CAT is among one of the most preferred, complex and competitive exams to exist in the country in which lakhs of students appear every year for securing a seat in top B-schools for the country. Gradually with every passing year, the number of aspirants are surging and the IIMs have also started diversifying their intake pool. Cracking a CAT exam is not a cakewalk, it demands dedication, practice and attentiveness towards every aspect of the exam, there are three sections in the CAT examination paper which comprises of Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA). Every section has a different set of questions and the aspirant should practice these subjects extensively in order to score a higher percentile. Adding to the above factors, a candidate needs to score really high in CAT to get a call from any IIM.
CAT is an online examination dividing 100 questions into three sections comprising 75 MCQs and 25 non-MCQs. In CAT 2018, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) will have 34 sections, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) will have 32 questions and Quantitative Aptitude (QA) will have 34 questions. For every right answer, the candidate will get 3 marks and for every wrong answer, 1 mark will be deducted. However, in non-MCQs, there is no provision of negative marking as the candidate have to write the answer in a box and even if he is wrong, but attempting every non-MCQ question just because it has not a provision of negative marking is not a wise choice to make because CAT evaluates the accuracy, not the numbers of questions attempted, so always refrain from attempting every question unless you’re confident about the answer. Attempting every non-MCQ would sabotage your accuracy leaving a negative impact on your result. Most of the aspirants are accustomed to sit in front of a screen for three hours straight and at the time of examination, they find it difficult to concentrate, so the candidates should practice this habit. For instance, when they are attempting a mock test, they should practice the habit of facing the screen for three hours.
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) is a high scoring section if the aspirant has a commendable mastery over English. Focus on upgrading your vocabulary because this section depends upon your vocabulary and comprehension skills, so a rich vocabulary will definitely help you in acing this section and improve your overall percentile. Make no mistake while reading the passage as the questions will be asked from the passage, your attentiveness, concentration and comprehension skills would definitely help in answering the questions.
While attempting Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), there must be a clear strategy lest you will kill your time. Instead of solving immediately, read all the sets of the section and choose the set which is more structured and consists lesser variables which can be put in a structured table or a format easily. If you’re having difficulties solving that set, do not jump to another set, have some patience and try to solve that only as you’ve chosen that set in the first place. Instead of jumping to different sets, concentrate on one set and then move on another to solve the section effectively
The priority while solving Quantitative Ability (QA) should be to read all the questions before attempting. Another key to score in this section is by mugging up all the shortcuts and formulas, this exercise will have a positive impact during the examination as there are questions which require shortcuts and that will save your time. However, there are some questions which can't be solved by any shortcut and you will have to solve the question step by step, so it would consume your time. Always attempt those questions where shortcuts can be used so you can solve the long answers in the remaining time. This technique would save your time and help you to increase the accuracy.
In the end, it’s only you who can achieve success, teachers and coaching centres will guide you but if you don’t practice that, all of those things are of no use. Extensive practice is the only way to crack CAT and secure a seat in the top B-schools of the country.