• Q 1. What should be the strategy for aspirants who are yet to start preparations for CAT?

    A. The CAT requires in-depthunderstanding of topics, as CAT questions verge on inferential and innovative. Thus merely afunctional, even a regularized understanding of the topics and questions will not be enough.

    Variation is the key to preparation for the CAT. Candidates should divide the time availableinto three periods. These should be – basics and theory with practiceof standard question patterns, secondly advance level preparation and short-cuts, and finally rigorous practice with innovative question types.

    The strategy would be attend the classes andcover all concepts. The study material should be completed, after which the candidates can move on to further suggested practice materials. The lasttwo months should be spent on mastering the test taking strategies via mocks and sectionals.

  • Q. 2. Is enrolling in a coaching institute a good idea for aspirants who have not started their preparation with limited time to go?

    A. Yes. The coaching institutes have expertise on the tests and preferable methods of preparation.They train the students on not only the finer points of the test, but also matters of selection, and provide in depth training for unexpected question types. The institutes help the students formulate plans for preparation and also to implement them in the best possible way. Also through simulation and teaching tools the students are made to learn the nuances of the test taking process. Institutes such as Erudite also integrate personalized attention, one to one mentorship and involvement programmes under which the students aim at a holistic and synergistic increase to scale in terms of preparation.

  • Q. 3. For the ones who have already started preparing on their own without coaching classes, what could be a strategy be?

    A. Such students would have started with the basic levels. Then go to more advance levels. Next, mocks should be taken very seriously. Handling of different types and variations of questions is essential at this time. In order to achieve this skill, students must start practicing simultaneous engagement with the different topics and areas. The final skill level is efficiency, which is achieved through the perfect balance of speed and accuracy. If the students had been targeting accuracy, it is time to move on to the next level thatis development of speed while maintaining accuracy.

  • Q. 4. What are the ‘must’ prepare topics in each section which should not be avoided at any cost?

    A. VERBAL: Para Jumbles, odd statement out, critical reasoning and summary. Practice of questions and the logic of solutions is essential. Special emphasis must be paid to answering non-MCQ type questions.

    RC: Different levels and topics of comprehension passages. Reading and practice with specialemphasis on inferential understanding is the key.

    DILR:  Logical puzzles and tables. Sudoku and similar puzzles help a lot.

    QA: Arithmetic, Higher Maths, Number System, Algebra and Geometry. Solving a lot of CAT type questions does the trick.

  • Q. 5. When is the ideal time to start taking mock tests? Also mention the frequency in which mocks should be taken.

    A. Mocks should ideally be started from July or August.Once a week is ideal and can be increased to two tests per week.

  • Q. 6. How can one analyze their performance in mock tests?

    A.Analyze all questions (whether right, wrong or un-attempted) and compare your solution to theone given. Also analyze where have you wasted time and where you question selection couldhave been better. Identification of questions is an art which can be learnt very effectively from taking mock tests.

    The test series generally give in depth analysis of accuracy rates, andspeed and strike rate analysis in the analysis of the mock test papers. This can give great mileage in creating, implementing and course correcting study plans towards achievement of remarkable CAT percentiles.

  • Q. 7. What can be a detailed preparation strategy for three months, two months and last month for CAT-takers.

    A. 3 months: Concept clearing and sectionals.

    2 months: MOCKS and Analysis.

    1 month: Take rest and revision aimed at regular practice. Some mocks are advisable.


  • Q. 8. What can one expect from CAT in term of exam pattern and difficulty level?

    A. No prediction can be accurately made by anyone. However going by the past trends we can expect certain recurring elements. A tough DI LR section with emphasis on innovative puzzle based questions is expected. There will be only a few sets on traditional graph based questions from DI. The rest is expected to be logical.The VA RC section may be tricky as it traditionally deals with very close options. The specificnumber of non-MCQ questions may vary slightly, but RC in all probability, will remain the more prominent area.The QA section this year is expected to be harder.

  • Q. 9. What should be the exam day strategy in terms of time management, maintaining accuracy and fulfilling sectional cut-offs?

    A. In terms of time management, the CAT security procedures get more and more stringent by theyear. It is imperative to be on time and thus start towards exam centres with ample time in hand. As nothing but clothing is allowed inside exam centres, not even watches, footwear or cash, students may take someone along with them to take care of belongings. It is also advisable to locate centres beforehand to avoid any delays on the exam day.
    Parameters of accuracy and time management are extremely individual in nature .The best thingto do is to get adequate practice to find what works best for you and then execute similarly on the D-DAY. Seeing how last minute preparation is of little or no importance in exams like CAT, the students must reserve the days preceding the exam day and the hours preceding the exam for revision only. A modicum of faith goes a long way to ensure confidence and stress management.

  • Q. 10. How should CAT aspirants balance their preparation with other entrance tests like XAT, IIFT, NMAT, SNAP and CMAT?

    A. CAT preparation covers almost the entire syllabus for all of these exams. Anything which isunique to these exams can be covered in a maximum of 15 days.

    Note: The Decision Making section of XAT is an exception to this and should be practiced early on in case one wants to appear for the XAT exam.

  • Q. 11. How should final year graduation students vis a vis working professionals balance their daily routine with CAT preparation?

    A. The normal and effective routine is managing 2 hours of study daily during weekdays and 5-6 hours during weekends. Final year students can generally dedicate a little more than this basic study time, between college classes and curriculum. It is not advisable to take semester studies and exams lightly, but the CAT also requires regular grappling with the subject matter, if only for the bare minimum of time for those with very busy schedules.

    The focus should be the handling of different subject areas and topics in a limited time frame, as the actual test demands.

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