Are you planning to pursue an MBA from IIM or any top Indian b-schools? Then you must know that getting admissions to these colleges requires you to submit CAT (Common Admission Test) scores. So how do you prepare for the CAT exam to get an exceptional score? Whether you plan to take up coaching classes or just study by yourself, effective strategies and thorough practice are the best and only way to secure a good score in the CAT exam.
Hence, through the course of this article, we’ll tell you how to prepare for CAT. But before that, let us give you a brief introduction of the exam.
What is CAT?
The Common Admission Test or CAT is a highly competitive national-level MBA entrance exam administered by the Indian Institute of Management. The test is considered an admission requirement to IIMs and other top business schools in India. Every year around two lakhs of students and working professionals appear for the test. Hence, the competition is really high, and only the best candidates can make it through all the phases of admission.
The CAT exam aims at evaluating your critical thinking, problem-solving analytical and communication skills, which are essential to succeed in a management course. The test has three sections: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRAC), and Quantitative Ability (QA). A good score in CAT requires intense preparation for around 3 to 4 months.
CAT Preparation Tips
- Know the Syllabus: The first step of your exam preparation should be understanding the syllabus. Majority of the students generally tend to ignore this part. However, knowing the CAT syllabus thoroughly is extremely important as it helps you understand which part of the syllabus needs more attention from you, and then based on that you can plan your preparation accordingly.
- Create a Preparation Plan: Once you are thorough with the syllabus, create a study plan that best suits your daily schedule. Make a plan that covers the entire syllabus of the CAT exam. Be very careful when making your study plan as you cannot afford to leave out any topic. More so, ample time needs to be allocated for all topics.
- Practice Mock Test Papers: Attempting mock test papers familiarizes you with the pattern of the examination. It helps you make use of time efficiently and understand the mode of the test. Your performance in the mock test also helps you identify the areas that you are weak at and hence, you can work harder to improve on those areas. However, you must also practice questions from sections that you are confident about, so that you don’t forget them.
- Learn Maths Tips and Tricks: Time is the biggest challenge in any examination. Hence, learning shortcuts and tricks, especially maths tricks, will help you solve the problems faster. Once you start applying these tricks when solving questions you will be solving any question — easy or difficult — faster, thereby, saving yourself a lot of time from doing a longer calculation.
- Be Consistent with Your Studies – Consistency is the key to succeeding in any exam. This is something you’ve to inculcate, no matter which exam you are going to give. Being regular with your preparation improves your learning graph. Without consistent practice, you might end up forgetting the topics you’ve studied earlier.
The strategies mentioned in this article on how to prepare for CAT are just some general tips that are useful for all aspirants. Apart from what we’ve mentioned above, you’ve to develop your own strategies that are suited for you. So, start your preparations without further delay.