Friday, December 27th, 2019
Now that CAT 2019 is done and dusted and the next big exam XAT 2020 is fast approaching, some of you may be making a pit stop on the way and appearing for the TISS-NET exam scheduled to be held on January 4, 2020. TATA Institute of Social Sciences or TISS is a premier academic organization especially in the fields of Human Resource Management (HRM & LR) and in Organizational Leadership and Change Management (ODCL). TISS’ MA (HRM & LR) and its MA (ODCL) academic programs are very reputed and well recognized by leading business houses in the country. As a matter of fact, TISS’ MA (HRM & LR) is one of the finest HR programs in the country and attracts many tier-1 companies to its campus every year.
With barely 7 days to go before the TISS-NET exam it is assumed that your preparations are almost complete for this exam. Your preparation for CAT and the XAT will be sufficient for the TISS-NET English Proficiency and Mathematics and Logical Awareness sections. Most of the English questions assume a student to have high school level proficiency only in being able to answer them. Secondly, there is no negative marking for a wrong answer in TISS-NET, so make sure that you attempt all the questions. TISS-NET is a speed test (100 questions in 100 minutes) so plan accordingly.
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At this late stage, there is not much point in trying to learn new concepts or formulae. Instead, refresh your memory by practicing a few questions of each question type. Much of your preparation at this stage should be on the General Awareness section. This has 40 questions, and in my opinion, is the make–or–break section of this exam. Unlike the XAT, scores in this section are included in stage 1 of the admissions process and getting to stage 2 of the admissions process will involve doing well in this section. While the English Proficiency and Mathematical Awareness sections have no sectional cut-offs, the General Awareness section has a cut-off of 14 marks or 35%. Thus, you must get a minimum of 14 questions correct in the General Awareness section if you want to proceed further to Stage 2 of the admissions process. The General Awareness section of the TISS is quite diverse in its topics – it asks questions from current affairs, developmental to socio-political issues. Many questions have a historical context as well. Therefore, it is being stressed once again, focus your last few days on reading up on as many General Knowledge books and magazines as possible. Most of the questions pertain to India and socio-political issues in India, therefore, you can safely ignore world affairs for the present.
In addition to appearing for the TISS-NET, aspirants who wish to pursue MA (HRM & LR) and MA (ODCL) academic programs will have to appear for a new test called the TISS-MAT test directly after the TISS-NET exam. This new test has been introduced for the first time in 2020. It will consist of the following sections.
Comprehension – There will be 15 comprehension questions in which test takers will be assessed on their ability to read and understand management literature. All the comprehension passages will be business or economics related.
Management Data Interpretation – This section will also have 15 questions and students will be assessed on their ability to read and interpret data (given in the form of tables, graphs and charts) related to the economy, market, businesses and organizations. Most calculations in this section will be arithmetic, primarily addition, subtraction and percentage calculations. TISS-MAT may give the formulae in certain difficult questions. All the student has to do is to apply the formulae given in the context to arrive at the answer.
Business Awareness – This section, too, will comprise 15 questions and students will be assessed about their familiarity about business issues. Therefore, start reading ‘The Economic Times’, ‘Financial Times’ or the ‘Mint’ if you haven’t begun already.
Important Note: Unlike the TISS-NET, the TISS-MAT will have negative marking to the tune of 0.25 marks for every wrong answer and 1 mark for every correct answer. Therefore, your approach to the TISS-MAT should be different from that of the TISS-NET. If you are not reasonably sure of the correct answer choice or if you cannot narrow the answer to two answer choices, it would be well worth leaving the question un-attempted.
Only the TISS-NET exam will count for stage 1 of the admissions process. The scores in TISS-MAT will be effective from stage 2 of the admissions process. The TISS-NET score will be effective only in getting an aspirant to stage 2. The final selection will be decided by the TISS-MAT (weightage 30%), PIT – Pre-interview test (40%) and Personal Interview (PI) – (30%) aggregated to a total of 100.
As mentioned earlier, the last few days are not the ideal time for learning and practicing new concepts or new types of math questions. Your preparation for the CAT and the XAT is sufficient for you to do well in the English Proficiency and Mathematical Awareness sections. The questions asked in these sections are on the whole, easier, than the ones asked in the CAT exam. You should spend your time in solving a few questions from each question type and brushing up on your knowledge of Grammar and the rules of grammar. There are quite a few grammar related questions in the TISS-NET so practice solving those first, since CAT does not have any grammar questions.
Much of your focus should be on clearing the General Awareness section cut-off of 35% or 14 marks. Make a careful note of the General Awareness questions asked in previous TISS exams and make a note of the topics from which these questions come from. Concentrate on these topics the most when studying GK books and magazines. Furthermore, also focus on Business awareness as the General Awareness section of the TISS-MAT will consist only of this question type. Focus on the big questions such as big mergers and acquisitions, bills passed by parliament, big financial stakes in a major company, important financial terms, etc. In other words, page 1 of any financial newspaper should be your focus of attention. Go back by 3 months and try and absorb financial information given in page 1 of the financial newspapers.
Remember to change your strategy while appearing for TISS-MAT. While in TISS-NET, you must positively attempt all the questions, this will not be the case for the TISS-MAT. Attempt this test as you would attempt the CAT or the XAT.
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