Cat Preparation Tips for Beginners

CAT or Common Admission Test is the most prestigious examination conducted by IIMs for MBA aspirants. Over 2 Lakh students compete in CAT Exam for nearly 3000 IIM seats. So, the examination is not only tough but fiercely competitive. If you are serious about cracking the CAT Exam, the only way for you is to prepare really well.

Many MBA aspirants get nervous on hearing about CAT Exam. They don’t know how to prepare for CAT. If you are one of those who is really serious about cracking the CAT Exam, let me tell you that there is no short-cut to success. You have to prepare well for CAT Exam to secure high percentile and qualify for IIMs, and other reputed business colleges of India.

Having said this, you invariably need to know How to Prepare for CAT. Experts are of the opinion that you must do at least six months preparation for CAT Exam. So, you have limited time in which you have to prepare each and every aspect of CAT Exam. Each day is important for you leading to the CAT Exam. Moreover, you need a sound preparation strategy to crack the CAT Exam.

The method of preparation largely depends on your educational background, current preparation level, and experience. If you are appearing for the CAT Exam for the first time, you have to start from the basics. For candidates who are familiar with CAT pattern and have at least appeared once in CAT Exam, it’s all about, revision, practice, mock tests, time management, and planning for improvement.

However, there are some general guidelines which can help you to prepare for CAT Exam. Here, we list out basic tips which you should follow leading to CAT preparations. It will help you to streamline your CAT preparation so that you may ultimately succeed in your endeavors and qualify in a reputed business college.

Before we go into the details of how to prepare for CAT, here are some quick tips which can be very useful for you.

Quick Tips for CAT Preparation

You should start by building your fundamental concepts and basics about CAT Exam.

Once you are thorough with the syllabus and concepts, you should practice more and more questions and fine tune your concepts.

Finally, you should attempt as many mock tests as you can.

If you have enough time for CAT Exam, you should join a reputed CAT coaching institute. Otherwise, Self-Study with Test series of any reputed CAT coaching institute.

Prepare a Time Table and follow it strictly.

Practice as much as you can to build your speed and accuracy.

You should first attempt all the easy questions.

You should not waste time on hard questions. You have only 120 minutes. So, utilize it smartly.

Cat Preparation Tips for Beginners

How to Prepare for CAT?

Understand the CAT Syllabus

You must be thorough with the Syllabus for CAT Exam. The CAT Exam broadly consists of four parts:

Verbal Ability
Quantitative Ability
Logical Reasoning
Data Interpretation

The questions involve logical thinking and are quite tricky. However, the concepts involved are of Class 10th Level.

Should you Join a Coaching Institute for CAT Preparation?

If you have ample time, you should consider joining a reputed CAT coaching institute. It helps you to regularize your studies. Plus, you get a lot of practice which is a must for passing CAT Exam.
However, if you are in a job, Self-Study would be the best option for you. Most of the things that are asked in CAT Exam have already been covered in your school. The questions asked in CAT are tricky, so you need practice. That’s it.

Analyze your Strengths and Weaknesses

Analyzing the CAT Test Papers, you need to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Suppose, you are weak in comprehension then you need to give more time to reading. If you are weak in logical reasoning, then you have to practice reasoning questions. So, you have to know your strengths and weaknesses. You need to devote more time to your weak areas.

CAT Study Material

The importance of the right type of study material cannot be undermined in any examination. It is even true for CAT Exam. Whether you have joined a coaching institute or are preparing by yourself, you need to select study material for CAT Exam carefully. You should at least have a book on each of the subjects that are asked in CAT Exam. Make a point to buy popular books. You should also make a habit to read newspapers and magazines. It is important for improving your reading comprehension, and English Skills.

Remain Motivated

CAT preparation is not that hard, but it certainly demands persistence. You have to practice regularly and sharpen your skills so as to improve your speed and accuracy. The CAT Exam is usually held in October-November. So you should ideally start your preparation by March or April. Once you start preparation, you should not cherish any negative thoughts. Do not think that CAT is hard or the competition is tough. Rather you should motivate yourself and keep determination to succeed. You should think that you will crack the CAT Exam. The positive thoughts will enable you to put more energy into your preparations.

Read as much as you can

It is seen that many students especially engineers are good at quantitative ability but lack the killing instinct needed in Verbal Ability. The only way to perform well in Verbal Ability is to read good English books. They can be fiction, non-fiction or anything but should be written in good English. In CAT, Verbal Ability is more of a general English Exam which tests your command over English in common usage. Reading 4-6 books in English will increase your familiarity with English, and you will be able to score good marks in Verbal Ability.

Subscribe to a Good Test Series

Cracking the CAT Exam is all about practice. So, you should subscribe to a good test series. Once you write 15-20 such tests, CAT will become much familiar to you. You will gain the confidence of giving the CAT Exam. You will come to know your mistakes and learn time management skills. In a week, you should give at least one test. Fix a day and time for giving the tests. Subscribe to a test series which is more difficult than the actual CAT Exam. It will greatly boost your CAT preparations. You should also analyze your performance after giving every mock test. It will show up your strengths and weaknesses. You come to know where you have to improve.

Last Minute CAT Preparation

Some of you must be in confusion about how to best utilize the time for the preparation. Now you should focus on the topics which you have already covered and don’t go for any new topics. Revision of what you have studied is compulsory. CAT exam is basically focused on your accuracy rather than attempting full paper.

Lastly, you have to remain calm and maintain your focus on CAT preparations. Once you have prepared for CAT Exam, there is no need to fear about the result. Put in your best effort, and the results will be in your favor. The above points will show you how to prepare for CAT.

All the Best for the CAT Exam!