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25th Nov 2018

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CAT Preparation 2019: Know how to Crack Exam Smartly!

By: Sakshi Awasthi on October 22, 2018

CAT 2018 examination was conducted on November 25, 2018. Every year lakhs of candidate appear for the CAT examination to secure a seat in the top IIMs or in other top B schools. As the examination approaches nearer, the preparation strategy needs to be revised. CAT Preparation involves various factors such as understanding the CAT Exam Pattern & Syllabus and synchronizing it according to the days remaining for the examination.

CAT Preparations 2018

CAT Preparation Time:

The time remaining for the examination plays a major role in Preparations. The Internet is flooded with various questions such as ‘How to prepare CAT in 6 months', ‘How to prepare CAT in 4 months' and so on. Know the time-based CAT Preparation Tips and Strategies:

  • Prepare for CAT at Home
  • Prepare for CAT in 12 months
  • Prepare for CAT in 6 months
  • Prepare for CAT in 3 months
  • Prepare for CAT in 2 months

Before knowing the CAT Preparation Tips and Strategies, the candidate must thoroughly understand CAT Exam Pattern and CAT Syllabus in detail.

CAT Exam Pattern:

The CAT Pattern has changed significantly over the past 4 years. However, despite regular changes, the basic exam pattern remains the same.

Important Details:

  • Total Number of Questions: 100
  • Total Number of Sections: 3
  • Number of Questions with Negative Marking: 75
  • Number of Questions without Negative Marking: 25
  • Marks awarded for each correct answer: 3
  • Marks deducted for each incorrect answer: 1

Section-wise CAT Exam Pattern:

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC):

  • Total Number of Questions: 34
  • Total Number of Multiple-Choice Questions: 24 to 27
  • Total Number of Non-Multiple-Choice Questions: 7 to 10
  • Maximum Marks: 102

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR):

  • Total Number of Questions: 32
  • Total Number of Multiple-Choice Questions: 24
  • Total Number of Non-Multiple-Choice Questions: 8
  • Maximum Marks: 96

Quantitative Ability (Quant):

  • Total Number of Questions: 34
  • Total Number of Multiple-Choice Questions: 23 to 27
  • Total Number of Non-Multiple-Choice Questions: 7 to 11
  • Maximum Marks: 102

CAT Syllabus:

After understanding CAT Exam Pattern, the next step is to understand CAT 2018 Syllabus. It should be kept in mind that there are no specified boundaries for the CAT exam. The syllabus is entirely based on previous years' trends.

Section-wise CAT Syllabus:

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension: This section is divided into two parts. First part covers comprehension passage whereas the second part covers question-based on Verbal Ability.

Details:

  • Reading Comprehension covers 70 percent of the VARC section.
  • There would be 5 Reading Comprehension passages in the question paper.
  • Topics of Reading Comprehension: Current Affairs, Social & Economic Issues, Literature, Science & Culture, and History & Fiction.
  • Topics of Verbal Ability: Para Summary, Jumbled Paragraphs, Jumbles sentences, English Usage & Sentence Correction, Vocabulary-based questions
  • Reading Comprehension will be of two-type, longer passages will have 6 questions each and shorter passages will have 3 questions each.

Also Read | How to Score 99 Percentile in Verbal Ability

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning: This section is also divided into two sections i.e. data interpretation and logical reasoning.

Details:

  • DI and LR both carry 50 percent weightage
  • Number of questions based on DI section: 16
  • Important topics for DI: Data Tables, data charts, bar diagrams, pie charts, graphs, data analysis
  • Number of questions based on LR section: 16
  • Important topics for LR: Clocks, calendars, binary logic, seating arrangement, blood relations, logical sequence, assumption, premise, conclusion, linear & matrix arrangement.

Quantitative Ability: It's the last section of CAT examination and its area is quite wide. This section is based on Arithmetic, Algebra, Modern Math, Geometry, Mensuration and Trigonometry.

Details:

  • This section comprises of 34 questions including 24 to 27 Multiple-Choice questions and 7 to 10 Non-Multiple-Choice questions.
  • Important Topics for Quant: LCM & HCF, Percentages, Profit & Loss, Interest, Algebra, Pure Math, Venn Diagrams, Linear equations, complex numbers, logarithms, binomial theorem, inequalities etc.

CAT Preparations 2018

CAT Preparation Tips & Strategies:

Prepare for CAT in 12 months:

  • Select the Topics: Rather than starting all the topics, understand the CAT Exam Pattern and Syllabus carefully and make a list of all the topics. Select the topics where you are weak or strong and maintain a balance between the topics. You can take 2 weaker topics with 2 strong topics and can complete the syllabus.
  • Evaluate: Take regular mock tests and previous year question papers regularly and analyze your performance in them. It's important to evaluate yourself in order to improve your performance.
  • Prepare an effective timetable: As you are starting preparation a year prior to the examination, you have enough time to prepare each topic carefully. To cover all the topics, make an effective timetable and follow it religiously. Remember to prepare timetable according to the weightage of each topic.
  • Manage your time: Time management is the key to crack any entrance examination including CAT. Take mock tests and previous years question paper regularly and try to complete them within the prescribed time limit. Work on the areas where too much time is being wasted and try to overcome it.

