TIPS FOR CAT’17

TIPS FOR CAT’17 by CATGURU “ARUN SHARMA SIR”

http://www.mbarendezvous.com/interview-with-arun-sharma/

 

TIPS FOR CAT’17 by RENOWNED AUTHOR “MEENAKSHI UPADHYAY  MA’AM”

http://www.mbarendezvous.com/interview-with-meenakshi-upadhyay/

Click here to attend a Free CAT Online Demo class by Arun Sharma Sir & Meenakshi Ma’am(Renowned authors of Books for CAT)

Posted by Tanisha Narang, Friday, June 30, 2017    04:10:00PM

 

 

Preparation Tips for Verbal Ability [VA] Section

In this article I will share a few important steps to be taken for excelling in the VA or verbal ability section of the CAT exam as it is popularly known.

First of all it should be clear that the VA section has become very structured and has 5-6 question types which are very important.

Secondly, since the chapters are more or less defined with a few changes or surprises, the option of leaving something does not arise.

So we cannot say that I will not solve para-jumbles in the exam because there might be a chance that out of the 10 VA questions there are 3 para-jumbles questions which gives it a 30 % importance in that section.

Thirdly, since the number of question are limited to 10 in VA, the scope of leaving out questions and the liberty of making errors or doing guess work is out of question. If you plan to do any of those things then, be prepared for negative marking at your own risk, to the extent of not being able to clear the cut off also.

Speed is not an issue in the verbal section of the CAT exam because you get close to 3 min to solve one question which in VA is enough, but accuracy cannot be compromised at any cost.

The chapters which are seen mostly in this section of CAT exam are:

  • Sentence completion
  • Paragraph completion
  • Paragraph jumbles
  • Irrelevant sentences
  • Phrasal verbs
  • Sentence correction
  • Critical reasoning
  • Fact, inference and judgment.

Since the CAT exam is known for springing up surprises, be prepared for a new question type to pop up from time to time. For example the irrelevant sentence questions which 1st appeared in 2011 and surprised everyone, have now become a regular feature.

As earlier talked about surprises, I would like to add that if you are well prepared for the above mentioned topics the VA section will be a smooth sailing for you even if there is a surprise question.

The key to solving VA accurately lies in a good command over vocabulary, a decent knowledge of grammar and a good grasp over sentence / paragraph decoding. For this, extensive reading and a good knowledge of words/vocabulary are the only options available.

Thorough practice of each question type and exposure to different levels of testing are a sure shot way of gaining confidence and achieving better levels of accuracy in the exam.

So start your preparation and break it into small goals for each topic.

Keep in touch with all the topics and keep upgrading your levels till the month of the exam.

ALL THE BEST!!!

Always with you!!

Meenakshi Upadhyay

(The author is an IIM Bangalore Alumnus, the author of a series of best-selling books on CAT from McGraw Hill as well as the Verbal Ability Trainer at Mindworkzz- the online as well as classroom CAT training venture of Arun Sharma)

 

Click here to attend a Free CAT Online Demo class by Arun Sharma Sir & Meenakshi Ma’am(Renowned authors of Books for CAT)

Posted by Tanisha Narang, Monday, April 17, 2017 01:17:00PM

 

 

Aroma of Language

ccaatt

Aroma of language

Yes this is what the series of language awareness , improvement tips and write ups by me is going to be called.

You might wonder – why, what…has she gone crazy???….well the answer is NO..at least not yet..

So let me tell you …yes language has to be felt and enjoyed like a whiff of fresh air…like a lingering smell…like the aroma of delicious food coming to the nostrils of a hungry person…

OK..point taken…you want to CRACK CAT and not worry about language and its aroma….Lets Get GOING !!!!

The First Aroma :

The first and foremost thing to be kept in mind is to have loads of words at hand to speak and write…in technical language : IMPROVE YOUR VOCABULARY

Hmm..i know you are thinking..YES ..we know we have to improve our vocabulary but HOW??….We cannot seem to remember words….

EXACTLY…I realize that…So????

Please don’t memorise…START VISUALISING THE WORDS…

Let us try doing some:

GORMANDIZE: eat hurriedly[ imagine a small child stuffing laddoos into his mouth before the elders catch him…or better still imagine yourself stuffing food into your mouth in class before your teacher turns around.

Okie- dokie  …was it easy??

EUPHEMISM : substitution of a mild term for something offensive…[ imagine your girlfriend/ boyfriend asking you how they are looking in their new  expensive apparel…and you say.. ‘well you look cool in anything but I like you better in the dress I got for you’…hmm..only you know how cool that was…but then you did not want to hurt them…that is Euphemism for starters. ….

So that is how you visualize your words..and mind you its not as difficult as it sounds…the more you practice the better you become at it….and your word power increases !!!

