The CAT Exam is undoubtedly one of the most competitive exams in the country, the reason is that only the top 2% -3% of the applicants are offered admissions into the best IIM’s. It is a computer-based examination which aims at testing the candidates on five main topics namely, quantitative ability (QA), data interpretation (DI), logical reasoning (LR), verbal ability (VA) and Reading Comprehension (RC). These five categories are divided into three sections as QA, DILR and VARC which is included in the CAT exam Pattern.
Preparation of CAT exam starts with mastering these four sections and to cover the entire syllabus, but only these don’t suffice. To prepare for CAT exam, you also need a versatile approach towards the exam and you need to incorporate the following into your study plan.
How to Prepare For CAT: Preparation Tips & Strategies
The question “how to prepare for CAT?” is one of the most common questions of the MBA aspirants. In order to prepare effectively for CAT, it is important to realize that the syllabus of the exam is not difficult. Most of the questions are solvable and involve elementary concepts to solve. CAT is known to test the proficiency in time management and problem-solving ability of the candidates under stress along with knowledge. Here are some important tips that might help the candidates to prepare more efficiently for the exam.
Objectify the CAT Syllabus
Avoid looking at the CAT syllabus as a whole, the key is to divide the syllabus and look closely at the topics. You must be aware of the different sections and corresponding topics which form a part of CAT Exam Syllabus. Make a chart of the entire syllabus and have it placed on your study desk so that it is always in sight. Have a very structured approach to the syllabus; first, go through all the topics which are familiar, then proceed with new topics. By doing this, you will have enough momentum and confidence to attempt the new topics that you need to grasp afresh.
Strategize the Study Plan
Have a clear plan regarding your CAT preparations. Go through the entire syllabus before starting the preparation. This gives you a rough idea of the preparation and helps you with time management. Now draft the entire syllabus into a study plan and also state the time which has to be dedicated to the individual topics.
NOTE: The CAT study plan should be kept realistic. Do not create a schedule which is impossible to stick on as it will demotivate you. Keep it practical and reward yourself on checkpoints.
Have Basics on Your Fingertips
The biggest truth about the CAT exam which most of the CAT Aspirants fail to acknowledge is the fact that the entire CAT Syllabus consists of topics which you have already covered in your 8th, 9th and 10th grades.
Start off with covering the entire syllabus, especially Quantitative questions at high school levels. Memorize all the formulae (For example, Area of triangle, speed-time-distance, etc.).
Shortcut Techniques and Strategies
As discussed previously, only a few applicants manage to get through the IIM’s and top B-schools. Efficient time management is the key. On an average, a candidate has to solve a question in less than 90 seconds. Knowing a few shortcut techniques and tricks always help a candidate to solve the problem in stipulated time. Also, candidates are suggested to strategize and formulate an individual approach to particular problems to solve the related questions faster.
The Mock Tests and Previous Year Papers
There can never be enough number of CAT Mock tests for practice. There are multiple advantages of solving mock tests, a few being:
- It brings down Exam stress levels massively since you are already accustomed to the exam pattern and have already been subjected to the same environment earlier, you will be much more comfortable in the exam hall.
- It boosts your confidence.
- Helps in SWOT analysis.
- You can customize your time management strategy for better outcomes.
Whenever you schedule for a mock test, make sure you have also incorporated a time slot for self-analysis of your attempt. Find out which questions were correctly attempted and which ones resulted in negative marking.
Firstly find out the mistakes you have made in all the questions which you have solved wrongly, and avoid making these mistakes. Then, look at the ones you have solved correctly, do not be too proud and make an effort to find out if there was a better/shorter way to attempt the same question.
Then you have to go through all the questions which you have not attempted and analyze the topics to work on it.
Learn Five Words Every Day
CAT verbal ability is one section of the CAT which is neglected by most of the candidates. The CAT vocabulary section mainly requires you to identify the incorrect usage of common vocabulary words. Although there can be several formats in which the vocabulary questions can be framed, the basic idea remains the same. So, learn at least five new words every day along with their usage to prepare the verbal section easily.
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Apart from these tips, the candidates are suggested to perform a SWOT analysis to find out the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Pick out one strong and weak topic and work on them both concurrently. This way, you will not just be reducing your weakness but also building your strengths. For more tips, visit CAT preparation tips and know the best practices during preparation.
As time management is very crucial for CAT exam, develop a strong sectional time management strategy. So, familiarize yourself with the test environment by taking full-length mock tests and simulating real-time conditions as much as possible. It is suggested to start with the easier questions to save time for difficult ones.
Stay tuned with BYJU’S to know various lessons on CAT topics. With numerous engaging video lessons, learning can now be more effective and quick. BYJU’S also provide the latest notifications for CAT exam along with the detailed pattern and syllabus.