How to prepare for CAT 2017 in 3 months?

Rajat updated on : 31 Aug 2017
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IIM Lucknow is all set to conduct CAT 2017 on 26 November 2017. In this very short time, a 90 days CAT 2017 preparation strategy can be fruitful for candidates who haven't started their preparation yet.

Common Admission Test 2017 notification has been released out. This time, CAT 2017 is going to be conducted by IIM Lucknow on its scheduled date i.e. November 26th, 2017. And now not much time is left in hands of CAT 2017 aspirants. With just almost 3 months in total, there is a need to something revolutionary strategy to prepare for CAT 2017. As we all know, CAT is considered to be one of the most difficult entrance examinations in India. And in this scenario, when not much time is there, CAT preparation strategy requires something extra, something which can give maximum out of minimum. No doubt, CAT 2017 exam needs a well-structured preparation plan. But there are students who are new and haven’t done anything yet in terms of studying and preparing for CAT 2017. And for them, preparing for CAT can be little challenging. Only 90 days are left and this time can give the CAT 2017 aspirants nightmares. There always remains a question which can make CAT aspirants concerned,

Can CAT 2017 preparation be done in 90 Days?
OR
How can I prepare CAT 2017 in 90 days?

The answer to this question is YES! 90 days are enough for CAT 2017 preparation. In actual sense, 90 days are more than enough for CAT 2017 preparations. There are people who have been able to ace CAT 2017 in less than this time. But the fundamental thing is what and how you are going to start your preparation for CAT 2017.  In the months of June and July, most of the candidates remain busy with coaching institutes and studying but for candidates who haven’t even started their preparation, there is still enough time in hands but the thing is whatever time is left, that has to be utilized very strategically so that every moment gives productive return. It is very important to have the basic understanding of secondary school English & Maths and a part of problem is solved already.

Chalk Out a 90 Days CAT 2017 Preparation Plan

In case if you have just begun with your CAT preparation, the first thing that you should do is to take a mock test for diagnostic purpose and evaluate your performance. Doing so will give you a clear picture of your strength, your weakness and in overall this will tell you your preparation status. This will tell you how much you have done and how much you need more to do. Once you find out your strong and weak points, you can always work upon them to eliminate.

If we look at the trends of CAT exam in previous years, we will find that the difficulty level of DILR section has gone up, but more and more practice will surely make you cover this section. As we are running against time, online CAT preparation strategy can be of great help here. The exam pattern of CAT will remain same i.e. there will be three sections namely quantitative aptitude, data interpretation and logical reasoning and reading comprehension & verbal ability. Before you start preparing CAT 2017 in 3 months, you should make sure that you have got enough resources and material for CAT preparation.

CAT 2017 – Highlight

Sr. No.

CAT 2017 Highlights

Details

1

CAT 2017 Duration

3 Hours

2

Total number of Sections

3

3

Sectional Duration

1 Hour

4

Total Number of Questions

100

5

Total Marks in Exam

300

6

Total marks per Question

3

7

Negative Marking for every wrong question

-1

 

Sr. No.

Section

Total Questions

Total Marks

Total Time (in Minutes)

1

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

34

102

60

2

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

32

96

90

3

Quantitative Ability

34

102

60

 

Total

100

300

180

 

You can use the following time table for your preparation. Please note that the time table is only for reference purposes.

 

 

A Look At All Three Sections of CAT 2017

Though, the preparation strategy will be different for the students who are just starting and the students who have already started months back. If you are a new student and are figuring out how to crack CAT 2017 in 90 days, you need special preparation plans. Now let us at first, have a look at the 90 days preparation strategy of CAT according to sections covered in the exam:

 

Quantitative Ability:

 

This section will contain four different areas i.e. Modern Maths, Algebra, Arithmetic and Geometry. There will be some quant questions which will be easier and some questions will be harder. This is due to the variation in the difficulty level of questions.

Modern Maths

Logical Reasoning Ability

Algebra

Reading and Understanding questions

Arithmetic

How to apply the formula

Geometry

Ability to visualise


For quantitative ability section, you can actually make a weekly schedule. Look at the table given below, you can take it as a reference and can work upon on your own weekly plan

Topic

Day

Modern Maths

Monday

Algebra

Tuesday

Arithmetic

Wednesday

Geometry

Thursday

Mock Tests

Friday

Preparation Analysis

Saturday

Revision (weak topics)

Sunday

 Candidates can click on the subhead to know about Quant preparation. 

