We got a lot of questions from CAT aspirants about the exam, prep plan and general preparation strategy; for the benefit of everyone we have compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions and answered them in 2 posts. This is the first part which addresses 3 questions that primarily focus on DILR. You can read Part 2 of the ‘CAT Preparation FAQs’ series, here.
1. In some bar graph in DI problems, the value won’t be written near the bar and there won’t be any dotted line (to indicate the exact value) also. So, if we take some approx. value then at times, in the final computation, some wrong answers differing by some 10 or 20 points occur. How to avoid such errors?
This time of con-job questions have been more or less completely eradicated in CAT. These days they give all the numbers on the chart. Or they make sure that there is no ambiguity in the numbers.
XAT, however, don’t care about all this. So, there you have to be careful about all your assumptions. If you are the religious kind, you can pray that your assumptions are more or less valid. But that apart, there is very little we can do.
As we have discussed before here, questions come under three types – EoK, GoK and NYK. For the EoK and GoK type questions, we can do little but hope.
2. While solving DI/LR sections, many times I am not able to solve some questions, but while analysing the paper, I am able to solve almost 100% of the questions. How can I get over this issue?
This usually happens in all categories. Don’t worry too much about it if it is only the stray question here and there. This happens to anyone. If it is more widespread, it could be one of two main issues –
- Fatigue: Take plenty of mocks and combat fatigue. Take a deep breath, switch off for 30 seconds and then start all over again in case you sense tiredness.
- Pressure: Pressure is extremely tough to handle. Read good fun stuff. De-emphasize the exam to the extend possible. This article on handling pressure while performing is a must-read.
3. This is a three-part CAT preparation FAQ:
a) Where to practice DI/LR problems once finishing solving from 2IIM and other coaching-institute books?
Actual CAT Puzzles are the best place to start, followed by Mocks and practice tests. For the last month or so, rely heavily on mocks. The 2IIM website and the Revision course have plenty of good DI-LR sets as well.
b) In an hour’s time, I am able to do only 3 Sets of DILR problems. How can I improve on my speed?
This is a very good rate. If you are able to do 3 DILRs in an hour, that is usually 12 questions, and if the level of difficulty were similar to CAT 2019 levels, 12 attempts would put you in the 95th percentile range. If you are answering 12 now, you should look forward to build intensity to solve another extra set by the time CAT happens.
c) Considering the fact that some DI/LR problems are too time-consuming, how do we choose DI/LR problems judiciously since only after spending a min or so do we understand the level of difficulty?
If you can get a sense of the data presented, go for it. Spend 45 seconds looking at all the charts to know whether you can get a hang of what the data is saying. If you can get some intuitive ‘feel’ for it, it is usually worthwhile going for it. If the data does not ‘speak’ to you at all, then dump it. Head on to this wonderful blog that details extensively on Puzzle selection.
It is a good practice to look at charts and try to make inferences before going to the questions. Here is a good link to get to see lots of charts. Just go through them without worrying about the numbers.
All the best for your CAT Preparation and stay safe!
Rajesh Balasubramanian takes the CAT every year and is a 4-time CAT 100 percentiler. He likes few things more than teaching Math and insists to this day that he is a better teacher than exam-taker.