How to prepare for CAT 2017 in one month?

Rajat updated on : 26 Oct 2017

Only one month is left behind for CAT 2017. In this one month, candidates are required to speed up their preparation. Read this post to know how to prepare for CAT 2017 in one month.

How to prepare for CAT 2017 in 1 month?

One of the most frequently asked questions these days is how to prepare for CAT 2017 in order to score good in just one month. As we know, CAT 2017 is going to be conducted on 26th November 2017 by IIM Lucknow; just one month is left behind. It’s the time when the candidates are required to speed up their preparation. One month is good enough for CAT preparation for those who have been already keeping track with regular practice and mock tests. But here, you should note that the next one month is very crucial for you and you need to act strategically. You need to properly chalk out your preparation plan and you need to smartly include all the concepts which you feel can create problem for you in the exam. Talking about the tips given by CAT experts, it is good to devise your own shortcuts and tricks. Now with just one month left in hands for CAT 2017 preparation, it is very crucial to gear up your preparation strategies to make the best use of the time when is remaining. A key point note here that instead of wasting time on conceptual clarification, this is the time to overcome your weak points and more focus on mock tests. Moreover, one important thing to do is to divide your 30 days in a strategic preparation plan.

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How to prepare for CAT 2017 in one month?

In these last thirty days of CAT preparation, you need to shift your focus on strengthening your weak areas and should proceed ahead with the selective study action plan. Don’t include anything which brings negativity in your planning. One more important thing is that you should focus on practicing Non – MCQs. These questions don’t have negative marking which is an extra benefit. It is expected that this time, CAT 2017 should have at least 25 – 27 percentage of Non – MCQs. These questions will be divided in all the three sections. The total time which is left behind is short to make you grab 99+ but still you can manage to cover a good percentile range if you are regular with your preparation and are good at taking CAT mock tests.

Is this time enough for getting high score?

In the words of Atul Goyal who scored in 99.99 percentile in CAT 2016,

“Preparation sincerely and even two months aren’t less to score 99 percentile, just be sincere and devote some time every day to your CAT preparation.”

Hence, don’t lose hope because only one month is left for CAT 2017. In this scenario, a productive preparation strategy for CAT 2017 will help you score desired score in CAT exam. Every day preparation and practice with CAT mock tests will help you to the greatest extent as the actual exam on the final day will be no different than the mock tests which you have been preparing for long.

You should pick right study material for better preparation

This can be a challenging and students get stuck at it. Picking right study material for preparation is really a challenging situation. Though candidates will find all the things good enough to read, but still you need something straight and direct to the main point. With so many questions papers, sample tests, mocks, it is obvious to get little distracted.

Read Here - How to Analyze CAT Mock Tests?

Looking at the previous trends of CAT, it has been observed that VARC is one of the most challenging sections in CAT exam. Toppers have given their own strategies to overcome this trouble. Some have read lot of novels and different articles in order to overcome English and started conversation in English. This may sound strange but watching English movies and TV series was also among their preparation strategies. Some students have prepared and practiced CAT sample papers and sectional tests for improving this section. Keeping a focused analysis on the tests and solving questions of RC and VA will help a lot. Increasing the time of practicing on any weak area is a basic thing which can improve the weaker areas.  The most important action plan you can execute is to spend more and more time on preparation and lot of reading. Practicing at least four RC in every week is also a good strategy. Analysis along with preparation should go one by one.

Smart Preparation Steps

With just 30 days left in hand for CAT preparation, you need to spend this time on strategizing your action plan in a way that every day is useful and productive. You should start taking CAT mock tests at different levels of difficulty. CAT mocks will build a strong and firm foundation of your preparation for CAT 2017. Improving accuracy along with the speed should be the key point to work on. As CAT is a game of both accuracy and speed in a perfect synchronization with time, you shouldn’t avoid this point in your preparation action plan. Now at this point of time, you should focus more in improvements, rather than adding extra in your plan. What’s already included, you should focus on improving them. IIMs officially publish CAT mock tests before the exam. These CAT mocks contain those questions which have high possibility of being included in the exam. The difficulty level of these questions also resonates with the questions in real exam. A key source of preparation is previous test papers. CAT toppers admit that solving more and more test papers of previous years and analyzing weak areas on the basis of them will bring a positive improvement in you. With the help of previous years’ CAT sample papers, you will come to know the exact pattern of CAT exam. This will help you plan your preparation at a good level.

Check out Your One Month CAT Preparation Plan

Week Days

1.       5:30AM

Get up from bed

2.       6: 00 – 8:30 AM

CAT preparations

3.       9:30 – 6:30 PM

Office (for working professionals)

4.       10:00 – 10:45PM

Revise what you learnt in morning



Do CAT mock tests, Old question papers


Review CAT mock tests thoroughly

1st Week CAT Preparation Strategy

  •  Start with one CAT mock tests every day. Pick up of any difficulty level, be it online or offline. This strategy should be implemented from the very first day. And when the first week finishes, you should have completed at least five mock tests.
  •  Once you finish solving a mock test, don’t just leave and move ahead. Check the solution of every question you have attempted. This way you can build your concepts in better way.
  •  Every day, pick at least two topics of Mathematics and start solving them including concepts, formula etc. Take at least two sets of problem where one set should have at least 10 to 12 questions and prepare them.

