CAT 2019 Preparation Strategies: The CAT exam is an immensely competitive exam conducted by one of the IIMs on a rotational basis. CAT is taken by numerous fresh graduates and experienced professionals from various fields every year. The aspiring candidates have to be well prepared for the exam to get into their dream B-school. It is important for every candidate to follow a well-structured study plan, appear for mock tests and develop few tricks and strategies which helps to crack CAT with a high percentile.

CAT 2019 Preparation Strategies

Nikhil Agarwal achieved a high percentile of 99.97 in CAT and secured admission in IIM Rohtak. An Engineer by education, Nikhil aims to become a finance market expert post his management course at IIM. He also mentions his Time Management strategy which led him to crack CAT with high percentile despite his hectic work schedules. He also believes having clarity on the concepts and attempting the right questions are key factors to crack CAT with a high percentile. During his CAT Preparation, he joined an Online CAT Coaching and solved as many questions as possible to eliminate mistakes by consistent evaluation through mock tests. Nikhil suggests CAT aspirants to choose the questions wisely and not spend more than few minutes for a question. However, to get a high score, one should attempt as many questions as possible by taking calculated risks.

CAT 2019 Preparation Strategies

Verbal Ability: “In this section, my plan was to attempt all the questions as it is relatively easy to manage time,” says Nikhil. If your Verbal Ability section is weak, join an Online CAT Verbal Ability Course and pay extra attention to topics like para-jumbles, comprehensions. Try to increase speed along with accuracy. Practice by reading newspapers or magazines with an aim to learn new words. In this section, students can score maximum marks and the focus should be on increasing the reading and vocabulary capabilities. 

Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation: “In this section, I invested around five minutes to decide which six of the eight passages are the best choices. I attempted the six passages and did not bother to touch the remaining two” says Nikhil. For CAT Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation Section stress on 3 points- speed, technique, and choices. A positive approach and reading all the questions in the stipulated time is very important for answering the questions correctly. In the LRDI section, attempt the formula based questions first which would be less time-consuming. Further, proceed for the time consuming and calculation intensive problems. 

Quantitative Aptitude: “In this section I answered questions in reverse order and didn’t spend more than 3 minutes on a question. This strategy helped me achieve a score of 98.23 percentile in QA section,” says Nikhil. Candidates those who are weak in this section, can take up an Online CAT Quant Course to understand the basics and practice numerals as much as you can. The most important rule to keep in mind is to stay calm and focused. While solving the QA section, browse through the entire paper once. Attempt easier questions first, and do not waste a lot of time-solving the lengthier or difficult ones. 

CAT 2019 Preparation Strategies: Key Points 

  • Start with your comfortable areas. The thumb rule of attempting any exam is to start with the comfortable questions as it is expected to be less time-consuming.
  • Time management is the most crucial part of CAT as answering 100 questions in 180 minutes is extremely difficult. “My formula was to not spend much time on a single question. There are questions which can be solved in seconds and there are some which might take even 10 minutes to solve. It’s always a best to let a question go if it has already consumed time rather than wasting more time hoping to get a solution” says Nikhil.
  • Strengthen your basic fundamentals and practice regularly. Practice in your full capacity. At the end of the day, practice what you have done and learned. Attempt as many questions as possible by taking calculated risks. 
  • CAT does not require extensive study sessions as long as the basics are strong. The main concern here is to develop speed which automatically comes if you are able to systemize your mock test. The primary focus should be on accuracy rather than maximizing the number of attempts.  Analyzing the mock tests is a major help and should be meticulously done.
  • Divide time judiciously between your strengths and weaknesses. Build theoretical knowledge, and then move on to extensive practice. Move to writing Online CAT Mock Tests about 1.5-2 months from the CAT exam, and devote at least 4-5 hours after each test to understand your weaknesses. Practice more questions to deal with these points. Remember to stay calm, a positive frame of mind will always yield better results than a nervous one. 

Time Management is the key. Plan your time perfectly for each section. Winning over time will let you win. Regular study, practice, self-analysis, and adaptability to tricks are the main stakes for CAT Preparation. Traditional methods may seem to be easy but always use the tricks to solve the questions with speed and accuracy. And lastly, practice even before the exam day.

Know more about the Journey of a CAT Retaker to IIM Kozhikode.