Will CAT 2020 Be Cancelled?

All Myths about CAT 2020 explained 

Each year, the CAT exam is conducted in the month of November/December, and over 2 lakh individuals appear for this exam to get shortlisted for admission by top IIMs. However, due to the Coronavirus, there is a lingering doubt in the minds of many aspirants that CAT 2020 may face postponement or even cancellation! There is also concern about the placements that IIMs will be able to provide in a seemingly uncertain job market. A CAT expert with over 20 years of experience coaching students answers 10 key questions about CAT 2020.

1. How will placements be affected for the MBA batch of 2023 at IIMs and other top b-schools?

During the course of the session, experts predicted that the MBA Class of 2021-2023, i.e., those who take CAT 2020 and make it to a top business school in 2021, will have the best placements that MBA batches at India's top b-schools have seen in the recent past. "I'm a veteran of 20 years and this is my prediction - if you get into an MBA program in 2021, you will be doing a lot of positive things for yourself; you will be doing a favor to yourself," says the expert.

2. Will CAT 2020 get postponed/canceled because of Coronavirus?

"It is very unlikely that anything will affect CAT 2020. Forget that there is Coronavirus, focus on the fact that MBA education will be very valuable to you, especially if you join an MBA college in 2021. Don't worry at all, start preparing for CAT," says EXPERTS.

3. Will more people write CAT 2020? Will competition for CAT 2020 and seats in IIMs increase?

"While that may seem to be the case, if we take a look at past trends of what happened in 2008-2009 during the financial crisis, as well as what happened during 2001's dotcom bubble burst, it is possible that less people may actually attempt CAT 2020," predicts EXPERTS. "If this will be the case, now (June) is the best time to start preparing and get a head-start."

4. Are 6-months enough to prepare for CAT 2020?

"6 months are more than sufficient, if you plan out your strategy properly," says EXPERTS. He recommends that now, i.e., June is the right time to start your preparation for CAT 2020. "In our future sessions, as we go along, I will take you through specifics of how you can prepare for each section of CAT - QA, DI-LR, & VA-RC."

5. As a working professional, how much time do I need to spend per week to prepare for CAT 2020?

As per EXPERTS, "Whether you're a student or a working professional in any sector, you should be able to pick up 2 hours per weekday and 4-5 hours on weekends, i.e., nearly 20 hours a week, that should be more than sufficient to prepare for CAT 2020."
He further recommends that candidates should not be concerned if their profiles are good enough for the IIMs, since this will be irrelevant if you're unable to crack CAT 2020 itself! "I know of people who have made it to top IIMs with 2-years gap in which they've done nothing. On the other end, there are people who have stellar academics but still haven't made it to IIMs."

6. How much should I score in CAT 2020 to get a 99 percentile?

A 99th percentile is a tough score to achieve, but with a strategy in place, it can get well within your reach. As per EXPERTS, "If the CAT paper pattern does not change, out of the 300 marks, given the history of CAT for the last 4-5 years, you will need about 150 marks to get close to 99 percentile. 150 marks is not a big deal if you prepare hard for these 25-27 weeks to CAT 2020. For each of these 25 weeks, if you can show improvement of 9 marks per week, you can reach 180 marks in just 20 weeks.
It doesn't matter how much time you spend preparing daily for CAT till the time, out of 168 hours in a week, you are able to give about 21 hours just for preparation. This can be split into approximately 6-7 hours for each of the three sections of CAT.
In the past 30 years of CAT, the trend has been that 60% marks will get you a 99.8 percentile," says EXPERTS. "The only people who get through CAT are those who understand the statistics of CAT and what it takes to make it."

7. How should someone weak in Quant prepare for CAT 2020?

Are you struggling with the QA syllabus? Are you completely out of touch with Maths and are terrified by these seemingly complex concepts? Here is what EXPERTS suggests you do.
"The QA section of CAT has 4 major topics - Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry & Mensuration, Numbers & Number Systems. Let's take Arithmetic, where there are 6 basic chapters. If you can give 6 weeks to Arithmetic, will you not become good at Arithmetic which has the highest weightage in CAT? Likewise, you can apply the same strategy to Algebra - another important topic in CAT. If you focus on just Arithmetic and Algebra, you can potentially solve 20 questions out of 34 in CAT 2020, [based on previous trends]. That's 60 marks, which is a 99th percentile score.
Add to that a Geometry and Mensuration, if you don't do well in this section, it is only because of your fears or your insincerity towards the work that is required to crack CAT." 

8. How should someone weak in DI-LR prepare for CAT 2020?

"I will go in-depth in my future sessions in the CAT 2020 Masterclass series, but on a broad basis, let's take a look at Data Interpretation. In DI, we have tables combined with QA concepts, bar charts, pie charts, line graphs, scatter diagrams, spider graphs, miscellaneous, and other graphs. If you spend 7 hours per week for 10 weeks, will you not become good at Data Interpretation and master it? Sincerity of preparation is what will take you across the line," says EXPERTS.

9. What is the ideal time to start taking mock tests to prepare for CAT 2020? How many tests should I take?

As per the EXPERTS , "The first mock that you need to take is in the beginning of June or end of May, to test where you stand. Then, take 3 tests in July, 4 tests in August, and from September to November, take 5 tests in each month." That's over 20+ mocks from June till CAT 2020.

10. Are GEM (General Engineering Male) students at a disadvantage for MBA admissions post-CAT 2020?

"GEM students aren't ignored for anything at all. In fact, every year including this year (MBA batch 2020-2022), GEM and GEF students are the maximum in all institutes, including top IIMs. Do not worry about it."

Jitesh Gupta
Cheif Mentor at Headache Tutorials 

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