CAT is the most popular MBA entrance exam in our country. It is a way to fulfil your dream of pursuing an MBA from a reputed B-school and consequently, landing a high-profile job at a top corporation. However, since the first step is often the most difficult one, it is natural for the students to get confused about how to start the preparation. With nearly 2 lakh candidates appearing for the exam every year, it is not easy to decide upon the strategy to crack the exam. So, here we present a systematic approach to simplify your preparation and boost your confidence for CAT 2024.
CAT Strategy 2024
The following steps will help you devise an efficient plan for CAT preparation:
Step-1: Analysis of Different Sections
The first step for acing CAT involves analyzing your strengths and weaknesses. CAT preparation
is not about being perfect with each and every topic. In fact, it revolves around your ability to maximize your potential, and ensure that you are fully aware of your strong areas, and maximize your potential in these. There are three major sections that are present in the CAT exam:
- Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
- Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
Firstly, for each of these sections, prepare a list of topics and sub-topics. Secondly, carry out a quick analysis of all these topics and sub-topics, and classify them into three categories: strong, mediocre and weak. It is easier said than done- to identify your strong and weak areas, and we can make assumptions about these, which might not be true. The best way to go about this is to analyze your test data and identify which are the areas where you consistently score well. Also, check your personal comfort level with a particular topic to arrive at your true skill levels in that area.
Step-2: Take Appropriate Action
Once you are done with the analysis, you need to understand what you need to do for each topic. The strong areas require regular revision and practice, the mediocre ones require a revisit of the concepts, and the weak areas need extra time and attention. Remember that simply solving tests would be of no use if you are not clear with the concepts.
As far as the individual sections are concerned, kindly keep the following in mind:
This section depends 100% on your conceptual clarity. You can gain a good hold over this section only if your basic fundamentals are strong. Also, make sure you practice the related questions in a phased manner, progressing from easy to difficult ones. The more you practice the concepts in timed manner, the better will be your accuracy in the section.
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning:
DI and Reasoning skills can be developed over a period of time. Since there are no standard formulae for DI and LR, the mastery of the section mainly relies upon your calculation skills, ability to interpret and analyze data and identify traps in the question. In these questions, you need to do a close inspection of the given data, and then solve the question accordingly. Make sure you practice different types of sets and expose yourself to as much variety as possible.
For Logical Reasoning, you can start by solving puzzles. These help establish a certain familiarity with reasoning problems, and also provide you with the different kinds of approaches and tricks used by question setters in the actual exam. For practice, you can refer to our Puzzle section
. Remember that you can improve your Logical Reasoning skills only with a good amount of practice.
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
To ace the VARC
section, you need to be aware of the basic grammatical rules and invest good amount of time in reading and practicing different question types. The habit of reading is one thing which cannot be developed in a short span of time. Research suggests, professionals who indulge in reading believe that reading from diverse fields made them an erudite leader, who could further gain insight and innovate in their respective organizations. The verbal section is dominated by RC passages, that make up over 70% of the total number of questions. Therefore, it is critical that students devote sufficient time to quality reading. The other important areas which need to be covered are para jumbles, misfits (sentence exclusion) and critical reasoning. Topics like grammar, cloze tests, fill in the blanks and vocabulary also have to be studied. Questions from these areas are asked in other MBA entrance exams. Moreover, if a student has a good vocabulary, it helps in the understanding of the passages.
Step-3: Regular Practice & Strategic Planning
The last and key step in your CAT preparation: PRACTICE. This advice is clichéd, over-used, and repetitive in nature, but, it is something that is absolutely necessary. How do you practice? Do you dive into your CAT Preparation Books and study non-stop. Do you devote 10 to 12 hours every day to your CAT prep? No, you do not need to do any such thing. But you definitely need to come up with a plan and do SMART WORK. You can plan your schedule monthly and weekly. The weekly plans are built keeping in the mind the monthly targets. For every week, make sure you have one target area in each subject that you want to improve in. Also, for each week, ensure you revise the concepts of at least one topic you have studied previously. Such a planned approach would ensure maximum possible learning, and would also help you convert your preparation into tangible targets.
Students can easily score well in CAT, with the help of this three-part action plan that provides the answer to the question that the article began with: How to Crack CAT? Along with the above, you are advised to take CAT Mock Tests
regularly. These would ensure that you have a detailed break-up of your performance, and you get an accurate idea of the areas you need to work on. This completes our round-up of tips for this article. Implement this plan and your scores would see a definite improvement.