My CAT preparation journey started way back in 2016 when I joined coaching. At coaching, teachers would talk about strategies and although I would listen everything, I had no idea on how to actually implement them. As for LRDI, I was so scared of this section that it was my first reason to not take mocks. And the simple reason for this was I didn’t bother to practice enough because even when I would sit to practice, I would give up easily. But things improved in the next CAT attempt, so much so, that LRDI became my favourite and strongest section. Here’s my preparation journey from dreading LRDI completely to scoring 99.45% in this section!
LRDI sectional percentile in first and second attempt
CAT 2018 was my second attempt when I scored 99.45% in LRDI by attempting 5 full sets. This section actually saved me and helped me improve my overall percentile. In my first attempt, I scored 82% in LRDI. I could hardly attempt 3 sets and in fact, I also missed attempting 2 of the easiest sets that year! I didn’t know how to pick sets and went after solving the difficult ones which drastically slowed me down.
Self-practice or coaching - Which one is better?
For CAT 2017, I took coaching which helped me to clear the basic concepts. But frankly, in case of LRDI, coaching didn’t help me much. I would get stuck with questions very often and it was difficult to ask for help every single time. My mistake here was I didn’t try to solve one particular set for very long. For CAT 2018, I decided to self-prepare because it was no use joining coaching twice.
I think coaching does help in clearing the basics and in giving you an idea of what kind of questions you can expect in CAT. But ultimately, LRDI is all about practice and it can happen only if you dedicate enough time to it. It is a section which requires absolute attention and concentration and that can come only through self-study. Also, during practice, even if a set sometimes take 20-30 minutes to solve, keep at it until it gets solved. This helps build approach, resilience and concentration. And above all, the happiness to have finally solved it is immense.
All about mock tests and sectional tests
Try to attempt as many sectional tests as possible. This is the most important aspect of preparation for LRDI. This helps in finalising a strategy for the section and also gives a fair idea of your strength areas.
I took 25 full-length mock tests and around 30 sectional tests for LRDI. In the last week before CAT, I solved another 100 sets of LRDI to be more thorough with the DI part which was not my strength area.
Approach while taking and analysing mocks
As I practiced more and more, I started identifying my strength areas which in my opinion, is very important. I realised I was very good with sequencing, no matter the difficulty. So, in my mocks, I would first target those before heading to the other ones. Also, using the “Question Paper View Mode”, I used to skim through the paper first to pick the right sets. As I used to get done with 2 sets in 18-20 minutes, it helped me to boost my confidence immensely.
Also, sometimes at the end, when 5-6 minutes are left, we feel that this time is wasted and can’t be used to solve any set. But if you actually start solving a new set, you might be able to answer 1-2 questions of that set. It is not necessary to solve all the sets with the viewpoint of answering all the questions.
As far as analysis of mocks is concerned, it used to be much simpler compared to the VA-RC and Quants section. Mostly, if you have solved the set right, you will get all the 4 questions right. But in case it didn’t happen, I would solve the wrong set again. Also, I would take time to try to solve the sets I could not attempt. A lot of times, I could solve them without referring to the answers but could not solve it during the mock due to time pressure. So, I would analyse what the approach was taken in solving those sets and used to remember it whenever I attempted the next mock. It is important to make notes of LRDI too as for Quants by writing down the approach for each type of question. I used to refer my notes briefly before starting with the next mock.
LRDI resources for CAT 2020 aspirants
I would strongly recommend solving each and every LRDI question on the Elites grid channel. Apart from that, LRDI sets from AIMCAT are really good to clear all possible concepts. So, one can practice questions from previous AIMCAT papers and take as many sectional tests as possible and analyse them well.
Dos and Don’ts of preparation for LRDI
It is important to lay equal emphasis on LR and DI. I realised this in the last week before CAT when I visited IMS for a final review. I was majorly solving LR sets but I was told what if DI questions are easier on the D-Day. What if LR questions are too hard to solve? In that week, I solved around 110 DI sets. And guess what, on the D-Day, two DI sets were quite easy to solve which I might have ignored for my love of LR. So, it is important not to fall in love with one particular type of question.
Advice to CAT 2020 participants
For LRDI, the only mantra, in my opinion, is practice, practice, practice. The more you practice, the better you can identify the easy sets and solve them first to save the much needed time. It is very common to remain stuck in a question for 20-25 minutes and if there is no outcome, it can be very demotivating. In most of the questions, you will realise that if you are going in the right direction, you will start feeling in the first 5-7 minutes that you are close to the solution. And if you are well practiced, you will be confident enough to face this section.
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