CAT preparation tips for beginners:
The following article provides some excellent CAT preparation tips for beginners to kick start their preparation. CAT 2021 has been scheduled to be held on the 28th of November 2021. Before you start your preparation, it is advisable to take a Free CAT Mock to know where you stand and which areas you need to focus on. Based on your performance, decide whether to prepare on your own or opt for coaching. CAT Aspirants can check out online preparation for CAT.
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Also, check out CAT Previous Year Papers to know what type of questions are asked and what areas are tested.
Let us look at the 3 sections that are tested in CAT and what needs to be done to ace each of the sections:
Preparation Tips for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension:
Reading comprehension accounts for about 70% of the verbal section. Hence, candidates must prepare well to ace this topic.
Reading is the only way to improve your scores in this section. Start with novels or genres you are comfortable with. Slowly, try reading articles on varied topics such as philosophy, economics, sports, etc. Passages in CAT will be from diverse topics. Hence, it is essential to be comfortable with various styles of passages.
While reading a passage, try to understand the thought flow of the author. Don’t interpret the passage with your personal opinions. Try to be as objective as possible while interpreting the passage.
Avoid skimming and other speed reading techniques. There will hardly be any questions that involve the lines used in the passage directly. Also, avoid looking at the questions first. Read the passage and then look at the questions.
Do not hesitate to go back to the passage to answer the question. As most of the questions are inference based, it will be a necessity to go back to the passage. Once you complete the initial reading, you will have some idea about where the answer for a particular question lies in the passage.
Do not mark answers you are unsure of. Para jumbles, para summary and out-of-concept questions also depend heavily on the comprehension ability of the candidate.
Practise para jumbles without options. After rearranging the sentences, read them once and check for logical consistency.
Reading will definitely help you in this section, however, it must be backed with sufficient practice of both RC and VA questions.
Preparation Tips for Data Interpretation and Logical reasoning:
The difficulty level of the DI-LR section has skyrocketed in the past few years. The conversion of CAT from a 3-hour exam to a 2-hour exam has had a negative impact on this section. Every minute is now essential. You cannot go on and on solving one set with the expectation of getting to the answer. YOu must be well aware of the time you have spent in a set. Set a threshold after which you must mandatorily move to the next set.
This section is usually the most ignored one by the aspirants. Most people rely solely on their inherent abilities to solve this section. With the sudden increase in the difficulty, it has now become imperative to devote an ample amount of time for this section during preparation, especially for beginners.
Try solving Sudokus, crosswords, Kakuros and other logical puzzles in your free time. Developing the thought process is essential to ace this section. Apart from solving puzzles, practice at least a DI set and an LR set every day.
Once you get a decent grasp on the topics, try solving sets in a timed environment. Accuracy is of utmost importance. Make sure that you have good accuracy even if your attempts are low.
Improve your calculation speed. This will come in handy while solving calculation-intensive DI Sets.
Preparation Tips for Quantitative ability:
Start with the basics. Even if you are comfortable solving problems, chances are there that you might have forgotten certain implications and properties. Hence, starting from the fundamentals is one of the most important CAT preparation tips for beginners.
Begin with number systems as it lays the foundation for many other topics.
Every concept is important, and problems often involve the application of 2 or 3 interrelated concepts. Hence, be thorough with the basics.
Even if you arrive at a solution, check whether it is the optimum method. Look out for various approaches to solve the same problem. Do not be too rigid to learn new ways of solving.
Street smartness can get you rewarded in this section. Try option substitution, option elimination techniques for harder questions.
Taking mock tests is one of the most important aspects of CAT preparation. Mocks help you identify where you are going wrong. This will, in turn, help you work on the gaps so that you can fill them.
Start by giving 1-2 mocks a week. In November, give 3-4 mocks a week. Analyze every mock and work on your shortcomings before the next mock.
Do not wait until the completion of the syllabus to give a mock. Start giving mocks simultaneously while you are preparing. Try to complete the topics well ahead of the exam so that you can fine-tune your test-taking strategies in the final few days.
Experiment with various strategies in mock. Finalise the one that suits you the best. Do not mimic someone else’s approach.
On the exam day, fix your targets depending on the difficulty level of the exam. Remember, it is the relative performance that matters.
While practising, try to maintain the balance among the three sections. Make sure that your areas of weakness do not hinder your chances of getting a call.
If you are not getting desired scores in your mocks, follow this article on how to improve mock scores.