How to avoid the biggest mistake that students make during CAT preparation?
CAT Preparation is a time consuming process. It is not something that you do in a week or two. It is a long drawn process typically stretched over a period of 6 to 9 months. There are roughly three and a half months left for CAT 2015. In this period, you can avoid one very big mistake that might harm your preparation without you even realizing it. That is the one mistake that I will like to talk about today.
Focus on Quantitative Aptitude and / or Verbal Ability
CAT aspirants forget the basic fact that Quantitative Aptitude & Verbal Ability form only 50% of the paper. They do not allocate enough time during their preparation to the other 50% – Logical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation. It probably happens because most CAT aspirants are scared of either Quantitative Aptitude or Verbal Ability. Also, when they start preparing for CAT, they think that the CAT exam paper depends only on their Quantitative Aptitude and Verbal Ability skills. Another common misconception is that you need to “prepare” for Quantitative Aptitude and Verbal Ability, whereas the other areas you can improve just by giving mocks. Also, there are chapters and a fixed syllabus that you need to cover for Quant and Verbal – it makes it a little bit easy to study for them. All these reasons lead to the neglect of Logical Reasoning, Data Interpretation, and Reading Comprehension which eventually leads to a poor CAT percentile. You cannot expect to do well in the CAT exam if you neglect half the CAT syllabus. You can easily avoid making this mistake in CAT by dividing your preparation time wisely among all areas. You should give more time to your weak areas but do not neglect any sector during CAT preparation.
Here are some steps that you can take to avoid making this big mistake during CAT preparation.
Allocate days to a specific topic.
Allocate 2 days to Quant and 1 day to VA, RC, LR, and DI each. The 7th day could be dedicated to mocks or to the areas that you need special help in. Being disciplined about your CAT preparation in such a manner would help you do well in the exam. Also, if you allocate complete days to a particular topic, it would be hard to miss out or skip on a section / area. To be honest, it would be ideal if you could divide your daily prep time in such a fashion that you are touching all areas every day but that is really hard to do. As a matter of fact, as a part of my online CAT coaching course – I recommend my students to implement these ideas on a daily basis but rarely are students able to accomplish it. Doing this on a weekly basis, it would be simpler and more importantly – something doable
Go through Previous Year Papers
There is no faster way of getting in touch with reality than looking at a previous year paper. Once you go through a previous year CAT paper, you would realize how important the LR / DI / RC section actually is. You will also realize that it is not something that you can do in few hours or days. LR / DI / RC also require a disciplined approach. Give them the attention that they deserve.
Separate Section for Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation
In case you do not know, in the new pattern for CAT 2015 exam – there will be a separate section for Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation. To get admission or rather to even get a call from a top MBA college, you will need to clear the cutoff for the LR-DI section.
I hope this post will help you the avoid the biggest mistake that is made by CAT aspirants and it will help you score more in the CAT. Do provide feedback about the same via the comment section. If you liked it, do not forget to share it on Facebook / Twitter. Also, I teach an online course for CAT 2015 on my website Handa Ka Funda – do check it out.
Ravi Handa, an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, has been teaching for CAT and various other competitive exams for around a decade. He started online courses on his website Handa Ka Funda in 2013 and 10000+ students have subscribed for them since then.