So that was the 1st Aroma from my side…will continue with many more..

Be my partner in this beautiful aromatic journey of language !!!

BON VOYAGE !!!! …will come back soon with a new aroma

#Meenakshi

click here for Realms of reading (Aroma of language-2)

click here for  The Peculiarities of Perception :(Aroma of language- 3 )

click here for  The Strength Of Structure(Aroma Of Language 4)

click here for Power Of Practice(Aroma Of Language 5)

Click here to attend a Free CAT Online Demo Class by Mindworkzz – Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay . (Renowned authors of Books for CAT)

Realms of reading (Aroma of language-2)

meenakshi-upadhyay

So here is the second in my series of Aroma of Language…

You must be thinking I took a long time in writing a sequel to the 1st one.

Yes …actually everyone needs a ‘muse’ ..i.e an inspiration or an objective to do anything…and here I was searching for my muse for the next aroma….and as I had to travel I was also trying to get ready for that…

In the midst of all that I suddenly found the book I was reading during my last journey…It was a book written by Paulo Coelho….. Yes you are right ,the author of the famous book ‘The Alchemist’ and many more.

Suddenly I had my muse – my inspiration for this sequel.

Yes you guessed it right..Reading !!!

So my Aroma for today is related to reading….

Oh no!!!!..Is that your reaction??

Hmmm…lets make it a little more relevant…

Why is READING IMPORTANT ??

Also why should we focus on reading for THE CAT exam?

First and foremost I chose reading for today’s topic because if you cannot read and understand ,especially English ,you should say GOODBYE to the thought of clearing the CAT exam or any other English based Aptitude Exam.

The CAT exam expects you to not just read and understand but also to COMPREHEND and ANALYSE….

And what is that now…you may ask??

Comprehending and analyzing is reading between the lines, understanding the theme and essence of what is written.

Mind you ,this is not just line by line interpretation of what is written…it is actually getting to know the code that was functioning in the writer’s mind, when he/she wrote the matter. It is actually mapping the text just like you map somebody’s mind…..and if you are able to map the text fully and properly ,your accuracy and level of solving becomes much superior than the average examinee…IN OTHER WORDS….. ‘ YOU GET AN EDGE OVER YOUR COMPETITORS”

And this is what we want to do ..we want to EXCEL

There can be 2 paths from here :

  1. We can go on being happy that we know enough , we are studying and solving ;we can get good marks and qualify to a decent B- School.
  2. The 2ndoption is to realize what you do not know, kill the ignorance from your mind, try to accumulate as much knowledge as you can.

Here comes my thought..when I read this particular book..I realized that even though the book was a normal read, I was exposed to so many new ideas , concepts and thoughts which were not there in my mind…but which just came because I read this particular book.

So the crux of the matter is that if you put garbage in your mind, that is what will come out, but if you put structured and relevant information in your mind, it will definitely come to your aid when you need it.

When you read new things…you get new ideas, you recognize several styles of writing and you automatically improve your vocabulary and language ability !! J

So you kill so many birds with one stone….SO DOES IT MAKE SENSE NOW??

If this does make sense to you please start your daily reading from today itself..!!!

You could refer to our website

So here is the second in my series of Aroma of Language…

You must be thinking I took a long time in writing a sequel to the 1st one.

Yes …actually everyone needs a ‘muse’ ..i.e an inspiration or an objective to do anything…and here I was searching for my muse for the next aroma….and as I had to travel I was also trying to get ready for that…

In the midst of all that I suddenly found the book I was reading during my last journey…It was a book written by Paulo Coelho….. Yes you are right ,the author of the famous book ‘The Alchemist’ and many more.

Suddenly I had my muse – my inspiration for this sequel.

Yes you guessed it right..Reading !!!

So my Aroma for today is related to reading….

Oh no!!!!..Is that your reaction??

Hmmm…lets make it a little more relevant…

Why is READING IMPORTANT ??

Also why should we focus on reading for THE CAT exam?

First and foremost I chose reading for today’s topic because if you cannot read and understand ,especially English ,you should say GOODBYE to the thought of clearing the CAT exam or any other English based Aptitude Exam.

The CAT exam expects you to not just read and understand but also to COMPREHEND and ANALYSE….

And what is that now…you may ask??

Comprehending and analyzing is reading between the lines, understanding the theme and essence of what is written.

