First of all, a very happy new year. I understand that for some of you 2014 did not end on a high note because of poor CAT results. The sooner you can move on from this, the better it is for you. And then there is the other lot, who have just started thinking about doing an MBA and don’t even fully understand what the hoopla is all about.
One of the first things that CAT aspirants look for, specially those appearing for the first time, is a “coaching institute”. The choices, more often than not, are mind-boggling. Also, everyone wants to join the “best” coaching institute. And as the bard would say, therein lies the rub. The coaching institute you pick is going to make very little difference to the final result. But then again, everyone wants the “best”. I thought I will write this post to share my thoughts on choosing a coaching institute. I personally think that joining an offline brick-and-mortar coaching institute in today’s day is waste of time, money, and effort. This thought has been validated year after year looking at the results of some of my students as well. But for this post, I will purely talk about offline coaching institutes.
Now you might be wondering – Why am I helping my competition? Why am I even promoting an idea that I do not believe in. Well, it is because quiet a few of the students, for reasons that I do not understand, still prefer offline coaching institutes.
Here are some of the key things: Demo classes – These are not pants or shoes that you need to try. Also, like pants or shoes, you do not have the ability to actually judge the quality of a teacher from one or two classes. The effectiveness of his teaching will become evident in the long haul. I won’t even go into the unethical practices employed by some coaching institutes where faculty X takes the demo class, and faculty Y takes the actual batch. Another thing which is common is that in the demo class, stuff is taught in a fashion that it impresses the student and consists of stuff that is not really relevant to CAT preparation.
Quantity of content – How many classes are there in the course? The content is of how many hours? Will there be 2 classes a week or 5 classes a week? Once again, you are not buying a coke bottle that 500 ml will be better than 400 ml. You just need to ask one question, does it cover the entire CAT syllabus? – more often than not, the answer will be yes and that is all you need to care about.
Past results – We all understand that past performance is no guarantee for the future. It is not even a useful way of assessing how good or bad a coaching institute is. It is just a reflection how good or bad their marketing has been and have they been able to attract good talented students in the past. For example, one of my students Utsav Bhattacharjee got a 99.72%ile this year. Another student, Rajeev Kumar, got a call from IIM-A. Another student, Amardeep Singh, got an IIM-A call while preparing from Singapore. I am using their names because they did not join any offline coaching classes this year. They had taken my online course. Does that mean that if you join the online course, you will be able to match their performance – not at all. Their performance is just that – THEIR performance. A coaching institute is like a bat. Getting the same bat as Sachin will not make you a great international batsman. Heck! It won’t even get you selected to your hostel team.
Faculty Profiles – A lot of coaching institutes advertise that they have faculties from IIMs and IITs and other top colleges. After spending close to a decade in the MBA coaching industry, I can say without a doubt – degrees don’t matter when it comes to faculty. It is how interested and motivated the teacher is – that is all that counts. Even I have mentioned my alma mater IIT Kharagpur on the homepage. I make it a point to mention it in almost all demo videos. I do that because it works. It is purely a marketing exercise – nothing more, nothing less. There are other ways to judge the faculty.
a) For how long has he been teaching for CAT? (Ask about the faculty for your batch – not for the institute / center)
b) Is he a full time faculty or a part time one? (Full time faculty with 3+ years of experience is a good bet. Part time with 5+ years.)
Brand – There are three big brands when it comes to CAT coaching. IMS / TIME / CL – I have worked at two of them and have some close friends at the third. There isn’t much that separates these three. Over and above these, every city / region will have some local players as well. There is King’s Education in Jaipur, Tathagat / MBAGuru in Delhi, Genesis Mentors / Takshila in Pune, Erudite in Kolkata, Byju’s in Bangalore, 2IIM in Chennai, etc. I know I have missed quite a few and it would be wrong to call someone like MBAGuru or Byjus a “local player”. I strongly believe that it is better to stick to the top three. The other brands are pretty dependent on individuals. In case of a management conflict, you can see some of the top teachers leaving in the middle of a season, which is never good for a student. Even for the bigger brands, the question that you should ask is – “Is it a company owned center or a franchise?”. Always prefer a company owned center over a franchise. In case an institute has multiple branches in the same city, go in for the branch that has the largest number of students. It will often be known as the “main center”. It isn’t difficult to figure out which one is the main center. Just visit the centers and count the number of counselors available. More often than not, that does the trick. All the things mentioned in this paragraph are not a judgement of quality but a hedge against the risks involved. I am quite sure that the quality of teaching at local players is often at par and in many cases even better than the big brand counterparts but the risks involved are a big too high for a student to neglect. Now some of you might be wondering that the same risks also exist in an online coaching like mine where I am the only faculty involved. Well, that is not the case. Because even if I die on my upcoming trip to Srinagar, considering the way flights are disappearing – this is a possibility, a student will be able to learn from the course very easily. The videos will continue to exist. They are not going anywhere.
