Namit Kapaley scored 98.8 percentile in Common Admission Test (CAT) 2013, the most popular management entrance test in India for admission to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other top B-schools of India. Also Read - Inspiring! Meerut Woman Who Left Home To Avoid Forced Marriage Returns As PCS Officer 7 Years Later

Here are her tips for CAT 2014 aspirants: Also Read - Before Reporting For Duty, This Bengaluru Cop Teaches Children of Migrant Workers Everyday For An Hour

  • 3 hours are more than enough: Working professionals often struggle with less time to study. However, if you have 3 hours to yourself, they should be enough for you. Make sets of questions (for example: 20 questions for Verbal Ability (VA) section and 3-4 sets of DI section) for each day and solve them at one go.

Go through the basics once again and take at least one mock paper on the first day, and analyse your test paper and work on the weak areas on the second day. Repeat. Also Read - Ready to Send Children Back to School? 78% Parents Say No, Willing to Let Kids Repeat An Academic Year

  • Exam strategy for the last 2 months of CAT preparation: Consistency is the key to getting good CAT scores. Plan your preparation and devote a few hours to exam preparation on your daily basis. Balance your preparation between the two , solve mock question papers or sample CAT papers, analyze them and work on topics in which you are weak.

In the last two months, take as many mock papers as you can and analyze them too. Online coaching classes offer computer-based CAT exams which are almost like real exam. I was weak in the Data Interpretation (DI) section and took more than average time to solve its questions. However, with practice, you can improve your speed and accuracy.

If you are not comfortable with the Reading Comprehension section, read newspapers or long passages and try to work on it.

  • Strategy for Logic & Reasoning section: For the LR section, you must be familiar with the basic concepts first. Go through coaching class study material or notes and online forums to know more about them. Once you have got the idea, practice previous years’ CAT question papers and mock papers to score more in this section.
  • Strategy for Data Interpretation section: Practice different types of DI sets. Past year CAT papers can give you a good idea of type of DI questions asked in the exam. Check with the solutions key to see if there is a better approach to solve a problem.

Try as many kinds of sets as you can get access to.

  • Accuracy before Speed: Do not compromise on accuracy for speed. If you attempt 10 to 15 questions, out of 30 questions, in each section, it can be called a decent attempt provided that you have aimed for 90-100% accuracy level.

I solved 9 to 10 questions in the QA-DI section and 20 to 23 questions in VA-LR section.

With practice, your speed will automatically improve. As you get familiar with types of questions asked in the exam, you take less time to solve them. You may also want to skim through the entire section to choose the questions you find easy and want to solve first.

In the , speed might gain more importance but still do not lose focus on accuracy. Practise mocks with the new pattern in mind.

  • Don’t get discouraged if you score bad in Mocks: When you take mock papers, sometimes you score well and sometimes you get bad scores depending on the difficulty level of questions and your comfort level at the time. It is okay. After all, it is just a Mock paper.

Just analyse it to see how you can learn from your mistakes and improve your scores. Do not compromise on accuracy for number of attempts at sample papers. Also, if a question looks easy but is taking too long to solve, move on and come back to it later. Strategize your exam taking skills.

CAT percentile is based on relative scores. So, there is no need to panic. Mocks are helpful in practice but they might not be indicative of your real exam scores.

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons