How To Prepare For CAT In 6 Months?
‘How To Prepare for CAT 2018 in 6 months?’ This is one of the most frequently asked questions by the aspirants. The Common Admission Test or CAT is a National Level entrance test which is held every year for admission in 20 IIMs and other top B-schools. Every year, one of the older IIM is chosen to conduct CAT exam on a rotational basis. For CAT 2018, IIM Calcutta is chosen as the exam conducting body to conduct the exam on November 25, 2018.
There is no doubt that it is one of the most popular management entrance examination for MBA Admission in India. The exam was first conducted in 1950 and over the years has seen various changes in the mode of the examination, its exam pattern, syllabus, etc. Before 2009, CAT was a paper-based test conducted on a single day for all candidates.
What makes CAT exam a tough nut to crack is its difficulty level and the number of applicants. Over 2 lakh candidates compete to be able to make it to the top notch management institute.
With 06 months left for the exam, we have provided all the necessary preparation tips, material, topics, etc on this page to help the students excel in this exam. Take a look below to find all the information for CAT 2018 Preparation in 6 months.
Important Topics To Study For CAT 2018
The exam pattern and syllabus for CAT haven’t changed over the years. So, it is expected that these two things will remain same. However, there might be an increase in the number of Non-MCQ questions for CAT 2018.
You must be aware of the topics from which questions will be asked in the exam. CAT question paper is divided into three sections, which are, Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension.
The Quantitative Ability is essentially Mathematics. You will get direct question or applications of the same from this section. On the other hand, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Section consist of questions that test the candidate’s problem-solving abilities. You need to think on your feet and draw quick inferences to excel in this section. Whereas, the Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension test the candidate’s grasp the on the English Language.
Important Topics For Quantitative Ability:
|Ratio and Proportion||Higher Maths||Lines|
|Trigonometry||Arithmetic Mean||Pipes and Cisterns|
|Probability||Harmonic Mean||Cubes and Cones|
|Permutation combination||BODMAS||Arithmetic Progression|
|Algebra||Geometric Progression||Mean, Median, Mode|
|Time and work||Installments & Payments||Quadratic and linear equations|
|LCM & HCF||Profit and Loss||Angles and Triangles|
Important Topics For Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
|Family Tree||Coding & Decoding|
|The course of Action||Column Graphs|
|Statement Conclusions||Numeric Grid|
|Strong Arguments and Weak Arguments||Critical Reasoning|
|Series||Graphs representing Area|
|Blood Relations||Linear and Matrix Arrangements|
Important Topics For Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
|Verbal Reasoning||Jumbled Passage|
|Antonyms and Synonyms||Facts-Inferences-Judgments|
|Fill in the blanks||Sentence Corrections|
|Contextual usage||Sentence Completion|
The next step is to study from the best books for CAT Preparation 2018. It is very important for you to choose the right books as a lot depends on how you prepare the above topics. Ensure that the book and other prep material must cover all the topics in detail. Here you will get the names of the most widely recommended books for CAT preparation.
Recommended Books for Quantitative Ability
|Name of the Book||Author||Publisher|
|How to Prepare For Quantitative Aptitude for CAT||Arun Sharma||Mc Graw Hill Education|
|Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT Common Admission Tests for Admission Into IIMs||Sarvesh K Verma||Arihant|
|Quantitative Aptitude for competitive examinations||R S Aggarwal||–|
|The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude for CAT||Nishant Sinha||Pearson|
Recommended Books for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
|Name of the Book||Author||Publisher|
|How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for the CAT||Arun Sharma||Mc Graw Hill Education|
|How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT||Arun Sharma||Mc Graw Hill Education|
|Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT||Nishit K Sinha||Pearson|
Recommended Books for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
|Name of the Book||Author||Publisher|
|How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT||Arun Sharma, Meenakshi Upadhyay||Mc Graw Hill Education|
|The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning for the CA||Nishit K Sinha||Pearson|
|A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning||Dr. R S Aggarwal||S Chand|
Want to know what changes will be done by IIM Calcutta? Click Here to know all about the possible changes in the exam.
