process

A message for CAT 2021 aspirants!

By CAT Preparation, Get Inspired, The Beginner's guide No Comments

The last few days have been a bit disturbing. I have been witnessing many promising CAT 2020 aspirants whose dreams have apparently been shattered after this horrendous exam. Some of them even left their job to prepare for this exam, and now, they are left with utter disappointment. For a few, the stakes were so high that the emotions got the better of them during the exam, and upon seeing the dreadful VARC and LRDI, they fainted in the exam hall itself. It really feels bad. I feel all my words would sound hollow to them at this point. They are down in the dumps, and I don’t know if any motivation would make them feel less miserable, at least for the next few days.


For the last couple of days, I have been thinking as to why things would have gone this way for all these folks. And I could think of the following reason.

Many aspirants prepare with too much expectation. They forget that the success rate is around 2% only. Still, we put everything at stake for this one exam. I feel it is not a great idea, given the uncertainty involved in this exam. No matter if you are repetitively hitting the 98–99%ile bar in the mocks, this exam can still surprise you a great deal. So this mindset that cat is the ultimate aim, or it is the end of life, is not a great idea. It only makes you more nervous on D-day, and that keeps you from unleashing your full potential in those 2/3 hours.

The other thing is that many aspirants want to crack this exam in their first attempt, no matter what. It only burdens them with more pressure. Whether we like it or not, but the fact is that this exam gives you no guarantee. There is no guarantee at all. So, be mentally prepared for a setback. You might need multiple attempts to get through this exam. So, don’t fear failure or a setback. It should make you feel temporarily bad at best. You should move on after a few bad days. The result of this one exam should not leave you depressed for months and years with loads of guilt.

So, a better mindset would be to focus on the process than the result. My experience says that preparing for CAT can help you in many ways. It is one of the toughest non-technical exams in India. If you prepare for it seriously, you can easily crack one or the other non-technical exams. This preparation can really open many doors for you. Besides, this preparation makes you mentally stronger and teaches you the importance of patience, persistence, and perseverance, which is very important to become successful in all walks of life. Lastly, it makes you a more compassionate and better human being. Maybe, for this reason, they say that the journey looks more beautiful than the destination. And I can tell you that one honest preparation for this exam will elevate you in your life in some way or the other.

All that being said, prepare for this exam with more focus on the process – that juggling of work and study, that following a schedule, managing ebbs and flows in the journey, and inspiring yourself to keep going when you feel like giving up. This will surely inspire you and make you feel good about yourself.

process

My final words:

Please, dear aspirants, do not put all your eggs in one basket, and especially the working professionals, please do not quit your job for this exam. If you are feeling miserable at your job, change it, but do not quit and prepare for CAT alone. Always have a plan-b because an exam like CAT seriously needs that. Take risks but the calculated ones.


Related articles:

  1. How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?
  2. What Are The Best Books For Cat Preparation?

  3. How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?

  4. My Maths Is Weak, How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT Exam?

  5. How Do I Develop The Reading Habit?

  6. How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?
  7. Which Is Better – Online Coaching Or Offline Coaching?

  8. How Should I Prepare LRDI For CAT?

  9. Speed or Accuracy – What should I focus on?
Revision Diary

Revision diary – The friend in need!

By CAT Preparation, The Beginner's guide No Comments

Backdrop:

In my preparation days, when I covered any topic, say, SICI, I would feel very confident in it. It felt great when I was able to solve some typical questions also because my mind was fully engrossed with the concepts of that topic. However, after a few days, if a question from that topic popped up in any mock or peer-learning group, I would struggle to solve up. More often than not, I would not be able to recall it. That’s when I felt the need to have a learning diary/revision diary.

So, I made a learning diary and noted down the following, especially for each topic of Quant.

What should be there in the revision diary?

Formulas:

For each topic of the quant section, I noted down all the important formulas and went through those every now and then. While solving any question in the peer-learning group, if I got stuck because of the formula, I would quickly resort to my learning diary. It helped me reinforce the formula in my memory.

Important/Typical questions/concepts:

Some concepts are hard to grasp, no?

Yes, there are a few concepts for which we don’t get the logical approach most of the time. So, I noted down such concepts topic wise in my learning diary. I made it a point that I would revise them once a week so that I can retain those concepts. And it helped me immensely.

Read: Why are my mock scores not improving?

Digital Revision Diary:

Besides the learning diary, I also made word files for each topic in which I saved the important/typical questions from the mock tests. I also revised those questions from time to time. It helped me retain important concepts in my mind.

Advantage of the Revision diary:

  • You don’t have to solve all the questions on any topic again and again. You can just go through the formulas and typical questions to recall the whole chapter. And to be honest, you can’t afford solving TIME material for all the topics again in September.
  • It saves a lot of time that may be wasted in searching for a specific formula or topic.
  • The learning diary can enable you to revise the whole Quant section in a few hours.
  • Most importantly, you won’t panic feeling that you have forgotten everything that you learned.

LRDI & VA:

For LRDI and Verbal, I mainly had the typical questions/topics saved in the MS word file.

Conclusion:

To conclude this post, I request all the aspirants, especially those who say that they forget the concepts after some time, make a learning diary, and keep revising the concepts from time to time.

Isse “Aage Paath Piche Sapaat” nahin hoga 😛

One Pro Tip:

Be active in Facebook Peer-Learning groups. In these groups, doubt questions from all the topics are posted. So, you can solve the mixed problems. It will flex your brain muscles and help you remember the concepts of all the chapters simultaneously.


Read: CAT preparation strategy for the last four months


Related articles:

  1. How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?
  2. What Are The Best Books For Cat Preparation?

  3. How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?

  4. My Maths Is Weak, How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT Exam?

  5. How Do I Develop The Reading Habit?

  6. How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?
CAT Coaching

When should I join CAT coaching?

By CAT Preparation, The Beginner's guide No Comments

The decision of joining CAT coaching is a subjective one. The answer to this can vary from person to person.

But yes, from my experience, I can tell you a few steps that you should follow to decide for yourself.

CAT Coaching

Don’t jump the gun:

Oftentimes, aspirants just get swayed by the success stories of the CAT exam and the whopping packages of the IIM students. And so, they decide to prepare for the CAT exam without even knowing what it is all about. Consequently, all they look for is coaching to join so that they can succeed in this exam. Do you really think that any coaching can guarantee you success? If yes, you are living in a fool’s paradise. Coaching is just an aid. You will have to go through the pain of preparation on your own. So, if you get fascinated by the idea of the CAT exam, first research about it on various platforms like Google and Quora. Know the following.

  1. Eligibility Criteria
  2. Syllabus
  3. Various IIMs

Start taking baby steps:

Once you learn about the CAT exam and its syllabus, arrange the study material of any coaching institute and start taking baby steps. Start practising Quant, LRDI, and VARC a bit daily. Understand your comfort level with all the sections of the CAT exam. Do it for at least a month.

Take a decision for yourself:

If you are able to understand questions and solutions and if you are able to cover topics on your own, you may not need any professional coaching. In this era of online education, you can learn everything online for free. Use various CAT preparation groups on Facebook and Youtube and learn the concepts. However, if you feel completely stuck and have no idea how to learn, you may require coaching.

If I talk about myself, after preparing for the CAT exam, I don’t think the CAT exam requires any coaching. The syllabus is till class 10 and one can do it on his own. All that needed is patience, persistence, and perseverance. However, self-motivation and a reason to prepare is a must to keep going without the aid of any coaching. Otherwise, you may derail from your preparation.

In a nutshell,

Do not join any coaching without doing self-assessment for at least a month.


Read: Which Is Better – Online Coaching Or Offline Coaching?


Related articles:

  1. How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?
  2. What Are The Best Books For Cat Preparation?

  3. How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?

  4. My Maths Is Weak, How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT Exam?

  5. How Do I Develop The Reading Habit?

  6. How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?
LRDI FOR CAT

How should I prepare LRDI for CAT?

By CAT Preparation, The Beginner's guide No Comments

How should I prepare LRDI for CAT?

Of late, many people have requested me to write an article on “How should I prepare LRDI for CAT” just like I did for Quant and VARC. So, based on these multiple requests, I have tried to recall my CAT preparation days and share my experience of LRDI preparation. But let me outrightly tell you that LRDI was my weakest section, and I formidably dreaded it. However, with a consistent effort, I could manage to score reasonably well in it.

So, what I am sharing in this article is how I approached the LRDI preparation. There is nothing good or bad about it. It worked for me. It may or may not work for you, but this article can give you some direction. So, you may read along.

Generally, there is a reluctance among aspirants to kickstart LRDI. I think it is because LRDI questions are lengthy as compared to Quant questions. Nonetheless, the first step is to take that pain to start practising LRDI. It is because the LRDI section has been very unpredictable in the last few years. So now, it is all about practising and getting exposure to as many question types as possible.

LRDI FOR CAT

Pre-requisite for LRDI:

I feel before you start your LRDI, you should be comfortable with the Arithmetic syllabus of the CAT exam. Concepts like Ratio and Proportion, Average, Percentage, and a few others are rigorously used in the questions of LRDI. So, before you start LRDI, get comfortable with these topics of Arithmetic.

How to kickstart LRDI preparation?

The first step is to cover the basics. For this, you can take the booklets of any coaching material and start solving topics in a sequence. While practising the questions from the coaching material, you might feel that those are not of the CAT level. It is true. But the purpose of solving those questions is only to make you comfortable with the basics. In the CAT LRDI, such sets won’t be asked directly, but the concepts of those sets will be used in solving a more complex puzzle. So, it is imperative to know the basics so that you can decode the complex question easily.

