CAT Exam Tips & Time Optimization Techniques

1) Analyse your strengths and weaknesses: Analyse your strong as well as weak suits in the respective areas (namely quant, verbal, logical reasoning, data interpretation) and ideally, start with the preparation of your weak areas and focus on making them your strong areas. Follow the five crucial steps listed below in the suggested order for sure-shot results.

  • Begin with the solved examples in the book
  • Then move onto the unsolved examples
  • After you are well versed with the examples in the book, test yourself further by taking as many mock tests as possible to get used to this Computer Based Exam(CBT)
  • Finally resort to previous years’ CAT papers and monitor your progress
  • Thereafter, practice and practice and practice more

2) Mix of easy, moderate and difficult questions : At the first glance, CAT appears to contain questions which are difficult and tricky. However, a careful study reveals that all sections contain a mix of easy, moderate and difficult problems. Therefore, it is important to quickly scan all the questions first and then pay attention to the easier ones to solve first. Each section of the CAT contains a few questions that may hardly take 1-2 minutes to solve. Answering such questions helps you to score the cut off marks for that section, thereby improving your overall score.

3) Be thorough with your fundamentals: During the last few days before the exam, the candidates should revise all the basic concepts. Revisions of the fundamentals of each topic are extremely crucial to secure a good score. It will enable you to consolidate your preparation for the exam. You should be confident and well-versed with the application of all your basic concepts.

 4) Time versus Target: While preparing your plan of action for the CAT exam, fastidiously implement the concept of “time v/s target” i.e. completing any particular portion of a subject or topic in an assigned time period. Stick to the plan meticulously to secure the desired results. Do not be a procrastinator at any cost!

5) Identify easier section : Usually, one section in the CAT is relatively easier than the other two sections. You must ensure to score to the maximum extent in that section. The easier section has a higher cut-off than the other sections and hence, care must be taken to secure the cut-off.

6) Get well-versed with the major changes in the CAT 2015 paper pattern. This  year CAT is going to have three sections instead of two:

1.  Quantitative Ability (QA) with 34 Questions
2. Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) with 32 questions
3. Verbal & Reading Comprehension (VRC) with 34 questions

The segregation suggests that candidates have no escape. It will be mandatory to attempt all sections and achieve the minimum required percentage in individual sections apart from the overall total to make it to any of the IIMs.
CAT 2015 also marks the introduction of certain subjective type of questions in the paper. Some questions in each section may not be of multiple choice type. Instead, direct answers are to be typed on the screen.

7) Practice your shortcuts well: Although CAT is traditionally a conceptual exam based on core fundamentals, being conversant with all the shortcuts would help you to solve various problems with greater speed, thus giving you an edge as compared to your competitors. So revise your shortcuts and know them as thoroughly as your fundamentals.

8) Beyond Studies: It is essential to study hard and spend a good number of hours daily on your exam preparation but for an hour or so in your daily timetable, make some space just for yourself. You can exercise in this time to keep yourself mentally, physically and emotionally fit; or you could also devote this time to engage in any extra-curricular of your choice. Eating healthy is also a critical aspect  that needs to be taken care of while preparing for the examination.

9) Use shortcut and approximation skills : Unlike the other premier national level competitive exams, CAT does not contain questions that are based on higher mathematics and advanced English. It is found that questions which are considered difficult can be solved by using shortcuts, quick calculations or approximation. We suggest that you enhance your approximation skills by careful thought and determined practice.

10) Prioritize choice of questions

You can set yourself time limits for each section and then try your best to score maximum marks within the allotted time. Our simulated practice tests help you prepare for the CAT test by taking you closest to the test environment. Please bear in mind that all sections should be treated equally important.

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