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Verbal ability section all depends on reading and understanding whatever you read. Hence, the only way you can have a good grab on this section is by reading regularly. But the question is we are talking about 90 days CAT preparation strategies. So you can have two options here.

Important Topics to cover:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Synonyms and Antonyms
  • Jumbled Paragraphs
  • Facts – Judgements – Inferences
  • Cloze Passages
  • Grammar/English Usage

Verbal skill development

Reading is very vital activity. But the most confusing question is what to read? Hence you can always start with reading newspapers which is always the basic thing to do.

  • You can pick the articles from quality newspapers such as Economic Times, The Hindu, Times of India etc. Especially attention should be given to the special editions such as Sunday editions. You can spend at least an hour reading newspapers and periodicals.
  • The second option here is by reading books and novels. Reading novels and books will surely help you in developing your verbal skills. Reading and understanding should go side by side.

What to read for to strengthen verbal ability section?

Start with something which you not every easy in reading. If economic news isn’t that much easy for you, always go for it. The agenda is to make harder thing easier ones.

At the beginner stage you can pick up

  • Newspapers (as discussed above)
  • Fictions easy to understand such as Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat or Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5
  • You can go for magazines such as Outlook, Business Today and India Today.

After finishing the beginner stage, you can practice the intermediate stage with followings

  • Columns and editorials in newspapers and magazines
  • Pick nonfiction such as Jonah Berger’s Contagious: Why Things Catch On or Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time.

Once you make a good grab over these, its time to do something challenging

  • Pick journals such as Fortune, The Economist
  • Oxford Short Introductions
  • Books in nonfiction genres such as The Black Swan written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

How long should you read every day? It depends on your performance. But still, spending an hour every day on reading is always a good strategy. For vocabulary you can read Norman Levis’s Word Power Made Easy.

DILR Section 

If we look at the last two years CAT papers, we will find the questions asked in this section were little different from its usual trend before that. The difficulty level has been little increased. And students had to struggle because of this. Though DI and LR are two different parts but you can use the same process for both. Solving every possible question you can practising formula is a hit. This section is quite easier to master. Spending more than an hour every day and solving 5 sets is a good start.

Main Topics

  • Graphs, Charts and Tables
  • Clocks and Calendars
  • Cubes
  • Blood relations
  • Binary logic
  • Syllogism
  • Seating arrangement

Since, you haven’t started the preparation yet, you need to work hard on this section considering the difficulty level of last two years. Your target should be at least 90 percentile in this section which means 32 marks out of 96.

  • Question based on time and work
  • Ratio and proportion
  • Set theory
  • Question based on average age
  • Question based on time and work
  • Missing data tables

These are the basic topics you need to focus on. These topics may look like belonging to quant section, but they are part of this section.
Candidates can click the subhead of this paragraph to know more about DILR preparation tips. 

How to plan 90 days CAT preparation Strategy?

Cracking CAT 2017 is all about your preparation strategy. Your CAT 2017 preparation structure highly influences your success in CAT 2017. One of the most frequently asked question is Can I prepare for CAT 2017 in 90 days?’  CAT is no doubt a difficult exam but nothing is difficult before hard work and determination. If you are determined to do this, 90 days are more than sufficient. There are so many candidates who have been able to clear CAT in less than 90 days. There are candidates who have cracked CAT in just two months. It depends on how you prepare for your exam. Following are some of the most influential CAT 2017 preparation strategies for 90 days which every fresh or regular student should practice considering only three months are left for CAT 2017.

  • Analyse your preparation via Mock Tests: Taking CAT mock tests regularly strengthens your 90 days CAT preparation and also enhances your chances of clearing the exam. One thing to focus is, you shouldn’t just take mock test, but you need to analyse them. So that you can come know about your preparation. Mock tests give you a real CAT experience. Hence, it is very important and shouldn’t be skipped. Try varieties of CAT mock tests to check the status of CAT preparation strategy for 90 days.  
  • You can take crash courses: There are several institutes from where you can take CAT 2017 crash courses. These courses are specially designed to prepare the candidates for CAT 2017 in a very short time. These courses are prepared by experts and veterans who have practical experience of years and their results are always positive. These are paid courses and are specially designed for students who don’t have enough time for CAT preparation.
  • Take Online Classes: If you are a working professional and can’t visit any coaching institute, online virtual classes are always a good option. You will find so many online CAT websites where you can get online CAT classes. There are both paid and free classes. You can have these online classes for CAT preparation depending on your comfortability.
  • Shortcuts and Formula: You don’t have time to sit and practice those lengthy methods of solving questions. Now it’s the time to be smart and quick. Hence, develop your own skills, shortcuts, tips and tricks of solving questions. Keep a diary where you should mention shortcuts and practise them whenever you feel like, it can be while travelling also. Shortcuts save time which is a big concern.
  • Use Internet Wisely: No more time on Facebook and Whatsapp. Three months and CAT 2017, there should be no more wastage of time. The only thing you should be concerned now is how to crack CAT 2017 in 90 days and that is your only target. Hence, avoid social media for this much time and use internet wisely. You can take online classes, you can use internet for downloading question banks, and you can also take CAT mock tests online. Hence it’s better to use internet wisely in this time limit.
  • Consult Your Seniors/Join Discussion Forums: Whenever you have any query or any issues, you should always consult your seniors. You can join CAT discussion forums and can raise your queries there. Not only you will get solution to your problem, but you will find motivation as well from there.
  • Practice CAT Sample Papers: You can get sample papers online or from any coaching institute. You can also get from a friend who is preparing for the same. Solving sample papers of CAT will give you an idea regarding CAT exam pattern, question trends and the difficulty level of the examination.