And yes, I generally don’t prefer any book because I feel those are very exhaustive for the basics. You mainly learn through mocks and their analysis, so I feel we should cover the basics and then start practising from previous years’ mocks. Those questions are of the exact CAT level, unlike the sets of other books.

 What sequence of topics should I follow?

This is a frequently asked question. So, I am sharing here the sequence of topics that I followed. I referred to the TIME material, so I primarily followed that sequence only.

 LR:

  1. Linear Arrangement
  2. Circular Arrangement
  3. Double Line up/Distribution
  4. Selections
  5. Ordering and Sequence
  6. Binary Logic (Truth-teller, Lier and Alternator)
  7. Venn Diagrams
  8. Routes and Networks
  9. Logical Deductions
  10. Cubes

 DI:

  1. Tables
  2. Bar Graphs
  3. Pie Charts
  4. Line Graphs
  5. Games and Tournaments

I have listed major topics. Some might be missing in this.

The Second-step:

Once you have covered your basics, now all you need to do is practise CAT level questions. For this, you can make use of the following resources.

  1. Previous years’ AIMCATs and SIMCATs: If you don’t have these, you can ask for these on various social media platforms like iQuanta on Facebook. You should practise 2-4 sets daily from these tests. This will help you reinforce your concepts.
  2. Previous years’ CAT papers: Do the same as above.

The Third-step: Mocks, mocks, and mocks

If you have read my other articles, you would have known by now how important the mocks are. Your main learning and confidence gain will happen through mocks only. Take as many sectionals and mocks as you can. Just a caveat. Don’t take another mock without analyzing the previous mock. If you do so, you won’t learn anything.

Revision:

For this, you can pick sets from multiple sources like social media groups, WhatsApp groups, YouTube channels, or any other online resource. Doing random questions help us recall our basic concepts. And I feel this is the best way of revising.

What should I do if I find any particular topic tough?

This is again a very frequently asked question. Aspirants say that they find it boring to again solve the same topic again from the same source. Yes, it can be boring. In this case, you can try to learn the topic from scratch from some different sources. For LRDI, I used to solve 1-2 sets daily from the Elites Grid YouTube channel for a particular topic. You can follow that. It helped me. It might help you as well.

The basic idea is to explore topics of difficulty on the internet and learn from different sources. This will help you get multiple approaches for a particular set or topic, which is always beneficial. 

Final words:

There is no shortcut in LRDI. The key is to practice as many question-types as you can so that you find LRDI mocks less surprising. If you do not succeed in faring well in LRDI, it is only because of lack of sufficient practice, and that sufficient practice may vary from person to person. Some are naturally good in LRDI, so for them, not much practice is required. But for someone like me who finds LRDI dreadful, a consistent effort over a period is required to feel comfortable with this section.


Read: How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?


Free online sources for CAT preparation:

  1. Elitesgrid Youtube videos for LRDI
  2. iQuanta group on Facebook for CAT preparation, doubt-solving, and peer-learning
  3. 2iim CAT preparation group on Facebook
  4. Takshzilla videos for Quant (not all videos available for free anymore)

Related articles:

  1. How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?
  2. What Are The Best Books For Cat Preparation?

  3. How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?

  4. My Maths Is Weak, How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT Exam?

  5. How Do I Develop The Reading Habit?

  6. How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?
  7. Which Is Better – Online Coaching Or Offline Coaching?

  8. Which Is The Best Mock Test Series For CAT? Can I Predict My CAT Percentile From Mock Test Results?

  9. What Strategy Should I Follow In CAT Mocks?

  10. How To Do CAT Mock Analysis?

  11. Why Do Students Fail In CAT?

  12. Which All Top B-Schools Give Very Less Or No Weight For Academic Scores?

I am stuck in the CAT preparation. What should I do?

Which all top b-schools give very less or no weight for academic scores?

By CAT Preparation, Get Inspired, The Beginner's guide No Comments

A million-dollar question:

Which all top b-schools give very less or no weight for academic scores?

Indeed, a million-dollar question, no?

I feel this would be one of the most searched questions regarding CAT and MBA. This is quite logical as well, as many of us do not have a great academic profile. None of us thought that our academic scores would haunt us forever, but unfortunately, that happens in CAT.

But that’s okay now. That is something beyond our control. There is no point in crying over the spilt milk. We should now look forward and see what are the possibilities for us to pursue an MBA from one of the top b-schools of the country.

Read: How does an average student feel like to be at an IIM?

So, in the following table, I have mentioned a few top b-schools (rank among top 30) that give very less or no weight to the academic profile of the MBA aspirant.


List of b-schools with low weight for academics:

B-school 10th (%) 12th (%) Graduation (%) Work-ex (%) Test Score (%)
IIM C Stage 1: 10
Stage 2: 0
Stage 1: 15
Stage 2: 0
Stage 1: 15
Stage 2: 0
Stage 1: 0
Stage 2: 8
Stage 1: 56
Stage 2: 30
IIFT (criteria changed for 2021) 0 0 0 0 65
XLRI** 0 0 0 5 65
FMS 5 5 0 0 60
IIT Bombay 0 5 5 5 80
IIT KGP 3 4 7 5 20
MDI** 0 0 0 15 55
NITIE***
Second-gen IIMs**** 5 5 5 5 30-50

Stage 1 refers to the shortlisting for WAT PI.

Stage 2 refers to the criteria for final shortlist after WAT PI.

** XLRI and MDI give 5% and 15% weight respectively for the candidate’s profile (10+12+grad+workex). Individual weight is not known.

*** In the admission criteria of NITIE, component-wise break up is not given, but a candidate gets a PI call with 97+ percentile in CAT (91 sectional cut-offs).

**** Second-gen IIMs generally give maximum 20% weight for candidate’s profile (including work-ex). Rest is CAT + WAT PI.

Note: Some of the data points in the above table are taken from some unofficial websites like shiksha.com. So, all the data mentioned in this article might not be accurate, but it would give you some rough idea about which colleges are possible with an average profile.


Besides these colleges, there are some other institutes like IIM K and JBIMS that give low weight for academics. I have not mentioned about IIM K in the table because its criteria keep on changing almost every year. About JBIMS, I am not sure, but I think it gives zero weight for academics.

Conclusion:

From the above table and the points that followed it, you can see that some top b-schools give high weightage to the CAT score and low weightage to the candidate’s profile. So, to those who do not have a great profile, the key is to score very well in the CAT exam. With a high CAT score, one can get into some of the country’s best b-schools.

So, if you feel dejected just because your academic profile is not very good, please stop thinking that you can’t get into a top b-school, because you can. Some of the b-schools that are mentioned above are even better than some of the top IIMs in terms of brand name and average package. Having said that, leave all these belittling thoughts behind, keep your head down, and work hard.


Read: IIM Average Package – Old Vs New


Related articles:

  1. How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?
  2. What Are The Best Books For Cat Preparation?

  3. How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?

  4. My Maths Is Weak, How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT Exam?

  5. How Do I Develop The Reading Habit?

  6. How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?
  7. Which Is Better – Online Coaching Or Offline Coaching?

  8. Which Is The Best Mock Test Series For CAT? Can I Predict My CAT Percentile From Mock Test Results?

  9. What Strategy Should I Follow In CAT Mocks?

  10. How To Do CAT Mock Analysis?

  11. Why Do Students Fail In CAT?

 

How to do CAT mock analysis?

How to do CAT mock analysis?

By CAT Preparation, The Beginner's guide 2 Comments

It is June and the time when aspirants generally start taking mocks and sometimes, struggle with CAT mock analysis. Very recently, IMS started its mock test series. And after two mocks, many aspirants are dumbstruck by their performance in mocks. Many felt they were all prepared. They thought of going for mocks with all guns blazing. But then, mocks deceived them profoundly. Of late, many aspirants have connected with me lamenting their dismal performance in mocks despite their preparedness.

Now, you might be able to feel why everyone says that CAT is very uncertain. It is because of its ability to surprise you at any point in time. That’s why we say consistency is of utmost importance in the CAT preparation.

It is very important to get exposure to as many surprises as you can so that you don’t feel surprised in the real CAT exam.

Having said this, I want to tell you that you need not worry if you couldn’t fare well in the mock tests so far. The mock scores are inconsequential. What matters is what you learn from them. And this learning happens through the proper analysis of the mock tests.

It is okay if you miss taking any mock. But it is a crime if you miss analysing any mock that you have taken.

Trust me, analyzing the mock is even more important than taking mock because that is how you learn what mistakes you made and can work upon them. That’s why I believe that if you are spending 3 hours taking a mock test, spend 5-6 hours analyzing it.


How does mock analysis help?

  • It helps you know your mistakes and correct them.
  • It helps you to develop different approaches/shortcuts for a particular question.
  • The mock analysis helps you to understand which topics/concepts are important and which are not.
  • It helps you to improvise your overall strategy of taking the CAT exam.
  • It helps you know your strengths and weaknesses.

Ideally, how much time one should spend in CAT mock analysis?

Generally, analysis of the VA section is the least time consuming (around 1 hour), QA takes around 2 hours, while LRDI may take up to 3 hours (for an average candidate). However, this time range may vary from person to person based on his/her comfort level with a particular section.

One important point: Do not delay analyzing the mock beyond 2-3 days of getting a detailed explanation from the coaching institute. It is because when you analyze the mock without delay, all the questions remain fresh in your mind. You remember how you approached a particular section. This helps you in understanding the mistakes you committed. I remember I used to analyze the mock after the percentile was released by the institute, and I used to analyze it in the morning. It is because, in the morning, I would be very fresh and energetic, which helped me understand things better.

