How a student from a non-engineering background should prepare for the toughest exam in the country is a question of nearly 40 out of 100 CAT aspirants. While IIM authorities have clearly stated that the CAT exam has not been designed to take students specifically from an engineering background, the myth somehow still prevails wide. Each year, IIMs try to bring in as much diversity in the classes as possible.
There is not much difference in the preparation strategies for the students from other streams. We can also see a high number of students cracking the CAT, despite holding degrees in Science, Arts, Commerce, Maths or Statistics. These kinds of preconceived notions are not valid, and we need to rule them out before they start to build a home inside our minds.
No Link with Educational Background
The background has nothing to do with CAT exam preparation, and the candidates should be open to ideas and approaches to solve a particular question.
As each institute is considered, they have different criteria for admission into their programmes. The final selection of the candidates is made on the basis of the criteria already set by the autonomous bodies.
There is no quota of sorts for the IITians or non-IITians, or other streams in this case, which is implied by the questions that these aspirants have. There has never been a publicly disclosed announcement stating the score that one should have to be eligible for IIMs.
We can approach the CAT exam and admission into IIMs as a three-stage approach and start working on them as follows:
The CAT Exam 2023
The CAT exam this year will have three sections:
- Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation
- Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
- Quantitative Aptitude
Since the last few years, it has been stressed that candidates who belong to other backgrounds fall under the diversity factor. The candidates just need to lie on the percentile bracket that will help them reach the further rounds of the selection procedure.
To reach the required percentile, one needs to persevere until the goal is reached. The only thing that counts here is the score obtained in the exam.
With only a few months left for the preparation process, time management and brushing up on the basics should be the two important things, after mock tests, to focus on right now. We assume that the basics will be covered by the end of the month. The basics consist of the methods and chapters that have already been in higher secondary classes; hence, it doesn’t take much time to brush them up.
Next up – Shortcut Techniques
CAT is a time-bound exam that requires one to answer each question in sixty seconds or less. The candidates appearing for this examination need to know the shortcut techniques and tap the benefits of knowing the shortcut methods.
Learn the Shortcuts from Our Free CAT Preparation Portal
CAT Shortcut Techniques
- Quantitative Aptitude Shortcut Techniques for CAT
- Number Systems Shortcut for CAT Exam
- Shortcut Techniques in Averages
Final Stage: CAT Mock Tests
We know that the CAT mock tests are an indispensable part of CAT preparation. CAT mock tests will help you get familiar with the syllabus and pattern, and you will understand what to expect from the test. Take as many mock tests as you can. Even a top-notch cricketer takes his practice session very seriously.
Learning will not happen without analysing the mistakes made. The mock tests can help you reflect on the mistakes that you have committed, and if you work on them, you will only get better, practice after practice.
There can be different approaches to solving a problem; practise all the approaches you know to understand the possibilities and the time each approach takes to solve a particular question and choose the best one accordingly. Moreover, review and revision are the best way to analyse your mock tests.
Free Sectional and Full Mock Tests Are Available on BYJU’S Application.
The CAT mock tests are inclusive of practice questions as per the exam pattern, which is the first hurdle to pass to get a seat at IIM. The selection criteria for different IIMs are different and boil down to three common stages :
CAT Exam: This requires a candidate to attain a score that would be in the high percentile bracket.
WAT/GD: Recently incorporated, the Written Ability Test is the next round after the CAT exam. It tests how the candidate can critically present their ideas in a limited time. The topics chosen for the WAT are Current Affairs, Politics or Business Affairs.
Only IIM Lucknow and Kozhikode have retained the process of Group Discussion, and all the other IIMs have changed the process to WAT.
Personal Interview: Interview questions vary from personal to education background-related questions to current affairs to Bollywood gossip. The idea is to test the outlook and personality of the candidate to put forward what they think and comprehend. Also, it tests their analytical and logical skills.
CAT 2023 preparation, when done in a comprehensive and holistic way, no candidate would have to fear securing a seat in IIMs. Irrespective of educational background, getting through the stages for admission can be successfully achieved with consistent effort and the right mentorship.
Make BYJU’S – The Learning App your mentor, and practise for the CAT through the best guidance from our experts.
Preparation for the Group Discussion and Personal Interview is also taken care of by our mentors, and personal guidance is given through the tablet that we provide.