How to prepare for CAT 2019 in 3 months
Aditi Garg, 30 Sep 2019, #CAT
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How to prepare for CAT 2019 in 3 months - Common Admission Test (CAT) is scheduled to be held on November 24, 2019. As the MBA experts say that for a strong preparation you need to invest minimum three months, and if you are aspiring to see yourself in one of the IIMs, the preparation has to start soon. As there are hardly 3 months left for CAT 2019, Careers360 brings to you how to prepare for CAT 2019 in 3 months.
Latest: IIM Kozhikode to release CAT Mock Test 2019 on October 16. CAT Admit Card 2019 to be released on October 23.

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How to prepare for CAT 2019 in 3 months

With over two lakh test takers, CAT is one of the most competitive MBA entrance exams, sectional knowledge is not the only factor to succeed in this test. You need to have a proper strategy in terms of preparation, time management, and test taking plan. Experts and toppers share their tips on how to prepare for CAT 2019 in 3 months.

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Coaching or Self Preparation – Though cracking CAT seems to be an impossible task without proper guidance or coaching, it is not absolutely impossible. If you follow a systematic and meticulous approach, cracking CAT would be an achievable task. Generally, candidates who are have taken CAT in previous years opt for self-study. If you decide to take coaching, then decide on the institute and the course to choose. Make sure that the course suits your factors like timing, fee, distance to travel to name a few. As Konreddy Varun Kumar, CAT topper with 99.84 percentile and MDI Gurgaon student says, “ I didn’t join any classroom coaching as such. According to me, coaching is not necessary to bag a top rank but it certainly is useful. Apart from getting your concepts clear by the faculty members, you also tend to meet a lot of individuals who are aiming for a top rank. Having this kind of a peer group around keeps you motivated and fosters a spirit of healthy competition.”

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Another CAT Topper, Madur who scored 100 percentile focussed mainly on self-study. Madur, also spoke about the importance of coaching and added, " I took the test series from T.I.M.E. and Career Launcher at the end."

Identify your strengths and weaknesses – Knowing the areas of your strength and weakness is of utmost importance. Once you identify the sections in which you have conceptual clarity and can score high and vice versa, you have to prepare your study plan accordingly. Maximise your focus on the weak areas but do revise and practice strong sections as well. Anandu S Mukundan, a first-year student of IIM Kashipur and 99.74 percentiler in CAT 2016 shares, "I recognised my strengths and weaknesses very early and knew exactly which area required more attention and which required the least. I would just suggest CAT 2019 takers that they recognise their strengths and weaknesses and work accordingly on each of them. If they can master that, then nothing is out of their reach."

Talking about the strengths and weaknesses Jagesh, CAT 2018 topper stated, " Since QA was my strength, I made it a point to practice as many QA questions and mocks as possible. And whenever I went wrong I sat down to understand my mistakes and make sure I understood the process and work." With regards to his weakness and how he overcame it, Jagesh added,"VARC was my weakness and to make sure it did not cause much trouble I practised as many passages as possible. I started by reading newspaper articles and editorials and increase my reading speed. After this was achieved I started solving passage questions."

Section wise study plan – There are three sections in CAT, Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Ability. Start with the basics of all three sections. Don’t have a mental block about a particular topic. Take a look at the section wise preparation tips as suggested by experts.

Verbal and Reading Comprehension - Gautam Puri, Vice Chairman, and MD, Career Launcher suggests, "Practice RC sets of the commonly asked genres and try to read articles and books online to get comfortable with reading lengthy passages on the screen. Practice solving the verbal logic questions through selection and elimination method."

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning - "One need not solve all the sets. Just pick the ones that you are most comfortable with. Regular practice would help you identify the sets that would be suitable for you. Practice LR based DI sets as these are gaining more weightage as per the previous year exams," Puri states.

Quantitative Ability - Manek Daruvala, Director, T.I.M.E. mentions, "Students should have a clear understanding of their comfort level in all Quant topics. Mock-CAT performances should be analysed at a topic level. The areas where the students have been scoring below par repeatedly and the areas where the scores have been fluctuating should be the areas of focus."

Take mock test – As you identify your strengths and weaknesses and complete the first round of basic preparation, you have to start taking mock tests. Remember to take the mock tests in computer based mode and in section wise time bound manner. This will help you in familiarising with the test environment. The initial mock tests can be either sectional or full length. Ideally, take a full-length mock test first followed by sectional ones for your weak areas. Talking about the importance of mock tests, Saakshi Goel, who secured 99.57 percentile in CAT 2016 and currently pursuing PGDM from SPJIMR Mumbai states, "Mock tests played a huge role. I took about 25 mock tests after I finished my course. One test per day. These tests familiarised me to the CAT pattern and helped me identify problem areas."

