CAT is one of the most sought after competitive exams for MBA aspirants in India. More than 2.4 lakh candidates compete for 4000 seats in 20 IIMs. Out of these only about 1% candidate manage to get 99 percentile in the CAT exam. Thus an extensive preparation for the exam is of prime importance. What are the groundworks then that are necessary to score this dream mark in the CAT exam?
First and foremost, there is no shortcut to success. There is a vast syllabus that needs to be covered. One has to get hold of the best books for the CAT exam, seek help from the experts, and get CAT preparation tips from those who have already cracked the exam. There are many books available in the market. When it comes to choosing the books for the exam, the CAT toppers suggest that one should get hold of one or two best books for the CAT which should be able to provide the necessary knowledge about the topic.
If one is aiming to score the magic number of 99 percentile then it is best to start the preparation at least one year before. Quality time devoted to the study is more important than the amount of time spent studying for the exam. CAT toppers suggest that three to four hours of quality time every day should be enough to get the desired score.
In case the candidate is not confident enough then he/ she can join a study centre. This helps in knowledge enhancement as well as in finding a quick and easy resolution to questions. Also, the instructors are the best persons to give important CAT preparation tips that can help the candidate achieve the much-coveted score of 99 percentile. In order to grab that elusive seat one needs to perform better than the peers. In such cases, there is nothing that compares to experts’ advice and guidance. They are also the one who can suggest the best books for the CAT.
It is also very important to form a peer study group. It is always better to study with a group of motivated people than to do it alone. This not only helps the candidate to maintain the focus but it also enables them to share CAT preparation tips. This is especially important for those who are attempting the CAT exam for the first time.
The main reason CAT is considered one of the toughest management entrance exams to crack in India is because limited time is available to solve the questions. Thus, if anyone aims to score that 99 percentile time management is of utmost importance. A CAT aspirant must always practice solving the MCQ and non-MCQ questions within a stipulated timeframe. Taking mock tests are thus very important as it gives the much-needed practice in time management. It also gives the candidate an idea about the pattern of questions expected in the exam. Practising mock tests helps the CAT aspirant get an insight into their strong and weak points.
There are certain rules that need to be followed. First of all, every mock test should be taken with a timer. Each test should be thoroughly analysed to understand where improvements are needed. It is recommended that the minimum one mock test should be attempted each week. One should aim to finish the syllabus at least two months before the exam. During this time the previous years’ question papers should be solved. This makes a CAT aspirant more confident during the exam. Every section has certain characteristics and hence there is a technique in solving them to ensure good scores in each section.
CAT toppers always suggest that in order to get that 99 percentile it is not enough to get hold of the best books for the CAT and memorize them. Instead one should focus on trying to understand the key concepts. The questions in quantitative aptitude and data interpretation are so diverse that mere practice will not help one get a good score.
Last but not the least, one should think smart and develop a strategy during the exam depending upon the pattern and style of questions.