CAT is over. Some of you had a good paper, many of you did not and are possibly still reeling from the shock and looking at the end of the world scenario. I would like to highlight a fact that many of us tend to forget: your feeling at the end of CAT has no value. Every year many students who think they have not done well get interview calls and many who were very happy after the paper do not get any calls.

There are two reasons for this:

1. In this paper of relative performance, you are aware of only your performance and not of others. Even your performance is an estimate because you are sure of only the attempts, accuracy is just an estimate.

2. The degree of difficulty of your paper vis-a-vis that of others’ is only a subjective estimate and how normalisation (if any) impacts your scores will possibly be never known.

So instead of wasting your time fretting over CAT, it’s time for you to shift your focus to the other MBA entrance exams – IIFT, SNAP & XAT. These papers are different from CAT on account of the structure as well as the content of the paper and hence the approach for attempting these papers needs to change.

These papers are different from CAT on account of the following:

1. General Awareness: These three tests have a section on General Awareness which is a weak area for most of the students but if prepared well, this section can really boost your scores.

2. Time Management: There are no sectional time limits in any of these papers and the students are free to spend as much time as they want in a section. Time management between sections troubles many students and is the main reason why many good students do not get a call from these institutes.

3. Speed: Unlike CAT wherein you have over 2 minutes per question, these papers give you an average of a minute per question and hence not being able to read or comprehend or calculate fast leads to a poor performance.

4. The Advantage factor: While the CAT is right up there when it comes to level of difficulty, the others give you small but valuable perks! SNAP, I daresay, is a little easier and a 60-80 percentile student stands a very good chance. Similarly, a lot of the B-Schools that take CAT scores will also open their doors to you with XAT. Plus there are still almost 2 more months to go for XAT, so there is plenty of time – still!

Going forward, we will be discussing the entrance tests of IIFT, Symbiosis (SNAP) and XLRI Group (XAT) in detail, along with the strategy specific to each one of them. We will also be organising Webinars on GK, on past papers and on specific topics for these three papers. Watch out for write ups on this blog & stay in touch with the CL Exam Corner.

All the best!