Daily Study Plan For CAT 2018
You know the important topics and have the right study material for CAT preparation but don’t know how to start? It is always advised to the candidates to make a suitable study plan. A study plan is basically an organized schedule that students create that outlines study times and learning goals. Creating a study plan not only helps you become more organized, but it also holds you accountable for your own learning outcomes.
In general, the aspirants who are appearing for CAT 2018 must devote at least an hour and a half daily in the initial months. As the exam is near, you must try to dedicate at least 3 hours a day for CAT preparation. The time division and focus should be similar for all the sections.
Mostly aspirants tend to dedicate more time on Quant Section, at the cost of not practising enough for LRDI. However, in the past few years, it has been observed that the LRDI section has been the game changer.
The questions on Reading Comprehension depends a lot on your ability to comprehend the given information. For that, you should develop a reading habit. This advice has also been given by many CAT Toppers.
Timeline for CAT 2018 Preparation
We can broadly categorize the preparation phase into 3 time periods:
- From May to July
- From July to September
- From October to November
# Strengthen the Basics
From May to June, the aspirants must spend this entire time period to strengthen their concepts on each topic. Since you still have much time in your hand, so do not rush through the topics during this phase and utilize it to the fullest. The motive should be that at the end of July, you must be thorough with all the basic concepts of the major topics.
# Build up Speed
You must spend July to September to build up good speed for the entrance test. In CAT exam it is crucial that you should be able to think on your feet and for that, you must solve a lot of questions. By solving numerous questions will not only build up your speed but will also help you to retain the concepts in your memory.
# Mock Tests
Though you can take up online mock test from May itself, but once your concepts are clear and you have solved enough question, you can then easily take up 2-3 mock tests a week. As the exam comes near, increase the number of mock tests from 3-4 every week. Taking these mock test will help you to master the art of taking the exam.
How To Prepare For Quantitative Ability?
Quantitative Ability is one of the easiest sections. In CAT 2018, you will get both MCQ and Non-negative marking type questions. One of the major advantages of this section is that question is of individual type. Hence you can afford to read a question and skip it and come back to it at the end. To improve your concepts for this section, study from the High School books first, and then go ahead with other study material.
To prepare for Quant section, you focus should be on the number of correct responses rather than the number of attempts.
This section will consist of every kind of question, from easy to difficult. Speed is essential while solving these questions.
Almost one-third part of the question paper, so it can safely be assumed that at least 33-34 questions will be from this section.
The 5 essential tip which can help you excel in Quantitative Ability section is as follows:
Tip 1 Practice Chapter by Chapter: There is a very thin line between being able to solve a problem and solving the same problem effortlessly. Depending on the difficulty level of the test paper, 15 to 25 questions should be of easy to moderate level. First, you must practice easy to medium Questions of all the chapters. This would enable you to sail through the questions easily.
Pro tip: Know basic theories and varieties of problems of all chapters.
Tip 2 Ask Questions: Those who will be preparing at home without any coaching may sometime feel bored or may do not even feel motivated to study. It is very normal and usually happens. What you can do is you can join an online group where many students like you discuss their queries or seek guidance.
Pro tip: Two is more than one. Three is even better. Do a regular discussion of short
methods amongst your study group .
Tip 3 Build up your Speed: Quantitative Ability is all about speed. You must know how to manage your time way before the exam or you will not be able to manage your time well in the exam.
Pro tip: Study for 3-4 hours at a stretch while doing practice.
Tip 4 Solve Numerous Questions: You can expect that about 10-30% of the problems will be speed breakers in the Quant section. The key is to find them and solve them without wasting much of your time. This can be achieved only if you solve sufficient questions in this section. Go through an online mock test or solve sample paper or previous question paper.
Pro Tip: Solve at least 20-25 Mock Test to prepare well for this section
Tip 5 Avoid Using Calculator: You must not make a habit of using the calculator as it is time-consuming. Remember, solving the chapters for the first time using the calculator, however, the second time, use a mental calculation to solve them, it brings speed in solving.
