CAT Toppers Strategy: “Cracking CAT, one of the toughest management exams requires knowing the right formulas and concepts, attempting mock tests, and dividing time equally for all the sections,” says Sahil who scored a 99.5%ile in CAT 2018 from an 80%ile in CAT 2017 following an effective CAT preparation strategy. Sahil is an inspiration for all such test-takers. Sahil’s first CAT attempt was in the year 2017 in which he scored 80.7 percentile. Not dejected by the score, he promised himself to work hard again and reappear for the exam next year. In 2018 he showed a massive improvement by scoring a 99.5 percentile.
Give at least 3 hours daily for CAT preparation. Focus on all the sections and divide your time equally for each section. Sahil says, “Self-study is sufficient for scoring well in CAT. If you can maintain a disciplined and focused approach, go for self-study else one can go for Online CAT Coaching. For Quant, first, clear the basic concepts and then keep on practicing. For Verbal, make a habit of reading daily and solving 2-3 sets of RC’s daily. And in DI, practice 4-6 sets daily. Mocks are the best way to identify your weaknesses and strengths. One must thoroughly analyze the mocks and observe the topics in which one is scoring low. Make a plan to strengthen those topics by revising the concepts, practicing more questions from those topics and you will see your mock performances getting better”.
CAT Toppers Strategy: A step-by-step guide to crack the exam
Step-1: Take a mock. Analyze your performance. Solve the questions that you missed out on during the test and that you solved incorrectly, without looking at the solutions to make sure that you understood the analysis completely.
Step-2: Repeat the same for another 2 mocks.
Step-3: After taking 3 mocks, identify your weaknesses and work on them.
Step-4: If you are weak in a particular section, solve sectional tests. Make sure you solve sectional tests and follow them up with rigorous analysis until you get confidence in that section.
Step-5: If you are weak in any particular topic, go back to the books, revise the topic, solve the sample solved questions, and the exercise that follows. Solving these many questions will bring confidence in the topic.
Step-6: Once the above steps are done, move back to the mocks. Take another 3 mocks and analyze them. Then repeat steps 4 & 5.
Once you are comfortable with all the sections, take as many Online CAT Mock Tests as you can to improve your confidence. After around 12-15 mocks, the time taken for steps 4 & 5 should reduce exponentially.
CAT Sectional Strategies
Quantitative Ability: “For QA, I went for extensive practice from mock papers and previous years papers,” says Sahil. Lay the foundation by joining an Online CAT Quant Course and brush up the basic concepts. Learn time-saving techniques like tables, squares, cubes and percentage equivalent of fractions. Practice solving questions within 2 minutes. This is the average time you get to spend on each question in Quant. Only practice can help you master this section.
Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation: LR and DI again requires extensive practice. Knowing tables, squares, cubes, and calculation tips and tricks are quite handy while solving DI. In the Data Interpretation section, a lot of calculation is involved. So approximations and Vedic mathematics can help a lot. Join an Online CAT LRDI Course and get familiar with all kinds of graphs and charts in DI and puzzles in LR. Practice quick calculation. Attempt at least 20 questions or 4 sets each of DI and LR daily. Each set usually takes 10-15 minutes to solve. Try to solve them within 8-12 minutes.
Verbal Ability: For Verbal Ability some basic knowledge of grammar and sentence construction is useful. One can join an Online CAT Verbal Ability Course for more guidance in this section. For RC, solve two CAT level RC passages daily and for Verbal Ability learn 15 to 20 new words from the vocabulary builder every day. As far as the Reading Comprehension section is concerned, it is important to read articles from diverse topics like politics, sports, philosophy, etc. Learn the basics of grammar like adjectives, tenses, articles, modifiers, etc. and practice them as well. Get in the habit of reading questions first instead of the passages. Just give a quick glance to these questions and get an idea of the difficulty level. Then sweep through the passage quickly and assess how easily you understand it. Make a combination of both and attempt the questions.
CAT Toppers Strategy: Points to note
- Take plenty of mocks and analyze each of them.
- Identify shortcuts for questions and apply them as and when convenient.
- Keep a notebook handy for noting down the important concepts and formulae to revise as and when required.
- One RC a day is the key to cracking RC for engineers who hate the VARC section.
- Be thorough with the use of on-screen calculator. It helps a lot in DI and QA.
- Try to attempt all the non-MCQ type questions as they do not carry negative marking.
- Do not waste time on a particular question during CAT.
- Do not try to improve on your weak area one month before CAT. Instead, focus only on the strengths. Improve on weaknesses earlier.
- Do not go for guesswork as it backfires more often than not. 1 mark difference can amount to as much as 4-5%ile in the actual scenario.
Time management is important, be it while preparing for CAT or while giving CAT. While preparing, try and give as much time as possible to your weak areas. However, in CAT follow the strategy that you have devised while giving mock papers. Follow a fixed schedule for preparation sincerely, attempt mocks regularly, give time for mock analysis, identify your weaknesses and work on them. Don’t get demotivated by your mock scores. Believe in your abilities, be disciplined, and prepare well. Know your limitations and work on as how to overcome them. All the Best!