Madhur, CAT 2018 topper spoke about the importance of mock tests and added, ". During the last phase, I was doing a mock a day. In all, I took around 50+ mocks. I suggest taking the mock test at the end phase once you have completed your whole course and not at the initial stage when you have not completed your course as you tend to judge yourself on something you have not done."

Analysing mocks – The whole point of taking mock tests is to analyse your preparation. The mock tests will give you the idea about your strengths and weaknesses. Channelise your preparation accordingly. Spend more time on your weak areas to strengthen them. However, you should not be too confident or comfortable with your strong areas. Practice those to make them even stronger and solve questions of next level of difficulty. Have a balanced approach so that you are able to get the requisite cut off in both the sections as skewed performance will hamper your chance of getting into IIMs or a top B-School in India. Sharing tips for analysing mock tests, Gautam Puri mentions, "When you start with the analysis, do not view the answer of the incorrect answers first but try to solve the question again. Perform a SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the paper, this should reveal, to you, the questions that you must attempt and the questions that are best left alone."

Time Management – Time management is one of the most crucial factors of the CAT 2019 preparation. It would also be an important factor during the exam as well. According to Sandeep Manudhane, Chairman, PT Education, allocating four hours in a day for the preparation would be enough. “CAT is an aptitude test where you should have conceptual clarity and know how to apply them. Hence you need not spend much time in memorizing study material,” he says. As far as time management strategy for exam day is concerned, Shubhrajyoti Saha, IIM Shillong student and 99.64 percentiler in CAT 2016 shares, "In case of VARC, my aim was to solve the 25 questions of RC in 45-50 minutes. Then I tried to solve five VA questions in 10 to 15 minutes. In DILR section I tried to solve one caselet in 15 minutes so that I could solve four cases in one hour in that section. In QA, I had no specific target but I aimed at maximising my number of attempts in the three-step strategy. I tried to finish first step in half an hour. Then I gave 20 minutes for step two and in the last 10 minutes I tried to solve questions from third step."

Tips for students – If you are a final year graduation student and have decided to take CAT, make sure that you do not compromise on your final year preparation as your academic records will be given high weight-age in the IIM’s admission procedure. However, you need to manage time properly in between studies. Now that there are around three months left for the exam, allocating three to four hours a day for CAT preparation would be sufficient.

Tips for working executives – Compared to students, it is tough for the working executives to prepare for CAT. According to Manek Daruvala, Director, T.I.M.E., for those who are working, the work pressure/load at the office can, at times, play havoc with their CAT prep plans. So allotting a fixed duration in a day for CAT preparation is strongly advisable. "Working students, in particular should ensure that in spite of losing out on the prep-window on some days due to work pressure, they adhere to the window on the remaining days and see if they can extend it whenever possible to compensate for the losses that may have occurred earlier."

Aseem Garg, a student of IIM Calcutta, who secured 99.97 percentile in CAT 2017, achieved a well-maintained balance between his job at ISRO and CAT preparation. He says that he was working during his preparation time and if he would have joined coaching, there would have been close to zero time left for self-study. He feels that self-study is the most important aspect to do while preparation. He worked out a well-thought timetable to strike a balance between professional life and CAT preparation which working aspirants can refer to customise their own study time table.

Also Read:

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Questions related to CAT

Showing 7163 out of 7164 Questions
31 Views

can someone apply for NIFT without appearing CAT and GAT?

Sonali Sahu Student Expert 13th Oct, 2019

hello,

NIFT has nothing to do with CAT or GAT. Those are the exams for MBA. NIFT is for admission in fashion courses.

The eligibilitiy is just marks of your 10th and intermediate. The main point is the candidate must have qualified both from a recognised board and must be having PCM as the compulsory subject.

The exam has an age limit to be 23 and there is 5 years relaxation for category reserved candidates.

For more information please check the article:- https://design.careers360.com/articles/nift-eligibility-criteria

Hope it helps!

24 Views

Where i get CAT study material?

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 13th Oct, 2019
CAT Books For Quantitative Ability:
1.NCERT mathematics books (from 6th to 10th class) ::
These books are a good way to start if one needs to clear their basics and concepts. NCERT books are best to start your CAT Preparation with only if you have a lot of time before your exam date and need to brush up on concepts before solving advanced problems.

2.How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT (by Arun Sharma)
(publisher: Tata McGraw Hill)
This is a very popular book among CAT aspirants and really easy and simple to understand. This book also focuses on the basics first and has different levels of difficulties step by step.

3.Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations (by Abhijit Guha)
This book is quite comprehensive for various competitive exams, for both MBA aspirants and for those seeking jobs who need to prepare for the aptitude tests.
4.Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma
It is an extensive book for students aspiring to go to IIMs. It has a very simple, lucid and tailor made content revolving around CAT.

5.Quantitative Aptitude for CAT (by Nishit Sinha)
This book by Pearson focuses on in depth understanding of core topics for basic and advanced applications.


