Common Admission Test, proficiently abbreviated as CAT is an entrance exam for getting admission into the most renowned B-Schools of the country including Indian Institute of Management. It is considered as one of the toughest exams. The students are admitted to different colleges across the country & variety of courses based on their scores in the exam. CAT 2019 is going to be held on 24th November.

CAT is held every year around November-December for the sessions starting from July in the following year. Around 2.4 lakh students appeared in the exams in 2018. The most important questions asked by the aspirants are “How to prepare for the CAT exams?” and “How to clear CAT exams?”

Don’t worry; we’ve got it sorted for you. Here is a small article to help you with some pieces of advice, suggestions, tips & tricks to help you prepare for your CAT exams in the best manner possible.

1. Understanding the Exam Pattern.

Well, before knowing how to cleat the exams, we need to understand the pattern of the exam.CAT is a 3 hour or 180-minute examination, conducted online. The exam covers 3 main sections; DILR (Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning), QA (Quantitative Aptitude) & VR (Verbal & Reading Comprehension).

The exam consists of a total of 100 questions spread over 3 sections like 34, 34 & 32. Generally, VR or DILR section is equally like to be the section having 32 questions & QA is most likely to have 34 questions always. Further, of these total 100 questions around 70-75 are MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) whereas the rest 25-30 are non-MCQ ones. 

The medium of exam is English only & every question has 4 answer choices. For every correct answer, you get plus three (+3) marks. Thus, it is a total of 300 marks exam. There is a negative marking of minus one (-1) for every incorrect answer. However, negative marking is only for MCQ questions and not for non-MCQ questions. A little complicated right?

2. Understanding the Motive & Agenda

The most important thing to understand is that it is not an Olympiad exam, based on science or technology where your intellect will be tested. It is an entrance exam for management & business colleges. Thus, examiners wish to know about your management skills. A candidate’s ability of Time management, balancing between speed and accuracy, presence of mind, focus and concentration, how they perform under stress, are the key points which are tested.

This is the reason why the exam pattern is so lengthy & complicated and has to be solved in such a less time. Some people are born with these abilities and some acquire it over a while with long practice, and to know whether you have been trained enough for it or not, you need to appear it. However, you can’t risk appearing in the final exam as a pilot run. That’s where mock tests come in.

3. Mock Tests, Sample & Previous Year Papers:

Well, you cannot understand how well or poor you will perform in the exams with that complicated pattern & crucial time limits unless you appear in them. However, there are some websites & online portals where online mock tests are conducted. Students can pay a minimum fee and can appear in real-time mock exams. The timing, question pattern, screen interface, valuation techniques areas similar to regular examinations. Thus, giving you a real-time experience of CAT examination and give you. This helps you develop a right and suitable strategy for your final exams and a section-wise understanding of the exam pattern, how to manage your time and speed and which questions to prioritize.

Further, you can also go through previous year question papers and sample papers to practice at your home and get perfected in different sections.

4. Know your Forte & Panic Points.

Get an understanding of which sections suits you best. Many times it may be possible that a section you are well versed with comes first. Don’t feel over-confident with that case, your comfort may soon be converted to panic in the next section. Similarly, do not panic if the hard section comes first. Understand the pattern and determine the questions which suit you best. Solve the question you are confident about. 

Do not try to attempt the entire question. Remember, they are not testing your intelligence, but management. If you go trying to attempt the entire question, it may result in panic and you may end up answering the questions incorrectly, which you were confident about. 

5. Make A Proper Time Table & Section Wise Schedule:

This is where there are no specific tips for general. Rather there are general tips for specific aspirants. 

Everyone has their way of studying, own favourite topics, subject, sleep schedule and study patterns. Some like to sit continuously for hours while some need short breaks between the topics and subjects. Get an understanding of which way suits you the best and develop a schedule accordingly. Further, in the initial preparation days, it is okay to take out some time for family and friends, chill in front of the TV, run your fingers on your social media feeds. These habits will not go away in a day. But as the exams dates are approaching, you need to cut off your comforts and entertainments and invest more time in studies.

Further, not only one subject or one topic is going to bag you the success seat. You need to concentrate on every subject and every topic. Manage your day and organize a proper schedule for your subjects and topics. Get an understanding of which topic is problematic for you and which one is easy. Allot the time to the subjects as per your need. 

Well, these are some of the most important things to focus upon while preparing for the CAT exam and clear CAT exams in one shot. Hope they are helpful to you. All the best.