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Effective Strategies to Crack CAT

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Want to score an impressive 99+ percentile in CAT 2018 to gain entry into the elite IIMs?  A mammoth task! CAT (Common Admission Test) is a highly competitive entrance exam that is taken by lakhs every year to pursue their dream of becoming top-notch business magnates.

Given the cut-throat scenario, the significance of good rank in CAT cannot be stressed enough. It can change your life instantly.  Unnerved? Don’t be! While acing the national level exam may appear daunting, the correct methodology and a strategic study plan can make it possible.Follow these effective tips and techniques to crack the challenging exam.

Understand Exam Pattern & Syllabus:

Before formulating a study schedule it’s important to understand the syllabus and exam pattern. Though the course outline is broadly covered in class 10/12 the questions are often tricky and require logical reasoning to solve. Coming to the pattern, CAT is a 180 minutes (3-hour) computer-based test containing three sections, Quantitative Ability (QA), Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC) and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR) with MCQ and some non-MCQs.  It must be noted that each section is time-bound (1-hour) and you cannot dart from one to the other. Negative marking is applicable.

Study Material:

Needless to say that books form the cornerstone of your CAT prep. While there is an abundance of study material available, it’s best to use just one or two sources, to avoid confusion. However, you can refer to books written by experts once your basic prep is done.

Sample question papers and previous test series also go a long way in helping you gear up for the exam. And yes, brushing up your general knowledge is also important. Start reading magazines and newspapers on a daily basis to keep abreast of the current affairs and tackle VRC with ease.

Regular Study Pattern:

Formulate a strategic study plan and set aside a few hours each day for CAT prep. It’s important to work on all the three sections in a diligent manner as they hold equivalent weight. For securing a good percentile in CAT your basics need to be strong.

Focus on the fundamentals and once conceptual clarity is achieved embark on an in-depth study of each section. Keep a dairy handy and jot down important topics, concepts/formulas that need to be revised in the last few days before the exam.

Mock Tests:

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Heard the popular adage, practice makes perfect! It also applies to CAT prep. Once you are satisfied with your all-rounder basic preparation start taking mock tests to review your aptitude and learning skills.  You can also subscribe to a good test series.

In fact, these tests should be taken consistently for at least 4-5 months. Apart from improving your speed and accuracy they giving you the taste of the actual exam and bestow the requisite confidence before the C-day.

Analysis of Performance:

Make sure to get your performance analysed from a mentor after each session. This aspect is significant and should not be underplayed. It not only evaluates your standing in terms of current preparation but also paves the way for future plans. The analysis helps in identifying your strengths/weaknesses so that you canimprove on your shortcoming and concentrate on your forte.

Time Management:

CAT is a time-driven exam and aspirants must keep this important component in mind during preparation. With 60 minutes allotted to each section, it is extremely vital not to digress and waste time. It is imperative to manage the spell with shrewdness and strictly comply with stipulated time limits.

Experts suggest trying to attempt each segment separately as a 1-hour test during prep. Read quickly and apply full concentration so that you can complete the questions with speed and accuracy.

Study Group:

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Joining a coaching class or taking up self-study depends on personal choice and circumstances. Either way, it pays to form a small study group. Interactingwith peers sailing in the same boat is inspiring and extremely motivating. What’s more, you can share queries, discuss strategies, clear doubts and also learn shortcuts to solve questions with swiftness.

Remain Stress-free:

There’s no denying that a consistent and dedicated approach towards CAT prep is crucial for success, but don’t overdo things. For proper functioning, it is important to eat healthy food and get optimal sleep. And yes, it may be a good idea to relax and make time for interests like yoga, sports or the gym. These extracurricular activities not only refreshes the mind but also help in sharpening the focus.

Apart from the above tips, the right guidance, networking, workshops, seminars, insights from experts, interactions with mentors can play a pivotal role in helping crack the tough entrance exam. This is where initiatives like ‘What After College’ play a pivotal role.

They provide students an ideal platform to get enthused, polish skills, connect with like-minded people and intermingle with doyens etc. to make the CAT preparation more effective.

So buckle up and start gearing up for CAT 2018 in right earnest! The above strategies plus a positive attitude will help you bag the CAT! Good Luck!

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