How to prepare for CAT Exam? CAT Preparation step-by-step!
MBA remains one of the most sought-after degree/diploma after graduation that can give a big boost to your career and can take your professional aspirations to an altogether different and a meaningful trajectory. So, if you are a working professional and need to scale up your profile in terms of salary, designation and nature of work, MBA is the solution. If you want to change your stream and enter into the finance or marketing or HR domain, then pursuing MBA can strongly help in doing so. If you aspire to be an entrepreneur and want to run your family business or start something of your own, then again MBA helps in growing your network and your MBA tag can help in even raising funds for your start up other than the professional knowledge and the business acumen that you can garner while pursuing MBA. So, at this point of time, MBA has something valuable to offer to anyone who wishes to grow and improve upon his corporate knowledge, networking, personality development and of course his bank balance. It is not just a two year or a one-year course, but an immersive experience so educational, so gratifying and so full of learning that no one can and no circumstances can take away from you.
Common Admission Test popularly known as CAT, is an online exam that one prepares for if he or she desires to make it to a good B-school. More than hundreds of good B-schools accept CAT scores for their PGDM or MBA related program. So, to get into a dream B school, one needs to get a spectacular percentile and to finally convert that call into admission, one needs to have a good academic and professional profile and score good marks in the second round which can either be GDPI or WAT and PI. But, for most of the aspirants, the biggest hurdle is getting a good percentile in CAT. So, here in this article we’ll entirely talk of the exam and not go into discussing how to prepare for GDPI or WAT.
CAT is a three-hour computer-based exam in which there are three sections- the first being the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, the second being the Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation and the last one being Quantitative Aptitude. For full details of topics covered in each section, check out the CAT Syllabus
In the entire course of preparation, one would be required to solve plethora of questions and gain conceptual clarity on a lot of topics. The only way to ace this exam is through sheer hard work and practice. So, gather the study resources that you will need to go through. If you feel you are weak in math, then download the IX and X standard NCERTs and start going through them. If possible, get your hands on RD Sharma of IX and X standard. The best thing about these books are that they give you a lot of problems with slight variations on a single concept. This gives one the confidence and enough practice. But, this is just the first step.
You will need the study material with advanced level questions. But, the problem lies in where to get such enriched content. It is where a good coaching institute comes into play. A good institute will give ample of CAT level questions on each topic. Exposure to diverse questions where multitude of concepts are involved is a must for any aspiring candidate. So, join an institute where each and every concept is taken up backed by numerous questions based upon it.
For verbal ability and Reading Comprehension, one must be well read. So, reading the editorials of newspapers like The Hindu, The Indian Express, Economic Times etc will go a long way in helping you to develop the habit of reading. Further, novels, especially the classics will also kickstart your reading habit. Try to read enriched and diverse articles online especially from disciplines like sociology, art and literature, psychology, science and technology, economics etc. Improving verbal ability and comprehension is a time taking process and requires a disciplined approach towards selective reading.
For LRDI, solving puzzles is one way to open up your logical abilities. Make it a habit to solve Sudoku daily. Also, start practicing previous years’ LRDI sets to get an exposure on what level of difficulty one can expect in the exam.
Mocks and their Importance:
Once, you are done with the syllabus, comes the most crucial aspect of your preparation, i.e. appearing for mocks. Being conceptually clear is one thing and translating it into results is another. Many a students are good with the content part but when it comes to applying the same during a test, they fail miserably. Test taking is an art and develops over a period of time. It requires stamina, discipline, temperament and a tactical mindset to unleash your true potential during a mock and come out with spectacular results. Please refer to the following blog to understand more about the importance of blogs and how they help one to work accurately on his or her weak areas. What is the Importance of CAT mocks?
But, merely appearing for mocks will not serve any purpose. The analysis part of these mocks hold greater importance. The analysis is like dissecting a particular performance scientifically into bits and fragments and figuring out what went wrong during a mock and what are the areas that are stopping one to get a good score. Working upon these areas as a result of analysis is what leads to improvement and finally into a stellar result. To know more about how to analyse a mock, check this blog which specifically talks in detail about how to go about analysing the mocks. How to do Analysis of Mocks?
Dos and Don’ts while preparing for CAT 2020 :
1. Make a schedule and religiously stick to it:
As soon as u have made up your mind to appear for CAT 2020, you have to make a daily schedule for your studies. Set daily, weekly and monthly goals. Of course these goals should be realistic enough and setting up a plan would entirely depend on the time at your disposal. So, for a working professional a study plan would be different from one who is still completing his or her graduation which would in fact be completely different from the one who has taken a drop to study for CAT. But even if you have made a fool proof plan, the execution of it would need a strong sense of commitment and self-restraint. Only those who are disciplined enough and are consistent with their efforts, succeed.
2. Get your doubts clarified:
When you make conscious efforts to solve an assignment or try to understand a concept, it is when you encounter doubts. There might be problems where you will be stuck or whose solution you wouldn’t understand. Might be you’ll get confused with a concept. It is at those times where it becomes imperative to get your doubts cleared. Take the help of your teachers, your peers or any platform that can assist you in clearing your doubts. If u don’t get them clarified, they will haunt you big time and your learning stops there. So, make deliberate efforts at getting your doubts clarified.
3. Be Consistent:
If your hard work is not consistent, then you are not working hard. Even if you are able to devote 2-3 hours daily, it will go a long way in your learning. The preparation cannot be haphazard or random. It cannot happen that one day you wake up and study for 8-10 hours and then spend the next couple of days not studying. Be consistent, be disciplined.
4. Talk to your mentors:
Mentors are those who not only teach you concepts, but impart valuable life lessons. They are the ones who have gone through the phase you are going through and have come out victorious. They might have answers to questions which have been baffling you for some time. So, don’t hesitate to take their valuable suggestions after all a mentor would never shy off in sharing his/her experiences and you never know how aptly his advice can help you in moving and coming out of a turbulent situation.
5. Make Time for the things that you love doing:
A lot of us fail to understand the importance of recreation; it is a stabilizer, a rejuvenator; it helps us decompress but more importantly it serves to gives us hope and even more importantly, it reminds us why this particular journey is important not just for ourselves but for those too who depend on us to succeed, who count on us to provide ourselves with a future far brighter than what we would perhaps imagine for ourselves were it not for their presence or happiness.
6. Stay Healthy:
It’s needless to say that healthy people do everything better than those who are emotionally or physically troubled. Follow the axiom: A healthy body harbors a healthy mind. That’s not to say that you abstain from all the little joys that youth offers, but do everything in moderation. Do party when you must, do eat out once in a while, do meet friends but ensure your study timetable comes first. If possible, eat healthy, exercise and meditate a little every day. If not possible, make an effort; make it possible. Sweat today so you may shine tomorrow. Remember always, giving up is easy. Millions do it every day. Don’t be one of them. Persevere!
“ Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did”
Preparing for CAT or any other exam is not just an event, but a journey full of bumps, setbacks, dejections yet full of accomplishments, glory and learning. Every moment of it is happening, be it your class or a mock or even solving an assignment. You will come across instances where you’ll feel that you cannot make it to a good B-school, but you need to back yourself up. Don’t throw in the towel. It requires sheer determination and self confidence to achieve your goal and a strong belief that hard work pays off.
If you have any queries regarding CAT 2020 preparation and need advice on how to go about it, feel free to contact us.
Happy learning and best wishes for your preparation.