With more than one month left for the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2021, adopting the right strategy, taking ample mock tests and time management will help candidates make it through the entrance test. The CAT for admissions into IIMs and other B-Schools is scheduled to take place on November 28.
The format of the test has remained unchanged. There will be three sections – verbal ability and reading comprehension, quantitative ability, and data interpretation and logical reasoning.
According to coaching experts, the CAT has traditionally been a reading comprehension centric paper. Candidates should read diverse topics besides target all direct questions followed by partially inferential questions in this section. To ensure all passages are looked at, candidates were advised not to take more than 10 minutes per passage.
In the verbal ability part, aspirants should first identify the introductory statement which would tell what the paragraph was about.
“Then identify links that connect the two sentences. These are called connectives. These connectives can be conjunctions (but, and) or can be content connectives like cause-effect, generic to specific etc,” said Ramnath Kanakadandi, National CAT course director, T.I.M.E.
While preparing for the quantitative ability, aspirants have to list out areas to focus on. As selective preparation was risky, candidates were advised to focus on all topics in the quantitative ability at least till the last three weeks running up to the exam. Later, students should concentrate on specific topics which would give them maximum return for their time.
“Students should have a clear understanding of their comfort level in all Quant topics. Mock-CAT performances should be analysed at a topic level. The areas where students have been scoring below par consistently and the areas where the scores have been fluctuating should be the areas of focus. The areas which have been consistently contributing to the CAT over the years should be identified and attention should be given to them,” Ramnath said.
According to CAT coaching experts, questions in logical ability were being asked from three areas viz. Puzzles, Venn Diagrams & Cubes, Deductions & Logical Connectives. Working out problems from study material booklets was the best way to prepare for different varieties of questions.
The ability to analyse and understand difficult or complicated data in the data interpretation section is the key. Candidates can acquire the skill by practising questions of various difficulty levels and types. Also, students should focus on the speed of calculations.
“With sections being individually timed, test takers have been relieved from a big part of the responsibility of time management across sections. However, one needs to ensure that not too much time is spent on any single question. One also needs to have a cut-off time to ensure that no question gets too much time,” Ramnath said.