So, how to actually decide which coaching institute to join? Keeping all the above factors in mind, the biggest factor that you should consider is convenience. At the end of the day, it is YOU who needs to attend the classes. It is YOU who needs to put in the effort. You should pick a coaching institute that is close to your home / office / college. You should pick a coaching institute where you will be able to attend 100% of the classes offered. You should pick a coaching institute which has a batch that suits your timings. Do not compromise on these things one bit. Everything else will become irrelevant if you are not able to attend the classes.
Hope this post will help you make the right choice for the coaching institute. And obviously, if you want to learn online – you can always enroll for our online course by clicking on the green button given below.
I hope your XAT exam went well. A lot of students mailed, messaged, called, and even whatsapped (Ah! The world we live in) asking for an answer key for the Decision Making part. Considering that there were four different sets and just writing A / C will not help anyone, I though I would come up with the answer key / solutions in a slightly different way.
Given below is the XAT 2015 answer key and detailed solutions for the Decision Making section. For each set, I have put up some key identifiers first. Then I have listed out the correct answer as well as an explanation for the same. Hope you like it and learn from it. Also, please share it on Facebook – it will encourage me and my team to continue to do this in future.
Mr Patel – Barua – Dipangshu
1. Failing to perform in client meeting might further complicate the issue. He needs to focus on the job at hand as that is the priority. All other reasons do not take care of the problem in any way. If there is an issue with his performance, he will have to fix it by working on it.
2. Talk to Mr. Patel. All other options seem to be running away from the problem. If Mr. Patel is not able to understand his contribution, he should explain it to him
3. I, IV, V is the ideal order. Mr. Patel needs to talk to the senior guy first and explain that talent is important. Then he needs to speak to the junior guy and explain that the company values talent. And finally arrange a meeting between all of them.
MBA Entrance – ISM
1. II – Have separate papers with separate cutoffs. Having separate papers for formula based and application based problems is a must. Having differential marking, valuing one set more than the other, would give the examiners wrong data. Even if a student does not want, he will be motivated to attempt the section with higher marks. Not telling the students about it is improper. Combining scores and releasing the cutoffs would not serve the purpose as the institute would not be able to find the entrepreneurial candidates with that method.
2. I, II, IV, V – ISM helps with bank loans or students at ISM get good jobs is of no significance while attempting or preparing for the exam. The other information is helpful.
IIB – Green Campus
1. V, III, I – An audit should be the first thing to understand what the problems are and what can be done about it. Then a seminar should be conducted so that all students and staff can be involved in the process. Only the administration cannot solve this. They need to involve everyone and raise awareness about the issue. The third step should be the solar panels – something that can be easily done. It will also show that the administration means business and it is not just talk. It is not possible to replace buildings. Also, doing a compulsory course will be of no issue. This issue is not about getting more marks but getting more people involved. Forcing something like this will not work.
National Political Party – Mr. Loyal – Mr. Prodigal.
1. Expel Mr. Loyal from the party. This would be the worst thing for both Mr. Loyal and the party. This will definitely cause a rift and will break up the party. Also, it would tarnish Mr. Loyal’s image and it would appear as if the party is not backing him up.
2. Initiate an internal enquiry. The party should do this. They should try and find out what has actually happened. Taking a decision against Mr. Loyal / Mr. Prodigal would seem too harsh and even unreasonable. They cannot assume that anyone is guilty without even trying to find out the truth. They should investigate as the first step and then take a call based on findings.
3. I & IV – Mr. Opportunist should highlight his strengths which is goodwill and a large following. Also, Mr. Loyal’s candidature would adversely impact NPP’s chances because the public is not with Mr. Loyal because of the incident. Not having relatives / press-conference, etc. are not factors favouring Mr. Opportunist in any way.
4. He should ask his followers to support the NPP candidate. His political future is tied to the party. Him joining the opposition or being an independent candidate might go against him. One, he will be out of the party and secondly, it is unlikely he will win considering the circumstances. Continuing with the party is his best bet.
BEC – Simran – Raj – pure calculation – skipping this one.
Mr. Arbit – Mr. Boring – oil refinery – technology
1. “Investment is warranted only when benefits outweigh costs” – this is the only option among the five given which goes against Mr. Arbit’s call. All others are supporting Mr. Arbit’s decision to invest.
2. Success rate is 85% – that is the main cause of concern. Whether the money gets recovered in 12 months or in 15 months is not the issue here. If something can treble the business, the bigger issue is whether it will work or not. Also, it is a huge investment which again highlights the concern whether it will work or not.
