How to Study for CAT?
Are you planning to take the Common Admission Test (CAT) soon? This standardized test is a gateway to some of India’s most prestigious management schools. Proper preparation is critical to achieving a high score and increasing your chances of getting into your desired institution. This article will discuss practical ways to study for CAT and boost your performance on test day.
Preparing for the CAT (Common Admission Test) exam requires a strategic approach, rigorous practice, and consistent review. Here’s a step-by-step guide to preparing using previous years’ CAT exam papers:
1. Understand the CAT Exam Pattern and Syllabus
Before diving deep into preparation, familiarize yourself with the exam’s pattern and syllabus.
- Sections: Quantitative Ability (QA), Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR).
- Total Questions: Typically around 100 (but can vary).
- Duration: 3 hours, with each section getting 60 minutes.
2. Study Plan
- Early Start: Ideally, begin your preparation 8-12 months before the exam.
- Time Management: Allocate specific times for each section. Initially, focus more on understanding concepts. Closer to the exam, work on speed and accuracy.
3. Books and Study Materials
- Quantitative Ability:
- ‘How to Prepare for Quantitative Ability for the CAT’ by Arun Sharma
- ‘Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT’ by Nishit Sinha
- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension:
- ‘How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT’ by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay
- ‘Word Power Made Easy’ by Norman Lewis for vocabulary.
- Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning:
- ‘How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT by Arun Sharma
- ‘Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT’ by Nishit K. Sinha
4. Online Resources and Mock Tests
- Websites like Career Launcher, Time4education, and 2IIM offer mock tests, topic-wise tests, and sectional tests.
- Online Forums: Pagalguy and BeatTheCAT are popular forums where candidates discuss doubts, share resources, and give tips.
5. Self-Study vs Coaching
- Self-Study: This can be effective if you’re disciplined and have a structured approach.
- Coaching This can benefit those who need guidance, mock tests, and regular schedules.
6. Practice Regularly
- Mocks: Start taking mock tests 5-6 months before the exam. After each mock, analyze your strengths and weaknesses.
- Sectional Tests: Focus on individual sections to improve specific areas.
7. Stay Updated
- Reading Daily: For VARC, make a habit of reading newspapers, especially the editorial section. This improves comprehension and vocabulary.
- Current Affairs: Awareness of current events can help write ability tests and interviews that follow the CAT.
8. Health and Mindset
- Stay Fit: Regular physical activity can help in reducing stress.
- Meditation: Helps in maintaining focus and concentration.
9. Last-Minute Tips
- Don’t pick up new topics in the last couple of weeks. Focus on revision.
- Sleep well the night before the exam.
- Keep all necessary documents ready in advance to avoid last-minute hassles.
10. Resources for Mock Analysis
- Online Analysis: Many online coaching portals provide in-depth analysis for mock tests.
- Peers and Mentors: Discussing mock test performances with peers can provide fresh perspectives.
CAT Study Material for Exam Preparation
|Quantitative Aptitude||How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT||Arun Sharma|
|Quantitative Aptitude||Quantitative Aptitude for CAT||R.S. Aggarwal|
|Quantitative Aptitude||CAT Quantitative Aptitude: A Complete Guide||T.I.M.E.|
|Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension||Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT||Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay|
|Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension||The Official Guide for the CAT||IIM Ahmedabad|
|Verbal Ability||Verbal Ability for CAT||Disha Experts|
|Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation||Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT||Nishit Sinha|
|Data Interpretation||Data Interpretation for CAT||R.S. Aggarwal|
|CAT LR DI: A Complete Guide||CAT LR DI: A Complete Guide||T.I.M.E.|
What are the eligibility criteria for CAT?
To be eligible for CAT, you must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 50% marks or equivalent CGPA. The reserved category candidates require 45% marks.
How many times can I take the CAT exam?
You can take the CAT exam once every year.
Is there any negative marking in CAT?
Yes, there is a negative marking of one-third marks for every wrong answer.
How important is time management in CAT?
Time management is crucial in CAT, as you only have 60 minutes to complete each section.
What is the score range for CAT?
The score range for CAT is between 0 to 300.
Preparing for CAT requires dedication, hard work, and proper planning. With the right mindset and preparation, you can achieve a high score and enter your desired institution.
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