Friday, August 21, 2015

CAT never teaches to climb a tree; a lion hunts it anyway : Part 2 ( The eternal ghost of QA)

Call it a nightmare or blame it for your insomnia Quants will keep haunting you till you start getting comfortable with it. As a section of CAT the section of QA has an entirely different identity. The nightmare that haunts each one of us is not the actual face when it comes to CAT. Generally, we see QA as the strict Mathematics but what it actually takes is what I'll be sharing across this article.

Let us start with a question:

The marked price of a shirt is Rs. 3750/-. The shopkeeper gives 50 successive discounts starting from 2%, 4%, 6% , 8% and so on. What will be the final Selling Price of the shirt.
Let us try being honest as to the approach we'll adopt to solve this question. The common traits that each one of us will exhibit are:
  • We will write down the gist viz. MP = 3750/- SP= x and stuff like that.
  • We will find our self smart enough to identify some geek term like AP in the discounts given. We will find out the formula linked to A.P .
But wait, was that really needed. There are 50 discounts and the 50th discount will be 100% and that makes the SP of the said shirt as Rs. 0/-. Isn't. This is QA in CAT. It's 90% common sense and 10% of calculation, concept and basic formula. It is just like a riddle or puzzle which has quantities or the numbers.
CAT is for selection of future managers who can handle the business situations. It is not for selection of clerks. And hence it is more of a test that checks the logical and reasoning ability. Questions on Mathematics are just an application of this reasoning ability.
So, actually we need to prepare more for sharpening our common sense and a little bit for the basic concepts of mathematics.
Stop using calculator for everyday calculations. Start memorizing:
  1. Squares and cubes up to 30.
  2. Square roots and cube roots up to 30.
  3. Fractional equivalents of percentages up to 1/30 .
  4. Multiplication tables up to twenties are.
Now each day pick up 2 topics. One from your strength area and the other from any random area. Revise each topic in 15 to 20 minutes not more than that. Then select 15 questions of each topic randomly and solve them in 35 minutes. Take it as a test. Try giving your best to these 35 min and spend your time diligently. Try to maximize your score. Use the options as well to solve the questions.

Penalize yourself for the incorrect attempts and find your consolidated score. Then analyse for next 40 minutes as to:
  1. Was there a smarter way to solve the questions I solved correctly.
  2. How many questions went wrong due to silly mistakes.
  3. How many questions went wrong due to conceptual mistake.
  4. For how many questions I was unable to understand the language.
  5. Any other reason.
Now based on these evaluate yourself and try not to repeat silly mistakes. Immediately go through the concepts you were not so sure of.
  • Connect with your mentors and resolve the doubts.
  • Keep a track of your progress and focus in a way that your score improves each time you take a test.
  • Be very consistent in taking tests.
  • Each day till the date of CAT take at least one test.
  • Cover all the topics gradually.
However tedious and uninteresting it is do practice this habit each day. You will surely achieve well above the sectional cut off. Always think of a better way to solve the questions.
This practice will help you to befriend QA and no longer will QA be a nightmare.
All the Best !!!

Part 3: VA: Wins the game- Releasing Soon.

