Can An Average Student Crack CAT? (Study Plan For CAT 2023)

can an average student crack cat
Can an average student crack CAT?

CAT is one of the most challenging and highly competitive exams that is a gateway for many top prestigious B-schools to pursue an MBA. Every year around two lakhs of students take attempting CAT exam. A common question arises from the students who want to take the CAT exam, i.e. “an average student can crack the CAT?”. It is to be clarified that “YES“, but as there is heavy competition, an aspirant must be strong to compete among the two lakhs of students. It doesn’t matter whether you are an average or a poor student. Cracking CAT is completely based on your hard work and your preparation strategy. In this article, we will discuss some helpful study tips and provide you with a well-structured preparation strategy(section-wise) that can be useful for the average students.

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Is Cracking CAT Easy?

  • The short answer is “YES“. It is a common misconception that only students with exceptional academic records can crack the CAT exam. However, this is not entirely true. A well-structured study plan can help you ace the CAT exam. The name is the “Common Admission Test” Every student can take the exam and even crack it. It doesn’t matter whether you are an engineer, non-engineer, average, or a poor student can also crack the CAT exam.
  • Most non-engineering students think that they are weak in maths (quant section), but when it comes to the maths in the CAT exam, the complete syllabus of maths in CAT is from your secondary education, not even a single concept from engineering studies.
  • There are many students who got admitted into top IIMs with a non-engineering background. It is completely depending on your dedication towards your preparation and hard work. If you feel that you are an average student, then have a look at some useful tips to prepare for the CAT exam.

Check out the below excellent video on “Below Average Students Can Crack CAT” made by Sayali ma’am – CAT 2023 99.97%iler (IIMA Alumni)

Tips To Crack CAT For Average Students

Follow the helpful tips below to crack the exam the CAT experts suggested. If you think you are an average student, the following tips will help you prepare for the exam in a structured manner and improve your self-confidence to crack the exam.

Understand The Exam Pattern And Syllabus

The first step towards cracking CAT is to have a detailed understanding of the exam pattern and the syllabus thoroughly. CAT is a computer-based test that consists of three sections. The CAT 2023 Exam pattern is shown below.

CAT 2023 Exam Pattern
SECTION DURATION Number of questions (Expected)
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension 40 minutes 24
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 40 minutes 20
Quantitative Ability 40 minutes 22
Total 120 minutes 66

Each correct answer is awarded 3 marks, and each wrong answer carries a penalty of -1 mark. Some questions are Type-in-the-answer (TITA) questions. The marking scheme for TITA questions is +3 marks for the correct answer and NO negative marks for the wrong answer. Also, there is no negative marking for Unattempted questions.

CAT 2023 Syllabus PDF

Candidates must familiarize themselves with the CAT 2023 syllabus to be able to prepare effectively. Once they understand the CAT syllabus, they can devise a study plan that focuses on their strengths and weaknesses. There is no exactly defined syllabus for the CAT. By analyzing the previous CAT question papers, we have made a PDF of the CAT 2023 syllabus that consists of all the topics in the CAT exam. Click on the link given below to download the CAT 2023 syllabus PDF.

CAT 2023 Syllabus PDF

Start Early And Be Consistent

Cracking CAT requires consistent effort and dedication. It is essential to start early and give yourself enough time to prepare. Candidates should aim to cover the entire syllabus at least once and revise the topics they find challenging.

Consistency is key when it comes to CAT preparation. Candidates should aim to study for a few hours every day and avoid cramming before the exam. Consistency not only helps in retaining the information better but also helps in building confidence.

Target The Basics Of All The Sections

Having a firm grasp on basics is very imperative. It is advised not to neglect the basics and fundamentals, especially for the quantitative aptitude section. QA is one of the scoring sections in CAT, which can be cracked by having a strong foundation of basics and formulas. One can utilize the CAT Qunat Formulas PDF, which consists of all the basics, formulas, and shortcuts to solve the tricky questions in Quant section.

Prioritize Your Weak Areas

As long as you identified your strengths and weaknesses using the CAT syllabus. You need to make your study plan by giving a high priority to your weak areas. Practice as much as possible until you get strong in that particular area. After covering all your weak areas, you can test yourself by taking mock tests and analysing your progress.

Take Mock Tests

Mock tests play an essential role in CAT preparation. Taking the mock test will give the students the actual exam experience and help them understand the exam pattern and their strengths and weaknesses. Candidates should take at least one mock test weekly and analyze their performance to identify improvement areas. One can use the free CAT mocks, which help you to practice for the CAT exam.

Candidates should carefully review their performance and identify their mistakes during the mock analysis. They should also focus on improving their speed and accuracy. Candidates who take enough mock tests and analyze their performance tend to perform better on the actual exam.

Focus on Conceptual Clarity

CAT preparation is not just about memorizing formulas and concepts. It is about understanding them and applying them to solve problems. Candidates must focus on building conceptual clarity to be able to solve complex problems. They should aim to understand the underlying concepts and practice applying them to different problems.

Candidates should also focus on improving their speed and accuracy. Solving problems quickly and accurately is essential to performing well on the exam. They should aim to solve problems with a systematic approach and avoid guesswork.

