IIM CAT : Tips to crack CAT
Have a clear strategy before your Mock CATs - fine tune it
Common Admission Test (CAT 2006) conducted by the IIMs, had 75 questions to be solved in 150 minutes. Most students who cracked CAT in 2006 did so because they had a well thought out methodology that worked for them and prepared to fine tune that methodology in their run up to CAT. Here are some that will help you.
Before you take any CAT comprehensive test put down on paper the strategy that you want to adopt for that test.
- Set Sectionwise Time Limits
Though the last few CATs did not have any section wise time limit, it would be to your advantage to set those limits yourself.
Typically, students spend about 45 minutes in the verbal section, 45 minutes in the DI section and 60 minutes in the Quant section. This split could vary from individual to individual.
Having set this limit, shave off 10 minutes from each of the sections and keep those 30 minutes as reserve. After the first two hours of the test, take a quick call on your performance. If you realize that you have done equally well in all three sections, spend the last 30 minutes in the section that is likely to give you the maximum returns. On the contrary, if you realize that you have not done particularly well in a section, spend the last 30 minutes in this section.
This way you never run short of time for any section. Also this strategy helps you to maximize your returns within the given time frame.
Essentially, do not ever start the test without assigning time limits for the different sections of the test.
- Differential Marks Or Uniform Marks
CAT 2004 was the first time CAT assigned differential marks to questions within a section. There were 0.5 marks, 1 mark and 2 marks questions. The trend had continued into CAT 2005. CAT 2006 reverted to uniform marks for all questions in the paper. Though a lot of strategies were suggested to crack this kind of a paper, the bottomline is that it really does not matter.
It may be noted that with the exception of CAT 2006 in the last 4 to 5 CATs, the cut off for the Math section did not exceed 30% of the total marks, that for the DI also did not exceed 40% of the total marks and that for verbal stood at about 45% of the total marks. CAT 2006 was an odd man out with students managing to score higher in the Quant and DI section. The flip side was that most students had a poor showing in the Verbal section
The inference from the above analysis is that choose questions that you are quite aware of and solve them if you can solve them in under 2 minutes in Math, 1.5 to 2 minutes in DI and on an average of 1.5 to 2 minutes in verbal. If it happens to be a 2 marks question and you know it can be solved by you, then you can increase the time set for the question.