Read: Which Is The Best Mock Test Series For CAT? Can I Predict My CAT Percentile From Mock Test Results?


Section-wise mock analysis:

VARC:

As I always say, VARC is all about comprehension. So, while analyzing the VARC section, go through every question and its solution. First, try to reach the answer on your own. This will help you know your thought process. And yes, always try to follow the elimination method. It is very effective in all the sections. Once you get your answer, read the solution. Understand their thought process, and see if both of you are on the same page. If not, see how they have done it differently. Check how they arrived at a particular option and where you went wrong. See what logic they have followed. Understand it and move on. This practice will help you develop a sound intuitive power in VARC, which is very important to ace this section.

Read: How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?

The analysis of VARC can be done in one sitting, so try to do it in a go. It would take around an hour. I used to analyze VARC first in around an hour. After that, I would take a break of around 15 minutes and then start with Quant analysis. I would analyze LRDI at last.

QA:

“It makes us feel comfortable when we see ourselves progressing fast.”

  1. Check all the questions that you answered correctly. See the solution and check if their approach is different from that of yours. If yes, understand that approach and note it down in your learning diary if it is short and effective. If the approach is the same, move on to the next question.
  2. Now, check the questions which you answered incorrectly or didn’t attempt at all. Solve them again without looking at the solution. If you are getting it correct now, try to understand why you did it wrong in the mock. If you are still getting it wrong or you are completely blank about some question, check the solution and see how they have done it. Learn it and move on.

Read: How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?

For all the sections, make sure you note down new concepts, new learnings, and shortcuts, which you feel are useful, in your learning diary. This will help you revise these concepts quickly at some later point in time.

If any question seems tricky to you or if you feel that you will forget the approach to a particular section later, take the screenshot of that question and its solution, and paste it in a word document and revise it now and then. This will help you reinforce that concept.

LRDI:

LRDI is all about practice. I don’t know anything else about it. This was my weakest section, and all I did was practice as many sets as possible from as many sources as I could. This gave me a fair idea of kind of questions that can be asked in the CAT exam.

During the LRDI mock analysis, solve all the sets again. Just like Quant analysis, see where you are getting wrong. I feel one major problem is LRDI is that we fail to understand the question completely. So, It is important to keep practising LRDI as much as you can so that you get exposure to myriad possible varieties. If you find a particular set tough, take a screenshot of it, save it, and keep revising it at regular intervals. LRDI mock analysis alone may take 2-3 hours. So, I used to do it at the end, and I would do it in two sittings.

Read: How Should I Prepare LRDI For CAT?


Key takeaways:

  1. Pick up one section at a time, because analyzing all the sections together can hamper your productivity.
  2. Go through each question, and pay more attention to the questions that you answered incorrectly.
  3. If you feel that a certain question is tricky, take a screenshot of its solution, save it in a word file, and revise it at least once a week. This will help you remember that concept.
  4. If you come across any different approach/short-trick/formula during analysis, note it down in a learning diary, and keep revising it. Again, it will be helpful.
  5. Following the above four steps will help you better your score in the subsequent mocks, because concepts always remain the same, only the way of asking changes.

What was the result of CAT mock analysis?

I went on scoring from as less as 40 marks in a mock test to 160 marks in the CAT exam, and to a great extent, it was due to the analysis of mocks and learning from them. If I had to summarize how the mock analysis helps you improve your performance, I would explain it through two points.

  1. Diagnose the problem: Analyze your mocks and understand where you are lacking.
    1. Are you not clear with your basics?
    2. Is it that you making silly mistakes?
    3. Are you not choosing the questions correctly?
    4. Is there any topic in particular which you are blank at?
  2. Based on your diagnosis, take the next step to rectify the problem:
    1. If you are not able to attempt even ten questions in a section, it means that your basics are not clear. So, stop taking mocks for a while, and go back to cover your basics first.
    2. If you are making silly calculation mistakes, try to slow down your speed and focus more on your accuracy. Practice more.
    3. If you are attempting the tough questions and leaving the easy ones, learn the art of choosing questions wisely. I have shared how to choose questions effectively here.
    4. If there is one particular topic that you are finding it a hard nut to crack, learn it from the basics from multiple sources so that you gain confidence in it.

 The CAT mock analysis is sacrosanct. It is the most effective way to improve the score substantially. So, do that without failing.

Read: What Strategy Should I Follow In CAT Mocks?

PS: This is the strategy that I followed. There is nothing good or bad about it. It is just something that worked for me. It might or might not work for you. But you can give it a shot.


Related articles:

  1. Which Is The Best Mock Test Series For CAT? Can I Predict My CAT Percentile From Mock Test Results?

  2. What Strategy Should I Follow In CAT Mocks?

  3. How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?
  4. What Are The Best Books For Cat Preparation?

  5. How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?

  6. My Maths Is Weak, How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT Exam?

  7. How Do I Develop The Reading Habit?

  8. How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?
  9. Which Is Better – Online Coaching Or Offline Coaching?

  10. Why Do Students Fail In CAT?

VARC for CAT

How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?

By CAT Preparation, The Beginner's guide No Comments

Let me be honest with you. If you are looking for a structured strategy of VARC for CAT, just like there are many for Quant, you might feel disappointed after reading this article. It is because I don’t know any structured approach that is there for VARC. And so, I didn’t follow any specific strategy in VARC.

Now, first things first. A few points about VARC.

  1. There is no well-defined study material of VARC for CAT.
  2. VARC for CAT is very much about RCs. Out of 34 questions, generally, 24 are from RCs. Of the remaining, there are 4-6 questions of critical reasoning and drawing a logical inference, 1-2 questions of sentence completion, and 3-4 questions of the para jumbles.
  3. Hence, from the second point, it is clear that 30 questions (RC + CR + sentence completion) can be covered if we comprehend the articles well.

So now, if you ask me, how did I prepare, I would say that I focused on the third point.

The keyword here is: comprehend the articles because it is the answer to every single question in VARC. It will help you in RCs, CRs, sentence completion, and to an extent, Para jumbles also.

This brings my first step of VARC preparation for CAT.


Step 1: Warming up

It pertains to getting comfortable with reading.

Try to get comfortable with reading. Develop the habit of reading. If you have around a year, you can easily do it. Trust me, you can do it. I started feeling comfortable with reading in six months. I have shared at length one way of developing the reading habit here.


Step 2: Practice matches

Practice match pertains to practising RCs.

If you have more than a year to prepare, you can start taking this step after doing the first step for at least a month.

If there is a time constraint, you can follow this step a little sooner, maybe after following step 1 for two weeks.

However, if you are comfortable with reading comprehension, you can directly start with this step.

From where did you practice RCs?

I practised RCs from the following.

  1. TIME VARC material
  2. Face2Face book: This has consolidated previous years’ CAT papers.
  3. Practice material that I got along with the IMS test series.

How did you approach the RCs?

For me, it was more of a hit and trial. I tried a particular trick for a few days, found it ineffective, so chucked it, and then tried a different trick. This is how I finally felt comfortable with one of the approaches. See, different things work for different people. What worked for me might not work for you. Hence, you should try different approaches and see what works best for you.

I am listing the two approaches that I tried.

  1. Read the article first, then attempt the questions: I would slowly read the article to ensure that I understand what is written in the article, and after reading, I would attempt the questions. I tried this, but it didn’t work well for me, maybe because I don’t have a sound memory. So by the time I read the questions, I would forget, where, in the article, the point related to that question had been mentioned. I also found this method a little more time-consuming. On average, to answer the RC of 500 words (general RC length in the CAT exam), I would take 12-15 minutes. So, this didn’t work for me. Eventually, I chucked it.
  2. Read the article partially, and see the questions: In this approach, instead of reading the whole RC at a go, I would read only the first few lines, understand what the passage was about, then read the questions, and then go back to the RC and continue reading. When I found that a particular part of the RC was related to that question, I would read it carefully, and look into the question again, and try to find the answer at that moment only. This method worked relatively better for me. There were some questions for which I did not even need to read the RC. In this way, I could also answer the RC in around 8-10 minutes.

Step 3: League Matches

This pertains to the mock tests.

In this step, you need to capitalize on your learnings and experience that you have gained from practising RCs. In other words, practising RCs develops logic and intuition power in you. You need to rope in both these weapons to win the league matches.

The mock tests will help you strike a balance between speed and accuracy. They will also help strengthen your logic and intuition power provided you analyse the mocks religiously.

A few tips to ace the VARC section in mock tests:

  1. Always start VARC sections with RCs. In the first 40-50 minutes, solve RCs. In the remaining 10-20 minutes, answer VA questions. In that too, solve para jumbles at the last. I am saying this because if you start VA in the beginning, it might take a lot of time, and you may not be able to attempt all the RCs that are the scoring areas in this section. And para jumbles should be the least priority because they can be complex and time-consuming. Also, there is a good chance of getting them wrong even after spending 2-3 minutes in one para jumble.
  2. Don’t start solving RCs in the sequence they appear. In the first five minutes, skim through all the RCs. Based on the right balance between your comfort level with the topic of RC and the RC length, decide the order in which you will attempt the RCs.
  3. Looking at the questions can help you analyse if the questions are fact-based or inference-based. It is better to answer fact-based RCs first because the accuracy in fact-based RCs is generally high. Understand that the choice of questions is the most important aspect of the CAT exam. You will score high by attempting easy questions and chucking the difficult ones. So, write it on paper, and keep it in front of your study table: CAT is all about your choices.
  4. Always try to answers the questions using the method of elimination. The method of elimination works magically well in all the sections of the CAT exam.
  5. Verbal is tricky. Here, it is difficult to be very sure about the answers. So, you can take a little risk in this section. You can have a trade-off between attempts and accuracy. I used to try to attempt 28+ questions with 70%+ accuracy. It can get you a good score in the VARC section.

