Only 37 days are left for Common Admission Test (CAT) 2020. Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Indore will conduct CAT on November 29, 2020. Candidates who have applied for the exam can download CAT admit card from October 28, 2020, from iimcat.ac.in.
CAT is a highly competitive entrance exam and to bell it, candidates need to know syllabus, pattern, and preparation tips, etc. It is especially important to know the exam pattern because IIM-I has introduce few major changes this year. First is, reduction in the duration of the exam. Instead of 180 minutes, now CAT is only of 120 minutes. Secondly, the exam will be held in 3 shifts this year. It is probably because IIMs plan to maintain social distancing and hence need to hold the exam in multiple shifts.
Next is, this time candidates will only get 40 minutes to solve each section. On the top of it, candidates cannot shuffle between the section. As always, there will be 3 sections in the exam. These will be for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA).
Number of questions in the exam has not been announced. However, last year, there were 100 questions in the exam. In VARC there were 34 question, in DILR it was 32, and QA the number of questions was 34. In the entrance exam, out of 100 questions, 75 questions were MCQs and 25 shall be non-MCQ-type. There was only negative marking in the MCQs, of 1/3 marks.
CAT syllabus is not defined by the IIMs. However, following the last few years of question papers, the candidates can know the topics that are asked in the exam and prepare accordingly. Some of the most topics that are asked in the exam include Number System, Geometry, Algebra, Mensuration, Time and Work from Quantitative Aptitude. From Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation, the most asked topics are Seating Arrangement, Blood Relation, Syllogism, Tables, Graphs, Data Caselets, Lastly from the Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension section, important topics include Para-jumbles & para-summary, sentence completion, inferences, RC passages based questions.
To prepare for CAT 2020, candidates have to understand that there is no set syllabus for the exam. Hence it can be a bit overwhelming. Therefore to get an idea of the topics to be prepared for the exam, take the help of the past year question papers, mock tests, sample paper, etc. available on the internet. Read tips from the toppers like what they prepared, how did they prepare, etc.
Once the areas to be covered are clear, candidates have to make sure to cover them strategically. First, complete the entire syllabus and figure out what topics are the strengths and which are the weaknesses. In the exam, candidates have to take advantage of the strengths, hence revise the chapters that are strengths every day. The topics that are difficult for the candidates must be prepared daily side by side so that they can be also converted to strengths.
For CAT 2020, candidates have to focus on their speed. The speed and accuracy together will be playing an important role this year. The time duration has been reduced in the exam to 2 hours. However, the number of questions to be asked will be the same that is 100. This means candidates will be able to spend 1 minute per question if they want to complete the full paper on time. The speed will be of no use if the accuracy is not achieved. CAT has a negative marking of 1 marks for each wrong answer. Therefore candidates have to be cautious. For this, the only good way is to practice a lot of online mock tests. Doing the mock tests have 3 fold advantages: Candidates can achieve speed, learn time management, and achieve accuracy.