Last Minute CAT Preparation Guide

M.B.A – Master of Business Administration, a degree many of you have been hearing ever since you learnt about taking jobs, especially during your high school days. Apart from becoming a doctor, or an engineer, this is one degree that will never get out of fashion, and is one of the most coveted one’s.

Nowadays, many run-of-the-mill institutes have come up with their own MBA programs, especially in India, and almost every other person you meet may be doing a correspondence MBA course. But, if you really want a degree that has some real value, there is nothing to beat the IIM’s. To get in to one of the IIM’s is no meant task and you will need to bell the CAT to get into one of these premiere institutes.

The Common Admission Test (CAT), is a common entrance exam that you have to take to get admission to the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, Indore, and Kozhikode. Many other institutes like, MICA, Nirma Institute of Management, S.P. Jain Institute, also draw out their candidates based on the performance in CAT.

The exam itself consists of four parts which are Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension, Problem Solving and Data Interpretation. All the questions are multiple choice, for every correct answer, one mark is awarded and for every wrong answer, 1/4th of a mark is deducted.

The following is a last minute preparations guide for your CAT entrance exams to the MBA.

Don’t waste your time going through new materials just a few days before the CAT, instead revise your fundamentals and take full length tests or opt for some online module tests. Stress should be applied on the use of one concept on various aspects of a problem, try to find a better way of solving the question. Rather than studying for hours together, limit yourself to 2-3 hours of intense concentration, wherein you make your fundamentals stronger. The rest of the time can be spent on trying to find easier methods to solve a question.

Ideal Strategy:

Don’t change your strategy of taking the test. Stick to what you had planned earlier, especially true if this strategy has rewarded you well earlier.   For example, you would know if your best bet is to scan a passage and then move onto to the questions, while another person could be more at ease scanning questions before going onto the passage. So just stick to whatever works best for you.

Analyse the Tests:

Test-taking is the most important aspect of your preparation now. Take two or at the most three tests a week. Test-taking should be followed by an in-depth analysis of the complete paper. Analyse what mistakes you have committed and how you will rectify them. Also check the questions that you have missed, and whether you have missed any ‘easy’ question! That will help in your choice of questions later. Remember, CAT is not about last minute cramming and revising. It’s about being alive and mentally alert, here and now.

For CAT-Day:

One of the biggest pitfalls is that as students we always search for short cuts, asking ‘which is the easiest way out and which are the easiest questions?’ A critical issue here is the tremendous urge to skip questions. We tend to lose concentration at different stages during the exam and tend to skip questions because of the pressures of time. But things get better if you follow a couple of golden rules. If you want to identify the questions to attend, it is imperative that you read all the questions.

Learn to relax.

CAT is not the end of your life. Many a time, very high potential students have not made it to the IIM’s because they could not handle the pressure. So unwind, go for movies, do things that help you relax, go for walks, listen to soothing music, meditate. People who stick it out, hang in there and continue to peg away will make it.


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