CAT Preparation 2021: How To Crack Common Admission Test 2021?

Students who start their preparation early get a head start. The journey to CAT 2021 preparation has begun. CAT is one of the most competitive examinations and is held annually in the month of November. CAT is the gateway for admission to elite MBA institutes such as IIMs, FMS, MDI among others. To achieve success in CAT 2021, you need to start right away. Here is a step by step approach to help you plan ahead.
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CAT Preparation 2021
CAT is a computer based test with a total time duration is 2 hours. Candidates must have a clear knowledge of the CAT exam pattern before starting their preparation.
CAT 2020 Exam Pattern
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) 26
MCQ - 22
TITA - 4
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) 24
MCQ - 19
TITA - 5
Quantitative Aptitude (QA) 26
MCQ - 18
TITA - 8
Total No. of Questions 76
The total time duration was 120 minutes for CAT 2020 and each right answer carried 3 marks. The exam has a negative marking scheme. 1 mark was deducted for every wrong answer in MCQs and no negative marking for Non-MCQs or TITA.
How To Prepare For CAT 2021?
1. Study the CAT Exam Pattern
Common Admission Test or CAT, as it is commonly known, comprises three major sections namely- ‘Quantitative Aptitude (QA)’, ‘Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)’ and ‘Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)’. In CAT 2020, the verbal section (VARC) had 26 questions, data interpretation (DILR) had 24 questions, and the quant section (QA) had 26 questions.
CAT 2020 Exam Pattern
Exam Window Three sessions on one day
Duration 120 Minutes (two hours)
Total no. of sections Three- Verbal ability and Reading Comprehension(VARC),Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Quantitative Ability (QA)
Total Marks -
Expected Marking Scheme Correct Answer: +3
Incorrect Answer : +1
No negative marking for MCQs
No penalty for unanswered questions
2. Study the Syllabus for CAT 2021
Major areas to be covered:-
i. CAT Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension Syllabus:-
CAT Verbal Ability is one area, which has seen the maximum change in topics and structure over the last three years. After analyzing the topics that appeared in the CAT 2020 exam, you need to study the following topics:
  • Reading Comprehension: It is a major component in the CAT exam and out of the 26 questions in the VARC section; there were 4 passages in this section.
  • Paragraph Summary: This is another area, which has gained prominence over the last couple of years, and checks a student’s reasoning and analytical skills.
  • Para-jumbles & Misfit Sentences: Over the last couple of years, many questions have come from this area. One should bear in mind that sometimes the sentences could be lengthy and arranging them could be a time-consuming task.
A) There are few other topics which you need to study and they are mentioned below:-
  • Critical Reasoning .
  • Paragraph Completion.
  • Grammar & Usage (including questions based on common Grammar errors, Confusing Words, & Phrasal Verbs).
  • Vocabulary based questions (mainly Fill in the blanks).
B) Suggested below are a list of other verbal topics, which have relevance in other MBA entrance exams:-
  • Vocabulary Topics: Synonym-Antonym based questions, Cloze Passage, Analogies or Reverse Analogies, Meaning-Usage Match, Idioms and Phrases, Secondary Shades of Meaning, Usage, Associated words, Antonyms, etc.
  • Verbal Reasoning: Fact-Inference-Judgement.
  • Grammar: Sentence Correction.
ii. CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Syllabus:-
Mentioned below is the list of topics to be studied well for CAT 2020 exam:-
Caselets, Tables, Bar Graphs, Column Graphs, Line Charts, Venn Diagrams, Pie Charts, Combination of two or more types linked to each other Games & Tournaments, Number and Letter Series, Calendars; Cubes, Clocks, Venn Diagrams, Binary Logic, Seating Arrangement; Syllogism; Logical Matching; Logical Sequence; Logical Connectives; Blood Relations.
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iii. CAT Quantitative Ability Syllabus:-
Number Systems; LCM and HCF; Profit, Loss and Discount; Percentages; Speed, Time and Distance; Time and Work; Simple and Compound Interest ; Ratio and Proportion; Averages; Quadratic Equations; Linear Equations; Complex Numbers; Logarithm; Binomial Theorem; Sequences and Series; Surds and Indices; Inequalities; Probability; Permutation and Combination; Set Theory; Functions; Geometry; Mixtures and Alligations; Trigonometry; Coordinate Geometry; and Menstruation.

3. Strengthen your basics
Once you have gone through the syllabus and exam pattern, start working on the fundamentals of each topic. With a good conceptual clarity, you will gain greater accuracy in less time. Regular reading is essential to get a hold on verbal ability section. The other two sections demand you to invest a good amount of time in practicing the concepts. After getting yourself well-versed with the basics, start solving section-wise and chapter-wise test papers.
4. Give CAT Mock Tests regularly
CAT preparation is considered incomplete if you have not attempted the mocks. These simulated CAT mocks or CAT sample papers or CAT test series are designed to make the students understand the level of the paper. Moreover, the mock results give a clear indication of the CAT aspirant’s strengths and weakness as regards to the subject areas of the CAT entrance exam. Also, you will have ample time to improve your weak areas and simultaneously strengthen your strong areas to improve your score.
5. Analyze the Mock Tests thoroughly and prepare a study plan
This is a step which most CAT aspirants skip in their journey of the entrance exam. This exercise of assessing the mocks will provide a clear picture as to where one stands and also give you a guideline to formulate test strategy. You should bear in mind the importance of each section and its relevance to the CAT exam while designing the study plan.
Important points to be kept in mind during your CAT preparation stage
  1. Go through CAT previous years’ papers to understand the pattern as well as the difficulty level of the paper.
  2. Make a note of important topics subject wise. It will indicate to you the amount of time that you need to devote to each subject.
  3. For you to master reading comprehension, it is advised that you read from diverse areas with a focus on understanding the content.
  4. General awareness is one area where most students lag in. Therefore start reading newspapers, articles and listen to debates which will further help you in understanding the issues.
“Practice makes perfect”.
Although this phrase has been commonly used a number of times but for a student, this always holds true.
Last but not least “focused hard work is the key to success.”
All the best for your preparation!!!!!!!!!
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