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How to Prepare for CAT exam - CAT 2019 details have been released on July 28 with the announcement of the notification. The exam will be conducted on November 24, 2019. The conducting body (IIM Kozhikode) has released the workflow of CAT 2019. MBA aspirants aiming for a seat at any of the coveted B-schools in 2019 have already started planning on how to bell it or how to prepare for the CAT exam. While some students take the safer route and start their preparations even before the notification is announced, some wait to plan their preparation strategy based on the official release of the exam pattern. CAT registration has been closed. But there is another group, which is in a dilemma on when and how to start the preparation process. Latest: IIM Kozhikode has released the CAT Admit Card 2019 on October 23. CAT 2019 will held on November 24. CAT 2019 workflow has been released by IIM Kozhikode.
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If you can identify yourself with the third group, this article is a must-read for you. Careers360 brings to you expert guidelines on when and how to prepare for CAT 2019.
Before answering the question about how to prepare, it is important to know when to start with the preparations along with how to prepare for CAT 2019.
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When it comes to studying for an exam and cracking it successfully, you are your best judge to answer the question of when to start preparation. It is best to ask yourself how many months you need to prepare for CAT.
According to the experts, five to six months of dedicated preparations might take you towards your goal of securing a high percentile. CAT toppers suggest that if you are serious about cracking CAT, keep a minimum of six months in hand for preparation. Mayank Raj, who cracked CAT 2017 with 100 percentile says “I started preparing for CAT in July 2017, like five to six months before the exam."
The next big question after ‘when to start’ is how to prepare for CAT exam. It is one of the most common questions by aspirants aiming to crack this tough nut. It often happens that despite knowing the pattern and syllabus, aspirants get confused about how to strategise their preparation in order to make the most of it. Let us now check how to start with preparations for CAT 2019.
While some MBA aspirants take coaching, others follow their instinct and opt for self-study with study materials available on the web. Although there is no hard and fast rule to follow a particular preparation method, what matters most is how you plan and which topics you study so as to cover the entire syllabus of CAT and secure a high percentile in CAT.
As mentioned earlier, some of the aspirants might have already started taking coaching classes according to their convenient timing and mode. This does not mean that those who have not enrolled in coaching or planning to go for self-study are at a loss. The time for preparation has just started and you can still catch up with the early birds if you follow a systematic strategy. There are many successful candidates who have excelled without expert guidance. Mayank Raj, who would join IIM Ahmedabad, is one of the 20 CAT 2017 toppers who secured a perfect 100 percentile. Sharing his strategy, he says, “I only took a lot of online practice tests and a test series. I made sure that I religiously invest two to three hours every day in practice mock tests. If on some days I was not practising tests, I would borrow study material of the topics I am weak in from my friends and study it.”
Those who opt for coaching get the tailor-made section-wise preparation material. But, even if you do not go for coaching classes and cannot access the expert notes, there is no dearth of right study material. There are ample question banks, sample papers and study materials by expert authors available online as well as offline. With the boon of technology, you can interact with the experts and fellow CAT takers in various social media platforms and exchange study materials and sample papers.
Get the right materials and study in a systematic and diligent manner. Also, utilise the practice papers so that you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
The foremost step to crack an exam is to know and understand the CAT exam pattern and syllabus. Before preparing you must know the areas or topics you have to prepare, like we say, before shooting you must know what you are aiming for. In case of CAT, if there are no changes in the exam pattern this year compared to last year where the sectional time limit was there along with Non-MCQs and use of a calculator, there will be four topics to cover:
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
It is important for you to cover the syllabus and clear the basics. Usually, the syllabus for all four topics cover Class 10th and 11th level NCERT books, but the questions are a bit tricky and require logical thinking. The best way to understand and complete the syllabus is to make a plan and work accordingly. Manek Daruvala, T.I.M.E. Director says, “The most important aspect would be to improve fundamentals (Basic concepts). Focused preparation would be the key during this phase while striving to improve on the fundamentals across areas/topics.”
