Mission IIMpossible - A Comprehensive Strategy To Ace CAT in 8 Months
You might have already gone through hundreds of strategy notes by now. Here comes one more - Mission IIMpossible. MBAtious will be following this plan for event scheduling and content sharing going forward.
A good CAT preparation strategy will ensure that
- your time and energy is budgeted in the most fruitful way.
- you are spending quality time in ALL the three sections. (Not just in Quant or Remainder theorem)
- you are solving questions which are ACTUALLY relevant for CAT.
- you have good test taking skills.
- your morale stays high (toughest part)
Mission IIMpossible is an 8 month long (April 1 - Nov 30) CAT preparation regime, with consideration of all the above aspects.
Mission IIMpossible would be a supplement to your core preparation channel and this holds true for any other open forums (though they may not say that to you!). Find a good course and a mentor for your core preparation needs and we are here to support you over and above that. Mission IIMpossible will require some 10 hours per week and that's it. Basic stuffs (like reading for an hour) are not added as part of the plan and this needs to be religiously followed from your side. If you have not read it yet - please read Do you need a mentor while preparing for CAT ? YES and here's why!.
Before getting into the nitty gritty of Mission IIMpossible, let's have a basic understanding of CAT exam.
CAT Exam pattern (based on 2016 exam)
Structure: CAT paper (or s/w, whatever you call it) is divided into three sections.
- Quantitative Aptitude
- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
- Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
Each section comes with a specific time limit and you cannot toggle between sections.
Time duration : 180 minutes (60 minutes for each section). PWD (Person with Disability) Candidates will get an extra 20 minutes for each section.
Type of questions : MCQ and TITA (Type in the Answer)
Total number of Questions : 100 ( QA - 34, VARC - 34, DILR - 32) / ~25 Questions from Non MCQ Area
Marks per Question - 3 marks
Negative marking - 1 mark is deducted for every wrong answers in MCQ. No negative marks for Non-MCQ questions.
Accessories: A virtual keyboard (for Non-MCQ), an On screen calculator, a Timer display, Highlighting tool for RC
If you want to get a hands-on experience of the test platform, you can take a mock test @ CAT MOCK TEST - 2016
CAT Syllabus : Important topics that appears in CAT are as below. If you feel to start learning a topic, just click it. Neat, isn't it ? :)
Section 1 : Quantitative Aptitude
Section 2 : Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
- Reading Comprehension
- Critical Reasoning
- Para completion
- Facts, Interference & Judgement
- Para Summary
- English Usage
Section 3: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
CAT preparation timeline
Now let's chalk out the plan. Ready ?
Mission IIMpossible will have three phases.
- Phase 1: Concept Builder
- Phase 2: Concept Booster
- Phase 3: Mocks
Phase 1 - Concept Builder (April 1 - June 30): In this phase, we will aim for a crystal clear understanding of basic theory and formulae. We will also get familiarized with some cool tricks and will solve a good number of practice questions across the topics.
A schedule for Concept Builder phase is given below. MBAtious will be sharing lot of high quality prep notes based on the below schedule. Each week is dedicated to a particular topic. Once we are done with all the topics, a full week is given for short-cuts (Happy? :))
Please register in MBAtious to make sure you don't miss out :)
Start Date End Date Topic 1-Apr 7-Apr Arithmetic 8-Apr 14-Apr Logical Reasoning 15-Apr 21-Apr Vocabulary 22-Apr 28-Apr Number Theory 29-Apr 5-May Data Sufficieny 6-May 12-May Critical Reasoning 13-May 19-May Modern Math 20-May 26-May Data Intrepretation 27-May 2-Jun Reading Comprehension 3-Jun 9-Jun Algebra 10-Jun 16-Jun English Usage 17-Jun 23-Jun Geometry 24-Jun 30-Jun Shortcuts
Phase 2 - Concept Booster (July 1 - Sep 30): Here we will solve thousands of high quality questions so that you will be super confident with your theory. Also, as we are solving these questions together, we will learn a lot from each other. Once this phase is done, We will have an impressive collection of smarter and better methods in our disposal. We will be solving Booster sets shared by our mentors and subject experts and will also solve 1500+ questions from past 20 years of CAT papers. If you are already confident with the theory and want to solve it now itself, links are given below
Schedule for phase 2
Start Date End date Section 1-Jul 7-Jul Quant 1 8-Jul 14-Jul VARC 1 15-Jul 21-Jul DILR 1 22-Jul 28-Jul Quant 2 29-Jul 4-Aug VARC 2 5-Aug 11-Aug DILR 2 12-Aug 18-Aug Quant 3 19-Aug 25-Aug VARC 3 26-Aug 1-Sep DILR 3 2-Sep 8-Sep Quant 4 9-Sep 15-Sep VARC 4 16-Sep 22-Sep DILR 4 23-Sep 29-Sep Test Taking strategies 30-Sep - Sample Mock Test
Once we complete Phase 1 and Phase 2, we will cover a lot of concepts, solve thousands of good questions, interact with some wonderful mentors and subject experts and will soak up some awesome methods - which will help us in the next phase, MOCKS.
Phase 3 - Mock Tests & Analysis (Oct 1 - Nov 30): Mocks are uber important and you have to take one series (or two or three) without fail. This is where you actually put all your learning into test. Mock strategy and analysis in itself holds gyan, enough to be treated as a separate article and we will cover this part in detail at the end of phase 2 (a whole week is given for that along with a sample mock).
The candidate must hold a Bachelor’s Degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA (45% in case of the candidates belonging to SC/ST and PWD categories). Candidates appearing for the final year of Bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification examination and those who have completed degree requirements and are awaiting results can also apply.
IIM Admission Process
The process include Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interviews (PI). Performance in CAT examination is an important component in the admission process. IIMs may additionally use other factors like previous academic performance of the candidates, relevant work experience and other similar inputs in short listing and ranking of candidates at various stages of the admission process. The processes, academic cut-offs and the weights allocated to the evaluation parameters may vary across IIMs. (will post an article on this topic soon).
For time being - Read Test Preparation Strategies from top mentors and students/alum of premium B Schools. I am sure you will get all the motivation you need to kick start your preparation.
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All the best for your preparation days!