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Why take mock tests before CAT 2018 - Mock tests are crucial for every exam. In a competitive exam like CAT, taking regular mock tests is of utmost priority as a major part of the preparation and exam taking strategy is decided based on the analysis of mock tests. While several aspirants stop taking mock tests prior to a month of the exam, experts suggest that it is important to take mock tests even before CAT. To know why, read the expert column by Pradeep Kumar Pandey, Academic Head, T.I.M.E. mentions why it is important to take mock tests before CAT 2018.
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CAT 2018 is scheduled to be held on November 25, 2018, in two slots, forenoon and afternoon. Now that there are less than 30 days left for CAT 2018, the mock tests for CAT 2018 will hold an even more important role in order to decide the final strategy for the exam day, as well as to help you gauge your preparation level and estimated percentile.
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Why take mock tests before CAT 2018
Read the column by Pradeep Kumar Pandey on why is it important to take mock tests before CAT 2018.
CAT Mock tests help students in revision, making strategies and discover what works best for them. Best available Mock test possess and inherit all the surprise elements of CAT. It is basically a simulated test environment in which CAT aspirants can experiment with themselves by applying different permutations and combinations of approaching the test so that one could zero on one single strategy that produces the best comparative score. The best MOCKs are designed, and conducted, to help you build concepts, prepare strategies, identify weaknesses, and take steps to eliminate them. It simulates many variations that CAT could come up with and help students to optimise accuracy and speed for the exam. Experts suggest that Mocks are the vital tool that equips a student towards shaping up their D-day performance.
How to choose the Mocks?
CAT aspirants should carefully choose the Mocks in which most of the prospective aspirants appear across the country. The heterogeneity of test takers makes the mocks a powerful tool to evaluate one’s performance. Good mock tests not only provide questions on relevant topics and difficulty level but also a simulated environment and the navigation in accordance with the latest changes introduced in CAT. It also ensures that the candidates are well equipped for any eventualities on the final day. Once you keep on attempting the test you start adjusting to the test conditions, constraints and pressures and so the actual test would not tense, stress or surprise you much.
How to analyse the Mocks?
Test takers are advised to increase the frequency of Mocks in the last one month to three to four mocks in a week with a gap of one day between the two mocks. The detailed analysis is an invaluable part of preparation which any serious CAT aspirant would vouch for. We should invest a considerable amount of time to analyse our performance. We should give the top priority to those questions in which time is invested but the answer is wrong.
If an aspirant is observing any particular pattern in his/her mistakes, then it would be fairly easy to rectify it after identifying the cause of errors. The second priority to those questions in which question is shortlisted after proper scanning but due to some or other reason it takes more than the allotted time. One should not forget that performing well in CAT purely based on one’s ability to filter out the easier ones first the relatively tougher ones to score over the rest. The difficulty level questions or out of the box questions which remained un-attempted is the last priority, but one should try to learn the hidden concept so that similar question can be attempted in the forthcoming tests if time permits. Don’t be unnecessarily burdened with the fluctuation of scores. This could happen because you have been involved unwarranted/not well thought out experiments with your strategy, or have been writing mocks when you are tired or not able to concentrate.
The mocks attempted one week prior to the CAT normally test the consistency, nerves, intelligence and all the hard work you have put in over the last so many months. Treat these tests as your last few rehearsals before the CAT.
All the best!
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Dear Akshat, CAT is exclusively conducted by the IIMs. So the selection for admission to any of the 20 IIMs is through CAT exam. Unfortunately no other score except for CAT score is accepted for IIM Ahmedabad. You can check their selection process at:
Dear Sai, IIMs look for Diversity factor in Academics. They have a special rating scale for Professional courses like MBBS,BDS, CA, etc. We shall help you with the admission process of IIM Ahmedabad just as an example to show how does the selection process work. There are 3 sections in CAT: QA, DILR, VRC. IIM A has released its 2019 cut off percentiles. Only those Candidates who have scored this percentiles will be shortlisted for further rounds. The cut offs are as follows:
VRC DILR QA Overall
General 70 70 70 80
OBC-Transgender 65 65 65 75
SC 60 60 60 70
ST 50 50 50 60
PWD 60 60 60 70
PWD-ST 50 50 50 60
On an average IIMs need a cut off 90 percentile and more for admission to their colleges. You can check the complete selection process of IIM A at:
Now based on these cut offs top 5 percentile from each Category will be short listed for WAT and PI. So inorder to be able to score these cut offs, you need to know the exam pattern and marking scheme. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:-
Hope it helps!
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