CAT or Common Admission Test is an entrance exam conducted by the IIM (Indian Institute of Management) across India each year. The exam is given to secure admission for Masters in Business Administration (MBA) to the IIMs and other business management institutes in India. Every year this exam is conducted by a certain IIM. All other business schools accept the exam scores to give admission to the MBA course.
Generally, the CAT exam is being conducted in November every year. The exam results are declared in January next year. The admission process starts after shortlisting candidates who get selected based on the cutoff marks. The cutoffs are different every year, and according to this merit list of students are declared. Candidates who have completed their degree course with minimum 50% aggregate marks in their final year are eligible for the Cat exam. Even candidates who are in their final year of a degree course can also opt for the CAT exam. The registration process for the CAT exam usually starts in the first week of August every year.
CAT is a computer-based test with a total duration of three hours. The exam consists of three sections with 100 questions of 300 marks in total. The exam has three sections, namely verbal ability and reading comprehension, data interpretation and logical reasoning and quantitative aptitude.
The first section consists of 34 marks, second of 32 marks and third section of 34 marks. There are both multiple choices, and non-multiple choice types of questions asked in all three sections. Each question accounts for 3 marks in the exam. The multiple-choice questions have a negative marking scheme, while the other questions have no negative marking system. The CAT examination is held in 156 cities in India.
Before applying for the CAT exam, it is essential to understand the exam pattern and syllabus. Also, preparation is equally crucial before giving the exam. Here are some of the essential preparation tips for the CAT examination which students pursuing the exam should consider.
- Understanding the exam pattern and syllabus – before starting the exam preparation, it is beneficial to understand the exact study and exam pattern of CAT and syllabus as well. Once you get to know about them, you can plan for the further study schedule accordingly. It is important to understand the sections in the exam, marking scheme and time allotted for each section. Knowing the syllabus will help you in planning for studies.
- Getting the right books for studies – Once you have understood the exam pattern and syllabus, you should now go for the collection of the books required for studying. You may also require some books from the previous years of studying to strengthen your basics. Look out for some reference books prescribed by various institutes for CAT preparation. Some popular online coaching centres provide study materials for the students.
- Understand concepts – It is crucial to get through the basic concepts to learn further syllabus. As CAT syllabus depends much on English language comprehension, logical reasoning and quantitative ability, students should focus on the basics of it.
- Preparing a study timetable – As the syllabus of CAT exam is a bit challenging vast, it is essential to make a schedule for studying. You should divide the sections according to their importance and develop a study plan for it.
- Taking self-notes – Yes, here comes the main thing. Unless you prepare your notes, you will not be able to revise before the exam. Make a notes book where you can take down some formulae and short notes on topics or concepts.
- Giving mock tests – There are numerous sites which conduct mock tests for CAT exam. You can give the mock test so that you will be able to experience the same exam-like situation and can complete the paper within time as well.
- Analyze the test records – Once you have given mock test, analyze the marks and errors so that you can improvise on your weaknesses. Further study accordingly.
- Time and stress management – These things play an important part while preparing for the CAT. Relieve the stress out of your mind while preparing and try to complete the studies in planned time. Also, practice the mock tests while keeping time deadlines in mind.
These things will help you in scoring excellent marks in the CAT exam.