CAT 2019 Preparation for Retakers: It’s common to take CAT twice, some have gone as far as retaking CAT three or four times! At the end of the day, we all have the same reason for retaking CAT, to get a higher score. Perhaps you need a higher CAT score to compensate for a weak area on your business school application. All that said, if you have made the decision to retake CAT, it’s time to diagnose what went wrong in your first attempt and rectify those problems. “I am Chirag, currently pursuing my MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. I am another General Engineer Male by education aiming to become a financial market expert post my management course at IIM. But here’s the thing, I couldn’t even manage to cross 80 percentile in my first two CAT attempts”. 

Click here to know more about Tips to optimize your CAT 2019 Preparation.

CAT 2019 Preparation for Retakers

“I am not going to give you general tips to prepare for CAT. The internet is flooded with all of that and really, my methods were no different. I am going to tell you the things that worked for me. You may know some of them. A mock or two every week, in-depth mock analysis, previous year papers, exam-specific preparation, reading newspapers and articles, sectional tests – yes, I did all those things that every serious candidate does. And the good part is that I converted each one of my calls and choose to go with IIM Ahmedabad” says Chirag. 

Click here to know about the Journey of an IIM ABC Convert.

CAT 2019 Preparation for Retakers: Define an Appropriate Study Plan

Firstly, note down a detailed list of Quant & DI/LR topics and to get comfortable with the absolute basics of these topics, explore the CAT material of an Online CAT Coaching. Secondly, by this time of the year, it is very important to join a test series and start practicing mocks. Choose the mock test slot wisely so as to utilize your weekend effectively. Also, try taking the slot as per the real CAT schedule. On Monday/Tuesday, you will usually get your test analysis and performance. Analyze your mistakes, weak topics from the test and work on these weak topics by giving the sectional tests before your next mock test. Assume these CAT Mock Tests as your real CAT exam, follow the rules with full dedication and avoid taking breaks in between the test. Mock tests will help you best to improve your performance.

CAT 2019 Preparation for Retakers: Find the Right Strategy

“Since it was my third attempt, I knew most of the concepts and formulae already. This is why I had enough time to adopt different strategies to find my key to crack the exam. Obviously taking enough mocks to validate your strategy is the thing here. And I took around 60-70 of them around the year” says Chirag. According to the toppers and other experts, a major ingredient of your strategy is the time you devote to preparing for the CAT exam. As the time for the exam nears, you should revise more intensely and repeatedly, so that your preparation is solid and you remember all that you learnt. Once you get the time factor in place, you need to understand how to prepare for this exam at home by studying out of standard books and other preparation material and focus on the weaker sections.

CAT 2019 Preparation for Retakers: Practice is the Key

I solved around 60-70 mocks and analyzed each one of them. Practice will tell you which questions you have to pick, but more importantly, it will tell you which ones not to pick. Try not to leave any easy ones in the exam and find ways to solve questions faster. If you are stuck somewhere after having spent 1.5-2 minutes kindly move onto the next question. 

Click here to know about the Journey of an IIM ABC Convert.

Sectional Strategies 

Quantitative Ability: Mock tests are more than sufficient to score well in Quant. You need to improve your speed and accuracy in Quant and for that reason, you need to solve more and more questions in a given time. The strategy to get good scores in this QA section is to have sound basics. So if anyone is struggling with basics, start with NCERT textbooks. Having good basics will help you to visualize each and every problem, and would often be able to predict what the question setter is going to ask, even before reading the entire question. One can join an Online CAT Quant Course to get a thorough understanding of basics.

Reading Comprehension and Verbal Ability: In RC, again speed matters a lot. So, I would suggest that regular mock tests are sufficient. Along with that, try to solve at least one RC every day. Verbal Ability questions consist of para jumbles, odd sentences, etc. Most of the practice that one needs for this section can be gained from an Online CAT Verbal Course and mocks, and you can improve immensely if you work hard.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning: This is the only section where the real CAT exam is much more difficult than the mock tests. But still, the only strategy to score better in this is by solving more and more mock tests so that you are at least thorough with the basic techniques. The key to this section is to develop the ability to identify the difficulty level of the set. The DI section in CAT is calculation intensive. Once you are done with your daily preparation, take out time for some brainstorming sessions, like solving crossword puzzles, Sudoku, riddles on blood relations, family tree, etc. Join an Online CAT LRDI Course, and give at least 25-30 mocks before the exam.

Common Mistakes

  • When you are preparing for CAT, you need to ignore your preferences and invest more time in your weaknesses, even if they include subjects you do not enjoy. Targeting your weaknesses should be your priority and fortifying your strengths should come second.
  • Another common mistake is not being consistent in your preparation. When you have decided to take CAT, you need to devise a solid plan from the start and stick to it. Procrastination may lead to poor test performance. Inconsistent study will prevent you from learning the concepts effectively.
  • One of the main reasons why this test is so difficult is that you are under a severe time constraint. In your retake study schedule, be sure to emphasize test pacing.
  • Poor time management will often lead to stress, which will seriously affect your ability to answer all the questions. Be sure to practice under simulated conditions so that you will get used to performing under pressure. It’s also worth mentioning that a lot of people feel more comfortable on their retake because they have already gone through the whole process once and thus are more familiar with the testing conditions. 

Click here to know more about Tips to optimize your CAT 2019 Preparation.

Stay surrounded by positive people. Find your daily dose of motivation. And always remember, persistence is the key. All these golden rules will help you ace one of the coveted management entrance exam CAT and secure calls from various top colleges. All the Best!