CAT 2015: How to prepare

CAT 2015: How to prepare

CAT 2015 is slated to be held on November 29, this year. The exam consists of three sections – Quantitative Aptitude (34 questions to be attempted in one hour), Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (34 questions to be attempted in one hour) and Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation (32 questions to be attempted in one hour).

CAT 2015: How to prepare

The aspirants should keep in mind that CAT needs a disciplined and comprehensive preparation.

Key steps for preparation:

Step 1: The candidates should be familiar with their strengths and weaknesses with respect to the kind of questions asked in CAT. The candidates can take online mock tests, in order to analyse their SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat).

Step 2: On identifying the weaknesses, the candidates should chalk out a short horizon plan (daily or weekly) and long horizon (till CAT) plan. The candidates can divide the number of chapters (or concepts) by number of days and then create a study plan. Making a study plan is not difficult, however, the candidates should ensure to stick to it, religiously.

Important points to keep in mind:

Quantitative Aptitude

The candidates should keep the 70/30 rule in mind. According to this thumb rule, approximately 70 per cent of the questions in Quant come from 30 per cent of the chapters viz. Number System, Geometry, Time Speed Distance, Ratio proportion, Function/graphs, Equations and Permutation and Combination. If the candidates manage to get even 3/4th of these questions correct, they will easily be able to secure 92 percentile in QA.

However, knowing that almost 100 days remain for CAT, the candidates are suggested to go through all the concepts and chapters at least once. Also, it is vital to understand that almost half of the total number of questions will be fundamentals’ based questions with simple 1-2 step solution.

Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation

In this section, the students are expected to have practiced different types of questions. This section students prepare mostly on their own, even if they have joined a coaching institute. Most frequently asked questions in this section constitute of: arrangement based questions (linear, circular and tabular), sequencing based questions (loose sequencing and strict sequencing), network diagram, games based and team formation questions.

In Data Interpretation, most of the questions are based upon two or more than two types of charts. In the previous years, both calculation intensive and interpretation based questions have been asked frequently. Besides, questions from Data Sufficiency can also be asked. To prepare this section, the candidates keep a target of solving 4-5 sets every day. Try to ensure that the questions are of different type.

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

In this section,  questions can be distributed into three types –

Type 1: Questions based upon logics like Para jumble, Critical reasoning, FIJ, Logical completion of idea etc.
Type 2: Questions based upon application of grammar like sentence correction and vocabulary based questions like fill in the blanks questions
Type 3: Questions based upon reading comprehension.
Fill-in-the-blanks-questions are designed to measure an aspirant’s ability to understand the intended meaning of a sentence. Each question requires one to analyse the context of a sentence and determine which word or words are best to complete that sentence

Step 3: Thereafter, the candidates should join any national level test series, and analyse their performance in all the tests thoroughly.

How?

Make a table containing two columns – column (1) questions that you got right, and column (2) questions that you could have got right. This way, you can analyse the gap between your potential and performance in every test. In every subsequent test, this gap should decrease with an ideal level of zero.

Further, 2nd column should be segregated into three parts – Conceptual Error (you were not aware of the concept), Practice Error (You know the concept but have not practiced upon variety of problems based upon this concept), Calculation Error (or, Silly mistake).
Once you have got this self-assessment report, work upon it, and climb the ladder to the next level.

Good luck. Happy studying!

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