Step 4: The final match

This pertains to the CAT exam.

Just a few points

  1. Be calm.
  2. Choose questions wisely.
  3. Capitalize on your learnings and experiences.
  4. Don’t get over-confident (I did this mistake).

You will come off with flying colours.


In this whole article, I have emphasized majorly on RCs because I mainly practised RCs, and I feel, that can help you get better in everything. For CR, para jumbles, and sentence completions, I referred to some exercises of TIME material. Besides that, I mostly answered questions on various CAT preparation groups on social media, which contributed substantially to my preparation of VARC for CAT.

My final words:

This article is only to give you exposure to some touchpoints (marked in red with NO underline) that you can focus on. So, you should work on these touchpoints and gain the learning, experience, and intuitive power that is required to ace the VARC section of the CAT exam.


Related articles:

  1. How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?
  2. What Are The Best Books For Cat Preparation?

  3. How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?

  4. My Maths Is Weak, How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT Exam?

  5. How Do I Develop The Reading Habit?

  6. Which Is Better – Online Coaching Or Offline Coaching?

  7. Which Is The Best Mock Test Series For CAT? Can I Predict My CAT Percentile From Mock Test Results?

  8. What Strategy Should I Follow In CAT Mocks?

  9. Why Do Students Fail In CAT?

The motivation for CAT: Fuel the fire in your belly

  1. How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?
  2. I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
  3. From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate
  4. From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
  5. Learn To Fight Alone!
What strategy should I follow in CAT mocks?

What strategy should I follow in CAT mocks?

By CAT Preparation, The Beginner's guide No Comments

What is Strategy in the context of CAT mocks?

We often hear the word ‘strategy’ in the context of CAT mocks. It has become such a common word now, but do we really strategize everything? All of us talk about strategy for CAT mocks, but when we take mocks, we just solve questions without thinking of any strategy as such.

In my MBA, I realized the true meaning of strategy. My strategy professor simply says that “strategy is all about making choices that among different options that will help you achieve your goal.”

Yesterday, one aspirant asked me about the CAT mock strategy and this definition popped up in my mind.

So, in this article, I will talk about the choices we should make in a CAT mock test that can possibly help us achieve our goal, i.e., a good mock score. I will simply explain the cat mock strategy that worked for me. I feel it might help you as well.

What was the situation?

To be honest, in my initial few mocks, I struggled to attempt the questions, let alone getting them correct.

I remember, in the first few mocks that I took sometime around this time in 2017, I would be hardly able to reach the 20th question of the Quant section. In the LRDI section, I would spend so much time in the first few sets that by the time 10 minutes are left, I would be left with four sets to see.

While analyzing the mocks, I realized the following things.

  1. I was trying to attempt the questions as they appeared. In doing so, I was spending more time in relatively tough questions.
  2. There were many LOD1 questions that I failed to notice in the mock test because they appeared among the last ten questions.
  3. I had been committing silly calculation mistakes because I was getting nervous. It is obvious because when you have to solve 34 questions in an hour, and you have managed to solve only 15 questions in the first 45 minutes.
  4. While doing the mock analysis, I felt I could have solved at least 8-10 more questions in this mock.

Read: Speed or Accuracy – What should I focus on?

How did I get around this situation?

I talked to my mentor and told him what I was doing. And he was pretended as if he already knew what I had been doing. He simply told me, “you are choosing the wrong questions to answer. You need to be picky while answering the questions in the mock tests. It does not matter whether you are solving an easy question or a tough question, both will fetch you equal three marks only. However, if you manage to pick up the easy questions, you will be able to solve more questions in the given time. So, learn the art of leaving questions. Don’t fall in love with any questions. Be selfish, and attempt only those questions which can easily fetch you three marks. And that made sense to me.”

From there on, I decided that I will be very choosy in answering the questions in CAT mocks. So, I executed the following points.

I skimmed all the questions of the Quant section and the LRDI section in the first five minutes.

  1. To whatever extent I could, I divided questions into three categories.
    1. A – LOD1 (Very easy formula based questions, generally 8–10 such questions appear in the CAT exam).
    2. B – LOD2 (Questions of moderate difficulty level. If you have practised well, you would know how to approach the question and would be able to solve it in 2 minutes. Generally, 16–18 such questions appear in the CAT exam).
    3. C – LOD3 (These are tough questions that you might not have seen before. These questions require you to think a lot. Generally, 3–6 such questions appear in the CAT exam).
  2. I started solving LOD1 questions first, followed by LOD2, and then LOD3 if time permitted.
  3. In the LRDI section also, I first skimmed through all the sets and followed the same method of categorization.
  4. In the verbal section, I checked which all RC topics were in my comfort zone and decided to attempt those first. The para jumbles could be tricky, so I used to it at the last after completing RC and CR questions.

But how to identify which questions are easy and which are tough?

It comes automatically with practice. But if you are not able to identify, do the following for the first five mocks that you have taken. Do this for the sections in which you are not able to identify your strong areas and weak areas.

  1. Make an excel file and write down all the topics of Quant in different rows.
  2. For each topic in each mock, identify the number of correct, incorrect, and unattempted questions.
  3. The topics with maximum right answers are your strong topics.
  4. The topic with maximum wrong or unattempted questions is your weak areas.
  5. From the next mock onwards, first, solve the questions from the topics of your strong area, and then go to solve questions from weak areas.
  6. In the weekdays, work on transforming your weak areas into strong areas.

Read: From 70% In CAT 2018 To 98+% In CAT 2019 – A leap of Faith Ft. Biswarup Ghosh

What was the result of this approach?

I succeeded in attempting (to solve or not) all the questions in the mock test.

  1. I did not feel stuck in many questions.
  2. My speed and accuracy improved.
  3. My scores gradually improved.
  4. I realized the importance of time management and felt that the CAT exam was manageable if you manage your time well.

Conclusion:

Initially, it felt a little tough to implement this in CAT mocks, but then gradually, it became a habit that continued till the CAT exam, and it helped me immensely. I hope you have got my points. Try implementing it. I hope that it will work well for you.

Keep going!

All the best!


Read: How To Do CAT Mock Analysis?


Related articles:

  1. How To Do CAT Mock Analysis?

  2. Mistakes That A CAT Aspirant Should Avoid! Ft. Atishaya Jain

  3. Why Do Students Fail In CAT?
  4. How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?
  5. What Are The Best Books For Cat Preparation?

  6. How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?

  7. My Maths Is Weak, How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT Exam?

  8. How Do I Develop The Reading Habit?

  9. How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?
  10. Which Is Better – Online Coaching Or Offline Coaching?

  11. How Should I Prepare LRDI For CAT?

  12. Which Is The Best Mock Test Series For CAT? Can I Predict My CAT Percentile From Mock Test Results?

  13. Which All Top B-Schools Give Very Less Or No Weight For Academic Scores?

weak quant

My maths is weak, how should I prepare Quant for CAT exam?

By CAT Preparation, The Beginner's guide No Comments

In the last two months, I have been asked one question very frequently. It is: “How should I prepare Quant if I am weak in Maths?”

weak quant

I understand that maths is not your forte. I agree that you might have been out of touch with mathematics after class 10. But that should not leave you dead scared. The CAT exam syllabus of the quant is till class 10 only.

Hence, first of all, start believing that it is possible and you can do it. Many non-engineers who studied maths up to class 10 have made it to the top IIMs. So you too can make it. Many have done it before you, and many will do it after you. So, you can also do it. Feel this attitude, and read further.

To be honest, I, being an engineer, am average at maths. Though it is not my forte, it is not my nemesis either.  So, I never referred to any textbook of maths for the CAT preparation. But I have learned from many aspirants that they are having a tough time dealing with maths. This has made me realize that there can’t be only one way of preparation. What worked for me might not work for others. And so, I reached out to my non-engineer friends. I tried to understand how they approached the preparation of the Quant section for the CAT exam. Among these friends, some were b.com grads, and two of them were doctors.


How do non-engineers generally deal with Maths?

In the outset, I am summing up the highlights of my discussion with them.

  1. They prepared for CAT for at least one year.
  2. Most of them borrowed the Arun Sharma book but failed to follow that in and out.
  3. They studied mainly through the study material of the coaching institute and the mock tests. They all said that mocks helped them substantially.
  4. Most of them covered easy topics first and did not focus much on the tough (LOD 3) questions.
  5. Most of them had one section in which they were relatively strong.
  6. Interestingly, one doctor liked maths, and she prepared with coaching material and mocks. She ended up with around 99 percentile in Quant.

Now, In this blog, I am going to share what I learned from their experience.

So, if you get a nightmare from maths or you find it hard to understand the solutions of most of the questions given in the study material, the following points might help you.


Start early:

Most of my non-engineer friends said that they knew that maths was their weakness. So, they started a bit early. As such, if you are weak in mathematics, you should start preparing for the CAT exam at least 12 months before the CAT exam. And if possible, prepare for around a year and a half. It will give you sufficient time to get adapted to the CAT syllabus and get through the exam.

