How to Prepare for CAT 2019 in 6 months
Sreetama Datta, 04 Dec 2019, #CAT
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How to Prepare for CAT 2019 in 6 months – With less than six months left for CAT 2019, most of the aspirants have already started to prepare for the test. Although IIM Kozikohde released the notification for July 28, 2019, the exam pattern of CAT 2019 is yet to be announced. Hence, some of the aspirants plan to start CAT preparation only after knowing the final exam pattern. However, experts opine that the preparation for CAT should start at least six months in advance. Even if the exam pattern is not announced, the sections or topics would remain unchanged. Hence, the most common question the aspirants have at the moment is how to prepare for CAT 2019 in 6 months.
Latest: IIM Kozhikode has activated the tab for objection to CAT Answer Key 2019. Candidates can raise objection till December 6, 2019.

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In the Careers360 series of how to prepare for CAT 2019, we bring to you the six month preparation strategy for CAT. Based on the tips and guidance shared by experts and previous years’ toppers, we bring the answer to how to prepare for CAT 2019 in six months.

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CAT 2019 Notification out on July 28

CAT 2019 notification released on July 28. Along with the CAT 2019 important dates, IIM Kozikhode announced the CAT exam pattern. Although the exam pattern hasn’t been changed over the last few years, there is a possibility of a pattern change or introduction of new facets to the test or overall admission process.

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IIM Calcutta had convened CAT in 2011 and 2018. In that year, the institute had introduced a number of changes. Instead of three sections, the number of sections was reduced to two by combining four test areas, which are Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning. There were 30 questions in each section. The duration of the test was also reduced to 2 hours 20 minutes from the erstwhile 2 hours 30 minutes. Hence it would not be much of a surprise if the CAT 2019 exam undergoes major changes.

Now we bring the expert and topper tips on how to prepare for CAT 2019 in 6 months.

How to Prepare for CAT 2019 in 6 months

Be familiar with the exam pattern and syllabus – Although CAT aspirants are aware of the exam structure, it is important to know the syllabus of CAT 2019, in terms of the topics which are primarily asked in CAT. Since last year, IIMs have started releasing the CAT question paper and CAT answer key and by referring to these official documents, candidates will get a fair idea about the areas to prepare for. Even prior to CAT 2017, aspirants could refer to the past CAT analysis to understand what to expect and which topics to emphasise on. As Manek Daruvala, Director, T.I.M.E. mentions, “There is no set ‘syllabus’ for the CAT exam. So, one can never predict the number of questions that may appear from any given topics. However, based on the past CAT trends, one can get a reasonable sense of the ‘importance’ of specific topics and accordingly increase preparation/focus on them.”

Decide among coaching and self-study – While coaching is the most commonly taken path, but not aspirant tread the same route. Aspirants, who are confident of their aptitude and conceptual clarity, or those who had appeared for CAT last year as well, may not enrol for coaching. For instance, Mayank Raj, who secured 100 percentile in CAT without joining any coaching institute mentions, "I started preparing for CAT in July 2017, like five to six months before the exam. I did not go for any coaching classes. I only took a lot of online practice tests and a test series."

Manaswi, CAT 2018 topper who scored 99.14 percentile was of the view that the coaching institute played a vital role in his success. Hailing their effort, Manaswi said, " I have no words to define their contribution. Their faculties were great. After CAT was over, they guided me to prepare early for GD/PI rounds. It's really possible to crack it from self-study, but a good coaching institute shapes your thoughts in the right direction and provides a conducive environment for success."

Another CAT topper who vouched for the importance of expert coaching for cracking the most competitive MBA entrance exam. Shishir Aggarwal, who cracked CAT 2017 with 99.93 percentile says, “I started taking coaching in August. I must say that my mentors played a very big part in my success.” Hence, the CAT 2019 aspirants have to decide whether they want to go for coaching or self-study based on their judgement.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses – In order to understand how to prepare for CAT 2019 in six months, it is important to take a diagnostic mock test after initial preparation. This will help them identify the strong and weak areas. Based on the identification, candidates have to decide the further preparation strategy. At the initial stage of preparation, complete the syllabus for strong areas followed by shifting the focus on weak areas.

As Shikhar Sachdeva, 99.98 percentiler in CAT 2017 shares, “What I did was work on my strong areas early on during my preparation. Later on, I focused my attention solely on my weak zone (LRDI) and developed my own unique strategies that helped me counter it, one of which was to go through all the sets, before I attempted even one question. This helped me prioritise on which question I felt comfortable, and which I wanted to leave.”

