CAT 2020 PREPARATION TIPS
NATIONAL LEVEL ONLINE TEST
CAT is one of the most competitive aptitude test for admission in India’s top B Schools taken by over 2 lakh aspirants every year. Candidates are judged on various parameters like analytical and verbal skills. Thus a sound preparation is required to get through prestigious IIMs. CAT 2020 is scheduled to take place on November 29, 2020. With only a few months left for the exam aspirants should gear up their preparation game. As the nation is under lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, aspirants should not loose their momentum and utilise their time. CAT Online Preparation is a considered a good medium to prepare in such a situation.
Latest Update: CAT Registration has started from August 5 and candidates can fill the form till September 16, 2020 on iimcat.ac.in. Apply Here!
Some key questions should be kept in mind before drafting a preparation strategy:
An initial step towards CAT preparation is to get hold of the syllabus and exam pattern, analyse the type of questions asked and the nature of the exam.
|Total Number of Questions||100|
|Number of Sections||3 (Verbal & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude)|
|Duration of Exam||180 minutes (60 minutes per section)|
|Medium of Exam||English|
|Number of Answer Choices||4|
|Mode of Exam||Online|
|CAT Marking Scheme||+3 marks for the correct answer -1 mark for an incorrect answer|
|Questions with Negative Marking||MCQs-70 to 75|
|Questions without Negative Marking||NON-MCQs- 25 to 30|
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Now, the next task is to start preparing for the examination. Follow the steps given below every week while preparing:
At the beginning of month 2, attempt one mock test to and check your strength and weaknesses. Remember you are already doing well with the syllabus and for this month your focus should be to complete the rest of the syllabus along with working on your strength and weakness. Given below are the things that needs to be done in second month:
For month 3, your sole focus should be on making yourself comfortable with the exam pattern and working on efficiency and accuracy.
Given below are the things that needs to be done in last months.
Keep a track of CAT 2020 registration and application process.
Schedule your preparation based on CAT timeline and your graduation exams.
Get acquinted with CAT section wise Syllabus and Pattern
|Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension||Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning||Quantitative Ability|
|Topic||Number of Days||Topic||Number of Days||Topic||Number of Days|
|English Usage/Grammar||5||Arrangements||8||Number System||10|
|Sentence correction||5||Venn Diagrams||4||Averages||4|
|Fill in the blanks||5||Set theory||5||Percentages||3|
|Para completion||10||Selections & Ordering||7||Profit, loss & discount||4|
|Jumbled paragraph||10||Networks & Routes||3||Simple & compound interest||3|
|Odd sentence out||10||Games & Tournaments||5||TSD||4|
|Para summary||10||DI based reasoning||5||Time & work||2|
|Verbal reasoning||4||Tables||5||Mixtures & allegation||2|
|Critical Reasoning||4||Graphs||12||Ratio & proportion||2|
|Reading Comprehension||14||Charts||9||Linear equations||2|
|-||-||-||-||Surds & Indices||2|
The given time table can be modified and accommodated as per a candidate’s day to day schedule. One needs to invest a minimum of 3-4 hours daily for CAT 2020 preparation.
|Day||2 hours||1-2 hours||1 hour|
|Saturday||Take a Full-length Mock (3 Hours)|
|Sunday||Mock Analysis( 2-3 Hours) and retaking the same mock (3 Hours)|
For the past two years, DI/LR has proved to be the most difficult of three sections. Absence of a set syllabus makes preparing for this section difficult. Practice is the only way to ace this section.
You can follow the tips mentioned below:
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension is the section that scares a lot of aspirants. The section is designed to test your English skills in depth. It consists of the following types of questions-
|Topic||Number of Questions|
Candidate’s should not just apply guesswork or answer blindly in grammar related questions or in sentence correction sections that involve applied knowledge. Candidates need to make sure that at least an educated guestimate is made on the basis of inference. If a question is too complex, the candidate should move on to the next question
Use a two step strategy. Divide the VARC section into one section that includes Reading Comprehension and include the rest in the second section.
Due to the fact that para jumbles and deductive logic require logic, candidates can move to and fro between the questions in order to make the most accurate choice.For eg. in para jumbles, test takers can pinpoint the beginning and ending of a logical pair and remove the choice that does not seem to fit
Reading the choices alongside the question may make it easier for an individual to locate the correct answer after eliminating the options that do not make sense
Prospective candidates that are attaining below 85%ile in their practice tests should focus on the Reading Comprehension sections and Odd Sentence Para Jumbles
Candidates that are currently attaining above 85%ile should focus on the following: Vocabulary and Sentence Completion, Grammar , Deductive Logic , Para Jumbles,Critical Reasoning , Para-Completion, Summary Questions
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With the growth of technology in education sector, online coaching classes have grown in popularity and candidates are opting for them for various competitive exams. Though Online Coaching Centre provide smart tips and preparation strategy, no less than an offline coaching institute, the difficulty lies in choosing a good online coaching learning centre.
Best Online Exam Coaching Institute for CAT are- IMS Learning, Oliveboard, Byju’s and Unacademy Plus.
