7 Simple Steps to prepare for the upcoming CAT Exam

With only 3 months remaining to appear for the exam (CAT 2019 is expected to be on November 2019), it is high time for the aspirants to focus on the preparation. As CAT is the gateway to all Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), one can imagine the competition level with about two lakh candidates competing for the top seats in the renowned institutions. Aspirants should buckle up and device a strategy to get admission in top IIMs and other top MBA colleges. We have summed up 7 simple steps to help you excel in the exam.

7 Simple Steps to prepare for the upcoming CAT Exam

Step 1: Understanding the CAT syllabus
CAT exam is a 3-hour duration online test and is divided into 3 sections:
Section 1: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
In VARC, questions come from para-jumbles and Reading Comprehension (RC). It’s advisable to solve RC of different domains like psychology, science, economics, medicine.
Section 2: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
This section focuses on your practice and speed of solving. Try to solve as many diverse questions as possible to sharpen your mind and improve speed.
Section 3: Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
QA section focuses on algebra, number system and permutation and combination. Try to learn different short-cut methods to solve them.

Step 2: Assess your capabilities
To start with, you should asses yourself by taking a mock test and compute your aptitude in the various sections. You can attempt any of the standard exams (TIME/IMS/CL) which allow at least one free mock test to evaluate your aptitude level.

Step 3: Read widely and cover all topics
Lots of reading is required. You should read both classics and dedicated study material. It will help to get command over the VARC section and other sections as well.

Step 4: Solve previous questions
Next you should start attempting previous years’ CAT papers to find out the difficulty level of the exams. Also try to make this activity time-boxed so that the time and speed can be build up efficiently.

Step 5: Study regularly
Make it a point to study on a regular basis. Make it a habit to study a minimum of 3-4 hours a day. Try solving questions of every section daily, instead of focusing on a single one. This will improve accuracy and time and boost your confidence.

Step 6: Attempt sectional and full-length mocks
Sectional mocks will help you prepare well for the main event. And based on the mock test results, performance can be analyzed, and more conceptual study and preparation can be planned. The same goes for full-length mocks as well, since it gives a fair idea of the exams.

Step 7: Make a study plan
Finally design a practical plan and follow it religiously. You can either opt for self-study or join coaching, but make sure to attempt various test series to gain confidence and command over the topics. Looking at the paper pattern from past some years, your study plan requires to accommodate the fact that CAT 2018 would be heavy on conceptual clarity.
And finally, focus on your errors and not on the scores you achieved while practicing. Try to figure out the weak areas and then put efforts in those areas to improve in them. Good Luck!

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