The following are the ten commandments that you can follow to crack the CAT.
I. Online Familiarity:
Online exams are a thing of the recent past and CAT aspirants need to ease up to giving exams on the computer. In usual practice, most people go online for emails, social networking or simply surfing, all of which stretch for short periods of time. To be sitting for a couple of hours in front of a computer, in a tense environment can lead to stress, which could come in the way of performance. Sharma says that CAT aspirants have to practice reading on the computer daily for a period of time.
II. Error Removal:
Both authors insist that aspirants should give a considerable amount of study time on error removal. Sharma states that error sources in each question type is one of the most important issues during the lead up to the examination. Remember, error removal is the easiest and fastest way to improve your score drastically."
III. Adopt a Strategy:
Every battle won in this world has always had a clever strategy behind it. Sharma says that aspirants should spend the last 15 days for preparations. “Your preparation should be such that things should strike you during the exam rather than after it," adds Sharma. Balakrishna insists that every person studying for CAT should have a strategy in mind. “Every student can adopt a different strategy. The student should develop a strategy on which section and questions to cover first and which later and follow a technique on how to cover all finally," he says.
IV. More The Better:
There is strength in numbers and no better way to know it than in CAT preparation. Sharma asks CAT aspirants to take as many tests as possible as additional tests will only make work easy for them on the final day. Balakrishna agrees totally and says a minimum of three mocks per week is a good way to keep practise going.
V. Proper Analysis/Reasoning:
Balakrishna states that for a good score, aspirants should spend at least 8-10 hours at a stretch with analytical reasoning. Sharma says that aspirants must take time in analysing themselves as well as their studies. “For every test you take be sure to do a proper analysis. For every minute spent inside the test, you should spend at least 2 minutes outside analysing your performance in the same," the author insists.
VI. Know Your Stress Points:
Sharma says that in Quants, the student should focus on balanced portion coverage, which essentially means covering every aspect of the portion. “This is important because unlike the earlier CAT examinations, the online CAT in 2009 had a much more balanced portion coverage structure." Balakrishna says that CAT aspirants should also focus on fundamentals a little more.
VII. Speed Helps:
Speed is also a factor to keep in mind for a good score. Sharma suggests: “Work on your speed and reliability of calculations- especially focusing on 2 digits additions, multiplications and ratios. Also focus on approximation of ratios." Balakrishna insists that while speed is important one should not rush through a section or spend too much time on another section.
VIII. Queen's English:
Just a good grasp over colloquial English is not good enough to do well in CAT. Sharma says that CAT aspirant should focus on the ability to read and understand longer sentences on complex topics. “This is the most critical skill. If you can understand sentences, you can understand paragraphs and passages," he adds. Balakrishna says that those sitting for CAT should know the meaning of words, sentences, idioms. They are an integral part of reading comprehension.
IX. How Much To Study:
There is no single formula on 'how much to study" or else there would be more toppers than others every year. Each student needs to make his time-table according to his needs and capabilities. Sidharth Balakrishna is of the view that every CAT aspirant must spend some three hours on CAT study everyday. “The mistake that students often do is they go easy during the week and study for ten hours over the weekend," says Balakrishna.
X. CAT - Past and Future:
Sharma recommends that aspirants create a strong back up plan for the next year in case one does not make it through. “We do not want those taking exams to be thinking on it while facing a problem during the exam," the author said. Balakrishna adds that the best way of looking at this year"s exam is buy looking at last year"s papers. “It will give you a good feel on what to expect and how to tackle the present year."