Mind you ,this is not just line by line interpretation of what is written…it is actually getting to know the code that was functioning in the writer’s mind, when he/she wrote the matter. It is actually mapping the text just like you map somebody’s mind…..and if you are able to map the text fully and properly ,your accuracy and level of solving becomes much superior than the average examinee…IN OTHER WORDS….. ‘ YOU GET AN EDGE OVER YOUR COMPETITORS”

And this is what we want to do ..we want to EXCEL

There can be 2 paths from here :

  1. We can go on being happy that we know enough , we are studying and solving ;we can get good marks and qualify to a decent B- School.
  2. The 2ndoption is to realize what you do not know, kill the ignorance from your mind, try to accumulate as much knowledge as you can.

Here comes my thought..when I read this particular book..I realized that even though the book was a normal read, I was exposed to so many new ideas , concepts and thoughts which were not there in my mind…but which just came because I read this particular book.

So the crux of the matter is that if you put garbage in your mind, that is what will come out, but if you put structured and relevant information in your mind, it will definitely come to your aid when you need it.

When you read new things…you get new ideas, you recognize several styles of writing and you automatically improve your vocabulary and language ability !! J

So you kill so many birds with one stone….SO DOES IT MAKE SENSE NOW??

If this does make sense to you please start your daily reading from today itself..!!!

You could refer to our website

So here is the second in my series of Aroma of Language…

You must be thinking I took a long time in writing a sequel to the 1st one.

Yes …actually everyone needs a ‘muse’ ..i.e an inspiration or an objective to do anything…and here I was searching for my muse for the next aroma….and as I had to travel I was also trying to get ready for that…

In the midst of all that I suddenly found the book I was reading during my last journey…It was a book written by Paulo Coelho….. Yes you are right ,the author of the famous book ‘The Alchemist’ and many more.

Suddenly I had my muse – my inspiration for this sequel.

Yes you guessed it right..Reading !!!

So my Aroma for today is related to reading….

Oh no!!!!..Is that your reaction??

Hmmm…lets make it a little more relevant…

Why is READING IMPORTANT ??

Also why should we focus on reading for THE CAT exam?

First and foremost I chose reading for today’s topic because if you cannot read and understand ,especially English ,you should say GOODBYE to the thought of clearing the CAT exam or any other English based Aptitude Exam.

The CAT exam expects you to not just read and understand but also to COMPREHEND and ANALYSE….

And what is that now…you may ask??

Comprehending and analyzing is reading between the lines, understanding the theme and essence of what is written.

Mind you ,this is not just line by line interpretation of what is written…it is actually getting to know the code that was functioning in the writer’s mind, when he/she wrote the matter. It is actually mapping the text just like you map somebody’s mind…..and if you are able to map the text fully and properly ,your accuracy and level of solving becomes much superior than the average examinee…IN OTHER WORDS….. ‘ YOU GET AN EDGE OVER YOUR COMPETITORS”

And this is what we want to do ..we want to EXCEL

There can be 2 paths from here :

  1. We can go on being happy that we know enough , we are studying and solving ;we can get good marks and qualify to a decent B- School.
  2. The 2ndoption is to realize what you do not know, kill the ignorance from your mind, try to accumulate as much knowledge as you can.

Here comes my thought..when I read this particular book..I realized that even though the book was a normal read, I was exposed to so many new ideas , concepts and thoughts which were not there in my mind…but which just came because I read this particular book.

So the crux of the matter is that if you put garbage in your mind, that is what will come out, but if you put structured and relevant information in your mind, it will definitely come to your aid when you need it.

When you read new things…you get new ideas, you recognize several styles of writing and you automatically improve your vocabulary and language ability !! J

So you kill so many birds with one stone….SO DOES IT MAKE SENSE NOW??

If this does make sense to you please start your daily reading from today itself..!!!

You could refer to our website www.mindworkzz.com..go to the instructions page and see the reference reading suggestions from there.

So Happy Reading !!!

I will catch you with another aroma soon

The choice is with You…as is rightly said… ‘Ignorance is Bliss…but for people like me..and you…KNOWLEDGE IS POWER !!!’

Keep going with me.

Meenakshi

click here for Aroma of Language – 1

click here for  The Peculiarities of Perception :(Aroma of language-3).

click here for  The Strength Of Structure(Aroma Of Language 4)    

click here for  Power Of Practice​(Aroma of language-5)

 

Click here to attend a Free CAT Online Demo Class by Mindworkzz – Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay . (Renowned authors of Books for CAT)

..go to the instructions page and see the reference reading suggestions from there.

So Happy Reading !!!

I will catch you with another aroma soon

The choice is with You…as is rightly said… ‘Ignorance is Bliss…but for people like me..and you…KNOWLEDGE IS POWER !!!’

Keep going with me.

Meenakshi

click here for Aroma of Language – 1

click here for  The Peculiarities of Perception :(Aroma of language-3).

click here for  The Strength Of Structure(Aroma Of Language 4)    

click here for  Power Of Practice​(Aroma of language-5)

 

Click here to attend a Free CAT Online Demo Class by Mindworkzz – Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay . (Renowned authors of Books for CAT)

..go to the instructions page and see the reference reading suggestions from there.

