CAT is one of the most prestigious examinations in our country which paves the way for MBA aspirants to get into IIMs (old and new) and other top MBA colleges. More than 2,00,000 aspirants take the CAT every year and only a handful manage to score high enough to find their way into one of their dream colleges. Out of these 2,00,000 aspirants more than 30% are freshers, students who have either just completed their graduation or are in their final years. A popular assumption is that it is difficult for freshers to get into a top MBA college or into IIM A, B or C. But, is it the case? And if it isn’t, let us also talk about how they can go through with it, ensuring an exceptional result in CAT.
CAT Preparation Strategy for Freshers
I took CAT as a fresher, with sub-par Graduation scores, scored almost 99%ile and got calls from every college I was eligible for and converted all of them. The point being, No it isn’t difficult for freshers to get into a top IIM. In fact, I believe it is rather easier for a fresher to get a high score in CAT compared to anyone with work exp. ,reason being, as a fresher you are already in touch with the core subjects and concepts plus you are already in a groove for studying. The only disadvantage (which you really can’t do much about) is the additional points for work exp. but that can be compensated as well, if you have good academics, good CAT score and an impressive selection process. So, don’t worry, if you are a fresher and you are looking forward to scoring high in CAT examination with a good CAT preparation strategy, which may be facilitated by the Best Online CAT Coaching Course.
CAT Preparation Strategy
Should you do it? Yes, definitely! But how? Well, let’s get to the basic blue print for CAT preparation strategy.
You have 6 months for your preparation. This feels like a very long time but let’s break it up: You are in college and you have to attend let’s say 7-8 hours of class on weekdays, 1-2 hours for college assignments, so for safe keeping 10 hours for college. That leaves you with like 2-3 hours for preparation on weekdays and 4-6 hours on weekends (in small bursts, of course). So, in terms of study hours, you have just enough time so that if you start now and sincerely, you can definitely be in the top percentile.
How you prepare it, online or offline, that is completely upto you, just make sure, you have at least 2-3 hours for self study, regularly (or daily).
Starter Pack (Basic Idea):
The most important thing is that you keep your basics strong, concepts clear and are familiar with all the topics that constitute the syllabus of CAT. If you find a topic is stranger to you, get yourself acquainted with it, you got some time for CAT.
What helps? For the basics in Quant, go back to NCERT and R.S. Agarwal for practice and to get yourself back in the mindset. For RC and Verbal, start reading quality books and articles, The Hindu helps, so does other quality English newspapers. In terms of books/novels to read, my personal recommendation is Six Days of War. Try it, the kind of words you will get there, you won’t be able to find it anywhere. Apart from that read other quality authors (Please, stay away from the Chetan Bhagats and Durjoy Duttas of the world). For DI/LR, you basically need two things, a pro-active mind and ability to think on the edge, so start solving puzzles, riddles and sudokus. My personal favourite, Rubik Cube, solve it and time yourself.
You can spend the first, 20-30 weeks doing this, helping you getting in the feel of things for CAT and also polish your concepts.
Now, Let’s get into a more formal preparation strategy:
Get Your Basics Right:
CAT as an exam that constitutes of basic and conceptual questions, which test your skill and knowledge of basic topics. So, if you aren’t conceptually strong or you are having problems with solving questions, you need to get back to improving your hold on your concepts. NCERT, R.S. Agarwal, as I mentioned before plus you can also go for Arun Sharma, for more practice but don’t attempt all difficulty questions at once, First, go for LOD-1 of all chapters, then follow the same for LOD-2, that keeps you in touch with topics on a regular basis.
CAT is an exam of speed and accuracy, so it is very important that you time yourself while you are solving your questions. If I gave you enough time and your basics are right, there is no doubt that you will solve all the questions but once you have a timer breathing down your neck, things change. So, prepare yourself for the crunch situation. How? Well, time yourself for everything you solve and practice and then Mocks!
Mocks will be the most important thing about your CAT preparation. Take as many mocks as you can and don’t be scared of taking mocks. You might score a little less rather embarrassingly low in a few, but it is okay no one has to know. But, whatever happens make sure you keep giving your mocks. They will literally carry you into your dream college.
Not a lot of people and coaching institutions will tell you or rather give you a proper analysis of your mocks and trust me, they are important. A table of computer generated scored won’t help you unless someone helps you take through all your rights and wrongs, suggests you what to do and what not to do. CAT is also sometimes about your decision to leave a question where several others wasted their time. Remember time is of the essence, and your time management would be made clear only when you analyse. So, get your mocks analysed and the very next day after a mock, devote your time working on your mock, backwards. What you could have done right, where you took a lot of time, where you could have shortened the process, used a trick or missed a question, everything.
Keep your confidence high at all times. Always! A few mocks will get messed up, some topics will be a tough nut to crack but don’t lose heart, keep your morale up at all times. You are not supposed to know everything, you are not supposed to solve all the questions, it is perfectly okay to miss a few questions in your mocks, it is perfectly acceptable to have a few wrong questions. Just remember, analyse and improve, if you do that, CAT will be a breeze for you.
This is basic recipe to CAT for freshers. Make sure your graduation scores aren’t affected by your preparation. A lot of aspirants, under the duress of college and coaching classes, mess up their graduation scores and that has implications. And for such people, Robert Kahn invented the internet, so join a self paced online coaching for CAT and keep yourself away from all the hassle and exhaustion of sitting in back to back classes.
CareerAnna as the Best Online CAT Coaching has been helping aspirants get through to their dream colleges, similarly. So, who knows you might be next. So, stop having second thoughts on your decision, stop listening to other people if you think you want to.
Ready, Set, Go…!