Aditi Jaitly, Courtesy Pagalguy.com
Aditi Jaitly who scored in the 99.73 percentile in CAT 2012 and secured admission at the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi shares her secret to success in the exam. Illustration by Dominic Xavier
Two and a half years ago, I got hold of a pdf file from PaGaLGuY titled AIWTSAC-10.pdf, and read it all in a day.
And I resolved that one day I'll share my experience of cracking the CAT as well.
It has taken me time to reach this stage, but I finally have.
I fell in love with the Common Admission Test after I fell in love with IIM-Ahmedabad.
I wanted to live in that red building and the preparation began on a high note.
I had a dream, and CAT was my means.
Like everyone else, I joined a CAT coaching institute to start my preparation.
It helped me a great deal in understanding concepts, rather than mugging them.
And then I faced a lots of odds, dilemmas and tough decisions, but I was able to conquer every obstacle and come out well (99.73 percentile).
To answer the question, How to prepare for CAT?, here are some strategies I'd like to share with you:
1. Start with the fundamentals
This is a cliche, but as the saying goes, "The foundation of any building has to be strong".
This applies to both Quant and VA which requires fundamental knowledge of concepts.
2. Start taking mock tests
Yes, mock tests do help in their own way.
Take every mock test as if it's the actual exam.
Don't take tests for the sake of taking tests.
These tests will not to tell you how good you are, but how you can be better.
I used to spend hours analysing these tests to understand my strengths and weaknesses. Mock percentiles don't gauge the actual CAT.
3. Overcome your weaknesses
Despite good command over the language, I was making a lot of errors in VA.
You must spend plenty of time understanding why you make errors.
There is immense help available online these days.
Talk to people who have been in the same boat as you. Despite quant being my strength, I scored better in VA.
I learned that weaknesses don't stay forever.
4. Accuracy matters
All I can say is that I made just 40 question-attempts across both the CAT sections (18+22), which by all means is not a good figure.
But I knew all along that these were error-free answers. I did the same at XAT.
5. The C-Day
When you go for the exam, think of it as just another mock test.
Life won't end if you fail. But give it your best shot.
Go with a fresh mind, adequate sleep and no preconceived notions.
6. Have faith
I can't stress enough on this. You must have faith in your abilities.
Your past doesn't matter. All that matters is the opportunity.
And for all the future CAT takers, I wish you all the best.
I hope my experience helps all those who will be taking the hyped exam in the years to come.
For your information, I finally made it to FMS Delhi.
It's not IIM-A, but it's a red building, nonetheless.
Did you crack the CAT recently? What was the experience like?
How did you begin your preparation and how did you plan your CAT strategy?
Which are the most important study topics?
What are the common problem areas that test-takers face and how did you approach them?
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