Friday, October 23, 2015

15 things to remember for CAT - 15

CAT – 15 is closer to you. It has changed its skin and is even more charged up for hunting you down. But a real warrior is never unprepared. One is said to be prepared when we are ready for the unexpected all the time. So before the d-day arrives and before you pull you socks the last time let us go through the most critical checklist of 15 things that each of the aspirant must arm himself with.

1.     Brush up with the entire list of vocabulary you’ve been building in the past days: If you have prepared a list of high-frequency words from the time you started preparing for CAT, now it is the time to revisit the same once again. Make sure you equip yourself well with the usage, synonyms and the antonyms of each of the words. Adding new words at this stage may be both harmful and useless. Yu have to just equip yourself with the armour you’ve already built.
2.       2 LR puzzles a day till the d-day:  Yes it is essential. Pick up 2 new Logical Reasoning Puzzles for each day and do solve them till the end. Do not leave the puzzle in between even if you are able to see through the solution. In case it is taking a very long time to get solved, do not worry, take your time but solve it. In these 25 days you can build an instinct and patience to solve the LR problems. Surf through various sites, last year papers and other places where you can find new problems.
3.       2 Critical Reasoning questions a day: Critical reasoning is one of the topics that are inevitable part of every CAT exam ever held. Make sure you are able to differentiate among and understand well the fine tunes of Assumption, Strengthening and Weakening Argument, Summary, Inference and Conclusion etc. In the 2 questions you pickup each day try to make out the pattern of reasoning and the flow of thoughts the writer has built. Once you’ve solved it do go through the solution provided and analyse about what went wrong or what could be the right way.
4.       Take a Sound Sleep every day: Cracking CAT requires patience and calmness. It is not a test of your knowledge rather it is a test of your reasoning ability and managerial skills. And sound reasoning is possible only with a calm mind. Do have 6 hours of sound sleep each day so that your mind rejuvenates for the preparation on the next day.
5.       Avoid the family functions and other gatherings in this period: This may sound a bit rude and unreasonable but the logic behind this suggestion is as follows. There is a schedule and a routine that you’ve been following for your preparations. Each time you go for a break to that schedule it takes some days to come back once again. Even a 3-hour attention to a gathering may affect next 3-4 days of preparation. Anyway, it is just about a month to go and a whole future is contingent upon the same. So, not a bad deal.
6.       Do not go for a group study: Every individual has a special and unique way to reason and apply logic. In short, the managerial instincts of every individual differ. CAT being a test of your managerial skills doesn’t require a group of peers to teach you a specific topic. Prepare every topic on your own and pick up a test to check the ability to perform in that topic. There is also a high probability that the group study may end up becoming a gathering and potential waste of time which could have been put for a better use.
7.       1 calculation based DI set a day: In the haste of preparation and excitement of knowing how a problem would be solved we generally either sideline the calculations or we use a calculator to calculate it off. Though, as per the notification, an on-screen simple calculator will be provided but still we should make the best use of our own ability to calculate. We should take calculator as a device to support us and must avoid over- dependence on the same.  Hence it is a must to take up just 1 DI set each day and solve with all the calculations till the end. This practice in these days will help in building an instinct for rounding off, short cuts etc.
8.       Do not get into any rumours: Do not fall prey to the last moment rumors about the selection process, paper pattern, important topics etc. Like every time there will always be a lot of hear-say in the last few days. Do refer the official CAT website and ignore anything that does not relate to the same. Never go and discuss about an unofficial piece of information with the other aspirants it would be a complete waste of time and energy.
9.       Do not give up for the next time: Never ever bring the thought of having a second chance. Give your best shot this very time and make the best use of it. As already mentioned, CAT is a test of your Managerial Skills and the best shot you give will design your career. The next year will not bring any miracles. It is now or never.
10.   1 RC passage a day: Make it a practice for next 25 days. This will add a lot to your ability to understand the pattern of reasoning and accuracy in answering. Once completed, do analyse about what went wrong. Moreover, solve the passages online this will add to your on-screen reading speed and also you will be more accustomed and comfortable with reading and solving on-screen.
11.   Take proper meals: Ensure that you do not take outside or street food. Take proper meals and healthy breakfast. Good diet will ensure proper functioning of your brain and hence add to your reasoning ability.
12.   1 full length test every third day: Preferably on every Wednesday and Sunday you may take a mock test online. This will make you patient enough to sit in front of the system and write a full length test. Once finished with the test take a break of about 1 hour and analyse your performance. Try giving your best to the stipulated test time and target a better performance in every subsequent test you take. Try focusing on accuracy, your strength areas and the opportunities.
13.   7 QA questions a day: Solve exactly 7 different QA questions a day. Make sure all these questions are from different topics irrespective of your strength and opportunities. Once finished with these 7 questions, based on your performance in them do a quick brush up of the relevant topics and re solve every question once.
14.   No negative thoughts are allowed:  Do not entertain any negative thought in and around you. You’ve been preparing day in and day out in the last number of days. You have given the best ad sincere time to add to your abilities. Your mentors have delivered the best of their knowledge to make you powerful enough to fight this battle. Now do not let your own negativity to come in the way of your success. Be positive, you will win.
15.   Keep in touch with your mentors: Keep in constant touch with your mentors and do get your queries and worries resolved with them. Even at times when negativity and de motivation surrounds you give a call to your favorite mentor and open up. You will surely feel better once you hang up.