Focus on the basics: 

When you are weak in some areas, when you feel stuck in something, you need to first learn the basics of it. But at the same time, you need to keep a check on the time you have for the preparation. Everyone who manages to score well in the Quant section has his/her basics covered. To cover the basics, you should do the following experiments.

  1. Cover the basics from the study material of any coaching institute: I always prefer this because the study material of the coaching institutes covers all the topics in a very optimal way – they cover the basics as well as give you exposure to the variety of questions asked in the CAT exam. You can try this.
  2. Cover the basics from Arun Sharma: You can also cover your basics from the famous Arun Sharma books for CAT preparation. However, I would recommend this way in the following situations.
      1. You have sufficient time for the CAT preparation (more than one year).
      2. Your basics of Quant and LRDI are too weak.

In general, I would suggest you to first go through the study material of any coaching institute. Start taking baby steps with the help of that study material. You can approach your topic-wise Quant Preparation in the following manner.

  1. Pick up any easy topic (for example, profit and loss), read the concepts given at the beginning of the topic, and then try solving questions.
  2. With the concepts given, you will be able to solve most of the questions. There will be questions which you will not be able to solve, try it for 3-4 minutes. If you don’t get the approach, highlight them, and see the solution.
  3. If you are not able to understand the solution also, post it in some peer-learning group and take the help of other aspirants. They can help you better with the concept and the approach. They may even suggest some better approaches to the same question. Remember, peer-learning is one of the most important aspects of the CAT exam and the MBA.
  4. If there are so many questions whose solutions you are not able to understand even after watching the solutions, it means that your basics are not in place. In this situation, pick up the Arun Sharma book for that topic, and cover it. You can skip LOD-3 questions as they are generally not tested in the CAT exam. The CAT questions are mostly (around 28-30) easy or moderate.

As I mentioned, this is the time to experiment in which you try to understand which way works better for you. Do this experiment for at least a month. This will give you an idea as to what resource you should use to cover the basics. This will also help you understand how comfortable you are with the CAT syllabus and if you should join any coaching.

I feel that no matter who you are – engineer or non-engineer, you should not join coaching straightaway. First, you should take baby steps on your own, get a rough idea of your strengths and weakness, and then decide if you need to join coaching. If yes, it will help you decide when you should join a coaching class.

Do not over-study in the beginning:

When you start practising, the initial days will be tiring and you might find it difficult to sit for long hours. So, don’t do that. In the beginning, go slowly. You have time, so you can start slowly, and later pace up your preparation. Learn at your own pace. This will ensure that you don’t lose interest even before getting fully into the preparation mode.

Make a learning diary: 

When Quant is not your forte, you may need to revise it now and then as it does not come naturally to you. In this situation, you should maintain a learning diary in which you can note down all the important formulas and concepts topic-wise. And keep revising it so that you stay in touch with it.

Work on your calculations:

It comes in very handy, but it is not a skill that can be honed in a day or a week. It will take months to develop that habit. So, be patient. Every day, along with your regular preparation, spend around half an hour in learning a thing or two about speed maths. You can find this in the study material of any coaching. Basics like table up to 30, squares up to 30, cubes up to 20, conversion of fraction into percent, and so on should be at your fingertips. Just keep learning a bit of it every day and use it in your calculations. You will gradually develop the speed.

Be consistent: 

This is very important. You spend a lot of time in learning one topic from scratch and then if you keep it aside for a month. All the learnings will be gone. You will feel like starting the topic again from scratch. So, don’t just throw away any topic after covering it. Stay in touch with it. And the best way to do is to try solving questions on various social media platforms and peer-learning groups. This will help you revise your concepts, and at the same time, you will be able to help others that will win you friends in this journey.

Analyze mocks religiously:

My non-engineer friends, as well as I, strongly feel that most of the learning happens through mock analysis. Go through each question of the Quant section, try it again on your own. If you are not getting the approach, see the solution. Try to understand the approach they have used in their solution. If you feel that you are not able to solve many questions from a particular topic, go back and brush it up either from the study material of the coaching or from the Arun Sharma book. Inculcate this habit. Analyze mocks religiously.


Read: What Strategy Should I Follow In CAT Mocks?


Have patience:

Please, don’t get disheartened if you get stuck in preparation and don’t see the light quickly. Don’t feel bad if you fail to solve the questions comfortably. It is okay to struggle. When you start something new, when you see that something is your weak link or something that is not your forte, you need to invest a lot of time in that. Initially, you won’t see the light. You won’t see any improvement in just a few days or a few months, but a consistent effort over a period will fetch you some beautiful results.

In any new project that you work on, the initial few days or few months are required only to find the right way and the right direction. Initially, you will do something and discover that it is not working for you, then you will try a different method which you might find efficient, and then you start following it consistently to get the desired results.

You need to forgive yourself for your faults and mistakes and keep on learning with patience. You need to give yourself sufficient time to do mistakes and learn from them. Those who want instant results, I feel, they do injustice to themselves. So, please, be patient. Please, don’t be harsh on yourself. Don’t overburden yourself. Learn slowly. It is okay. Once you get the hang of it, you will become unstoppable.


Finally, just remember,
“With ordinary talent and extraordinary effort and perseverance, all things are attainable – Thomas Fowell Buxton”
And
The success tastes sweeter if it comes as a result of coming through sheer struggles.


With these points, I feel one should be able to get rid of his Quant fear. However, as I always say, it is just my opinion. This is not the only way to study, but it is surely one of the ways. Those who are struggling to find a way can try this.


Read: How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?


Related articles:

  1. How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?
  2. How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?
  3. What Are The Best Books For Cat Preparation?

  4. How Do I Develop The Reading Habit?

  5. How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?
  6. Which Is Better – Online Coaching Or Offline Coaching?

  7. Which Is The Best Mock Test Series For CAT? Can I Predict My CAT Percentile From Mock Test Results?

  8. What Strategy Should I Follow In CAT Mocks?

  9. Why Do Students Fail In CAT?

quant for cat

How should I prepare Quant for CAT?

By CAT Preparation, The Beginner's guide 6 Comments

This is a very common question. In the outset of the preparation, most of the CAT aspirants find themselves clueless with no idea on how to prepare quant for CAT. They struggle to find answers to the following questions.

  1. Which topic should I start first?
  2. What sequence of the topics should I follow?

They feel that they lack a strategy and a structure for their preparation. Many get worried because they feel that their preparation is random and haphazard. In this blog, I will try to share how I was able to study quant in a structured manner and what sequence of the topics did I follow. It might help you a little in giving a structure to your preparation.

When I started my preparation, I was as clueless as anyone else. I had been out of touch with maths for almost a year and did not have any habit of studying for long hours. So, I decided that I would pick the easier topics first, and started with Arithmetic. It helped me in the following ways.

  1. Arithmetic being relatively easier, boosted my confidence.
  2. It helped me set up the tone for the preparation.
  3. I found questions easy and interesting, so it helped me increase my study hours gradually.

Initially, when I started my CAT journey in January 2017, I would study not more than 2 hours a day for around three weeks. Gradually, I started enjoying my preparation, and so I managed to increase my study hours to an average of 5 – 6 hours a day.


What sequence of the topics did you follow?

I had the TIME material with me, so I followed the topics from that material in the following sequence.

  1. Arithmetic (10-12 questions in CAT)
  2. Algebra ( 10-12 questions in CAT)
  3. Number Systems (2-4 questions in CAT)
  4. Geometry (4-6 questions in CAT)
  5. P&C (1-2 questions in CAT)
  6. Cubes (0-2 questions in CAT)

Arithmetic:

  1. Percentage
  2. Average
  3. Profit and Loss
  4. SI CI
  5. Ratio & proportions
  6. Mixture and Alligation
  7. Time and Work
  8. Speed, Distance, and Time

Algebra:

  1. Sequence and Series
  2. Integral solutions
  3. Log
  4. Inequalities
  5. Mods
  6. Graphs
  7. Maxima Minima
  8. Functions

I covered all these topics from TIME booklets. This gave me a basic understanding of Quant for the CAT. I reinforced these basics through mocks and their analysis by learning from them. In each topic, I used to first read the theory and the solved examples. After this, I would solve the exercise questions.


How did you gain speed?

Initially, I did not focus on speed. My only goal was to understand the concepts. If I got stuck in any question, I used to see the solution and understand that. I did not rush initially. I used to study at my own pace. With time, I was able to gain speed because my concepts got clear, and I had confidence.

Alongside this, I covered topics of speed mathematics daily for around 30 minutes. This helped me learn a few speedy calculations, and I applied those in questions. In this way, I was able to remember those tricks, and they were at my fingertips in some time.

Read: What Are The Best Books For Cat Preparation?


What else did you do?

I was a part of one peer-learning group on WhatsApp and iQuanta group on Facebook. In these groups, I posted all my doubts questions. It helped me immensely, as most of the time, I got the answer to my query within a few minutes. I also helped others by solving their doubt questions in these groups. This facilitated revision of my concepts. Besides, this allowed me to remain updated with all the topics.

Once I started taking mocks, I came across questions that were new to me, and these questions exposed me to new concepts. I learned these through some videos on YouTube. I would face a lot of problems, especially in Algebra questions like mods and Graphs. Fortunately, I found beautiful explanations of all these topics on the Takshzilla YouTube channel. For algebra, I haven’t found anything better than those videos. Those videos made algebra look super easy.

Unfortunately, those videos have been taken off now, and are available only for paid users.

I also maintained a learning diary in which I had noted down all the formulas topic wise and also some questions that I felt were typical.

