Continuing the discussion from CAT 2016 Discussion (Official):
With barely two months in hand, the students appearing for Common Admission Test (CAT) seem to be confused about a lot of things- what to study, how to study, what is more important, what topics can be dropped, so on and so forth.
To clear away the aura of confusion, here’s a list of 10 awesome tips to crack CAT, this year:
1) Analyse your strengths and weaknesses: Analyse your strong as well as weak suits in the respective areas (namely quant, verbal, logical reasoning, data interpretation) and ideally, start with the preparation of your weak areas and focus on making them your strong areas. Follow the five crucial steps listed below in the suggested order for sure-shot results.
- Begin with the solved examples in the book
- Then move onto the unsolved examples
- After you are well versed with the examples in the book, test yourself further by taking as many mock tests as possible to get used to this Computer Based Exam (CBT)
- Finally resort to previous years’ CAT papers and monitor your progress
- Thereafter, practice and practice and practice more
2) Be thorough with your fundamentals: During the last few days before the exam, the candidates should revise all the basic concepts. Revisions of the fundamentals of each topic are extremely crucial to secure a good score. It will enable you to consolidate your preparation for the exam. You should be confident and well-versed with the application of all your basic concepts.
3) Time versus Target: While preparing your plan of action for the CAT exam, fastidiously implement the concept of “time v/s target” i.e. completing any particular portion of a subject or topic in an assigned time period. Stick to the plan meticulously to secure the desired results. Do not be a procrastinator at any cost!
4) You need to put more work into your verbal section this year!: The verbal section of CAT is expected to be of a higher difficulty level this year. The candidates should therefore solve more complex versions of topics such as parajumbles and reading comprehensions so that they do not end up getting intimidated by the length and intricacies of the questions in this section during the actual exam.
5) Get well-versed with the major changes in the CAT paper pattern. This year CAT is going to have three sections instead of two:
- Quantitative Ability (QA) with 34 Questions
- Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) with 32 questions
- Verbal & Reading Comprehension (VRC) with 34 questions
The segregation suggests that candidates have no escape. It will be mandatory to attempt all sections and achieve the minimum required percentage in individual sections apart from the overall total to make it to any of the IIMs.
CAT also marks the introduction of certain subjective type of questions in the paper. Some questions in each section may not be of multiple choice type. Instead, direct answers are to be typed on the screen.
6) Acquaint yourself with the some other relevant changes: The actual time duration of the test is 3 hours (180 minutes) instead of the earlier 170 minutes. Each section has a time limit of 60 minutes. So the candidates need not worry about the possibility of getting carried away and unintentionally devoting excessive time to any particular section. Also, the candidates should remember that they cannot switch from one section to another section at any point. An on-screen timer would be available for the candidates to check how much time they are left with. An onscreen calculator would be embedded in the screen which could be utilised for any calculations in the paper. However, hardly any question in the paper would involve major calculations.
7) Practice your shortcuts well: Although CAT is traditionally a conceptual exam based on core fundamentals, being conversant with all the shortcuts would help you to solve various problems with greater speed, thus giving you an edge as compared to your competitors. So revise your shortcuts and know them as thoroughly as your fundamentals.
8) Beyond Studies: It is essential to study hard and spend a good number of hours daily on your exam preparation but for an hour or so in your daily timetable, make some space just for yourself. You can exercise in this time to keep yourself mentally, physically and emotionally fit; or you could also devote this time to engage in any extra-curricular of your choice. Eating healthy is also a critical aspect that needs to be taken care of while preparing for the examination.
9) Remember the larger goal: Apart from focusing on cracking the exam, you should not forget that excelling in this exam would bring you closer to your larger goal of making it big in the corporate world and that would, in turn, enable you to imbibe the much needed perseverance, dedication and grit required to ace the CAT.
10) A calm mind is the key: Lastly and most importantly, the candidates should not get nervous or hyper under any circumstances. A calm, composed and compartmentalized mind is extremely vital for cracking this exam.
With Inputs from Ravneet Gandhi (Director, Cetking.com) and Rima Pai (Education Advisor, Cetking.com)
Work hard, work smart and rock the CAT this year!
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