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Taming the CET!

Preparing for the CAT is not enough to crack other entrance exams. Find out why!

A popular belief amongst MBA aspirants is – ‘Prepare for CAT and you are prepared for all other exams!’ Though this might be true for most exams, it is surely not true for Maharashtra MBA-CET. This exam is a very different animal to tame altogether. The truth is that is that about 70% of the students who take CET, are those who have already prepared themselves for CAT and allied exams before and hence become veterans at taking these aptitude tests, by the time they take CET.
So, the big question is, ‘If I am prepared for CAT, what more do I need to prepare, so as to be prepared for CET?’

The answer is, ‘A lot more!’ Almost half the CET paper is quite different than any other exam. These are predominantly the questions pertaining to reasoning. Here are some question types that you may have to prepare for in addition to what you have already done:

1. Visual Reasoning: These are the most difficult and the most time consuming questions of the CET paper. These questions are asked for 30 marks in the CET (which is quite high considering the fact that it is a 200 mark paper). In fact, CET is the only management entrance exam where Visual Reasoning questions are found in such generous proportion. A good strategy for attempting the CET paper would be to keep these questions for the end. Read our article in the previous editions of JAM, to know more about how to tackle Visual Reasoning questions in CET.

2. Puzzles: These questions are less time consuming and also fun to solve. These involve questions like number series, word coding, direction test, family relations etc. There are around 15-20 questions on Puzzles. Your success in these questions depends on how soon you are able to crack the underlying logic in them. Hence it is advisable to practice as many of these questions as possible so as to make yourself familiar with all the different logics.

3. Verbal Reasoning: These questions (popularly known as Syllogisms) take less time to solve, but have a very low accuracy as well. You will usually find about 20-25 questions on Syllogisms. Questions pertaining to Arguments, Probably True-Probably False and Assumptions are very subjective and hence even a score of 8-10 is supposed to be good.

4. New Logic Questions: Introduced for the first time in CET 2006, these questions come in sets and are very easy to crack provided you are able to understand the instructions provided before every question. These involve questions pertaining to comparing a few variables (in terms of magnitude) and drawing some conclusion, coding a sequence of digits as per the given rules, performing a set of calculations as per the given rules and quantitative comparison (a question type that is a regular feature in GRE). In all there are about 15-20 questions.

As you can see, about 100 questions out of 200 are new and quiet different from anything that you have done so far. Apart from these, there are some cosmetic differences from other exams. The CET doesn’t have sections, answer responses have to be marked in black ball pen and there are no negative marks (not marking answer for even a single question in CET is a crime!).

Apart from these 100, the remaining questions are very easy. These include about 8-10 questions on BODMAS, about 5 questions on Permutation-Combination, about 20 questions on Data Interpretation, about 5 questions on Data Sufficiency, about 15 questions on Reading Comprehension (following 1 passage), about 30 questions on grammar and about 5 questions vocabulary.

Another important feature of CET, which most students miss out on is that the paper pattern of CET never changes! It is so standard that it is actually possible to predict about 80% of the paper. What this means is that you can actually study the last 2-3 years CET paper and know exactly what to prepare. One final word, CET is a speed based test (and not accuracy based like other exams). Hence all your efforts must be concentrated at increasing your attempts (of course, with an eye on the accuracy!). In last year’s CET, a good score to get into Jamnalal Bajaj would have been 150+.

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