Pro Tip: Solve all the chapters twice to get the advantage of speed in the exam
Distribution of Questions in Quantitative Ability Section
|Topics||Chapters||Number of Questions|
|Arithmetic||Numbers, Percentage, Profit & Loss, Simple and Compound Interest, Ratio, Proportionality, Time- Distance, Time-Work, Mixtures, Averages, Partnership||13-15|
|Algebra||Linear Equations, Quadratic Equations, Inequalities, Logarithm, Surd- Indices, Functions||6-8|
|Advance Mathematics||Permutation and Combinations, Probability, Set Theory, Progression and Series||4-6|
|Geometry||Line, Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Polygon, Circles, Areas, Volume, Height, and Distance, Co-ordinate Geometry, Basic Trigonometry||6-9|
How To Prepare for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning?
let us concentrate on one topic at a time. First, we have talked about the preparation tips for LR/
Logical Reasoning is one of the scoring section in CAT and is especially important for those who are not much comfortable in other sections.
There is no simple, comfortable or straight-forward way to improve in LR section. However, by regular practice and by applying few methods you can definitely improve your performance. To improve your performance in LR section, you should:
- Solve the question in a pictorial or tabular form. This will you improve the speed of discerning the information given in the passage.
- Solve puzzle-based games such as Sudokus, Crossword puzzles, etc.
- Attempt as many questions from this section in Online Mock Test or by solving sample paper.
- Solve LR questions every week for approximately 5 hours of LR solving. Not 05 hours straight, but in 05 sittings of 1 hour each.
And now coming to the Data Interpretation. It is one of the least liked sections of CAT. However, again it is one of those subjects in which students can drastically improve their score by practicing. For that, you don’t have to just solve some questions, rather than put in some smart work.
The typical steps of solving a DI Question are as follows:
Step 1: Read the Question and try to understand the need.
Step 2: Have a look at the options and understand how accurately the answer needs to be found.
Step 3: Now look at the Charts/Graphs and fetch the data required.
Step 4: Try to find the correct option and not the exact answer.
It is advised that you should first have a look at options before you jump into the calculation part.
How To Prepare For Verbal Ability
This can be a simple section if you get your perspective about Verbal right. The Vocabulary-based questions can range from Sentence Completion and Cloze Tests to Synonyms, Antonyms, Analogies, Spellings, Words Often Confused and Odd Words.
A vital section in this is Reading Comprehension and about 40% of the questions from Verbal Ability+ Logical Reasoning section are from RC. Improving RC is important because if you are good at solving the typical RCs then you can easily do well on other related topics such as Para- Completion, Para-Jumble, etc.
What are the things that you should remember while solving RC?
Let us go back to school and revise some of the important points which will probably help you in this section:
- What is the main point of the Author?
- What are the key points which the author has put forward for that point?
- What is the author’s tone? Like Mocking, Respectful, Curious, etc.
- Are there any words which depict a change in the tone of the author? For eg – But, However, etc.
- Are there any negative qualifiers which are creating a doubt in the fact which has been stated? For eg – Appears, somewhere, etc.
Types of questions that are asked in Reading Comprehension?
So, basically, there are two types of questions which are asked in RC. These are as follows:
- Perspective Questions
- Specific Question
The perspective questions are based on the entire essay as a whole and are not limited to a single paragraph. Questions like, Suggest a title for the essay? or What is a significant point in the essay? etc are asked. However, on the other hand, Specific questions are easy to answer as they are related to a certain paragraph in the essay. The specific question is somewhat like, Why did Seeta want to the village? etc.
Tips To Improve Reading Comprehension
- Answer at least 04 out of five RCs given in the section.
- Choose the RC topic very wisely as every topic has an underlying topic. So choose the one which you are familiar with and not just randomly.
- Identify the specific questions as explained above. These are easy to answer and will save a lot of time.
- For the generic type questions, try to eliminate the least likely option.
Preparation Tips From 100 Percentiler
Preparation for CAT is not a cake walk. We all know it requires diligence, dedication, and hard-work, with some smart strategies thrown in. There are two types of students, one who start their preparation a year in advance and others six months before. However, there are others who prepare for only two months and come out with flying colours. We have always said that same prep strategy cannot be beneficial for all as everyone has different intelligence level and capabilities. Learn from CAT topper of previous years about their prep strategy.