How can non-engineers ace the CAT Exam?
With over 2.3 lakh candidates appearing for the CAT every year from different academic backgrounds, the exam is one of the toughest ones to crack in the country. While almost 40% of the candidates from non-engineering backgrounds attempt the exam, the higher percentage of engineering graduates cracking the CAT every year has constantly fed the myth of the CAT being an exam for engineers. However, IIMs have repeatedly emphasised 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 they first analyse their understanding of the topics before they commence their preparation. Know the strengths and weaknesses to plan a preparation strategy. 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.
Work on your basics
Before you begin to learn the shortcut techniques or prepare test-taking strategies, you have to ensure you have achieved the required level of competency in Maths or English. A quick preparation will never ensure a good CAT percentile. Also, understand that QA and Mathematics are not the same. QA has more to do with basic mathematical understanding and calculation skills than mathematical acumen. With the syllabus being limited to Class X Maths, you don’t have to learn new concepts but remember to revisit familiar topics.
Practice makes perfect
While the CAT syllabus is vast and time-limited, proper planning and studying will get you the desired score. Your performance depends more on practice than anything else. Solve questions of all varieties and from different sources to gain familiarity with the related questions. Practising questions daily is a must – to avoid any surprises in the exam.
Take mock tests regularly
Often, people fail to realise the importance of mock tests during the 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 and how much more effort is required. Sectional cut-offs and total scores should be taken into consideration very seriously. Also, utilise this opportunity to finalise 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 the exam. Non-engineers can get into top B-schools as well, provided they plan their preparation accordingly and utilise their preparation time efficiently.
Watch Video on A Non-Engineer’s Way to Crack CAT Exam 2023
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