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How to Prepare Effectively for CAT Exam [2022]

CAT exam held every year for admission in the Post-Graduate Business Administration Programme for the various IIM, IIT, NITs and other Government and private institutions in India.
CAT stands for Common Admission Test which conducts at all India level examination arranged by IIM. The exam is aimed at checking logical reasoning, verbal ability, data interpretation, and quantitative ability of the applicant.

1. Eligibility :

  • Candidate should have done graduation level courses in any of the streams
  • Minimum marks attained in graduation level course fixed at 50% marks or have done with equivalent CGPA. However, reserved category candidates can apply if 45% marks are gained.
  • If the candidate is in the final year of the graduation course then he/she can also appear in CAT 2022 examination.

Here are the tips on how to start CAT preparation at home as per the revised CAT exam pattern :

2. Know the Exam Pattern

  • Total Questions: 100
  • Number of sections: 3
  • Questions with negative marking (MCQs): 75
  • Questions without negative marking (Non-MCQs): 25
  • Score awarded for each correct answer: 3 marks
  • Negative marking (Applicable for  wrong answers in MCQ): -1 mark

Pattern according to divided sections :
VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension) : 1st section

  • Total questions: 34
  • MCQs: 24 to 27
  • Non-MCQs: 7 to 10
  • RC passages: 5
  • RC Based questions (All MCQs): 24
  • VA questions (Mix of MCQs & non-MCQs): 10
  • LOD: Moderate to Very difficult
  • Section Highlights:
  • No Grammar or vocabulary based questions since CAT 2015
  • Verbal Ability questions remain confined to 3 topics only – Jumbled paragraph; Para summary; picking the odd sentence out of the jumbled sentences

DILR (Data  Interpretation and Logical Reasoning) : 2nd section

  • Total questions: 32
  • MCQs: 28
  • Non-MCQs: 8
  • Share of DI questions: 16
  • Share of LR questions: 16
  • LoD: Moderate to difficult
  • Section Highlights:
  • Questions appear in set of 4
  • Time crunch is faced by test takers as questions are more time consuming

Quantitative Aptitude : 3rd section

  • Total questions: 34
  • MCQs: 23 to 27
  • Non-MCQs: 7 to 11
  • LoD: Moderate to difficult
  • Section Highlights:
  • More questions are on Arithmetic – Percentage, Profit & Loss, Time & speed, Work/days, Compound interest

3. How to Prepare

  • Go through the revised CAT exam pattern.
  • Read thoroughly the CAT syllabus 2022
  • Pick out your strong and weak areas in all the three sections and then work on it.
  • Gather the best books and preparation material for CAT 2022 preparation.
  • Improve on your weak areas and monitor the improvement regularly
  • Take as many CAT Mocks during your CAT preparation and do the analysis of each Mock test.
  • If you are weak in VARC, reading different articles and novels, conversing in English with friends and even watching English TV series and movies will be helpful.
  • Write down whatever new words you encounter after reading at least 5-6 newspaper articles every day. Make a separate notebook for it and write it in your own language. It will help you memorise it for longer periods of time.
  •  Data Interpretation is considered a bit more time consuming. Start practicing on these types of questions. Use approximation techniques for quick calculations.
  • Go through 10th class mathematics NCERT books for better preparation of Quantitative Aptitude. Try all textbook questions and solved examples.
  • Don’t waste too much time on theory. If you have understood the basics, attempt CAT sectional quiz.

Self Preparation is the best preparation strategy for CAT 2022. However time is also an important factor.
If a candidate gets stuck on some question due to the lack of conceptual clarity, the wastage of time is more and depression begins to set in. It could be a small quant formula, LR logic, or Verbal usage clarity which might need a simple push to come out of the shallow waters. This help can be provided by your mentor online or offline depending upon your preference or a mix of both.

4. Required Books

Books for section-1: VARC

  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT’- by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT’ – by Nishit K Sinha
  • Latest RC Passages and practice questions provided by Study centres like TIME, CL among others
  • Editorial and short articles published in English news papers
  • ‘Word Power Made Easy’ – by Norman Lewis
  • ‘High School English Grammar & Composition’ – by Wren & Martin

Books for Section-2: DILR

  • ‘How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT’ – by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • ‘Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT’ – by Nishit K Sinha (Published by Pearson)
  • ‘How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT’ – by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • ‘Logical Reasoning and data Interpretation for the CAT’ – by Nishit K Sinha (Published by Pearson)

Books for Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA)

  • How to prepare for Quantitative for the CAT’ – by Arun Sharma, published by MGH Education
  • ‘Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT’ – by Nishit K.Sinha, Published by Pearson

At last, remember to not to give up your favourite things. Whatever you love to do, keep doing it. It will help you keep you to refresh your mood everyday.
Take proper diet. You can also browse for healthy food ideas while studying.
Give time to exercise every day.
Good luck.

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