You hope and dream of someday managing a big successful company, or even starting your own company. To be able to do this successfully, you will have to do an MBA from an excellent B-school or management institute like the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). However, getting admission in an institute of this calibre is not an easy task. The first hurdle in your journey is clearing the Common Admission Test (CAT). This is the entrance exam that makes you eligible to get admissionin IIM or other prestigious institutes.
CAT is one of the most difficult entrance exams that test your knowledge and skills. It is a 3-hour exam where you have to face 100 questions in subjects like quantitative ability, data interpretation & logical reasoning, and verbal ability and reading comprehension. Since these subjects are so varied, students are often left wondering how to prepare for CAT 2019 exam? If you are one of the students, worry not, heres some solid help.
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Hopefully, you are done with your registration, paid the fees, and have taken a printout of your admit card. Although, most students must have started with preparations, theres still a lot more you can do.
The following are some tips that will surely help you in CAT preparation. Follow them and you will be confident of appearing for your CAT exam.
Since the subjects and questions are nothing like what you have faced before, it will help you to know what the syllabus is and what the pattern is like. You can find previous years CAT exams online in many places. You can download these and check out the pattern. The syllabus is also available online, and you should dedicate some time to understand it.
Each year, the CAT exam is different, but the format of the questions is the same. You have some multiple-choice questions and a few non-multiple choice questions. Some years, as a surprise, the organisers also throw in General Knowledge questions. So, prepare accordingly.
Now, this is completely up to your choice. Many students do self-study and revision, but there are also many you join coaching classes just to crack the CAT. This is a booming business and competition is high. The question here is are coaching classes helpful?. It seems so or else why would so many students join.
These coaching classes are aimed specifically at the CAT exam only and cover everything you find in the syllabus. From helping in filling out the registration forms to conducting mock tests every week, the classes do everything to give the students a feel of the real exam. Therefore, coaching is something you can consider.
Some students like to study every opportunity they get, and it may work for them. But those who have a routine fare better. Set a specific time for you to study for the CAT exam daily, and follow this schedule religiously.
Also, make time for other activities like exercise, getting your chores done, interacting with friends, etc. Such activities help your mind relax and retain more information from studying. Constant studying will actually bore you. The daily routine will ensure you study every day, but also have a breather once in a while.
If you have friends who are also taking the CAT exam with you, all of you should study together. A study group has more benefits and it has shown that people who study in a group actually retain more information and do well in the exam.
Another advantage of a study group is that you can clear each others doubts. You may be strong in a certain topic while your friend may not. You can help them and they can help you. Together, you’ll be stronger as a unit.
One of the greatest inventions of the last century is the internet. This free accessible web of knowledge can also be the thing that will help you do well in your CAT exam. On the internet, you will find much information on the subjects of CAT and tips to do well (like the blog you are reading right now).
You can join social media groups and forums of fellow CAT aspirants, and get information. You can also follow twitter handles of the IIMs, education authorities, coaching institutes, etc. to get important information. The internet is a boon you should make use of.
Another use of the internet is to take mock tests. There are many mock tests online, and many of them are really good – up to the level of the CAT exam. These mock tests are a great way to prepare.
Theres no limitation to how many tests you can take, so you have a great opportunity to prepare with these tests. One of the best ways is to do the CATs official mock test, which is like a sneak peek into the actual test. This test is also available on many other websites.
If you are a visual person and understand videos better, many videos on free video platforms will guide you on the various subjects in CAT, and how to do well in CAT. These videos are made by experts, so you can trust these tips.
Similarly, there are many books written by previous CAT toppers. Some of these books are legit bestsellers and have helped many students. Therefore, you can consider getting these books.
Surprisingly, so many students dont do this. They simply set off answering the questions as they feel 3 hours is not enough to answer 100 questions. However, it can be enough if you plan your answering strategy.
You get 3 marks for a right answer and -1 for a wrong answer. So, make a plan to balance out your answers, so you can also allow yourself a few educated guesses based on logic for answers you dont know, and have a better chance to score more.
Of all the CAT subjects, there is bound to be a subject you are good at. And since you are good at this subject, while studying, you can afford to spend a little less time on this subject and concentrate on weaknesses.
In the exam as well, first go to the section that you are confident about and answers all that you know. This will give you more time on your weak subjects. Take time and answer them well to ensure you get the maximum score.
Attitude is everything. So many smart students have done well so far in their academic career but completely lose confidence while facing the CAT exam. Dont let this happen to you. Whatever troubles you may be having, take your exam with positivity. You will do well.
And remember, a bad result is not the end of the world. There are other entrance tests as well where you can do well and get into a good MBA institute. You can also take the CAT test next year.
Follow the above-given pointers diligently, and you will do your best in the upcoming CAT 2019. Though CAT is still the first step towards a career in management, it still is quite important and prepares you for what will come next as the skills to do well in CAT will also come useful in your management studies.