CAT 2016: The Critical Time, Time for the Mock Tests

It’s less than a month time and you you know what they say, “It’s all about how you will end the game”

According to the experts, the last 30 days to CAT 2016 should be strategically divided between, preparation, revision, taking mock tests, analysis and developing the exam taking strategy. Here we bring to you 8 strategies which are advised by the MBA experts and toppers to be followed in the last month before CAT 2016 which is scheduled on December 4, 2016.

Brush up your basics – It is high time that you have clarity on the concepts. If you have brushed up your basics, you will be able to tackle any question, be it a straight or a tricky one. Now that you have less than 30 days, ensure that you prepare fully on the important topics. “Regularly practice and revise the formula, vocabulary and grammar rules, so that you don’t have to think hard on the exam day,” shares Arks Srinivas, CEO, VistaMind.


Take full length mocks – The aspirants must have been used to taking mock tests by now. Along with taking the mocks, you should develop the patience to sit in front of the computer screen for 3 hours without hampering the focus and concentration. Regular mock tests will prepare you for the 3 hour test.”


Develop a strategy – After taking regular mock tests and analyzing them, you must have identified the strategy that suits you best. Although owing to the pattern change you do not have much option left to choose the section to start with or divide your time, you can still devise the section wise strategy.


Practice topic wise questions – Apart from taking regular mock tests, it is important to get conversant with all the question topics of a particular section or area. For this pick up a particular area, say Data Interpretation and solve questions from each topic.

Verbal Ability:  The sample paper published by IIM has 24 RC questions and 10 Verbal questions. To get close to 20+ net correct, you need to look at about 6/10 from verbal and 14/24 from RC. In one month you cannot master any word-list or grammar (the ones that require knowledge), but you can sure work on RC, Para Summary, Para Jumbles… (things that do not require knowledge). Spend about 2.5 hours a day on these.

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning: In all probability there would be 4 sets of DI and 4 sets of LR with 4 questions each. The idea is to try and nail 3 sets (at least). Spend 2.5 hours a day and solve as many DILR questions as you can. I would recommend that you solve past CAT questions from 2001.

Quantitative Ability: There are broadly 5 areas – Numbers, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Modern Math. There are around 25 to 30 chapters. Solve section tests on QA (which covers all topics – you could solve past CAT papers). After the test, look at the questions you got wrong or cannot solve. Learn the concepts and solve the next test.

Focus on your strengths – Now that only 30 days are left, it is time for you to focus on your strong areas. This will ensure that you get a higher score and boost your confidence. While starting the test with a section, scan the questions and choose the questions on your strength areas. “I focused on making my strong areas stronger. Since I was weak in around 30-40% of quant topics and was pretty strong in the rest, I took the risk of focussing only on the areas which I was strong and was confident to perform well in those areas irrespective of the difficulty level. With this strategy, I was able to get around 96 percentile in Quant whereas I obtained higher than 99 percentile in Verbal and DI sections,” says Chandan Saxena, IIM Kashipur student who secured 99.35 percentile in CAT 2015.

Tackle your weaknesses – The weak areas need to be tackled wisely. Do not spend too much time on these areas. Prepare them only if the topics bear high weight in the CAT paper. Go through the basics and practice as many types of questions as possible from your weak areas. “I became comfortable with the weak topics slowly after lot of practice and studying the concepts and I tried to keep in mind the various kinds of questions I had encountered and any variations that could be made of those,” says Shubham Goyal, a first year IIM Udaipur student and CAT 2015 99 percentiler.

Do not start new topic – There is no point in starting a new topic at this stage. If you have left out a topic consciously, do not worry about it now. Rather, revise the topics which you have prepared so far. Vinayak Kudva, Product Head, IMS Learning says, “If you start a new topic now, you would not be able to grasp it completely and lose valuable time trying to do it. Hence I would suggest you not to prepare a new topic at this stage.”

Revise – Revision is the most important aspect of exam preparation. If you do not revise what you have learnt so far, you would not be able to perform as per expectation. As Gautam Puri, Vice Chairman, Career Launcher states, “The importance of revision is often underestimated by the students. What they must keep in mind is that without revising, their learning would remain half baked. In this 1 month, keep a day exclusively for revision and take mock test the next day.”

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