7 awesome steps to kick start CAT 2016
Here are 7 steps to kick-start your preparation for CAT 2016
Because the sooner you start the more time you get to achieve your target.
Step 1: know the enemy
Familiarize yourself with CAT structure and syllabus if you have not done so already. Also, Go through immediate previous year’s paper for basic idea about the exam.
Step 2: Find out how much CAT percentile
CAT percentile and cutoffs is all you need to get yourself into your dream college so that you are clear in your mind about your target and how much efforts and hard work you will need to put in to achieve that.
Step 3: Next, Take a mock test.
Yes, before starting your preparation, go take a mock test so that you know how far you are from your set target. The main reason its good and necessary is, so that you can see your starting point (now) and then compare it to the your progressive mock test results till the last exam you take(Final CAT exam). This will provide you both confidence and motivation to work harder towards your goal.
Step 4: Identify weaknesses
Now that you have taken mock test. Identify your weaknesses. Evaluate your mock test. Take each section individually and check your percentile in each section. So that major emphasis can be given to the sections you found hard. Also, do a basic analysis and understand which type of questions are more challenging for you. Don’t only look at what questions got wrong but also see why. why did you get wrong answer? was it because you understood the question wrong or you applied the wrong solving technique? Evaluate thoroughly!
Step 5: Finally! Design your study plan
Design and make a practical one. You need to build your toolkit. You will need books or a course (online or in person) to
Refresh/ learn fundamentals and then test taking strategies. You will also need mock test series to apply and practice those strategies and also to evaluate your progress and preparation level.
Step 6: Avoid Typical CAT preparation mistakes
Here are the common ones I see- jumping into questions and tests completely unprepared and expecting miracles. CAT consists of several layers and it is important to master each one before moving on to the next – think of it as of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. There is no use in satisfying your social needs before you can take care of basic needs such as safety and food. The same is here, if you don’t know the underlying principles that CAT is testing (such as grammar, arithmetic, etc) there is no use in solving hundreds of questions or taking multiple CAT tests. For instance if English is not your native language, you should not work on the RC strategies if you can’t understand half of the passage – you need to get comfortable reading long passages of text before moving on.
Step 7: Lastly, Commit to doing the best job possible.
As the famous Dialog of ‘3 Idiots’ says “Commit to excellence and Success will follow” . It sure does make sense. Think about what you can do to improve your score – is it creating your own notes? Is it not moving to the next chapter until you are able to get 90% of the questions right of the previous one? Is it reading a lot of fiction to get comfortable with reading? Is it shifting your schedule to wake up at 5 AM and study till 8 before work? Is it investing in the right books, courses, and tests? Follow what works the best for you to reach that excellence level.