How to Start Preparing for CAT : Tips From CAT Topper

 | August 04,2010 05:07 pm IST

3. Some problems tend to be very calculation intensive.

In most cases making rough assumptions and rounding off gives us the correct answers. Herein the knack of simplifying ugly looking fractions, calculating percentages easily, etc comes in handy. I was never too good at calculations so I attempted these problems in the very end, but I have seen some of my friends who bank heavily on these problems and it pays off well. I often tried to round off 3 digit numbers to the nearest five or ten and two digit numbers to nearest multiple of two or four in order to simplify my calculations.


Verbal Ability
This is usually the section that engineering students struggle most with and it can get awfully tough for students at times. I often hear student complaining that their vocabulary is not good enough for CAT, which I believe is a very narrow approach. CAT is not about your vocabulary or your grammar per se; in general it tests your reading experience. So a ‘start from the basics’ approach is absolutely essential in this regard, if you are not an avid reader to begin with.


So the first step is to increase your appetite for reading. Newspapers are an obvious place to start, but if you find them heavy reading then you can start with some light fiction. I know most of my friends picked up reading after their first Harry Potter or Chetan Bhagat. You will find that your speed picks up considerably as you near the end of such books. As you move on, you should gradually increase the amount of stuff you read in newspapers everyday. Their advantage is two fold: they tell us both about contemporary issues and contemporary language.


Being well read on a variety of topics is a huge bonus while attempting RCs in a CAT paper. You will soon realize this once you start giving Mock CATs; you can glide through passages faster if it’s about something you have already read about, and it’s not uncommon to find such passages in your exam paper.


Like in the DI section analyzing solutions to RC passages is a very beneficial exercise. Writing down the new words that you come across every day is very helpful in remembering them. Spending time on memorizing word lists and grammar rules would be futile at this stage as the amount of information would become too overwhelming. Hence all the focus should be on developing the reading habit at this stage. If you are already a keen reader, then you can work on your reading speed and grammar.


To summarize, I would like to say that patience is a key factor here. In the beginning one must patiently work on building the aforementioned basic skills before attempting to augment them with tips, tricks and strategies. Initially progress might be slow and unrewarding, but this steady foundation would assure you of a good CAT score irrespective of how tough the individual sections are in the paper or how different the Test format turns out to be from your expectations.





Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions. is not responsible for the views and opinions of the posters.
2 + 0 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.


Abhinav Kohar on 07/15/11 at 04:05 pm