Prepping for one of the most competitive entrance exams in the country? The Common Admission Test (CAT) is as challenging as it is popular with fresh graduates and professionals in India. The promise of rewarding job opportunities attracts lakhs of aspirants every year. If you want to secure a good percentile, begin your prep at least six months before the D-day.

Amidst back-to-back coaching classes, hundreds of hours of self-study, and countless mock tests, many students tend to overlook certain important aspects of preparation, such as following a proper routine and devising an effective strategy.

Here are some study tips that will help you prep smarter and secure your spot in a reputed MBA college.

Study the Question Paper Pattern

CAT is a computer-based exam that evaluates a candidate’s aptitude on certain areas. Getting a clear understanding of the exam pattern is important to determine focus areas and the kind of questions you should practice. The CAT question paper consists of three sections- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR), and Quantitative Ability (QA). A total of 100 questions are to be attempted in 3 hours.

Understand the Syllabus

Before determining how to study, one must know what to study. While there is no specific syllabus for CAT, some topics commonly feature on the paper. These include but are not limited to:

  • Quantitative Ability: Number Systems, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Mensuration, and Higher Mathematics
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension: Reading Comprehension, Grammar, Vocabulary, and Fill in the blank
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning: Graphs, Charts, Caselets, Series, and Arrangement

Attempt Mock Tests Online

Since CAT is a computer-based exam, it is important to take online mock tests for a simulated experience. This will not only familiarise you with the actual test environment, but also reduces the chances of time being wasted on the final day. It is ideal to enrol in at least two online test series and one booklet series from a renowned institute. Revisiting previous years’ question papers is also advisable.

Analyse Your Performance

A thorough analysis of performance after each mock test can go a long way in identifying the areas for improvement. It is important to not get discouraged if you get a low score. At the same time, do not get over-confident on scoring high. The key is to have a clear understanding of core concepts. For all incorrect answers, take a close look at the explanation of the answers in the answer-key for achieving conceptual clarity and strengthening your basics.

Focus on Your Strengths

It is vital to identify which of the three sections in CAT is your strength. Brushing up on that section will not only make you feel confident about the test and calm your nerves, but also take your score up by a great margin. Furthermore, when you are at the examination hall, it will help you make a clear judgment of whether a question is worth your time. Since the key to cracking the exam is not to attempt all the questions but to attempt maximum questions, focusing on your strengths is important to score a good percentile.

Preparing yourself for CAT is only the first step towards getting your MBA degree in India. The second step is securing your admission in a good institute – and this always comes with a financial burden due to education fee being a rather expensive affair. An education loan guarantees to take this burden off your shoulders. Financial institutions like Tata Capital offer flexible EMI plans that allow you to make smaller payments at the beginning of a personal loan and pay more when you can afford.

Minimum documentation, easy application processes, and competitive interest rates make educations loans feel like they are built for your needs. With online application and quick approval, getting an education loan is a breeze.

So, start your MBA prep on a positive note, give it your best shot, and victory shall be yours!