CAT 2016: Preparation Plan for 100 days, how to use 72 hrs of Independence Day

MBAUniverse.com News Desk |
August 13, 2016
CAT 2016 preparation plan for next 100 days needs to be well devised as it can change your life and can lead you to one of the top IIMs
Sincere ones will utilize the Independence Day celebration clubbed with the weekend as an opportunity to make their dream of targeting top IIMs come true

CAT 2016 Preparation Plan for next 100 days can change your life and can lead you to one of the top IIMs which you have been dreaming for. However all depends upon your preparation plan and the strategy you adopt during the preparation journey.

While many will simply be engaged in shopping, eating and outing during the next 3 holidays,  the sincere ones will utilize the Independence Day celebration clubbed with the weekend as an opportunity to make their dream of targeting top IIMs come true and will celebrate according to the true spirit of the Independence Day.

Next 100 days: 4 step preparation plan
Please remember your focus has to be on scoring high in each section of CAT 2016. This is necessary because despite scoring 99 overall percentile you may not get call from any IIM if you do not score high sectional percentile.

According to Prof S K Agarwal, expert on Verbal Ability and mentor on CAT 2016 preparation, at the outset, you must prepare equally well in each of the 3 sections to secure your position in the 1st stage shortlisting by IIMs.

The next step, in view of the expert, is to ensure that you are well equipped to deal even with your weak areas. The best strategy to get the desired result is to pick your strong and weak areas. Then you must work regularly to further strengthen your strong topics, so that you do not miss any question on them.

Simultaneously, you must focus on your weak areas and continue improving on their basics and then go for more and more practice on variety of questions.

No loose ends: Each section independent
Earlier, CAT aspirants had the tendency to give less attention to sub-parts in the test section as each section had 2 sub-sections. This is not the case anymore.

In earlier CAT exams, Data Interpretation (DI) part was clubbed to Quantitative Aptitude (Quant); and Logical Reasoning (LR) was clubbed to Verbal Ability section respectively. Now both DI and LR parts have been de-clubbed and have formed a separate section.

Accordingly, many candidates did not prepare so well for DI or LR as the problem sets and question sets of DILR consume more time and the questions are tricky. CAT aspirants used to compensate these parts by attempting more questions on Quant and Verbal Ability. But now DILR section has almost same weightage as other sections in CAT have.

There is no scope to skip the questions in this section. You have to prepare well on DILR both  to get high score in CAT 2016.

Begin with this week end
This weekend is preceded by Independence Day and other holidays like Rakhee.  In your buoyant mood of festivities please do not let loose the grip on your CAT 2016 preparation. The preparation must get a shot in arm during this weekend. In fact a good opportunity in the form of consecutive holidays has arrived before the CAT 2016 aspirants. Prof S K Agarwal, author and expert in Verbal Area suggests how to convert this windfall of consecutive holidays in your favour and give a push to your preparation for CAT 2016 this weekend.

Next 15 days: Strengthen your basics
CAT aspirants usually remain in search of ways and means to strengthen their fundamentals of English Language. But there is always dearth of time and the problem is more acute with the working professionals who are preparing for CAT 2016. The problem is not so difficult as perceived to solve it and get to the core of the issue but it needs time to spend focused on understanding the concept and correlating it to the specific contextual usage.

This fact is ignored by the teacher and taught both. Even the preparation centres also go by individual problems without making it a part of comprehensive concept. The result is while aspirants solve one question with certain tip he/she gets stuck in case some twisted form of the paragraph/sentence appears before him. It is therefore the need of the hour that aspirants should understand and strengthen the fundamentals and concepts of English language and start eliminating the errors they face.

Besides the need is to understand what types of questions you can face, where you lack and what improvement in learning the fundamentals is required.

Your Academics: Your best preparation guide
If you are an engineering graduate, graduate in Physics or Mathematics, you may have strong aptitude to solve questions based on Quantitative Ability. Students of Arts & Literature – as a general presumption- may have better skill in spoken and written Standard English language. If you are a commerce graduate or graduate with statistics, you may have good command on Data Interpretation, Logical reasoning.

No one else but you can find out and focus your preparation on each of them. In 15 days’ time you will find that you have improved a lot and are able to switch to next level.

