CAT Preparation 2020 - Strategy, Books and Study Material

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CAT 2019 Results declared by IIM – 4th January 2020

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CAT 2020 Preparation Strategy and Study Time table

Common aptitude test or CAT is one of the most renowned entrance tests written to get admission in elite B Schools in India. More than 2 lakh plus applicants are in the race after 4000 seats in 20 IIMs consistently. The number of candidates increases every year. Consequently, the initial move towards getting a decent percentile is to have a complete preparation plan for CAT exam.

The application for the Cat 2020 is open on the CAT official website. The wise aspirants apply earlier to avoid last-minute hiccups and also to pressurize themselves to start serious preparations.

CAT Toppers: Essential Tips and Suggestions before entering the Examination Hall

IIM Kozhikode was lead CAT exam 2019 on November 24, 2019. The combination of the right methods of learning and the self-study is the crux of preparation. While the methodology to learn can be:  learning by self, online mode or classroom coaching. It is an individual preference and is subjected to availability of resources like time and money.

Before going ahead with the strategies that one can adopt,

While we leave the decision to take coaching externally to the aspirants, we believe that the following three steps can see a candidate through IIMCAT 2020.

  1. Understanding the CAT 2020 exam and self – Strength and improvement areas
  2. Planning of preparation based on individuals’ strengths
  3. Executing the same without a miss

CAT 2020 Preparation TIPS

Before doing anything, every aspirant of CAT 2020 inevitably has to ask the following questing to oneself:

  1. What amount of time is left for CAT 2020?
  2. What is the CAT exam?
  3. What are the significant dates? How about the syllabus? Do I know the CAT 2020 exam pattern?
  4. Is Online/classroom model of coaching required or self-study will be adequate for complete preparation?
  5. How to set up the time table to cover the complete syllabus?
  6. What are the essential books and material for CAT 2020 Preparation?

Once the candidate is aware of the above details, one can go ahead and plan about ‘How to prepare for CAT’?

The following initial steps that a candidate can follow to prepare for the Cat exam 2020:

a. Understand the CAT exam syllabus and pattern

  • Understand the elements of different sections of the CAT exam 2020.
  • CAT 2020 comprises of three sections; namely: Quantitative aptitude (QA), Verbal and reading comprehension (VARC) and Data interpretation and logical reasoning (DILR)
  • There is sectional cut off for all the sections mentioned above, and therefore any of the above sections cannot be ignored. That is how the CAT exam pattern is designed, and the percentile will be affected upon neglecting any part of the CAT 2020 exam.

b. Understanding oneself:

  • Take a minimum of three mock tests at full length. Ensure that the previous year’s papers are considered for mock analysis
  • Analyse the overall score and also understand the sectional cutoff. Compare the same with the CAT 2019 cutoffs
  • Understand the performance based on the topics that are covered in the syllabus of the CAT 2020 exam. For e.g., arithmetic, geometry, syllogism, cloze tests, bar graphs etc.

Once the above analysis is over, the candidates are well aware of themselves and can set the start for preparation.

Steps for CAT 2020 Preparation:

1. Understanding the CAT 2020 exam:

The aspirants need to know the following details, which is highly significant to start their exam preparation plan.

Particulars Details
Date of examination 29th November 2020
Number of questions Hundred (100)
Total marks Three Hundred (300)
Sections Three – QA, VARC and DILR
Number of options in MCQ Four (4)
Marking Scheme +3 for a correct answer and -1 for an incorrect answer
Total number of MCQ questions Seventy – Seventy-Five (70 – 75) – Only these will have negative marking
Total number of Non-MCQ questions Twenty Five to Thirty (25 – 30) – No negative marking here
Duration of test 3 hour or 180 minute – 60 minute per section

CAT 2020 isn’t just a trial of intelligence but also of the planning and management capabilities in a candidate.

The following are the elements which are under test for any aspirant who takes up CAT 2020

  1. Intellectual capability
  2. Time management
  3. The balance between speed and accuracy
  4. Ability to focus and perform under pressure

While all of the above seems simple, the CAT toppers feel that;

(a) proper preparation strategy, (b) the execution of the same are the only elements of success in this examination.

2. Understanding Self and compared with expectations of CAT 2020:

  1. Take CAT mock tests and understand the performance in each section and every topic
  2. It will help a candidate to understand their strengths and areas of improvements

3. Choose – Self-study or Coaching (Classroom mode / Online)

  • Considering the level of preparation done and the mode of learning required, the method of training is to be chosen
  • On the off chance that self-study methodology is selected, aspirants must be careful about the most recent updates, right books and material and plan with their time in a likely manner
  • On the off chance that classroom mode of learning is chosen, picking the correct CAT coaching centre is of extreme significance
  • Candidates can likewise settle on online learning as a preparation methodology. It is an advantageous alternative for working professionals who can’t find time for regular classes.

