CAT Preparation Strategy in 3 months
There are approximately 110 odd days left for CAT 2021. This is the exact time where aspirants should get disciplined and consistent towards their preparation.4 months are enough to crack CAT if we plan properly and commit to that plan and this exam. Though some students find it easy to stay focused, most of them lag the discipline required to crack this exam hence getting a guide or teacher to sort out a proper plan is important, as the remaining time is extremely crucial in one’s preparation period and each day counts.
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In this article, Rahul sir (CEO, Director CATKing) has shared his in-depth strategy for the upcoming months and how this very doable strategy can land you in one of the top B-schools of the country.
First, let’s have a brief idea of details related to CAT.
CAT Exam dates
CAT 2021 is decided to be conducted on November 28’ 2021, across 158 cities in 3 slots.
The timeline for CAT 2021 is –
- Official notification – 1st August 2021
- Registration window opens – 4th August 2021
- The registration window closes – 15th September 2021
- Admit Cards download – Oct – Nov 2021
- Exam date – 28th November 2021
- Results – 2nd week of January 2022 (tentatively)
CAT Exam pattern
Before getting into a detailed strategy, let’s discuss the pattern we expect to see in the exam.
|Test duration||2 hours|
|Total questions in VARC||26|
|Total Questions in DILR||24|
|Total Questions in QA||26|
The number of questions stated here is the same as CAT 2020, as nothing is clearly specified in the official notification the paper can consist of 66, 74, or any number of questions. Hence you should practice accordingly i.e., with a varying number of questions.
CATKING’s mocks (specially curated by experts from top B-schools like IIM A, FMS, IIM L) make you comfortable with this variance.
Also, see – Catking Mocks
What does the CAT exam expect?
CAT exam consists of three sections –
- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
- Data interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
- Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
Though there is no well-defined syllabus, it’s still important to be thorough with the topics asked, to have an understanding of the exam.
Read CAT Syllabus here!
- The CAT is more prominently a 3C (Comprehension, concepts, and commitment) based exam
- 1) C – Comprehension – Verbal section of this exam is all about reading and comprehending the passages, hence this makes it extremely necessary to hone your reading and comprehension skills.
- 2) C- Concepts and calculations – Quants and LRDI sections have concepts and calculations as their foundation. Getting a stronghold of basic concepts and mentally solving questions in quants improving your calculations can help you save the maximum amount of time in the exam.
- 3) C- Commitment – Nothing is possible without gradual persistence and loyalty towards preparation and thus abiding commitment is a prerequisite.
CAT Strategy for 3 months
The very initial step after knowing the syllabus is to chalk out a preparation plan. Most of the aspirants are either in college or are working professionals, hence making a plan and following it diligently comes as the biggest challenge in this journey. Hence, THE 40 DAYS CHALLENGE is strongly recommended. The 40 days challenge of CATKING is curated keeping in mind the confusion and anxiousness of students of how to complete the syllabus, thus this challenge breaks the preparation into phases so that aspirants remain focused.
The 40 days challenge just needs you to devote 2 hours every day to prepare, starting from the very basics to the advanced level of difficulty. We through this challenge make the student go through the whole CAT syllabus so that no topic is left untouched and so that they gain a basic understanding of all the topics asked. The challenge consists of a different module every week and comes with ease to be done and helps in sorting out your preparation.
The first phase- Build your basics!
Starting with August, the priority for the next 1-1.5 months should be to build basic concepts for all three sections. The ultimate goal is to familiarize ourselves with the areas and types of questions found on the CAT exam, thus emphasizing the necessity of going through the whole syllabus at least once in these 40-60 days.
Verbal is the trickiest section of the CAT exam and the level of difficulty for this section is increasing by the year, so practicing this section becomes salient. Quick tips for this section.
- Read a lot of difficult articles like AEON ESSAYS, THE GUARDIAN, EDITORIALS, etc. This will make you comfortable with uncomfortable and difficult topics and styles of writing.
- Solve at least 2-4 RC passages each day and a few questions of Para jumbles, Para summary, and Odd one out.
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
LRDI is a make or breaks section in the CAT as apart from concepts and practices the most important thing to take care of is “SET SELECTION”. There is no straightforward tip or trick to improve in this section. However, consistent practice will help you improve your set selection.
The only way to ace this section is to PRACTICE a lot. The wider and deeper range of sets you will practice either from previous year papers, online material, cat mocks, etc., the more you will witness improvement.
Almost 70% of the Quants question paper is of the doable level of difficulty, hence once again the point to CLEAR THE BASICS reiterates itself.
1. Go chapter-wise and then topic-wise in those chapters. One can enroll in an Online CAT Quant Course to gain a better understanding of the fundamentals.
2. Arithmetic, Geometry, Algebra, and Number Systems include 80% of the paper. Understanding these topics and practicing diligently is more than enough for acing this
3. Try Increasing your speed of calculations and do it mentally. This will help you solve questions quickly and effectively.
A common myth amongst aspirants is to “Complete their syllabus” and then give mocks. But this myth needs to burst. It’s not advisable to give frequent mocks in the first one or one and a half months at least 1 mock per week should be given to start building your test-taking strategy.
Much more is the importance of analyzing these mocks and working on your strengths and weaknesses. CAT never asks you to solve all the questions, 33% to 50% of the paper is sufficient to land you in a reputed B-school. One mock per week and then increasing the frequency
eventually to 1 mock every three days is good. (CAT LEVEL MOCKS)
The two months of October and November are critical for preparing for the CAT exam. This is the time to focus on mocks, finalizing your strategy, and revise the whole syllabus again. The 60 days in October and November should be used in this revision using topic and sectional tests and mocks. These tests should be thoroughly analyzed for your own SWOT analysis i.e. you should be clear with your strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats. This is time to practice your weak areas, turn them into strengths, and fine-tune your strategy.
For taking your preparation from LOD1 to LOD2 Watch
Final phase – Last-minute tips for CAT
For the last 20 days, it’s crucial to revise the concepts once. Revision of mocks and their analysis for eg:- The mistakes you did in the first mock, The time-lapse in the third mock, The wrong set selection in the seventh mock, etc, each and everything should be revised. Zeroing in on the problem areas, working towards eliminating these problems, and avoiding committing the same mistakes in exams is the key. Taking mocks and proper revision multiple times will ensure you a great score in the exam. Lastly, more than aptitude CAT is a mind game that tests your calmness and patience in a pressurized environment. Trusting your efforts and believing in yourself will make you the ultimate winner.
All the Best!