Since most of the Business Schools in India do NOT make work experience compulsory, an individual can appear for the CAT exam for the first time in his/her final year of graduation. To put it simply, a student attending a 4-year graduate program can attempt the exam for the first time in his/her 7th semester. Similarly, a student attending a 3-year program may attempt this exam in his/her 5th semester.
Here are some tips that final year students can use to prepare for the CAT more effectively:
Before your College Exams:
Start reading editorials in newspapers:
This is the biggest advantage you can give to your CAT preparation– mastering your verbal section. The more you will read, the better will be your understanding of the language. If you find editorials monotonous, you can read novels by quality authors. Also, you can download various online applications and read articles of your choice.
Brush up your Quantitative Skills:
Jumping directly into CAT level questions is not going to help improve your skills. This is the time when you just have to build your base. Try to recollect all the important formulas and concepts. A good option is to begin with basic level difficulty problems of aptitude books like Arun Sharma, etc.
After your College Exams:
Now hit the accelerator:
This is when you need to put your foot on the pedal. Enrol in a good institute/test series for further preparation. Ideally, you should be enrolled in at least 2 all India level test series.
Give one mock per week:
While you are giving CAT mock tests, make sure you do not forget to analyze your mock. Not giving a mock is more beneficial than giving a mock without analyzing it.
Increase mock tests
As time progresses, increase the mock limit to 2 or 3 mocks per week.
Practise section wise:
Apart from full-length mock tests, give sectional tests as well. Remember, CAT is like 3 sectional tests of one hour each. Writing section wise tests will make you realize your strengths and weaknesses.
Be healthy and Stay calm:
You will see a lot of ups and downs, good days and bad days, tough mocks and easy mocks. But, the only thing you need to remember is that you can only do well on “the day” if you are at your optimum mentally, physically and most importantly emotionally! The moment you start fretting over a bad mock, you will enter a cycle of negativity and self-doubt which can damage all the good work that you may have done upto that point. Also, having a sound health can benefit you to focus properly in your preparation.
Finally, to Summarize:
- Prepare for CAT in three phases :
- First 50% of your time should be spent in building the fundamental concepts and basics.
- The next 25% in building intensity, practicing more questions and fine-tuning your concepts.
- Final 25% of the time should be spent in taking lots of mock tests.
Listed below are some potential career options after MBA.
Job titles available to an MBA in Finance include:
- financial manager/analyst
- credit analyst
- accounting manager
- risk and insurance manager
Jobs available to MBA in Marketing include:
- brand manager
- sales manager
- marketing manager
- product manager
- market research analyst
Jobs available to MBA in Operations include responsibilities related to:
- supply chain
- inventory management,
- Sales operations
- production management
Most CAT aspirants begin their preparation between May and July which leaves them only with 4-6 months of preparation time. DO NOT make the same mistake. Begin your CAT preparation early and get a head start in your preparation.