4. Preparation Break up and two-month study plan:

As it is inevitable for a CAT aspirant to be good at all of the sections, the section-wise study plan is the most suitable.

With almost two more months left for the CAT exam, the candidates can follow the following study plan, designed by the experts at Pagalguy.com.

Also, to note that devoting around 5 hours a day, in the last two months is essential for the exam preparation.

Therefore an aspirant has to ensure that they use the upcoming holidays like weekends, Gandhi Jayanti, Dussehra, and Diwali well so that they can reach to the preparation level expected.

Study Plan for QA, VARC and DILR – CAT 2020 – Last two month Plan

The table below has listed the topics from CAT syllabus. There are to to be covered and the activity that is to be performed on a specific date. One should understand that, for CAT preparation, mere understanding of the topics is not enough. There are multiple types of questions within a topic that are to be learnt individually. Therefore, the cycle of study (understanding and learning), practising and analyzing the learnt concepts is critical. Practising the one who went wrong after analyzing is very important.

The study plan provided here is based on the CAT exam analysis and also the previous CAT question paper. The time allotted to a topic is based on the number of questions previously asked from the subject.

Date QA (2hrs/day) VARC (1.5hr/day) DILR(1.5hrs/day)
26/09/2020 Number Systems – Study Grammar – Study Arrangements – Study
27/09/2020 Number Systems – Study Grammar – Practice Arrangements – Practice
28/09/2020 Number Systems – Practice Grammar – Practice Arrangements – Practice
29/09/2020 Number Systems – Practice Grammar – Analyse Arrangements – Analyse
30/09/2020 Number Systems – Practice Grammar – Practice Arrangements – Practice
01/10/2020 Number Systems – Analyse Sentence correction – Study and Practice Arrangements – Practice
02/10/2020 Number Systems – Practice Sentence correction – Practice Venn Diagrams – Study and Practice
03/10/2020 Averages – Study Sentence correction – Practice Venn Diagrams – Analyse
04/10/2020 Averages – Practice Sentence correction – Analyse Venn Diagrams – Practice
05/10/2020 Averages – Analyse and Practice Sentence correction – Practice Set Theory – Study and Practice
06/10/2020 Percentages – Study and practice Fill in the blanks – Study and Practice Set Theory – Practice
07/10/2020 Percentages – Analyse and practice Fill in the blanks – Practice Set Theory – Analyse
08/10/2020 Profit and loss – Study Fill in the blanks – Practice Set Theory – Practice
09/10/2020 Profit and loss – Practice Fill in the blanks – Analyse Selections and ordering – Study and Practice
10/10/2020 Profit and loss – Analyse and Practice Fill in the blanks – Practice Selections and ordering – Practice
11/10/2020 SI and CI – Study and Practice Para Completion – Study and practice Selections and ordering -Analyse
12/10/2020 SI and CI – Analyse and Practice Para Completion – Practice Selections and ordering – Practice
13/10/2020 TSD – Study and practice Para Completion – Practice Selections and ordering – Practice
14/10/2020 TSD – Practice Para Completion – Analyse Network and routes – Study and Practice
15/10/2020 TSD – Analyse and Practice Para Completion – Practice Network and routes – Analyse
16/10/2020 Ratio and Proportion – Study and Practice Jumbled Paragraph – Study and Practice Network and routes – Practice
17/10/2020 Ratio and Proportion – Practice and analyse Jumbled Paragraph – Practice Games and Tournaments – Study and Practice
18/10/2020 Time and Work/Mixtures and Allegations  – Study and Practice Jumbled Paragraph – Practice Games and Tournaments – Practice
19/10/2020 Time and Work/Mixture and allegations –  Practice and analyse Jumbled Paragraph -Analyse Games and Tournaments – Analyse
20/10/2020 Linear equations – Study and Practice Jumbled Paragraph – Practice Games and Tournaments – Practice
21/10/2020 Linear equations – Practice and Analyse Odd sentence Out – Study and Practice DI based reasoning – Study and Practice
22/10/2020 Quadratic equations – Study and Practice Odd sentence Out – Practice DI based reasoning – Practice
23/10/2020 Quadratic equations  – Practice and Analyse Odd sentence Out – Practice DI based reasoning – Analyse
24/10/2020 Quadratic equations  – Practice Odd sentence Out – Analyse DI based reasoning – Practice
