How much time should one allocate daily to crack the CAT?CATKing
The answer to this question depends on your current level of preparation and your motivation to achieve bigger goal.
First and the foremost thing is you need to SET A TARGET FOR YOURSELF!
Once you have set a target for yourself , Next big step is to MAKE A PLAN TO ACHIEVE THE TARGET!
For this you need to know the subjects covered and the amount of time that you have. As you must be aware that CAT consists of 4 main sections:
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- Quantitative Aptitude
- Verbal Ability
- Logical Reasoning
- Data Interpretation
Now you need to segregate topics covered in each of the above sections. As its just February, and you have ample amount of time, I would try and describe in detail study plan to ace your CAT Preparation. I will list down topics section wise and allocate time accordingly.
- Quantitative Ability
This section is by far the most supersized section. So this would take your maximum time as there are many topics to cover in it. The topics include:
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This is the most important section as around 30–40 % of the whole Quantitative Aptitude that is around 12–13 questions out of 34 in Quants is Arithmetic. This includes chapters like Percentage, Average, Ratio and Proportion, Profit and Loss, Time Speed Distance , Time and Work, Boats and Streams, Allegations and Mixtures . As this is the most crucial part, you can devote 3 complete days to each of the chapters above. You can start by solving a particular chapter from set ofto clear your concepts , then move on to for the same chapter. Once you are done solving these 2 books, you should immediately move to to understand how much have you grasped. In this way you can devote around 25–28 days in thoroughly studying Arithmetic as this would fetch you the maximum marks.
Algebra forms an important segment of Quantitative section of CAT. 12–18% of Quantitative Aptitude, i.e. 4–7 questions out of 34 are from this section. Algebra Questions are based on linear equations, quadratic equations, functions etc. To master this section and get your hold on those 5 questions you need to learn all the basic algebraic formulae and advanced tricks to crack CAT level algebra questions. So you can devote around 5 complete days following the same procedure of starting withand moving on to advanced ones and then taking sectional mocks.
- Modern Maths
Although not as important as Geometry or Algebra, it is not something you can ignore . Modern Maths consists of 10–15% of Quantitative section of CAT, i.e. around 3–5 questions out of 34. Moreover, the questions are based on basic concepts and their applications. The topics include Permutations and Combinations, Probability, Set theory, Sequence and Series, Binomial Theorem. Looking at this you can again devote 3–5 days to grasp these topics and measure your performance with the help of sectional mocks.
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After Arithmetic this is again one crucial section in Quants. Geometry includes around 28–40% i.e. around 10–12 questions out of 34 in Quantitative section. Geometry section would consist of topics like Lines and angles, Triangles, Polygons, Mensuration, Trigonometry, Co-ordinate Geometry. This section will again fetch you more marks so you must devote around 10–15 days to master this section .
In conclusion, you would need around 2 completely devoted months to get hold of Quantitative Aptitude section and sail smoothly through it till CAT.
2. Verbal Ability
Verbal Ability consists of 34 questions in CAT out of which 24 questions are reading comprehension and rest 10 are parajumbles and critical reasoning.To ace this section , all you need is consistent practice. You must make it a point to devote 1 hour daily to Verbal Ability Section. I would like to suggest some tips to crack this section in CAT with the help of How to score good marks in Verbal
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- Start reading books of varied genres (Target 1 book a month)
- Take up Norman Lewis Word Power Made Easy and finish the book in around 10–12 days. This will enhance your vocabulary and help you to better understand reading comprehension
- Solve 10 Parajumbles Daily
- Solve 5 Critical Reasoning Questions Daily
- Take up GMAT Official Guide and solve all RC’s and Critical Reasoning Questions
- Start giving once you have touched all sections and measure your performance minutely
Verbal Ability is one such section that you can crack once you get into the habit of reading and start comprehending quickly. This would need you to consistently devote an hour of your day to reading.Reading Practise
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3. Logical Reasoning
In CAT, LR and DI section together contain 32 questions out of which 16 questions are from Logical Reasoning Section. In order to get hold of this section you need to have an analytical thinking approach. Logical Reasoning will include questions based on:
- Team Formations
- Logical Deduction
- Direction Sense
- Blood Relations
- Clocks and Calendars
- Statement and Assumptions
You must make a daily schedule to solve 5 questions from each of the above topics. You can take up the basic set of books to get an idea of the entire LR syllabus. Solve around 5–10 questions daily. This would take 40 minutes to 1 hour of your day. Move on to advanced concepts and track your performance by giving sectional mocks.
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4. Data Interpretation
The rest 16 questions out of 32 are from Data Interpretation section. DI is all about quick calculations. If you have learnt all tables till 25, then definitely you are much ahead of all your counterparts. Solving fractions, converting data into percentages, being quick at ratios will help you ace DI easily. The type of questions asked here include
-X-Y Charts involving Line Series
Start with solving 2 DI sets everyday and try to speed up the amount of time you take to solve each DI set. Take upto understand where you stand.
Having done an in depth analysis of all sections and the amount of time you would need to crack each of them, now its your job to do justice to your preparation. As per the schedule described above, you would need around 5–6 months, with 2–3 hours of sincere efforts everyday, to thoroughly study the entire syllabus for CAT. Once you are done with that. You can start giving one full length mock per week and analyse the same to find out your weaker areas and work on them .You must continue giving 1 sectional mock per day once your done with your preparation. This will ensure that you are in touch with all topics and understand where you need to work on.
All the Best!!! Stay Glued!! Go for the kill!!!