They are cost affective- offline coaching centres demand a handsome amount of money for the classes and material they provide. Online coachings provide the same amount of money in a reasonable package. The online classes price range is between 10,000 to 25,000 depending on the course. Whereas a candidate has to invest around 50,000 in offline traditional coaching institutes.
Ease of classes- since no commutation is required for online classes, candidates can take classes as per their schedule and routine. The cost and energy invested in commutation is also saved.
No physical presence required- as classes are held in online mode, candidates are not required to visit any centre for classes.
Suitable for working professionals- online classes are popular among management aspirants who are working professional. As online classses are held in several shifts throughout the day. They can match their timings acoordingly.
Matches the candidates learning pace- candidates in online classes like in self study go through topics and classes at their own pace, depending upon their methodology and learning speed.
Check CAT Online Coaching
There are numerous groups on Facebooks and other community portal for CAT aspirants. It is benefficial to join these groups for doubt clearing sessions and practice. Discuss important topics, tricks and strategies by interacting with fellow aspirants.
Personal watsapp group with friends can also be created. There arecertain moderated forums on Facebook like Hundakafunda Facebook Group for like minded aspirants. Inaddition 2IIM also has a FB forum. Discussion on a particular topic is quite an affair on these forums.
To top on, there are a couple of quora threads like IIM preparation which is an interactive space for IIM alumni, CAT trainers students.
Given below are additional reference material for each section of CAT:
Here are the 5 magazines recommended for CAT and all other aspiring business students.
|CAT Logical Reasoning Quiz||CAT Percentage Quiz||CAT Ranking Quiz|
|CAT Coding Decoding Quiz||CAT Compound Interest-Simple Interest Quiz||CAT Clock Quiz|
|CAT Blood Relation Quiz||CAT Geometry Quiz||CAT Cubes Quiz|
|CAT Series Quiz||CAT Average Quiz||CAT Calender Quiz|
|CAT Sequence Quiz||-||-|
The conducting IIM releases the official mock test is an outline of the pattern of the exam. Do not rely solely on it and take mock tests from the beginning of your preparation.
CAT is challenging to crack due to its level of competition. If you practice well and prepare smart, you can easily score high percentile in the test. Good luck!
Ques. How to prepare for CAT?
Ans. First of all understand the syllabus and pattern of exam, appear for a mock test and note down the weak and strong areas, gather the relevant books and study material, cover the syllabus section wise and then again practice mock test. Check Complete CAT Syllabus
Ques.Is their any ideal preparation time for CAT?
Ans.There is no specific rule on time limit, going by strategies of CAT toppers 3 months are minimum required for a dedicated and serious preparation to gain good CAT percentile.
Ques. Can i self-prepare for CAT 2020?
Ans. Yes, there are numerous candidates every year who score good in CAT by relying on self preparation. Start by gaining a good knowledge of syllabus and exam pattern, gather the relevant study material, prepare a time table, utilise the online sources available and test your preparation by giving mock tests.
Ques.Which is the best institute to prepare for CAT 2020?
Ans. There are a lot of coaching institutes both online and offline. Candidates should decide in which mode they want to prepare and select the coachings as per their needs. Nowadays, online coaching options are very popular and user friendly. Check Best CAT Coaching Institutes.
Ques.How many Mock Test are sufficient to take before the main exam?
Ans. As suggested by CAT topper’s 35-40 mock test should be given before the actual exam. The important point to remember while giving CAT is to analyse the test afterwards and work on mistakes and weak points. Download Now Practice Papers
Ques. Can i start preparing for CAT 2020 now?
Ans.Yes, around 9 months are left for CAT 2020 to take place candidates should gear up their preparation. Make a preparation strategy and start working on it. There is still plenty of room left to score well.
Ques. Is it compulsory to score 90% or above in 10th and 12th board to get admission in IIM?
Ans. No, there is no such rule to score 90% or above in boards to secure admissions in IIM. Overall weightage to CAT scores, graduation marks, class 10th and 12th boards and WAT/GD/PI scores is given by IIMs before offering admissions.
Ques.What are the factors that affect the preparation of a student?
Ans. Factors like relying completely on coaching institutes and not focussing on self study, keeping yourself too mentally tired, lacking time management skills and dedication for the exam, not working on weak areas affect the preparation of CAT aspirants.
Ques.What are some time management tips for CAT?
Ans. CAT test the accuracy and speed of candidates. Hence time management is the key required to excel in the exam. Remember, not to spend too much time on one question, start working on the section you are comfortable with, spare some time for revision. While preparing, time management skills can be acquired by giving Mock Test.
Ques.Is there a limit on the number of attempts for the CAT exam?
Ans. No, there are no limits on the number of attempts for CAT. there is no restriction on age limit as well. The only restriction is the educational qualification, candidates have to be
Ques.Is it required to have 5 to 7 books to study from when you sit to prepare for CAT?
Ans. Having a pile of books and a bunch of notes in addition to it will not help you. You can decide which book suits you best as a complete guide to all the sections will be enough. You can also have a book separately for each section but try to keep the number low as to 2 or 3 books to prepare.
