Career Counselling – How to prepare for CAT – I

How to start preparing for CAT? 

Now that there are almost seven months before the next edition of CAT, a lot of you would be probably starting out now on your preparation. Seven month is a lot of time if utilized properly and it should be spent on building the basic skills required to crack an exam of the form of CAT. I believe that a lot of us commit the mistake of prematurely concentrating on the so called “tips, tricks and strategies” for cracking CAT without paying enough attention to the fundamentals. So if you want to go about preparing in a more sensible and steady manner, now is a good time to start. I have given below my section-wise approach to preparation in the first three or four months.
Quantitative ability:
Start by revising your basic Tenth grade mathematics. NCERT books may play a vital role in this. You have to work on to the basic formulas and it has been derived. In doing so some CAT preparatory book will serve the purpose. Focus on Accuracy part and try to solve every single question which comes your way. You have to prepare a schedule for the same purpose and you have to stick to that. This section is considered easier for students with engineering background as they stay in touch with maths throughout their coursework, but three /four months of sincere and steady preparation ought to bring all students up to this level.
It is not advisable to memorize every tips and formulas, instead you can solve n number of problem for the same. Almost all CAT problems can be solved quickly enough from basic principles themselves, irrespective of the fact whether you know the relevant tricks and shortcuts or not.
Once you become fairly confident about solving problems you can start working on the speed factor. Even after you have successfully solved a problem critically analyze your solution and see if you can make it any shorter by removing redundant steps or if a totally different approach is possible. This is quite often possible in time and work, speed, probability, permutations and combinations based problems.
Books recommended: 

  1. How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT Common Admission Test – by Mr. Arun Sharma, TATA Mcgraw Hill
  2. The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation: – by Mr. Nishit Sinha – Pearson Publication.
  3. Quantum CAT – Quantitative aptitude common admission test for admission into IIMs – by Mr. Sarvesh Kumar Verma, – Arihant Publication.

to be continued….

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