Strategy for last minute CAT preparation

9:26 PM | , ,

A very important thing for you to do is to analyse your test scores and performance in a detailed manner. If you have been taking mock test, you should sit down with your performance results and try to spot a trend. Crucial aspects to look out are:
In the English section
• Within the Reading Comprehension section, which type of passages are you comfortable with and scoring well?
• Conversely, in which type of passages do you struggle-is it that you are weak with passages dealing with philosophy for example? Do you struggle with inference based questions?
• What kind of strategy works for you in Reading Comprehension, to read the questions first and than attempt the passage or vice versa?
• Within English, are you more comfortable doing the Reading Comprehension part first or Verbal Ability?
• Is your Vocabulary up-to-date?
• Are you comfortable with Grammar?
In the Quant Section
• Are you strong or weak with a particular type of question-Example: Are you weak in Probability or Geometry?
• Do you take too much time solving some particular type of questions?
In the Data Interpretation and Analytical Reasoning Section
• Are you comfortable with all sorts of diagrams such as tables/graphs etc. or struggle with a particular type?
• Are you good with analytical reasoning/logic based questions or have trouble with them?<
The reason for doing this is that it is time for you to decide your strategy to attempt the paper. Of course, this is only an ‘interim’ or ‘draft strategy’. The reason why it is called interim is that there is no way you can actually predict the CAT paper, and hence your actual final strategy must be decided only when you get the actual question paper in your hand/view the questions on the computer screen, as we shall see in the next chapter, since there is always some unpredictable aspect in the CAT exam.
Nevertheless, it is beneficial to have an interim strategy in place. As Louis Pasteur said “Chance favours the prepared mind”. This will ensure that there is some method you adopt in tackling the CAT exam and that you do not panic and attempt the paper in a random, haphazard way.
It is the time to decide what type of questions you will definitely take a shot-at in the exam, what you will most likely leave and what you think you should work more on in the remaining month. For example, let us say that you are weak with passages pertaining to philosophy. What you can do is read 5-6 passages on this theme from a journal or a site like and improve your confidence and comprehension abilities in such passages.
Similarly, if you realize that you are weak in Geometry, you can go back and revise the basics from any of the CAT preparatory material you may have with you. In addition, you can decide to practice 15-20 questions on this topic every day for the next 7-10 days, thus attempting to improve yourself in these types of questions.
Or if you are weak in Mathematical/Analytical Reasoning based questions, you can practice the same from a good book on the same lines (10-15 questions a day for 7-10 days).
The important thing is to take stock of where you currently stand a few weeks before the CAT and focus your preparation accordingly.

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