Ques. Is joining a Coaching Center a great investment in studies for CAT?
Ans.The benefit of joining a coaching institute is they provide proper study schedule and material, candidates just have to follow them. Coachings are suitable for candidates who can spare time for the classes. In case of working professionals online coaching websites or weekend classes are an option. Candidates can also opt for crash courses full time caching is not required.
Ques. Is the Study Material provided by the coaching center reliable?
Ans.Coaching institutes provide updated study Material which is prepared on the basis of past data and can be very useful although there is no harm in referring to a new book if you have time. But candidates should not lose focus on self study despite coaching guidance.
Ques.How can reading prove to help study for the CAT exam?
Ans. The key to excel in verbal ability and reading comprehension is to read a lot of books, newspaper editorials and improve your vocabulary and grammar. Being an expert in english is not required but cultivating a habit to read and write will also help in WAT/GD.PI sessions.
Ques.How does a series of tests help ace CAT?
Ans. Test series are an essential part to score good percentile in CAT. It should be a weekly ritual while preparing. Writing at least 30 tests before giving the final exam will give you an idea of the level of questions and the way to solve them. Also, subscribing to a series of Mock Tests is helpful as it provides you an edge over the actual exam.
Ques. How does having a great deal of General Knowledge helps in CAT exam?
Ans. General Knowledge questions are a part of WAT/GD/PI rounds. G.K might not be part of the exam but is still useful to be updated on recent national and international political and economic developments. Also, good G.K. helps build confidence in a person to face people and converse.
Ques.How can i prepare Current Affairs for WAT/GD/PI round?
Ans. Read newspapers like The Hindu, The Indian Express, Economic Times, New York Times. Candidates can also refer to magazines like Frontline, Business Standard and The Week to prepare for current affairs.
Ques. Does having a full-time job affects preparing for CAT exam?
Ans.With proper strategy in place having a full-time job will not affect your preparation but not to a great extent. CAT preparation can be done parallel to your work. But, you must build a schedule and stick to it to devote the required time for the preparation. Prior experience added in your CV can only benefit from getting the admission.
Ques. Can preparing 2 sections of the exam thoroughly give an edge over the paper?
Ans. It is not advisable to leave any section while preparing. If you want to score well in your CAT exam, you need to prepare well enough for all the three sections of the paper. CAT score comprises of sectional cut-off which doesn’t leave you with many options.
Ques. How many hours of study is enough for a candidate to prepare for CAT?
Ans. Candidates are advised to study for at least 2 to 3 hours daily for good preparation. This schedule will suit in cases where a candidate has enough time to prepare for CAT. It also depends upon the study habits of the candidate and the study hours can always go up relating to every individual’s study habits
Ques. How do problem-solving methods help to prepare for the exam?
Ans. Candidates should make a note of the fact that they should constantly try solving the questions through more than one method with accuracy. Depending on their method of solving and mastering is more helpful than following tips from outside.
Ques. What preparation pattern should a candidate follow to score well in the exam?
Ans. Starting by understanding the syllabus and exam pattern, candidates must pay more attention to concept building. Afterward, mock test and practice papers can be considered to analyse the preparation level.
It is also advised that a candidate should try to study 2 topics simultaneously with 1 easy topic and the other difficult which will save a lot of time for other topics.
Ques. Does CAT preparation for candidates who are in their final year of graduation a difficult task?
Ans. Candidates can divide their study time and utilize them in the best possible way. It is advised to prepare for the CAT exam while completing the graduation simultaneously. Though graduation marks should never be compromised as they are considered in the final selection bt B Schools.
Ques. How long should a candidate study in a day to get good grades in the entrance exam?
Ans. Regularity is important while preparing for CAT. Preparing a schedule that is convenient for you and helps you score better should be implemented Candidates should not over pressurize themselves by studying for many hours, but regularly studying should be in practice.
Ques. What should a candidate do in case he/she has left mathematics as a subject in their 12th standard and is pursuing graduation in some other course?
Ans. Maths is important for Quantitative Aptitude section. Candidates in such case are advised to polish their 10th-grade mathematics as the basic concepts asked in CAT are up to 10th grade only. With a thorough revision of previous math questions can help them prepare well for the paper.
Ques. Is CAT a tough exam to crack?
Ans. CAT is not difficult, it is just competitive. If you have your concepts clear and practice mocks regularly, you can easily score 90+ percentile in CAT.
Ques. What is the syllabus for LR/DI? How do I prepare for it?
Ans. LR/DI is generally considered a tough section to attempt. There is no fixed syllabus for LR/DI. You can prepare for it by practicing previous year question papers and following the type of questions that came in LR/DI section.
Ques. I am scared of Maths. How do I prepare for Quant?
Ans. Start with the basic concepts and refer to Arun Sharma for initial preparation. Develop a habit of solving questions regularly and prepare alternate solving techniques to them. If well practiced through Mocks and previous year question papers candidates can score a good percentile in Quant.
Ques. My English is not very good. Can I still take a CAT?
Ans. CAT requires one to have a decent level of command on English. You can strengthen your English skills by reading books and watching grammar lectures on youtube and such sources.
*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College