It's about accuracy, not speed alone

CAT 2010

It's about accuracy, not speed alone

The strategy for all students, irrespective of their current level of preparation, remains the same – take tests, identify gaps and plug them (through reading, practice, classroom concepts/ appli-cation/ workshop sessions) to ensure that they perform well in the test.

Three to four hours of planned effort every day, from now onwards, should be sufficient to crack the CAT.

Since time is at a premium, CAT aspirants need to take fewer simulated tests, but they need to ensure that self-analysis between two tests is rigorous enough to help them peak at the right time.

As a test aspirant, you should be aware of your weaknesses. You should not give up or become complacent.

As a serious student, do not leave your preparation incomplete.

Have the courage to go back to basic concepts whenever necessary and practise what you don’t know.

With the CAT becoming shorter in length, in terms of the number of questions, the smarter students will aim for a better percentile by trying to correctly solve most of the questions in the test.

So, the old approach of not attempting to solve difficult questions or leaving out difficult portions of the syllabus during preparation may not be a good idea.

Try out various strategies for each practice test that you take, such as dividing your time equally between sections or spending more time on the difficult sections by working quickly in the easier sections.

It is also important to attempt a variety of tests because you may score well in a test that is more suited to your strengths while the CAT may carry more questions of the kind you are uncomfortable with.

Conquer the CAT with precision and focus, as the game has changed to accuracy, it is not about speed.

The test literally and formidably attacks your weaknesses.

CAT is inviting you to tackle every question, spend sufficient time on it and solve it correctly.

The quality of self-analysis between two practice tests is critical.

While the testing areas are a Problem Solving, Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability, CAT stretches beyond these subject domains and entails a test of strategy, thinking, application of concepts and the ability to trade-off between efficiency and effectiveness.

In Quantitative Aptitude, brush up the fundamentals of various modules – Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Modern Maths.

Use a problem-solving approach and identify the sequential steps for effectively handling the questions.

Follow an integrated approach to solving questions. Certain questions on time, speed and distance also entail an application of concepts from geometry, while questions on permutations and combinations require concepts from number theory as well. The questions might look tough but more often require common sense to solve them.
For Data Interpretation, solve two or three good data sets from simulated tests or past papers every day.

Reading comprehension is going to be an inherent part of the Verbal Ability section, so practice reading on a daily basis.

Try and make a précis of the paragraph and understand the nuances of the words. Read at a speed which enables you to comprehend the text. Revise rules of grammar and sentence correction, critical reasoning, etc.

An optimum number of section-wise tests, followed by in-depth analysis, constitute the way forward in this level of preparation.

It has been observed that a strong application orientation can take a test taker to a performance level of 95 percentile in the CAT.

It is advisable to take an adequate mix of paper-based and computer-based tests.

The writer is associated with IMS Learning Resources.

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