So Happy Reading !!!

I will catch you with another aroma soon

The choice is with You…as is rightly said… ‘Ignorance is Bliss…but for people like me..and you…KNOWLEDGE IS POWER !!!’

Keep going with me.

Meenakshi

click here for Aroma of Language – 1

click here for  The Peculiarities of Perception :(Aroma of language-3).

click here for  The Strength Of Structure(Aroma Of Language 4)    

click here for  Power Of Practice​(Aroma of language-5)

 

Click here to attend a Free CAT Online Demo Class by Mindworkzz – Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay . (Renowned authors of Books for CAT)

The Peculiarities of Perception : Third Aroma in The Aroma of language.

meenakshi-upadhyay

Yes you got that right again  …I am talking about Perception in this Aroma.

Why Perception??

Don’t be in such a hurry let me explain. This has its roots in the online CAT/CSAT  Class of  www.mindworkzz.com that I was teaching.

The chapter was Fill in the blanks..  Aah  apologies!!! In Sentence Completion[ I beg your pardon..I am old school and still prefer the Fill in the blanks name 😉 ]

Hmm ..so as I said , I was teaching this chapter and the students were getting confused between the options. There was a lot of randomness in their answers and that got me thinking ..WHY??

The answer was LACK OF PERCEPTION …!!!!

So what is perception and why is it so important that I have dragged you out of your cozy corners to read about it???

We commonly confuse perception with the power of sight, sound touch..etc.

Actually perception just begins in our senses but goes much deeper into realms that we don’t even think about.

Lets start with a phrase : Nouveau riche …[ so what are you thinking about it???]

The dictionary meaning is : A person who has suddenly risen to a higher economic status but has not gained social acceptance of others in that class .

Now I want to ask you…. Is it just this much or is there more to this phrase??…

What do you see when you visualize this phrase ?

What do you feel when you think about this phrase??

What kind of people with what kind of behaviour  did you see in your mind’s eye when you thought about this phrase??

What were the actual people you thought about when you visualized this phrase???

Yes all that is PERCEPTION….and also more than that which you and I could not think because we have limited awareness, exposure and knowledge.

The more closely we perceive things the better is our understanding..again not just understanding but COMPREHENDING.

So let us look at an original question from CAT  2001which started to make me think about this perception thing.

  1. But _____ are now regularly written not just for tools, but well-established practices,
    organisations and institutions, not all of which seem to be _____ away.

A: reports, withering

B: stories, trading

C: books, dying

D: obituaries, fading

Now how would you perceive this statement??..what would you think after reading this??..Let me help you analyse this : The statement starts with a But which shows a contrast/ an objection, that something is different from what it should be. So if we think about options talking about reports, stories and books , which are options A,B and C there is nothing which should be out of the norm for which a BUT is written. Now look at option D which says Obituaries and here this is something not written for living things, so this could spark a question like a BUT .

So the correct perception of this sentence should have been to search for something different or out of the ordinary which was only mentioned in option D. This was also the correct option.

After seeing the different kinds and specially very rigid perceptions in the minds of my students I realized that they were not perceiving the author’s intent at all and thus missing the vital clue in the question , hence they would make an error.

Thus coming back to Perception , I want to say that when you read words, sentences, and paragraphs please keep your mind open and try to perceive things as the person who has written it perceives it, not as what you want to perceive. If you don’t do that then you will lose the essence of what is being said and make some major errors in the exam.

Feel, think, chew and analyse what you read together with an open mind..a mind which is open to admitting a wrong understanding…..a mind which can unlearn the Wrong and be comfortable about relearning the Right.

 Perception is in our own hands ,in our own minds and in our own thinking, what we choose to make of it will segregate us from the rest. !!!

                My parting message to all of you is : Delve into the sea of Perception and you will come out with the pearls of understanding !!!

Will come back with a new Aroma soon……till then Happy Perceiving !!!!

Take care

click here for Aroma of Language – 1

click here for Realms of reading (Aroma of language-2)

click here for  The Strength Of Structure(Aroma Of Language 4)    

click here for  Power Of Practice :(Aroma of language-5).

Click here to attend a Free CAT Online Demo Class by Mindworkzz – Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay . (Renowned authors of Books for CAT)

STRATEGIES FOR THE VERBAL ABILITY AND READING COMPREHENSION SECTION- By MeenakshiUpadhyay

verbal

For a lot of people, this section is the one insurmountable area in the CAT exam. It is estimated that close to 30-40% of the test takers are unable to crack the CAT exam because of their inability to crack this section. Needless to say, this is one of the critical elements of the CAT exam (and indeed for most other management entrance and aptitude examinations).

