IIM Calcutta has announced the date for Common Admission Test 2018 (CAT) i.e. 25 November 2018, Sunday. It will be computer-based and will be conducted at more than 140 centres. CAT is believed to be one of the most competitive management exam, opening doors to 20 IIMs and more than 100 other top business school. Over 2 lakhs candidates take the exam every for 5000 seats in IIMs.
The registration for CAT is expected to start in August 2018. As per Academic experts, it requires 6 months of dedicated preparation to score high percentile in CAT. Many aspirants who prepare for the exam fail to crack because of lack of knowledge about the exam pattern which costs them extra time and.
Coaching vs Self-Study
CAT paper comprises of three sections – Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehensive, and Logical Reasoning. The exact syllabus for the same, however, has not been made available.
While coaching helps sharpen your testing skills, the core of preparation is self-study. Further, a decision on whether coaching is required or not entirely depends on where do you stand in terms of your preparation. If your basics are clear and you feel that you can prepare for the big exam yourself without coaching, you are good to go. However, enrolling for the mock test series with any MBA coaching institute towards the end of your preparation is a good idea.
Focusing on each section of the exam (Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehensive, and Logical Reasoning) separately is a must because every section is time bound and one cannot switch between sections. Thus, you should be utilising the time to the fullest to score maximum marks in each section so that your overall percentile is high.
There are number of books available in the market, but the most recommended ones are: –
• Arun Sharma’s How to prepare for Quantitative Ability for CAT, published by Tata McGraw Hill- This book is most recommended for CAT aspirants to prepare for QA section.
• Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis for VARC section.
• Barron’s Pocket Guide to Vocabulary for VARC section.
• How to Prepare for the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay (Tata McGraw-Hill) is a workbook with practice questions and tips based on previous CAT papers
• Trishna’s Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning for The CAT and Other MBA Examinations by TIME Publisher: Pearson Solving mocks.
Analysing oneself is one of the most important part of preparation as one should know his/her weakness and strength, solving mocks tests helps you know the pattern and questions that can be faced in exam. Time management is one of the main aspects for the exam. One should know his / her time limit so that he /she can improvise on it.