Don’t hesitate in seeking mentor’s help
Looking at the syllabus and past pattern of CAT examinations, there may be weak areas in your strong holds where you will have to study and practice more, and on the other hand there may be a few topics in your weak areas where you are strong enough and may need less revision and practice sessions for them.  Strategically, you must find out the weak areas and segregate them from the strong ones.

If you want to crack CAT-2016 for sure-you have the option of beginning with any section you like and work hard on it to get expertise in the same. Another option is to take some expert guidance –how to proceed. A good preparation centre/mentor will definitely like to find out the root cause of weakness in this case.

Next 30 days: Improve Speed & Accuracy
For example, an aspirant, who is an engineering graduate and is a working professional, is both strong and weak at Verbal Ability. With the help of his mentor in Verbal Ability and after analysing some past year model tests, he finds that he is very good in cracking questions based on jumbled paragraphs, but very weak when it comes to sentence error corrections. The aspirant may also be weak to crack questions based on the Reading comprehension passages as he can’t follow the phrasal, idiomatic expressions in the passage and can’t understand the vocabulary of the same as well.

In case the aspirant has weak fundamentals, he may not be able to solve the jumbled paragraphs without certain short-cuts, instincts, elimination method. At the same time despite having the ability to connect the sentences logically, he will be required to begin with the strengthening of his fundamentals-and the path is supposed to be from- Grammar-Times zones understanding-Vocabulary contextual use-correct usage-to rigorous understanding and practice of Reading Comprehension passages.

Get Relevant study material
Since all the topics are equally important and nothing can be left to chance, the right study material whether it is the self-study or mentor supported study, has to be judiciously picked up. An aspirant whether working or non-working is more tech savy and can study on-line instead of carrying the stuff with him all the time.

The on-line preparation hubs like MBAUniverse.com can be visited 24x7 and the updated questions & answers, word power, quant questions etc. can be visited for free on site.

Last 2 months: Revise & Analyse
Going through the topics and determining their relevant importance is very important factor leading your preparation strategy forward. Even if you have the study material – on-line or in hard copy form, it will be helpful only when you are able to utilize it to the optimum extent.

There are certain topics that appear of no importance but omission of the same may reduce your percentile to a great extent.  For example – usage in punctuation, articles may not appear important and may not also interest the aspirant but CAT has been fond of framing questions in Verbal Ability section on them and a simple omission of a (,) comma may cause a loss of four marks, reducing your percentile by ten or so.

Besides, how deeply you have followed the concept cannot be determined by you.  This can be judged by the person who knows the intricacies of the topic. It is always a good idea to keep in touch with the expert and continue clarifying your doubts consistently without compromising with the self study.

Growing role of RC: Focus more
Questions based on Reading Comprehension passages have suddenly increased in CAT. It is expected that CAT 2016 will have 24% weightage awarded only to questions on RC passages. While you do not know the various topics and their share of questions in Quant, DI, LR, the CAT exam makes it amply clear that there will be no compromise on increasing weightage of RC questions.

Accordingly the preparation strategy for RC in next 100 days needs your due focus on continuously increasing your reading speed, accuracy, word power to understand what has been said in the passage and how to decode it. Once you do this exercise, you will be able to crack RC based questions with more ease.

Last 20 days for revisit & Mocks
It is very important that you should continue your journey with concerted efforts and making sure every topic is covered. At a later time when you begin taking mocks for CAT 2016, it will be difficult to begin working deeply on new and confusing topics. Please note that CAT 2016 needs hardcore in-depth preparation, where nothing can be left to chance.

CAT 2016 is a computer based examination and the success in exam will award you with the opportunity to enter top B-schools like IIMs/FMS/IMI/IMT/MDI/SPJIMR/IITs among others. The great learning experience and fat remuneration that you receive after completion of your MBA is much more than offered by any other programme.

According to Prof S K Agarwal, expert on Verbal Ability, all the CAT 2016 aspirants who are in the serious mode of CAT preparation should prioritize their preparation topics in accordance with their routine and availability of time. The only tip shared by the expert is that you should remain motivated, inspired, unbiased and focused throughout your preparation journey.

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