Muskaan was born in and did her schooling in Shimla. In class 10, she scored a 10 CGPA, and she took up science in class 12 and scored 93.2 percent. Despite being a science student, in class 12 she started to develop an interest in business and Economics, and decided to pursue the same. She did her bachelor's in Economics from Shiv Nadar University, where she also took up courses in management. These courses further increased her interest in management and she decided to appear for CAT in her final year. After scoring a 99.45percentile in her first attempt, she is now all set to join the PGP program at IIM Ahmedabad. In this article, she talks about her CAT preparation strategy, and her advice to future CAT aspirants. Read on!
Please share your score and percentile with our readers.
Overall: 99.45| VARC: 95.6 | DILR: 99. 5| QA: 98.3
There are many aspirants who will attempt for the second (or even third or fourth) time. What'd be your advice to them?
If someone is attempting CAT again, he/she is already familiar with the syllabus and pattern. In such a case, mocks are the key to cracking CAT. But it's not the number of mocks you give rather it is how well you analyze them. Each analysis helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses and can be a guide to where you need to work more.
Along with this they also help you with time management, which is crucial during the actual exam
How Did You Prepare For CAT?
I started my preparation with offline coaching classes which soon shifted online due to the lockdown. Online classes were a little difficult for me to attend, so I started self-studying while attending lectures for the topics I found tricky. At the start, I mainly focused on completing the syllabus, so that I had an idea about the topics and the kind of questions that are asked. I also started reading, which was something I had stopped doing after college started.
Around July, I started giving mocks. I think these were the key that helped me identify and improve my weaknesses. I realised I was doing fairly well in VARC, but not so much in QA and LRDI. I knew how to solve the questions, but I was struggling to do so in a stipulated amount of time. The reason for it was that I was not good at calculations so it took me a lot of time to solve every question. So I started working on my calculations and doing basics like learning tables, reciprocals, etc. to just improve my calculation speed. And after some time, I did see an improvement in my performance.
Then I shifted my focus towards working on topics within QA and DILR which I wasn't good at and started improving those. I would generally study for 2-4 hours a day and would devote more time when I was giving and analysing mocks.
I was focusing mostly on DILR and QA and my scores in those were improving. But in this time I had sort of neglected VARC and the mocks that I gave in the last one month highlighted this mistake of mine.
So initially, I started my preparation with the best scores in VARC out of the three to the worst ones towards the end of my preparation journey. By the time I realised my mistake, I could do much, so I planned to switch my strategy from attempting a lot of questions in VARC to attempting a few but attempting them with almost accuracy.
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Your Advice To Future CAT aspirants?
I would like to give the following advice to all future aspirants:
The first is to be consistent. Even if you aren't good at something at the start, if you keep working on it, the results will surely come.
The second is that you shouldn't avoid any sections like I did, because you might end up losing the advantage you have in that section. I would suggest putting an equal amount of effort into all three sections.
Third would be that during your preparation you should not just learn how to solve questions but also build a mindset for the exam so that you can handle any stress you have on the examination day. This can be done if you take mocks as seriously as you are giving the final exam.
Note From The Editor→
In this video, Muskan talks about her CAT preparation journey in details and how CAT is not about solving 100% of the paper. Watch the video here!