30 Days to CAT: Strategy and tips

Well, the things that work best in life are the ones that are simple. The more you complicate matters, the greater the chance of bungling up. To help you out, and keeping simplicity of approach in mind, I have a set of reminders for you.

1. Time to focus on your strengths
If you look at the overall syllabus, all topics can be divided into three areas for any student:

  1. Strong areas/topics
  2. Indeterminate areas/topics (neither strong nor weak)
  3. Weak areas/topics

With you in the last lap of preparation, it is time for you to reduce your focus on your weak areas. There is not much that can be done about them. The maximum you can do for these areas is to revise the basic concepts and that is pretty much about it.

Your maximum focus should be working on your strong areas and using these to boost your scores. Also, work on your gray areas (neither strong nor weak) and try to convert these areas into strong ones.

Make sure you also work on areas for which you have conceptual clarity but take a lot of time solve. By studying these areas and reducing time spent on questions for these topics, you can most definitely gain in your preparation.

2. Appear for mocks in your slots
All of you would know your CAT slot by now. You should now start appearing for Mocks in your CAT slot. This way, you will be mentally ready for the exam and would have developed the habit of staying sharp in the exact hours of the day you need to be at your best.

Take two to three mocks per week at this stage. Do not over-do mocks: these are only to help you develop test-taking abilities and nothing else. Remember, no-one is going to ask your mock scores next year. The only score that matters is your CAT scores. Even though mocks are a guide to your performance, they are only an indicator. The point is that these are an exercise an improvement and you should always focus on what you learn from every mock (even the worst mock experience can teach you a lot).

3. Topic-wise preparation Schedule
Now that we have covered the general information and insights above, it is time for me share some specific things that you need to commit to over the next few days:

  • Practice 3 Reading Comprehension passages a day.
  • Solve 10-15 questions (cumulatively) daily for the following topics: para-jumbles, misfit sentence, paragraph summary, and critical reasoning.
  • Read 3 to 5 articles every day (you cannot ignore reading at any cost).
  • Solve 2 Logical Reasoning sets a day.
  • Solve 2 Data Interpretation sets a day.
  • Revise concepts for one Quantitative Ability topic a day.
  • Solve 20-25 questions (cumulatively) daily for the following topics: Geometry / Algebra / Arithmetic/ Number System / Modern Math (20 questions in total).
  • Take 2 to 3 mocks every week.

The above is effectively your prescription for the next 30 days and something you need to follow to ace the exam.

In case you need specific help, kindly post your query in the comments section.

4. At times, doing more does not lead to great results.

You need to be clear with one thing: simply doing more and more does not necessarily translate to exam success. You need to be careful with what you study and the areas you target; and how you approach the exam.

Also, even though this may sound weird to some of you, make sure you do not end up just collecting PDFs, material, stuff, courses, etc. at this stage. There might not be of help and in fact, might just end up confusing you with respect to what to study. De-clutter, make a minimalistic to-do list and attack it with sincerity.