Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Right Way to Start Preparing for CAT

People often go to soothsayers and astrologers to find the most opportune time to embark upon a project of importance. Whether or not that helps is a matter of personal belief. We, however, have some timely advice for those preparing for CAT this year. Most serious CAT aspirants will give anything to find out the perfect moment to start preparing for the exam. We spoke to Vaishnu Dass, Quant faculty at TCY and sought his expert views.

Vaishnu is an authority on Quant preparation and gives coaching for CAT, GRE & GMAT. Faculty at TCY, he has been coaching aspirants for these exams for the last 14 years.

Is there a 'magic number' of hours of coaching that one should get while preparing for Quant part of CAT?

There is no 'magic number' of hours as such. Nevertheless, there are an optimum number of hours of classroom lectures that are required. From my experience of over 14 years, I feel that at least 84 hours must be allocated for Quant in order to excel in it.

How do you divide these hours? How many hours a day? How many days a week?
I would divide CAT test prep into three distinct categories. Rush Hour, Optimum and Ideal. Let's talk about 'Rush Hour' first.

Rush Hour: is when a candidate sincerely starts his CAT prep after his final year exam. With just about six months to go for the CAT, the entire preparation schedule has to be completed in a relatively short time. For instance, at TCY, classes are scheduled six days a week and here, the onus is on the student to keep up with the hectic pace.

The student has to understand that a very self-disciplined effort in self-study will be required on his part to make it to the top.

Optimum: is when a student is in his final year and starts preparing in January/ February of his graduation year. With around 9-10 months to go, the pace of instruction is brisk but not as breathless as 'Rush Hour'. For Instance, at TCY, classes are scheduled three days a week and a student gets optimum time to revise what is being taught in the classroom. A break of one day between classes allows students the luxury of self studying at the pace most suited to their temperament.

Even an average student who studies sincerely and consistently has every chance of making it to the B- School list.

Ideal: This is when a student enters the penultimate year of his graduation degree course. A good faculty gets the time to teach students to crawl before making them walk and run hard! Basics are covered in depth and preparation starts at the very grassroot level. At TCY, we schedule classes only twice a week over the weekend initially.

The first few months are spent entirely in concept building. It can be compared to being able to dig the foundations oneself before laying them and finally constructing upon them. By the time a student reaches the final year of his degree course, his foundation is so strong that he is more than halfway ready to take on the CAT. The best part about this is that it is of longer duration and more exhaustive than Optimum, but generally costs less.

What preparation strategy would you suggest for each of the three distinct categories you just mentioned?

In Rush Hour, I would recommend the student to take a Diagnostic Test first. A diagnostic test is a mock test especially made to gauge an aspirant's grasp of concepts. Once the strengths and weaknesses are clear to a student, it is recommended that a student start working on his weak areas first as they are the ones that offer maximum chance of improvement. Areas of strength can be worked upon later in the day. At TCY, we put such students on extensive online testing with a strong focus on performance analysis with the help of TCY Analytics. With TCY Analytics, a student is able to benchmark his performance of each sub-section, section and subject against all his previous attempts. This helps him in analyzing his progress with each test. Later on, the aspirant can start benchmarking his attempt against lacs of other aspirants on our website, www.TCYonline.com.

The success in 'Optimum' category rests majorly on the optimum trade-off between self study and disciplined prep. Self study is any day the best test prep strategy. However, disciplined prep calls for following a light but consistent weekly schedule. The CAT programme on TCYonline works on lecture by lecture schedule for each test section. This helps the candidate decide what fraction of the total available time for CAT prep he should invest in a particular month.

Additionally, joining a classroom programme would add to your disciplined effort.

The ideal prep calls for, obviously, the ideal way. For a candidate, this means understanding what skills the exam tests and taking a few sample tests in each area to know his 'Best' and 'Worst' areas. A good faculty will help the student by chalking out a plan till December to develop the lower and middle level skills required. For instance, working on one's vocabulary, reading regularly on topics that come in the exams, improving one's reasoning ability and re-visiting the Class VIII, IX and X math concepts of 2-3 major boards viz. CBSE, ICSE and Maharashtra [ Images ] SSC can be very useful. One can find a lot of this basic stuff on TCYonline and can generate customized tests on any topic to move up the learning curve skill by skill.

