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Tackling CAT

From handling maths to a controversial GD —we make the MBA entrance test easy for you

education Updated: Apr 14, 2010 09:27 IST

My math is very weak. How should I prepare for MBA entrance exams? Can you help?
Diksha, Kanpur
The Quantitative Ability section tests your basic math skills. The questions are mainly on the syllabus of Class VI to Class X. The topics include arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry and mensuration. You can start with the NCERT math books for Classes IX and X. Further on, you can refer to books by RS Agarwal, Arun Sharma etc. MBAUniverse.com also has a dedicated section for preparing in this section.

My accuracy level in verbal ability is really less. What is the best way to improve on it? Also, what should be the strategy in CAT?
- Richa, Kolkata

Verbal Ability section is an important section in the CAT paper. CAT 2008 had the maximum number of questions in this section. This section consists of Reading Comprehension and tests your vocabulary skills such as grammatical knowledge, knowledge on words etc. Read newspapers, which will help you understand most commonly used phrases through the context. Keep reading a lot. Word Power by Norman Lewis is a good book to build your vocabulary. You should also converse a lot in English to make your verbal communication ability fluent.

What should be the right approach in a controversial and loud GD?
- Mahesh, Bangalore
As far as controversial topics are concerned they are deliberately given in order to test your nerves. The best strategy is to not get emotional about any topic and take a balanced stand. Try discussing both the pros and cons of the topic. Remember that your thoughts should have a logical rationale in it.

What should be the method of summarising in a GD?
Saurav Mathur, Lucknow
Summary in any GD should be the overall discussion that happened within the group. In some cases you can be asked to conclude personally. If so, give your own summary.

How to go about a GD topic which is controversial?
Deepak, Kolkata
The best approach for a controversial topic is to think with a broad mind, look in terms of long-term perspective, and short-term implications. It is best for the group to discuss both the pros and cons of a controversial issue and then try to form a consensus. For example: Should India declare war on Pakistan? It should be dealt carefully and both pros and cons (short and long-term) of any action should be discussed.

How shuld one avoid a fish market situation in GDs?
Avanish Kumar Gupta, Gwalior
Sometimes a fish market situation is unavoidable if others keep on shouting. The best strategy is not to contribute to the fish market. You should wait for the opportune moment, and as soon as the decibel level lowers, you should address the group and tell them that the discussion is heading nowhere. Having said that, the impetus will be on you to take the discussion forward. Try to come up with a new point and encourage the group to discuss that.