3. Pure calculation – skipping this
Life Saving Pharma (LSP) – generic drugs
1. Pure calculation – skipping this
2. I, III, II – Invest in new drugs is the top priority for long run. That is the first choice in only one option. That is the answer.
3. Giving Mrs. Jose an option to work from home while in Luxembourg. I don’t think there should be any doubts about this. Giving more money will not solve the key problem that they have to be together. You can’t fire Mrs. Jose just because she is pregnant. It will be easier for Mrs. Jose to work from home because she is in HR and her team is well established in India office whereas Mr. Jose has to set stuff up at Luxembourg. Remember, it is still in a pretty nascent stage.
4. II & V – Mrs. Khan, under no circumstances, should quit her job. Even thinking of that option is downright regressive. This eliminates statement I and IV. Now, we need to pick between II & V and III & V. It might be hard for Mr. Khan to find an equivalent job in India. Asking him to leave the job would not be fair either. This makes II & V as the best choice.
1. I, III, IV, V – Statement II does not even make sense and should be ruled out. All others reasons / opinions support Ram’s decision.
2. Not worrying about the business. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Clearly Ram is doing a good job and let’s not interfere with it.
3. Create awareness campaign for organic vegetables. None of the other options make sense for the future of the business. Closing down / replacing Ram will not have a positive impact on the future of the business. However, if the audience becomes aware of the usefulness of organic vegetables, it will help his business in the long run.
I hope you liked the XAT 2015 Answer Key / Detailed Solutions for Decision Making. If you have any questions about the same or want to discuss any question in particular, do use the comments section.
So your CAT result wasn’t as good as you expected? Or was it much better than your expectations? And do you also HAVE TO go to that New Year bash? Well, whatever the case may be – you should not forget that you have a very important exam this weekend. XAT scores are accepted by a huge set of colleges. Few of those colleges like XLRI and XIMB are as good as some of the IIMs. Some might argue that they are better than some of the IIMs as well. XAT, in terms of content, is different from CAT. A lot of students believe that it is tougher than CAT. Well, it is not. The number of people appearing for XAT is around half when compared with CAT. Also, since the questions are harder to solve, the cut-off is also on the lower side.
If you are thinking that there are only few days left for the exam and nothing much can be done, you are wrong. In just few hours (my guess is 20) you can drastically increase your chances of getting a 90+ percentile and even a call from one of the top colleges. Please understand that a score of roughly 25% will get you a 90%ile and a score of roughly 1/3rd will get you a call.
Is there some magic formula that I have which can increase your score? Not really, but I do have a tip. Give 20 hours to prepare for the Decision Making section and you will see a dramatic improvement in your score. Decision Making is a complete section in XAT which typically covers around 30-35% of the paper. It is really easy when you compare it with the Quant and Verbal section. Also, it does not take too long to master it.
What exactly should you do in these 20 hours to increase your XAT 2015 score?
1. Go through the basic concepts of Decision Making – Go through the 8 concept videos in the course. This should take you approximately 3 hours.
2. Go through previous year papers – There are around 100 questions on Decision Making that were asked in XAT from 2008 to 2014. Solve them. Go through all the video solutions given in the course irrespective of the fact whether you got them right or wrong. Getting the correct answer is not important – it is the method used that matters the most. This should take you approximately 12 hours.
3. Solve at least 100 Decision Making questions – There are 5 mock tests in the course with 20 questions each. Solve each test in 30 minutes and go through the solutions in another 30 minutes. Remember, you should do only one test in one sitting. This should take you approximately 5 hours.
If you do put in these 20 hours in the way I have mentioned above – rest assured, you will give your XAT percentile a significant boost.
In case, you are not enrolled in the Decision Making course, you can do so via the green colored button given below. Since there is very little time left for the exam, we are giving it away at a discounted price of 299 Rs. Apply coupon code KOHLI to get a 200 Rs. discount.
This is the first crossword based contest that we are running. Hope you like it. Given below is the crossword based on current affairs of 2014. Click on any of the words, the clues would appear. Enter your answer and fill up the grid. Once you have filled up all the answers, click on submit. If your submission is correct, you will get the coupon code. You can use the coupon code on the offers given below the crossword. Do provide feedback via the comment section.
1. Islamic State of Iraq and
4. Kailash Satyarthi and Yousafzai
6. 63 not out
7. Ebola river flows in
8. Rosetta Spacecraft’s Probe
9. PM’s Yojna for financial inclusion
10. Economics Nobel
2. FIFA 2014 Runners-Up
3. Mars Orbiter Mission
5. Sahara Chairman
Decision Making for XAT 2015
100 Rs. discount to crossword solvers – use the coupon code
Essay Writing for XAT 2015
100 Rs. discount to crossword solvers – use the coupon code
XAT 2015 Combo Offer
200 Rs. discount to crossword solvers – use the coupon code
Hope you like the crossword based contest and share it with your friends.
