CAT 2015 is upon us and it’s the exam that will determine the future course for lakhs of management hopefuls in the country. The importance of scoring well in the crucial exam cannot be overemphasized. Hence it’s only natural that words like Verbal Ability, Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning are racing through your mind quite frequently. But you can’t let that overwhelm you at this crucial juncture in your life. Instead you can focus on your preparations for CAT and give it your best shot.
Preparing for different segments of the CAT
As mentioned earlier, your CAT exam will be divided into four major sections and it’s recommended that students focus on the segment that they are most comfortable with. That’s also true for the exam day when trying to answer each and every question in the paper might be fruitless. It’s better to take a few minutes to go through the paper and focus on areas and questions that you have mastery over.
Understanding what each segment entails and how to prepare for it
- Quants are all about getting your calculations right without wasting a lot of time on them. Hence practicing them on a regular basis can help you immensely.
- One thing to note is that there are no long equations in the CAT, which is why you are well served by brushing up the basics and tricks you learn in the books and online.
- Never try to mug up formulas, give emphasis on the tricks instead. It will save you time, reduce mistakes and boost accuracy.
- This section is all about studying and understanding the data that is in question. It will test your analytical skills and there is no alternative to regular practice.
- You will have to pay attention to calculations and have to make sure that you get things right in less time. You can get the advantage by learning tricks and tips of Vedic Maths.
- This is the segment where you will need to be calm and not let panic about speaking in grammatically correct English set in. To boost your skills you can start by cultivating daily reading habits; from newspapers to magazines and business pages.
- Make a habit of speaking to people around you in English. Try and learn new words on a daily basis and that will make a world of difference to your vocabulary. Finally, remember that your performance also depends on how you express your thoughts and not just on the words you use.
- This is probably the trickiest and also most exciting part of the exam because there no set syllabus or prescribed formula. Your possibilities are endless but going through a step by step process of thinking logically is the way to go about finding the best solutions.
- Your exam will probably not include any test that you have solved before. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice because after all, it teaches you the right approach to solve these questions.
How to get things right in the lead up to the exam?
While it’s true that CAT students should start preparing for their exams a year in advance, devoting few hours every day, things gather momentum in the last few weeks before the D Day. Here are a few things students can do in this important period before the exams:
- You can go through questions from previous years’ exams and assess whether you are proficient, average or need improvement in certain areas. Focus on the segments you are struggling in.
- Management schools are looking to test your understanding of basic concepts so you can do away with the toughest study material and focus on grasping concepts.
- Take a mock test from reputed sources and evaluate your performance. The test will give you a fair idea about the syllabus and let you know how comfortable you are with time management and the format. But it’s absolutely vital that you take the mock test in conditions that are similar to the actual test. Recommended test for the year: http://vjim.edu.in/mock-cat
Staying on top of things on exam day
It’s the day you have been waiting for and also approaching with a lot of trepidation. It helps to remember that you have done your best preparations, and are ready to give the exams your best shot.
- Your time management skills will come into play on the day. You will have to manage time as you try to balance speed with accuracy, handle pressure, uncertainty and make the best decisions.
- You might have heard this many times before but have to tell yourself again on the day that there is negative marking for wrong answers and it can cost you dearly. So no wild guessing; if you have to guess, eliminate 2-3 answers and take an informed guess.
- Finally, stay calm, relaxed and make sure you are prepared with the logistics including pen, pencils, admission card etc to avoid last minute hassle that can stress you out.
These easy to follow steps can help you do your best in your CAT exams and open doors to the best management schools in the country.