CAT 2020 : Preparation Guide | IIM Rohtak

CAT 2020 will be held on November 29th, and there are only a few weeks of preparation time left. If leveraged well, these weeks can play a defining role in the final verdict. The preparation for the CAT exam needs to be as strategic as the final attempt itself. While laying the groundwork for a win, it is essential to keep in mind that every section is equally important. When starting any section, be sure about the strategy. Give mocks at the same time slot as your exam. Sometimes, the results of the mocks are unsatisfactory. Remember that mock scores are just a reflection of your preparation; they do not guarantee how much you will score overall. Perform a thorough analysis and evaluate what could be done better. A positive mindset is crucial at this stage.  CAT will reward you for picking the low hanging fruits first. Similarly, it massively penalizes you for wasting time on hard questions.

CAT Preparation Guide

For the VARC section, avid readers have an edge. Cover a variety of topics and if you are not inclined towards a topic, read simpler articles, but don’t skip them. Use a timer while reading the editorials and summarize them once done. If you are starting with VA, be mindful as RC is time-consuming. Leave a few VA questions for the end, as you might not be able to start a new RC passage. Try to experiment with your RC strategy during mocks. Be it reading the questions first and then the passage or vice versa. While attempting mocks, identify which RCs should be attempted first and which ones should be avoided based on your speed and familiarity. For vocabulary, revising what you have already learned instead of cramming in new words would be beneficial.

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For the DILR section, the goal should be to solve a minimum of 4-5 DILR sets daily. Developing accuracy and dynamic strategy should be a priority. Solve previous year’s question papers or sets from online sources. Use a stopwatch to evaluate your time to develop accuracy. Invest time in understanding the best approach to solving the set. Choosing the right set plays an important role. Do not invest too much time on a challenging set. Know when to move on to the next question. Towards the end, quickly try to solve a DI set. As they have independent questions, they won’t be very time-consuming. It might just be what sets you apart from the rest. 

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For the QA section, identify your strengths, practice the topics you are comfortable with and attain 100% accuracy. Every day, revise at least one QA topic and solve 20 questions of the same. At this stage, learning new concepts might not be everyone’s cup of tea but make sure you don’t completely neglect the topics you are weak in. Revise them, and solve basic questions related to it. List all the relevant formulae in one place and go through it every day. Go through the entire QA section once. Questions that can be solved in less than 75 seconds should be targeted first, as this would help build the score and improve your confidence. Mark the difficult questions and only attempt them once the easy ones are taken care of. It’s essential to master the art of leaving difficult questions so as not to attract negative marking. As it is the last section, do not let your prior performance affect your vigor. Give your best in this section as it can be the final boost to your overall score. Stay focused till the last second of the exam, and do not lose sight of the bigger picture.

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There is a constant debate about the best ways to crack CAT, and everybody has their own take. Do not get pulled into this whirlpool. Do what works best for you. It is okay if your strategy is not the same as someone else’s. Tailor it to your advantage. Your entire focus should be on CAT preparation. Do not overthink your academics, co-curricular, or job prospects. Focus on giving your best in the exam. Break it down to its basics. Keep your thoughts positive and spirits high. Maintaining morale is of the highest importance to any CAT aspirant. You have gotten this far, and the only way is ahead!

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