CAT, or the Common Admission Test, is a national level entrance examination that is the key to secure admissions in the 20 IIMs and over 1200 B-schools in India for the course of MBA and PGDM.
This is a competitive exam conducted by IIM every year in the month of November. The dates of the conduct of the examination will be released by July. This gives you a solid three months for gearing up for taking the test.
This competitive exam mainly focuses on testing your verbal and mathematical aptitude, with the question paper comprising of 100 MCQs from three sections, which are Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Quantitative Ability (QA)., with each section allotted 60 minutes each.
The CAT question paper is rated as moderately difficult, and the Quantitative Ability is the most challenging section with the most difficult questions. Other sections, Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, has questions of easy to moderate difficulty level and the Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning section has a difficulty level of moderate to difficult.
Each of these sections demands candidates to solve both Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Non-MCQ type questions. The candidates have to choose the right option from the 4 choices in the MCQs. Each right answer is awarded 3 marks, and for each incorrect answer, 1/3 marks are deducted in case of the MCQs. However, there are no negative marks for non-MCQ type questions.
With just 3 months remaining in front of you, the first step you will have to do is to understand the syllabus. You will find out that the CAT has prescribed syllabus and following a good text will be more than enough. The next step is to go through the previous year question papers. This will help you get an idea on how to plan your timetable and set daily goals.
With a total exam duration of 180 minutes and a total number of 100 questions, time is a very vital factor in scoring. You need to practice thoroughly in a time-bound manner so that you can attend maximum questions within the stipulated time.
Taking mock tests will be highly helpful for this. Mock tests provide you an insight of your time management, and makes you plan in advance on how to divide your time effectively so that the paper can be covered maximum.
Practice makes a man perfect! CAT is all about knowing the right formulas and theorems to apply. And knowing what to apply where is not something that can be mugged up. This comes to you only with practice. The practice is the only way to understand the question and get an intuition as to which formula and theorem are to be applied and to make your intuition work.
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