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. -Swami Vivekananda

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Management Lessons we need to learn today from Mahatma Gandhi :

Independence is a hard earned state. And getting the entire subcontinent independent from a being a British Colony is for sure the most difficult and near impossible task we could dream of. Our emotional outbursts and immense affection towards the nation usually makes us violent and aggressive. But aggression is short lived state and perseverance is a state which stays for very long time. Mahatma Gandhi was the man who led the people, organized them from a mob to a movement and made the colony become world’s greatest democracy. We all know Gandhi as the national hero but there is more than independence that the Mahatma made us learn and follow. On this Gandhi Jayanti let us commemorate the Management Lessons we must learn from the life of the Father of the Nation.

1. Self Dependence is the pre-requisite to Independence:
Today most of the youth seeks independence. Youth sees guidance as slavery and wishes to soar freely and do whatever they wish to. But it is important to observe that the real independence can be attained only after self dependence. Freedom can be demanded by a kite but the moment the strings are snapped it swings to nowhere. So before we demand for getting the strings cut we should also make sure that post independence we have ample resources to get soaring. Numerous professionals look forward for starting their own ventures and becoming independent. But more than independence the sufficiency of their own resources matters. By own resources it is not meant that we need to have monetary amplitude etc. Rather, it means we must ensure emotional stability, inner strength to contain and learn from intermediary failures, perseverance in efforts even if negative opinions are all around and constant eye on the goals.

2. Monetary resources doesn’t make much difference:
Gandhi ji didn’t put lot of money into the movement. It was a basic movement driven my minimum monetary resources. It is all about connecting with the people through the right channel, designing the movement so that it fits into the operational ability of everyone and leading them to a common goal. Had the Gandhian Movement of independence been a violent one, most of the people would have not chosen to join it owing to family constraints, self inability or other factors. Gandhiji not only believed in non violence but also designed the movement such that everyone can easily join it. The movement neither needed money nor physical strength. Rather,the present emotional strength was a sufficient eligibility for the movement. This strength was with everyone and that made the movement successful. As a leader we must understand that for realizing a vision money is never a constraint. Their are always ways to achieve the goals through will power and through getting the ideas executed through the existing strength of our people.

3. Customer is the king:
Very few of us know that Mahatma Gandhi pioneered the idea of Consumerism in India. He said that customer is the ultimate goal of any business organization. Whatever is being done by the businesses will turn useless if it has no customers. He said that a customer should never be treated as a disturbance in business operations rather he should be treated as a god. He gave the ideas of customer delight and need of customizing the products and services as per the requirement and feedback of customers.
In a speech in South Africa in 1890 Mahatma Gandhi said this:
“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption of our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider of our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to do so.” Surely this the most relevant management lesson on customer relations.

4. Educating your people is the pre-requisite to meeting the objectives:
Gandhiji correctly educated the people and linked the personal goals of people with common goal of nation’s independence. We can never assume our people to be knowing everything. Rather, it is our responsibility and prime duty to make them understand the relevance of goals. We must take the challenge to ensure that our people understand the need and importance of the goals that we have set. The achievement of set vision must be fruitful for everyone and each one must relate some or the other benefits into their very personal lives. We must guide them and help them establishing a logical and honest relationship between the organizational goals and their personal goals. Only then we can get their emotional support.

5. Overcome the negativity:
Whatever you may do, there will be people to find faults. Gandhiji said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight with you, then you win”. There will be a constant negativity in and around you. There will always be an inner conflict stopping you from moving ahead. Their will always be everyone to laugh at you. Never stop. Always keep the reasons to move ahead clear in your mind. Pulling yourself backwards is easier. Quitting what you thought once is an easy move. But at the same time it doesn’t yield anything. One must be clear in our goals and always be positive about them.

6. Leading by example:
Gandhiji’s life itself was an example for everyone he led. His simple living, way of solving the problems, never retreating nature, perseverance, empathy towards everyone and every other attribute we relate with him and what he always advocated was not only words. He lived the life of examples. We find his teachings in his life.

There is a lot which can be shared further. Mahatma Gandhi and his thoughts are always and will always be reflected in all the actions we take towards the development of our beloved Nation.

Jai Hind !!!