Common Admission Test or CAT is one of the most sought-after exams to get admission in post-graduate and MBA courses. CAT is said to be one of the toughest management entrance tests in India. Though this may be a tough task, once through, there is no looking back. Once you clear the CAT, you will surely find yourself a place among the top minds of the country and who knows you might go to become one of the world’s famous CEOs and entrepreneurs. But there is always a question lurking in any CAT aspirant’s mind: will I be able to clear it in the first attempt? The answer is a big ‘YES’. The preparation for CAT should have a well-planned strategy and if planned systematically, then it is not a tough nut to crack. Having said that, the next question would be how to crack CAT exams on the first attempt.
Now let’s talk about some of the tips to ace CAT in the first attempt.
Best Strategies & Tips to Crack CAT Exam
To be able to crack the CAT exam in the first attempt without proper guidance or technique is not an easy task. A piece of advice if you’re planning to join some coaching institute – don’t only check the past records, but also the number of students that the institute enrolls in a batch. A lot of coaching institutes rope in 100-150 students in a single online batch as there are no infrastructure restrictions. Since the number of students is too high, to cancel all possible noises in a class, they’re all put on mute. This results in one-way communication which is detrimental to the learning process. A small batch of 5-10 students helps the faculty to maintain an offline-class environment by interacting with the students in real-time to gauge if they’ve understood the previous concepts before moving to the next one. Many coaching institutes also tend to change faculties very frequently, which in turn may make a student lose interest not just in the faculty, but the complete institute and sometimes, even the exam preparation course. It negatively impacts the flow of the classes. Choose an institute that maintains consistent faculty.
- START IN GOOD TIME– If we look upon today’s scenario, you have a good six months for preparation which is ample time to prepare and be able to clear the CAT in the first attempt. You should have a clear end goal in sight which should be not only to clear the CAT exam but also to achieve the best score you can work for. Who knows, you might just score 99 percentile in the first attempt. This would also mean that you would have enough time to revise whatever you have studied during the initial days of preparation. And also, it leaves time for you to go back to your weaker areas for which you need extra time and thereby leaving no room for panic regarding the syllabus being left incomplete. CAT is, no doubt, a challenging and a tough exam but with a good head start you can easily Crack the CAT exam in the first attempt, that too with flying colors.
- MAKE A SCHEDULE For CAT Preparation – If you have made up your mind to clear the CAT exam in the first attempt then one crucial thing you should do is to make a systematic schedule keeping in mind the full syllabus and the time that you have in your hands for preparation. Make sure if you decide to make a schedule then you should stick to it. There is no point in wasting time if you are not determined to follow it. Your schedule should have the number of hours you are prepared to study every day and what all topics you will cover in the given time. Make sure that you set a target for every week and try to achieve it.
- KNOW THE CAT SYLLABUS – To be able to crack the exam in the first attempt, knowing the CAT syllabus is fundamental. Though the IIM which conducts the exam does not prescribe any specific syllabus for CAT, you can still get a lot of information about topics by going through past year question papers of CAT. Based on those papers, you get to know the topic on which questions are being mostly asked. In this regard, your coach can guide you by helping you with the topics and questions to be emphasized upon. Having a good and thorough understanding of the syllabus will definitely help you to study better and perform better.
- BE CLEAR WITH THE FUNDAMENTALS AND CONCEPTS Of CAT Exam – As all the questions that are asked in the CAT exam are objective, which means the questions are fully conceptual and to the point, to be able to answer them correctly you have to be very clear with the basics and concepts of your syllabus. You must have a good understanding of the basic questions and their applications, once your basics are strong you can move towards the difficult areas of your syllabus. Gradually, you will be able to do much better and in no time you will be ready to face the CAT exam with full confidence.
- TIME MANAGEMENT For CAT Preparation – A major factor to clear the CAT in the first attempt is to know how to manage the time in the best possible way. You should systematically divide the time that you have in your hand for CAT preparation. It will be better if you can finish your syllabus in three to four months out of the six months, so that you have the rest two months before the exam to revise and to take the mock exams. Mocks will help you to analyze your weaker areas which would result in better performance. The CAT exam is all about managing your time for preparation and problem solving so you must prepare a strategy to complete each section comprehensively. Give more time on high-scoring sections to ensure you have not only met sectional cut-off but have also maximized your overall score.
