Writing CAT for the first timeMeghna Chauhan
The toppers in CAT do not like to give repeated attempts in the exam, they believe in writing CAT for the first time and crack it with a high score. Their strategy is to kill it in the first shot with intensive preparation following the smart way of doing work instead of heartless multiple attempts which gains nothing.
Going by the past CAT exam trends, most of the CAT 2018 toppers are expected to be the first timers or at the max second timers. It is a rare phenomenon that after 3rd or 4th attempt suddenly a candidate becomes CAT topper unless there are some drastic changes in the attitude and preparation strategy of the CAT aspirant.
Set deadlines to cover CAT syllabus
Plan well and set deadlines for yourself. For CAT 2018 you need to cover huge amount of syllabus in small time. To prepare well you have to plan well and setting up deadlines serves as a check for your plan and keeps you motivated.
CAT with its vast syllabus and multiple questions in its test paper has increased its galaxy further. The dilemma can be cleared if the student has a clear picture before him in regard to the factors that would guide the preparation journey.
Plan Time bound practice
Time management is the key that can help you open the doors to the IIMs via CAT 2018. The trickiest part of clearing CAT is to get to the right answer in least amount of time. This can be done only if you practice with a check on time whether it is MCQ or Non-MCQ type of question.
There is no substitute to hard-work, this specially holds true for CAT. The more you practice the better you will get.
Make a good peer group
Working with other motivated individuals preparing for 8 will help you to continue even in tough times. You can also discuss tough questions. It also helps while preparing for GD/PI.
Always take expert opinion
Talking to an expert – mentors at coaching classes or online tutorial, helps you to gauge your performance against others. They can help you in working on your weaknesses and teach you important time-saving tricks.
Many books confuse more
Too many books create confusion. Some of the books have questions much tougher than those asked in CAT. Preparing from them won’t do any good.
Move on-leave the sticky topic
With a vast syllabus covering so many topics it is easy to get stuck on a hard subject. You should remember that everything is relative and spending a lot of time on one subject is not advisable.
Time to go for Mock test series
Enroll for a mock test series for CAT 2018 new exam pattern. Be consistent in taking the mock CATs. Perform a thorough analysis after each mock. The analysis will help to figure out the loopholes and your weak areas so that you could improve on them and further fine-tune your strategy. Above all, go about your CAT preparation with a cool head. The winning position in CAT 2018 will be because of your own self. It will depend on the way you handle things, your discipline in the preparation you have undertaken.
Also Read: How to improve your vocabulary for CAT
Don’t quit your jobs for CAT 2018
CAT type of exams can be cracked with a step wise preparation approach. You need not study for many hours but need to prepare as per CAT exam syllabus to gain more in less time.
Overall CAT percentile doesn’t matter but your individual sectional cut-offs matter a lot in sectional percentile score which can get you through CAT 2018. Nobody knows in how many times after giving the CAT exam I will definitely get one of the prestigious IIMs. People who have quit their jobs or dropped a year, tried for CAT, scored a decent percentile but did not get call from any IIM. These aspirants fought again with the same fate.
They lost 2 years after graduation, gave-up their jobs and again remained at the same ground. Although they scored high overall percentile, candidates of this group faltered behind in scoring high sectional percentile in one or other section.
Looking at the other side of same coin, a number of students who have juggled between work and the CAT exam because they have less to fear as they have a job at hand, keep their clam and serene composure and score high overall and sectional percentile and converted more than 2-3 IIMs of their choice.
A year’s drop quitting the well paid job or doing nothing after graduation to crack CAT 2018 will be a bogus decision. Utilise the time you have as everybody will only have 24 hours in a day.
Plenty Vs. Scarce time: Waste or utilize
Those who dropped the year or quit the job could not manage the plenty of available time with them as it was not well managed. They also now and then deviated from their preparation schedule. Instead of realizing and improving their other skills also on other components of IIM selection criteria since CAT score is only one of the many shortlisting and selection parameters, they did not look-up to work upon the other components which have higher weightage in IIMs selection process.
Besides, with the changed CAT exam pattern of increased number of sections from 2 to 3 and many content level changes, many candidates do not realize that more practice is required at the equal level for the newly created DILR section as it now plays key role in shortlisting criteria. These candidates who are stuck to old patterns are lost in the race to cross the CAT score cut off in new scoring system in place.
Full day study not needed
You need about 3-4 hours a day to prepare well for CAT 2018. Planned strategy for next 75 days which will need around 3-4 hours a day. Please spare out of your busy schedule to improve o your weak areas.
Follow a different preparation plan
To achieve your career goal of getting into IIM-A, IIM-B or IIM-C, devise a preparation strategy which can balance between the study and job very well.
Please note highly competitive CAT 2018 may not be tough but it has inherent risk. You cannot be sure of getting into an IIM despite scoring 99 and above percentile in CAT 2018. The admission to batch 2018-20 in IIMs reveal the painful story of many such toppers who could not get a call from any IIM although they scored a percentile above 99. So it is not only a CAT percentile of 99 but you need to target each and every part of CAT 2018 exam to get into the IIM of your choice.