Just when it looked like the New Year had begun, the first two months of 2021 have already disappeared. Yes, it is what it is; we are at the beginning of March now, and a majority of us are finally taking the plunge and starting to prepare for CAT 2021 from March. The CAT 2021 preparation plan is something that would help most, if not all, CAT aspirants.
Good job! Glad that the first step of the process – that of deciding to start preparing for CAT – is already in place. Marching ahead in – and from – March is of paramount importance, and this post is going to cover two broad areas of preparation plan.
- How do you go about kickstarting your preparation from March?
- What does this lead to in the subsequent months?
There are going to be some overarching themes that we will look to cover month-on-month. Do keep in mind that this is only a framework, and you can customize it as per your strengths, weaknesses and overall preparation strategy for CAT 2021.
March and April – Arithmetic is everything
Time and again, we have reiterated that Quant is THE go-to section if you are looking to begin your CAT 2021 preparation. Within Quant, there are various chunks that need to be learnt, viz. Arithmetic, Geometry, Modern Math, et al. For a bird’s eye view of the same, head here.
Arrange the Quant topics alphabetically or based on the number of questions asked, the first in the list is Arithmetic. You should look to learn all the arithmetic concepts – Percentages, Profit and Loss, Simple Interest and Compound Interest, Averages, Mixtures, Ratios and Proportions, Time Speed and Distance – in entirety, starting now.
Is that what I am going to do for two months?
Of course not. Obviously, you are going to mix it with a good amount of daily reading (goes without saying that you should definitely check out Bharath’s Reading List) and puzzle-solving (for which there is a non-exhaustive list of games you might want to check out, in this article). Reading high-quality materials and training your mind to be open to the idea of deciphering puzzles, clues and constraints is of utmost significance.
Keep in mind that the CAT 2021 preparation plan is never going to be unidimensional, and focussed strictly on one particular aspect of your preparation.
May and June – Learn more and start revising
Now that the foundation for a strong Quant score are laid out, thanks to your having covered the Arithmetic concepts, it is time to move on to the next stage of your Quant preparation.
What is this ‘next stage’in my CAT 2021 preparation plan?
As always, you are not going to limit yourself just with Quant. In addition to your daily reading, which is going to be an integral part of your CAT 2021 preparation journey, you will also start venturing out into the basics of DILR – Sequences and Arrangements, Grid Puzzles, Bar Charts, Pie Charts, Line Graphs, and so on.
Now, you have not just covered the basics of a vast array of topics but have also prepared yourself to attack more and more challenging concepts and CAT level questions. Also, not to forget, start off your CAT mock regime, and take at least a couple of mocks by the end of this period. If you are looking for some tips, tricks, strategies and guidelines on how to go about CAT mocks, you must follow this link.
July and August – Intensity is the key
At this point, it is mandatory on my part to state in as many words as possible that it is not a great idea to postpone your first mock until July or August. Forget the scores and percentiles, and the strengths and weaknesses; these two or three mocks at the start are just going to get you game-ready for the intensity and the rigour of the examination. Never underestimate the importance of being examination-ready, and do keep in mind that this does not come merely with the preparation part.
There is also the prevalant myth that has to do with syllabus completion. If you sequence taking mocks after completing all the syllabus for CAT 2021, you are never going to take a mock, because there are always going to be topics that require one or two rounds of revision, OR concepts that you have superficially learnt (in all probability).
Back to the topic – CAT 2021 preparation plan
Double down and start completing more and more syllabus; this is applicable to both Quant and DILR. When it comes to VARC, you must start delving into the actual Reading Comprehension passages and Verbal Ability questions – be it Para Summary or Para Jumble or Odd One Out. Having done enough reading – which, needless to say, will continue to be a part of your preparation schedule – now is the time to slowly start going towards examination-specific bits for the VARC section as well.
September and October – Wanna be a hustler?
CAT 2021 will be fast approaching by this time. And, we would have started our countdown messages (T minus 100 onwards). Every now and then, you would feel like the examination could be on your face anytime soon. This feeling should naturally lead you to cutting down on a lot of distractions that divert you away from the intensity and rigour of CAT 2021 preparation (I must, at this point, stress on the fact that these distractions do not include our YouTube channel, which you should subscribe to, by all means, and take enough and more value from it, and our Instagram handle, which gives you a definitive idea of ‘edutainment’).
With the distracting aspects slowly moving out of your day-to-day routine, you should look to amp up your mock regime by taking more and more mocks, at lesser and lesser intervals. If you were doing one mock per week, you must look to make it two per week, and at some point, increase it to three per week, if possible.
Whoa! The CAT 2021 preparation plan is… intense
Yeah, it is. With more mocks, you would also be in a position where you identify gaps, get to know your strong suit, start staying away from alluring yet deceptive questions that eat your time away during the examination, and more. It is important to transform these inferences into actionable items for your next mock, and start revising more and more.
November – The only word is ‘Mocks’
This is a no-brainer. You are less than 30 days away from the actual CAT 2021 examination, at this point. The only aspect of your CAT 2021 preparation plan that would drive you towards the D-Day is mocks. Take more and more mocks.
How many, in total?
Overall, during the course of your preparation journey, you should look to take anywhere between 30 and 40 mocks. 70+ – the number that some of the aspirants aim towards, haplessly – is not ideal. Nor is 5 to 7 a sufficient number.
There are obviously going to be a range of factors tha will remain uncertain – the number of questions in the actual CAT 2021 examination, the pattern of the test itself, etc. – until the second half of the year.
But, that should not be a reason for you to postpone your CAT 2021 preparation plan from TODAY. You know the three sections of CAT, you are aware of the various topics in each of these sections; these are the only aspects that should govern your preparation.
Stay safe and best wishes for CAT 2021!