How to prepare for CAT 2009
The Common Admission Test would be a computer-adaptive test from 2009. The pattern will remain the same except that you would have to answer the questions on a computer instead on a paper. However, preparation of the test will not change. You will have to prepare yourself for:
- Written Test
- Group Discussion (GD)
- Personal Interview (PI)
Speed: Take mock tests which are especially timed for improving your speed. You might know the answers but your speed might not be good and your accuracy may be hampered because of your speed.
Accuracy: Not only do you need to increase your speed while attmepting questions but also your accuracy. Revise the chapters which you feel need more attention from your side.
Time Mangement: You need to manage your time smartly while preparing for CAT 2009. Distribute your study hours and concentrate on your weak areas.
you should make a list of what is the kind of theory you want to complete till that time. Your maximum time should be spent doing two major activities: reading and Math. I have made a rudimentary representative list here to work from:
2. Word List
3. Study Material for the following areas
(i). Verbal Ability questions
(ii). Reading Comprehension questions
(iii). Analytical Reasoning
(iv). Data Interpretation
A good time table for 2 days can look like this:
i. 0.5 hour reading
ii. 0.5 hour word list
iii. 2 hours math
i. 0.5 reading
ii. 0.5 word list
iii. 1 hour analytical reasoning / data interpretation
iv. 1 hour reading comprehension exercises / verbal ability
For those who read as a hobby, this will not be a major problem. It is essential that you take out anything between 0.5 hour to 1 hour for reading, daily. For the uninitiated reader, you can start by reading fiction but there is no use if you spend 3 months reading one big book; instead pick up any collection of short stories by assorted authors and start reading those. You will get used to various styles and different settings and of course different content. After reading fiction for 1-1.5 months you can graduate to non-fiction.
There are very few questions that directly require knowledge of words. But knowing a lot of good words and improving your vocabulary will never harm but always help you in your CAT preparations. So pick up a good word list and start doing the word list every day or if your vocabulary is already good then every alternate day. Even if you do an alphabet a week you will take around 6 months to complete the word list. Having a good vocabulary also ensures fluency in GDPI. This is the part where students are lazy, but after the CAT if you feel that just knowing one word would have got an extra mark in no time then that should really hurt.
Math based on strengths and weakness should be done either every alternate day or every day. Go through the theory, solved examples and then tackle exercises. If you cannot solve a problem do not rush to the explanatory answers, give it some time, think, get your mind to oil those rusted math gears and levers.
i. Try solving problems in the head, minimize pen on paper. To achieve this, one should be able to simplify a complex problem situation and should know tables well to do calculations faster.
ii. Make a note of important relationships in a topic.
iii. Make a note of innovative approaches.
iv. Remember writing a lot is very unhealthy for the CAT, but after you solve it in your head, writing the explanation will clear doubts and reinforce learning. So please make good notes.
With the increased focus on logical reasoning based Data Interpretation, one should practice solving puzzles from books like George Summers. Puzzle practice helps in developing a logical base and in thinking in diverse directions.