Tips and Tricks How to Prepare for CAT in 3 months
Pin Point Preparation
A very important thing every student has to do is to concentrate more on basics/fundamentals. But the issue here is the students face is time constraint, as they will have less than 3 months time and lots of syllabus to complete. Students will have a doubt in their mind that ” can we prepare for cat in 3 months” . So, “Pin Point Preparation” is crucial thing to do at this time.
Till now candidates who are attempting for the exam might know their level of knowledge in each of the four areas (Quantitative, Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation). So, now the target will be to improve their knowledge to the next higher level and find out the topics they need to concentrate more to improve their level. To do this first they have to analyze themselves in which topics they are weak by taking Mock Tests on CATs at a topic level and not just at a sectional/area level. By analyzing their performances , they have to find out the areas where they have been scoring low and the areas where the scores have been fluctuating should be the areas of main focus. Also the areas which have been consistently given CAT exam have to be found out and must be given utmost focus.
Now that the focus areas have been identified, the next step would be to start getting better on them. Here is where proper planning would go a long way in helping the student allocate time judiciously between the sections. This has to be done by prioritizing the areas for preparation. The contribution of a particular area to CAT exam over time, and the student’s comfort level with the area, would be the 2 parameters which help in prioritization. Areas which have a high contribution and low comfort level should be categorized as high priority. Similarly, areas with low contribution and high comfort level should be categorized as low priority.
The target should be to improve on as many areas as possible, by end-September so that the remaining time can be spent on revision of the topics learnt so far and not on learning new topics any more. Revision would strengthen the concepts that the student has learnt so far and would thereby ensure that the efforts put in so far would not go waste.
With the new pattern, the tendency on part of the students would be t neglect the weaker area and to focus on the stronger area from the section. This could prove counter productive as the moderate questions from the weaker area may also end up un-attempted in this case.
Rigorous analysis of Mock-Cat performances: Analysis of the Mock-Cat performances, which was discussed above, is not a one-time activity. This should be done regularly after every Mock-CAT that the students take. This would help them gauge the results and quality of their preparation and accordingly make the necessary changes to their approach.
Right Selection of Questions
The students need to ensure that they attempt and answer all the easy questions in each section within the time allotted for the section. Once they are done with the easy questions, they can proceed to answering the more difficult ones, if time permits. To be able to do this, one has to attempt questions selectively, judging their difficulty level while reading them. The cardinal rule is to not miss on any easy question in the CAT paper.
Result of the Changed Test Pattern
The focus on “time management” will come down as each section is timed separately. Students need not worry about the time they spend on each area and can instead devote their attention to solving the question at hand. This will reduce a lot of mental burden and there by help increase the accuracy levels. This may, in return, help the students to score better.
Candidates with a specific weak area are at a definite advantage due to the combination of areas in a section. As there are only 2 sections for 4 areas, those having a handicap in a specific test area, say Quant, may now look at compensating for it with the other area from the section, DI in this case. This is in contrast to the case earlier when competence was to be shown in all the three areas. This will come as a relief to a large number of CAT aspirants. The change might also, hopefully, enable the IIMs increase the diversity of student background, which is dominated by engineers currently.
With two sections now, we expect that only two sectional cutoffs would be considered. It is unlikely that the questions from each section would further be split into individual areas to look at the performance in them. The cut offs are likely to be determined based on the entire section.
Many students have questions about the VA area in particular and whether there will be Reading Comprehension questions. RC has traditionally been tested under ‘Verbal Ability’ section and we continue to have ‘Verbal Ability’ this year too. We believe that there is no reason to think that there will be no RC questions this year. Students should certainly prepare for RC with all the usual seriousness.