Two pronged preparation:

Preparing to do well in VA & RC would mean essentially two major thrusts.

  1. Improving your ability to read and understand language.
  2. Improving your ability to solve specific question types.

The first objective above, obviously is a longer term objective- and hence would require you to put more effort. The minimum time frame in which you would start to see any significant change for improving your ability to comprehend language would be between 6 months to 12 months of extensive work.

Once you have your language understanding and comprehension in place, the work on improvement of your ability to solve specific question types should not take you too much time. The focus in this part of preparation has to be on developing your ability to choose the correct answer- hence you would need to develop the correct process for each question type.  One would also need to work on getting rid of ‘cobwebs’ in the mind which leads down the incorrect thinking path and results in judgmental errors while solving questions.

Once you have these objectives in your radar- you should essentially divide your work on 4 levels of the language in order to improve both your ability to comprehend as well as your ability to solve:

  1. Word level ability

Development of language at the word level: Comprises vocabulary development, improving your knowledge of phrasal verbs and improving your knowledge of idioms and phrases.

Development of question solving ability at the word level comprises questions like: Antonyms, Synonyms, Correct/incorrect Word usage, questions testing your knowledge of phrasal verbs etc.

  1. Sentence level ability: This is not just the skill to read and comprehend sentences- but it also includes the ability to go beyond the sentence and be able to predict where the author is going to move on next.

You would be able to move from understanding short 8-10-12 word sentences on familiar topics to long 20-30 word sentences on unfamiliar topics. This is imperative because inside most standard quality aptitude exams (like CAT exam/ XAT exam etc) you are likely to encounter language where the average sentence length is between 20-30 words.

Sample this sentence from the CAT 2008 paper:

  • Language is complex, specialized skill, which develops in the child spontaneously, without conscious effort or formal instruction, is deployed without awareness of its underlying logic, is qualitatively the same in every individual, and is distinct from more general abilities to process information or behave intelligently.”

This sentence comprises 45 words and is the kind of sentence you are likely to encounter in the examination (& not the “cat is sitting on the mat” kind of sentence). Obviously being able to form the visual imagery in order to comprehend such sentences becomes a critical skill while preparing for this section.

Typical question categories at the sentence level include – Facts Inferences and Judgments, Sentence Completion, Sentence Corrections.

NOTE: The next two categories of paragraph level comprehension and sentence level comprehension are both a function of your ability to understand sentences – since a paragraph is effectively a collection of sentences while a passage is nothing but a collection of paragraphs.

Thus, once you can develop your ability to read and comprehend sentences- it could act as a game changer in helping you understand the English language better.

Reading and understanding paragraphs and passages can be seen as a logical extension of being able to read long sentences on complex issues.

The key question types in:

Paragraph level: Paragraph Jumbles, Critical Reasoning

Passage Level: Reading comprehension.

For CAT 2016 aspirants, the preparation focus should obviously be on improving your question solving ability on each question type, as that is the only thing that would be paying you dividends in the short run. For aspirants looking at longer term preparation, the emphasis should be on developing your comprehension ability first as described above- before moving onto a question solving skills in English.

Meenakshi Upadhyay

The author is an IIM Bangalore Alumnus, the author of a series of best selling books on CAT from Tata McGraw Hill as well as the English Language Trainer at Mindworkzz- the online CAT training venture of Arun Sharma.

Click here to know more about the the online courses offered by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay.

The Strength Of Structure(Aroma Of Language 4)

meenakshi-upadhyay

Oh yes I am not leaving you in peace…I have come back again with a new Aroma, this time it is aboutStructures in Language.

Please don’t start chanting Grammar as soon as I say structure.

Yes I agree Grammar also provides structure, but grammar is not the be all and end all of everything to do with structure in language.

Let me add here very seriously that Grammar is important , but we already know many things about it.

In today’s Aroma let us talk about some points we may be knowing, but have always or mostly overlooked.

#1. Structure of Thought

# 2. Structure of Communication

#3. Structure of Delivery

The structure of thought or idea simply means that when we think of a topic it should be further divided into sub topics or points that we would want to write or speak about that topic.

Unless we have the clarity of thought as to what we want to talk about ,it cannot be translated in to Structure or Clarity in Communication. The Clarity in Communication means choosing the right word and the right sentences to convey our ideas. It is here that vocabulary and grammar play an important role.

Yet again I would like to caution you that unless your ideas or thoughts are clear in your mind you will not achieve the clarity of communication.

Once the 1st two are achieved we can move toward the Structure of Delivery which can be oral, written or both with a combination of body language and pronunciation thrown in for good measure. While delivering your thoughts the key point to be noted is your audience. Whom you are speaking to or addressing.Whom you are writing for.

