CAT Preparation From July, Is it too late? Check Strategy Now

by Pankaj Singh Thu 11 Jul 2024 03:57 PM 147

The Common Admission Test (CAT) makes the highly selective and tough Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and the other top ranked schools in India the truth. However, the exam, scheduled in the month of November, an unusual problem often stares at the aspirants, which is, critically speaking, "is it late to begin from July".

This piece is about how well a July start in the CAT exam can still be successful, it is also about tactics, and techniques that one should use to maximize the leftover time.

Understanding the CAT Exam

The first thing to do prior to finding out the answer to how to crack the CAT exam should be to do a careful examination of the CAT exam itself.

CAT is a computer-based test that is divided into three sections, each of which is responsible for evaluating the student's capabilities in the specific area:

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) - this section is meant to test your command over the English Language. Your comfort level is heavily tested. Various methods of evaluation are used, these are - Reading Comprehension, Para Summary, Para Completion and Para Jumbles. Since there is no fixed pattern of the CAT, new questions can arise at any point.
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) - this section tests your logical thinking ability and your ability to infer something from a given piece of information. DILR is often considered the trickiest section of them all. The primary reason for this being the unpredictable nature of the section and the unfamiliarity with this section.
  • Quantitative Ability (QA) - often considered the most scoring section of the CAT. The QA section tests your ability across the following domains - Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Number System and Modern Math. This section has a defined syllabus and therefore, is the only section where a certain degree of predictability is present. However, the section can be very confusing also.

Each section of the CAT exam is timed at 40 minutes, so a student needs to prioritize his workload and thus, learn how to manage his time most effectively as the most important thing.

Assessing the Timeframe

Of course, the number of months you need to be prepared might be more or less than 4-5 if you start your CAT preparation in July, depending on your strengths and learning styles along with your goals.

If a candidate dedicates a shorter period than 6 to 12 months, it is still feasible and achievable with a tight plan and a high level of discipline. Here’s a breakdown of how to efficiently use the available time:

1. Initial Assessment and Goal Setting (First Week)

Know your strong points and weak sides: Check the results of a mock test to recognize which answers you got right in your true knowledge (your strengths) and with which topics you struggled (your weaknesses).

Be Real and Set Practical Objectives: Depending on the preliminary evaluation, formulate clear goals and timelines for your prep.

2. Creating a Study Plan (Week 2)

Everyday and Weekly Mission: Develop a study plan, which includes short-term and long-term goals on a daily and weekly basis, depending on your ability as a student. Besides managing your time in the right way, you also try to build up your levels of understanding in the weak points, though, it should not count for the expense of the other subjects with which you are good at.

Introduce Breaks and Review: Ensure that your learn plan is the best way to memorize as it contains numerous break times and time for repeated learning time. Continuous sitting for long hours can cause burnouts and thus can prove to be counterproductive.

3. Learning concepts and Practice (July to Middle September)

Thorough Grasping: Concentrate on QA, VARC, and DILR through understanding basic principles. If you are a Cracku's enrolled student then you should try to stick to the batch schedule and give topic tests after every class lecture.

Regular Period Of Practice: Practicing solving of questions and taking the tests on sections of the topics you are less confident in will work by checking your understanding and speed as well as solving the problems accurately. By way of instance, you can develop better abilities in VARC by reading various materials such as newspapers, magazines, and novels and you also can approach them more critically.

Reading and Comprehension: Practice your VARC skills through reading a wide range of materials, including newspapers, magazines, as well as fiction.


4. Intensive Practice and Mock Tests (Mid-September to October)

Take full mock tests as a means to simulate exam conditions and develop endurance stamina is a very effective way for this. The only way that you can see progression for these weaknesses is by looking at the mock test infirmities.

5. Final Revision and Strategy Refinement (November)

Make all the necessary corrections and adjustments in the Revised work which will mainly focus on discussing fundamental concepts. Set your sights on time management and item selection - among these motivational tactics, these are most efficient.

If you are someone is plans on starting or are struggling with your preparation, you can consider joining Cracku. The team comprises the best of the best. With CRACKu you get recorded lectures which provide you with convenient learning. Also, you get the best practice material and a daily schedule to ensure you are able to get the best out of the limited time period.

Preparation Tips for the CAT

Although the timing aspect of the study is significant, effective learning processes are more important in the accomplishment of oneself. Here are some strategies to maximize your preparation:

1. Mastering the Basics

Move forward after feeling confident and being careful about proceeding too fast. The basic concepts in all three sections have to be sure. List on some standard manuals and online references for further information. Make them your best guides.
Always start with the easiest topics henceforth to more complex ones and eventually apply the theories to demonstrate profound knowledge.

2. Practice with Purpose

Concentration on the weak areas decided through diagnostic tests and mock exams should be the primary goal. Alongside, make it a daily target to solve as many questions as possible. This should be done to an extent where the thought process to solving a problem becomes intrinsic to you i.e. it is ingrained in your brain.

3. Time Management

Set a mental practice timetable and seek to work on it to increase your speed.
Get the hang of issues that you see on the exam so that you know which of the items you are going to solve first. Ensure that you do not waste time on social media. Also make sure that you prioritize your practice accordingly. Because of the time that is left, focus more on your strengths.

4. Regular Mock Tests

Make a practice of taking all the CAT mock tests in the same way they are usually given at the exam. As a result, the body will build up its continuity and the mind of negativity against zone anxiety will disappear.

Use scores of mock test as a way forward to see in which areas you are successful and vice versa, and then, with this data, modify your plan of action every now and then so to optimize your studies.

5. Analyzing Performance

After each mock, go over the whole paper, pinpoint all your mistakes, and make sure you do not repeat them unnecessarily. Trying out will always give you the best value of knowledge and the best preparation towards main exams; hence, it becomes a never-ending process if you constantly take new mock tests and to see what will be the response by analyzing the results of each mock exam.


Saying that kick-starting CAT preparation in July would put you off a year behind is not correct at all. If you go at them with a strong will, and a clear and realistic plan, you shall get through. While you might have less time than most people, concentrating on the particular thing that you want to achieve through weekend studying will pave the way for you to command an impressive score. Bear in mind, that excellence of learning is more important than the quantity of learning, and by applying proper strategies, you may now increase the probability of getting through the CAT exam. Stick to it, be determined, and be goal-oriented.

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