CAT 2018 Preparation Without Coaching

The Common Admission Test or CAT is a management entrance examination which is conducted by the IIMs on a rotational basis. The CAT scores are used for admission to various IIMS as well as other management institutes across the country. The examination is held in online mode only. This year, the examination will be held on November 25, 2018. The candidates who are planning to prepare for CAT exam have come to the right place. We are providing you with some useful tips to study at home so that you do not need to go elsewhere. Whether a student studies at home or at some coaching, it’s his/her self-studying and preparation that matters. The coaching centers can only provide study materials to them, the rest depends on the student. Raed the article below to know more about it.

Syllabus of CAT 2018

Before going into the tips for preparation, first, let’s have a look at the syllabus and exam pattern for CAT from below. There is no predefined syllabus for the CAT but these are the important topics that you should not miss:

Quantitative Aptitude
> Number System
>Percentage; Profit and Loss and Discount; Simple and Compound Interest
>Speed, Time and Distance
> Ratio and Proportion
>Linear Equations
>Linear Equations; Quadratic Equations
>Geometry; Coordinate Geometry
> Trigonometry

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation
>Number Series
>Verbal Classification
>Matching Definitions
>Verbal Reasoning
>Logical Games
>Calendars, Cubes, Clocks
>Letter and Symbol Series
>Logical Problems
>Blood Relations

Verbal Ability and Data Comprehension
>Sentence Arrangement
>Sentence Elimination
>Paragraph Completion
>Paragraph Summary
>Critical Reasoning
>Articles and Prepositions
>Subject Verb Agreement
>Parallel Constructions

CAT 2018 Exam Pattern

The exam pattern for CAT 2018 is as follows:

  • Duration of the examination is 3 hours
  • There will be two type of questions: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Type it in Answers (TITAs).
  • In MCQs, the candidates will be given 4 options for an answer and they have to choose one suitable answer from the same.
  • In TITAs, the candidates have to type in the answer of the question.
  • The duration of the exam will be 180 minutes, i.e. is 1 hour for each section.
Sections No. of Questions
Quantitative Aptitude 34
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation 32
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension 34
Total 100

Marking Scheme for CAT exam

Question Type Correct Response Incorrect Response
MCQs 3 marks -1
TITA’s 3 marks No negative marking

Preparation Tips for CAT 2018

Most of the students choose to join coaching institutes, but the same can be done by yourself at your own pace and at your own place. Here are some of the preparation tips which can help you prepare for CAT exam at home:

  1. The Best Time to Prepare for CAT – If you are planning to appear for CAT, then the best time to prepare is 8-9 months before the examination. You can start preparing from the month of January. You will have an ample amount of time to prepare for each section individually. You can study for all the sections in the first 6 months and in the last 2 months, you can practice mock papers. In the first month, you can practice the section which you think is hard for you.
  2. Know your strength and weaknesses – It is very important to know your strengths and weaknesses beforehand so that you give enough time to prepare for the topics or section that you think is hard. Give more time for preparation to the topics that you think is tough.
  3. Refer to various study materials online – There are many sites online that provide study material for CAT preparation. It is both paid and free. They also provide an explanation for a particular topic in both written and video form.
  4. Reference Books – Along with online study materials, you can also refer to some preparation books which are available online. You can refer to ‘How to prepare Quantitative Aptitude’ by Arun Sharma and for logical reasoning, ‘Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-verbal reasoning’.
  5. Plan a strategy – Once you know what is the syllabus, make a strategy that how are you going to prepare for this examination. Know what are your strengths and weaknesses so that you give ample amount of time to the ones in which you lack behind. Make a study schedule. Study for 2 hours and take a break of half an hour. Study the hardest parts first then go for the easy ones. Choose which time of the day you are most active. If you are a morning person, then study the most in the morning and revise and rest at night.
  6. Improve your Speed – Solve as many questions as you can to test your speed. Try to finish the exam 10 minutes before the deadline to be on the safe side.
  7. Mock Tests – Solve as many mock tests as you can. Doing so will give you an idea of the type of questions. By solving the question papers, you will also get an idea of where do you stand and where you will need improvement. You will get to know what mistakes you are making so that you do not repeat them in the exam.
  8. Stay motivated – The long periods of studying at one point in time may make you feel tired and you will want to give up. But, you should know that in the end, all the hard work and will pay in the end.
  9. Take Breaks – Studying hard is a good thing but you should also give time to yourself. When you have done studying for the day, go out, meet your friends, watch a movie or read a nice book so that you don’t feel worn out.

List of Books for CAT 2018 Preparation

Here are some of the important books for preparation which you can refer to:

  1. How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma
  2. Topic wise Solved Paper for CAT by Gautam Puri
  3. Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis
  4. Verbal Ability and Comprehension for CAT by Bharat Patodi and Aditya Choudhary
  5. Koncepts of Logical Reasoning for CAT

Section wise preparation for CAT 2018

Check what are the tricks you should note while preparing for each section:

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation

  • Attempt the questions that you think are easy first than the set you think is hard for you
  • Look for the options first you can find a hint in them.
  • Try to write down clues given in short so that no clue is missed by you.
  • Solve the easy questions first then go for the hard ones.

Quantitative Aptitude

  • Prepare a formula bank by writing all the important formulas which are important.
    There is a number of tricks for speed math. Go for these.
  • If you are having any problem in any particular question then, understand the concept behind it first then solve questions related to that concept to know how much you understood.

Verbal Ability

  • Learn a new word a day. You can do so by installing apps which helps you increase your vocabulary. Install dictionary apps, which gives you a word of the day daily.
  • Read various articles on the web and then try to analyze the topic. Try to write a short summary of it to understand how much you understood.

If you need any guidance or have any questions, then let us know in the comment section below. 
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