5 CAT Traps: ENGINEERS Beware!

  • Sep 22nd, 2017
CAT Engineers Beware of traps

Are you an MBA aspirant?

Are you a Fresher?

Are you an Engineer?


Sorry, the going for you just got tougher!

The scenario above is no piece of imagination. While engineers still make up the majority population at IIMs, and other top B-Schools of country, they are no longer most sought after profile. In fact, in an effort to assemble a diverse batch, business schools have moved away from increased CAT weightage, and towards a comprehensive assessment approach (weight to work experience, gender diversity, academic diversity, etc.). Hence, for an engineering MBA aspirant, the battle has only gotten tougher to win. Here are 5 traps that any engineer must watch out for:


1.     Complicated relationship with Quantitative Aptitude

Someone rightly said, “While some of us are engineers by choice, most of us are engineers by default.” And, every engineer must know that a default engineering degree does not mean a default command over quantitative aptitude (a skill that is assumed to be possessed by engineers). So, if you have turned all your attention to Verbal Ability, go ahead & take a sectional Quantitative test, a perfect litmus test of your Quantitative problem solving skills.

I was doing well in my classes, mostly in the first few students to respond. I always knew that Verbal would prove to be difficult to conquer, and with my dedicated efforts, I was constantly improving my score there. However, in my first 3 mock tests, I scored consistently low (40-50%-ile) in Quant. I wasn’t bad in Quant, but it definitely needed work.
Tapas Kant Tiwari : IMT-Ghaziabad 2016-18


2.     Eleventh Hour Study Plans

All engineers have successfully executed our eleventh hour study plans, in at least one semester or more. What they do not realize is that these temporary hacks meant for only 4 years of graduation soon become a matter of habit. And, this reality strikes hard at time of appearing for Mock Tests when they score bad.

"What became increasingly obvious was that my regularity on classrooms and revising last minute notes was not yielding great results as they always had. By the end of my preparation, one thing that I came to strongly believe was that my days and ways of engineering had to be past me. Consistency was the new key!"
Devraj N : XLRI 2016-18


3.     Logic vs Language in Verbal Ability

For engineers struggling with Verbal section, remember that while a part of questions in VA section rely on your comfort and proficiency on English Language, rest of questions, though featuring in this section, are actually based on ‘reasoning ability’ as essential skill. This set of questions is your first set to master, and a definite ‘DO NOT’ miss.

"Verbal section is of as important as other two. So, I decided to approach it strategically. A careful analysis of my Verbal section revealed that while I was doing logic based questions with 95% accuracy but spending one-third the time, and ultimately missing some of them, as against other questions to which I devoted two-third time with 65-70% accuracy."
Abhay Aggarwal : FMS 2015-17


4.     Capability vs Speed

CAT, in its initial years, was a true test of pure aptitude, i.e., an individual’s ability to approach and solve a problem. So is not the case now. CAT is now an equal game of speed. So, to the engineers out there, while all mental calculation & smart work is appreciated, hard work has not substitute. Practice, and practice some more to for overcome the speed hurdle.


"I think it is very easy to get in rut of looking at the problem, thinking that this is how I am going to solve it, and then moving on. We do not realize that we forget to factor in the time component. When I realized that I was doing it, I actually started timing my practice tests and my score jumped 10 percentile."
Kshijit Arora : SJMSOM 2016-18


5.     Where to cut loss

Experience shows that aspirants from engineering background have a tendency to obsess with problems. Simply meaning, when they are unable to solve a problem, they choose/tend to get stuck, and eventually lose out on time. With changing CAT pattern, and increasing importance of speed, one cannot any longer afford to do that. Hence, if you find yourself a victim of ‘obsession syndrome’, remind yourself to ‘MOVE ON’.


"As faculty for quantitative aptitude for CAT aspirants for over 8 years now, one thing that I would like them to MUST take care of is getting emotional with any problem. It happens every other day, that a student with strong command over Number System/Geometry/Time-Speed-Distance, spending more than 8 minutes on high-level question from that topic, thereby losing time for 4 questions on one."
Ramanuj Mishra : CAT Faculty

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