Once you know your syllabus and have your study plan ready, you get acquainted with the basics in each section of the test. Having the fundamental concepts clarified is the biggest asset any CAT aspirant can have as an answer to how to prepare for CAT exam. If you have conceptual clarity, you can solve any tough problem.
Meet Agrawal, CAT 2017 100 percentiler says, “In the first six months, I just used to revise, clear my basics, and took regular mocks."
Like last year, this year too you may not have the liberty to choose the order of the section. The order of the section is given below:
Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
Quantitative Ability (QA)
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)
QA: Use the reverse strategy for it, take mock paper, try to solve it with timer, and later analyse it from the solutions available.
DI& LR: Focus on being familiar with versatile forms of data representation like pie chart, bar chart, line graph, piled bar chart, spider chart and complex combinations of these. Later, analyse your preparation via mock tests
VARC: Focus only on those question types where comprehending the content is a core requirement like Para-jumbles, RCs, etc.
Apart from judging the candidates’ sectional knowledge, CAT also tests the time management skills. The mantra to complete the exam within time depends on how a student plan and practice for the exam. It is important to have a strategic preparation plan to tackle the test. While last year IIM Ahmedabad had introduced the sectional time limit of 1 hour to provide better time management skills to the candidates, the previous year allowed the test takers to manage the sectional time as per their convenience out of the total duration of 170 minutes or 2 hours 50 minutes. As Gautam Puri, Vice Chairman, Career Launcher suggests on how to prepare for CAT 2019, "Try to attempt each section in three rounds. In the first round pick the questions that you are sure about and can solve without wasting time. In round two, pick questions that are an opportunity for you, while in round three, pick questions that you think you can solve but are time-consuming and ensure you answer all the non-MCQs as they do not have any negative marking."
Some of the top books for CAT preparation include ‘How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT’ by Arun Sharma, ‘The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT’ by Nishit Sinha, ‘Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT’ by Sarvesh Verma to name a few. Other than that, read newspapers and magazines daily to get a grip on your language and comprehension skills along with brushing up General Knowledge. Arvind Menon, another CAT 100 percentiler shares that he had referred to CAT preparation books by Arun Sharma and Nishit Sinha.
IIT Madras alumnus and CAT 100 percentiler Sai Praneeth Reddy says, “The major part of my preparation started from January when I started taking mock tests. In the last one month before CAT, I just used go to coaching classes and write mock tests and made sure that I’m not writing anything wrong.”
The Mock test is the most effective method of evaluating your current preparation level and re-strategise your future preparation plans. It also makes you familiar with the type of questions which might appear in CAT 2019. If you solve past 10 years’ questions of CAT, you have high chances to crack the exam with a good percentile. Gautam Puri, Vice Chairman, Career Launcher on benefits of taking mock tests says, “The students should analyse each and every mock and sectional test that they take. This will help them ascertain what worked or did not work for them.
Adding to the importance of Mock Test, Vishal Bohra, another 100 percentiler in CAT 2017 says, “. I took mock tests as many as possible because that helped me in realising where exactly I stand. I worked hard on improving my speed also. Clearing basics of each subject was also an important aspect during the preparation phase.” It is important to identify your weak areas through mock tests and put all your focus on improving them. Whether you take coaching or not, practising from Test series and online Mocks will support you in securing a high percentile. You must ensure to get your performance analysed at after taking each test and implement the expert feedback after each test session.
Each year, a different IIM conducts CAT and this year IIM Kozikhode will release the notification on July 28, notifying about the test dates; which is generally conducted in the month of November. CAT, a computer-based test has a dynamic exam pattern, which changes almost every year. Last year the CAT was taken by close to 2 lakh candidates for admissions to various management programmes of IIMs and other B-schools. The scores of CAT are accepted by 20 IIMs offering around 4000 seats. Apart from the IIMs, over 100 B-schools in India conduct their admission through CAT scores.
If the CAT test pattern continues to be the same as last year, CAT will be a computer-based test consisting of 100 objective type questions. There will be three sections, Quantitative Ability (QA), Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC) and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR). While QA and VRC sections would carry 34 questions each, the DI & LR section will have 32 questions. There will also be some non-MCQ questions in each section.
