CAT 2017: 10 tips by IIM-A, FMS toppers how to cover CAT Syllabus and make best use of Diwali holidays

MBAUniverse.com News Desk |
October 18, 2017
Focus your CAT 2017 preparation as per the updated CAT syllabus and cover the entire CAT syllabus in next 30 days brushing up all the important topics in all the 3 sections of CAT 2017 syllabus in accordance with the revised CAT exam pattern, is the key success mantra from the CAT 2016 toppers
CAT toppers studying at IIM Ahmedabad, FMS Delhi, IIM Indore ensured that they needed to cover the CAT syllabus in their CAT preparation with right study material

Focus your CAT 2017 preparation as per the updated CAT syllabus and cover the entire CAT syllabus in next 30 days brushing up all the important topics in all the 3 sections of CAT 2017 syllabus in accordance with the revised CAT exam pattern, is the key success mantra from the CAT 2016 toppers now studying at IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Indore and FMS Delhi.

CAT 2017 is 30 days away now and from today onwards there are four Diwali holidays also. This can be considered as a windfall since your CAT 2017 preparation as per revised CAT syllabus could be covered much faster - giving a boost to your CAT preparation. 

Important links:

10 tips from CAT toppers
The biggest problem before the CAT 2017 aspirants is – where to get the CAT exam syllabus and how to know about the topics in each section which are covered in CAT 2017 syllabus so that the CAT preparation could be synchronised with CAT exam syllabus. This is resolved by the CAT toppers by sharing the CAT preparation tips which will synchronise your CAT preparation with CAT syllabus.

Are you using right study material?
CAT toppers studying at IIM Ahmedabad, FMS Delhi, IIM Indore ensured that they needed to cover the CAT syllabus in their CAT preparation with right study material.

Gyayak Jain, CAT 100 percentiler and IIM Ahmedabad student of PGP 2017-19 says, “I used TIME study modules to get me acquainted with various formulas and tricks of solving various types of problems.” Priya Sahni, IIM Indore student referred to Arun Sharma for her preparation. 

Atul Goyal, FMS Delhi student and CAT 99.99 percentiler says “I used the study material given to me by my institute IMS. I did not use any other book as books do not matter but how you study does matter.”  In view of Atul, if you are preparing smartly you can score 99 in CAT in short time of preparation say 2 months.

Chanchal Gupta who scored 99.79 in CAT and IIM Ahmedabad student says “I read newspapers for VARC. For DILR and Quant, I practiced from the books by Arihant, Pearson, TMH”

Accordingly, the updated and revised books of authors like Arun Sharma, study material provided by TIME, IMS and others are the key source of right study material which cover the entire CAT syllabus as per revised CAT 2017 exam pattern.

How to prepare VARC
Almost all the CAT toppers, even the ones who have scored 100 percentile in CAT have shared that VARC was a weak point for them. But how all of them significantly improved in it and cracked it with high score is an inspiration for all the CAT 2017 aspirants.

Priya Sahni from IIM Indore says, “For VARC section, the most important part is the maximum time that you can devote to reading. Read a lot. Apart from this practice at least 5 RC’s in a week and analyse them after solving them. Try to find out why your answers went wrong. Do the RC’s in a strict time frame.”

Atul Goyal from FMS Delhi shares, “For VARC, I used to read a lot. It does not matter what you read. You can read newspapers, novels or some books. It is one of the best ways to get comfortable in VARC.”

Akhil Garg from IIM Ahmedabad says, “I wrote down whatever new words I encountered after reading at least 5-6 newspaper articles every day.”

Mukesh Goyal, CAT topper with 100 percentile and FMS Delhi student says, “I was weak at VA section. I practiced sectional tests and topic specific tests in order to improve this section. I used to focus on analysis part of these tests. I used to solve a lot of RCs and CR questions.

Don’t undermine DILR
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) are equally important in the revised CAT exam pattern. Covering the topics in DILR syllabus is now as important as for other sections since it forms a single and separate section now. You are supposed to qualify at least with a minimum prescribed cut off in DILR section also, if you wish to get shortlisted by IIMs.

Now you need to understand, how did the CAT toppers cover the CAT DILR syllabus with their smart preparation strategy. 

Select the easy questions
Chanchal Gupta (IIM Ahmedabad) says that she was weak in DILR. Instead of solving all questions of a common data set, she solved only the ones which took less time.

Section attempting strategy
Gyayak Jain from IIM Ahmedabad and CAT 100 percentiler says,I came out with a section attempting strategy. It was selection of appropriate sets out of 8 sets of questions, in which mostly 4 were DI and 4 of LR. I tried to look through all the sets in one go in starting in first 2-5 minutes and decide on (based on my comfort level of those type of problems) which were my first 2 sets to be attempted, then next 2, and so on. I tried distributing these 2 sets by selecting 1 set from DI and 1 from LR.

