The Do’s and Don’ts of Cracking CAT

If you’ve been grappling to find methods and techniques to make the mammoth task of cracking CAT easier, don’t fret as this article seeks to help you with exactly that. Herewith, basis the guidance of Arun Sharma, we share top five tips to cracking CAT, the entrance exam required to be taken to seek admission into IIMs and the top MBA colleges across India.

Stay Inspired

There are two ways of preparing for any exam – approach it in a flat mediocre manner or approach in such a way that you do inspirational work, something you can look back upon and marvel and be proud of.

Set a reminder to keep yourself inspired hour and hour, day and day, week and week out. It is imperative to stay inspired as you never know what kind of outcomes you can create. An inspired you will give much different results than a flat you.

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Be an All-rounder in Preparation

The second important point is more preparation related. People tend to focus on few areas and not everything around them. Typically, people have four subjects to address – Mathematics, English, Data Interpretation (DI), Logical Reasoning (LR).

A lot of students tend to underplay math or English and overdo Data Interpretation. But remember, each section holds equivalent weightage and thus the focus of preparation has to be in all areas.

Be careful of under preparation of DI and LR. Mathematics and English has a lot of reading to do and people often think there’s no theory for DI and LR and hence remain underprepared. However, guard against this and chances of success will increase drastically.

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Test-Taking and Analysis

The third tip, which is very important during the preparation process, is to take tests and then analyze your performance on those tests. While it is important to brush up your basics well and due diligence with respect to each chapter and question type, it is equally, perhaps more important to test your learning and skills while taking tests. The general tendency is to avoid taking tests – be it because of overconfidence, or the feeling of it being a waste of time one could rather spent studying further. But this exercise would only damage one’s chances. When you’re preparing for a test like CAT you need 5-6 months of test taking experience. The way you should plan it is, if your test is in Dec start taking mock tests in May-June, pause in August to review and then use the next four months to focus on your weaknesses and developing your scores.

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Identify and Strategize Scoring

An exam is all about test scores and that is what this tip entails. Typically, you have 102 marks for Maths and English each and 96 marks of DI and LR, which are then balanced to 100 marks each by scaling them up or down. So, if you trying to crack the exam, the target you should set is learn how to get 60 marks in an hour in each of these sections. The current structure is 3 marks for a question, and -1 for a wrong answer, and so for the scale score, the number of errors becomes important. So, if you are looking at cracking this exam and you score 60+ out of 100 in each section, you are home in getting a rang among the top 500, which means a 99.75 percentile. You would thus be heading straight into top IIMs and your careers can be considered set. Again, it is important to revisit the third tip in the context of this one – not to focus the entire prep in a vacuum of studying theories and chapters, but attempt different test sets. Constant practice and review will guide you on how to get your score to 60.

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Remain Unconventional

The fifth tip which surmises the third and the fourth pointer talks about trying to get your score up to 60 in a section. Typically, most students have scores reaching up to 40/50 on their own. The real battle is when you try to scale up your score from 40-45 to 60-70. During this entire process what and how you learn is critical. The most important aspect for cracking this exam is to know this is an exam of aptitude and is 90% driven by the learning you get out of solving questions, and only 10% theory helps you. It’s not like conventional exams where you study everything and you approach questions but here it’s about exposing yourself to all possible question types that can be thrown at you on a topic and using the theory studied to tackle those different question types. Hence, remain unconventional in your approach as you prepare for CAT rather than shape your approach as you would while tackling conventional exams.

About Mr. Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma is a name that every CAT aspirant surely knows of. He is the well-known author of two of the most sought after books on CAT preparation, namely, ‘How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT’ and ‘How to prepare for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning for the CAT’. Arun has prepared thousands of students for several exams, who have gone on to crack them. He has himself not been able to give up the CAT ‘keeda’ and is a serial-CAT-taker, who has been cracking the exam for the past 14 years. He has over 10 titles to his name, and over 1.5 million copies of his books have been sold till date.

About his Company:

Mindworkzz is one of India’s leading brands in Aptitude training and testing. We are involved in training aspirants for the CAT over the past 2 decades and have trained over 10000 IIM Graduates. Besides we are also involved in conducting classes for UPSC (CSAT) and CRT (campus recruitment training). Our key partners include companies like McGraw Hill Education, Hungama, Airtel etc.