We had sent this as an email to our free users a while ago. I just thought it might be worthwhile to share in this forum as well. Here goes:
CAT preparation plan for students beginning in June
For the record, if you start prep in June, there is still plenty of time to prepare for CAT at a leisurely pace. I am going to outline a plan for a beginner who has not taken/prepared for CAT previously. I will write a separate email for preparation plan for repeaters. Since this is one long article, I have also captured this as an article on the blog.
Lead with Quant, start from basics
Quant is not the most important or the most difficult, but it is the section where there is more to be covered, so start off from here. Within Quants, some topics are crucial and set the tone for subsequent topics. So, these need to be done early in order to avoid bottlenecks. These are
- Number Systems – HCF, LCM, Factors, Remainders, Factorials
- Basic Algebra – Linear and Quadratic Equations, Inequalities
- Percentages and Ratio-Proportion
Get these done early. Over-prepare for these, be conceptually sound and get extensive practice. Basic algebra sets the base for cubic equations, functions, polynomials etc, Geometry simplifies Coordinate Geometry, Trigonometry and Mensuration, Percentages forms the bedrock for cracking DI. So, it definitely helps to overprepare for these.
Post this, knock of a few simple topics. It is important to get some topics under the belt, so roll over Averages, Mixtures, Simple Interest Compound Interest, Speed Time Races, Pipes Cisterns, Progressions, Functions, Mensuration and co.
Forget Permutation Combination. Seriously, just ignore it. It hardly gets tested, but is a famous bugbear topic. It occupies too much space in the mind. So, ignore it for a while. Give less importance to clocks, calendars, Binomial Theorem, Partial Fractions, Co-ordinate Geometry and co. These are stand-alone simple topics that can be booted in easily, and are not tested frequently.
Learn fundamentals well, chuck speed: Learn percentages to become comfortable with that topic, don’t learn it to do CAT questions quickly. Speed-building happens incidentally – with lots of practice. If you have an insane focus on speed, that increases stress.
Lean into DI-LR after 4-5 weeks, ignore VARC
Practice, practice, practice. CAT 2015/2016 questions from DI LR have been categorized as ‘different’, ‘atypical’, ‘challenging’ and so there is this fetish to only try whacky templates. If you do 40 sets in DI and LR, you will automatically hit 20 different templates each. For LR, prepare with multiple sources (I will give an outline a set of interesting sources in a separate email), for DI dwell on data, seek patterns (we will have a live session on how to do this).
For VARC, read for an hour every day, but otherwise ignore the subcomponents in this section. There are only about 4 sub-headings apart from RC and it might take all of 2 days to get some practice in these. If you have the reading habit, everything else in VARC will fall in place. Have confidence in your strategy, ignore everything else apart from reading, but read away to glory. We have given what to read and how to read in our blogs. Have a look at these.
Have a clear plan for mocks, stick to it
Take one mock at least in June, at least 2 in July, 3+ in August, 4+ in September, 6+ in October and 10+ in November. There you go, a mock CAT plan in a sentence. Of course the execution part is tougher, which is why I am leaving that to you guys.
Time allotted for CAT prep
12-15 hours per week in June-July-August, ~20 hours per week in Sept-October, ~25-30 hours per week in November all adding up to ~400 hours totally. All very do-able.
Planning (and execution) has to be done in first person singular
This plan is mine. I am comfortable with this schedule. This really works for me. I outlined these myself and my execution will be spot on. Anything provided by someone else is merely a broad outline. You need to craft your version of a preparation plan and power through the tough times.
Best wishes for CAT. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us in case you need any help.
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