How to prepare for the CAT is one of the most commonly asked questions by CAT aspirants. The CAT Exam is undoubtedly one of the most competitive exams in the country, and only the top 2-3% of applicants make it to their desired IIMs. It is a computer-based exam 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: QA, DILR and VARC, which are included in the CAT exam Pattern. Here are some of the best tips to prepare for the CAT exam to help the candidates prepare well for the CAT exam and ace it. Please refer BYJU’S CAT College Predictor tool.
Preparation for the CAT exam starts with mastering these three sections and covering the entire syllabus, but only these don’t suffice. To prepare for the 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 the CAT 2023: Preparation Tips & Strategies
The question “how to prepare for CAT?” is one of the most common questions of MBA aspirants. In order to prepare effectively for the CAT, it is important to understand that the syllabus of the exam is not difficult. Most questions are solvable and involve elementary concepts to solve. CAT is known to test the time management skill and problem-solving ability of the candidates under stress, along with their knowledge. Here are some important tips that might help candidates to prepare more efficiently for the exam.
Be Thorough with 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 the 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.
Strategise 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 about the topics and helps you with time management. Now draft the entire syllabus into a study plan and also allot time to the individual topics.
NOTE: The CAT study plan should be kept realistic. Do not create a schedule that is impossible to stick to, 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 that 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. Memorise 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 IIMs and top B-schools. Efficient time management is the key. On average, a candidate has to solve a question in less than 90 seconds. Knowing a few shortcut techniques and tricks always help a candidate solve the problem in a stipulated time. Also, candidates are suggested to strategise and formulate an individual approach to particular problems to solve the related questions faster.
The Mock Tests and Previous Years’ Papers
There can never be enough CAT mock tests to practise. And there are multiple advantages of solving mock tests, a few being:
- It brings down exam stress levels since you are already accustomed to the exam pattern and familiar with the same environment earlier; you will be much more comfortable in the exam hall.
- It boosts your confidence.
- Helps in SWOT analysis.
- You can customise your time management strategy for better outcomes.
Whenever you schedule 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 markings.
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 over confident and make an effort to find out if there is a better/shorter way to attempt the same question.
Then you have to go through all the questions which you have not attempted and analyse the topics to work on.
Learn Five Words Every Day
CAT Verbal Ability is one section of the CAT which is neglected by most candidates. The CAT vocabulary section mainly requires you to identify the incorrect usage of common 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 for the verbal section easily.
Apart from these tips, the candidates are suggested to perform a SWOT analysis to find out their 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 learn the best practices during preparation. By knowing how to prepare for the CAT exam, candidates can easily prepare more effectively and excel in the exam.
As time management is very crucial for the CAT exam, develop a strong sectional time management strategy. Familiarise 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.
Watch the Video on How to Prepare for the CAT Exam
Stay tuned to BYJU’S to learn various lessons on CAT topics. With numerous engaging video lessons, learning can now be more effective and quick. BYJU’S also provides the latest notifications for the CAT exam, along with a detailed pattern and syllabus.