Common Admission Test (CAT) 2021 for offering admission to Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) is going to be held on November 27, 2021. The exam will be held through the online at 158 centres across the country. Admit cards for the same will be issued from October 27, 2021, 5:00 pm onwards on the official website iimcat.ac.in. With less than two months left for the MBA entrance exam, the pressure is on to make the most of time and resources available. The competition is tough and candidates have to be on their ‘A’ game to score a higher percentile in the test.
While most students prepare for the exam by enrolling in a coaching institute, there are a few students out there who want to take the self-study route. This article is meant for those few students who wish to clear the exam on their own.
Firstly, there’s a pertinent question which needs an answer – is it possible to crack CAT 2021 without coaching? The answer is ‘yes’ if candidates have the zeal, determination and perseverance to make it through. Here are some helpful tips for candidates that can help them boost their self-study, especially at such a crucial juncture.
Preparation Tip #1 – Appear for mock exams – the more tests the merrier!
More than the right resources and study material, mock tests play a crucial role in CAT 2021 preparation. Moreover, coaching institutes have a system in which they get their students to solve at least 50-60 mock tests before the exam. However, this system can be followed at home as well. With 45+ days in hand, candidates must utilise each day to to solve at least two mock exams. If candidates manage to solve two tests every day for at least 40 days, they will have solved 90 mock tests before the exam date. Additionally, these tests must be given in a time-bound manner, with utmost sincerity.
In CAT 2021, the paper is divided into three sections, namely Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR) and Quantitative Ability (QA). Candidates will get 40 minutes to solve each section amounting to a duration of 120 minutes. This duration must be followed while solving mock tests. For their convenience, mock exams are easily available online, either FREE or in the form of affordable monthly packages. A little investment in buying a monthly package is definitely worth it!
Preparation Tip #2 – Read any ONE English news paper daily.
Apart from giving mock exams, candidates must utilise the remaining time reading English national dailies such as the Times of India, The Hindu, the Economic Times, etc. Select any one paper and make it a point to read the newspaper every day. This to help build a better vocabulary and improve English grammar skills. Apart from newspapers, candidates can also refer to Aeon | a world of ideas, 2IIM – Bharath’s Curated Reading List for CAT Exam or Reading – Wordpandit for better grasp on the English language.
Preparation Tip #3 – Refer YouTube videos and online study material for conceptual clarity.
The third and final step to incorporate into a candidate’s self-study is watching YouTube videos for conceptual clarity. In case of VARC, candidates can watch online videos to understand the CAT 2021 level grammar rules. They can also solve online English assessments to apply these rules. In case of QA and DI & LR, online video sessions provide quick revision of difficult concepts. Revisiting these videos can help candidates gauge a better understanding of a tricky concept. Rather than reading through huge books, watching videos is a better solution for quicker and better understanding of concepts.