Solve one set every day
According to Atul Goyal, FMS Delhi student and CAT 99.99 percentiler, “For DILR, doing one question per day is enough. You just need to do different types of problems every day.” Endorsing the view, Priya Sahni, IIM Indore student says, “DILR gets better the more you practice. Try to solve one set every day and never leave any set unsolved no matter how much time it may take.”

Use Approximation techniques
Akhil Garg from IIM Ahmedabad shares, “For DI, I practiced approximation techniques for quick calculations.”

Crack Quant with high score
Quantitative Ability (QA) section is easy and high scoring for those who have the Mathematics or Engineering back ground- is the general perception. However, it is tough for those who are not so conversant with it.

Get acquainted with solving tricks
IIM Ahmedabad student and CAT topper Gyayak Jain with 100 percentile shares, “For Quant, I used TIME study modules to get me acquainted with various formulas and tricks of solving various types of problems. The practice for it was done in mock tests.

Leave the uncomfortable Qs
Gyayak further says, “I had no guilt in leaving questions which I was uncomfortable with or was unsure about. I did not waste time in re-solving a question more than once if I am not getting any of the options.”

Clarity on Basics must
Atul Goyal, FMS Delhi student and CAT topper with 99.99 percentile says,For Quant, understanding the basics is the most important part. Your concepts should be very clear.”

Come up with own logics
Priya Sahni, IIM Indore student and CAT topper with 96 Percentile says, “For Quant practice is the key. Try to be clear with the concepts. Try to come up with your own shortcuts and logics.”

Take official CAT Mock Test with answers
CAT Syllabus is based on past trend of CAT exams and the CAT exam syllabus is the outcome of the topics which have earlier appeared in CAT exam. Gyayak Jain CAT topper with 100 percentile and IIM Ahmedabad student says,My overall preparation strategy for CAT 2016 revolved around giving mock tests, reviewing my performance and improving in the areas where the performance was not good enough.”

The CAT exam syllabus is based on the mentioned guidelines and current structure of CAT exam. Past tendencies reflect that CAT exam syllabus and pattern overall tests the candidate on Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension; Quantitative Aptitude; Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning. CAT exam Syllabus covers all the major topics on these test sections. CAT 2017 syllabus is based on the past 2 years paper pattern which contain questions from all these sections.

Major topics in CAT 2017 syllabus are available now and according to Prof S K Agarwal, expert and mentor on Verbal Ability for CAT, you should prepare in accordance with the CAT syllabus topics alongwith attempting more sectional tests and CAT Mock tests.

Major topics in CAT syllabus

CAT Syllabus for VARC

CAT exam Syllabus for VARC section in CAT 2017 is divided in 2 parts. The 1st part of CAT 2017 syllabus covers questions based on Reading Comprehension passages and the 2nd part of CAT 2017 exam syllabus on VARC is based on questions on different topics on Verbal Ability.

Verbal Ability part will have 10 questions while RC part will consist of 24 questions in CAT syllabus, if the exam pattern is not changed this year. Key topics in Verbal Ability are Jumbled paragraphs, out of context sentence, para summary.

Other expected topics on which questions could be framed are correction of errors in sentences and paragraphs, Facts-Inference-Judgement, Fill in the blanks with correct vocabulary words, using the vocabulary in correct context.

CAT Syllabus for DILR
Separate DILR section in CAT exam was re-originated after keeping the section in abeyance for 4 years. During this period the DILR questions were clubbed to Quant and Verbal Ability sections respectively. In 2015 IIM Ahmedabad, the then CAT convening IIM decided to re-introduce the DILR as a separate 3rd section. The pattern was followed by IIM Bangalore in 2016 also.

CAT exam Syllabus for DILR section in CAT 2017 is divided in 2 parts – Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. The 1st part of CAT 2017 syllabus covers questions based on Data Interpretation (DI) and the 2nd part of CAT 2017 exam syllabus on DILR is based on questions on different topics on Logical Reasoning.

CAT syllabus for Quantitative Ability
Syllabus of CAT exam 2017 for Quant section is very wide. Quantitative Aptitude (Quant) is the 3rd and last section in the revamped CAT exam pattern. Syllabus of CAT 2017 for Quant is vast and covers everything in Mathematics that you may or may not expect.

CAT 2017 exam syllabus on Quant is based on questions on different topics on Arithmetic, Algebra, Modern Math, Geometry, Mensuration, Trignometry among others.

