CAT or the Common Admission Test, conducted by IIMs every year, is the gateway to getting into prestigious IIMs and other top B-schools of India. This year, CAT exam has been announced on December 4, 2016, for which the application process has started from August 8.
How to start preparing for CAT?
As mentioned by many, CAT is one of the toughest exams to crack. The window of the test has been changing in some way or the other every year. But still, a certain strategy, planning, and implementation always help in scoring well in this test. As the MBA experts say that for a strong preparation you need to invest minimum 3 months. So, if you are aspiring to see yourself in one of the IIMs, then three months are time enough if utilized well.
Here we bring you some preparation tips before the CAT Exam:
With only 3 months left to CAT, the preparation should take on a mission mode and completely focused on CAT preparation.
Know Your syllabus
The first step of preparation is to go through the syllabus of your CAT exam and then starting with the basic preparation. This will include going through all the concepts and topics which are most likely to be appeared in the exam. You can do this by going through previous years’ CAT papers and official guidelines. Hence, you will get an idea of the difficulty level. Once you get the overall idea of what to study, plan how to study.
Know where you stand
Before starting your CAT 2016 preparation, take a preliminary mock test in a proctored environment or at home. After taking the test, analyze your performance to identify where you stand. This will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Analyze your strengths and weaknesses
You should assess whether you are proficient, average or need improvement in each of the areas. The areas that fall in the third category should be focused on first followed by second and first.
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Study Plan – Focus on strength
Rather than focusing on all the topics, students need to try and select those topics with which they are more comfortable. Even on the exam day, students shouldn’t try to solve each and every question and waste their time; they should rather spend 5 minutes in scanning a section and selecting questions from their area of expertise and skill.
Practice a lot
Regular practice will help you make an instant connect with the question during your exam, hence increasing your question-solving speed.
Regularly practice and revise the formula, vocabulary, and grammar rules, so that you don’t have to think hard on the exam day.
(i) Daily Tests
Daily tests are very crucial for regular practice. Keep track of topics that you are not faring well in, so you can improve your basics.
(ii) Mock Tests
Mock tests help improve accuracy that is essential for the actual exam. In last few days to your CAT 2016 exam, attempt computer-based mock exams so that you are familiar with the actual test environment.
After the mock, a thorough analysis of sectional and topic percentiles should be conducted. Spend more time on your weak areas to strengthen them. Aim to complete at least 25 – 30 mocks before appearing for the test and analyze them thoroughly. Putting yourself in the actual testing environment will prepare you for the 3-hour test on your D-day.
(iii) Old CAT papers
Previous papers are very useful in understanding the changing trends in CAT exam. It is always advisable to start your preparation with previous papers as you can get an idea as to what type of topics you need to focus on.
Time management is one of the most crucial factors of the CAT preparation and during the exam as well. Managing one’s time includes balancing speed with accuracy, handling the pressure and uncertainty and the apt decision making.
Relax well before your Exam
Last but not the least, students are advised to keep their calm, relax, and believe in them on the day of the paper. Forget about your weaknesses and have confidence in what you know.
Spend a day before the test in a stress-free environment. Be ready for all your stuff like admit card, pencils, pen etc well in advance to avoid last minute hassle and give your best shot.
For more information on CAT 2016 like important dates, hall ticket download, etc, you can visit the official CAT Website.
Feel more confident and get geared up for the big day!