Hey there, this is so frequently asked a question, that I decided to blog about it. First things first, I got a 99.92 percentile, with sectional scores being: (1) 99.96 in QA, (2) 99.26 in DILR and (3) 98.03 in VARC.
I would relive my journey down here, and I hope you make the most of it and beat my score in the CAT.
Although I had a rough idea that I would be going for an MBA since my second year, I began serious preparation somewhere around January-February 2019. I wouldn’t say it was tough and I wouldn’t pretend that I am the genius who got in just by giving a couple of mocks. I went about my preparation in a meticulous manner.
For the initial part of my prep, I didn’t attempt full-length tests but instead focused on all the three sections individually. I went about giving sectional tests, identifying my weak spots and fixing them in the best way possible.
For VARC, my primary focus was reading speed and looking up and trying to remember the meaning of every new word that I could find while reading those RC passages. I also read up Word Power Made Easy – Norman Lewis to give a boost to my vocabulary. For me, this was the hardest section out of the three and required maximum effort from my side.
DILR, a section that makes everyone break into a sweat. It’s easy to get hold of this section, once you realize that you don’t have to score a lot, just have to score more than a lot of others. The strategy remains the same – make sectional tests the primary target, identify what kinds of sets you can do efficiently, and which ones make you sweat. Then try to make some self-made shortcuts and strategies to tackle the questions you find difficult by understanding the solution and determining what works best for you as an individual.
QA – Not one to challenge engineers in terms of difficulty, but it can certainly beat you if you are not fast enough. Again, try to maximize your score in the 1-hour sectional tests by identifying and remembering:
- Weak areas
- Unknown tricks and shortcuts
- Unknown formulae
The trick to beating Weak areas is by practising more in that area, and if the problem persists, you can always skip the questions of that topic in the full-length tests without wasting time on them.
For unknown formulae and tricks, you can keep a notebook specifically for this purpose and note them down whatever you feel is something useful and worth remembering.
Once you are satisfied with your sectional performance, and the time remaining for the D-Day is more than a month away, you should start with full-length tests(FLTs). The primary focus when attempting FLTs is to manage your time and give you a habit od what type of questions to try and what to leave. Since the exam has negative marking, it is crucial to have high accuracy.
A few tips to be kept in mind while attempting FLTs :
- Consider it to be the final exam, and set your environment accordingly.
- . Look to maximise your score, rather than focusing on the technique. (Perfect your techniques using the sectional tests).
- Try different strategies to see what suits you the best.
- Don’t judge yourself based on the score, just see the percentile.
- When the percentile is low, convince yourself that it is not the final exam and move on. ?
- Feeling too confident, try to do two tests in one day to test your mental stamina.
- Don’t let the previous section’s performance affect the current section.
- Keep minimum target scores and upscale them regularly. For example – I started with my minimum target scores as 40,40,60(VARC, DILR, QA) and slowly moved up to my final min targets was – 60,60,80. So, by the time CAT happened, I hoped to get at least 200/300.This sums up my overall strategy, and I hope you were able to draw some positives out of this. In case of further queries, you can contact me, and in case of more doubts, you can trust yourself and move ahead.