Given the growing importance of an MBA in this day and age, it is crucial that you clear your CAT exam, since this will help you secure an admission in the best management institutes in India. To help you get a better idea of the nature of the exam, this article will walk you through a few steps you should take as a candidate appearing for it.
The first phase of your preparation for the CAT, should involve detailed understanding of the core topics of all three sections. Without the basics in place, you are unlikely to improve your mock scores in the later stages of the preparation. Thus, you must focus on strengthening your fundamentals for CAT Exam during this initial preparatory phase. Additionally, start by taking a free CAT online mock test, which will help you gauge your strengths and weaknesses.
Tips to Cover CAT Syllabus in 6 Months
The following is a set study plan to finish the CAT syllabus in two (at most three) months. Each week, it is recommended you spend six days learning concepts by watching the concept videos/referring to related content, while reserving one day to test yourself by taking an associated concept test. Please remember that the study plan will vary from individual to individual.
For instance, working professionals or final year graduate students, must spend at least 2 hours every day studying as per the CAT Exam Syllabus. Tweak your study plan and allocate enough time to work on your weaknesses. For instance, if you are weak in DILR, you can allot more time to this section while balancing the time allocated to the remaining two sections. Also, you can start taking a mock every week and analyse your weak and strong areas.
Topic-wise study-plan for CAT:
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC): Try to complete the concept videos of the VARC section in the first 3–4 weeks of your preparation. Completing the basics should not take much time. Additionally, a significant portion of the VARC prep involves reading and practising comprehension exercises regularly. In the initial days of your preparation, solve at least one RC daily. You can spend some time on vocabulary/grammar if you do not feel confident, but ensure that you do not waste excess time on such topics. Spend 1 hour every day to cover the VARC concepts. One can adhere to the following schedule for a solid preparation:
|Topic||No. of days|
|Odd Sentences out||3-4|
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR): You can evenly divide the week for the individual sub-sections such that you can spend 3 days on DI sets/concepts, and the remaining 3 days on strengthening Logical Reasoning. Start by learning the fundamental concepts of the types of sets that have appeared in the past 3–4 years question papers and learn to answer them logically. Apart from learning the concepts, try to solve 2 sets every day (one DI set and one LR set).
|LR Topics||No. of days|
|Arrangements (Linear, Circular, etc)||4|
|Puzzles (Einstein puzzles, constraint-based, etc)||4|
|Networks, Games, and Tournaments, Scheduling, LR based on picking coins||10-12|
|Blood relations, family tree, Truth-liar concept||6|
|Others (2D space LR’s, etc)||4-5|
|DI Topics||No. of days|
|Bar Graphs, Line Charts, Pie Charts, Unconventional Charts (Radar Charts, Bubble Charts, etc)||10|
|Others (DI based on growth over years, Data Sufficiency, Caselets, etc)||6-7|
Quantitative Aptitude (QA): The quantitative syllabus is quite substantial and spans across a range of topics that one encounters primarily in high school. Thoroughly cover the fundamentals of each topic and give special care to the areas that you particularly find troubling. It is recommended to finish the Arithmetic and Geometry concepts first, as they have more weightage in the exam (usually 60–70%)
As the quantitative syllabus is vast, spend at least 2 hours every day learning the concepts. Following is a defined outline for topic-wise preparation. The days allocated for each topic could vary depending on whether a topic is your strength or weakness.A balanced schedule covering the syllabus and the concept tests for revision will be a good preparation strategy.
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|Topic||No. of days|
|Ratio and Proportion, Percentages, Averages, Allegations, Profit Loss and Discount, Simple Interest and Compound Interest||13-14|
|Time, Speed and Distance, Time & Work||6-7|
|Linear Equations, Quadratic Equations, Inequalities||8-10|
|Progressions and series, Surds and Indices||4-5|
|Geometry and Mensuration||12-14|
|Co-ordinate Geometry, Basic trigonometry||2-3|
|Permutation and Combination, Probability, Set Theory||7-8|
Month-wise schedule / Study plan:
The following is a month-wise schedule that one can adhere to. It is advised that you allot at least 3 to 4 hours for your CAT prep every day. Ensure that more time is allocated to strengthen your weaker subjects, but at the same time don’t neglect the strong ones. Once the basics of all three sections are covered, focus on practising regularly, taking mock-tests, evaluating your performance, and building your personalised strategy.
|June- July||Learning the concepts of all three sections|
|August/mid-August||Revise the concepts, take sectional tests, and 1-2 mocks per week|
|September- October||Take at least 2 mocks per week, improve your question section skill, Experiment with various strategies in mock|
|November||Pick a strategy that suits you the most. Revise the concepts and the common mistakes you tend to do|
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