The CAT exam is slated to be held on November 26, 2023. As one of the most competitive entrance exams in India, more than 3 lakh students will be sitting for it, fighting for just a few thousand coveted seats in India’s top management colleges. With just a few weeks left for preparation, most students are already in the last phase of their prep. But if you haven’t been able to start your prep yet for unforeseen reasons, then this blog is for you. While challenging, cracking CAT in 30 days is not as herculean a task as it seems. With the right strategy, study material, and a focused plan, you can manage to break the 90% barrier and open doors to the top colleges. If you are plagued by the question of how to prepare for CAT in one month, then you need to follow the strategy espoused in this blog.
Before we begin detailing the strategy, there are a few key pointers you need to keep in mind. Remember, you only have 30 days to break into the top 10% of CAT aspirants. This plan will require effort, determination, and diligence.
Initial pointers to keep in mind to prepare for CAT in one month
- The last date to register for CAT was 21 September 2023. Make sure you’ve completed the registration, paid the registration fees, and have your admit card printed out.
- With the goal to prepare for CAT in one month, you’ll need to allocate time to different sections and topics strategically. Keeping in mind the simple fact that DILR and VARC are comparatively easier to ace than Quant, we’ll split the timetable in a way where you cover all the VARC and DILR topics while sticking to your strengths in Quant.
This approach will allow you to maximise your overall percentile while ensuring you clear the sectional cutoffs.
- You’ll have to dedicate a minimum of 6 hours every day. Any less than that, and you’ll not get the amount of practice required to reach your best score.
- Don’t forget to get enough sleep during this intense period of preparation. A lack of sleep can hamper your memory retention and performance.
- The second half of the month will have an unequivocal focus on previous years’ test papers and mock tests. You’ll also spend quite a bit of time analysing the results of your mocks. To complete your CAT preparation in one month, you’ll need to put in a lot of effort.
- One crucial point – maintain a notebook of your shorthand notes compiling all the critical quant formulae, different types of DILR questions and how to solve them, and vocabulary words. These notes will come in handy during last-minute revision.
- Your typical day will be divided into two parts – the first half or the first three hours will be dedicated to Quant topics. And the second half will cover VARC, DILR, mock tests, and analyses.
How to prepare for CAT in one month – The detailed prep schedule
Follow this timetable to prepare for CAT in one month:
The first week – Day 1 to Day 7
- The first step is to take a timed sectional mock that covers all the quant topics. Based on your result and its analysis, figure out the types of questions and topics that you’re good at and the ones you’re bad at. While you’re at it, you can also bifurcate the topics further on the basis of how long it took you to solve them.
- For the first week, we’ll cover critical arithmetic topics since they are largely based on 10th-grade maths.
- Here are the important Arithmetic topics:
- Profit and loss
- Linear and quadratic equations
- Ratio and proportion
- Speed, time, and distance
- Pipes and cisterns
- Simple and compound interest
- Follow the ‘Learn-Practice-Test’ strategy. First, study the concepts, do practice questions, and then give a topical test to assess your grasp. Aim for 90% accuracy with decent speed.
- We’ll begin with reading comprehension passages. Understand the different types of passages that can come and how to understand each one of them.
- To ace comprehension, you’ll need more than just theory work. You’ll have to inculcate the habit of reading. Spend time reading books, editorials, magazines, newspapers, and blogs such as Aeon and Politico. Sign up for newsletters and collect all the new words you encounter in your notebook.
- Try to finish several reading comprehension passages during practice. Analyse your errors and try to understand why your answer was wrong.
- In RC, knowing why an answer is wrong is more important than knowing why it is correct.
- Also, start working on the verbal ability questions by the end of this week. Understand the intricacies of sentence correction and sentence rearrangement.
- Finish the week with a sectional mock. Analyse it the same way you did with the quant sectional test.
The second week – Day 8 to Day 14
- In this week, we’ll tackle modern mathematics and the number system. This is another easy section that can be mastered with a little effort.
- Take a sectional mock test to see how accurate you are while attempting number system and modern maths questions.
- Here are the important topics that you need to cover:
- Set theory
- Binomial theorem
- Permutation and combination
- Sequence and series
- Factors and multiples
- HCF and LCM
- Base systems
- Finish at least 20 practice questions per topic and end the week with a sectional test to gauge your progress.
- Remember to maintain your notebook of formulae and question types.
- First, we’ll pick up data interpretation. Give a sectional mock and benchmark your current accuracy. Students don’t usually have any problem solving DI questions. The challenge lies in maintaining that accuracy while improving speed.
- While practising DI questions, make it a point to time all your practice questions.
- Learn how to make intelligent guesses to save time. You don’t need to solve the whole question. Most questions can be solved backwards by eliminating the answers that don’t seem plausible. The more you practise, the better you’ll be at guessing accurately.
- Here are the most critical DI topics for you to study:
- Bar graphs
- Column graphs
- Pie charts
- Line charts
- Venn diagrams
- End the week with a sectional test and log your score.
The third week – Day 15 to Day 21
- Here’s where things get interesting. Since you only have two weeks left now, we’ll pick one topic between Algebra and Geometry to cover thoroughly.
- If you are good at geometry, then pick that. Otherwise, go with algebra. You don’t need to answer every question in CAT to do well. Intelligently choosing the right questions to answer is the way to go, especially when there is a time crunch.
- Follow the same method for whichever you choose between the two – Learn, practise, test.
- Begin with a sectional test to understand your grasp of the topic, and the week with another one to see how much you’ve grown.
- Here are the important topics for both of them:
- Linear equations
- Quadratic equations
- Maxima and minima
- Number of integer solutions
- Finding out roots
- Problems on ages
- Higher degree equations
- Descartes’ rule of signs
- Modifications of graphs
- Smallest value in a maximum function
- Distance between two lines
- Line and circular equation
- Quadrant system
- Angles and their types and formulas
- Volume and surface area
- This marks the end of your quant prep. Try and give a full quant sectional test to see how well you can recall and apply the concepts you’ve learned. A decent attempt will be to try and get 10-12 correct. This will get you over the sectional cutoff for quant.
VARC AND DILR
- In the second half of your timetable, we’ll focus on polishing off the remaining bits of verbal ability and logical reasoning.
- In verbal, you need to practise these topics:
- Jumbled paragraphs
- Odd sentences
- Verbal logic
- In LR, the topics you need to touch upon are:
- Sequence and series
- Seating arrangement
- Binary logic
- Blood relations
- Try and practice enough to get a good hold of the shortcuts used to solve these questions. Add the list of shortcuts to your notebook.
The fourth week – Day 21 to Day 28
- This entire week will be dedicated to mocks. The goal is to give one mock daily, i.e., seven mocks total.
- Start with a proctored mock from a reputable institute, such as the SimCAT Plus test series offered by IMS.
This test series consists of 2000+ practice questions, 3 pre-simCATs, 18 simCATs with video solutions, 30 section tests, 80 ADMATS, and the past 3 years’ papers with video solutions.
- Spend the first two hours giving the mock and the next four analysing your results. If you’ve invested in test series such as SimCAT Plus by IMS, you’ll have access to a plethora of data to guide your strategy here.
- Keep in mind that you don’t need to attempt all the questions. Identify the questions that you usually don’t get right or take too long to attempt. Leave these questions blank. The more mocks you give, the more you’ll be able to hone this strategy.
This blog details the perfect strategy for those looking to answer the question of how to prepare for CAT in one month. Completing your CAT preparation in one month and scoring 90%ile plus is a challenging endeavour. But with the right approach that plays on your strengths, maximises your score by doing well on the easy topics, and skipping the harder questions, can get you there.