5 mistakes you should avoid while preparing for CAT

5 mistakes you should avoid while preparing for CAT

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a national level examination conducted by The Indian Institute of Management (IIM). It is a mandatory exam for seeking admission into IIM or other prestigious Business Schools like Faculty of Management Studies (Delhi), Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management (Mumbai), SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (Mumbai) and many more. The exam is conducted annually in the last week of November. CAT 2019 will be conducted on November 25, 2019. 

The following are the important dates for CAT Exam 2019:

Dates Event
27 July 2019 CAT Exam Notification Date
5 August 2019 Registration Starts (Fee – Rs. 2000/-)
20 September 2019 Registration Ends
24 October 2019 Exam Admit Card Download Starts
24 November 2019 Exam Admit Card Download Ends
24 November 2019 Date of Examination
7 January 2020 Declaration of Result

CAT Exam Syllabus

The syllabus for CAT Exam is as follows:                                  

  1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

It will mainly test the candidate’s English grammar and vocabulary. Around 70% of the questions in the VARC section are asked from the given passages. In the past few years, it is observed that the VARC section in the CAT exam is quite easy to solve. So, scoring in this section becomes extremely important in order to score good percentile. Around 30 marks are allocated for the Verbal Ability section and around 72 marks for the Reading Comprehension section. 

The following are the topics that are covered in the VARC section:

    • Current affairs
    • Para-jumbles
    • Para-summary
    • Sentence completion
    • Comprehension-based questions
    • Fill in the blanks
    • Odd sentences
    • Jumbled paragraphs
    • Analogies
    • Critical reasoning
    • Facts, Inference, and Judgement

         2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

It will test how the candidate deals with Charts and the diagrammatic representations. It is the second section of the CAT exam. All you need to have is logic, alertness, and presence of mind to score well in the section. The section is said to be challenging but in reality, it isn’t that tough if practiced well. 

The following topics are included in the DILR section:

  • Bar graph
  • Line graph
  • Pie chart
  • Caselets
  • Column graph
  • Venn diagram
  • Seating arrangement
  • Blood relations/
  • Clock
  • Dates
  • Calendars
  • Syllogism

    3.Quantitative Ability (QA)

This topic will test the candidate’s ability to deal with numbers. This section is considered to be tough by a lot of candidates. Candidates end up losing a lot of marks in this section. The Quant section tests the mathematical skills of the candidates. This causes discomfort for the students without a mathematical background. There are about 34 questions in the Quants section with a few MCQ questions with negative marking and a few MCQ questions without negative marking. Around 102 marks are allocated to this section. 

The following are the topics covered in this section:

  • Number system
  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Permutation and Combination
  • Probability
  • Set Theory
  • Trigonometry
  • Logarithms
  • LCM
  • HCF
  • Percentage
  • Profit and Loss
  • Speed, distance and time
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Venn Diagram
  • Coordinate Geometry

5 mistakes you should avoid while preparing for CAT

CAT exam is difficult, but not impossible. If you work hard it is very much possible for you to score good percentile and get into your favorite IIM. You need to have passion and determination to achieve your target. You must work hard from Day 1. You might know what to do in order to achieve your target but here are 5 mistakes that you must avoid while preparing for the Common Admission Test (CAT):

1. Do not prepare without any definite goal

While preparing you need to have an aim as to how much percentile you wish to achieve in order to get into your aspired IIM or any other B-shool that you wish to get into. You need to prepare in such a way that you can accomplish your target. Having an aim will help you to work hard and will give you a direction to work towards. If you prepare without a goal, you will not have a direction and will be a lot more laid back which will result in unfinished preparations.

2. Do not start preparing at the last minute

Start studying well in advance. Starting from the beginning will not pile up all the work. You can study at your own pace and understand your concepts properly. This will result in having a lot of time for preparation. If you start preparing at the last moment then you will have chances of not covering the entire syllabus. You will have to finish all the syllabus in a few days which may result in creating confusion while appearing for the exam. Also, preparing at the last minute will force you to mug up answers which may be of no use as mugging up often results in being blank during the exam. Make sure you start studying   6-7 months before appearing for the exam and be clear with all the possible concepts.

3. Do not prepare without a plan

You need to have a plan. You need to make timetable how you will be studying and how much syllabus you will be complete within a day. Also, make sure you decide of much you will practice each day after finishing up with the portion. Make strategies on how you will appear for the paper and minimum how many questions you will attempt in each section. Make daily targets and work hard in order to complete them daily. 

4. Not practicing enough

Buy enough study material. Do not be hesitant in by the study material as the more study material you use the more you will be able to practice and the more you practice, the more easily you will be able to solve the exam. Practise will not make you perfect but will definitely make you close to perfect. Practice a lot of mock exams. Do not be overconfident and stop practicing. Even if you know the concepts you must keep practicing as it will also help you in improving your speed.

5. Do not panic

Be confident of your preparation and do not panic. There might be questions that you might not be able to solve, in such case you must not panic. Keep the question aside and continue solving the rest of the paper. If you have time in the end, then try solving the unsolved question. If you get nervous and try solving the same question then you will waste a lot of time and would not be able to finish the paper. Stay calm and composed and solve the paper with a focus.

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