2nd Week CAT Preparation Strategy

  •  Continue with the exercise of concept building (with books and problems). Devote your time to regular reading. Start with novels, non – fictions, magazines, newspapers. Read all these for any topics which you can find them so that you can strengthen your reading ability and comprehension skills.
  •  Start working on logical reasoning and data interpretation section for concept building. And don’t forget mock tests.
  •  By the time you reach to this preparation level, you must have come across some common and repeatedly covered questions. You need to find out what sorts of questions are easy to do, what sort of questions are difficult and what sort of questions are averagely difficulty. And depending on this, you can develop a better strategy of test solving.
  •  Pick up the high scoring areas which should be your strengths. You better work more on such questions which are little difficult but with extra efforts you can do them. Leave the questions where you need to sacrifice extra time which could be invested in some other questions. But make sure that they constitute not more than 20% of the questions in total.
  •  Moreover, you will find some topics and concepts which will be frequently used specially in quantitative section such as counting, number systems etc. Make these sections strong by practicing more and more.

3rd Week CAT Preparation Strategy 

  •  Don’t let any sort of negativity come in your mind. If you think that the time is short, don’t lose hope. Now instead of thinking and wasting time, you should focus on the left which is left behind.
  •  Let us not sit back to work on new topics or concepts. Better you focus on the thing which you have prepared already. Don’t forget the basic concepts and techniques. So far, you must have identified topics of high priority, it’s time to work on them.
  •  Don’t get lose on sectional tests. Sectional test should be carried on in order to keep good pace with the speed. In the preparation of past two week, you must have collected techniques and formulae which you should now use more and more to get faster in solving them by more questions and more tests.
  •  Don’t forget the mistakes you have made in your preparation so far. They say we should learn from our mistakes. Focus on why those mistakes were made. This is very important in order to bring improvement.

4th Week CAT Preparation Strategy 

  •  Speed up with the mock tests. Take full length. If you can make it, go for two mocks a day.
  •  Focus on mock analysis more. Rectify your mistakes, and find the problems.
  •  Now as it is the last week of your one month CAT preparation strategy, be ready with your preparation which you have done so far. Take enough rest and sleep. Take at least seven hours of sound sleep. Eat good. Now you can go easy with your preparation and with mock as well.
  •  Prepare your documents like your application form, admit card, photo ID etc. whatever things you may require at CAT exam centre.  
  •  Give a last shot to the revision and remain confident.

Basics tips for CAT Preparation  

One of the most challenging sections for the non – mathematics students are quantitative aptitude. If you are an engineering or Maths student, you have benefit. The study plan of Quant preparation in one month should be as follows:

  • Pick up the basics of all the chapters for revision. This is highly recommended as CAT tests that how much a student is able to comprehend the basics instead of his/her abilities to deal with the advanced complicated problems.
  • You should spend your next two weeks especially on the advanced material which you need to chalk out from your study material. There in this phase, let’s first stick to the understanding of the basics and methodologies rather than focusing too much on the time which is taken to solve the questions. You should rather focus on the main principle.
  • You should consider spending time working on the questions taken from the mock tests. As we know the standard of the questions in the mock tests are very similar to the questions in the actual exam. This will give an in – depth understanding which will be greatly helpful in strategizing your preparation.

Data Interpretation

Candidates preparing for this section needs to understand the concepts and practice this. This is generally a concept driven section.

  • The basic study material which you have, you need to revise them. Along with this, the fundamental methods of Speed Math should be practiced. This shouldn’t go longer than a week.
  • At the next phase, you should start with the sets available in the mock tests. And this should go until the final exam. Here in this phase, you need to put some extra focus on identification of the methods and approaches which should be taken once you look at the data only instead of solving the questions.
  • Pick a good puzzle book and start solving the puzzles from it. There will be logical puzzles in the exam where you need to think over it. It can be solved by understanding the concepts.

Read Here - How to prepare for DATA Interpretation?

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

  •  Depending on your schedule, you can invest anything from 1.5 to 2 hours on this section focusing on your reading practice. Reading can be done from anything, it can be a newspaper, it can be periodical journal or even you can go online and start reading online journal.
  •  Some weekly journals like Newsweek, India Today, Frontline etc. are really good enough for reading practice. Regular reading of these magazines will give you knowledge of different kind of passages and also will give you new vocabulary.
  •  Other part is Grammar where you need to focus as questions from this part will also be there. In this context, books like ‘Wren & Martin’ are always the best source to study grammar.
  •  Vocabulary preparation is little troublesome as you may find it tiring. For this you can always refer Norman Lewis’s Word Power Made Easy. This will help you a lot in improving your vocab data.

Read Here - How to Prepare for CAT VARC?

Logical Reasoning

  •  For this section, the questions consume more time in the paper. Hence, you need to tactically solve the questions by racing against the time. Practicing more and more questions on topics such as sets, seating arrangements, relations, conclusion and premise etc. Your main focus should be on improvement of accuracy and speed.
  •  The main idea is to attempt at least 3 sets of sample papers. The questions from this section will checks the logical skills of a candidate.
  •  As you continue with sectional and sample papers in other section, follow the same here.
  •  Puzzles aren’t usually included in CAT syllabus, but practicing them is an important strategy for CAT preparation. Solving puzzles of all types will surely enhance your skills of logical reasoning.

 A major preparation point is conceptual clarity and efficient time management strategy. With just one month remaining, the focus now should be built on effective test taking strategy. It is understood that in the past months of preparation, a student must have prepared well enough with all the conceptual understanding. After the changes in the exam pattern, CAT has taken a new shape along with the number of total questions, types of questions in both non – MCQs and MCQs. There were only multiple choice questions in CAT till 2014 and there was negative marking for every wrong answer. When IIM Ahmedabad conducted CAT 2015, it changed the process and there were 28 non – multiple choice questions and there was no negative marking for them. Along with this, there were three sections in the exam whereas there were two earlier. IIM Bangalore also followed the same pattern for CAT 2016. 

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