CAT 2021: How To Crack The Exam In Three Months?

We don’t intend to be the flag bearers of procrastination and stalling when it comes to the CAT exam preparation. However, if your circumstances have kept you from preparing for the CAT 2021 till now, we want you to know that you have still got this. The CAT will be conducted on 28th November 2021, and the day will witness lakhs of students completing the expedition they began on the day they started preparing for the exam. With three months left, if you are resetting your targets because of the word ‘impossible’ ingrained in your system, we would like you to finish reading this blog before you surmise that your goal is unachievable in three months. 

Let’s Get it Done in 3 months!

Here is what you can do to prepare for the CAT in three months and do it well enough to accomplish your goal of starting a chapter in an IIM:

1. The Basics

It is not advisable to jump into a deep swimming pool without taking swimming lessons or going to an unknown place without a map or guide. Just like that, you are not supposed to commence the preparation without understanding the exam or, you will be lost and you don’t have the time for that.

While we are determined to help you complete the preparation in three months, let’s get the first thing done right now!

Check the following details to ensure that all your pertaining to the exam pattern are cleared-

CAT 2021: The exam pattern & structure

Total number of sections- 3 (VARC, DILR, QA)

Total number of questions- 76 (VARC-26, DILR-24, QA- 26)

Time allotted to complete the exam- 120 minutes (40 minutes for every section)

Maximum Marks- 228

Language of the exam- English

Types of questions- MCQ and Non-MCQ

Number of options for the MCQs- 4

Go through the previous years’ exam papers to gain more clarity and you are all set to move to the next stage.

This brings us to the topic of books. Hoarding multiple books will entrap you in the shackles of unrealistic expectations, therefore purchase your books pragmatically.

Recommended Books:

Quantitative Aptitude-

1) How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma

2) Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension-

1) Mastering the Verbal Ability for CAT by Ajay Singh

2) Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning-

1) Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation by Nishit K. Sinha 

A basic understanding of the exam will help you avoid the common mistakes made during the preparation.

2. Study Plan

To get the desired score in the CAT 2021, plenty of forethought must go into making the timetable. A wise plan when executed well, can surprise you desirably.

Instead of going through the phone books to reach the most renowned teachers, you should let online coaching come to your rescue.

Video lectures, study material, question banks, and test series from a source like PrepLadder will take you from phase one to the last part of the preparation in a smooth fashion. Not only are tutors the most sought-after names in the world of CAT preparation, but you also end up saving a lot of time. Your plan must entail the completion of the syllabus, understanding of the concepts, a lot of practice, and as many mock tests as possible.

Associating the quality of a preparation plan with the number of hours you put in every day, will never get old. However, it is important to understand that the extent of your knowledge is not always directly proportional to the number of hours you spend studying. With just a few months left, you must study the hardest you can, but your timetable should not be a replica of previous year’s toppers. It must be a product of the analysis of your weakness and how much YOU need to study. 

3. Subject-Wise Preparation Tips

It is so easy to fall prey to inaccurate ways of gaining knowledge while preparing for an exam like the CAT. But accuracy and the CAT walk hand in hand and therefore, it must be reflected in your plan. 

Note the following preparation tips for every section of the CAT and stick these to your memory:

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

  • Everyone will ask you to enhance your vocabulary but, no one talks enough about how it is supposed to be done. The focus should not be on learning one obscure word after another to gain the mental satisfaction of knowing a lot. As a CAT aspirant, you need to learn at least 3000 new words but not by opening up a dictionary. Devote more time to reading new things and move closer to the target every day.
  • Revise the grammar lessons you took back in school and work on strengthening your hold on the grammatical concepts.
  • Read. And not just newspapers or novels by your favorite authors; read a wide variety of things to perform well in VARC.
  • When it comes to RC, move from easy to difficult and ensure that the transition is flawless. Some passages can be tedious enough to make you spend hours feeling stuck and frustrated. But with practice, you can identify which questions are too difficult to answer in the given time and some are just framed with an aim to deliberately confuse you.
  • Solve crossword puzzles in the first month to gain expertise at solving jumbled sentences and jumbled paragraphs.
  • Learn at least 1000 idioms to avoid feeling perplexed during the exam.

Quantitative Aptitude

  • Spend the first month of the preparation understanding the derivation of various formulae.
  • Start with solving direct formula-based questions and after nailing these, move to the ones that make you scratch your head.
  • Learn shortcut techniques to solve the QA questions.
  • Take multiple mock tests of varying difficulty levels to enhance your speed and accuracy.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning-

  • The charts and numbers may succeed to overwhelm you a bit initially, but these are easy to solve once the level of familiarity with the type of questions increases.
  • The questions could be framed in a complex way, however, that does not mean that the questions are indeed complex. Don’t let the length of questions scare you away!
  • Use the calculator whenever required. You could be adept at mental calculations but the exam day is not the ideal time to test your proficiency. 
  • Solve as many questions related to arrangements and puzzles as you can.

A plan that duly considers all of this, has the potential to take you to an IIM in the next three months.

4. Mock Tests

It is important to take mock tests, not just in the last month of your preparation but at every stage of it. Testing your knowledge the right way enhances the learning process and helps you mend your ways as and when required. The CAT needs you to be vigilant and quick to solve problems without making avoidable errors. A good mock test series helps you ensure all of this while making you witness your growth.

The mock test series by PrepLadder checks everything off your list and the performance analytics enable you to make progress after every step. The last two months of your plan should be devoted to solving ample mock tests to train your mind for every possible challenge.

5. Mindset

Technically, this should have been the very first point of this write-up but we would want this to find a definite place for itself in your mind. At this stage, you know what you can expect in the exam, you know exactly how you are supposed to go about it while taking into account your circumstances, and you know what your shortcomings are. All you need is the willpower to turn your plan into a reality, the determination to go through the entire process without distractions, and the discipline to make the most of 24 hours that every new day gifts you.

Most of the battles are first fought inside your head. So, after you win this one with a positive mindset, there is no turning back.

When ‘just three months’ changes to ‘I still have three months’, you can make incredible things happen for you. So, pull up your socks, make your conviction the in-charge, and let perseverance drive you to an IIM.

Ridhima Arora

Ridhima is a Content Writer at PrepLadder. She aims at making a significant difference in the academic journeys of Medical PG, NEET SS, and CAT aspirants through her content.