100 days. That may seem like a lot of time, but not so much for those candidates attempting CAT! The way you utilize these hundred days can change your life and can lead to you to ace the CAT exam. However, it all depends on your preparation plan and the strategy you adapt during your preparation journey.
CAT exam candidates can be divided into two categories:
- Early Starters
- Recent Starters
In this article, we will provide an extensive strategy, broken down into three phases for early starters who already have a strong foundation in the basics. The three phases include: Prep, mock and revise.
Before getting into the specifics of this strategy, it is important to understand that this will work only if the basic concepts of secondary school Math and English are clear and that you can now dedicate an ample amount of time to follow a plan religiously.
Phase 1: Prep (65 days)
For this phase, you will require an extensive amount of material for practice. This material would involve various books that provide questions that could be asked in the exam. You must not only solve these questions, but also analyze what you practice. This will help you understand what your strong points are and where you need to work more.
For tracking this, you could consider preparing an excel sheet where you cover points like questions solved in the week, average accuracy of performance, strengths and weaknesses, important formulae and tricks for easy calculation. This sheet will help you track your prep level.
On a particular day, start with topics related to Quant for a minimum of 3 hours, and end the day by practicing at least 4 sets of DI and LR. On the next day, start with Verbal Ability and end with 4 sets of DI and LR. This will help you maintain a balance between all the subjects without extensively focusing on just one.
Other than this, make note of important formulae that you come across while practicing. When you start feeling that the subject is becoming monotonous, switch to another section or take a short break.
By following this plan, you would ideally have 30 days for Quant and 30 days for Verbal Ability with an average of 30 days overlap for DI and LR.
Phase 2: Mock (30 Days)
Experts have continuously stressed on the importance of mocks. Some even claim that a CAT candidate should take a minimum of at least 20 mocks. The idea of a Mock CAT is to recreate the environment of the real exam before taking the actual CAT. This means that you would have similar questions that need to be solved within the same time period.
While taking the mock, always remember two golden rules:
- Take a mock every alternate day and analyze the mock on the same day
Analyzing your mocks gives you a clear idea of your strengths and weaknesses, strategy to attempt the mock, time management etcetera. Try getting your hands on the mocks from reliable sources and tutors like Handa Ka Funda as they are relevant CAT questions. However, in an ideal case, you could take CAT classes online that would provide you with the perfect mocks.
- There is no strategy which guarantees success
You should try out multiple strategies for improvement and see which one works out in your favour. The best suited strategy should be applied to the last 5-6 mocks that you take, which will eventually give you the confidence to go forward with that strategy in the actual CAT exam. You should also consider taking the mock by being in sync with the admit card’s timeline. This will help your body and mind perform better in that slot. Always have a plan B if plan A fails.
Phase 3: Revise (4 Days)
In the last four days, revise all the mocks, important formulae and questions bookmarked. Don’t fall into the trap of beginning anything new as it may bring more confusion than clarity. Hence, don’t try solving any new questions in this phase. Take frequent breaks and don’t overburden yourself with study hours.
On the last day, just RELAX
The CAT is an aptitude test and doesn’t test your memorizing ability. So, your brain needs rest to perform at full capacity the next day.
For the D-Day, make sure you get ample rest and wake up fresh. Calm yourself and give your exam with a steady mind without any fear. Give your 100% in the exam. Come home and do not talk about the exam. Go out and give yourself a treat and congratulate yourself for giving one of the toughest exams in India!
Handa Ka Funda is the leading online course provider for various MBA Entrance Exams like CAT, XAT, IIFT, SNAP, etc. 10,000+ students have used our online courses from 50+ cities in India: http://www.handakafunda.com/online-cat-coaching/