“Stakes are high and the water is tough”.
With less than 3 months left for the CAT, many aspirants have already started to burn the mid-night oil. All they strive for is to gain admission in their dream B-school.
To help all those lost souls who are yet to kick start their CAT preparations. And also those who are still wondering what it takes to bell the CAT. We, at Edunuts, have come up with some information that every CAT aspirant must know. Also, we have outlined some readily actionable CAT Preparation Tips to help you ace this esteemed exam.
About The Exam
CAT or Common Admission Test is an annual test which is conducted by the IIM’s since 1950. The IIM’s conduct this exam to select the best candidates for their MBA programme. It is one of the toughest exams in the country and also the most coveted one. In 2015, nearly 1.7 lac candidates appeared for the exam.
This year CAT is going to be held on 4th of December and is being planned and executed by IIM-Bangalore. CAT scores are accepted not only by the 19 IIM’s, but also by 160 other top management institutes across the country.
The applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA (45% in case of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) / Scheduled Tribe (ST) or Persons with Disability (PWD) category) from any recognized University of India. Candidates who’ve appeared for the final year examinations and are awaiting results can also apply for the exam.
The 180 minutes long exam will comprise 100 questions divided into 3 sections
- Quantitative Ability (QA) – 34 questions
- Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)- 32 questions
- Verbal & Reading Comprehension (VRC) – 34 questions
The student will be given 1 hour to solve each section, and will not be allowed to switch between the sections. The exam shall also have some subjective questions.
In order to apply for the exam, candidates must log on to the website iimcat.ac.in. The registration window is open till 22 September, 2016
Tips To Ace The CAT Exam
Make A Time Table
Before you sit to study for the exam, it is very important that you plan well in advance. Start with making a time-table. For cracking an exam like CAT you need to put in a lot of efforts and make a judicious use of your time. Depending on whether you are working or currently perusing your graduation or you have taken a year off to prepare for the exam, you need to plan your every move and make sure that you follow the time table.
Solve And ‘Analyze’ Mock CAT Exams
Irrespective of what your level of preparation is, it is vital that you subscribe to a mock exam series. There are a lot of exam series available and you can take any that suits your pocket. Also, make it a point to solve at least 2 mocks every week and prepare your timetable accordingly.
Once you solve the mock tests make sure you spend at least 5-6 hours analyzing your test performance, analyze your weak and strong areas, find in which section you spend the most of your time and which section is a cakewalk for you.
As clichéd as it may sound, nothing can take the place of the good old hard work. And in order to become the master you must practice. It is only by regular practice and hard work that you can find your mistakes and correct them. Also, while practicing a wide variety of questions you gradually find shortcuts to solve questions which in turn help you in saving time in the exam.
One more thing which many students miss while preparing for competitive exams is revision, revision is as important as learning new topics. You should take out some time every week and look back at what all you had learned in the week which went by. What’s the point of learning new things, if you keep forgetting the older ones?
One of the most important areas when it comes to CAT is reading comprehension or RC. RC is considered to be the key to the Verbal Reasoning section. The only way to enhance your comprehension skills is by reading as much as you can.
In your timetable, reserve some time to read newspaper editorials, magazines and make it a habit to go through the business section of the newspaper. They will not only help you in acing the RC’s, but will also help you in GD and interview rounds.
Going Back To The Basics
It is very important for you to clear all your basic concepts before you start preparing for the exam. Because at the end of the day CAT only tests how well-versed you are with your basics and can you apply them in real life scenarios or not. It is only when the inception is strong that a person can construct a strong building on it.
Past Year Papers
I cannot stress upon the importance of solving last year’s papers, they not only help you in understanding the type of questions that are asked in the actual exams, but also act as a dress rehearsal for the final showdown. Apart from this, once you solve last year’s questions you also gain a lot of confidence that helps you in beating the last minute examination blues and you no longer suffer from cold feet.
Don’t Lose Hope
More than often, while preparing for the exam you will hit a roadblock, wherein you will feel you can’t crack the CAT, these are the times when you need to be patient, practice and trust yourself.
In your time table, allot some time to blow off some steam and avoid burnout. You must take some time out and pursue your hobbies and find some time for yourself. Not only it will help you in distressing your mind, but will also fill you with positive energy to do your best in the next sitting.
Keep Track of Other Exams As Well
You must also be aware of the exams other than CAT like XAT, NMAT, and SNAP etc. While preparing for CAT, you must keep a track of these exams as well because the syllabus of all these exams is more or less the same, it is only the pattern that differs.