Preparation for CET
- The MAH-MBA/MMS CET is one of the most sought after entrance exams to gain admission
to the top B-schools in Maharashtra. In 2007, 60,000 students and working professionals
tried their hand at this entrance test in order to make their way to the top B-schools
in Maharashtra. It consists of 200 questions to be solved in two and a half hours.
- These questions are from various topics and genres including Problem Solving, Logical
Reasoning, Data Sufficiency, Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension and Visual Reasoning.
As is evident, it is a test which focuses completely on SPEED and ACCURACY. These
two are the most important factors that one must consider at all times; during preparation
as well as while writing the test.
- Preparation for a speed-based exam, the likes of CET, FMS, SNAP, NMAT, etc., is
quite different from the preparation for an 'application-based exam' like the CAT
/ XAT. It really helps if one has his basics sorted. Being quick with calculations
really puts you ahead of the others as far as CET is concerned (and NO... Vedic
Maths isn't necessary or sufficient). While preparing for this test, it is important
that one focuses on the underlying concepts and their meanings rather than just
concentrating on the procedure to solve the questions. Procedures to solve problems
will just increase the time taken to solve a particular question. If you can 'question'
the procedure and understand it, then you can definitely skip a substantial number
of steps to solve a problem which is very instrumental in developing your speed.
- Another issue that needs to be addressed is that one need not slog it out to prepare
for these tests. Remember that the quality of the time you put in is more important
than the quantity of time you put in. For example, one doesn't need to put in 5-8
hours a day to prepare, even a quality preparation of 2 hours will do, provided
in those 2 hours, you study in such a way that whatever you were able to touch in
those 2 hours, you should not have the need to go back to it again... then it just
becomes a question of solving more and more problems, which will take care of the
speed. Again, one needs to understand that since the focus is not too much on questions
involving a lot of depth in concepts, the preparation practice should involve fewer
types of problems but many riders of each type.
- The preparation for the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension sections can be
quite tricky. The more you try to prepare, the more you will want not to prepare.
Pundits in the arena recommend that for the CET and other such exams, Speed Reading,
Skimming and Scanning are of utmost importance, but I have a totally and diametrically
- In fact, since this is a speed-based exam, the idea is to read quickly and assimilate
just as quick, which involves fair amount of reading skills. Once a passage is read,
what usually happens, if one 'skimmed' and 'scanned' is that one always has to refer
back to the passage to answer questions. Instead, I followed the reverse technique
which is quite popular these days: first read the questions and then go to the passage.
This is much easier because you now know what you are looking for. Being good at
spoken and written English really helps, and this shall not be unless and until
the basic rules of grammar and their usage is well-understood. So, the bottom-line
is, focus on grammar, develop reading skills by reading all that you want and voila!...
The section stands conquered.
- Another very important point (probably the most important) that one must remember
in answering such an exam, (and it is also the most difficult thing to do) is that
one must learn to 'LEAVE' questions, I mean, there'll be so many questions that
would tempt you to attempt them since you know that you know them, but it's just
that they would take too long to solve and the speed would go for a toss... one
must learn to resist the temptation to solve such questions, and if time permits,
(it will if you do your strategy and time well) you may go back to them.
- I never really expected to top in this entrance test, but I believe the major reason
that made me achieve something like this was the ability to combine speed, agility,
strategy and application. Again, these are not things one can consciously do, but
it happens when you can, along with preparation, develop the strategy to appear
for a 'speed-based exam'.
- Since there's no negative marking in the CET, all the 200 questions have to be attempted,
but about 160-170 of these need to be genuine and not guesses. Remember always that
if the paper is difficult, long, awry, it's the same for others too. So there is
no need to bother about whether you will be able to crack it or not. Just prepare
with a neutral mind without thinking about scoring well, and you should be fine.
The scores will come!!!
- I use a simple example to explain this: Imagine one is walking on the road towards
a particular building that's in the field of vision. If one keeps looking at the
building and walks, he is sure to fall (also given the cruel condition of roads
today), but if one concentrates on the road to the building, he would eventually
reach there without any hassles and without even realizing.