How to prepare for CAT 2019 in 3 months
Updated on Jan 4, 2020 - 11:18 a.m. IST by Aditi Garg
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How to prepare for CAT 2019 in 3 months - Common Admission Test (CAT) has been scheduled 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.
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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:

CAT Topper Interviews

CAT Expert Interviews


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Questions related to CAT

Showing 8003 out of 8003 Questions
2 Views

I got 96.4 percentile in jee main paper 1 2020 and i belong to obc category. what will be my air and cat rank

Devraj choudhary Student Expert 25th Jan, 2020

Hii

Your rank can be calculated on formula

(100-percetile)* number of students appeared/100.

So, your general rank will be around 31300-43200. Generally your category rank will be one-fourth of general rank. Use this link to predict your rank https://engineering.careers360.com/jee-main-rank-predictor

Hope it helps

3 Views

I have got CAT OA-89.83 %ile with VA/DILR/QA 58/85/97 X-91.2% XII-95.4% UG-87.6% No work Ex GEM. Any chances of getting call from IMI Delhi,XIMB and IMT Ghaziabad and converting it?

Sampriti Student Expert 25th Jan, 2020
With your CAT percentile you may not get a call from IMT Ghaziabad, XIM Bhubaneshwar or IMI Delhi as they require a minimum of 90 percentile in CAT.  These colleges consider only the overall CAT scores and not the sectional percentile so it may be a little difficult for you. But you have a pretty decent CAT percentile so you can definitely expect a call from the following colleges, provided that you've applied for them
  • KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research
  • Great Lakes Chennai
  • FORE School of Management
  • TAPMI Manipal
  • BIM Trichy
  • LIBA Chennai
  • LBSIM Delhi
  • BIMTECH Noida
  • IIFM Bhopal
  • FMS BHU and others

These are also very reputed colleges with almost similar placements as IMI or IMT. The academics is also good and they have a pretty strong alumni base.

Good Luck
6 Views

From where how I will take preparation for CAT as beginner? I only know its a entrance exam for MBA and get good college, other I dont know anything thing about it. please help me from first step.

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 25th Jan, 2020
We cannot vouch for any coaching center for any CAT preparation and its success. But what we can do is help you with CAT exam pattern, syllabus and preparation tips.
CAT is an online examination of 3 hours duration.The questions in the exam will be of MCQ and TITA type totaling 100 questions. MCQ are multiple choice questions, for which candidates get multiple answer choices. Each Question has 3 marks and a wrong answer takes away 1 mark. However Type in the Answer questions are exempted from Negative Marking.

CAT exam paper can be Categorised into 3 parts:

Quantitative Ability
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.

First things first, know the syllabus. And go through the previous papers to analyse and prepare a comprehensive plan and set priorities according to the importance of different topics across sections.Customise your own study plan based on your strengths and weaknesses. Gauge your preparation from time to time by taking mock tests. Solve questions to check your levels of preparation but not to set any targets. Remember, its ok to have cheat days and relax. But make sure you have a plan and stick to it for the next few months because even Rome wasnt built in a day.


NCERT books will sharpen your basics and you need strong basics for preparing for any entrance examination. Once your basics are in place, because the time period for preparation is quite less, your preparation should be extensive and thorough.

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.

Preparation tips:

Because this section involves mathematics and takes most of your time, your focus should be on solving the problems efficiently in the beginning. Even if it takes time, practise upto perfection. Practise as many questions as you can in the conventional way. As and when you get a grip on the subject, you can go for short cuts. Memorise tables, square roots, cube roots, conversion from percent to fraction, etc. Solve sample papers on Mathematics. In the beginning, do not worry about the time it takes. As you practise, you will get the hang of the subject and it will be easier for you.


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.

Preparation tips:

Read articles from time to time. Follow newspapers, magazines, and watch the news channels and browse the internet to keep yourself updated. You will need a lot of reading to help you in the comprehension section. You will need speed to help you in this section and you can achieve that only by thorough practise and reading. Take time to understand the question because most answers are interlinked.


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.

Preparation tips:

As this is the most tricky section, this needs a lot of practise. Solve as many sample papers as possible to get the hang of the section. Make notes when required. Regular practise can help you understand and solve the questions easily as time goes on.

Overall,once you know the syllabus, it's easier from there on.Go through the previous papers to analyse and prepare a comprehensive plan and set priorities according to the importance of different topics across sections. Customise your own study plan based on your strengths and weaknesses. Gauge your preparation from time to time by taking mock tests. Solve questions to check your levels of preparation but not to set any targets. Remember, its ok to have cheat days and relax. But make sure you have a plan and stick to it for the next few months


We can recommend a few books for you:

NCERT books to cover the basics from 6th to 10th Class

Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Nishit Saxena

Quantitative Aptitude Quantum for CAT by Sarvesh Sharma

How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma

Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Exams by Abhijit Guha


You can also download free downloadable e books at:
https://bschool.careers360.com/download/cat-ebooks

6 Views

my percentileis 97.26 general cat.female can i hope for addmission in any of top 10 nits branch computer

Devraj choudhary Student Expert 25th Jan, 2020

Hii

Your performance is good. And you may accept admission in NITs with CSE. To predict your college use the college predictor. Us this link https://engineering.careers360.com/jee-main-college-predictor

Hope it

7 Views

Hello! Whatre my chances of getting shortlisted by iit kharagpur for mba? My CAT percentile is 82.36 overall, V: 84.51, DI:78.59, Q: 78.00, OBC-NCL, X: 61% Assam State Board, XII: 67% Assam State Board, Graduation (Engineering): 76.70% thanks.

Sampriti Student Expert 25th Jan, 2020
VGSOM IIT Kharagpur requires a minimum of 90 percentile in CAT and it only considers the overall percentile and not the sectional ones. So it may be a little difficult to get a call from there. But since you've a pretty decent CAT percentile so you can still get some very good colleges like
  • LBSIM Delhi
  • BIM Trichy
  • LIBA Chennai
  • BIMTECH Noida
  • XIME Bangalore
  • Department of Management Studies, IISc Bangalore
  • FMS BHU
  • XISS Ranchi
  • Christ University Bangalore
  • IFIM Business School and others.

All of them are good in terms of academics and placements with strong alumni base. So you must try to appear for their GD/PI processes, given that you've registered for them.

Moreover among these colleges also BIM Trichy, BIMTECH Noida and LBSIM Delhi will offer you placement opportunities as good as IIT Kharagpur with an average compensation package of 10-12 lakhs.

Good Luck
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