Prepare for CAT in 9 months:

  • Thoroughly understand the CAT Exam Patten and Syllabus
  • Make a list of your stronger and weaker areas in all the three sections
  • Accumulate the best books, notes and study material for yourself
  • Work on your weaker areas and analyze your progress regularly
  • Take Mock Tests regularly and try to complete them in the given time limit. Analyze your mistakes and try to eliminate them
  • To improve the VARC section, read articles, newspaper and novels regularly. Conversing in English and watching English TV series can also be a help
  • Work on your vocabulary. Write down the new words separately and revise them regularly and try to use the new words as many times as possible
  • DI section is considered to be the most time-consuming in CAT exam. Practice questions based on DI as much as possible and master the speed.

Prepare for CAT in 6 months:

Six-month preparations are enough to crack CAT exam provided the efforts are put in the correct direction. Following are the steps to crack the exam in 6 months:

  • Understand the CAT Exam Pattern and Syllabus meticulously. As you have enough time to prepare for the examination, all the topics can be covered easily.
  • After going through the syllabus, figure out your weaker and stronger areas
  • Clear the concepts of the section where you are weak and try to build up a strong foundation
  • Once you are done with the concepts, start taking sectional-quiz
  • Solve mock tests and previous years question paper regularly. Time to complete them in a given time limit and analyze your performance
  • Work on the areas where you are facing the problem. As you are starting preparation 6 months before the examination, there is enough time to work on your shortcomings.
  • Gather the best study material including the best books and notes. Always take advice from your seniors, mentors and teachers before buying the books.
  • As you have given enough time to your preparation remain confident and stay positive.
  • Take help from your mentor, seniors or guide wherever you face difficulty and find yourself unable to solve the problem.

Prepare for CAT in 3 months:

It's not easy to prepare for the examination in mere three-months, though, a smarter approach may help you in obtaining the desired score in the upcoming examination. Here are the tips to crack the examination in three months:

  • Check the fundamental concepts of major topics and strengthen your basics
  • Apart from your CAT Study, regularly check the online CAT preparation material
  • Take CAT Mock Tests regularly and analyze your performance
  • Focus more on practice rather than sticking to theory. The more you solve the questions, more you will be prepared to solve difficult questions in the actual examination.
  • Solve CAT Previous year question papers as these question papers will provide you an idea about the actual examination and type of questions asked.

Prepare for CAT in 2 months:

It might be difficult to crack the examination in such a less time but your dedication towards the goal might churn your efforts fruitful. Many of the CAT Toppers believe that two-months' time is enough to prepare for the elite management entrance examination i.e. CAT. Here are the tips crack CAT in 2 months:

  • Take CAT Mock Test and Previous years question paper on a daily basis. This will provide an idea about the actual examination.
  • Analyze your performance in Mock Tests and Sample papers and work on your weaker areas.
  • Take CAT Preparation quiz and make sure that you take the section-wise quiz which will provide you exposure to the different type of questions for the same topic.
  • Master your stronger areas and work on your weaker areas. Most of the time we ignore the areas where we are strong and concentrate on sections which we barely know. Don't forget to refine the areas where you are already confident.

Prepare for CAT at Home:

If you talk about self-study, then there is no match of self-study in comparison to coaching centres until you face difficulty. Here are the tips to crack CAT exam by studying at home:

  • The major problem in self-study is the time when you get stuck in some questions. The only key to solving such a problem is by working on concepts. Clear your foundation of that particular topic and avoid wastage of time.
  • The candidates coming from the technical background are quite confident about Quantitative, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning sections. However, reading comprehension is a tension for them too and to master the reading comprehension section, practice as much as possible.
  • Work on your speed by taking mock tests and other sample papers. Check whether you can complete the examination in the given time-limit or mot. If not, then figure out where your extra time is being spent and try to eliminate such situations.

CAT Study Material:

Section-wise Best Books for CAT:

Best Books for VARC:

  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension for CAT by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT by Nishit K Sinha
  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis
  • High School English Grammar and Composition by Wren & Martin

Best Books for DILR:

  • How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation for CAT by Nishit k Sinha
  • How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation by Nishit K Sinha

Best Books for Quant:

  • How to prepare for Quantitative for the CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Nishit K Sinha

According to the experts & toppers, if you have attempted 50 percent of the total questions then also you can secure 95 to 99 percentile in the examination. Never lose hope and stay positive towards your goal. It's not necessary to study day and night, a smarter approach will help you in obtaining a better score in the actual examination.

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