Get your basics right

CAT as­pi­rants should make planned ef­forts in the next five months to max­imise their chances of suc­cess

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - Ul­has Vairagkar

With an early an­nounce­ment of dates for CAT 2013, which is slated to be held from Oc­to­ber 16 to Novem­ber 11, CAT as­pi­rants should make planned ef­forts in the next five months to max­imise their chances of crack­ing it. A large num­ber of stu­dents may have al­ready started their prepa­ra­tion about six-nine months ear­lier and may have com­pleted about 20-80% of their basics.

The first task for any CAT as­pi­rant is to com­plete the basics in all the test ar­eas at the ear­li­est pos­si­ble but prefer­ably not later than 30 days be­fore they take the CAT. Basics will in­clude: Quan­ti­ta­tive abil­ity

Quant: arith­metic, ba­sic al­ge­bra, geom­e­try and men­su­ra­tion and mod­ern maths

Data in­ter­pre­ta­tion: Ta­bles, line, bar and pie charts, routes and net­works etc

Af­ter the basics, stu­dents should fo­cus on solv­ing ques­tions that re­quire ap­pli­ca­tion of the knowl­edge un­der se­vere time pres­sure. They should also prac­tise to build skills in us­ing al­ter­na­tive meth­ods to solve ques­tions like op­tion-judg­ing, elim­i­na­tion of un­likely op­tions, sub­sti­tu­tion of numer­i­cal val­ues, etc. They should also build speed by solv­ing ques­tions us­ing men­tal cal­cu­la­tions and vis­ual ob­ser­va­tion. Ver­bal abil­ity

Log­i­cal rea­son­ing: Cal­en­dars, clocks, cubes, syl­lo­gisms, Con­di­tional State­ments, Venn Di­a­grams, Max­ima-Min­ima, Bi­nary Logic, Games & Tour­na­ments, Logic Puzzles etc

English gram­mar basics: Read­ing com­pre­hen­sion (RC) - read­ing on var­i­ous dif­fer­ent sub­jects on­line

Vo­cab­u­lary - Con­sult­ing the dic­tionary reg­u­larly to know the con­tex­tual us­age of un­fa­mil­iar words/us­age

Data in­ter­pre­ta­tion and log­i­cal rea­son­ing ar­eas are skill-in­ten­sive. Hence, prac­tice and more prac­tice will help you to sharpen your skills

Ver­bal ar­eas re­quire you to have strong fun­da­men­tals in gram­mar. A good vo­cab­u­lary and a var­ied read­ing habit are a must to do well in RC. This is also an area where you may get into trou­ble due to more wrong an­swers and neg­a­tive marks, so you have to be on your guard.

Once your basics are more or less in place, you should take plenty of mock tests that are sim­i­lar to the CAT and are taken by a large num­ber of stu­dents. Mock tests play a cru­cial role in: Un­der­stand­ing your rel­a­tive strengths and weak­nesses vis-à-vis other test­tak­ers so that you can work on the same and im­prove Fine-tun­ing your time man­age­ment and ques­tion iden­ti­fi­ca­tion skills that help you to at­tempt max­i­mum pos­si­ble ques­tions Un­der­stand­ing the rea­sons be­hind your mis­takes so that you do not re­peat th­ese again De­vel­op­ing stamina and tem­per­a­ment for a 140-minute com­put­erbased CAT Use the last one month be­fore the CAT to take and thor­oughly an­a­lyse your per­for­mance in each mock test so that you are ready to take the ac­tual test con­fi­dently.


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