One last point: I did not focus much on very tough questions (L0D 3). Very few such questions are asked in the CAT exam. And, I feel, more often than not, they are meant to be left so that you can use that time in other questions. To back my point, I am roughly giving the number of questions asked in each difficulty level.

  1. Easy: 8-10
  2. Moderate – 15-18
  3. Tough – 4-6

In a nutshell, what helped me was

  1. Focus on basic concepts
  2. Consistency
  3. Sometimes, I couldn’t solve many questions from a topic, but I did not get harsh on myself.
  4. Mocks and their analysis
  5. Solving questions in Peer learning groups

I prepared Quant for CAT in this way. In CAT 2017, I scored 97.63 percentile in Quant in my first attempt.

I hope this article will give you some direction to your Quant preparation.

Keep going!
All the best!


Read: How Should I Prepare LRDI For CAT?


Related articles:

  1. My Maths Is Weak, How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT Exam?
  2. How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?
  3. What Are The Best Books For Cat Preparation?

  4. How Do I Develop The Reading Habit?
  5. How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?
  6. Which Is Better – Online Coaching Or Offline Coaching?

  7. Which Is The Best Mock Test Series For CAT? Can I Predict My CAT Percentile From Mock Test Results?

  8. What Strategy Should I Follow In CAT Mocks?

  9. Why Do Students Fail In CAT?

 

How do I develop the reading habit

How do I develop the reading habit?

By CAT Preparation, The Beginner's guide 9 Comments

Are you also looking for ways to develop the reading habit?

If yes, this article might be helpful to you.

In the CAT examination, I find VARC very amusing. It is interesting that for some, it is a cakewalk, while for others, it is no less than a nightmare. The people in the latter category find themselves dumbstruck as to what they should do with this section. They often say that they can handle quant and DILR because those are formula and logic-based and can be mastered through regular practice. But in VARC, there is no logic as such. They often get stuck with the following questions.

“How can I score well in the VA section?”
“What are the ways to increase my accuracy in VA section?”
“Why do I fail to understand the meaning of many words that I come across.
“My reading speed is very slow. What should I do?”

And those who have taken the CAT exam, the only answer they have for this is: Develop the reading habit. Read, read, and read is what they advise. I second their opinion.

I also strongly feel that the VARC section can be comfortably tackled if one is good at reading. In my opinion, a good reader has a few good qualities.

  1. Good comprehension kill.
  2. Better intuition concerning the English language as compared to the ones who are not voracious readers.
  3. Rich vocabulary
  4. Relatively higher reading speed

So, one thing is clear: It is important to develop the reading habit to ace the VARC section of the CAT exam.

Then, the next question that comes to our mind is: How?

To answer this question, I will tell you a little about my background and what I did to enhance my reading skill. In the outset, I want to tell that if you are looking for some formula or any instant solution, you will be disappointed, because what I followed did not yield result quickly. So, in that case, you may skip reading this answer further.

I had my schooling till class 8 in the MP board school in my village. So, there was no culture of English. All I did till class 8 was rote-learning. In class 9, my family moved to a city, and I secured admission in a CBSE convent school.

And then began the struggle. There, the way of the study was completely different, where we had to study books instead of just mug-up text back questions. No concept of rote-learning was there. Also, teachers used to teach in English, and students were also very fluent in English communication.

Among them, I felt dumb. The inferiority complex crept in. I struggled a lot for years. My colleagues used to mock me for my inability to speak in English and my rustic pronunciation. Everything went wrong except one thing – this ordeal fuelled the fire within me.

During my engineering, I started reading the newspaper because we used to get it for free in our hostel. When I initially started, it took me an hour to read one page of the newspaper. I did not know the meaning of many words. But I was patient. Every day I would read one page of the newspaper, and in that also, I would pick articles that fascinated me.

I mostly read articles related to politics, sports, and lifestyle, and ensured that I understood what was written there. I would not assume the meaning of any word, rather I would underline the word, and look into the dictionary for the meaning. Not only reading, but I would also write all the new words in a notebook and make one sentence on my own using that word. This helped me remember the words.

Besides, I used to write a few words on my palm each day and form sentences using those words. All this helped me understand the articles well. I could understand how a sentence was written and learned quite a few new words in this process. After a month, I could read a page in around 40 minutes with a lesser number of unknown words cropping up each day.  I continued this practice for around six months, and it did wonders for me. I fell in love with English, and as a result, I started writing, and eventually, I started my blog.

Today, I read the English newspaper the way I read the Hindi newspaper.

I enjoyed this process. To my disbelief, it was very unwinding. I felt really good when I used to frame a sentence for words written on my palm during my free time – sometimes during my evening walk or at night when I was just roaming around.

I am not saying that this is the only way to enhance your reading skill, but it is one effective way I feel. It might work for you as well. But yes, in this process, one needs to be patient because it is a slow process, and it will take some time to yield a positive result.

In this whole process, one thing is very important, and it is that one should not try reading topics that do not fascinate them. At least, in the beginning, read those topics which fascinate you so that you develop a taste for reading and start enjoying it. Once you start enjoying reading, you can read those editorials of The Hindu and the likes.

Lastly, this process would work better if your basic English grammar is fairly good. If not, they brush it up as well alongside. You should be very clear with basic topics like tenses, voice, and speech.

To conclude, those who are targeting CAT 2021 should try this, and those who are targeting CAT 2020 can try this, but due to a paucity of time, instead of reading one page, read only one article a day. But be consistent. And for that matter, throughout your CAT preparation, be patient and work consistently. I strongly believe, CAT is one exam which is more about patience, persistence, and perseverance than it is about intelligence.

Read: How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?


Related articles:

  1. How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?

  2. My Maths Is Weak, How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT Exam?

  3. How Should I Prepare LRDI For CAT?

  4. Speed or Accuracy – What should I focus on?
  5. Which Is The Best Mock Test Series For CAT? Can I Predict My CAT Percentile From Mock Test Results?

  6. What Strategy Should I Follow In CAT Mocks?

  7. How To Do CAT Mock Analysis?

How should I get motivation for CAT exam

How do I get motivation for CAT exam?

By Get Inspired, The Beginner's guide 2 Comments

Are you struggling to find motivation for the CAT exam?

Read this post along. It might help you. But this is one of my long posts. However, I felt it was important to set the backdrop so that readers clearly understand the message and its significance. This message has helped me. I hope it will help you as well. Please read it only if when you are free and have time for reading.

Backdrop:

It was in March 2010 when Dhairya was discussing with his friends about their future. They were all telling what would they do after their exams of term-4 of the engineering get over. Some were about to join TIME to prepare for the CAT exam, while others were planning to join Made Easy or Engineering Circle to prepare for the GATE exam.

Listening to their plans, Dhairya got worried as he still didn’t know what he wanted to do in his life. For days, he kept thinking about his future but couldn’t reach any conclusion. A few months passed by. His friends had started their preparation. Most of his classmates would study for the competitive exams during class time. They would also bunk classes every now and then to take out time to study.

This made Dhairya feel jealous of others. He also felt a waft of an inferiority complex when he saw others working hard and himself doing no preparation at all. He felt restless and started thinking about his future all the time. Finally, he concluded that:

  • Those who aspire to do business take the CAT exam, but I am not at all a business person. So, the MBA is not for me.
  • I have been studying engineering, and I think I can prepare for GATE because the subjects of GATE and engineering are similar.

The GATE Journey:

This way, he decided to go for GATE coaching. Exactly after one year from the time when this discussion of the future began, in March 2011, he joined Made Easy coaching in Bhopal. In those days, Made Easy was the best coaching for GATE and IES. It was also the most expensive coaching.

He also requested his father to buy him a bike as coaching was at a distance of 10 km from his place and bike would save a lot of time, to which his father agreed, though unwillingly.

In the first few months, he was very enthusiastic about his preparation. He would attend a 3-hour class daily, and after that, he would do self-study for 4-6 hours besides attending his college. On weekends, he used to attend classes from morning to evening. He had been toiling very hard.

After a few months, in July 2011, placement season began. He could not clear the written test of Infosys because he was busy in his GATE preparation. But that failure hit him hard. His friends cleared the written test and moved to the interview round while he failed to clear the aptitude test. His family also got angry with him because he was not taking the placement seriously.

He eventually caved- in to this jolt and family pressure and started preparing for the campus placement. Eventually, he cleared the interviews of four MNCs. He succeeded in the placement but failed in the GATE preparation.

After he got placed, he felt nonchalant and couldn’t focus on the GATE preparation. He lacked in his studies, the GATE subjects didn’t fascinate him anymore, he didn’t have any strong reason to continue the painstaking preparation – attending classes for 8 hours in a go and doing self-study after the class.

He fared poorly in a few mock tests and got disappointed, and so, he finally gave up after August. Yes, he simply quit. In GATE 2012, he failed miserably.

Can you guess why?

  • Dhairya failed because he did not have a strong reason to prepare for the GATE exam. He had no idea about his “WHY.”
  • He suffered because he just followed the crowd.

Read: Learn To Fight Alone!

We often decide to pursue a competitive exam or any course just because others are doing it. I feel this herd mentality is the biggest reason behind the failure of many of us. In India, most of us do engineering not because we want to do it, but because everyone else is doing it.

The MNC Sojourn:

After he failed in the GATE exam, he felt a little sad, but the exuberance of farewell party and the signature day subdued that sadness. His completed his Engineering, and in a month, in May 2012, he had to join an MNC.

