The Road Traveled #2


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So continue my narration, from my earlier post, after joining TIME Mumbai things were not showing hope immediately for me. I started to struggle in class, as CAT comprises of three major areas - Verbal Ability and Reasoning , Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation. I must accept I am neither strong or weak in any areas. With an average aptitude in all the areas, the classes were a big learning for me. I understood the effect of  skipping some areas in lower standards at school.
The first of that I struggled was Basic Geometry. Its only in  Tamil Nadu I hope there are four boards for passing your 10th Standard. State Board, Matriculation Board, Anglo Indian Board and the CBSC Board. How far 4 different boards for a high school education with in a state effective is a debatable question. Because of this you cannot judge performance of the students till the high school based on their grades as there is additional parameter required to weigh the grade. State Board - easiest of the lot to study, so of course its more crowded with students who like to boost up their scores. There is always an argument made by the students of CBSC board that their education standard is high and State Board syllabus is no match and of course its like that. I understood this arguments validity in my CAT coaching class. I had sailed through my School education without learning basic concepts of Geometry, and the best part is I scored a 100% in my Mathematics board exam. This was easy because I can leave the complete geometry chapter and still manage a 100 because of the question paper pattern and the content in the chapter.
I had to cope up with this problem, so I revisited the NCERT 8th, 9th and 10th standard mathematics book to understand the basic axioms and theorems. So that was about My Quantitative Struggle to score. The next dreaded area for many and also loved by many is Verbal Section. Here Norman Lewis gave me a little confidence that I too can perform well in this section. With that confidence I followed the sample question booklets to manage the other section. I would suggest people who feel they are very bad in Verbal skills especially with words Norman Lewis is my recommendation to start with.
The TIME mock cat series was like a struggle for me in the initial exams, where every 20 Sunday afternoon I after the test I would think am I in the right place trying for the right thing. I could not find out any pattern in my exam results, sometimes I performed Quantitative section extremely well but the next time I failed to clear my cut offs also. All these were a better learning to show my instability :).
After all the struggle On the D-day, November 18th 2007, when I saw the CAT paper the paper had no surprise in terms of number of questions. But that is the only thing familiar, the quantitative section this time had gone through a big upturn with really teasing questions. The Data Interpretation was full of calculation intensive sets instead of logic based. Verbal section which I though was the easiest and attended the maximum count of 17 questions. I did not know I have entered into the trap myself by attempting these many questions in verbal section. The result was some thing that was totally disastrous for me when it came January 2008.   (To be continued....)


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