The 115 Day Plan – CAT By Vistamind
What should you do?
Let’s understand on a broad basis what should be done from now to November end. It would be useful if you come back from the date of the exam.
Some time lines are given which can give you some idea of the where you need to be in your preparation.
Last 30 days: The last 30 days require you to finalise your strategy of attempting the CAT Paper and iron out the issues that you are facing while taking the Mocks.
Typically, issues that make one falter are
- Inability to solve the first few questions correctly, making one nervous
- Taking more time to solve a question than required
- Getting stuck in a question/set that you know and being unmindful of the time.
- Ego hassles of letting a question go!
- Taking too much of time to decide on an RC/Vocab question.
- Not sticking to basic time limits within a section (e.g.: the division of time between VA and RC OR DI and LR)
- RE-CHECKING/RE-CALCULATING an answer (especially when you have cracked it in the first minute and are flabbergasted to find such an easy question in CAT!)
Since CAT is a Computer Based Exam, it is useful to get comfortable with the mouse (clicks!). Reading on a Computer instead of on a paper should become a habit and utilizing this time for the same is advised.
In addition, the most important part of any competitive exam is the strategy you adopt. Given enough time, you will realize that you can always solve almost all the problems. The fact the same has to be done within a time line and that too make as few mistakes as possible makes the task onerous and challenging.
October 1st – 31st – You should have finished learning all the concepts by the beginning of October 1st. The month of October should be used to solve as many exercises in all the areas/topics as possible. Confidence builds up if you find that you can solve almost every problem that you see. October should also be used for complete revision of all areas/topics that you have already done in the previous month. Write at least 4 to 5 Mock CATs (SmartCATs from VistaMind) and finalise your exam taking technique.
Aug 5th – Sept 30th – These 50+ days are very critical for your preparation. Those aspirants who are working should understand that this is the most important phase of your prep. It is better to take leave at this juncture (in September maybe) than taking leave in the last few days before CAT. The 50+ days from now have to be used to prepare in all areas of CAT and finish one round of solving.
The best way to prepare Quant is to divide the entire area into topics and make a target for each of the topics. Also, ensure that while you are keeping your targets, the revision schedule is also incorporated in your targets. Ideally, you should have finished the quant portion (going through the basic study material) by now. If you have not done that and are actually starting the prep now, then plan to complete the same Sept 30th. Those students who have completed the basic material should do it once again so that the concepts are better understood.
Data Interpretation (DI) /Logical Reasoning (LR)
To be good at DI, your ability to calculate fast can make a huge difference. Spend 10 minutes everyday on Speed Math techniques. VistaMind is going to release an APP (VistaMind) on Google Play Store, which will have a daily dose of speed math tests.
DI can be subdivided into the type of graphs: Table, Bar, Line, PI, Triangle, Spider etc. In addition, Games and tournaments, Cubes and Venn Diagrams can also form the base of DI. Solving about 8 to 10 sets of each type of DI graphs can make one completely comfortable in solving.
LR can also be subdivided into types of questions such as Deductions, Connectives, Selections, Arrangements, Distribution, Circular Arrangements, Order Sequencing, Networks and Routes, Binary Logic. Apart from these, any miscellaneous puzzles can appear in the LR area. The prep for LR would be very similar to DI. Solve around 8 to 10 sets from each type of LR set and it would be good enough!
Verbal Ability/Reading Comprehension
Verbal Ability can be divided into three broad areas viz., Vocabulary, Grammar, and Verbal Reasoning.
There is no way you can learn hundred words in a day consistently. Hence, the best way to improve vocabulary is to concentrate on the words that appear in the MOCK Tests and see that you are thorough in these. Since the words that are given in CAT are the words normally in vogue, it is very likely that by going through the MOCK Tests and Individual tests, you would come across almost all words that may appear in the exam.
Grammar is a habit. The more you read the better your comfort zone in Grammar. There is no other way but to practice as many questions that come your way and keep reading. It looks like a simplistic way of preparation, but this is the only way. There could be hundreds of grammar rules and trying to remember them would be futile.
For Verbal Reasoning and Reading Comprehension, getting familiar with the type of questions and paragraphs is the key. Make sure that you spend at least half hour every day on this area so that you are either taking a slip test or reviewing one.
Apart from the prep part, you need to continuously take Mock CATs (SmartCATs from VistaMind). Analysing the Mock CAT and making corrections for the next one is an important part of your overall preparation. An article on how to effectively use the SmartCATs is given here.
Every student, whether he is a BE, B Tech, B Com, BA, BMS, BBA or MBBS can become a Manager. Hence any exam that tries to test all these at the same level has to be at a level, which is comfortable to all the students with these degrees. The only common level that these students have is at the 10th Std Level. Hence, the CAT and other such exams test aptitude at that level. Each one of you is capable of getting there if you prepare systematically. There is enough time to revisit your school level math and aptitude. Start Now, You can MAKE IT
All the BEST!
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The Author is an alumnus of IIM Calcutta and has been the All India CAT Director at TIME. He is currently the CEO of VistaMind Education. VistaMind is the only National Level Training institute, which prepares students for CAT through LIVE ONLINE CLASSES. For more information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org OR Visit cat.vistamind.com