IRMA 2013 is less than 24 hours away and I know that most of you have already figured out your own strategy – this post is not an attempt to shake you up or to introduce you to anything new in this n-th hour. The idea is to re-assure you that the paper can be cracked by any strategy, as long as it is based on a true evaluation of your own strengths and weaknesses. In this post, I will give you two ways of cracking IRMA 2013: My Way and Nikunj Bhagat’s way.

You have already read my way in a post that I had made a few days ago – I’m putting it down here again so that you can compare it with Nikunj’s strategy. Oh and incase you’re wondering who’s Nikunj then he’s a legendary CL mentor from the Kolkata team. A B.Com graduate from St.Xavier’s. he belongs to the IIM B gang like Satya and I. He’s been with CL for almost 12 years now and Kolkata students swear by his teaching methods. Like most people in Kolkata – he cannot live without cricket and movies. Cracking puzzles is one of his other passions, apart from CL ofcourse! After getting Gejo to help you guys out with RC topics, I have managed to get Nikunj onboard for IRMA and some insights on which B-Schools to apply to.

But back to IRMA now. Here’s my strategy first (Some of you may have already read it in a previous post but here it is again)

1) IRMA 2013: GP’s Way
While you can decided on the sequence in which to attempt the sections based on your strengths and comfort my suggestion would be to start with Issues of Social Concern and then move on to the other sections based on your comfort level.

Since there are no sectional time limits in IRMA hence time management is of utmost importance, I would like you to be sure of the time you should be spending in each section.

My recommendation is to assume this to be a 110 minute paper and spend the first 5 minutes in going thru all sections of the paper to understand the change in the question breakup in English Comprehension and Reasoning. Based on these changes decide the time allocation for the sections. 10 minutes for Issues of Social Concern, 35 minutes for QA, 35-40 for Reasoning and AR and 25-30 minutes for English Comprehension is my recommendation but you should fine tune this based on your strengths.

An alternate approach would be to not scan the paper at all. Start with 10 minutes to Issues of Social Concern, 30 minutes to QA, 35 to Reasoning and 25 minutes to English Comprehension. In this time attempt only the easy and less time consuming questions of each section and ensure that you clear the cutoff. The remaining 20 minutes should be used to maximise your total score by attempting questions from the section(s) which you are most comfortable with.


2) IRMA 2013: Nikunj’s approach

After having taken the online CAT, one has to quickly move on and adapt to the paper
pencil format. In CAT, one gets mentally tuned to attempt only 40-45 questions in the
paper. It requires a complete mental shift to take IRMA where one is expected to attempt
around 140 questions. It is a test of speed and one has to move very fast. Needless to say,
the paper based test would also help you improve on speed.

Overall Strategy

Start with the section on social awareness. Then move on to either QA/DI or English
depending on your strengths. The last section should be analytical reasoning which
is perhaps the most difficult in the paper. There are sectional cutoffs so one has to
be judicious to divide time across sections. More time should be allotted to stronger

Social Awareness: (Time: 10 minutes)

In this section either you know the answer or do not know. There is nothing to think.
Just race through this and attempt as many questions as you know. Do not make random
guesses. You need to get a net score of 16-18 to clear the cutoff.

QA/DI: (Minimum time: 30 minutes; Maximum time: 45 minutes)

This is a very easy section. It is a speed test. Welcome relief from CAT: almost no
Algebra and Geometry. There will be at least 15 questions which you can attempt in less
than 30 seconds. There would be very few difficult questions. Do not think much here,
just solve as fast as you can. Skip the questions which do not strike the first time. You
need to get a minimum net score of 25. But for those, whose QA/DI is strong one should
spend more time and achieve a score in excess of 35.

English: (Minimum time: 25 minutes; Maximum time: 35 minutes)

This is also a very easy section. RC passages with 10 questions, analogy, odd word out,
close test etc…all would lead to very high attempts. If your vocabulary is not strong, you
should attempt all RC questions. You need to get a minimum net score of 20. But for
those, whose English is strong one should spend more time and achieve a net score in
excess of 30.

Analytical Reasoning: (Minimum time: 35 minutes, Maximum time: 45 minutes)

This is the most difficult section. The logical reasoning questions are much easier
compared to the verbal reasoning. Do attempt all LR questions first and then move on to
VR. Questions pertaining to implicit statement/assumption can be avoided. The group
questions should be attempted first and the individual questions later to ensure optimum
utilization of time. You need to get a minimum net score of 25 to clear the cutoff.

Like I said before, these strategies have been devised by Nikunj and I based on our own strengths and weaknesses. If you think your own are aligned with them, feel free to use them as guiding lights. If not, then make your own – whatever you do, make sure it works!

Good luck!