Friday, July 31, 2015

CAT- 2015

CAT never teaches the art to climb a tree; A lion hunts it anyways : PART 1 (Don’t Worry)
Once again the ceremonial amusement around the CAT notification is on. The experts and the CAT connoisseurs are busy in developing new strategies while the budding managers are as usual passing through the “I-am-so-worried” phase of absorbing the process of change. So, my dear CAT hunters there is a little to worry and so is the time to get yourself pull the socks and jump into the battle with the non changeable and non challengeable  facts.
Hugh Prather, and American writer once said: Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes.
As a manager we are expected to adapt and lead in the ever dynamic and changing environment. So, every year the changed CAT pattern is nothing but the first filter for the fittest. So, if you do not worry for the changed CAT, you’ve already passed one of the screens.
Before I move further let us have a factual gist of what’s new in CAT 2015:
  1. The total duration of the test is 180 min with 60 minutes for each section. Yes, there are three sections as they used to be in the “not-so-good” old days.
  2. The section of QA (Quantitative Aptitude) will have 34 questions; VRC (Verbal and Reading Comprehension) will also have 34 questions; while LRDI (Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation) will have 32 questions.
  3. Candidates will not be allowed to switch from one section to another section while answering the questions in a section.
  4. Candidates will be allowed to access the basic on-screen calculator for calculation.
  5. Some questions in each of the sections will be of non MCQ type and the candidates will have to type the answers on the screen.
  6. The test will be held on 29th November in 2 sessions at 650 test sites.
And, the good thing is that there are a total of 19 IIMs this time:
  1. Ahmedabad
  2. Amritsar
  3. Bangalore
  4. Bodh Gaya
  5. Calcutta
  6. Indore
  7. Kashipur
  8. Kozhikode
  9. Lucknow
  10. Nagpur
  11. Raipur
  12. Ranchi
  13. Rohtak
  14. Sambalpur
  15. Shillong
  16. Sirmaur
  17. Tiruchirappalli
  18. Udaipur
  19. Visakhapatnam
Now finding the positives in the 2015 CAT:
  1. The increased number of Questions is 100 and the number of minutes is 180. That means there is an average of 1:48 min for each question. If CAT examiners have given around two minutes per question that means the questions will be more of logic rather that calculation and counting.
  2. The basic calculator provided will help in DI questions.
  3. There will be no chance of irrelevant opinions as everyone will be taking the test on the same day.
  4. The cut-off of QA and VRC will not be as high as they used to be as the support of DI and LR will no longer be there in the sections.
  5. The chances of getting overall cut-off cleared are more as there are three sections instead of two.
Believe me, there is no need to worry about the non-MCQ part of the test. If there is something new, it is new for everyone including the examiner. Hence,
  1. It is examiner’s responsibility to explain the questions clearly
  2. Being the first time, it won’t be too difficult.
So, the need of hour is, take a chill pill and get on to the full swing preparation with the same zeal you were doing. There is just one key to success in CAT : P-R-A-C-T-I-C-E.
P: Prepare well on your strength areas. Do take a small test on the areas of your strength atleast once in two days.
R: Read as much as you can – News papers, journals, magazines, books and everything you come across. Try reading online as it will make you comfortable with the onscreen reading of the RC passages.
A: Add to your strengths every day. Add atleast one new topic or concept or a set of new vocabulary to your area of control. Be consistent in this habit and you will do really well in CAT.
C: Compete with yourself while you practice. Aim for a better score in every mock test you write. Keep breaking your own records everytime you write a new test or a mock test.
T: Talk to your mentors and teachers and discuss your fears and queries openly.
I: Indifference to negative opinion.
C: Cope up with the changes in the pattern. It is a part of life and the sooner you cope with the more you would score.
E: Eat well. Do not compromise on your health and diet. Have a good diet and do not skip your meals. A sound mind resides in a healthy body.
 Mario Andretti, an Italian world driving champion once said, Desire is the key to motivation, but its determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek.

All the Best !!!

Keep looking for PART – 2

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Reserve Bank of India : 12 Points we must know

1.       RBI was established during the British Rule and it commenced its operations on 1st April 1935; it was founded to respond to the economic troubles after the first World War. Originally the shares were owned by private shareholders. RBI was nationalised on 1st January 1949.

2.       The general superintendence and direction of the RBI is entrusted with the 21-member Central Board of Directors: the Governor (Dr. Raghuram Rajan), 4 Deputy Governors, 2 Finance Ministry representatives, 10 government-nominated directors to represent important elements from India's economy, and 4 directors to represent local boards headquartered at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and New Delhi.

3.       The original choice for the seal of RBI was The East India Company Double Mohur, with the sketch of the Lion and Palm Tree. However it was decided to replace the lion with the tiger, the national animal of India.

4.       After the Partition of India in 1947, the bank served as the central bank for Pakistan until June 1948 when the State Bank of Pakistan commenced operations.

5.       The Banking Ombudsman Scheme has been formulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for effective addressing of complaints by bank customers.

6.       The bank issues and exchanges or destroys currency notes and coins that are not fit for circulation. The objectives are giving the public adequate sups of RBI are to issue bank notes, to maintain the currency and credit system of the country to utilize it in its best advantage, and to maintain the reserves.

7.       It is the duty of the RBI to control the credit through the CRR, bank rate and open market operations. As banker's bank, the RBI facilitates the clearing of cheques between the commercial banks and helps inter-bank transfer of funds.

8.       In order to curb the fake currency menace, RBI has launched a website to raise awareness among masses about fake notes in the provides information about identifying fake currency.

