Amongst the most reputed exams in India CAT is believed to require the highest intellectual level to succeed. But trust me, it doesn’t need anything more than common sense. I cleared it through common sense and so could you.
Now coming to the pattern CAT is divided into three sections-QA, VA&RC, DI&LR. In this article, I will take you through the preparation for all the three sections. Firstly let us have a look at Quant section. Going through the previous year trends and analysing expert recommendations -one needs to be thorough with the concepts. The questions asked aren’t of expert level. Start with the coaching material of any institute and start solving it up. With time you will be able to pick up speed and attain higher accuracy. The key here is to practice. Some questions require specific ways of doing which can only happen with practice. Always remember CAT isn’t IIT-JEE. Here everyone knows everything. It is just a matter of speed that decides your percentile. So, assuming you start preparation in April, try completing the material assigned by May end. Two months later just focus on questions. Try solving a broad range of questions and also analyse them. To attain an expert level I used to count the time I took to answer a question.
Up next is the English section. With time the paper has seen higher weight of reading comprehensions. To be able to score marks one needs to be able to grasp the meaning of the passage and answer them. The answers aren’t directly in the passage hence comprehensions skills are of utmost importance to succeed. And for this read, read and read. Become a voracious reader. Start with topics of your areas of interest and slowly migrate to lesser interesting topics. Try to read online if possible as the CAT exam is online. It will surely help on the day of the exam. You can also pick up books with previous year questions to get a ‘feel’ of the exam. I used the book ‘Face to Face for CAT’. The other part of the section deals with synonyms, antonyms, jumbled words and all. I believe one can’t become perfect in this part in a very short span. It is all dependent on luck. What we can try is to be as lucky as possible. Pick up previous year paper and learn all the antonyms/synonyms and whatever part you feel is worth mugging up.
The last section which is many times, make or break section is DI&LR. For this section, the best source of preparation is the previous year papers. It is observed that the pattern of question tends to repeat. So, in this section before jumping to solving anything have a look at previous year papers and the mock test that are available from the various coaching institute. They will give you a feel of what you can expect. There are 20 different kinds of patterned questions that repeat. Thus first observe and then solve. This section is more based on observation than on skills.
The different sections need to come together to give you an edge. In the exam you can feel drained and thus taking the mock test is utmost important. GIVE AS MUCH MOCK AS YOU CAN. It is what separates the successful and non-successful students in CAT. The more you give mocks and the more analysis you do, you increase your probability of success. One can feel difficulty in analysing the test. For this, you can watch an expert giving a three-hour test online. Observe him and try to imbibe his strategy. Initially, you might feel a bit lost, but on the D-Day, the efforts will show you.
Lastly, don’t get demoralised on seeing your CAT score. They aren’t surely the marks you get to see on the D-Day. CAT is an exam dependent on luck as well. Some of us can get lucky and some may not.