CAT race:2006


Par 100 posts (V.I.P)
CAT race: how to win the last lap


Not prepared for the CAT ? Not to worry. The countdown has just begun and you have one full month to go before you bell the CAT on November 21. So what is it that can help you sail through the last minute CAT-astrophe?

Practice, practice and more practice of course. That’s the utmost that you can do at this point of time. Remember CAT’s not about selecting the best rocket scientist anyway. But once you crack the test and get selected in one of the leading B-schools , you sure can claim to be one.

So without wasting time, let’s straight away head for those last-minute CAT misses from Rajiv Chakraborty, who cracked the CAT in 1996. “CAT is a simple exam that tests your basic skills in English vocabulary, grammar and mathematical abilities,” says Rajiv, who is currently employed with ABN Amro.

How to get started

The preparation for CAT is not a 100 metre race where everybody runs on a common track to outsmart the other. It is like a 10 day long car rally where at different points of time terrain changes, driving conditions change, vehicle conditions change and most importantly drivers conditions change.

“So you should have adequate stamina to complete the race and work accordingly,” says the Product Manager of ABN Amro Bank

Remember CAT tests your basic fundas. So brush up on your spellings, brush up your BODMAS (Brackets, Order, Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction), relearn your theorems and equations and apply them in more than one ways.

“Distribute time equally, fix your daily schedule, allocate fixed number of hours for each segment and get started,” advices Rajiv. With sheer perseverance and sustained practice, you can come out as the winner. Remember, it is never too late to start your preparation. So if you have not been practicing your Mathematics or mugging your word list and attempting your data interpretation regularly, you have to do all that and more.

Take mock tests

“Self study materials can be very helpful,” says Rajiv, who is a product of XIM Bhubaneswar. The most important requirement for the CAT preparation would be the courage to be honest to yourself and call a spade a spade. An early acceptance of your areas of improvements helps you focus on your efforts and manage time better.

Start identifying your weaknesses and stay away from them. If you have a weakness, chances are you may not be able to fix it in a month’s time and excel in it within 2 hours. Solve as many mock tests as possible and devise strategies to make optimum use of your skills and speed. The more you practice, the more you improve

Timing plays a vital role

Complete the test as per the time. Do not cheat on 1-2 minutes in the practice tests. They will boost your scores in the mock tests giving you a false sense of comfort and will bleed you in the real test because those 2-3 minutes will decide whether you are in or whether you are out.

Remember CAT is about balancing different facets. So it is Management in itself. Attempt answers that you know and be careful of negative marking. Don’t waste precious seconds in trying to solve something that you don’t know. Leave the tricky ones for the end.

How to select questions

Look for comprehension passages that deal with subjects and issues beyond your reading preference. If you are a fiction lover, try attempting non-fiction passages on scientific discoveries, theories and philosophy.

“Put maximum stress on comprehensions instead of word lists as they minimize chances of negative marking," says Rajiv. While selecting the question, remember, five short questions in 10 minutes are better than attempting three long questions in 10 minutes.

So all you CAT aspirants reading, buck up and take the exam! If you think your preparation’s not up to the mark, don’t loose heart. There are chances that you can do it. So why not be positive and hope for the best!


Par 100 posts (V.I.P)
Reading SPeed


Adapted by permission of RSSL, University of Maryland.

Improvement of Reading Rate

It is safe to say that almost anyone can double his speed of reading while
maintaining equal or even higher comprehension. In other words, anyone can
improve the speed with which he gets what he wants from his reading.

The average college student reads between 250 and 350 words per minute on
fiction and non-technical materials. A "good" reading speed is around 500 to 700
words per minute, but some people can read a thousand words per minute or even
faster on these materials. What makes the difference? There are three main
factors involved in improving reading speed: (1) the desire to improve, (2) the
willingness to try new techniques and (3) the motivation to practice.

Learning to read rapidly and well presupposes that you have the necessary
vocabulary and comprehension skills. When you have advanced on the reading
comprehension materials to a level at which you can understand college-level
materials, you will be ready to speed reading practice in earnest.

