The CAT 2022 notification is out and the exam date has been announced – November 27th! With D-Day drawing closer, the prevailing question aspirants have is whether they are too late in joining the CAT prep bandwagon. Is it possible to conquer CAT 2022 if you begin today? The answer is a resounding YES!
There are, however, a few caveats. In this article, we will examine the CAT 2022 preparation strategy starting from August, keeping in mind we have approximately 4 months left.
Want to start CAT 2022 preparation in August? Motivation Is Key!
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”Sun Tzu, The Art of War
CAT is a marathon, often intimidating to even seasoned exam-takers. Before you begin with a robust CAT 2022 preparation strategy, it is important to re-affirm your own strengths and motivations.
Do you struggle with procrastination or the inability to form habits and rituals? There is a renowned saying that you can’t cheat the grind, you get out what you put in at the end of the day. Now is the time to pick yourself up and dust off your insecurities. The CAT is a wonderful exam that can be a joy to partake in and with 4 months to go, you have an ample amount of time to work your goals into reality. With that said, let us get into the meat of the matter!
Start from the Basics
Every marathon begins with the first step. Start by researching the CAT exam in its entirety including the eligibility, the important dates, the syllabus, the nature of questions and the scoring mechanism. Your best resource for this is the official CAT 2022 website.
There are three main sections in CAT: Quantitative Aptitude, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. In order to holistically perform well on exam day, it is important to inculcate a sense of discipline and structure in your preparation.
We have a wonderful CAT 2022 preparation schedule that you can optimize according to your strengths, weaknesses, and your experience level. This will provide some groundwork for your preparation strategy. Definitely download it, use it, and follow your own schedule religiously.
You can find 2IIM’s free CAT 2022 schedule here.
Quantitative Aptitude for CAT 2022
The Quantitative Aptitude section consists of concepts covered in your schooling years, especially in grades 9 and 10. The modules can be divided into CAT basics, Number Systems and Counting, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Mensuration.
As you begin your preparation across the modules, learn the theory and solve questions that test your fundamental knowledge. Do not skip this step as it forms the foundation for the entirety of your Quantitative Aptitude performance.
Once you are well-versed with CAT-level problem-solving, you will begin to notice gap areas in your foundational learning. Moreover, you will find that complex problems often have solutions that are rooted in the basics. As Rajesh sir says, “All the fancy shortcuts and formulae can trace their origin to pure, simple theory.”
Do not give into the idea of omitting topics from the get-go. While it is recommended to begin with Arithmetic, especially if you are someone who is intimidated by Quantitative Aptitude, skipping topics can lead to a certain complacency. For instance, if you begin your preparation with percentages, do not jump ship and start with probability if you fail to get a few questions right. Consistency and Discipline is key!
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT 2022
The Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section in CAT 2022 consists of two main modules: Reading Comprehension and Misc. Verbal questions including sentence rearrangement, para-jumbles, and sentence correction among others. There are no shortcuts to acing any particular section in CAT 2022, and it perhaps holds truest for VARC. While you cannot improve in this section overnight, with 4 months to go for CAT, you can start by inculcating VARC best practices in your daily routine.
Start by building a reading habit! Read two articles every day, ranging from varied sources, inclusive of a myriad of topics. Eventually, this will improve the ease of navigating complicated Reading Comprehension sections. Additionally, you will notice that your reading speed has intrinsically increased. You will have gained exposure to a multitude of new words allowing you to expand your vocabulary – a great asset!
For an in-depth understanding of how to ace VARC, head over to this article penned by our expert VARC coach, Jatin.
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning for CAT 2022
The Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section in CAT 2022 is unique in that there is not much ground to cover in terms of theory. There is only so much you can learn about the variety of data representation and basic arithmetic concepts. Mastery in this section relies on practice.
This brings us to the next, and perhaps the most fun, aspect of the CAT 2022 preparation strategy.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Great results, can be achieved with small forces.Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Once you have the fundamentals for a particular topic in place, it is time to sharpen your mind on the proverbial whetstone. Solve multitudes of questions on each topic across all three sections. This will shed light on how CAT questions can be framed, how the solutions can be arrived at, and will eventually amp up the accuracy level of your attempts.
Now that we are in August, we cannot plan our strategy around 2 months for basics, 1 month for problem-solving, and 1 month for mocks. Not only will that reduce the effectiveness of your preparation, but will leave little room for building on your weak areas. Instead, focus on the basics, cover the foundations, and simultaneously solve tons of problems. Essentially, the two stages (basics and problem-solving) go hand-in-hand, empowering you to gain concept mastery and greater problem-solving intuition.
Past CAT question papers are the best resource for solving CAT-level questions. Head over to 2IIM’s question bank for a compendium of past CAT papers with comprehensive video solutions; it can be accessed here.
We have now dealt with the basics and practice questions, hopefully having developed a keen sense of CAT prep discipline. This brings us to the final step of the CAT preparation process. Buckle in!
Don’t sleep on mocks!
As a CAT 2022 aspirant, you should be comfortable with continually identifying and building on your gap areas. In order to learn what your weak spots are, taking mocks is absolutely vital.
Do not give into the myth that mocks must be attempted only when you have covered the entire syllabus – this is realistically infeasible. With a few short months left, it is critical that you consider mock tests a routine aspect of your strategy.
Spend time analyzing the mocks – what am I strong at, what are my weak areas, and where can I improve? This analysis will require aggressive discipline and patience. However, the perfect reward at the end of mock analysis is an improved idea of where you stand, and how you can do better.
At this time during your CAT preparation journey, you will encounter a lot of noise. “How to get 99%ile in CAT in 20 hours”, “Extreme math shortcuts”, “How much percentile do you need if your score in Xth, XIIth and UG is X,Y&Z”. Keep in mind that your only duty at this time as an aspirant is to focus on CAT prep. You cannot change your past scores nor can you magically attain all the CAT knowledge in a matter of 20 hours. Do not give into rumours, fear-mongering, or conversion-chance calculators. Be unshakable in your resolve for mastering the syllabus and religiously solving mocks. The unnecessary noise will fade eventually, and you will be left with a great score completely based on your efforts.
Time to get down to brass tacks and get going!
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Watch the video below to learn more about the CAT 2022 notification.
Swetha is 2IIM’s Product Manager who can’t wait to level up in the many video games she is currently playing.