NMAT: This year NMAT has seen a major change in the pattern having become adaptive. The advice which follows is a bit tentative as the following rules are what apply to the GMAT algorithm and which should hold true for the Computer Adaptive NMAT also

a) Do NOT leave any questions. On the GMAT there is a huge penalty for leaving questions so it is best if you finish the paper even if you have to mark a few answers randomly

b) For a moment pause and think which would get you a lower score? If you got the first ten questions wrong or if you got the last 10 questions wrong in a section? The answer is if you get the first ten questions wrong you would end up with a far lower score than if you got the last 10 questions wrong. This is because the adaptive nature of the paper ensures that the high scoring questions are unlocked only if the first few questions are right.

Learning: Spend slightly more time on the first few questions. It is better to randomly mark the last few questions than the first few questions.

4) SNAP: With SNAP becoming a 1 hour paper, it is a bit like a T20 match. Ensure you score high in the few minutes. That is focus on your strongest section in the first 20 minutes. I should  actually say fastest than strongest since for a few people they are not the same. :D I said strongest assuming that you would be fast at what you are strong. Also read the IIFT  Strategy blogpost shared above. It is applicable for SNAP with necessary modifications. Mutatis Mutandis to mangle a phrase!

5) MICA: MICAT has two components which are different from other exams.

a) Descriptive test: This needs a lot of writing to be done in very little time. Do Practice a few questions and share the same for feedback if you want feedback. It won’t be easy if you have to do it for the first time on the spot. Trust me!

b) Psychometric Evaluation: No One can prepare you for this. I can only give you two broad principles which seem to have worked for students in the past.

1st Don’t give extreme answers except in a few rare cases

2nd Keep your answers consistent across questions. It is quite likely the examiners would ask the same question with a different phrasing elsewhere. Don’t make the mistake of giving an inconsistent answer


That is it folks! Call me for any query.

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