The Role of Speed in the Reading Process

Understanding the role of speed in the reading process is essential. Research
has shown a close relation between speed and understanding. For example, in
checking progress charts of thousands of individuals taking reading training, it
has been found in most cases that an increase in rate has been paralleled by an
increase in comprehension, and that where rate has gone down, comprehension has
also decreased. Although there is at present little statistical evidence, it
seems that plodding word-by-word analysis (or word reading) inhibits
understanding. There is some reason to believe that the factors producing slow
reading are also involved in lowered comprehension. Most adults are able to
increase their rate of reading considerably and rather quickly without lowering
comprehension. These same individuals seldom show an increase in comprehension
when they reduce their rate. In other cases, comprehension is actually better at
higher rates of speed. Such results, of course, are heavily dependent upon the
method used to gain the increased rate. Simply reading more rapidly without
actual improvement in basic reading habits usually results in lowered

Factors that Reduce Reading Rate

Some of the facts which reduce reading rate:

(a) limited perceptual span i.e., word-by-word reading;

(b) slow perceptual reaction time, i.e., slowness of recognition and response to
the material;

(c) vocalization, including the need to vocalize in order to achieve

(d) faulty eye movements, including inaccuracy in placement of the page, in
return sweep, in rhythm and regularity of movement, etc.; (

e) regression, both habitual and as associated with habits of concentration;

(f) faulty habits of attention and concentration, beginning with simple
inattention during the reading act and faulty processes of retention;

(g) lack of practice in reading, due simply to the fact that the person has read
very little and has limited reading interests so that very little reading is
practiced in the daily or weekly schedule;

(h) fear of losing comprehension, causing the person to suppress his rate
deliberately in the firm belief that comprehension is improved if he spends more
time on the individual words;

(i) habitual slow reading, in which the person cannot read faster because he has
always read slowly,

(j) poor evaluation of which aspects are important and which are unimportant;

(k) the effort to remember everything rather than to remember selectively.

Since these conditions act also to reduce comprehension increasing the reading
rate through eliminating them is likely to result in increased comprehension as
well. This is an entirely different matter from simply speeding up the rate of
reading without reference to the conditions responsible for the slow rate. In
fact, simply speeding the rate especially through forced acceleration, may
actually result, and often does, in making the real reading problem more severe.
In addition, forced acceleration may even destroy confidence in ability to read.
The obvious solution, then is to increase rate as a part of a total improvement
of the whole reading process. This is a function of special training programs in

Basic Conditions for Increased Reading Rate

A well planned program prepares for maximum increase in rate by establishing the
necessary conditions. Four basic conditions include:

1. Have your eyes checked. Before embarking on a speed reading program, make
sure that any correctable eye defects you may have are taken care of by checking
with your eye doctor. Often, very slow reading is related to uncorrected eye
2. Eliminate the habit of pronouncing words as you read. If you sound out words
in your throat or whisper them, you can read slightly only as fast as you can
read aloud. You should be able to read most materials at least two or three
times faster silently than orally. If you are aware of sounding or "hearing"
words as you read, try to concentrate on key words and meaningful ideas as you
force yourself to read faster.
3. Avoid regressing (rereading). The average student reading at 250 words per
minute regresses or rereads about 20 times per page. Rereading words and phrases
is a habit which will slow your reading speed down to a snail's pace. Usually,
it is unnecessary to reread words, for the ideas you want are explained and
elaborated more fully in later contexts. Furthermore, the slowest reader usually
regresses most frequently. Because he reads slowly, his mind has time to wander
and his rereading reflects both his inability to concentrate and his lack of
confidence in his comprehension skills.
4. Develop a wider eye-span. This will help you read more than one word at a
glance. Since written material is less meaningful if read word by word, this
will help you learn to read by phrases or thought units.

