Full disclosure: The writer appeared for CAT and other aptitude tests for the first time in 2016. He secured more than 99%ile in his first attempt in 4 of India’s most popular aptitude examinations(CAT,SNAP,IIFT and NMAT). This blog is about the lessons learned in his 9 months journey to B-school.
It often happens that, we stumble upon scenarios when we look back and wonder what have we been doing for the last couple of months. As they say ‘Time flies’. However, a proper schedule helps more than in completing the course as it gives a documentation of what one has completed already. The following is designed as a plan for an investment of 3 hours per day. The time are not specific as one can’t find 3 continuous hours everyday. However gleaning through your day, if you can find 3 intermittent sections of half an hour each, you are at the right place.
In a CAT(or other similar exams) question paper, the VA section is totally dependent on your ability of solving RC(Reading Comprehension) questions. This is the most feared section of the VA section yet the easiest to master. ‘Perseverance’ is the key here. You need to start practising even if you are getting 0 out of 70 odd marks. So, the first half an hour is dedicated to this.
00:00 – 00:15 : Read a short story by Charles Dickens, Raymond Carver or any other Classic writer. (Sherlock Holmes won’t be much helpful as they will make you happy.) Start reading a author with whom you are uncomfortable.
00:15 – 00:30 : 10 new words a day. You can’t conquer the vicious RCs if you are not comfortable with words. Increasing your vocab is of paramount importance. The author is planning to make a Whatsapp group for the same, if enough number of people show interest. So, drop your number by in the comment section.
00:30-01:00 : It’s dedicated to the most mark fetching section. The Quant. Start solving quant from your coaching materials or Arun Sharma book. Begin with clearing your concepts and then move on to more difficult ones. To those who are doing Arun Sharma, don’t practise LOD:3 .It’s far too difficult from the CAT level.
01:00 – 01: 30 : Continue with your Quantitative practice. Try solving questions in less than 2 minutes first. If you are unable to do so, keep it aside and move on. We will deal with them later. It’s important that by the end of 2 months , you can look at a question and decide if you can solve it within 2 minutes or not. That will help you immensely in real examinations.
01:30 – 02:00 : Time for RC practise. Never, ever practise them from physical books. Solving something on computer screen is a completely different experience. Find out a good RC website(try rcprep.com or wordpandit.com) and solve 3 RCs per day. Keep track of why you think your answers went wrong and read it the before you start RC next time.
02:00 – 02: 45 : Devote this time for you LRDI section. 2 LRs and 2 DIs will suffice per day. Quite opposite to all other sections, focus on accuracy rather than speed. Solving 5 sets in a CAT will give you 99.5%ile. So, even if you can solve only one set in 45 minutes now, don’t let your spirits droop. You will get there.
02:45 – 03:00 : The final 15 minutes is for you. Your obsession. After appearing for 12 interviews, what I realised is post CAT process is equally,if not more, important . SO, pick up something you love. Anything under the sun from pottery to origami to novels to space science. Keep yourself updated.
That’s it for today guys, next blog post will try to help you more with the QUANT section. If MBA is the way forward, check back the same space in a couple of days. Adios.
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Send your queries related to CAT,XAT,IIFT,NMAT or SNAP. I will be happy to help. And since you are here. spread the word about the blog and subscribe.
PS: STAR WARS celebration week is going on. Check out the heart wrenching tribute to Carrie Fisher.