Thursday, May 31, 2012

How to Prepare For Cat 2012

Cat 2012 preparation strategyCat preparation tipsCat 2012 preparation plan

CAT 2012 preparation will determine your actions for many years of your life. Your endeavor will create opportunities for your success in CAT.  How to crack CAT 2012? These are some tips, plans and strategies for your CAT preparation.

1. Familiarize yourself with CAT Pattern: You should be well aware of the sections in CAT. CAT is mainly into 3 sections Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability, and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. You should know how CAT previous year papers have shown changes in last 5-6 years. This will get to know about CAT pattern and syllabus.

how to prepare for cat
how to prepare for cat
2. Accept your Weakness: You may be good and some topics compared to other. You should not run from it, instead work on it on daily basis. You will develop strength out of it once you take it head on.  You should start taking easy tests. Go back to school books and build basics brick by brick.

3. Build on Strengths: CAT is of 3 sections. You may be weak in one but I am sure you like one section.  Build your strength everyday and hone it to nuke CAT. Do not become overconfident even if you do well in some section in mock tests. You never know how you perform under the pressure of exam. One of my students was very good in English but on “the day” she managed just 72%tile in Verbal Ability. I believe you should pay more attention on your stronger areas to get high marks and higher overall percentile.

4. Time management for CAT: Time is a very limited and unreal resource. Prepare for CAT managing time efficiently. If you are in a coaching prepare along the class and try not to follow but lead the teachers there. Prepare in advance before going to classes.

5. Arun Sharma Books: Do questions from various books other than your coaching institute. Arun Sharma is a very good book you should use for MBA preparation. Arun Sharma books provide a panoramic view on CAT questions as it covers all topics in its book.

6. Cat practice questions: Practice will make you fast in solving questions as CAT has similar fundamental questions in all sections particularly quants. Take many tests under similar conditions before the real day. Do not take breaks in your paper. Try to replicate CAT as much as possible. Download CAT practice papers online and discuss them with teachers and friends. 

The key to doing well on CAT has always been very strict.

1) Well preparation

2) Know the Basics
3) A lot of Practice

4) Appearing a many tests

5) Self-belief of doing well

'Sound preparation' encompasses looking at questions from previous years' CATs and understanding the 'syllabus' of CAT. First, one should make a list of all ics/areas on which questions have been asked in Quantitative, Logic & Data Interpretation and the Verbal section.

Then, one should assess whether one is 'proficient', 'average' or 'needs improvement' in each of those areas. The areas that fall in the third category is what one should look at quickly addressing rather than hoping that questions from that area do not come in CAT2010!

The IIMs, through CAT, test the students on their understanding of basic concepts and this is where 'Getting the basics right' plays a vital role. Often students look for the toughest material to practice without realising that their understanding of concepts as simple as LCM & HCF is not as good as they think it is.

CAT has often trapped students with simple and elegant questions that probe into their understanding of the basics. A quick recap of all the chapters in Quantitative and the concepts involved in each of them would go a long way in rectifying this.

One key aspect of CAT has been its unpredictability in terms of the pattern, the question types, areas emphasised and the difficulty level. However, CAT 2010 has eased the unpredictability to an extent by mentioning the pattern beforehand (3 sections with a total of 60 questions).

Students should try to strengthen their performance in each section in terms of speed and accuracy by practicing on a good number of sectional tests. Students should also ensure that they get enough practice of all kinds of full length papers through a comprehensive Mock series program.

This ensures that one is exposed to relevant and plausible question types which increases one's capacity to deal with any surprise in CAT2010. However taking lots of mocks is not the only preparation strategy - analysing the mocks after the test is over and learning from ones mistakes is, in fact, a key step, which students often overlook.

Finally, the most important ingredient in tackling CAT 2010 successfully is self-belief - the conviction that the effort that one has put in over the past months will yield positive results.

Constant worrying about the end result only makes the task much more difficult to accomplish.

So keep your spirits high and elevate your level of preparation in the next one month leading upto CAT. Success will belong to those who can follow this advice religiously and keep up their belief quotient.
There are two phases of preparation

Preparation for CAT 2012 - First phase:

In this phase you should get good grip on fundamentals and get familiar with all chapters and problems . Do not look for speed solving or feel any sort of pressure while preparing fundamentals. Learn with your own efficiency, without getting into fundamentals clearly speed-solving is not useful. Please manage to allocate at least one hour a day for reading newspapers, magazines. It is better to subscribe for any good magazines during the preparation. Get in touch with current affairs. 

Schedule your weeks to prepare accordingly because haphazardness will waste lot of time. If you have been preparing without any study structure then whatever you may achieve would have been increased up to 50%. Try to shuffle the subjects also, so that you do not get bored with one subject. A good time table for 1 days look like below:

Day 1:
1 hour reading
2 hours of math
1 hour of analytical reasoning / data interpretation
1 hour of reading comprehension exercises / verbal ability

Preparation for CAT 2012 - second phase(self analyzing and improving):

By the time you finish the fundamentals which is about second week of august, you will get a fare idea on the area of your weakness and strengths. Make a tabular form of topics categorizing strengths and weakness to have a clear picture on it. Keep weak areas in mind and try to improve yourself by focusing them more.

From second week of August you can take section tests along with revision of topics in alternate day, here if you think you have to allocate more time you should do.. You must start taking comprehensive tests by the beginning of September.

Things you look to learn in comprehensive tests of 2-3 hour long, is how to manage paper so the attitude here should be the same like a batsman who wants to score as many runs as possible in the last 10 overs in onedayers. You should think of scoring as much as possible ,but most people will get emotional to have a challenging problem and stuck up solving only that problem.

After you tested yourself spend time to analyze it. The key points to analyze your test:

  1. Speed:
    See if your speed is better than previous tests, notice if you do not understand basics you cannot apply them to tougher problems. Both these attributes are a prerequisite for speed solving;

  2. Concentration:
    Most of we do not use two hours sitting at a stretch; a high degree of concentration is also not easy for first time test takers. Comprehensive tests make us to sit for two hours at a stretch and we increase our attentive span.

  3. Time Management:
    The most important value provided by the comprehensive test is an idea of our strengths and weakness. So you should manage time and allocate certain time to each section depending on your strength and weakness

  4. Accuracy:
    Accuracy is the number of correct questions out of attempted questions. if this is low you need to go and revise the chapters which are reducing your accuracy because marking wrong option will impose negative marks in cat.

  5. Finding Traps:
    You should avoid false positives or false negatives i.e., you shouldn’t leave easy questions thinking they are hard and attempt hard questions thinking they are easy. analyzing your progress on the above four : compare with the previous attempted paper on above all points
Take comprehensive test for yourself on every alternate days with analyzing and revision of topics on another day. 

We wish you all the best for your endeavor.