Students are often unsure about their ability to crack the formidable CAT, and this belief has created the CAT is tough myth, which gets propagated from year to year. A person getting 70 percentile in the CAT normally feels that the CAT was not meant for him.
However, logically speaking, if you were to consider the data of the last CAT, each question carried four positive marks if it was answered correctly and one negative mark if incorrect. Also consider the fact that a student who got 70-80 percentile in CAT 2006 paper would have got a net score in the range of 75- 85 marks (out of 300), while a student who got a score of 110 marks in the same test ended up with a 98-99 percentile score. This means very clearly that there was a gap of only about 30 marks separating a 70 percentiler (who ends up considering that he/she was too far away from clearing the CAT for the IIMs) from a student who might now be studying at the IIMs. At the rate of five marks per question (+4,-1 marking scheme) this would effectively translate into a gap of just six questions!
In other words just six errors can take you from a B-grade B-school straight into the IIMs. This is the reason why what you do in the remaining preparation time becomes very crucial.
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