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CAT 2010: Strategy for the last 3 weeks

Last updated on: October 13, 2010 12:15 IST

In an earlier part of our CAT series, we addressed some of the most frequently asked questions candidates have. With less than a month to the CAT, here's how you should go about your preparation.

You have given your best shot in preparing for CAT and you have just three weeks left for the actual test date. By now, you should be aware of your weaknesses and not give up or become complacent

Also by now, you must have tried out various strategies for each practice test that you have taken such as dividing your time equally in each section or spending more time on the weaker sections by working quickly in the stronger sections.

Learn from each test before taking the next

Do not leave your preparation incomplete, have the courage of going back to concepts whenever necessary and practice what you don't know.

Three to four hours of planned effort on a daily basis from now should be more than sufficient to crack the CAT.

Organise your day in such a way that the hours spent studying are those when your brain is alert. Taking about 2 to 4 tests in the last 21 days is recommended. But more important than taking the test is its analysis.

If you don't learn from each test before proceeding to the next, there is no point in taking a large number of them.

Concentrate on areas you don't like

As you know, CAT stretches beyond Problem Solving, Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability and entails a test of strategy, thinking, application of concepts and an ability to trade off between efficiency and effectiveness.

You need to manage both your strengths and weaknesses and ensure that the resultant is upbeat.

As far as weaknesses are concerned, you need to concentrate on areas that you don't like or areas that you find difficult to score – may be it is reading comprehension or algebra or permutation and combinations. This requires an immediate attention to fundamentals and revisiting concepts.

In quantitative aptitude, brush up the fundamentals of various modules -- Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Modern Math. You need to be comfortable with those question types in Quant that constantly repeat year after year. Eg. Certain questions on time, speed & distance; Number systems etc. The questions might look tough but more often require common sense to solve them.

Practice reading on a daily basis

For Data Interpretation, solve two or three good data sets from simulated tests or past papers everyday.

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

Continue to read good business magazines, Economist, Economic Times and Times Of India online for the next 2.5 weeks.

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

Have a 'We Can We Will' atitude

Conquer the CAT with precision and focus – 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.

Continue to have a good reading habit – it will help you ace the test. Quality of the Self-analysis between two practice tests is critical. Last but not the least, having a "We Can, We will" attitude along with a smart and disciplined approach will definitely help.

Vinayak Kudva is Product Head at IMS Learning Resources.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/

Have you aced the CAT? Do you have tips that could help students improve their scores or stress-busting strategies to beat pre-CAT nerves? Send in your advice and experiences to with the subject 'My CAT tips' and we'll publish your strategies right here on

Vinayak Kudva, IMS Learning Resources