If you analyse the great speakers and writers of the world you will realize that they keep their audience engaged. So whether you are preparing for an Interview, a Group Discussion, Essay writing  or any other form of Communication you have to keep your listeners/ readers interested and you will have to keep on improving your speech and writing to suit the needs of your audience and your own goals.

Let us now divide the kind of topics you might have to Speak/ Write about :

1.GENERIC OR UNIVERSAL TOPICS.

  1. SPECIFIC OR ISSUE RELATED TOPICS.
  2. ABSTRACT TOPICS.
  3. COMPARATIVE OR ARGUMENTATIVE TOPICS.

While approaching each of the above mentioned topics there is a need to gain expertise in two kinds of thinking processes :

  1. Lateral thinking.
  2. Structured thinking.

Which would further create the need to analyse the given topic both in depth and in diversity .

Lateral thinking involves thinking about all possible aspects of the topic. In other words it could also mean what possible things could be included in the topic. This kind of approach increases the diversity in the topic and analyses all possible sub- topics or nuances that could be framed into a broad general topic. Most of the abstract topics involve a lot of lateral thinking as the correct approach to write about such topics. Topics like ‘The Colour RED’ can be an example of a topic that would be classified as an abstract topic and that which involves lateral thinking.

Structured thinking involves thinking about the depths of a particular topic. By depths I imply going into minute detailed analysis of an issue. This would include breaking down the main topic into smaller parts step by step just like unraveling a puzzle. At any point if you lose track of the topic or the aspect you are delving into you might get lost in the maze and make a mess of the whole structure.

Thus this needs to be carefully broken down into steps following a clear structure which has to be pre- defined and then the whole topic is analysed subsequently.

Analytical topics and specific topics like ‘Euthanasia should be made legal’ generally fall under the domain of this kind of approach while writing.

Having shared the above mentioned ideas with you, I would like to remind you that do not try to memorise or learn by rote what you want to speak or write.

Make your points about the ideas you want to communicate and the structure has to be an impromptu construction at that moment.

One last thing or Guru Mantra that I will share with you is a well known thing that – ‘Practice Makes A Person Perfect’!!!!

Please practice what I have shared with you here and you will see that many of you have become great orators and skillfulwriters !!!!

So lets start STRUCTURING our Ideas , Sentences and Communication…what will emerge is an Amazing Communication Ability!!!!

All the Best !!

Happy Structuring …and Great Communicating !!!!

Always by your side,

Meenakshi .

(The author is an IIM Bangalore Alumnus, the author of a series of best selling books on CAT from Tata McGraw Hill as well as the English Language Trainer at Mindworkzz- the online CAT training venture of Arun Sharma.)

click here for Aroma of Language – 1

click here for Realms of reading (Aroma of language-2)

click here for  The Peculiarities of Perception :(Aroma of language-3).

click here for  Power Of Practice(Aroma Of Language 5)

Click here to attend a Free CAT Online Demo Class by Mindworkzz – Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay . (Renowned authors of Books for CAT)

Power Of Practice(Aroma Of Language 5)

pop                   POWER OF PRACTICE- The 13 habits to perfect your language

Someone rightly said, ‘To handle a language skillfully is to practice a kind of evocative sorcery.

Oh yes I agree fully with that.

Language is like magic, and just as a magician perfects his legerdemain with loads of practice, similarly the power to cast a spell with our language [both written and spoken] is with each one of us, provided we practice it to perfection.

Many people ask me how to speak English flawlessly and I tell them that the process is not possible in a day.

You will require to cultivate a few habits before you can actually start the process.

The 1st habit is patience. Yesss !!!! You need to be patient when you start doing anything new. Right from the time you were learning to walk to the time when you started typing on your keyboard, you remember it all needed patience.

The 2nd habit is discipline. You have to be disciplined in whatever you are learning. This requires not just discipline of actions and routine, but also discipline of thought.

The 3rd habit is self belief. You have to believe that you can do it. This is the most important habit of all, because many a battles of life have been lost due to self-doubt.

The 4th habit is perseverance. You have to do it everyday. You have to do it whenever and wherever you can.

The 5th habit is being thick skinned. You have to stop caring what the world is saying. It is not possible to please everyone and it is also your prerogative not to listen to any negative, discouraging remarks that people make.

The 6th habit is don’t be scared to make mistakes. Now come on, we all make mistakes, so who will die if you utter one wrong sentence. No one will. So please make errors but keep on learning and improving upon it.

The 7th habit is love what you are doing. If you don’t love what you have started you will stop doing it.

The 8th habit is put in a good measure of desperation in what you want. Be desperate to do it and automatically you will find a way to do it.

