With 45 days to go for CAT, candidates often have several doubts in their minds regarding their preparation strategies. Is there a need to change strategy at this point? Should I increase/decrease the pace of my preparation? Should I increase the time I have been devoting to practice? Should I start attempting more mock tests?
These questions can also lead to self-doubt. Is my preparation good enough? Can I really crack CAT with my level of practice? Through this article, I will attempt to answer these questions, dispel any myths, and give you an idea as to how you can make the best out of these 45 days.
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At this point, your focus should be on getting as much practice as possible. Irrespective of how your preparation has been up to this point, there is still ample time to gear up and give CAT your best shot. Let us take each section separately and see how best we can deal with them.
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
Contrary to common perception, this section does not require you to be an avid reader. Instead, it requires you to critically analyze text, understand the tone of the passage, the author's intentions, and so on. With 45 days to go, try building up your concentration for reading long passages. Incorporate the habit of reading 3-4 articles every day of different genres, from newspapers, magazines, or other sources. Ask yourself critical questions like What is the intention of the author with this article? Why is he saying it? Where is he going with this? This will undoubtedly go a long way in helping you approach RC questions.
The section also contains several questions that test the candidates' verbal abilities, like the para jumbles and the sentence completion questions. Make sure you get enough practice for all the different types of problems.
Refer to CAT Preparation tips to know the important types of problems and How to improve VARC for more guidance.
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
This section requires a lot of problem-solving abilities, and practice is the key to cracking it. At this stage, you should analyze your preparedness for handling different types of DILR sets. Go through the basics of particular approaches for different sets that can be asked and attempt to solve 3-5 new sets every day. Trying new sets is essential because it will help you think on the spot and approach new problems with ease.
While solving mock tests, you can use the strategy of solving easy questions in the first round and harder ones in the subsequent round. There are usually four types of questions in this section, depending on the difficulty level and how calculation intensive the question is.
- Questions that are both easy to understand and require less calculation might be very few in number. However, if such questions are present, they should be attempted the first time you read the question paper.
- Questions that are more calculation intensive but are easy to understand are more common and should be attempted in the next round. Questions that are difficult but do not seem to be highly calculation intensive may be attempted in subsequent rounds depending on their difficulty level and the time required to answer them.
- Questions that are both calculation intensive as well as difficult should be attempted only if all other questions have been attempted.
The most important thing to remember while practicing this section is to go through all the sets, which can be achieved only if you develop the skill of identifying each question's difficulty level.
Refer to How to crack LRDI section and 6 crucial tips to score 99 percentile in DILR of CAT 2020 for more tips.
In QA, it is necessary to practice different kinds of questions on various topics. In the remaining time, prioritize revision of all topics for QA. In QA, there are specific topics that have traditionally held high weightage, like arithmetic and algebra. Go through the basics of those topics once. Try to revise while analyzing and solving already written mocks. Take sectional mocks after revising individual topics.
Refer to Nailing QA - A game of probabilities for a list of essential topics to cover. Read How to crack Quantitative Ability for more tips.
Analyzing mock tests
Attempting multiple mock tests and properly analyzing them is the key to a successful CAT attempt. Time management strategies become very important while attempting mock tests. The effort must not be to attempt all 100 questions. Instead, try to maximize your accuracy by attempting questions you're sure of first. Also, aim to keep up your concentration levels throughout the three hours of the test and build up your stamina in preparation for the final day.
Refer to Online preparation Strategies for CAT 2020 to get an idea of the score required in previous years at different percentile values.
Here are some resources that will help you manage your time well while attempting mock tests and analyze your test results.
With CAT still more than a month away, do remember that you have enough time to prepare well and determine the course of your exam. Do not give in to self-doubt at this stage because all the hard work you've put in over the past few months will pay off at the end. Do remember to stay motivated and continue to put in efforts till the last minute.