CAT 2023 Study Plan PDF For Average Students

Students can also use the following best preparation study schedule to prepare for the CAT exam for 9 months that covers the complete CAT 2023 syllabus. Click on the below link to download the study plan PDF for average students to crack CAT 2023. This study plan is comprehensive and flexible for all types of aspirants, such as working professionals, college students etc. One can also have a look at the sample image from the CAT study plan PDF.

CAT 2023 Study plan PDF Sample Image
CAT 2023 Study plan PDF Sample Image

Downlaod CAT 2023 Study Plan PDF for Average Students

How much time is required to prepare for CAT for the average student?

The time requirement completely depends upon the level of hard work and practice made by the person. Some people can crack CAT in 4 months, even as an average student, and it can take 6 months for some people. By this, you can understand that an average student requires a minimum time of 6 to 7 months to prepare for the CAT exam. However, the CAT 2023 exam is 7 months away. This is the best time start for the average student to prepare for the CAT exam.

How much an average student can score in the CAT exam?

We cannot estimate how much an average student can score in the CAT exam because it entirely depends upon the hard work made by the student, how far the concepts are covered, the level of practice and how attempted in the exam. There is a probability of getting 100 percentile for an average student and less than 70 percentile for a topper student. Here it depends on the efforts given by the student, whether the topper or an average student.

Section-wise Preparation Plan For Cracking CAT Exam

Preparation Plan For VARC Section (Expert Tips)

  1. Reading practice: Start by reading newspapers, magazines, and books to improve your reading speed and comprehension skills.
  2. Vocabulary: Improve your vocabulary by reading novels and books, and make it a habit to learn at least 10-15 new words every day.
  3. Grammar and usage: Work on your grammar and usage by solving grammar exercises and practising sentence correction questions.
  4. Mock tests: Take at least one mock test every two weeks to evaluate your performance and identify areas that need improvement.

Follow the below topic-wise study schedule for preparing this VARC section.

Topic No. of days
Reading Comprehension 14-15
Para Summary 8-10
Para Completion 8-10
Para Jumbles 8-10
Odd sentence out 8-10

You need to spend at least 1 hour every day covering the VARC Concepts

Preparation Plan For DILR Section (Expert Tips)

  1. Understand the basics: Start by understanding the basics of data interpretation and logical reasoning.
  2. Practice: Practice as many questions as possible from different sources to gain a better understanding of the concepts.
  3. Mock tests: Take at least one mock test every two weeks to evaluate your performance and identify your areas of strength and weakness.
  4. Revise: Keep revising the DILR concepts at regular intervals to avoid forgetting them.

Follow the below topic-wise study schedule for preparing this DILR section.

LR Topics No. of days
Arrangements (Linear, Circular, etc.) 4
Puzzles (Einstein puzzles, constraint-based etc.) 4
Networks, LR based on picking coins 6
Games and tournaments 4
Scheduling 4
Blood relations, family tree, Truth-liar concept 8
Cubes 4
Others (2D Space LR’s, etc.) 6-7
DI Topics No. of days
Bar Graphs, Line Charts, Pie Charts, Unconventional charts (radar chart, bubble chart etc.) 15 -16
Tables 5
Venn Diagrams 5
Others (DI Based on growth over years, Data Sufficiency, Caselets, etc) 10

Preparation Plan For Quant Section (Expert Tips)

  1. Basics first: Start with the basics and fundamentals of all the topics. Cover topics like Algebra, Geometry, Arithmetic, Number Systems, and Mensuration.
  2. Practice: Practice as many questions as possible from the different topics to gain a better understanding of the concepts.
  3. Mock tests: Take at least one mock test every two weeks to evaluate your performance and identify your areas of strength and weakness.
  4. Revise: Keep revising the formulas and concepts at regular intervals to avoid forgetting them.

Follow the below topic-wise study schedule for preparing this Quant section.

Topic Number of days
Number Systems 5-6
Ratio and Proportion, Percentages, Averages, Alligation, Profit Loss and Discount 14-15
Simple Interest and Compound Interest 2-3
Time, Speed and Distance 4-5
Time & Work 3
Linear equations, Quadratic equations 7
Inequalities 3
Logarithms, Functions 7
Progressions and series 4
Surds and indices 2
Geometry & Mensuration 12-14
Basic trigonometry 2-3
Coordinate Geometry 3
Permutation and Combinations 5
Probability 4
Set Theory 3
Miscellaneous 6-7

Daily routine / Timetable to prepare for CAT for average students.

This daily routine depends on whether you are a college student, a working professional, or you have taken a drop. This timetable helps you to prepare for the CAT in a structured manner, and you can customise it as per your comfort and make sure that you stick with the schedule.

The daily routine from Monday to Saturday:

  • Watch the concept videos. Spend around 2-3 hours on understanding your weak areas.

  • Reading regularly, read what you like (can be your favourite novels also)- 30 minutes to 1 hour daily.

  • Reading diverse articles- 30 minutes.

  • Solving puzzles like sudoku and doing basic mental math calculations- 30 minutes

  • Sunday: Take concept tests (to test yourself on the concepts learned during the week)
  • Overall try to allocate around 2-3 hours for preparation during the weekdays and more time on weekends.
  • Customize your schedule that balances all three sections. And make sure to allocate more time to work on weak areas. So, This is the best time to start preparing for CAT 2023. Try to complete the syllabus within 3-4 months and practice, take mocks and analyze them, and understand your strengths and weaknesses.

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