When he received his first salary, he felt ecstatic. He was on cloud nine. He had to be. After all, he had started earning a handsome salary of INR X per month. That salary was handsome because it was more than enough for a single man with no responsibilities as such. He cherished his initial few months of training at MNC.

But soon, he started feeling miserable there. He got a technology that was completely different from what he got trained in. Dhairya knew nothing about it. And in the project also, he did not receive any support. His manager would give him strict deadlines to solve the issues.

The project he was a part of required a thorough understanding of the business process to deal with the issues, but no one in the project had clear knowledge about the business process of the client. He talked about this issue with his manager but the manager asked him to manage it anyhow because that’s how the IT works.

He tried learning that technology but he could not cope with the pressure. His handsome salary no longer motivated him. He started feeling miserable there. He started feeling worthless. The callous management and petty office politics frustrated him formidably.

Read: From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional

And then, he decided to find a better opportunity for himself. After seeing the pathetic management, poor leadership, and petty politics in the office, besides a lack of business understanding, he made his mind to get into the field of business management.

The CAT Journey:

He decided to take the CAT exam and started learning about it in January 2013. This time, he had reasons to pursue CAT. He wanted to pursue CAT for the following reasons.

  1. Move out of that hell of a project and company.
  2. Save himself from petty office politics.
  3. Learn about business management and various business processes.
  4. Become an able manager and a good leader.

He started taking baby steps in January. The exam was scheduled in the last week of November. Just like in his GATE preparation, he experienced hiccups in his CAT preparation, his schedule was hectic and juggling the job and the preparation was getting difficult, but this time, he knew why he wanted to take the CAT exam, he knew the importance of that exam, and he had clear reasons to struggle and prepare.

Read: How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?

He found some topics difficult and the preparation tough, he was let down at times, and felt like giving up. But the moment he thought of continuing his job, he gave up the idea of giving up. In his CAT preparation, he persisted and persevered. During this journey, he remained patient in the face of failures (low scores in mocks).

There were times when he felt he was lacking in the competition, but then, he also managed to find ways to motivate himself, through pep-talks, motivational videos, success stories, failure stories, and the struggle stories. He badly wanted to move out of that place, so he managed to find reasons to not give up. And his job helped him. He gained motivation through frustration. His struggle at the workplace fuelled his fire within. And finally, he succeeded.

He cracked CAT 2013, and got admission into an IIM!

So, what is the learning from this whole story?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The learning is – KNOW YOUR WHY!

Realize that the competitive exams are not just about intelligence and talent. They are also about patience, persistence, and perseverance. Many people run fast, but not many do so for a sustained period, and that’s why many people fail to unleash their true potential in competitive exams.

When your dream is big, there will be hurdles and setbacks. As the murphy law says, “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” Sometimes, when things go wrong, they go wrong all at once. Life is not a cakewalk, and that’s a fait accompli. There will be times when you will be battered bitterly.

In such moments of setbacks, we should have some reason not to give up. We should be so desperate for success that giving up no longer remains a choice. If we want something badly, sooner or later, we will get it. If not successful, we will get some lessons for a lifetime, but your hard work will never be a waste. Just be patient. Perspire and persevere.

And most importantly, believe in the process and live your struggles because you can feel the sheer ecstasy only when you come through umpteen failures, brutal heartaches, and sheer struggles, for what defines us is not where we are but how we have reached there.

When we are let down, we begin to treasure every little thing that makes us happy, which is overarching to live life to the fullest. Sufferings are, in a true sense, blessings in disguise. They make us humble and sensitive from within. It’s imperative to feel blue and still keep the chin up and keep going, looking for ways to be happy. After all, life is not about being haves, it’s about what it makes of you in the pursuit. The more you endure, the stronger a force you become.

But that strength to persevere patiently comes only if we have a clear why. You can persevere only if you desire something badly and have a strong reason not to give up.

So, always start with why. Find your motivation for CAT exam preparation, and be mad after your dreams and desires. 

All the best 🙂

Read: From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate


Related Articles:

  1. From Completing B.Tech In 6 Years To Making It To An IIM At 27, Rohit’s CAT Journey Of Courage And Intent

  2. I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
  3. From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate
  4. From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
  5. Learn To Fight Alone!
Which is better – Online coaching or offline coaching?

Which is better – Online coaching or offline coaching?

By CAT Preparation, The Beginner's guide 4 Comments

In the last 4-5 years, there has been a paradigm shift in the way preparation for the CAT exam is done, with more and more online coachings gaining substantial traction. And the results have been positive as well.

I have seen many people acing the CAT exam without taking coaching from established institutes like TIME, IMS, and CL. These people prepared mostly through online platforms and with the guidance of the ones who have been through the same journey.

Having said this, I agree that online coaching is gaining traction, but it doesn’t mean that offline coaching is not worth it.

People often seek answers to the following questions.

“Should I join coaching or prepare on my own?”
“Which coaching should I join – online or offline?”

I feel these questions are very subjective, and the answer to these can be different for different individuals.

CAT is one exam in which, more than intelligence, patience and persistence matter. It is an exam in which, more than talent, intent matters.

There are 3 Ps that are of utmost importance in the CAT preparation.

Persistence: Can you continue your studies even if you find it difficult? Do you have enough motivation to crack the CAT that you willingly face the challenges?
Perseverance: Can you slog daily for 3-6 hours for days and months? Can you adjust your schedule to ensure that you take out sufficient time to study?
Patience: Can you calmly prepare for 8-12 months without getting frustrated to such an extent that you decide to quit the CAT preparation midway?

The syllabus of the CAT exam is no rocket science. Anyone can master it with the help of above 3 Ps. And I believe, coaching institutes help you with these 3 Ps more than the teaching (I don’t mean to offend anyone. This is just my personal opinion). They offer you an environment to study that helps you trudge this long walk.

The biggest advantage of coaching institutes is that they provide you with a schedule. And when you are let down, they can motivate you. 

So, if you feel that you have your basics right in place and you can manage your schedule well, I feel you can ace the CAT without any coaching. Nowadays, so many online platforms are available to help you with your doubts and other queries. There are so many online platforms available that facilitate peer learning. And the best thing is – you can study at your own pace.

However, if you feel that you are not able to manage your schedule on your own or your basics are not in place, you should join a coaching institute. Now, which one to join depends on your daily routine and your budget.

If you are a working professional and have a paucity of time, I feel you should go ahead with online coaching. It is because –

It will save travel time.
It will let you study at your own pace because their lectures can be viewed again and again at your convenience.

If you are not a tech-savvy person who is comfortable with the online mode of learning, you don’t have a paucity of time, and also if you don’t have any budget constraint, you can join any offline coaching. That will give you a fair schedule to follow.

Finally,

I have seen people getting 99+ percentile with no coaching and people failing miserably even after taking coaching for a year, and also the other way round.

So, no matter which coaching you join, eventually it all boils down to how determined you are to crack the CAT, how much practice you have done, how many mocks you have taken, how well the analysis of mocks you have done, and whether or not you have followed the 3 Ps.

All the best!
May The Force Be With You!


Read: How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?


Related articles:

  1. What Are The Best Books For Cat Preparation?

  2. How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?

  3. My Maths Is Weak, How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT Exam?

  4. Which Is The Best Mock Test Series For CAT? Can I Predict My CAT Percentile From Mock Test Results?

  5. What Strategy Should I Follow In CAT Mocks?

  6. How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?

 

best book for cat preparation

What are the best books for cat preparation?

By CAT Preparation, The Beginner's guide 5 Comments

This is another very common yet important question. Once they make up their mind to take the cat exam, they start thinking, “what are the best books for cat preparation?”

Many times, aspirants get stuck with choice overload bias when it comes to choosing the study material to start their preparation. Choice overload, or “over choice,” is a phenomenon whereby we tend to have difficulty in choosing if presented with numerous options. As a result, they feel trapped with no clarity on how to prepare for the CAT exam.

So, based on my experience, in this blog, I am trying to help aspirants get over this dilemma.

I will say there are many best books for CAT preparation. By this, I don’t mean that you need to cover many books in and out. However, I feel that if your basics are clear, you need not solve each and every question from the renowned books like Arun Sharma or following books like Word Power Made Easy to enhance your vocabulary.

Why?

It is because those books are too exhaustive, and you might not get sufficient time to cover those books in and out (I’m assuming that you have 8-10 months for preparation). Also, I feel that one does not require so much of a detailed study in the CAT exam.

You need to understand that CAT exam, and for that matter, all the competitive exams require smart work, not hard work. Competitive exams are as much about robust strategy as about hard work.

So, you need to learn to get the most out of all the available resources smartly. You need to choose resources smartly, and more importantly, you need to know how to study from those resources.

In the CAT exam, certain topics are very important, while certain others are not that important. So, you need to invest your time accordingly. And a major preparation in exams like CAT, which requires great time management, happens through mocks and their analysis.

As such, you need to be abreast of major concepts from all the topics and start taking mocks. I want to emphasize more on the importance of taking mocks and analyzing them for the preparation of the CAT exam.

Now, to get a fair idea and understanding of all the topics, you can do the following (again, this is what worked for me. It may or may not work for you. But definitely, it is one way that can be worked out.)

Cover basics from materials provided by the coaching institute:

Unlike any book, coaching institutes offer relatively crisp study material that covers all the important topics. So, you can take handbooks of any coaching material, be it TIME, IMS or CL, and get hold of the basic concepts. For example, in quant, you can start with Arithmetic → Algebra → Number Systems → Geometry (I prefer this order because arithmetic and algebra are relatively simpler and Geometry and Number Systems are little tricky.)

