How to Pass the CAT Exam in the First Attempt?

how to prepare for cat exam at home

how to pass CAT Exam is the biggest question CAT Aspirants tend to ask everyday. Lakhs of students aspire to crack the CAT (Common Admission Test) every year in order to get enrolled in the best business schools. Aspirants who crack the examination are destined to be the top minds of the country and usually go on to become world famous CEO and entrepreneurs.

 Many aspirants spend years, trying to crack CAT while juggling their professional and personal lives together.

Normally, repeated appearance in CAT exam year after year to crack the exam with a high score is not favored. Thus it is advised to intensify the self-preparation in a smart way instead of beating around the bush and gaining nothing.

You can easily crack the CAT in the first attempt itself provided you follow what is needed to get the final prize. You need to prepare smartly and have a disciplined study schedule.

CAT Preparation Tips

Some of the most important strategies that will help the aspirants to know how to crack CAT exam in the first attempt are discussed here:

  • Start Early

cat exam syllabus

The repeaters need only a couple of months to revise while the first time test takers need to start preparing early, at least a year before the actual CAT exam. This gives enough time to cover all the materials and take care of the mocks.

Having a clear end goal in sight is very important while preparation. Your goal should not be just to crack CAT but to crack 99 percentile in the first attempt. CAT is a challenging exam, but with enough head start and practice, anyone can achieve the top percentile goal.

  • Make the schedule and Set deadlines to cover CAT syllabus

how to clear cat exam in 1st attempt

Make a plan and set deadlines for yourself. CAT has a vast syllabus that you need to cover in a small time. To prepare well you have to plan well and setting up deadlines serves as a check for your plan and keeps you motivated.

A schedule should have the number of hours you are prepared to study every day and when you expect topics to be completed.

Preparing to crack CAT in the first attempt, calls for a meticulously written schedule that should be strictly adhered to.

The pressing thought and dilemma can be cleared if the aspirant has a lucid picture before him in regard to the factors that would guide the preparation journey.

Make a micro-target for every week and make sure you are set to achieve it. A target gives you a place to aim for and gives you the essential dopamine once you achieve it.

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  • Get the right tools

how to clear cat exam without coaching

The right tools can prove to be a lifesaver by saving your valuable time and effort. Such tools should be selected that aid you from start to end and also have the features to motivate you towards the golden score of 100 percentile.

There are many tools available in the market, from beginner concept materials to advanced preparations materials and from apps to traditional learning mechanisms.

It is suggested to refer to maximum 2 books on a subject as too many books create confusion. Some of the books have questions much tougher than those asked in CAT. Preparing for them won’t do any good.

Make it a practice to read one good article, editorial, and feature in the newspaper or reputed magazine to improve reading speed and vocabulary.

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  • Plan Time-bound practice

 how to ace cat

Time-bound practice can surely sail you through the CAT examination as the trickiest part of clearing CAT is to get to the right answer in the least amount of time.

And this goal can be achieved only if you practice with a check on time whether it is MCQ or Non-MCQ type of question.

There is no substitute to hard-work and this especially holds true for the CAT. So the more you practice the better you will get.

  • Make a good peer group

Make a good peer group

Working with other motivated individuals who are preparing for the CAT will help you to continue your preparations even in tough times. You can also discuss tough questions with them. And it also helps while preparing for the GD/PI round.

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  • Always take expert opinion

Always take expert opinion

Talking to an expert or mentors at coaching classes or online tutorial will help you to gauge your performance against others. They can also help you in working on your weaknesses and teach you important time-saving tricks and shortcuts.

  • Leave the sticky topic- Move on

With such a vast syllabus covering so many topics, it is easy to get stuck on a hard subject. But you should remember that everything is relative in the examination and spending a lot of time on one subject is not advisable.

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  • Take Mock Tests

Take Mock Tests

Enroll for a mock test series for CAT based on the new exam pattern. Taking Mock tests are the key to winning the CAT race.

The more the number of tests attempted, better the chances of a higher score. Good quality mock tests are hard to find and once you have invested in them, they give you a wonderful sense of appreciation when you finish them and get the results.

Make sure to take more than 20 full-length mock tests and at least 100-150 sectional tests. The sectional tests help you to focus on the concepts and make sure that you get all the edge cases correct.

The full-length tests usually consist of previous year questions and a prediction of questions that might come for the upcoming exam. It makes sure that you have the concentration and physical ability to last the full exam.

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  • Analyze yourself

Analyze yourself

Taking mocks only helps you if you use the results to analyze your preparation for the examination. Be consistent in taking the mock CATs perform a thorough analysis after each mock. The analysis will help you to figure out the loopholes and your weak areas so that you could improve on them and further fine-tune your strategy.

The sectional tests will have feedback loops that help you to focus down on the topics you need to concentrate on. Repeatedly getting low scores on some topics indicates a need to go back to the basics and relearn them.

Getting perfect scores on the same topics indicates a need to find higher level questions to tackle or to move to a topic you are less comfortable with. Analyze your core competencies and figure out areas to improve or move focus to.

Above all, go about your CAT preparation with a cool head. Your success in CAT examination will be attributed to your calm demeanor and the discipline that you show in writing Mock CATs consistently.

  • Don’t quit your jobs for CAT

Don’t quit your jobs for CAT

CAT is the type of exam which can be cracked with a systematic preparation plan. You need not study for many hours but need to prepare as per CAT exam syllabus to gain more in less time. It is not the overall CAT percentile but your balancing act in sectional percentile score which can get you through the CAT.

A year’s drop doing nothing after graduation or quitting the well-paid job to prepare for the CAT may not be a very good decision as a well-planned preparation strategy utilizing the available time may serve the purpose of getting above 99 percentile.

The greater number of attempts only increases your experience. Skillset would always remain the same with a little bit of practice here and there. Besides, you would be the most enthusiastic in the first time around. And the enthusiasm will slacken over the years. So practice hard, improve your mock scores and CAT will be gone and cleared for once and for all. The better your strategy is, the better your chances are to crack the exam.

All the Best!!!

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By Sourav Pathak

A Guy Without a "Title". Good friends, Good Books, and a Sleepy Conscience: That Sums of My life.

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