CAT 2017 – the biggest and most important MBA entrance exam in India is just around the corner. With the D-day of 26th November approaching thick and fast, MBA aspirants, especially those who have started their journey towards top MBA Colleges in India this year itself, are suffering from severe anxiety and panic attacks. The idea of CAT 2017 MBA entrance exam being the unassailable feat especially in the first attempt is having a major toll on their preparation strategy.
Is it possible to crack CAT 2017 in first attempt?
Appearing for such a career changing exam, some amount of anxiety and nervousness is quite natural on the part MBA aspirants. But, the million dollar question that all MBA aspirants who are taking up CAT MBA exam for the first time is that ‘Can CAT Exam be cracked in the first attempt?’ There is no fixed answer to this question, but going by the past record, it is safe to assume that with the right preparation strategy; CAT 2017 can easily be cracked in the first attempt.
CAT Toppers who cleared the MBA Entrance in First Attempt
However, you do not have to take our word for it. Many CAT toppers in the last few years have been first timers. These include the likes of Ketki Gupta (99.58 percentile in CAT 2016), AvidiptoChakraborty (100 percentile in CAT 2016) and YashChoudhari (100 percentile in CAT 2016); who all managed to not only score above 99 percentile in the CAT last year but also cracked the GD / PI and WAT rounds to get into the IIMs of their choice.
Another CAT topper who was in the news last year was ViditGarg, who despite scoring below 90 percentile; 89.67 percentile in CAT 2016 to be exact; managed to get call the mecca of MBA Colleges in India i.e. IIM Ahmedabad. Another first timer who beat all odds was PrachiSukhwani who scored 98.55 percentile despite having only 20% eye-vision. All of these CAT Toppers are first timers who managed to crack CAT 2016 backed by their right preparation strategy to bell the MBA entrance exam.
What do CAT Toppers Suggest?
While everyone has their own way in which they prepare for the mother of all MBA entrance exams, there are a few tips given by CAT toppers that can be incorporated in every MBA aspirant’s strategy to score above 99 percentile in CAT 2017. Some of the key learning that CAT 2017 toppers have shared with us is provided below. Follow these simple tips to ensure that you not only score the right percentile to get a call from IIMs but build the right foundation for your CAT MBA preparation strategy.
CAT Syllabus Deadlines
One of the biggest challenges for first time CAT Aspirants is the vast nature of the CAT 2017 syllabus. With the huge syllabus to cover, MBA aspirants have to manage their time very well to ensure that they complete the entire syllabus within the deadlines they have set. Having a deadline to complete the CAT syllabus and studies will keep you motivated during the next 2 months which is the most critical phase of your preparation time.
Time Bound Practice
One of the factors that make CAT 2017 one the toughest exams to crack in India, is the limited time available to solve the questions. While majority of the questions being asked in CAT 2017 are basic in nature, what makes them difficult to answer is limited timeframe. Therefore, make sure that you include time-bound practice sessions as part of your CAT 2017 preparation strategy. Moreover, make sure that you do this with both MCQs and non-MCQ type of questions; this will help you build the right speed at which you should answer the questions.
Seek Expert Help
CAT 2017 is a competitive exam, which essentially means that it is not enough to beat yourself. In order to grab that elusive seat at IIMs, you need to beat your peers and therefore the preparation and performance has to be gauged in comparison to others.
This is where experts come in! Talk to experts about your plan and preparation strategy and try to see if there is any way in which you can improve your performance. Expert mentors, previous year CAT toppers or even online tutorials will help you find gaps in your strategy and fill them in time to ensure that you outperform others on the D-day of 26th November.
Avoid referring too many Books
The old idiom of ‘Too many cooks spoil the dish’ also stands true when it comes to CAT 2017 preparation books. There are hundreds of books in the market which claim to be the ultimate guide to cracking CAT 2017. But, too many books with different takes on different concepts always create confusion for the MBA aspirants. Therefore, CAT toppers suggest that you should only refer two good books on any subject or topic for CAT 2017 preparation. These two reference books should be able to give you all the necessary knowledge about the topic in question.
Don’t stick to one topic for long
One of the biggest challenges that MBA aspirants face during CAT Preparation is to make the decision of actually skipping a topic if it’s too difficult to crack. However, this is a wrong strategy as per CAT Toppers. If you are unable to understand a topic during one sitting, meandering over it for even longer time is not going to help. Here’s where you have to take a conscious call of letting the topic go and start a fresh on the new one. So, remember the cardinal rule, don’t stick to one topic for long, whether you are able to crack it or not!
Build a Peer Study Group
Many CAT aspirants believe in working alone, especially during the final phase of the CAT preparation i.e. the last two months. During these months, one can either get too over-confident with regards to their preparation or completely lose their focus and get into depression mode. To avoid this, working with a motivated set of individuals who are able to inspire and challenge you to put your best foot forward is required. So, make sure you build a peer study group for CAT studies, especially if CAT is going to be your first attempt.
Mock Tests are Mandatory
This one goes without saying; Mock Tests are your ultimate friend when it comes to CAT MBA test preparation. Mock Tests help you not only to check and practice whatever you have learnt, they also give you an insight into what’s actually working in your preparation strategy and helps you to realign the same for the coming days.
3-4 Hours of Rigorous Study is Enough
Another major concern of MBA aspirants who are taking up CAT 2017 for the first time is regarding the number of hours they should study. Again, just like everything else, there is no fixed formula here which can guarantee success. However, as per CAT toppers, regular and rigorous study schedule of 3-4 hours daily is enough to cover the entire syllabus and lay a proper foundation for CAT 2017 preparation. So, don’t think that being buried under a pile of books for 12-14 hours a day is going to be of any great help to you.
Following these simple CAT 2017 Preparation tips given by CAT toppers will help you to lay a solid foundation for the upcoming MBA entrance test. The biggest reason why you should follow these tips is because they are given by a talented bunch of individuals who have been through the same ordeal which you are undergoing right now and have emerged victorious in their quest to ‘Bell the CAT’.
If you feel, any other important tips and tricks are a must for first time CAT 2017 aspirants to score above 99 percentile, please let us know in the comments section below. You can also visit mba.jagranjosh.com for the latest news and updates about the upcoming CAT 2017 Exam.