Common Admission Test (CAT) is considered as one amongst the toughest academic entrance examinations in the country. This national-level entrance examination is conducted for an admission to various management programs in Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and top business schools spread across the country.
Most of the aspirants start their preparation before the official notification releases. On the other hand, there are some MBA aspirants who might be in a dilemma on how to kick-start their preparation for CAT. If you find it difficult to start preparing for CAT, the steps below will provide ignition to your preparation.
Step 1: Explore The CAT Exam
There are many entrance examinations in the country you can take for an admission to management courses. However, CAT is different from others and has a unique selection process. Prior to starting your preparation, read the complete details about the exam including cut-off and reservation.
Step 2: Get Familiar With The CAT Exam Pattern
As stated above, the CAT exam pattern is different from other management entrance exams. It consists of three section, namely, Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC).
The duration of the exam is three hours and one has to answer a hundred question. To know more about the CAT exam pattern, click here.
Step 3: Go Through The Revised CAT Syllabus
Though the syllabus is well known to aspirants, they should know the revised syllabus to avoid ambiguity during the preparation. CAT tests the candidates on their logical thinking and analytical skills. To read the CAT syllabus, click here.
Step 4: Never Compromise On The Diagnostic Test
Be it CAT or any other entrance exam, taking a diagnostic test prior to starting the preparation will make your preparation strong. With the results of the diagnostic test, one can know where they should improve.
For instance, if you are weak in Reading Comprehension, you can devote more time to this section. One can take as many diagnostic tests as they want, however, at least 2 to 3 tests will provide accurate results.
Step 5: Go For SWOT Analysis
While pursuing the management course, aspirants will find a topic on SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. This is a method used to identify your internal and external factors. Do this SWOT analysis to know about your positives and negatives.
Step 6: Know Your Competitors
As the CAT examination is conducted for prestigious institutes and schools in India, the competition for the exam will be huge. Over two lakh candidates compete for CAT every year. Never lose your confidence upon seeing the number because the actual aspirants will be less than fifty thousand. Most of the candidates appear for CAT to try their luck.
Step 7: Gather The CAT Preparation Material And Books
One more important step in the preparation process is gathering the appropriate study material and reference books. One should also look for practise books that consist of previous years' question papers.
Step 8: Calculate The Weightage
Hard work alone will not be sufficient to crack the CAT exam. Aspirants should also know the weightage of topics in each section to score strategically. With the help of previous years' question papers, one can understand the weightage as well.
Step 9: Prepare A Study Schedule
Once you have done all the above steps, you should prepare an effective study schedule based on the SWOT analysis, the diagnostic test and the weightage of topics. More than four months are left for CAT. While preparing the CAT timetable, do not forget to allot time for taking full-length mock tests and revision.
Step 10: Prepare Your Own Notes
The final step is to start your preparation for CAT. We suggest aspirants opt for section-wise preparation because every section is important for the exam. While preparing, always make a note of all the important information which will help you during the revision and last days of preparation.