Common Admission Test or CAT is one of the most prominent and important management entrance test in the country. And the CAT 2019 is just around the corner with about 2 months left for the preparation. The D-Day of 24th November is fast approaching and before you know it, time will pass away in a blink of an eye and you'll be faced with one of the toughest management entrance in the country. It's quite common for MBA aspirants to experience certain amounts of anxiety and stress as the CAT exam day approaches closer. The idea of CAT 2019 entrance exam being the unassailable feat especially in the first attempt sometimes has a major toll on the candidate's preparation strategy.
Is it possible to crack CAT 2019 in 1st 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 for all the 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 2019 can easily be cracked in the first attempt.
CAT Toppers who cleared the MBA Entrance in 1st 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 Chhavi Gupta (100 percentile in CAT 2017), Sai Praneeth Reddy (100 percentile in CAT 2017) and Yash Choudhari (100 percentile in CAT 2016); who all managed to not only score above 99 percentile in the CAT Exams in their first attempt at the exam. There are also instances where many of these candidates go on to crack the GD/PI and WAT rounds to get into the IIMs of their choice.
What do the CAT Toppers Suggest?
All CAT aspirants have their own preparation strategy that they adopt with the hope of belling the CAT entrance test. Some of these toppers have shared their secrets to success that can easily be incorporated by any MBA aspirant in their own preparation strategy for the CAT exam, the mother of all management entrance exams. Here are some of the key learning that the CAT toppers have shared with us. Follow these simple tips to ensure that you not only score the right percentile to get a call from IIMs but also 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 2019 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 contribute to the CAT being considered one of the toughest management entrance exams to crack in India, is the limited time available in the exam to solve the questions. While a majority of the questions being asked in CAT 2019 are basic in nature, what makes them difficult, is the limited timeframe available to the candidates to complete the exam. Therefore, make sure that you include time-bound practice sessions as part of your CAT 2019 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 2019 is a MBA 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 have 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 24th November.
Avoid referring too many Books
The old idiom of ‘Too many cooks spoil the dish’ also stands true when it comes to CAT 2019 preparation books. There are hundreds of books in the market which claim to be the ultimate guide to cracking CAT 2019. 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 exam 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 2019 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 exam 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.
These simple CAT 2019 Preparation Tips by the CAT toppers can help you lay a strong foundation for the upcoming CAT 2019 exam. 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 2019 aspirants to score above 99 percentile, please let us know in the comments section below. You can also visit www.jagranjosh.com for the latest news and updates about the upcoming CAT 2019 Exam.