– Written by Meenakshi Upadhyay
CAT 2020: With more than two lakh students appearing for the exam each year, CAT (Common Admission Test) is one of the most popular examinations for people wanting to study further or explore better job prospects in the market. The CAT exam this year, scheduled to be conducted on November 29, will follow the same online pattern as the previous years.
A candidate with a minimum of 50 per cent marks in her/ his graduation can appear for the CAT examination. A top college for MBA is every CAT aspirant’s dream, and with a holistic preparation strategy, it will be relatively easier to crack this much revered examination and enroll in your dream business school.
CAT 2020: A workable preparation strategy
Evolving preparation schedule: It is integral to have a fixed schedule or a time table while preparing for the examination. The time table can vary depending on the time attributed to each section as per the candidate’s self-analysis of areas that require greater attention. A deconstructed weekly and monthly mock test would be extremely beneficial to assess progress. Solve at least 15-20 mock tests before your actual exam.
Greater emphasis on areas of improvement: It is human tendency to ignore areas that require more effort. For an examination like the CAT, dedicating more time and attention to difficult subjects and areas like quantitative aptitude, verbal ability, or data interpretation will significantly help the candidates. Regular problem solving will not only make you efficient but will help you overcome any reservations that you have for the subjects. It would be beneficial to solve the official mock papers released by IIM for better self-assessment. This is the key factor in assessing where you stand.
Cross-sectional preparation: Each section has individual sectional cut-offs, which makes it mandatory for qualifying candidates to make it past the cut-off in all three sections. The smartest way would be to lay out a detailed section-wise preparation plan that helps achieve the set target. A minimum of 80 percentile will assure that you have cleared the sectional cut-off, and a 95+ overall percentile will help you get into a good college. The cut-off for the top IIMs will be 99+ percentile.
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Reading is the key: Over the years, several students have underestimated the power of reading when it comes to solving ‘reading comprehension’ for CAT. It is essential to understand how to read when it comes to comprehension reading for CAT. When you practice for ‘reading comprehension,’ it will be beneficial to read slowly to help you comprehend things better in the passage, which you otherwise could have missed.
Spending the extra 40 seconds on reading will help you stay clear from negative marking. Make your points and inferences while reading. Also, practise reading difficult content from different topics to prepare for the VA RC section.
A definitive preparation guide for CAT
Some study material you should specifically refer to while preparing for the CAT examination are:
1. How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma (8th Edition)
2. Courses, mock test series and live classes on the Unacademy platform
3. How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay
4. Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Kumar Verma 2019 edition
To sum up, the CAT exam is one where your strategic planning and execution of test preparation will be fundamental in securing a seat in a B School of your dreams. Regular interaction with educators will help aspirants navigate through their test prep journey, platforms like Unacademy with Live classes provide aspirants with quality content and doubt solving avenues before appearing for the CAT examination.
– The author is the top educator for CAT at Unacademy
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