Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cat Prep Tips

I promised someone that I will blog about this issue long time back and finally I was reminded again so here I am, fulfilling my promise. I will start off with my scores and preparation. I prepared seriously for 5 months, joined couple of test series and attempted the material of TIME and CL. I scored 44 in quant, 46 in DI and 28 in verbal with the percentile 97.5(something). It was disappointing but I learned a lot of things about cat preparation which I want to share. First I will go by small things which we generally miss or we don’t focus


The most important thing is time management. You should have a definite strategy for 150 mins. I tried 40-40-40-30 and 45-45-45-15 where first 3 entries is the time given to individual subject and the last entry being the time left for going over to the not attempted questions. This is very important to figure out that which time distribution maximizes your score. And even more important is the determination to change the section when the time is over. I have seen people dwelling over a particular section for 60-80 mins.I will suggest, experiment the distributions for 3-4 test and then decide which one suit you best.

The second most important thing is the order of section. I used to attempt quant first because I was able to attempt decent number of questions in it and it gives me confidence, followed by verbal and then DI because I was good in DI and in last if time gets crunch, I was sure that I can wrap up the things in 30 mins also. Again try various orders for few tests and then fix an order and stick to it.


Now let me go subject wise:


Quant: The best way is to practice more. Practice and read the solution for the questions you didn’t get. It’s very important that you keep noting the good shortcuts and smart formulas in some notebook and mug them properly. This will give you atleast 2 additional questions in final exams.


DI: The smartest way to prepare for DI is to solve 10 years cat paper. There are very limited set of questions in DI. Let’s say 50. If you are through with the 10 years exam papers you will cover like 30-35 types and rest you can learn while you give test and prepare at room. Trust me this is the best way and you will see instantaneous improvement but just keep in mind to read the solution of not attempted/ wrong questions and learn the trick behind them.


English: to be very true I don’t have much of an idea how to improve this. The only thing I knew is you should be able to solve a comprehension in 6 mins and try both the way of solving comprehension i.e. reading passage first and questions later and vice versa. For me reading questions first and passage later was more helpful because in that way I can look for the required answers and keep marking them as I read. I will suggest you this wordlist to mug completely. This is the most comprehensive wordlist I go through. Just 800 words and trust me it covers like 70-80% of the cat words.


About the material: I found the CL material to be best but the TIME provided me with sample test in last moments which were also quite useful. Practice from CL, Practice room test from TIME. There are many things which you should kept in mind while preparing for Cat. Cat is not about hard work, it’s about smart work.

16 comments:

gaurav said...

Jabardast fundaes hai bhai....

INFERNO said...

Bhai I thought something funny hogi but sahi me fundae baat diye tune to.

I think the biggest fundae for CAT is, if you are screwed up in English and have pathetic luck then do not waste your time and money on CAT. I scored 98.09 percentile in CAT, couldn't clear English despite devoting well over 1 hr for it. I won't say that I had lack of time infact had ample time, its just that I was screwed up in English.

Pratik Gupta said...

@gaurav: thanks bhai

@inferno: sau baat ki ek baat...crack vebal, crack cat!

avinash said...

good blog ... u have lots of clarity .. :)

Nipun said...

I had sum prob in DI which I think can nw b resolved.
Thnx Bhaiya!!

naren krishna said...

nice one dude..
at last a meaningful blog :)

Pratik Gupta said...

@naren: just for you babe!! [:)]

Pratik Gupta said...

@avinash: thx man!!

@nipun: all the best bro!!

horizon said...

Hunn...gud stuff...few cents from my side -
1)TEST PAPERS-must ,more than anything , a necessity if you want to crack it. Do as many as pssible , mark ,revise , re-revise, hard questions in the papers
2)English - the best strategy is to find out wht part you screw up most in , like for me it was grammer and one more section ...so dont even touch them in the last two three months , just work on your strong parts . Other than that passages are to be taken very seriously , dont leave a passage without reading the first three lines sometimes the passage may be lengthy but easy so dont judge the book by its cover .
Always, read the passage first, the questions later.
3)Quant and DI - keep on working daily , but dont compromise on time on them in paper , devote time according to the no of questions in every section and in the last return back to ur weakest and then if muc time is left do two three questions more from the strongest section .
4)U HAVE TO FIND UR OWN STRATEGY

nagarjuna said...

thnx a lotttt dude....... mainly for that wordlist and suggestion to improve DI.. once again thnx bhai..

Pratik Gupta said...

@nagarjuna: my pleasure!![:)]

Manoj Bharadwaj said...

This is a nice blog :) Can't believe you prepared so seriously for CAT!
I scored pathetically in Quant and DI but my verbal percentile was 99 soemthing (witha score of 80+ I think) :P This is the funda about Verbal: Either you know the answer or you dont! So, start reading as many novels as you can so that you know whats right and wrong without knowing why ;)

Pratik Gupta said...

@manoj: 80+ in verbal...wtf????

Abhinav said...

Dude need to practice some verbal with you yaar , totally struggling.

Pratik Gupta said...

dude just go back and check my verbal score...its 28...i am proud desi [:)] anyways on a serious note, get in touch with people having good verbal or ppl trying real hard to improve verbal

Rohan said...

Great post! I first focused on improving my concepts, and then gave lots of mocks from testfunda.com. one point to remember is that you should give mocks considering them to be actual CAT tests. Best of luck!