How can non-engineers ace the CAT Exam?
With over 2.3 Lakh candidates appearing for CAT every year, they are bound to attract students from different academic backgrounds. While almost 40% of the candidates from non-engineering backgrounds attempt the exam, the higher percentage of engineering graduates cracking CAT every year has constantly fed the myth of CAT being an exam for engineers. However, IIMs have repeatedly emphasized that the exam is not solely designed for engineers.
So, to help the aspirants from non-engineering backgrounds ace CAT, an effective preparation strategy has been formulated below.
For any CAT aspirant, it is vital that candidates first analyze their level before they commence their preparation. Know your strengths and weakness to ensure you divide up your time proportionately. It is important to understand that achieving a high score is not the only task; one needs to clear the sectional cut-offs as well.
Build up your basics:
Before you try to tackle the shortcut techniques or prepare test-taking strategies, you have to ensure you have achieved the required level of competency in Maths or English accordingly. A quick fix will never ensure a good CAT percentile. Also, understand that QA and Mathematics are not one and the same thing. QA has more to do with the basic mathematical understanding and calculation skills than mathematical acumen. With the syllabus being limited to Class Xth maths, you don’t have to learn new concepts but just revisit familiar topics.
Practice makes perfect:
While the CAT syllabus is vast and time-limited studying will get you nowhere on its own. Your performance depends more on practice than anything else. Solve questions of all varieties and from different sources to gain proper familiarity with the related questions. Practising questions daily is a must – to avoid any unwelcome surprises in the exam.
Take mock tests regularly:
Often people fail to realize the importance of mock tests during CAT preparation. Unlike other competitive exams, CAT mock tests are not just for practice purposes. Proper analysis of a mock test will give you a clear idea of where you stand currently and how much more effort is required. Sectional cut-offs and total scores should be taken into consideration very seriously. Also, utilize this opportunity to finalize your test-taking strategies. These strategies will ensure that you will get maximum output with minimal effort.
Avoid taking risks:
Above anything else, accuracy is the most important trait to distinguish a successful CAT performance from an unsuccessful one. Because of negative marking, it is imperative to avoid any guesswork and focus on high accuracy. Attempting fewer questions will not affect your score adversely if you maintain a high level of accuracy. However, the opposite rarely holds true. Priority should be given to understanding each chapter perfectly rather than covering the entire syllabus.
While it is true, CAT does have a history of favouring engineers, it does not mean non-engineers cannot crack CAT. Non-engineers can get into top B-schools as well, provided they plan their preparation accordingly and utilize their preparation time efficiently.
Watch Video on A Non-Engineer’s Way to Crack CAT Exam 2022
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