9.       RBI lends (no collateral required for long term lendings) to the commercial banks through its discount window to help the banks meet depositors' demands and reserve requirements for long term. The interest rate the RBI charges the banks for this purpose is called bank rate or Repo Rate.

10.   Every commercial bank has to keep certain minimum cash reserves with Reserve Bank of India. Consequent upon amendment to sub-Section 42(1), the Reserve Bank, having regard to the needs of securing the monetary stability in the country, RBI can prescribe Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) for scheduled banks without any floor rate or ceiling rate.

11.   Apart from the CRR, banks are required to maintain liquid assets in the form of gold, cash and approved securities. Higher liquidity ratio forces commercial banks to maintain a larger proportion of their resources in liquid form and thus reduces their capacity to grant loans and advances, thus it is an anti-inflationary impact. A higher liquidity ratio diverts the bank funds from loans and advances to investment in government and approved securities.

12.   A report titled "Trend and Progress of Banking In India" is published annually, as required by the Banking Regulation Act of 1949. The report sums up trends and developments throughout the financial sector.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Three Gen Next Careers as an Entrepreneur in India which are highly worth pursuing

Three Gen Next Careers as an Entrepreneur in India which are highly worth pursuing

1.       Application Developers: Online and Smart phone frenzy has shot a whole new range of professionals. People with basic and functional knowledge of platforms such as Flash, Java, CSS, and Python etc may choose anyone of them to work upon. The career is highly rewarding both in the terms of entrepreneurship and employment. Software professionals of both creative and analytical proficiency may start up by pooling nominal funds. It’s easy to learn from others creations and experience and having an original and utility centric idea. Young professionals generally develop simply and utility centric applications and initially release them and popularise the “app” among the friends and relatives. Later on the popularity is carried forward and handsome revenues can be made through advertisements and other media.

2.       Event Management: Be it personal or professional events managing them is a mammoth task. Success of an event is a direct factor to reputation and goodwill of the host. A person having a flair for creating the entire environment and has the potential to manage the multi-challenging task of managing end to end of an event is welcome to the arena of event management. The scale of industry is more than USD 500 billion and there is a lot of gap in terms of demand and supply of able professionals. In India there are many esteemed institutes which provide professional courses in event management viz. Pearl Academy, Delhi, Indian Institute of Learning and Advanced Development, Gurgaon, EMDI Institute of Media and Communications, Bengaluru. Further there is a host of conferences that are held to add on various aspects of Event Management as a career. After a careful assessment of abilities, professional training and gaining hands on experience the career may be pursued and a lot more can work through creativity.

3.       Interior Designer: Rapid urbanization and shrinking of residential space calls for professional designing of the interiors to help the home or workplace more comfortable, beautiful and rejuvenating. As an interior designer, you will be trained to design exclusive furniture artefacts and fittings besides learning managerial skills. With the help of a course in interior designing, you will come out with a professional designing solution that is efficient, eye-catching and at the same time safe. The basic qualification to get into most of these programs is a 10+2. Moreover, you will also have to get through an entrance examination that judges your drawing and design skills. There is enormous demand for qualified interior designers in India. So to be professionally qualified from a reputed institution is a must. With professional qualification comes the assurance of a good job.  And with adequate experience, you can start your own interior decoration business.

“The only thing that will teach you how to startup is working at a startup or building a startup! “ Prukalpa Sankar, SocialCops

With India turning into the youngest and the most dynamic nation there is a need, space and growth grounds for the budding risk takers. Programs like ‘Make in India’, subsidizing of SME and SSI mechanization and opening up of liberal marketing channels along with rapid urbanization demands for young think tanks. Virtual space has become the new super market and online retailing logistics has called for less physical maintenance and more creative outlook and analytical flair.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Economy of India – Some Quick Data each one of us must know

