How to Prepare for CAT 2021?

How to Prepare for the CAT (Common Admission Test) is one of the most common queries of the CAT aspirants. Candidates who aspire to take CAT are always looking for simple yet effective ways to easily crack the CAT.

With only a few months left for the CAT 2021 exam on November 28 (tentatively), the question of ‘How’ to approach CAT preparation becomes more significant. CAT syllabus is broadly categorized into three sections: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Quantitative Ability (QA), and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning.

Related Article: What is the CAT Exam?

Mastering each section during CAT preparation is an art, and we will help you to become a pro in all its sections. To clear all your doubts and make preparation for the CAT easier, we have devised a section-wise preparation strategy that will be of great help to you. Let’s have a look at it.

Section-wise Strategy to Prepare for CAT

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension:

This section of CAT is designed to assess candidate’s oral and written communication skills in detail. VARC has questions of moderate to the high difficulty level. The most critical topics of VARC includes Parajumbles & Misfit sentences, paragraph summary, and reading comprehension. Besides these, there are some miscellaneous topics as well such as Sentence Completion, Verbal Reasoning (Fact & Judgement), Grammar & Usage (Including questions based on common grammar errors, Sentence Correction, Confusing Words, & Phrasal Verbs), Vocabulary based questions (Mainly fill in the blanks, Synonym-Antonym based questions, Cloze Passage, Analogies, etc.).

Now to prepare for the above-mentioned tricky topics, a candidate should have a proper plan. Here is how you can prepare for this section:

  • Develop the habit of speed reading. Yes, you read it right! Start with the most common source of reading, i.e Newspapers. It is an excellent source for practice. Besides that, read editorials, novels (Fiction and Non-Fiction). The key here is to read as much as you can. The more you read, the faster you read. 
  • Master the basic grammar concepts like parts of speech, articles, verbs, adjectives, tenses, auxiliary verbs, modifiers, modals etc. 
  • Try to read as many editorials as you can. This practice will help you to improve your understanding of grammar.
  • Learn and revise at least 50 new words every day. Jot down the learnt words along with their usage, and try to use them in your daily study routine.
  • Don’t re-read multiple times. This will confuse you.
  • Before reading the passage, you can try reading the questions first. This will help you to link the question with the main idea with the passage and extract the answer automatically.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning:

DILR is the most complex section of CAT. Since there isn’t an exact DILR syllabus, its preparation becomes more intense. However, with sheer determination and consistent practice, solving DILR questions can become easy. Topics such as Caselets, Tables, Bar Graphs, Column Graphs, Line Charts, Venn Diagrams, Pie Charts, Combination of two or more types linked to each other Games & Tournaments, Number and Letter Series, Calendars; Cubes, Clocks, Venn Diagrams, Binary Logic, Seating Arrangement; Syllogism; Logical Sequence; Blood Relations should be studied and practiced thoroughly.

Some generic tips that will help you for the DILR section are listed below:

  • It is crucial to develop an understanding of all kinds of tables, graphs and charts for Data Interpretation and puzzles and caselets for Logical Reasoning.
  • It is advisable to practice brain calculations. Learn the percentage equivalent of the fraction and the alphabet codes from A to Z.
  • While practicing Data Interpretation, learn to compare fractions. This assists in major calculations.
  • Taking out time and practicing puzzles like sudoku, riding against the wind, player and coins help in stimulating your reasoning skills. 
  • Always follow your gut instincts while solving problems.
  • Inculcate the habit of solving a minimum of 4-5 questions of Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning each daily. While solving them, practice time management.

Quantitative Ability:

  • Considered as the most challenging section of CAT, the Quantitative ability section is the test of the candidate’s fundamentals. With a vast syllabus ranging from percentages to algebra, the QA section mostly includes arithmetic, algebra, and geometry questions. The majority of questions related to these topics are complex to solve, despite the concepts being fundamental. Thus, candidates need to follow a smart approach and understand basic concepts effectively. 

Check out these basic tips for solving QA questions effectively:

  • Before starting your preparation for the QA section, first understand how much you know about a particular topic. You won’t be able to move any further if you are unaware of the elementary concepts.
  • Make a list of all the important and useful formulas. Learning tables till 50, squares and cubes up to 30 and percentage equivalent of fractions up to 30 will be a great learning resource during QA preparation.
  • Practice QA questions regularly and while doing so time-bound yourself. This will help in proper time management.
  • Speed is required, but keeping yourself focused on the accuracy of the answer is more important. You will eventually achieve speed, but finding the correct answer is what will help the most in combination with speed.
  • Practice solving Mock Tests with different strategies. This will help you arrive at the final strategy you wish to use in the final exam. 
  • Since CAT is all about accuracy and not adaption, choose to solve easy questions first and avoid “trick questions” which take too long to solve.

When preparing for CAT, students like you require the most comprehensive and well-planned preparation resource. That’s when PrepLadder comes into the picture!

A name you can rely upon for the CAT preparation, PrepLadder has everything you need to ace CAT on one single platform. This includes concise, effective and well-planned video lectures by our Dream Team for CAT, a well-structured and high yield QBank, highly competitive PrepTests based on real exam pattern, and Previous Year Papers in the form of tests.  

The best part about the Dream Team is that you can carry it wherever you go and get anytime & anywhere access to well-researched study material. 

All the best for your exams. Stay tuned for more updates.  

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