The 9th habit is do it for yourself. Whatever you are doing is for your own good and you will get the bouquets or the brick bats at the end of your journey. So do it for yourself not because someone wants or expects you to do it.

The 10th habit is keep on learning new words, improve your vocabulary and learn the different situation based usage of those words.

The 11th habit is to expose yourself to that language as much as you can. Be it in the form of reading, listening, speaking or writing.

The 12th habit is to make small manageable sentences and then start lengthening them once you have control and command over your words and structure.

The 13th and final habit is to start thinking in that language and substitute that language for your native language when you think.

Finally when you have mastered all the above habits you will realize that You are the Magician !!!

Yes you can weave magic with your words !!!

So let us start today and bring out the Magician that we have inside us ……

Happy Conjuring…!!!!

Magically yours,

Meenakshi

(The author is an IIM Bangalore Alumnus, the author of a series of best selling books on CAT from Tata McGraw Hill as well as the English Language Trainer at Mindworkzz- the online CAT training venture of Arun Sharma.)

click here for Aroma of Language – 1

click here for Realms of reading (Aroma of language-2)

click here for  The Peculiarities of Perception :(Aroma of language-3).

click here for  The Strength Of Structure(Aroma Of Language 4)           

 

Click here to attend a Free CAT Online Demo Class by Mindworkzz – Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay . (Renowned authors of Books for CAT)

The Strength Of Structure- Important for GD/Pi and Written Ability Test(WAT) for CAT,XAT,IIFT,NMAT,SNAP and other MBA exams

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The second phase of the admission process including Group Discussion, Personal Interview & Written Ability Test is where the selection committee evaluates a candidate’s confidence and spontaneity in answering. This phase is equally crucial for each candidate to be eligible for admission in a particular college.Here are a few pointers which I would like to discuss in relation to the oral and written exams.

Structure is very important in these tests.

Please don’t start chanting Grammar as soon as I say structure.

Yes I agree Grammar also provides structure, but grammar is not the be all and end all of everything to do with structure in language.

Let me add here very seriously that Grammar is important , but we already know many things about it.

In today’s Aroma let us talk about some points we may be knowing, but have always or mostly overlooked.

#1. Structure of Thought

# 2. Structure of Communication

#3. Structure of Delivery

The structure of thought or idea simply means that when we think of a topic it should be further divided into sub topics or points that we would want to write or speak about that topic.

Unless we have the clarity of thought as to what we want to talk about ,it cannot be translated in to Structure or Clarity in Communication. The Clarity in Communication means choosing the right word and the right sentences to convey our ideas. It is here that vocabulary and grammar play an important role.

Yet again I would like to caution you that unless your ideas or thoughts are clear in your mind you will not achieve the clarity of communication.

Once the 1st two are achieved we can move toward the Structure of Delivery which can be oral, written or both with a combination of body language and pronunciation thrown in for good measure. While delivering your thoughts the key point to be noted is your audience. Whom you are speaking to or addressing. Whom you are writing for.

If you analyse the great speakers and writers of the world you will realize that they keep their audience engaged. So whether you are preparing for an Interview, a Group Discussion, Essay writing  or any other form of Communication you have to keep your listeners/ readers interested and you will have to keep on improving your speech and writing to suit the needs of your audience and your own goals.

Let us now divide the kind of topics you might have to Speak/ Write about :

1.GENERIC OR UNIVERSAL TOPICS.

2. SPECIFIC OR ISSUE RELATED TOPICS.

3. ABSTRACT TOPICS.

4. COMPARATIVE OR ARGUMENTATIVE TOPICS.

While approaching each of the above mentioned topics there is a need to gain expertise in two kinds of thinking processes :

1. Lateral thinking.

2. Structured thinking.

Which would further create the need to analyse the given topic both in depth and in diversity .

Lateral thinking involves thinking about all possible aspects of the topic. In other words it could also mean what possible things could be included in the topic. This kind of approach increases the diversity in the topic and analyses all possible sub- topics or nuances that could be framed into a broad general topic. Most of the abstract topics involve a lot of lateral thinking as the correct approach to write about such topics. Topics like ‘The Colour RED’ can be an example of a topic that would be classified as an abstract topic and that which involves lateral thinking.

Structured thinking involves thinking about the depths of a particular topic. By depths I imply going into minute detailed analysis of an issue. This would include breaking down the main topic into smaller parts step by step just like unraveling a puzzle. At any point if you lose track of the topic or the aspect you are delving into you might get lost in the maze and make a mess of the whole structure.

Thus this needs to be carefully broken down into steps following a clear structure which has to be pre- defined and then the whole topic is analysed subsequently.

