OK – so the date for the Common Admission Test (CAT) to be held is set. 4 December it is. Students have already began preparing for this competitive exam. The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) started this exam to select students for their business programs and it is a moment of prestige for a student to get enrolled in either of the institutes.
Cracking CAT is considered a feat given its difficulty level and paper pattern. But it is not impossible. With a proper study strategy in place, students can score a thrilling percentile and make their way to the second level of the admission process of IIMs. Sure – it is a tedious journey but the end-result is definitely worth it.
With less than 4 months left till the D-Day, let us not waste time any further. Let’s dive into learning seven basic points that you must keep in mind while preparing for CAT:
1. Take online mock tests
Test yourself on the basis of whatever you have learned so far. It is okay if the syllabus covered by you is not all that great. Giving mock tests online frequently will help you steer your efforts in the right direction.
With these tests, you will get an idea about how the actual CAT paper looks like and hence, reduce the “cruel surprises” during the real exam manifold. Once you get comfortable with the paper pattern and type of questions, cracking CAT will become easier.
2. Analyze your weaknesses
Since you are giving periodic mock tests, you will obviously come to know your score. Focus on areas where you need maximum work. Whether it is a concept, subject or a simple question – make time to perfect it. After all – that’s what mock tests are for!
In these 3.5 months, just put in all your time and energy into solving as many difficult problems as possible. This is to ensure you don’t find yourself in a fix while solving the actual paper and your CAT in fact is a breeze!
3. Be open on number of attempts
To make the most out of the CAT 2016 pattern, you should target minimum and maximum number of questions that you will go on to attempt. However, you should keep yourself open to attempting more questions, if possible.
Although around 20 questions in each section can help you score 98 to 99 percentile, you shouldn’t stop at that – even if you reach the target. There’s no harm in attempting a few more questions towards the end to earn an upper hand to all your fellow competitors.
4. Aim at high marks but be accurate
CAT 2016 has a negative marking pattern with 3 marks awarded for every right answer and a 1 mark reduced for every wrong answer. So make sure that even if you decide to attempt a question with a heavy weightage, you get it right.
There’s no point in answering more questions if you are not sure of the answer for most of them. Try to aim at scoring high marks by attempting less number of questions but not at the cost of getting negatively marked.
5. Don’t actually calculate everything
A research on the previous years’ CAT exams shows that the test taker doesn’t have to make calculations for every question. CAT is an aptitude-based exam wherein the student should be able to a decision regarding when to actually calculate a question and when to approximate.
If approximation works for you, use it as it is not a time-consuming process. In some other case, a simple visual examination will be enough for you to arrive at the right answer. If, at times, you feel the choices are wide apart, then only calculate.
6. Avoid the “speed breakers” and “sitters”
“Speed breakers” refer to those questions that involve lengthy calculations. And even if you are able to crack the problem and get a solution, you will lose out on a lot of time. Similarly, a “sitter” refers to that question which is a tough nut to crack.
You might sit on it for minutes and yet not find an answer to it. Hence, the key is to manage time. Don’t forget that.
7. Take multiple Oust tests
Why? So that you are able to perfect your concepts or subjects module-wise and achieve greater clarity. Oust app offers an ever-growing question bank of more than 1 lac questions pertaining to classes from 9th to 12th of CBSE and competitive exams such as CAT, JEE, KCET, etc.
Their USP lies in “Short quizzes, shorter duration”. It provides a quick, on-the-go way to study, take tests and learn! In addition to this, all questions are tagged by key topics, making it easy for you to practice only specific chapters of the syllabus.
So make the most of this app to not only feel confident but give the competitive exam confidently.