The duration of the exam will be 180 minutes or 3 hours. The sections will be time bound for an hour each. The test takers cannot move to and fro between the sections. The order of the sections will be VRC, DI & LR and QA. CAT 2019 will be conducted on November 24, 2019 in the online mode.
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your score is good until now. You have did your best all the way. For CAT exam, IIM Consider 90% to get an admission.
For IIM Kozhikode:- 75% for CAT,Sectional Cutoff:- 65% for 10th:- 60% and for 12th 60%.
For IIM Trichy:- 78% for OBC-NC
for IIM Indore :- 80% for OBC-NC
for OBC category there will very less relaxation. But there is high competition but number of seats available is very less.
So you have to prepare accordingly and get an admission.
CAT exam score hold a 45-50 % weightage for admission at IIM Kozhikode. You have so good qualification in the rest. If you put more effort into it then you can get it.
Hope it helps!
Common Admission Test (CAT) is the most popular national level management entrance exam. CAT 2019 application process has been completed and the exam is scheduled to be conducted on 24th November 2019.
Application forms were available from 07 Aug, 2019 - 25 Sep, 2019.
Aspirants seeking admission to the MBA course have to appear for entrance exams such as CAT/XAT/MAT/SNAP/etc. After the entrance test, candidates have to apply to colleges for admission.
Check the details about the CAT exam using the link below and do let us know if you have any other queries.
Ayush, CAT exam paper can be Categorised into 3 parts:
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
The Verbal Ability section and Reading Comprehension has 34 Questions, Data interpretation-Logical Reasoning section has 32 MCQ questions and Quantitative Ability has 34 MCQ questions totalling up to 100 questions. Each Question has 3 marks and a wrong answer takes away 1 mark.
Quantitative Aptitude covers almost 30% of the CAT question paper. QA can be categorised into Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Advanced Mathematics. Practise chapter by chapter and develop mental calculations. Like practise more of basic summation, subtraction, fractions and tables. Numbers, Percentage, Profit and Loss, Simple and Compound Interest, Ratio, Proportionality, Time-Distance, Time-Work, Mixtures, Averages, Partnership, Permutation and Combinations, Probability, Set Theory, Progression and Series, Line, Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Polygon, Circles, Ares, Volume, Height and Distance, Coordinate Geometry, Basic Trigonometry are few important topics.
In Verbal Ability session, command on your English, Grammar, Vocabulary, Understanding of the given paragraph are of more importance. Reading English NewsPaper will also help you in your preparation.
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning needs to be practised as much as possible. Comparison of data, Data Analysis, taking clues, interpreting missing data, coming to conclusions and making future projections will be covered under this Category. The questions here are interlinked and so if you get one formula correct, cracking the next few questions will be easy. So it's important to memorise and practise formulae. You should cover topics like Data tables, Data Charts, Bar Diagrams, Pie Charts, Graphs, Data Comparison and Analysis.
IIMs shortlist candidates for the interview stage based on their own criteria, which may be independent of each other. The process may include Written Ability Test, Group Discussion, and Personal Interviews. Performance in the CAT examination is an important component in the admission process. IIMs may additionally use other factors such as the previous academic performance of the candidates, relevant work experience, gender and academic diversity and other similar inputs in shortlisting and ranking of candidates at various stages of the admission process. The processes, academic cut-offs and the weights allocated to the evaluation parameters may vary across IIMs. Now based on your Category, to be shortlisted for an IIM, you should score atleast 85 and more percentile.
Now the IIMs part has been cleared, you need to decide one among MBA in India via CAT or go abroad for higher studies. You cannot be double minded on this. You know your strengths and capabilities and so this should be completely your call.
If you are planning to get your details corrected in the form of CAT 2019, then now you don't have any option as it is now too late. The exam is scheduled for 24th November, 2019 which is just a week away.
However, in the meantime you can ask on the helpline for any assistance if they can provide.
Hope this helps. Thank you.
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