The date for CAT 2018 has been released (25thNovember) which leaves exactly 6 months for the D-day. There is no better time to start your test preparation than now. Here is a comprehensive guide on how you should prepare for CAT in less than 6 months
The very first step is to divide the three sections and put emphasis on each one according to your comfortability with the section
Part 1: Logical Reasoning + Data Interpretation
- Instead of putting raw data to solve a problem, be sure to organise the data into tables, or other graphical format. It is a lot faster and easier along with assuring better accuracy
- Identify the sets that you are more comfortable with and attempt them before the ones you are not comfortable with. Dont try to answer many questions but focus on accuracy.
- Always look at the options. It may provide you with some clues for solving the set. For example: if there are 8 variable then the options will help you to eliminate 4-5 variable all together
- Try to write down all the clues given in short using symbols during the first read itself so that no clue is missed while solving. Example: Suppose the clue says “If A then not B”. This can be coded as A➝~B.
- Identify the easier sets and solve them first keeping the tough ones for last.
Part 2: Quantitative Ability
- When you start preparing for quants and start progressing through topics, it is advised to have a personal formula bank with yourself. There are always more than 1 way to write a formula, keep the formula bank handy with the the formulas that suit you the best
- A lot of times, rather than solving questions, it’s possible to get the answer by plugging in the values given in the options than working out from the actual algorithm.
- There are a number of tricks for speed maths. Go through these as they are really handy
- While practicing problems, identify your weak areas and keep a track if there has been some progress in the topics. If the mistakes are recurring then evaluate on WHY this is happening. It might be a case of a conceptual gap rather than a question-to-question mistake.
Part 3: Verbal Ability
- Work on your vocabulary : Read the Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis, page to page. Set yourself targets-Learn one new word on day one, then two on day two and then keep increasing the targets as and when you find yourself getting comfortable.
- Divide and Rule : Plan your study strategy with a divide and rule policy: Reading Comprehension, Sentence Correction, Incomplete sentences and Critical reasoning.
- Read, Read, Read: Read one article from any of the topics Philosophy, technology, history, politics, current affairs, etc in a day. Spend half an hour trying to analyse the topic after reading it.
Part 4: Mock
- We would recommend you to solve at least 30 full length mock tests before you appear for your CAT exam. Mock test will make you get used to the gruelling 3 hour test.
- This will also give you enough opportunities to have hit and trial on various strategies that you can up.
- The most important thing about solving Mocks is actually Analysing the result. Put in at least 1.5-2 hours on each analysis to know what/where you went wrong.
Keep a track of the following while analyzing mocks :
1. Accuracy – there’s always a tradeoff between accuracy and speed – so figure out whats working for you
2. The best approach to solve a problem – What is the best way to solve a problem; have you used the same?
3. Strong-Weak areas – Are there any weak areas left – if yes, go back to the basics and work it out!
So to summarize:
In the first 2–4 months:
Set weekly/daily targets – provides flexibility
Start off with learning concepts
Learn to apply them and practice as you learn
Try to complete your topic wise learning before mocks start
In the last 2–3 months:
Take 1–2 mocks/week – Analyze them – Experiment
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