Analytical topics and specific topics like ‘Euthanasia should be made legal’ generally fall under the domain of this kind of approach while writing.

Having shared the above mentioned ideas with you, I would like to remind you that do not try to memorise or learn by rote what you want to speak or write.

Make your points about the ideas you want to communicate and the structure has to be an impromptu construction at that moment.

One last thing or Guru Mantra that I will share with you is a well known thing that – ‘Practice Makes A Person Perfect’!!!!

Please practice what I have shared with you here and you will see that many of you have become great orators and skillful writers !!!!

So lets start STRUCTURING our Ideas , Sentences and Communication…what will emerge is an Amazing Communication Ability!!!!

All the Best !!

Happy Structuring …and Great Communicating !!!!

Always by your side,

Meenakshi .

(The author is an IIM Bangalore Alumnus, the author of a series of best selling books on CAT from Tata McGraw Hill as well as the English Language Trainer at Mindworkzz- the online CAT training venture of Arun Sharma.)

Click here to attend a Free Workshop by Mindworkzz – Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay . (Renowned authors of Books for CAT)

Strategies to Solve Parajumbles !!!

Preparing for Verbal Ability for CAT 2016, IIFT, XAT, CMAT, NMAT etc

Parajumbles

A Mind Boggler’s Guide to Solving Parajumbles !!!

‘What a show off – huh!!!!’..Is that what comes to your mind??

My apologies for such a pompous start to a Question Type that has already caused so much pain to you while preparing for CAT,MAT CMAT,XAT,IIFT..and other MBA/IIM entrance examinations.

Worry not friends !!!

Help is at hand and the Paragraph Jumble (also called as parajumbles) which is so jumbling your mind is actually a cake walk…let us see how….!!!

The myths associated with Parajumbles :

  1. This question cannot be solved without the help of options- Well the answer is NO!!. These questions can be very easily solved without options.
  2. You have to give a lot of time to solve them- The answer is again NO!!.

Each question needs a certain time to be solved and parajumbles are no different.

  1. Parajumbles are the most difficult type of VA questions : Huh!!!…who said that??
  2. You don’t need to be good in vocabulary to solve a parajumble :Hmmm, I beg to differ. You need to be good in vocabulary to solve any question type in English and parajumble is no different.

So let us now see what it takes to be a good parajumble solver :

  1. You need to understand the idea behind the paragraph.If you can understand the idea/theme of the paragraph it is easy to put the sentences in order then.
  2.  You should look out for the starting or the concluding sentences in the question. Sometimes they are clearly visible and can help you immensely in identifying the correct sequence.
  3. You need to know the relationships between different sentences to put them in the right sequence. The relationships are given in my book Verbal Ability and Reading comprehension for CAT. You can revise them from there.  Some examples could be parallel and contrasting idea relations.
  4. You should 1st fix the relationships of sentences, put them in order and then check the options.
  5. Transition words and contrasting words also help in finding clean relationships between sentences of the parajumbles.
  6. Do not over depend on options, they only confuse you if you keep looking at them, use them as facilitators not as crutches.
  7. The whole paragraph should have a coherent idea and flow when arranged in the correct order.

Let us look at this example from CAT to understand the above mentioned points further :

A. But in the industrial era destroying the enemy’s productive capacity means bombing the factories which are located in the cities.

B. So in the agrarian era, if you need to destroy the enemy’s productive capacity, what you want to do is bum his fields, or if you’re really vicious, salt them.

C. Now in the information era, destroying the enemy’s productive capacity means destroying the information infrastructure.

D. How do you do battle with your enemy?

E. The idea is to destroy the enemy’s productive capacity, and depending upon the economic foundation, that productive capacity is different in each case

F. With regard to defence, the purpose of the military is to defend the nation and be prepared to do battle with its enemy.
1. FDEBAC                     2. FCABED                    3. DEBACF                    4. DFEBAC

Solution :

If you look at the CAT question above , you see clear links in transition being mentioned in the three eras in the statements B,A &C. Thus BAC have to be together. Statement F talks about ‘battle with the enemy’ and statement D talks about ‘ how do you battle with your enemy’, which is answered by statement E.

Thus the correct sequence is FDEBAC, which is option 1.

Hence proved by the above example that the dependence on the options can be minimized if you are able to find the relation between the sentences, keeping the central idea in mind.

Hope this was helpful for you.

Keep solving and don’t let your mind be boggled by these questions.

Keep calm and solve correctly!!!!

Bogglingly yours ,

Meenakshi smiley

(The author is an IIM Bangalore Alumnus, the author of a series of best selling books on CAT from Tata McGraw Hill as well as the Verbal Ability Trainer at Mindworkzz- the online CAT training venture of Arun Sharma.)

Click here to attend a free workshop on CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay.