CAT 2019 Preparation Tips: Common Aptitude Test (CAT) is one of the most competitive exams in our country. More than 2.4 lakh candidates compete every year for 4000 seats in 20 IIMs. The number of candidates increases each year and the IIMs have also started diversifying their intake pool. Adding to the above factors, a candidate needs to score really high in CAT Exam to get a call from any IIM. Thus, an extensive CAT Preparation and knowledge about the exam is of primary importance. And hence in this article, we bring to you a few points to note before starting CAT Preparation. CAT is not something which is out of the reach; rather it is something that candidates may crack by just doing a few things in the right way.
CAT 2019 Preparation Tips: Forget your past academics
If you remain stuck with your past academic record and keep thinking about it, you will just remain bogged down, doing nothing good for yourself. You cannot change your past but you can always do something to make your future better. It is ok if your past academic score has reduced your chances for a few good B-schools, but there is still a lot of B-schools which gives more importance to performance in CAT.
The best way out there is to score high, and not let the thought of past academics spoil your determination to succeed and affect your chances. Rather, you should take it as a challenge. Cross the barrier of your past, focus on what is in hand and make the best use of it.
CAT 2019 Preparation Tips: Know the exam pattern
After you decide to take CAT, the first thing to do is to know the exam pattern and syllabus in detail. The next step is to go through the past year papers so that you can prepare a comprehensive plan and also set priorities according to the importance of different topics across sections. The generic CAT exam pattern is that it is a multiple choice objective type test from four areas, namely Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability, Data Interpretation, and Logical Reasoning. Focus on all the three sections and don’t leave anything for the last moment. Focus, determination and a proper plan is the key to success.
|No. of Sections||3|
|Exam duration||3 hours|
|Questions with Negative Marking||75 (MCQs)|
|Questions without Negative Marking||25 (non-MCQs)|
|Correct Answer||+3 marks|
|Wrong Answer||-1 mark|
CAT 2019 Preparation Tips: Coaching institutes are facilitators
I have seen many aspirants running after coaching institutes hoping that these are the mantra to assure a berth in a reputed B-school. Rather than selecting the best coaching institute, candidates should select the coaching institute that best suits their needs. If you are a re-taker, you must know your weak areas and you should opt for a program which has the best faculty in the city for that particular area. For example: If you are weak in verbal but pretty strong in quant, select the institute which has the best verbal faculty as you will need more help from the faculty in it and you can still manage quant with an average faculty.
Lastly, remember that no coaching institute or the faculty can guarantee anything, neither will they focus on you proactively. It is you who have to extract the maximum benefit out of the coaching, and be after the faculty to help you with your queries and it is your efforts will make you sail you through CAT and other MBA exams.
CAT 2019 Preparation Tips: Do not let the determination fade away
There are many aspirants who start their preparation with great enthusiasm, but lose it all midway or towards the business end of the journey when it matters the most. There is no point in starting the preparation 10 months before if you cannot sustain the zeal and focus for more than 4 months. The number of months you invested in preparing doesn’t matter, what matters is how focused your preparation was during the months you prepared and how you shaped up during the last few days.
There are people who have cracked the exam successfully even with the preparation of just 2 months while there are people who couldn’t crack it even with years of preparation. What is the difference? The difference lies in the focus, determination, zeal, self-confidence and the acceptance of the weak areas and enthusiasm to overcome the weak areas to improve the score to the maximum possible extent. Hence just remember to sustain your passion for the dream to get into a good B-school for the time in hand from now till exam day, and give your best shot to maximize your score to the best of your capability.
CAT 2019 Preparation Tips: Non-engineers also make it to top B-schools
At the end of the day, your graduation background can just provide a slight edge but it cannot guarantee success or a failure. If you are ready to learn, work hard on the area which you have not studied for too long and focus on it an extra bit, nothing can stop you from scoring high in the exam.
Same goes to engineers as well who think that verbal is not their cup of tea. In fact, there have been many instances in CAT, where engineer scored 100 percentile in Verbal and non-engineer 100 in quant. Remember that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. So keep your focus only on the end goal and that is to score high in CAT.
CAT 2019 Preparation Tips: Focus on analysis of mocks
There are many aspirants who run after attempting as many mocks as they can, without understanding the real purpose of mocks and remaining stuck at the same score across all the mocks taken throughout the MBA season.
One should focus on in-depth analysis of the mocks taken, rather than increasing the number of mocks taken. Proper analysis of 2.5-hour mock takes 8-10 hours for analysis. If you are able to analyze a mock in just one-two hours, then definitely something is wrong with the mock.
A good analysis will not only help you in knowing the solutions of what you could not solve, but it will also help you in knowing how you could have scored faster, where you were able to attempt correctly. It also helps you in tracking your progress of different topics and facilitate the strategy for the time ahead.
CAT 2019 Preparation Tips: Have your own strategy
It is good to read the experience of those who have done well in the past and learn certain things from it. However it doesn’t mean that you have to blindly follow the toppers’ strategy. Every person has his/her own strategy that suits the best and helps in scoring high. You can fine-tune your strategy depending on your performance and the input from others, but never copy someone else’s strategy. It can just backfire and harm you more than what it can seemingly benefit. Your strategy should be based on your strengths and weaknesses and how you have improved them in due course.
CAT 2019 Preparation Tips: Do not target cutoff scores of B-schools
Aspirants run behind knowing the cutoffs of their dream B Schools and then just focus on crossing that score in the mocks and then even in the main exam. And this often ends harming them more than benefiting them.
If you want to target a score, target 100 percentile. Targeting anything less than this, will just push you even at the lower end as compared to what you are aiming at. Targeting 100 percentile might not lead you to actually score 100, but it will always lead you to maximize your score to the best possible you can.
And with this highest possible score that you could have got, you would always be in a better position to get calls from top B-schools as compared to the situation where you targeted just their cutoffs and did not focus on maximizing the score.
CAT 2019 Preparation Tips: Money cannot stop you from studying in top B-school
There are many aspirants who get bogged down in the anxiousness of not being financially sound to be able to afford the high fee of top B Schools. Do not let the fee issue take a toll on you to the extent that you stop preparing well. Rather, you should further strengthen your determination and prove to the world that to succeed in big exams, the financial stability doesn’t matter.
Once you are in a B-school officially and the banks put up their desks during your first week at respective B-school, trust me they would try to allure you over the other bank. They need a student from reputed B School to take loan from them as much as you need them to pay your fee. So, getting into a good B-school is the best solution for the financial challenge of paying B-school fee, so isn’t it better to focus whole-heartedly on the exam preparation and maximize the CAT score?
The initial step towards management studies, one of the most rewarding degrees in India is none other than qualifying the CAT exam. To summarize the candidates should remain focused and follow a strategy to crack CAT examination and get into the dream B-school of their choice.