Complete the basic preparation to attain conceptual clarity – Irrespective of their strong or weak section, aspirants should complete CAT 2019 preparation in six months. Especially in terms of weak areas, gaining conceptual clarity by going back to basics would be the key to further preparation. For example, if the weak area is Quantitative Ability, candidates may refer to the maths textbooks of Class 8 to gain the basic understanding on the core topics like Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Mensuration etc. Daruvala states, “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. Revision would strengthen the concepts that the student has learnt so far and would thereby ensure that the efforts put in so far would not go waste.”

Section wise preparation strategy – Gautam Puri, Vice Chairman, Career Launcher shares a section-wise preparation strategy. He mentions the question types in each section and how to tackle them.

Quantitative Ability – Students have to practice diverse types of applications of class 6-10 concepts. They have to stay focused on the topics that are their strengths and master these topics.

Verbal and Reading Comprehension – Candidatesshouldpractice 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. They should also practice solving the verbal logic questions through selection and elimination method.

Data Interpretation and 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.

Time Management – Preparing a timetable in terms of daily preparation as well as month wise preparation is important in order to maintain a study routine for CAT 2019 preparation in last six months. The timetable will majorly depend on whether the candidate is a student or working professional. Based on the schedule of other major activities, they have to prepare the CAT preparation timetable. Once the plan is finalised, aspirants have to ensure that they follow the timetable. It is not necessary that you have to put major hours of the day for CAT preparation, at least at the initial stage. Ensure that along with the number of hours, you also pay full attention and focus to the subjects.

Kaustubh, CAT 2018 topper who scored 99.99 percentile stated that he began his preparation at the time of his internship and tried to focussed both on self-study and coaching.

Meet Agrawal, 100 percentiler of CAT 2017 was a student while preparing for CAT 2017. He shares his time management strategy as, “I was pursuing Articleship and CA so I was unable to give all my time for CAT preparation. Rather than studying from books or study materials, I focused on taking mock tests and modified my strategy according to the analysis.”

On the other hand, Shubham Abrol, who secured 99.78 percentile in CAT 2017 mentions, “Since I was working, so I had to manage my studies with the job. I quit my job in the last month but the previous nine months that I prepared for CAT while working. I made sure that I give two to three hours a day to my weaker sections, and on the weekends I appeared for mock.”

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4 Views

What are the chnaces of getting a call from iim nagpur if my percentile in cat 2019 is 91?

Yashu Shrivastava 15th Dec, 2019

Hey Ishaan

You got good marks in CAT.You have a good chance to get call from IIM Nagpur if your academic score that is 10+2+3 is more than average.Also you can get many other good colleges other than IIM Nagpur.

For more information about the cutoffs of other MBA colleges you can check here

https://bschool.careers360.com/articles/which-b-schools-can-i-get-if-my-cat-percentile-between-90-and-100

I Hope This Helps

Best Wishes For Your Future!

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I got 178 in CAT 2019 SLOT 2. QUANT-61, DI-45, VA-72. 10CGPA IN TENTH AND 94%IN PLUS-2. DONE BTECH MECHANICAL WITH MSC ECONOMICS FROM BITS. IS THERE ANY CHANCE OF IIM ABC.

Rohit 15th Dec, 2019

Hello there

First of all congratulations on your excellent score in CAT.You have very nice score and can surely expect a 99+ percentile.Your 10nth and 12th marks are also good and you a pretty decent profile.I am sure that you will get a from IIM Calcutta.

IIM Banglore gives a little preference to people with work experience but seeing your excellent CAT score you can get a call.

Overall your chance of getting a call from IIM ABC is very high.All the best.Prepare well for PI and WATs.


2 Views

My 10th Marks are 95%, 12th marks 94.2% and graduation 78%, is it possible to get a call from the top IIM

Bhaskar Nakkina Student Expert 15th Dec, 2019

Hii,

Academic marks are Important and will play a crucial role in getting the Admission to pursue MBA/PGDM in IIM. But the main prerequisite is you should get more than 95 percentile in CAT exam to get Interview call from IIM's. After getting the Interview call from IIM, one should perform well in GD and Personal Interview inorder to get the admission. Your Academics are good, Try to get a good CAT Score.

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I want to know about CAT entrance exam syllabus

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https://www.google.com/amp/s/bschool.careers360.com/articles/cat-syllabus/amp

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I want to know about CAT entrance exam

Burhan Khan 15th Dec, 2019

Hello!

CAT Exam (Common Admission Test) is a computer-based selection test conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) as a prerequisite for admissions to their business administration programs. Apart from the IIMs, the CAT is also a prerequisite for admissions into numerous other prestigious management colleges across India which includes institutes like S.P Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Management Development Institute (Gurgaon), Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), International Management Institute (IMI), National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) and several others.

To be able to get eligible for CAT, candidates to fulfil the following criterion:

  • Should Hold a Bachelor’s Degree and have secured a minimum of 50% marks or equivalent CGPA from a recognized university.

All the best!

Hope this helps!



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