The question that emerges foremost in the minds of most MBA aspirants now is whether this is the right time to do an MBA keeping in mind the global recession that looms ahead. The reality is that this is the best time to stay off the job market and complete your education. Two years down the line you can graduate with enhanced skills and better credentials that qualify you for higher roles in business organizations.
CAT aspirants can be categorized into 2 groups. Those who have already appeared for the Common Admission Test, or CAT, and other MBA entrance exams, and those who are confident about their grasp of the basics, usually choose to study on their own, or “self study”, before appearing for the CAT. Among others appearing CAT exam are candidates who prefer coaching institutes for CAT preparation and the sole aim of such candidates is to get well-versed with basics and know the tricks to crack the exam.
Whether you decide to join a coaching institute or go for self-preparation, the basics to crack the exam remains the same. Hard-work, Practice, Revise, Analyze.
Tips to Crack CAT in First Attempt
- Ideal time to start preparation
Since CAT is conducted in November/December every year, the ideal time to start preparation shall be between April-May as it takes at least 7-8 months to prepare for such a vigorous exam. If you start early, you will get thorough with the basic concepts early and have enough time left for revision and taking CAT mock test series. it is also important to stay motivated throughout these months.
- Choose your Study Material Wisely
Choosing the right study material is a challenging task and must begin with a survey of the local market and its stationary stores, as well as online as there is a huge availability of CAT study material online. Check the reviews before buying any book related to CAT and collect the best available CAT study material online.
Apart from books there are thousands of free video lectures available on the internet for CAT preparation. In order to choose the right book, candidates can also check the suggestions which have been given by the toppers.
- CAT Mock Tests- A Key to Success
Continuous testing by taking a CAT mock test series is of paramount importance as it contributes to the learning process. It is not enough that you know all the concepts; one should know how to apply them in different contexts. One should also remember to analyze the performance, identify the weak spots and work on them
Why Mocks are Important? - By attempting CAT Mocks online, one gets exposed to the competition and becomes aware about his weak spots.
How often you should take mocks? - One should do one mock every fortnight in the initial phase of preparation and gradually increase the frequency as he moves on towards the final phase of preparation.
When you should start writing CAT mocks? - One should not delay test taking till the entire preparation is over. Learning and test taking go hand in hand.
- Join Study Groups
Education pages on various social media platforms are a good place for gathering tips and advice and exchange notes. One should join such channels to get updates related to CAT preparations. You can also make a study group of fellow aspirants to clear your doubts and stay updated.
Strategy/roadmap for CAT preparation
- April is an ideal time for beginning one's CAT preparation as it enables 8 months of intense preparation. The key to success here lies in utilizing the available time in the best manner possible.
- The month of April shall be spent on researching about the exam and gathering the study material for CAT and deciding whether to join a coaching or not.
- From May to July, the candidate should go in for a thorough analysis and study of the basic concepts in each and every testing area including one's favorite areas.
- August and September would be the period in which one graduates to advanced levels in different areas. One needs to become comfortable with tough areas and questions that enable one to aim for high percentiles in the CAT exam.
- The month of October has to be dedicated to revision and CAT mocks online. The focus must be on gaining both speed and accuracy and to revise those areas which are giving below-par results in the testing process. This is also the time to develop strategies that are flexible and robust. Difficulty levels are not predictable, the strategy should be dynamic enough to maximize on easy sections and survive the tough sections.
- The month of November would be set apart purely for testing, any learning here would be test driven.