We are running some great discounts on XAT 2015 Online Courses for GOSF – Great Online Shopping Festival.
The Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) was created by Google India in 2012 in collaboration with a number of Indian online shopping portals. This year, it is supposed to be scheduled from 10 December to 12 December. We are also trying to do our part in the same and hence offering substantial discounts for the same period on our XAT courses and XAT Mock Test Series.
It will be held online on Sunday, 7th December, 7 PM
It will cover the following:
1. Basic concepts of Decision Making
2. Tips to score more in Decision Making section
3. Analysis of XAT 2014 Decision Making section
4. Suggestions for XAT 2015 Decision Making
To register, click on the green button given below. A popup would appear. Enter your details. It will then ask you to share the link on Facebook or twitter. Do that. On Sunday, we will email you a link on which you can attend the live class online. In case you are not able to attend the class live, a recording of the same would be available on the same link.
Decision Making has become an integral part of XAT over the last few years. As of now, in terms of marks it is more important than Quant or Verbal or DI. It will not be wrong to say that Decision Making is the most important part of the XAT. The problem, however, is that not too many students prepare for it. Decision Making is probably the easiest section in the paper. XAT is traditionally a low scoring exam and that makes it even more important. These are easy 15 marks that you can get, provided you are willing to put in couple of hours a day to prepare for it.
First of all, let us try and understand what it is all about. In Decision Making questions, often you would be given hypothetical situations and you would be asked to answer hypothetical questions based upon them. You will be presented with a set of choices and you will need to make a decision which course of action is best suited in the given situation. Sounds simple, right? It is actually that simple. The problem, if any, comes in picking the right choice. More often than not, you will be down to two options and that is when the problem starts. But if you have enough practice making the right decision will not be a problem.
XAT Decision Making questions can be best summarized as a combination of reading comprehension and logical reasoning. Most of the questions, not all, will be a part of a set. Once you understand the situation properly, you should be able to answer all questions correctly. There are individual questions also asked in Decision Making for XAT. In case you are running out of time, you can target those. If you have a case study sort of approach towards solving these questions, that would be immensely useful.
There are some things that you can do to improve your performance in Decision Making for XAT. Go through XAT previous year papers to understand the kind of stuff that gets asked. Give a few XAT mocks. Once you are done with the mock, try and solve each and every Decision Making question again. Also, practice at least 100 Decision Making questions before the actual exam.
I hope this post would help you do better in XAT Decision Making.
I have an online course for Decision Making for XAT 2015. You can register for it from the link below.
Use coupon code BLOG to get a 20% discount on the same.
Get discounts on Decision Making, General Knowledge, Essay Writing, and mock test series for XAT.
I hope your CAT and IIFT exams went well. It is time you started preparation for XAT 2015. We have a bunch of courses which can help you do well in XAT. For today (25th Nov) and tomorrow (26th Nov), we are running some great discounts on them. The offer has expired.
The General Knowledge section in IIFT has always been problematic for a lot of students. In my opinion, there are two big reasons behind it.
1. Students don’t prepare for it.
2. They do not prepare from the right sources.
While nothing can be done to fix point 1, we are working really hard to fix the second one. A lot of students prepare from sources which provide too much information and that becomes a problem. Let’s face it, you cannot really go through a Manorama Year Book in a week. The other mistake that a bunch of students make is that they try to prepare for GK via tests / mocks / question banks. This doesn’t quite work as well because the ability to retain the correct answer in an MCQ format isn’t really high. You need to understand that it is not a subject where you derive an answer.
Keeping the above issues in mind, we have made a course which now has approximately 4000 students and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. But hey! Even if it was negative, I won’t be saying that in my own blog. We have immense faith in our course and that is why we thought to try out something which no coaching company, at least one that I am aware of, as done. So, here is the deal
Join our IIFT GK course at 299 Rs.
Give the IIFT exam on 23rd
Take a full refund on 24th if you think the course didn’t help
To get the full refund, all you will need to do is to send me an email on email@example.com and we will get it processed within 7 working days.
We just expect that you will be honest and that you will give at least 10 hours to study from the course. In case you are wondering, how will we check if you have studied or not. We have no way of doing that. In case you are thinking, what if someone takes the course, does well in IIFT, and still takes a refund. There is nothing we can do anything about that. As said above, we expect you to be honest.
We don’t know how this sort of a guaranteed course would work out for us, but we are willing to roll the dice and see what happens!