From the last few decades, the MBA has become a popular term amongst people of all the age groups. The increase in business transactions and business exchange globally has led Indian students to opt for courses related to the management of the business. MBA holds a world-wide recognition and importance and its demand has been increasing every day in our country. Whether it is climbing up on a corporate ladder or opening your own start-up, through MBA from a good business school, any student can think about it. IIMs, being the premier management schools in the country, practice academic rigour and provide high-quality education to the future managers. And, the Common Admission Test (CAT) is the entrance test which one has to clear to be part of the coveted legacy.
This all India level exam will take you one step forward towards this dream. If you strategize time and concepts according to your strong areas you can crack CAT. It is a computer-based test held in India. The test scores a candidate on the bases of Quantitative Ability (QA), Verbal Ability (VA), Reading Comprehension (RC), Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR). The students appearing for CAT are usually under tremendous pressure before the test.
How to prepare for CAT
So how does one prepare for CAT and crack into IIMs without breaking a sweat? I am just kidding. A lot of stress and a lot of sweat would be required but being consistent with your preparation can help you prepare better. Let us go step by step now.
- Plan Backwards:
You will never be aware when to start with your preparation but you will always be aware when it will end. CAT is an exam that demands the presence of mind so it important that you think backwards and plan in such a way that you are prepared for the big day.
- Comprehensive Tests:
At the beginning of your preparation decide how many tests you will give during the tenure of your preparation. The objective behind these tests is to build a test strategy as you measure your own strengths across different sections. The secondary objective is relative performance management. Feedback and analysis of a test are highly important as it will help you to revise a few concepts. Then comes the section wise test analysis. Plan accordingly so that an ample amount of time is available in hands and you don’t get too exhausted by giving the tests.
- In-depth Scheduling:
Reading and Maths should be two major areas of focus. Major steps that should be included in the scheduling are:
Word list completion
Study Material for the following areas:
- Reading: What and how
If reading is your hobby then it won’t be too much of a headache for you. Reading online articles related to topics related to CAT can be a good start for developing the reading habit. Reading appropriate topics for CAT is more important than reading everything that comes in hand. Devoting at least 2-3 hours for reading is mandatory if you don’t want to fret when an unfamiliar passage pops up on your screen on the day of examination.
Reading will help you in three ways:
Manage your speed
Increase in concentration
- Maths Practice:
Maths make an essential part of CAT examination. Every alternate day maths should be practised. Go through theory, solved examples and then try to solve exercises. Usage of pen and paper should be minimized. Try to solve problems and calculations in your head. It will save time and sharpen your mathematical skills. Complex problems need your attention. Try to keep a note of innovative approaches.
- Puzzle Solving:
Extracting critical information from the data is highly important in the exam. Puzzle solving practice will work as an excellent tool for this purpose. For developing a logical base try to solve puzzles as much as you can. Finding a structure to the problem will lead you to the solution. The structure might be in the form of tables and trees. In logical reasoning don’t jump to the answers right away. No fixed algorithm procedure is present for the questions. But solving more of pattern and structure related question will help you in the exam.
In a limited amount of time, you can prepare well and even crack an IIM through CAT. It is not impossible to fulfill the eligibility criteria of IIMs. It is tough, yes but you can conquer the battle. Most of the students believe that their CAT Percentile is enough to convert their dream into reality. It is a complete myth. CAT is an important step of course, but it is not the only step to get into IIM. Only your CAT Percentile would not land you into one of the top business school. There are specific and mandatory academic credentials you should check to fulfill IIM Eligibility Criteria. Before appearing for the CAT examination make sure your graduation percent/CGPA fits in the criteria. You may also like to check out the following links to get more information on IIM CAT Eligibility criteria: https://www.iimu.ac.in/programs/mba-program/iim-admission-criteria
This year (IIM) Kozikhode is conducting CAT exam on 24th of November. IIM Kozikhode will start the registration for CAT 2019 from the first week of August. The CAT application form can be filled online after registration on the official website. At the time of submission of the form, the application fee needs to be submitted. CAT registration 2019 will conclude in the last week of September 2019. After successful completion of CAT registration 2019, you will receive the User Id and Password on their registered email and mobile number. The next step is to log in to the official website with the login credentials and fill the CAT 2019 application form. This time the exam will also witness multiple choice questions as well as subjective questions. For more information just check this link: https://bschool.careers360.com/articles/cat-exam-pattern
CAT Preparation Books
There is huge confusion when it comes to the selection of books.
The content in all the books is the same. It depends on us how we make use of it. But these are the best-recommended books from IIM cat aspirants. The books are available at Amazon
Quantitative Aptitude Quantum by Sarvesh Kumar (2018)
Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Nishit Sinha (2016)
How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma (2018)
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension for CAT by Meenakshi Upadhyay and Arun Sharma (2018)
The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT by Nishit Sinha (2016)
Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis (2014)
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning by R.S.Agarwal (2018)
How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT by Arun Sharma (2011)
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation by Nishit Sinha (2016)