Rate Adjustment

Poor results are inevitable if the reader attempts to use the same rate
indiscriminately for a-1 types of material and for all reading purposes. He must
learn to adjust his rate to his purpose in reading and to the difficulty of the
material he is reading. This ranges from a maximum rate on easy, familiar,
interesting material or in reading to gather information on a particular point,
to minimal rate on material which is unfamiliar in content and language
structure or which must be thoroughly digested. The effective reader adjusts his
rate; the ineffective reader uses the same rate for all types of material.

Rate adjustment may be overall adjustment to the article as a whole, or internal
adjustment within the article. Overall adjustment establishes the basic rate at
which the total article is read; internal adjustment involves the necessary
variations in rate for each varied part of the material. As an analogy, you plan
to take a 100-mile mountain trip. Since this will be a relatively hard drive
with hills, curves, and a mountain pass, you decide to take three hours for the
total trip, averaging about 35 miles an hour. This is your overall rate
adjustment. However, in actual driving you may slow down to no more than 15
miles per hour on some curves and hills, while speeding up to 50 miles per hour
or more on relatively straight and level sections. This is your internal rate
adjustment. There is no set rate, therefore, which the good reader follows
inflexibly in reading a particular selection, even though he has set himself an
overall rate for the total job.

Overall rate adjustment should be based on your reading plan, your reading
purpose, and the nature and difficulty of the material. The reading plan itself
should specify the general rate to be used. This is based on the total "size
up". It may be helpful to consider examples of how purpose can act to help
determine the rate to be used. To understand information, skim or scan at a
rapid rate. To determine value of material or to read for enjoyment, read
rapidly or slowly according to you feeling. To read analytically, read at a
moderate pace to permit interrelating ideas. The nature and difficulty of the
material requires an adjustment in rate in conformity with your ability to
handle that type of material. Obviously, level of difficulty is highly relative
to the particular reader. While Einstein's theories may be extremely difficult
to most laymen, they may be very simple and clear to a professor of physics.
Hence, the layman and the physics professor must make a different rate
adjustment in reading the same material. Generally, difficult material will
entail a slower rate; simpler material will permit a faster rate.

Internal rate adjustment involves selecting differing rates for parts of a given
article. In general, decrease speed when you find the following

(1) unfamiliar terminology not clear in context. Try to understand it in context
at that point; otherwise, read on and return to it later;

(2) difficult sentence and paragraph structure; slow down enough to enable you
to untangle them and get accurate context for the passage;

(3) unfamiliar or abstract concepts. Look for applications or examples of you
own as well as studying those of the writer. Take enough time to get them
clearly in mind;

(4) detailed, technical material. This includes complicated directions,
statements of difficult principles, materials on which you have scant

(5) material on which you want detailed retention. In general, increase speed
when you meet the following: (a) simple material with few ideas which are new to
you; move rapidly over the familiar ones; spend most of your time on the
unfamiliar ideas; (b) unnecessary examples and illustrations. Since these are
included to clarify ideas, move over them rapidly when they are not needed; (c)
detailed explanation and idea elaboration which you do not need, (d) broad,
generalized ideas and ideas which are restatements of previous ones. These can
be readily grasped, even with scan techniques.

In keeping your reading attack flexible, adjust your rate sensitivity from
article to article. It is equally important to adjust you rate within a given
article. Practice these techniques until a flexible reading rate becomes second
nature to you.


In summary, evidence has been cited which seems to indicate a need for and value
of a rapid rate of reading, while at the same time indicating the dangers of
speed in reading, as such. We have attempted to point out the relationship
between rate of reading and extent of comprehension, as well as the necessity
for adjustment of reading rate, along with whole reading attack, to the type of
material and the purposes of the reader. Finally, the factors which reduce rate
were surveyed as a basis for pointing out that increase in rate should come in
conjunction with the elimination of these retarding aspects of the reading
process and as a part of an overall reading training program where increase in
rate is carefully prepared for in the training sequence.


New member
cud u plz give some practical tips n exercises wich cn b undertaken to improve reading speed.