How to Prepare for CAT 2019 in 6 months
Sreetama Datta, 30 Sep 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 to release CAT Mock Test 2019 on October 16. CAT 2019 Admit Card to be released on October 23.

Latest: [Download free Question Papers and Sample Paper of CAT, Click here]

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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 has been released on July 28. Along with the CAT 2019 important dates, IIM Kozikhode will 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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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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