CAT 2017: Question type and number
CAT 2017 is to have 100 questions divided in 3 sections. Each section will have following number and type of questions:

Section name Total questions Questions with 1/3 negative marking (MCQs)  Questions without negative marking (Non-MCQs) Time limit to solve the section
VARC 34 24 10 1 hour
DILR 32 24  8 1 hour
Quant 34 24 or 27 10 or 7 1 hour

Take more sectional and full length Mocks
The best preparation strategy for CAT 2017 as per the CAT syllabus, is to strengthen your fundamentals, clear the concepts and ensure to take as many sectional quizzes and full length Mock tests, suggest  Prof S K Agarwal, expert and mentor on CAT preparation. This will help you to assess your CAT preparation level with various difficulty level questions of all types.

Scoring an overall percentile of 95-97 and sectional percentile of 85-90 each in CAT 2017, may get you an IIM - newer as well as IIM Ahmedabad. You need to aim for percentile as high as 99 as only then you can expect to be shortlisted for final admission round by IIM A, B, C, L. Any compromise on preparation strategy and relaxation to aim for less than 99+ percentile with equally high sectional percentile may not get you IIM A,B,C or L, if you really wish to pursue your MBA from a top rated B school, be it an IIM, FMS or others. 

Another key fact is that it is not overall percentile only but the sectional percentile cut offs also, which you need to clear by all means. There are many such candidates who despite scoring 99+ percentile in CAT could not be shortlisted by any IIM as they could not score minimum qualifying sectional percentile in one of the sections in CAT exam.

Please note that CAT 2017 is the mandatory exam for admission to PGDM/MBA 2018-20 programmes in 20 IIMs, FMS Delhi, MDI Gurgaon, IMI New Delhi, SPJIMR Mumbai, IMT Ghaziabad. All the IIMs, FMS, SPJIMR and other top B-schools need a minimum prescribed sectional cut off score in CAT 2017 to shortlist you for final admission round. So make sure that you aim at scoring a balanced sectional high percentile in CAT 2017.

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more updates on CAT 2017

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MBA/PGDM Admissions 2018 Open - Important Dates
For your benefit, MBAUniverse.com has listed important MBA/PGDM Admission Application Deadlines. Check now: 

XLRI – XAT 2018
Application to XAT is open till November 30 without late fee and till December 15 with late fee

MDI Gurgaon
Application for PGPM 2018-20 at MDI Gurgaon is open till November 24, 2017

IMI New Delhi
Application for PGDM 2018-20 at IMI New Delhi is open till December 4, 2017

IMT Ghaziabad
Application for PGDM 2018-20 at IMT Ghaziabad is open till November 24, 2017

XIM Bhubaneshwar
Application for MBA 2018-20 at XIM Bhubaneswar is open till December 8, 2017

SCMHRD, Pune – SNAP 2017
SNAP 2017 registration is open till November 24, 2017

Great Lakes Chennai and Gurgaon
The application for 2 years PGDM 2018-20 is open till Feb 25, 2018

KJ SIMSR Mumbai
Application for PGDM 2018-20 at K J Somaiya is open till January 31, 2018

GIM Goa
Application for PGDM 2018-20 at GIM Goa is open till January 3, 2018

LIBA Chennai
Online Application for PGDM 2018-20 at LIBA is open till January 31, 2018 at a cost of Rs.1500/-

IBSAT 2017
Application to IBSAT 2017 is open till December 12, 2017

CIMP Patna
Application for PGDM 2018-20 at CIMP is open till March 2nd week, 2018

SDMIMD Mysore
Online & offline Application for PGDM 2018-20 at SDMIMD is open till February 28, 2018 with application fee of Rs.1250/-

SOIL Gurgaon
Application for PGP 2018-19 at SOIL is open till February 25, 2018

SIBM Hyderabad – SNAP 2017
To apply to SIBM Hyderabad, apply to SNAP 2017 on Dec 17 and also apply to SIBM-H in the SNAP Form

SIBM Bengaluru
To apply to SIBM Bengaluru, apply to SNAP 2017 on Dec 17 and also apply to SIBM-B in the SNAP Form

 

Take CAT 2017 Mock Full LengthTo assess your preparation in revised CAT 2017 exam pattern with 100 questions.

CAT Previous Year Question Papers, Answer With Solution:
CAT 2008    |    CAT 2007    |    CAT 2006    |    CAT 2005   |    CAT 2004

Section 1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

CAT 2017: Quiz 1

CAT 2017: Quiz 2

Section 2: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

CAT 2017: Quiz 1

CAT 2017: Quiz 2

Section 3: Quantitative Ability

CAT 2017: Quiz 1

CAT 2017: Quiz 2