The most commonly asked questions in the interviews and almost every topic in the group discussions revolve around the economy. When it comes to the knowledge of economy and speaking on it for validating the point we wish to make, it is critical to substantiate our point with specific data. We cannot know or remember all the data but with the knowledge of a few critical data we can correlate and add value to the argument we make.
We have compiled some significant facts which must be kept in our mind before we go for any GDPI.
1.       Indian Economy is the 10th largest Economy in the world in terms of the GDP and 3rd largest in terms of Purchasing Power Parity.
2.       India ranks 2nd in the world in terms of farms output and agriculture and allied activities account for 17% of GDP while 51% of workforce is employed in these activities.
3.       According to the World Bank reports in 2012, India’s industrial manufacturing GDP output was 10th largest in the world on current USD basis.
4.       Industry accounts for 26% of GDP and employs 22% of the total workforce.
5.       India hosts many oil refinery and petrochemical operations, including the world's largest refinery complex in Jamnagar, run by Reliance Industries limited that processes 1.24 million barrels of crude per day.
6.       India's mining industry was the 4th largest producer of minerals in the world by volume, and 8th largest producer by value in 2009.
7.       India's services sector has the largest share in the GDP, accounting for 57% in 2012, up from 15% in 1950. It is the 12th largest in the world by nominal GDP and fourth largest when purchasing power is taken into account.
8.       In 2009, seven Indian firms were listed among the top 15 technology outsourcing companies in the world.
9.       As of 2009, India is the fourth largest producer of electricity and oil products and the fourth largest importer of coal and crude-oil in the world.
10.   Indian Railways is the fourth largest rail network in the world, with a track length of 114,500 kilometers and 7,172 stations. This government owned and operated railway network carried an average of 23 million passengers a day, and over a billion tons of freight a year.
11.   Retail industry contributes between 14–15% to 20% of India's GDP. The Indian retail market is estimated to be US$450 and one of the top five retail markets in the world by economic value. India is one of the fastest-growing retail markets in the world and is projected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2020.
12.   India accounts for 1.44% of exports and 2.12% of imports for merchandise trade and 3.34% of exports and 3.31% of imports for commercial services trade worldwide.
13.   India is a founding-member of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) since 1947 and its successor, the WTO.
14.   Since independence, India's balance of payments on its current account has been negative.
15.   In 2011, Transparency International ranked India at 95th place amongst 183 countries in perceived levels of public sector corruption.
16.   India's literacy rate had grown from 52.2% in 1991 to 74.04% in 2011, which is lower than the worldwide average and the country suffers from a high dropout rate.
17.   India became the 10th largest insurance market in the world in 2013, rising from 15th rank in 2011.
18.    India with 17.5% of total world's population had 20.6% share of the world's poorest in 2013.
The aspirants are advised to make a note of aforementioned points and keep revising for a successful and impacting GDPI experience.
All the Best!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

English then and now

Teaching of English began when the British had brought almost the whole of India under their subjugation. At first, the teachers were all English because no Indian was yet competent enough to teach the subject.
After a few decades, there were a large number of Indian teachers of English. They were competent because they themselves were taught by English teachers.
People like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekanand, Pt.Moti Lal Nehru, and Poet Rabindra Nath Tagore were all products if that age. Their English was impeccable.
Conferences and meetings were all conducted in English. All our heroes of freedom struggle used English as they belonged to different states and their native languages were not known to each other.
After India gained independence, continuance of English as the official language was debated all over the country. Some people were of the opinion that English should be driven out of country along with ‘The English’. Then commonsense prevailed and English held its place as the second official language.
During the past few decades, importance of English has grown manifold because of the development of information technology world trade, inter depence of the countries due to many political and economical reasons and it was realized that people could not make progress unless they knew good English.
The need to know English grow manifold but the standard of teaching English went down and down. The teachers themselves could neither speak nor write good, intelligible English. They came to know that ‘Grammar’ but they did not know that teaching of grammar as a separate subject is not desirable as the students should first acquire the ‘Language skills’ i.e.
1.       They must listen and understand.
2.       They must speak in a way that other people may understand that.
3.       They must be able to read and comprehend.
4.       They must be able to write good, informal English but they do need grammar in a different way.

Grammar should be taught with the help of the language and not the other way round. The teachers themselves should know grammar very well otherwise they will not be able to tackle the mistakes committed by the students.  So the teachers should know grammar and use it himself when necessary.
So what is needed is to build up an army of teachers who can speak English well. No particular ‘approach’ or ‘method’ will be needed if the teacher is good in English himself.
If he speak in English in the class of the students will be compelled to listen to him and understand what he is saying. If the teacher insists on using English when they answer the questions put by him, the students will be able to speak. Similarly if the students are given some topic for writing, the teacher should guide him all the way, this way their mistakes will be fewer.
So what we need is a posse of teachers who can speak and write correct, idiomatic English used in everyday life. We need competent people to teach and train such teachers over a period of time.
That is the only way to raise the standard of English in India which is destined to become a world power in near future.

Written by

Mrs. Roma Chakraborty
        P.E.S. Retd.Associate Professor
    English Language Training Institute