- FOCUS ON ACCURACY – To be able to crack the CAT exam in the first attempt you really have to be accurate in your answers as there is negative marking. You should be completely sure of your answer. There is a negative marking of -1 marks for each wrong answer, you should read your questions twice or thrice so that you do not make mistakes unnecessarily. So please focus on accuracy and do not make mistakes.
CAT 2021 Section Wise Preparation
PREPARE SECTION WISE – It is better to have a section-wise preparation strategy for CAT. By doing this you will be able to focus on nearly each and every part of the syllabus and therefore prepare and score better.
- TIPS FOR CAT QUANTS SECTION – For this section, you need to follow a smart approach and try to understand basic concepts effectively. If you are unaware of the elementary concepts, you may not be able to solve CAT level questions. You should be focused on the accuracy of the answer along with the speed as you keep on practicing, finding the correct answer is what will help you in combination with speed to perform better. Try to memorise tables, squares and cubes upto 30 and percentage equivalent of fractions. Keep trying different strategies in the mock exams in order to arrive at the strategy that you can actually use in your final exams. Shortcuts always come in handy. You should focus on shortcut formulas to answer the question quickly and save time. Learning shortcut formulas and using them will definitely help you to answer the questions in less time and also you will have time to cross-check your answers before marking. Attempting the difficult questions on time will give you success and a chance to Crack CAT in the first attempt. Please understand that getting correct answers is only one part of the game but another equally vital part is to get the answers in the fastest possible way. If you keep putting in your efforts, you will learn advanced, fast, and shortcut calculation methods that will definitely help you to ace the CAT exam.
- TIPS FOR CAT VARC SECTION – In VARC, reading comprehension has more weightage so make sure that you keep extra time for its preparation. This section has about 24 RC questions. The preparation of VARC requires time, dedication & discipline. To improve your comprehension skills, keep the following points in your mind. You can start with reading newspapers, editorials, and non-fiction content. Try to avoid re-reading passages as it will not only waste your time but also confuse you. You should try to read and understand simultaneously. Also, keep a track of time while practicing for this section as it will help you to read faster and finish your test well within the time limit.
- TIPS FOR CAT DILR SECTION – For the most unpredictable section of the CAT exam you should try and develop an understanding of all kinds of tables, graphs, and charts for data interpretation and puzzles, and caselets for logical reasoning. You should also try to take out time and practice puzzles like Sudoku to help you to stimulate your puzzle solving skills. Like the other two sections, DILR too needs a lot of practice. Practice as many sets as you can as it will help you to discover new methods to solve. You should attempt at least 4-5 question sets of DI and LR every day. This will help you to finish the DILR section in the given time.
CAT MOCK TESTS
Mock tests are yet another important tool that can help you to crack CAT in the first attempt. Mocks are not just about solving the test and getting a certain score or a way to compare yourself with others. The main reason for solving mocks is way beyond. The mock tests are the best way to help you to analyze your progress. Try to compare the performance and score between two consecutive mocks. You will be able to identify your errors and thereby work on your weaker areas even better. Also, after giving mocks at regular intervals, you will be able to identify your strong points and weak points. Thus, you will be able to strategize your preparation by distinguishing between the topics you are well versed with and ones that require more practice and hard work. This will surely help you to perform better.
If you want to clear the CAT exam on the first attempt, make sure that you put in your full efforts and determination. Just don’t think too much, do your job, stay focused, practice as much as you can and solve mocks to analyze your preparation. Believe in yourself, you sure can do it. You just have to manage it. Also, try to take things slow. Do not exhaust yourself. Just work your way to success systematically. And soon you will achieve your goal which is to clear CAT in the first attempt.
I hope you find this article informative and also hope that this will help you to work towards your goals more effectively. So friends, stay healthy, stay safe and stay motivated.