How to Start CAT Preparation for 2019
For the CAT exam 2019, you need to prepare in right earnest. Your preparation needs not just a well-planned approach but also a good time management strategy. To make the best of your study time in the next few months before the upcoming exams, follow the below-given tips. Remember to complete all the aspects mentioned here at least 15 days before your exam.
When to Prepare for the CAT Exam
The CAT exam 2019 will be held in the last week of November 2019. To do your best, don’t wait for the exam notification to be released and check out the exam pattern before you start your preparation. You should begin your preparation much before.
But do you know how to prepare for this exam? Generally, experts believe that about five to six months of solid preparation could help candidates get a high score.
How to Prepare for the CAT Exam
Having decided that five to six months of preparation is ideal, let’s move on to how to prepare for this exam. Students find this to be their biggest cause of anxiety and fear, so let’s deal with it straightaway. Quite often, though aspirants know both the strategy and the pattern of the exam, they are terribly confused about how to prepare for it to get the highest score possible. So, let’s check out the various points that can help you prepare better for the CAT exam.
The various factors include:
- Understand the Pattern and Syllabus of the CAT 2019 Exam
- Figure out where you stand (do this by taking Mock Tests) periodically
- Identify if you want to go for coaching or plan to study on your own (self-study)
- Read and meet (if you can) about past toppers / achievers
- Devise your own time table and stick to it religiously
Let’s understand each of these points in detail:
- Understand the Pattern and Syllabus of the CAT 2019 Exam
To perform excellently in the CAT exam, you need to know the key elements and sections that make up your CAT paper. You also need to know the topics on which you will be questioned. Otherwise, you will not know how to begin or even to collect study material for your paper. Besides, your section-wise focused preparation and self-study will not even begin to take shape because your study will only begin when you know the pattern of the paper.
The pattern of the CAT paper being currently used comprises three sections with a maximum of 100 questions. For each section, you get an hour. These sections are:
- Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension,
- Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning and
- Quantitative Ability.
You need to score a really high percentile in the paper to be admitted into the course.
Figure out where you stand (do this by taking Mock Tests) periodically (Take Mock Tests to Know Where You Stand )
As you prepare for the exam, periodically you should take mock tests to know where you stand and how good your preparation is. These tests will also tell you which your strong and weak areas so that you can devote a little more time and attention to them. Another way by which these tests help you is that through them you can devise your preparation strategy.
Apart from taking full-length CAT mock exams, you should also take sectional tests as these will help locate your areas of weakness and prepare better.
Self-Study or Coaching Classes?
You have the choice of either studying on your own or joining coaching classes. However, your decision rests on your needs, time at hand, your skills and your areas of improvement. You can study on your own by using the approved CAT 2019 study material or do some bit of preparation on your own and attend weekend coaching classes.
If you choose to go without any coaching, you must be familiar with the pattern of the paper and how to study at home. Studying from the right books and using other related study material will see you through.
If you opt for coaching classes, you need to find out which coaching the best coaching classes in your city. Look for the number of students who have been able to qualify for the exams from the coaching institute. Speak to the students to get a first-hand view into what you can expect. You may also want to look for an individual coach who can further prepare you on some topics where you may be weak just in case you feel the need for it.
There are many organized institutes for CAT preparation in India and there are several individuals who also impart good training to students. City-specific coaching centres could have their own plus and minus points, but nationally recognized institutes offer you consistent preparation material based on the current exam pattern and syllabus.
CAT Toppers: Learn from CAT 100 Percentile Achievers
Learn from CAT toppers about the right strategy of preparing for the exam so that you top the paper just like they did. Also, tips on finishing the paper within the time given to you and attempting the largest number of questions should also be learnt.
Here are a few tips from CAT toppers that can help you score better:
- Without dwelling too much on theory, move on to the sectional quiz. Just be sure you’ve understood the basic concept.
- Once you’re through with theory, continue to practice. Periodically, attempt the CAT 2019 Quiz and the mock tests of previous years and question papers too.
- Invest in the best preparation material and study books for CAT preparation.
- By beginning your preparation early on, you will give yourself sufficient time to overcome your weaknesses and assess your performance.
Devise Your Time Table
Preparing your timetable is an important step in your preparation for the CAT exam. How you set your timetable also depends on your skillset. Your areas of strength and weakness will determine how you allot time for studying various aspects of the syllabus—something that varies from person to person.
As you come closer to the date of the exam, you should revise all that’s listed on your timetable so that it is in sync with the time you still have for preparation.
Summary – How to Begin Preparing for the CAT exam 2019
- Take a look at the CAT Exam Pattern and Syllabus.
- Try to crack as many mock tests or previous years’ papers to see where you’re deficient and need more preparation.
- Devote at least 2-3 hours per day for CAT preparation.
- Once you know your skillset and needs, divide your time so that your basics are strong and you understand concepts from books and study material.
- Work on your areas of weakness by giving more time to them.
- Continue to do as many mock tests as possible of various levels of difficulty. Analyse your errors and ensure that you do better in upcoming mock tests.
- Fifteen days before the CAT exam, ensure that your preparation is complete.
- On the exam day, be ready for it and treat the exam like just another mock test.
Thorough, steady and consistent practice and study for the CAT exam alone will give you the results you desire. No shortcuts of any kind will help you get there faster, rather it can be counter-productive to you, so be honest with yourself while you prepare for the mighty CAT exam.