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Toppers strategy to crack CAT exam | CAT preparation plan Ft. Amaya CAT 98.25%ile
May 24 2024

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is one of the most competitive exams for aspirants aiming to secure a place in India's prestigious management institutes. Scoring in the 98+ percentile range is a remarkable achievement, and understanding the strategies employed by toppers like Amaya, who scored an impressive 98.25 percentile, can provide valuable insights for other aspirants. Here, we delve into Amaya's preparation plan, breaking it down into actionable steps that can help you navigate your CAT preparation journey effectively.

Understanding the CAT Exam Structure

Before diving into preparation strategies, it's essential to understand the structure of the CAT exam. The CAT exam comprises three main sections:

  1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
  3. Quantitative Ability (QA)

Each section demands a unique approach, and a balanced preparation plan is crucial to achieving a high overall percentile.

Amaya's Preparation Strategy

1. Setting Clear Goals and Timelines

Amaya emphasizes the importance of setting clear, achievable goals. She began her preparation ten months before the exam date, dedicating the initial two months to understanding the syllabus and identifying her strengths and weaknesses. She set monthly targets for each section and regularly reviewed her progress.

2. Building Strong Foundations

For Amaya, a strong foundation in basic concepts was vital. She spent the first three months strengthening her fundamentals in all three sections. This involved:

  • VARC: Reading a variety of materials, including newspapers, magazines, and novels, to enhance comprehension skills and vocabulary.
  • DILR: Practicing puzzles and logical reasoning problems to build analytical thinking.
  • QA: Revisiting high school mathematics and solving problems from standard textbooks.

3. Consistent Practice and Revision

Amaya's mantra was "practice, practice, practice." She dedicated two hours daily to each section, gradually increasing the complexity of problems. She used a mix of online resources, coaching institute materials, and CAT preparation books. Regular revision was key; she revisited difficult topics weekly to ensure retention.

4. Taking Mock Tests and Analyzing Performance

Mock tests played a crucial role in Amaya's preparation. She started taking full-length mock tests four months into her preparation, initially one per week and later increasing to two per week. After each test, she spent significant time analyzing her performance:

  • Identifying weak areas.
  • Understanding mistakes.
  • Developing strategies to avoid similar errors in the future.

5. Time Management and Sectional Strategies

Time management was a critical focus for Amaya. She developed specific strategies for each section:

  • VARC: Prioritizing passages based on familiarity and comfort with the topic, and managing time between reading and answering questions.
  • DILR: Selecting sets wisely to avoid time-consuming questions, and practicing a variety of problem types to improve speed and accuracy.
  • QA: Identifying and quickly solving easier questions to maximize scores, and developing shortcuts for complex calculations.

6. Stress Management and Staying Motivated

Maintaining mental well-being was as important as academic preparation for Amaya. She incorporated regular breaks, meditation, and physical exercise into her routine to manage stress. Surrounding herself with supportive family and friends helped her stay motivated throughout the preparation period.

7. Adaptive Learning and Flexibility

Amaya adapted her preparation plan based on her evolving needs. She was flexible with her study schedule, adjusting it as per her performance in mock tests and the areas needing more focus. This adaptability ensured she continuously improved and remained on track to achieve her goal.

Amaya's Recommended Resources

  • Books: "How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT" by Arun Sharma, "Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT" by Nishit K. Sinha, and "Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT" by Nishit K. Sinha.
  • Online Platforms: Websites like IMS, TIME, and Career Launcher for mock tests and sectional quizzes.
  • Mobile Apps: Apps offering daily practice problems and vocabulary building exercises.

Final Thoughts

Cracking the CAT exam requires a combination of smart work, consistent practice, and strategic planning. Amaya’s success story is a testament to the efficacy of a well-rounded preparation plan. By setting clear goals, building strong foundations, practicing regularly, managing time efficiently, and staying motivated, you too can aim for a top percentile score in the CAT exam. Remember, perseverance and adaptability are your best allies on this challenging yet rewarding journey.

Anisha Mukhija

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