CAT preparation do’s and don’ts | Mistakes by CAT aspirants | EG

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Every year, thousands of students appear for CAT, and few make it to their dream colleges. I was one among you last year, preparing for the exam. Based on my observations, I have prepared a couple of Dos and don’ts list. These are an accumulation of my learning throughout my CAT preparation; I hope they help you too. 😊

Generally, an aspirant encounters the following situations :

Situation 1:

We can witness a lot of posts in Facebook /Pagal guy groups stating their profile and seeking advice on what percentile do I need to get a call from top IIMs? 

Don’t:

Don’t waste your time in doing some mathematical calculation to evaluate yours or others chances, let IIMs do that for you when you score the apt percentile.

 Do’s:

 Skip those post as soon as possible and focus on your CAT preparation. 

                 

 

Here, I understand that you might be anxious about your chances. Speak to someone who has been through this process or any mentor in Elites grid to know your best call and start studying. 

Learning : 

Stop wasting your time, scrolling through thousands of posts and comments of these types. Instead, Scroll through questions posted on elites grid facebook group and participate in answering them. 

Situation 2:

Most of us have a habit of seeking advice for preparation strategy of VA RC/LR DI/QA section or how to improve scores in these sections.
For this, we go through various topper’s strategy, videos, blogs, quora answers, and check comments from infinite sources and articles. 

Don’ts:

Collecting these information and saving pdf in google drive throughout your journey won’t be of any help, until you start working on them

Do’s:
Prepare a to-do list by investing some time, make a study plan and stick to it throughout your journey.


Learning

There are no brownie points in CAT for a massive collection of study material. Stick with a single resource and practice mocks from one or two mock test series. Don’t try to copy anyone’s study plan. Have your own study plan. 

Remember, key for good CAT score is Practice, Practice and only Practice.

If you are weak in VA RC? 

Pick RC 99 or IMS 100 and work on your elimination technique. A vital thing to learn for VA RC section is the ability to eliminate wrong options, not just to pick the right option. Spend at least 1 hour a day on this if you are not doing well in VA RC.

If you are weak in LR DI

LR DI is a section which requires an immense amount of practice. Solve numerous sets and never look at solution until you have spent at least 1 hour on that set and failed. Cover all sets of 2019 mocks. If you are a beginner, I will suggest you start with videos of EG youtube channel. If you are someone working to improve score in this section, always have a timer while solving sets.

If you are weak In QA?

Solve every question you see.
If you are weak at your basics, join a coaching institute and cover them.
If you are decent with basics, start attempting a few sectionals/mocks. After mock, retry solving all unsolved ones, categorize them into topics to be revisited, silly mistakes etc.
Don’t spend time on Vedic mathematics , speed calculations.
Spend time to solve questions from Algebra, Arithmetic and Geometry predominately, don’t spend 10 hours for remainders and 1 hour for arithmetic.

Situation 3:

My scores aren’t increasing, Shall I quit my preparation? or
I am not confident about taking mocks, what if I don’t score well in mocks? or
I scored just xx marks in my mock, can I score well in CAT?

Don’ts

Please don’t run away from mocks; they are a crucial part of CAT preparation.



Do’s

Don’t waste a good mistake; learn from it and never repeat it.

Mocks help you to assess your situation. It is good to fail in mocks than to fail in CAT. You get 30-40 chances to appear for a demo CAT; you can fail in these mock test and learn how not to fail in the actual exam. More time you invest in attempting sectionals/Mocks and analysing them. More are your chances of securing higher percentile.

Situation 4:

My scores aren’t improving! How can I improve my scores?
Attempted mocks – 10
Analysed mocks – 0

This way you are just wasting your time and these mock are of no use  if you don’t analyse them thoroughly.

      

Spend quality time in assessing your mocks. Have an error log for your mistakes in a mock. Make a note of topics that needs a revisit and cover them. Check your silly mistakes; they will not magically disappear over a period of time unless you notice your pattern of doing a wrong calculation. 

Couple of Extra Don’ts in your CAT preparation

  1. Don’t over burn yourself. Stay healthy – You have to be in your best condition during your preparation and exams. I have fallen prey to this and couldn’t deliver my actual potential, despite my full effort.
  2. Never pile up. Always stick to your study plan. If you have something on your plate already, ensure to stretch yourself for that extra mile and get it done.
  3. Reiterating the above scenarios, do not waste your time scrolling on social media or collecting material. Practice more and more.

A couple of DO’s that should be part of your preparation. 

DO’s

  1. Spend 1 hour a day, to solve VA and RC section [if it is your weak area]
  2. For LR DI Solve 3-4 Sets a day, which are available on EG Group, posted by Gaurav Kapoor or on the youtube channel.
  3. Attempt as many mocks as you can [My preference: IMS/TIME]
  4. Read newspaper for 30 mins every day. Remember CAT is just a ticket, WAT-PI are game-changers at the later stage of process]
  5. Maintain Error log for mocks/sectionals you attempted throughout your CAT preparation.

I hope you found this article interesting. If you are someone looking for coaching, I would highly recommend Elites grid as mentors have been one of my key pillars of success. EG gives you the right blend of mentors who can suggest you the right things to do and help you reach your dream college. 

 

Here are my background details (if you are curious):
10th – 97%
12th – 97.3
Graduation – 7.47 [Mechanical Engineering, NIT Warangal]
Work experience – 24 months at Ford Motors
Category – NC OBC
CAT – 97.17
CALLS – IIM Bangalore, Lucknow, Kozhikode, Indore, IIFT, IIT B, FMS
Converts – IIM Bangalore, Lucknow, Indore [waitlisted at K]
Results awaited for IIFT, IIT B
Joining college: IIM Bangalore 

 

 

 

 

 

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