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How to Prepare for MBA Entrance Exams ?
 by: Anurag Chopra

 
 
Vince Lombardi once said “Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to
 
 

 pay the price.”

Success in MBA Entrance Exam in India is also no cake walk. You need in-depth knowledge, analytical mind, sharp memory and above all, systematic planning and preparation. Needless to say that the candidates cannot and should not attempt preparation for his MBA Entrance Test overnight. Since the competition is amongst the best available talent from all disciplines, meticulous and long term preparation are required to get admitted to the MBA program. Although the syllabi in the admission/entrance test differ from university to university, there are certain common aspects that appear in most of the entrance test, CAT, XAT, MAT, XLRI, SNAP and MBA Entrance Exams conducted by State Universities in one form or the other. These aspects include tests on quantitative aptitude, reasoning, intelligence, comprehension, case analysis, relationships, word power, synonyms, antonyms, general knowledge/awareness, etc. It is therefore, essential that the candidates start preparing well in advance on all the above aspects. If one can get hold of previous year's papers or at least the pattern, this would go a long way in guiding the candidates to prepare properly for the test.

Here are some tips to prepare on important aspects which are common to most of the MBA entrance examinations in India:

(1) Quantitative Aptitude: A candidate seeking admission to MBA programme is expected to have aptitude for basic and elementary accounting as well as the knack of solving the simple arithmetic problems. This is one of the areas in the admission test which, if properly prepared and practiced, is likely to put the candidate ahead of others, as one can hope to score even 100% marks in this part. There may be several types of questions that may form part of quantitative aptitude test. The first category could be simple arithmetic problems including profit and loss, percentages, ratio, averages, partnership, etc. Such problems involve simple calculations and with a little practice and basic aptitude, can be solved correctly. The second category of questions could involve multiplication or divisions in 5 to 6 figures or decimals. It may be quite time-consuming if the candidates start actually attempting the entire calculations. Since the candidates are required to work against time it is not advisable to waste time on such calculations. With a little practice, the candidates can easily eliminate most of the choices straightaway to arrive at the correct answer even without any calculations. This can be achieved if the candidates look at all the choices carefully before actually attempting the calculations. Another category of questions may be directed at testing only the intelligence of the candidate and not his/her ability to calculate. There may be some other questions aimed at testing the common sense of the candidates. The entire area of quantitative aptitude, therefore, needs constant practice to calculate quickly with accuracy. More practice is also essential for the candidates to gain confidence in this part of the test. Even if a candidate does not have the basic aptitude for figure-work, he/she can make up for this deficiency by regular practice and a lot of hard work. It is strongly recommended that the candidates practice and attempt all the questions on quantitative.

(b) Logical Reasoning: Questions on logical reasoning may be of several types and in several forms. These could include a statement on which the candidates are asked to draw correct interference out of the given choices. There could be questions on series of words and figures, arrangement of alphabets, brain teasers or even such questions as only call for drawing logical inferences. Just like quantitative aptitude test, this portion of admission test also needs special and detailed preparations and practice. Most of the questions under this category infact test the common sense and sense of proportion and reasoning among the candidates and therefore, must be attempted with a cool head. In case of statements, the given statement as well as choices given must be read at least twice before choosing the right answer. In case there are more than three questions on arrangements of alphabets, it is advisable to write down all the alphabets on the rough work sheet. This will facilitate easy and quick attempt of questions on alphabets. Similarly, there could be certain questions on distances traveled in different directions. In such questions it is proper to draw a rough diagram giving distances traveled in various directions to get the correct answer. Constant practice in the questions on reasoning would make the candidates confident to tackle this particular aspect of the test. To do well in this part of the test, the candidates must therefore, practice hard.

(c) Comprehension Test: Comprehension test is aimed at gauging the understanding of English language by the candidates. Usually, a paragraph is given which the candidates are required to go through carefully and then answer the question by choosing the correct answer. To attempt this part speedily and correctly, the candidates must practice reading with a quick speed and understanding the entire passage. Answer to most of the questions are easily located within the passage itself. But there are certain questions, answers to which are not directly available in the given passage. Such questions can only be answered by those candidates who can understand the passage fully. Regular practice would help the candidates to attempt the comprehension test in more effective and appropriate manner. Tests of English language given in every issue of this magazine invariably contain small comprehension passages. Practice of such passages may be of great help to the candidates for preparing this test.

(d) General Awareness: As the name suggests, the test of general awareness aims to judge the general knowledge of the candidates. Basic facts about all aspects of general knowledge like Science, Geography, History, Economics, Polity, etc are essentially required to be known. A good knowledge of all branches of general knowledge is essential which can only be achieved by reading good books. Reading Newspapers regularly will keep you updated in whatever important is happening around the world.

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