Verbal Ability Books For CAT:

1.How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT( by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay)
This book is good to brush up your verbal and reading comprehension skills. It covers three important topics: reading comprehension, verbal ability and verbal reasoning. It provides sufficient practice and mock papers for self-assessment.

2.Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension For The CAT( by Nishit Sinha)
This book by Pearson provides not only an exhaustive resource for verbal ability. It also includes numerous tests as well as integral problem solving techniques and approaches.

3.Word Power Made Easy (by Norman Lewis)
This is the go-to book to improve your vocabulary. It is not a book to be read but a book to work with daily to enrich your vocabulary.

4.High School Grammar and Composition( by Wren and Martin)
It is a very good book for people who want to improve their grammar skills. It helps to understand and conceptualise different aspects of grammar and it is a must have book for anyone with poor grasp on verbal ability or who wants to make up with the basics of english.

Read books from different genres
The ultimate key to improve your verbal ability is to read extensively and to read books from different genres. This ensures that when the time for reading comprehension comes you are well acquainted with different writing styles and topics. Reading extensively also improves your reading speeding over a period of time. There are no shortcuts here.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Books For CAT:

1.A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning( by R.S. Agarwal)
This CAT book by R.S. Agarwal is to start with the most basic reasoning problem as it is quite simple to understand. It is segregated into different sections such as logic, statements, inferences and arguments, assumptions, conclusions, course of actions, logical puzzles, etc.

2.How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT book (by Arun Sharma)
This book by Tata McGraw Hill contains all topics to be considered under Logical Reasoning for CAT as well as other entrance exams. Each topic is explained with solved examples followed by a series of problems with varied difficulty levels to solve which gives an individual enough practice for this section.

3.How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT book (by Arun Sharma)
This book focuses on all areas of Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency. It provides and emphasizes on developing our calculations to get an edge with DI. This book also provides you with previous years questions, Model and Sample test papers.

4.Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT (by Nishit Sinha)
This book covers fundamental and advanced topics under the aforementioned section which are explained with the help of solved examples, case lets and exercises to do. It is useful for various other exams as well.

5.Data Interpretation (by Nishit Sinha)
Practice Book for CAT and Other MBA Entrance Examinations( by Nishit Sinha):
This book provides adequate practice and to sharpen the skills for Data Interpretation. It is also quite useful for other competitive exams like NMAT, GMAT, SNAP, XAT, CMAT, etc.

Another CAT Preparation material or book to be considered is Previous Years Solved CAT Paper:
This ensures that you are familiar with the kind of questions that are asked in CAT providing you an edge. They can be taken as mocks and the analysis of the same can provide you with great insights for your preparation.

It is always better to read newspaper for CURRENT G.K. than trying to grasp all info at once. Some of the newspaper sources which you can use to prepare this section are The Hindu, Financial Express, and The Economist.

In case, you dont like reading newspaper daily, you can go with Manorama Yearbook or Current Affairs Yearly by Arihant for General Knowledge which is published every year.

In order to prepare for STATIC G.K. section, you need to broaden your overall scope in following sections: Sports, Politics, Entertainment, Biographies, etc. So, for this, you can use Static General Knowledge by A.P. Bhardwaj and S. Chands Advanced Objective General Knowledge. These books are okay to start with if you are not someone with a newspaper reading habit from the past.

There are plenty of other books for these topics in the market, but these are by far the most popular as well as helpful books for anyone preparing for entrance exams.
34 Views

difference between nmat exam and cat exam

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 12th Oct, 2019

hello aspirant,

NMAT exam organized by GMAC is a National level MBA entrance exam conducts  by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). NMAT by GMAC exam is the mandatory entrance test for MBA admission to NMIMS Mumbai and its other campuses along with 20 other MBA colleges across India.

CAT stands for common aptitude test is the gate way exam for all reputed IIM's and for almost all colleges in india offers mba admission through cat.

you may apply for both if you want to join mba.

8 Views

after clearing cat mat ojee .. is the donation fees remaining same or not...???

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 12th Oct, 2019

hello aspirant,

you need to give donation fees if you get admission through management quota.

unless if you get the college through counselling and interview process there is no fees for donation. hope you may understand.

34 Views

I have 69 % in 10th, 52 %in 12th and now I am in final yr of BSc. Should I applicable for cat??because After graduation I want to study MBA in finance and I am preparing for cat 2019.so please say how can I prepare for cat? Which book is best for cat exam?

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 12th Oct, 2019

hello aspirant,

cat is a all india level exam and most popular exam for mba admission. see as for your marks in 10+2 and 10th you have very less chances to get short listed for iims. however there are many more institute which offers great plavement in mba. you may follow r.s agarwal, arun sharma which are best for cat preparation. also there is some coaching institute who provides distance learning mba preparation course materials. you may purchase this also. some top institution are, IMS learning, T.I.M.E institution delhi, etc.

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