How to prepare for CAT without coaching
CAT is one of the toughest competitive exams. Every year lakhs of students fight the exam to take admission in the 20 IIMs and around 100 B-schools. Some students opt for top coaching centers to study for the exam while some choose to do self-study. How much that matters? How much it is important to have a coaching?
For some students like Mayank Raj and Arvind Menon who scored 100 percentile, it is not important to have a coaching class. All you need is hard work, dedication, and investment of your time in the right way. So, here are some of the ways by which you can prepare for the CAT without coaching.
Detailed study of Exam syllabus and pattern
Studying the exam pattern and syllabus in detail will give you an idea about how to manage your time accordingly. Once you complete studying your syllabus, go through the past exams paper and analyze them. It will help you to set your preferred order for the topics to study.
The pattern of the exam paper of CAT is divided into four main parts –
1. Quantitative Ability
2. Verbal Ability
3. Data Interpretation
4. Logical Reasoning
Good Study Material
Some students think only the one that goes to the coaching classes have the best study material. But no! The students who are doing self-studies can also have good study material. All you need is to choose the right and valuable material.
For example, one can buy the top books for CAT preparation like How to prepare for Quantitative by Arun Sharma (TMH Publication), How to prepare for Data Interpretation by Arun Sharma (TMH Publication) for the basics, The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation by Nishit Sinha and Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma (Arihant Publication) for the non- engineer students.
Other than that number of sample papers, practice papers are also available. Most importantly, do not forget to read daily newspaper and magazines to improve your language, comprehension skills, and general knowledge.
Be Strong with your Basics
You cannot solve the tough or conceptual problems if you haven’t cleared your basics. Basics make your preparation strong, it will zeal your strengths and help you to resolve your weaknesses.
Solve the basic problems from all the sections of the CAT exam paper. If you are clear with your basic concepts, none of the problems will be tough for you.
Online Mock Test
Online mock tests will work as a mirror to your preparation because while the preparation of any competition exam the self-analysis is very important. During the initial time, try to solve two to three mock tests a week. This is important as it will give you the vision of your strengths and weakness. After the analysis, try to change the course of action of your preparation. Once you start leaning, increase the frequency of solving mock tests in a week.
Besides the mock tests, enroll yourself for the test series and web courses in some good coaching institutes. Try to figure out the common mistakes you are making during solving the mock tests.
Build your own Study Group
Studying with a bunch of people will add as an advantage in your preparation. Discussing your problems, topics with the people will lead to the resolution of the issues. The discussion always ends up with the evolution of new learning. The group members who are taking coaching can help you to solve your queries based on their expert’s suggestions.
The study group will allow you to solve the mock tests with your other friends and will give you the opportunity to analyze your learning and competition.
Use the Internet to its Best
The Internet is an epitome of knowledge. You can get anything from everything on the internet. You can join the educational websites on the internet which will give you all the details about the exam along with the material to study.
You can also be part of the various facebook pages and twitter handles of the aspirants and institutes to learn new topics. The videos of the topics posted on the social platform can also help you to understand the topic in an interesting way. The online courses are also available on the internet.
Use Time Wisely
Time management is very important in the CAT exam. During the previous, there was a convenience for the students to solve the sections as per their will. But now, only one hour is allotted to each section. Hence, at the time of practicing plan and strategize the time management accordingly.
For example, try to attempt each section in three quick rounds. In the first round, solve the questions for which you are sure. In the second round, solve the questions that are leisure for you and in the last round solve the questions which are time-consuming. This will help you solve your section on time. Remember, solve all the non- MCQs questions as there is no negative mark for such questions.