Read: How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?

Similarly, in LRDI, you can cover the basics of all the topics from the study material. So, this way, from handbooks of coaching institutes, you can get a fair idea of the concepts of all the concepts.

No need to solve thousands of questions from books like Arun Sharma. However, if you feel that you are very weak in a particular topic, you can refer to such books to cover that particular topic.

Takshzilla Videos for Arithmetic and Algebra:

They are the best, because every topic is lucidly explained, and I can vouch for it.

Join a peer-learning group for doubt-solving and mixed questions:

The peer-learning group is a must for healthy preparation. These groups will give you an opportunity to solve many questions daily from across the sections. It also facilitates prompt doubt-solving.

Read, Read, and Read:

For VARC, a big NO to learning vocab by heart because VARC is more about comprehension. Read a lot. Read whatever you feel like, be it novel, newspaper, articles, or anything. Just read. It will do wonders for you after some time.

Read: How Do I Develop The Reading Habit?

Previous Year Questions:

This is very important as it gives you an idea as to what type of questions are asked in CAT. You can get it online. I have discussed the list of such online resources in detail here.


Now, these resources do not guarantee you 100% preparation. And for that matter, you can never be 100% prepared for a highly uncertain exam like CAT. Such exams are known for throwing surprises. However, these resources will make you ready to take mocks. These will make you feel that you are 50-60 % prepared. And then, the remaining learning will happen through mock analysis.

While doing mock analysis, you will come across some new questions and new concepts. So, learn these from mock solutions or YouTube videos. Keep exploring. Keep learning. You will have to leverage all the resources at your disposal. Smartly.

My final words: There are many best books for cat preparation, and there is no best book for cat preparation. I hope you got my point.

Links of the study material:

  1. Peer-Learning Group for an instant doubt solving
  2. Previous year solved questions
  3. Takshzilla Videos

Read: How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?


Related articles:

  1. How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?
  2. How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?

  3. My Maths Is Weak, How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT Exam?

  4. How Do I Develop The Reading Habit?

  5. How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?
  6. Which Is Better – Online Coaching Or Offline Coaching?

  7. Which Is The Best Mock Test Series For CAT? Can I Predict My CAT Percentile From Mock Test Results?

  8. What Strategy Should I Follow In CAT Mocks?

  9. Why Do Students Fail In CAT?

The motivation for CAT: Fuel the fire in your belly

  1. How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?
  2. I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
  3. From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate
  4. From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
  5. Learn To Fight Alone!
How should I prepare for the CAT exam

How should I prepare for the CAT exam?

By CAT Preparation, The Beginner's guide 12 Comments

This is a common yet important question, especially for those who have just made their mind to give a shot at the CAT exam. Oftentimes, what happens is that aspirants are highly motivated to study hard and crack the cat exam, but they just don’t have an idea as to how to kick-start the cat preparation. They don’t know where to start.

I was in a similar situation in 2017. I began my preparation in January 2017, and I did not join any coaching institute. So, based on my experience, I am sharing with you how you can prepare for this exam (assuming that you have 7-10 months for preparation). A word of caution – the following points are the ones that I followed. These might or might not work for you. Having said that, this is not the only way to prepare, but one of the ways that you can follow.


Start with WHY:

The first step towards CAT preparation is knowing why you want to do it. The CAT exam demands consistent preparation over a period. In this period, there comes a time when our confidence shakes, and we get demotivated. In such a situation, it is important to have a good reason to prepare for CAT so that when you feel down, your reason can lift you and motivate you to keep going. So, always start with why.

Don’t rush, cover the basic concepts first:

It is very important to do things at your own pace. Don’t rush. In the first place, you can start solving basic questions of all the sections. Spending 2-3 hours daily will help you gain some confidence in a month itself. You can increase your study time then. I solved questions from TIME booklets, and that helped me gain some basic understanding of the concepts. You don’t need to join any coaching just because you want to have the material. If you feel, you can prepare on your own, you should. You can easily get the study material of any coaching institutes in soft copy. 

    1. Quant:  If you have been out of touch with books, a good idea is to brush up the basic concepts first. You can cover the basics from booklets of any coaching institute. They precisely explain the topics and then provide practise exercises that help you reinforce the concepts. From my experience, you should cover the topics in the following order. Arithmetic –> Algebra –> Number Systems –> Geometry. This order ensures that you are covering the easier and relatively important topics before the tricky ones. And for speed, you should work daily for around half an hour working on speed maths learning various tricks to calculate fast. Speed Maths module of TIME can come in handy for this. I have covered the quant preparation strategy in detail here.
    2. LRDI: To be honest, LRDI is all about practice and getting exposure to as many varieties of sets as you can. And for this, you need to practice as many sets you can. To start things, you can start practising topics from any of the coaching institute’s booklets. Once you are abreast of all the basic concepts, you can start exploring more LRDI sets here and there. You can also solve sets from previous year mock tests (AIMCAT and SIMCAT).
      Read: How Should I Prepare LRDI For CAT?
    3. VARC:  Don’t rush, cover the basic concepts first: Quant and LRDI can be mastered by practice. Certain formulas can be applied to quant and LRDI questions. However, VARC is a different ball game. To get better in VARC, read, read, and read. There is no substitute for reading. The more you read, the better you can become at comprehending RCs, which form a major chunk of the whole VARC section. So, read. Read anything and everything. Read whatever you like, be it sports, entertainment, politics, history or psychology or whatever. Just read. It is very important to develop the reading habit to ace this section. You may read from any source – novel, newspaper, blogs or websites. And be consistent with reading. If you are not an avid reader, you may not like reading initially, but with persistence, you will develop a taste for it.

Be consistent:

This is the most important aspect of CAT preparation. You need to be in touch with all the sections throughout your preparation. Long breaks may break your rhythm and cost you dearly. So, even if your schedule is hectic, make sure you spend some time to solve at least a few questions daily from all the sections. This helps you retain your confidence and positivity.

Join peer-learning groups:

This point is derived from my second point. Peer-learning groups are a great way to maintain consistency in your preparation. These groups keep you busy daily through myriad questions that keep coming up on these groups. This allows you to help as well as get helped. You can join ‘The CAT Talk‘ group on Facebook. It will help you get all your doubts and queries answered quickly.

Don’t delay in taking mocks:

Once you feel that you have covered 60-70% of the syllabus, buy a test series, and start taking mocks. You should not wait to be 100% prepared. This will never happen. You should start taking mocks ideally from the first week of June. Every week, you should take one mock. And there is one thing more important than taking mocks, and that is analyzing it. If you are taking a mock for 3 hours, you should spend 5-6 hours analyzing it. This is how you will feel 100% prepared gradually. Before the CAT exam, you must take at least 30 mocks (assuming that you are an average student). 

Maintain a learning diary:

Some formulas, some concepts are really hard to grasp, no? Indeed. So, to ensure that you get a better hold on them, you should maintain a learning diary where you can note down all the important formulas and concepts. You can also maintain word files topic wise and take screenshots of tough/important questions and save them in that file. Revising them time and again will help you solve those quickly in the exam (telling this from my experience, literally).

Don’t ignore any section:

99.5+ percentile is a waste if you fail to clear the cut-off score of all the three sections. So, don’t take any section for granted. Try to solve questions from each section daily. This is important.

Solve previous year questions:

Generally, questions don’t repeat in CAT, but concepts do. So, solve previous year questions religiously to get the hang of what CAT questions look like. This is one of the best forms of practice. You can get all the previous year questions in the Face2Face book. It is available on Amazon.

Practice, practice, and practice:

More than talent, cracking any competitive exam is about intent. So, persevere. Keep practising. Practice as much as you can from as many sources as you can. There is no one book that one should follow for CAT preparation.

Take time out to unwind yourself:

Just like any machine, humans also need breaks. So, take breaks at regular intervals of time to unwind yourself so that you can practice harder and longer.

Finally, don’t give up:

Not saying this for the sake of saying, but I mean it, literally. CAT is more about intent than talent. In this journey, there will be times when you won’t score well in mocks, or when you will lack the motivation to prepare for the CAT exam. In such moments, do anything but give up. As mentioned above, whenever you feel low, take a break, but don’t give up. Around two lac aspirants take CAT every year, but only around 20 k go on preparing seriously till the end, others cave-in to disappointment mid-way, and fail eventually. So, competition is not that fierce, you see!


Read: What Are The Best Books For Cat Preparation?


Related articles:

  1. What Are The Best Books For Cat Preparation?

  2. How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?

  3. My Maths Is Weak, How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT Exam?

  4. How Do I Develop The Reading Habit?

  5. How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?
  6. Which Is Better – Online Coaching Or Offline Coaching?

  7. How Should I Prepare LRDI For CAT?

  8. Speed or Accuracy – What should I focus on?
  9. Which Is The Best Mock Test Series For CAT? Can I Predict My CAT Percentile From Mock Test Results?

  10. What Strategy Should I Follow In CAT Mocks?

  11. How To Do CAT Mock Analysis?

  12. Why Do Students Fail In CAT?

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  15. How should I prepare current affairs for SNAP, IIFT, XAT, and TISS?

The motivation for CAT: Fuel the fire in your belly

  1. From Completing B.Tech In 6 Years To Making It To An IIM At 27, Rohit’s CAT Journey Of Courage And Intent

  2. From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate
  3. How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?
  4. I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
  5. From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional

  6. IIM After 3 Attempts – The CAT Journey Of An Average Aspirant Ft. Debayan
  7. From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
  8. Learn To Fight Alone!

 

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