Strategy for CATAnisha Mukhija
The registration window for CAT 2016 closed with 2,32,434 applications, as confirmed by the office of the Convenor for CAT 2016. This makes the number of applicants, the highest in the past seven years. You know you have to have some strategy in hand if you plan to compete with 2.32 lakh candidates.
Therefore, the following are some guidelines to help you in your CAT preparation:
1) Basics: Always begin your preparation from the basics. There hasn’t been any CAT Topper who hasn’t had his basics cleared before the exam.
2) Calculations: Your speed of calculating things will be a huge aid in quant and even more so in Data Interpretation. The faster you are at calculating stuff, the more time you will get to spend on the logical aspects of the DI & Quant questions.
- Learn the
- Tables from 1 to 30
- Squares and cubes from 1 to 30
- Common fractions with respective decimal and percentage values and also,
- Vedic/Speed math techniques.
3) Concepts: Questions in CAT are based usually on concepts. Therefore, avoid devoting time to mugging formulas as it won’t be too productive. Keep giving tests and mocks. That is one of the best ways to clear your concepts.
4) Need-to-Know: You do not have to be an expert on any subject. While studying, you just have to learn everything that may come in the exam. You should not concern yourself with terms and concepts that dive deep into the subject. So, study strictly on a need-to-know basis.
5) Basic to Advanced: Once you are proficient at basic topics like Averages, Percentages, Time, Speed & Distance, Time & Work, start with advanced topics. Get yourself comfortable with Numbers & Number Systems, P&C, Probability, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry. This will help you get over with a lot of concepts and terms.
6) Breaks: It is tempting to take a topic and dive into it for 3-4 hours. However, it isn’t advisable. The longer the session, the weaker your concentration and attention will get, towards the end. It is better to study for 2 hours, followed by 15 min breaks. The efforts then put in, will be more productive.
7) Verbal: A lot of people find Verbal to be their weak area. The only solution is to read a lot and get yourself accustomed to the English language. RC is the most important section for Verbal in CAT. Therefore, reading articles/books daily is something which cannot be skipped.
The next step would be to keep increasing your vocabulary by learning new words. A good vocabulary also helps you to read faster and understand better.
For Grammar, strengthen your basics. Keep solving questions to get a good grip on grammar.
8) Connect the right dots: Remember that Logical Reasoning is nothing but connecting each and every piece of information that is given to you. Once you start approaching questions from this viewpoint, it becomes much easier to solve the sets in LR.
Also, get yourself familiarized with the different types of questions for LR. This will help to adapt to any surprises in the exam. The same holds for DI as well.
9) All of it: Since the CAT has sectional cut-offs, it would be wise to cover all the topics in each subject. Do not leave out any topic or concept. The more topics you leave, the lesser your chances of maximizing your score.
10) Time Management: Allot more time to the areas you are weak in. Most of the students make the mistake of devoting a lot of time to their strong areas. As a result, their weak areas do not get much stronger in the end. So, try to avoid this by devoting more time towards your weak areas.
11) Change: Do not spend too much time on the same topic. If you go on for days studying one single topic/subject, you will eventually get fed up of it. Keep shifting topics to keep it interesting. Also, different topics will introduce you to different challenges and therefore, keep you energized.
12) Mocks: Take as many mocks as you can. Analyze these mocks, right down to each and every detail. If the time spent analyzing the mocks is more than the time spent giving the mock, then you are on the right track.
13) Pressure: Keep an alarm/timer while solving questions. This will help you to give you a fair idea about the time taken to solve each question. It will also help you to get accustomed to the test-taking pressure in the exam hall.
14) Cheer Up: Do not get de-motivated by mock scores. The mocks are there to tell you where you are lacking. They aren’t the absolute final measure of your standing in the CAT exam. As long as you are learning from your mistakes and taking steps to improve them, you are on the right track.
15) Keep Calm: Do not stress yourself during your CAT prep. It will affect your decision-making ability. You may then make incorrect decisions regarding your preparation strategy or in your mock-taking strategy. Keep going on whatever schedule you had planned and make sure that you learn from whatever mistakes you’ve made.
16) Get proper sleep.
That’s a huge list of guidelines. That’s the purpose of this article: to cover your CAT preparation from all aspects. Follow these guidelines with discipline. None of these tips will matter if you don’t put in the required efforts.
All the Best!
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