How to prepare for CAT?

CAT exam

Common Admission Test (CAT) has always been a priority among MBA enthusiasts. However, the popularity of the exam and consequently a huge number of applicants makes it a tough deal to crack. Besides, the difficulty level of the exam asks for a sound strategy and an advanced mental state to crack it within a stipulated time frame. However, there are MBA exams apart from CAT which are equally valuable and can get you in some of the most prestigious MBA colleges in India.

Strategy for cracking any competitive exams

Possessing a positive attitude and developing an apt approach that goes with any kind of competitive exams can be a plus point and help one reach their early on where one can be confident about one's chances of finding oneself in a tier-1 business school.

Understanding the format of CAT

CAT preparation for MBA is the second step in the process. The first step is to understand the format of the CAT examination and its requirements. Accordingly, one can select an apt CAT coaching duration

You will certainly not prefer seeing your CAT examination paper as a stranger. Familiarity with the pattern of questions being asked year after year is surely crucial in developing an understanding and starting strategizing one's approach towards the exam uniquely and in the most inclusive way.

The questions are divided into three sections. A total of 120 minutes is allotted.

The sections are:

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

The time duration for each section is 40 minutes. Note that 53 minutes and 20 seconds are allowed for PWD candidates.

Section-wise CAT syllabus

  • VARC - The syllabus of the VARC section generally comprises Reading Comprehensions, Para jumbles, and Para summary.
  • DILR - As the name suggests, this section of the CAT paper consists of Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.
  • QA - The QA section is designed to ask questions based on Arithmetic, Algebra, Numbers, and Geometry.

CAT preparation for MBA

Now that you are clear regarding the most traditional approach and format of the CAT examination, you are good to go at mapping your own customized preparation plan with high chances of success if followed religiously.

You can accomplish this on your own through self-study or take the help of a coaching institute. Now, a lot of us are confused regarding deciding the appropriate CAT coaching duration which may vary as per one's caliber and prior experience. Graduates who are just starting out may need 1 or more years. And those who start their preparation early and on their own may need only 3-6 months of coaching.

Also, wasting time searching around the best MBA coaching institute in India is not inevitable if you follow the right source.

Here, we list the 8 most trusted and best MBA coaching institutes in India with a proven record of success year after year.

  • T.I.M.E, Sadhu Vaswani Chowk, Pune
  • T.I.M.E, Andheri, Mumbai
  • Career Launcher, Hyderabad
  • PT Education, New Delhi
  • Bull's Eye, Chandigarh
  • IMS Learning Resources, Mumbai
  • Career Forum, Dadar, Mumbai
  • IMS Learning Resources, Chennai

Learn to deal with each section appositely

It is highly possible for you to have a high affinity for one section of the paper and relatively lesser for the other.

Well, in that case, it is very important that you have an idea about the sectional cutoff to deal with each section appropriately to avoid repercussions of any sort that may come in your way to a top business school.

Sectional cutoff must be cleared with aspirations for high scores in each of the sections to increase chances of admission in IIMs and other top MBA colleges and universities.

Develop question selection skills

Any CAT genius who has had an experience of acing the exam would know that one need not do all the questions to succeed. Instead, one must know which one to attempt and which not.

Hence, it is compulsory to develop an understanding to be able to identify questions that one must skip in order to reduce time loss, thereby being able to attempt a maximum number of questions that belong to the easy and medium level. One can develop this skill by practicing a lot of mock question papers containing a mixed set of questions from different portions of the syllabus and of different difficulty levels.

By heart the time management skills

Have you not regretted every time you left the exam hall, that you knew those last few questions that you could not do because time fell short.

Well, if yes then it is natural to be concerned. Indeed, it is more important to do away with the inadequacy that leads to such a position.

Certainly, you need to learn time management skills. Enhance the speed of calculations, train your mind to be in the moment, concentrate better, by heart all tips and tricks that could save those few seconds which could create a difference. All this comes with practice. Hence, it is advisable for you to attempt plenty of mock question papers before sitting for the Cat Exam.

MBA exams apart from CAT

CAT examination is not the one exam to pursue MBA in India. There are other competitive exams, MAT, XAT, IIFT, NMAT, CMAT, and IBSAT being the prominent ones through which one can get admission in some of the top MBA colleges in India.