What advice would you give to CAT aspirants?

First, the student has to be very clear 'if' he wants to go for MBA. To explain, let us take a hypothetical situation. A BBA student is in his second year and he has consistently been getting good percentage so far. If he is extremely sure that he will not take up a job straight after graduating, he can afford to take his foot off the pedal a little bit and start preparing for CAT. As long as his overall percentage remains above 50%, he can appear for CAT. A high CAT score will see him secure a call from the best B- Schools in the country.

On the other hand, even if he gets overall 70% in BBA, he can't secure a call from a good business school with a low CAT score. I again say, vision is very important. If MBA is not of paramount importance, focus fully on your current academic pursuit. If MBA is your ultimate goal, learn to keep your focus and prioritise accordingly.
Visit the Link given below and get complete study material.
CAT 2010
CAT Preparation
CAT 2010 Verbal Ability
CAT 2010 Data Interpretation
CAT 2010 Quantitative Ability
CAT 2010 Reasoning
MBA Business GK Questions
MBA CAT Foundation

Friday, June 18, 2010

CAT 2010 Preparation

TCYonline.com has launched CAT Test Prep modules for online test preparation. The first of these modules is totally free for CAT aspirants and the remaining modules are very affordably priced. In an age when CAT Test prep is a huge money making business, such offers can really help students who are deserving but can't afford high coaching fees.

Request you to please give space in your esteemed newspaper and help students make use of the free and other low cost test prep modules. The complete press release follows below.

TCYonline.com offers Free Online CAT Test Prep. CAT 2010 is perhaps less than six months away and the serious aspirants are already settled into preparation mode. Classroom coaching, Mock Tests and self study are the mantras for success. Regular coaching institutes are making a killing by playing on the insecurities of students regarding CAT selection and promoting their expensive online tests. In this scenario, an irresistible offer from TCYonline.com has come like a breath of fresh air for CAT-2010 aspirants. TCYonline.com has launched four online modules for CAT-2010 preparation. The pricing of these modules has been kept in such a manner that even the student who cannot spend money also walks away with a lot.

The first CAT-2010 preparation module, which is named CAT Free, contains 200 plus free online tests for the CAT-2010 aspirant. All the tests are based on actual CAT pattern and the students can see their results instantly.

The second module, called CAT Basic comes at a very low price of Rs.600 only contains 60 plus text based lessons and also gives the aspirant the right to use TCY Analytics Engine, a proprietary TCY technology. TCY Analytics Engine has a database of over 15 million analytics, collected over the last three years. Every time a student attempts a test, he/she not only gets his comparative ranking and percentile with tens of thousands of aspirants of the same test, but also gets statistics like comparative time taken on each question, sub-section, section etc. Attempt pattern, correctness of answers, absolute and comparative time taken, absolute percentages, nationwide percentiles and expert recommendation come as a part of the TCY Analytics Package.

The third module, aptly named CAT Advantage, comes at the cost of Rs.1000 only and contains 250 plus tests, 60 plus text based lessons and Audio lectures apart from the right to use TCY Analytics to track one’s progress. The premium module, CAT Premium, which costs just Rs.1950, offers Specialized Modules apart from all the features of the CAT Advantage; module. Students can buy these courses through online payment with credit card, net banking, debit card or even offline bank deposit method.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Students, share your GDPI experiences with the nation

TCYonline.com, India’s No. 1 test prep website has come out with a platform for students to share their interview experiences with other readers. All current and previous UPSC, MBA, MCA, NDA and NTSE (finals) candidates can share their G.D.P.I. and interview experiences with nearly one million users of TCYonline.com. Even students who have appeared for Student Visa interviews can upload their experiences on TCYonline.com. Apart from interview experience, achievers can also share their preparation strategies and success mantra with other students on the portal. Students studying abroad after clearing their GRE and GMAT exams can also share their stories as also their experiences of settling down in a new culture.
All that a contributor has to do is mail the stories to manav.sarmal@tcyonline.com or alternatively they can log on to www.TCYonline.com and self submit their experiences.
TCYonline.com, India’s number one test prep platform has nearly one million enrolled students from over 1500 cities and towns across the nation. The website has over 15000 free tests from over 50 exam categories and boasts of a databank of nearly 5 lac questions.