CAT Preparation 2021: Strategy, Books, Toppers Tips

Every year, lakhs of students either start preparing for their post-graduation studies or are about to appear for their entrance exams for further academics. One huge part of these belongs to the students who prepare for CAT exams.

CAT is the Common Admission Test that is designed to select qualified students for management programs or IIMs. This is a computer-based entrance exam that happens every year.

The eligibility criteria to appear for CAT exams are as follows:

  • The candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 50% for the general category and 45% for the SC/ST category.
  • Candidates with any other professional degrees who have secured a minimum of 50% marks for the general category and 45% for the SC/ST category can also apply.
  • The university that you pursue your degree from should be recognized by MHRD or UGC.
  • Candidates who are appearing for the final year of their Bachelor’s can also apply.

If you are someone who is appearing for CAT this year or is planning to start preparing, there is the CAT preparation strategy that can come in handy for you. To appear for academic entrance tests can be very stressful. And when you have a lot of material to cover, it can be overwhelming. But these CAT preparation tips will help you till the end.

Begin Early

You must have heard this tip a lot. It’s not just limited to CAT preparation, but to anything in life. But speaking of CAT, how early should you start? Usually, candidates start preparing for CAT during their undergraduate years. You can start even after your degree, during your gap year, or while you are working. You do not have to invest half of your day studying for CAT. Especially for undergraduates, it is important to utilize the college years to figure out all your career options and if an MBA is something that you really want to pursue.

For some candidates, 6 months of focused and consistent studying has helped them crack the exam. But it is recommended that you begin preparing 12 to 18 months before you appear for the exam. This is an ideal time frame for anyone who is ready to invest a couple of hours studying every day. The CAT is an exam that cannot be passed with hurried preparation. You need to stay true to your goals and compromise with your leisurely lifestyle. However, it is different from person to person.

Focus On The Right Skills

There are many skills that you need to pass the CAT. But one skill that you don’t need or need to drop if you possess is learning without understanding. The skills you need are:

  • Basic knowledge of mathematics.
  • Problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • Good reading comprehension skills.
  • Quick mind calculations.

The other soft skills that you need are staying time-bound, developing a habit of taking notes, reading, enhancing vocabulary, and setting a routine. These qualities should not be limited just to CAT preparation but should be carried throughout your life.

Practice as much as you possibly can

As you get closer to your CAT exams, you should start practicing for them by taking mock tests. These tests give you a glimpse of what your actual entrance exam would be like. You should take your mock test with utter seriousness because that performance will prepare you for the CAT exam.

You should set your timer and practice within the time limit as it prepares your brain to function faster and be more efficient. Moving forward, you should also solve previous CAT exams and again, with complete sincerity. Don't be concerned about the questions you can't answer; instead, focus on the ones you can and build your confidence. With time, you are bound to get better.

Follow a structural study pattern

Every student has their own way of studying. Some like to study at night, some in the early morning. Some like taking notes, highlighting the main points, pasting them on the wall. You can do whatever works for you. But if you need some more suggestions, here you go!

  • Prepare an excel sheet of the questions or topics that are difficult for you.
  • Keep your formals in place and practice them every day.
  • Every time you finish a paper or mock test, analyze your performance.
  • To enhance your verbal skills, don’t choose mindless reading. Instead, look for reading comprehension materials online and solve them.

Lastly, Study Materials

It is critical for anyone with ongoing CAT preparation for 2021, as well as future candidates, not to become overwhelmed or caught up in too many study materials or sources. It is necessary that you stick to the ones that work best for you and take guidance from trusted sources.

Pearson has the most reliable and tested CAT preparation books for all the subjects. They cover all the fundamentals of each subject and are highly practice-oriented.

  • Quantitative Aptitude The book contains all contents to enhance your numerical skills, accuracy, and speed. It also teaches basic and elementary mathematics. You can get better by solving their model papers, mock tests, and campus recruitment examination tests.
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation As this subject is about problem-solving skills and is highly conceptual, the book not only covers all the relevant topics but has ample practice tests ranging from foundation to advanced level for you to practice.
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension The focus of this subject is to test your English fluency, vocabulary, and grammar. The book covers all the aspects of enhancing the language and working on the errors. There are previous CAT papers, mock tests, and other MBA papers that you can solve to assess their ability.They also have another book, Master Number System, which is ideal for all MBA entrance exams like CAT and GMAT. The book is designed to help you understand the number systems and their applications. It also helps you develop your critical thinking skills.All this preparation will bring you good results if it is accompanied by sincerity and a positive attitude. CAT is a tough examination, but there’s nothing you can’t achieve with a little hard work.