CAT preparation strategy is important, not just to have a sense of where a candidate stands, vis-a-vis where they have to be at a particular timeframe. The strategy is not just limited to an overall preparation plan, but also extends itself to specifics pertaining to each and every section of the CAT.
This is the third article of our series on ‘How to’ score 9x.xx percentile in a section or at the CAT examination. Check out our articles on the other two sections, by clicking on the following links:
CAT preparation strategy for DILR: The short answer
There is a catch, though!
If you are just getting started on your CAT DILR preparation, how would you know which puzzles to select already? And, that is a valid question.
So, if you are starting off now – remember, NOW is always a better time start – or are planning to begin your tryst with DILR, start from the absolute basics.
What are the absolute basics?
Good question. We are attuned to the idea that basics in Quant refer to the Arithmetic topics – such as Percentages, Profit and Loss, Simple Interest and Compound Interest, Averages, Ratio and Proportion, Mixtures and Alligations, Pipes and Cisterns, Work and Time, Races, Speed Time and Distance, etc. – but what exactly are we talking about when we say ‘basics in DILR?’
The template puzzles
Lay your hands on as many template puzzles as you can. These can range from rudimentary Bar Graphs, Line Graphs, and Pie Charts, to concepts involving Multiple Graphs, Word Problems, Grid Puzzles, Sequences and Arrangements, Math Puzzles, Visualizations, and Patterns.
Is that it?
Of course, not. You can also fiddle around with puzzles like SuDoKu, 2048, Kakuro, Chess, and whatever else piques your interest. The idea if to get yourself trained to thinking logically and about the different possibilities that you might not otherwise end up thinking about.
This is the first step to begin with. Once that is done, what do you do to follow it up with?
The next step for your DILR preparation
Goes without saying that the 2IIM’s course contains 180+ lessons where the puzzles are pegged exactly at the level of difficulty of the actual CAT. Even otherwise, like we keep saying quite often, the actual past year CAT papers are your go-to places, especially for DILR. Solve as many of them as possible.
Alright I get the flow of this. But if everybody is going to practice these questions, what is the difference?
That is the right question to ask. The crucial differentiator that separates a 70th percentiler from a 95th percentiler in CAT DILR is the puzzle selection, which we have highlighted already upfront.
CAT preparation strategy for DILR and puzzle selection – My example
The puzzle selection as a factor is not just about choosing the “easiest” or the “most obvious” DILR sets. These are all subjective factors. This section depends upon who you are as a person, and what kinds of puzzles you naturally gravitate towards.
In my case, whenever I see a puzzle with multiple graphs supermiposed on one another, or a DI table with tons of numbers written all over the place, I run for my life.
On the contrary, the kinds of puzzles that work for me are the ones with arrangements and sequencing – the ones that talk about 6 students, 3 teachers and 2 subjects, and the ranks each of the students got, etc.
What should you avoid doing when it comes to CAT DILR?
Do not over-strategize. It is not worth poring over the different puzzle sets and pondering about whether to do two sets of 6 questions each, OR three sets of 4 questions each to ensure you get a good score. This dilemma and dilly-dallying will cost you big time in crossing the sectional cut-offs.
What should you do?
Find your strengths, pick up the puzzles that you find easy, stick to them, and finish them off. Be honest with yourself when you zero in on a puzzle.
If you are looking at a detailed, granular schedule, not just for DILR but for CAT 2021 at an overall level, head here.
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Stay safe, prepare hard, and best wishes for CAT.