25/10/2020 Inequalities – Study and Practice Odd sentence Out – Practice Tables – Study and Practice
26/10/2020 Inequalities –Analyse and Practice Para Summary – Study and Practice Tables – Analyse
27/10/2020 Logarithms – Study, practice and Analyse Para Summary – Practice Tables – Practice
28/10/2020 Progressions – Study and Practice Para Summary – Analyse Combinations – Study and Practice
29/10/2020 Progressions – Analyse and Practice Para Summary – Practice Combinations – Analyse
30/10/2020 Surds and Indices – Study and Practice Para Summary – Practice Combinations – Practice
31/10/2020 Surds and Indices – Analyse and Practice Verbal Reasoning – Study and Practice Graphs – Study
01/11/2020 Permutations, Combinations and Probability – Practice Verbal Reasoning – Practice Graphs – Practice
02/11/2020 Permutations, Combinations and Probability – Practice Verbal Reasoning – Analyse Graphs – Practice
03/11/2020 Permutations, Combinations and Probability – Analyse Verbal Reasoning – Practice Graphs – Practice
04/11/2020 Permutations, Combinations and Probability – Practice Critical Reasoning – Study and Practice Graphs – Analyse
05/11/2020 Functions – Study and Practice Critical Reasoning – Practice Graphs – Practice
06/11/2020 Functions – Analyse and Practice Critical Reasoning – Analyse Graphs – Analyse
07/11/2020 Geometry – Study Critical Reasoning – Practice Graphs – Practice
08/11/2020 Geometry – Study Reading Comprehension – Study and Practice Charts – Study and Practice
09/11/2020 Geometry – Study Reading Comprehension – Practice Charts – Practice
10/11/2020 Geometry – Practice Reading Comprehension – Practice Charts – Practice
11/11/2020 Geometry – Practice Reading Comprehension – Practice Charts – Analyse
12/11/2020 Geometry – Practice Reading Comprehension – Practice Charts – Practice
13/11/2020 Geometry – Analyse Reading Comprehension – Practice Charts – Practice
14/11/2020 Geometry – Practice Reading Comprehension – Analyse Charts – Analyse
15/11/2020 Geometry – Practice Reading Comprehension – Practice Charts – Practice
16/11/2020 Coordinate Geometry – Study and Practice Reading Comprehension – Practice Caselets – Study and Practice
17/11/2020 Coordinate Geometry – Analyse and practice Reading Comprehension – Analyse Caselets – Practice and Analyse
18/11/2020 Mensuration – Study and Practice Reading Comprehension – Practice Caselets – Practice
19/11/2020 Mensuration – Practice Reading Comprehension – Practice Data Sufficiency – Study and Practice
20/11/2020 Mensuration – Analyse Reading Comprehension – Analyse Data Sufficiency – – Practice and Analyse
21/11/2020 Mensuration – Practice Reading Comprehension – Practice Data Sufficiency – Practice
22/11/2020 CAT Mock test – I – 3 hours – Full Length and Analysis
23/11/2020 Reworking on the areas of improvement based on the test
24/11/2020 Reworking on the areas of improvement based on the test
25/11/2020 CAT Mock test – II – 3 hours – Full Length and Analysis
26/11/2020 Reworking on the areas of improvement based on the test
27/11/2020 CAT Mock test – III – 3 hours – Full Length and Analysis
28/11/2020 Reworking on the areas of improvement based on the test/Visit the exam centre
29/11/2020 Stay calm and enjoy the examination

The above study plan needs to be diligently followed by the serious aspirants to ace through the CAT 2020 examination.

Best books and study material for CAT 2020:

The best books for CAT preparation are listed here, section wise. The buyer should go through each book in a bookstall and understand which one suits them the most.

The second-hand copies can be bought online at OLX and Quikr.

For QA, it is prescribed to get ready from Class X and XII NCERT books.

The best source to get ready for VA/RC is material like books, papers, magazines, and so on.

Arun Sharma’s CAT books are the most popular in the market. However, there are many more authors who can suit a specific reader.

For more details about the best books for CAT preparation, click here https://www.pagalguy.com/articles/best-books-for-cat-preparation-2019-section-wise-cat-books

Apart from the above, the team at PaGaLGuY will continuously be providing useful material on various topics. Download the app now and access the preparation whenever and wherever.

May you have any difficulty in understanding a topic or a specific question, post it on our discussion forum, and the solution will be ready in minutes. So join our CAT 2020 discussion group now.

All The best for your preparations!!!