The most important tip for candidates is to focus on main and important topics only.

As time is less and you need to sort out the most important and maximum scoring topics so that you can perform well it the exam. You can have an idea of such important topics by practising sample papers and mock tests. You can consult to your friends who are preparing from any coaching institute regarding the same. But here, you need to cover all the topics which are highly important in order to crack CAT so that you can get call from IIMs for selection process. There are important topics in every section and you need to focus on them regularly. Make a regular schedule and divide your daily hours on the topics so that you can easily cover them in three months.

Time Management is very important 

A key strategy for CAT preparation is time management. You not only have to manage whatever time you have left, but you also have to manage the one hour time which you will need while solving every section in the exam. While taking mock test, you will have to strategize that one hour for every section. Avoid lengthy and harder questions in the beginning. First pick up the questions which are easier, this will save your energy and enough time. You can always return to unattempted questions.

Day

      Quant

 

         LRDI

 

 

Verbal

Total

Number

Topic

Number

Topic

Number

Topic

 

Monday

17

Number System

16

DI

17

RC

50

Tuesday

17

P7C Probability

16

LR

17

Grammar and Sentence Correction

50

Wednesday

17

Algebra

16

DI

17

FU

50

Thursday

17

Geometry

16

LR

17

Para jumbles

50

Friday

17

Percentage, Proportion, SICI, PLD, Ratio

16

DI

17

RC

50

Saturday

17

TSD, Work, Mixtures Solutions

16

LR

17

Critical Reasoning

500

Sunday

17

Miscellaneous Topics

16

Mixed

17

Paragraph Completion

50


You can change your preparation plans if they aren’t working out properly. Make some changes and check. Self – analysis is very important here as you are not going to any institute and you need to do everything on your own. You need to utilize your time in the best possible way as much as you can. Keeping a handbook/small diary where you can mention all the shortcuts, tips, formula is a good option. This will not only help you in practising but also you aren’t required to sit separately for this. You can prepare formulae very easily this way.

Working professionals are advised to take out some time from their regular schedule and start preparation as per their convenience. Moreover, it’s high time that they should utilise their weekends and holidays in CAT 2017 preparation as not much time is left. You need to manage your entire week as per your performance in every section individually.

Getting up from bed

5:30AM

Preparing for CAT 2017

6:00 to 8:00AM

Office Hours

9:30AM to 6:30PM

Relax time

7:00PM to 8:00

Dinner Time

8:00PM to 9:00PM

Miscellaneous Tasks

9:00PM to 10:00PM

Revision

10:00PM to 10:45PM (11:00PM)

Click this link - How to prepare for CAT while doing a full time job?

While you have limited time left in hands, don’t hesitate. Don’t feel nervous. As these will make you feel uncomfortable and will distract you and such scenario, you won’t be able to give your 100% to you CAT 2017 preparation plan. Hence, you need to stay positive all the time. Avoid negative thoughts which can harm your preparation. Eat good food so that you can stay healthy, if you fall ill, it will disturb your CAT preparation schedule. Be relaxed and stay confident that 90 days are more than enough and you can easily crack CAT in the limited time. Whenever you are not in a mood of study, for example when you need to take a break from long study, try watching motivation videos, inspiration lecture. These can give you enough energy to work back. You can also read blogs of such people also you can read interview of the people who have topped CAT and have cracked CAT in less than three months. This will motivate you enough to prepare with more energy and you will surely crack CAT 2017 in three months. Be confident and stay positive.

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