It’s not unusual for CAT aspirants to crack the exam with scores of 99+ percentile with just about four to five months of intense preparation. Studying for this exam doesn’t really mean that you study for about 15-16 hours a day, but you could do with some smart ways of studying. Let’s discuss what they are:
- Begin by Taking Mock Exams in The Revised Exam Pattern
Your first step in preparing for the CAT exam is to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Once you know this, your self-preparation can be meaningful and result-oriented. Here’s where coaching centres come in. They not only explain concepts, but also give you frequent mock tests to improve your performance.
Doing several mock tests and analysing your performance certainly helps you improve. Toppers suggest that one should do two different kinds of tests which prepare you for difficulty levels.
- Prepare for Each Section, One at A Time
Take, for instance, the Vocabulary section. First, go through your coaching centre material and then the book titled, Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis to increase your vocabulary. Read the right books and crack the sample questions so that your Verbal Ability section is complete.
Apart from this, there’s also Reading Comprehension which makes up about 70% of the entire section. To get a good score in this section, you need to have an excellent command over the reading comprehension passage so that you can answer questions successfully.
Keep practicing the Reading Comprehension passages, about two to three per day about three months before the exam. Stick to a maximum time limit of 40 minutes for about 3-5 passages, depending on their length.
At this point, it is important to know that there are 60 minutes allotted to the Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension section. Though it is impossible to complete all 34 questions of this section, yet if you can solve four Reading Comprehension passages in 40 minutes, that’s a great achievement. The remaining 20 minutes can be spent on Verbal Ability part. If you still have a few minutes, you can go back to any unfinished comprehension passage and try and finish a bit more.
- Improve Your Calculation Speed: Don’t Depend on The On-Screen Calculator
Though use of an on-screen calculator has been allowed during the exam, yet it should not be encouraged as it is time-consuming. Instead, during your preparation, improve your calculation speed so that you don’t have to use this calculator.
- Practice All Peculiar Questions in The Logical Reasoning Section
To crack the Logical Reasoning section, you need a lot of practice. By practicing problems and analysing your errors, you’ll be careful not to repeat them and understand the demands of the section better. This will improve your overall performance.
You can also attend any workshops on this subject that your coaching institute might hold. By taking notes and working out odd questions within the time limit, you can crack this section of the paper within the time limit.
- Make notes of formulae and theory of Quantitative Ability
One of the best ways of preparing for the Quant section is to jot down notes of the fundamental formulae and theory. With this as your background, you can select new topics easily. Practice as much as you can and try several mock papers to increase your speed.
- Develop A Positive Attitude
With the exam around the corner, it’s possible that you’re nervous and wondering if you’ll make the grade. Don’t lose heart, don’t be under confident, just be consistent in your preparation and be sure of everything you’ve studied. If you’re studying on your own, it’s more important that you are confident.
But if you’re part of a small study group, you can motivate each other and remain on course till the end. Remember that only with a positive attitude and cool head can you achieve anything—even the CAT exam. So, keep your composure.
With just a few months remaining for the CAT exam, though it’s important for you to know your stuff. It’s equally important that you remain calm, cheerful, optimistic and confident that in the end, everything will work out for you. Good luck!