CAT - IIM Preparation Tips

MBA entrance exam preparation is not a day's job and requires months of hard work and determination. Of all the management entrance exams, CAT is one of the most difficult competitive exams to prepare for.
IIM preparation is tough and one needs to be focused. For CAT - IIM preparation, students often opt for specialized coaching classes. For MBA exam preparation, one needs to adopt a strategy that enables you to build knowledge & speed skills without compromising on accuracy & rational thinking.

Through this section, NNE has tried its best to provide CAT - IIM preparation tips. This section would also be helpful other MBA entrance preparation tips like MAT, SNAP, XAT, BITSAT and ICFAI. If you are planning to appear for CAT 2011, then it is the right time to start your preparations.

CAT - IIM and other MBA Exam Preparation Planning

MBA exam or CAT preparation depends on when you the start preparation, current level of expertise and other commitments apart from test preparation.
Typically, most candidates would plan the following steps in their MBA preparation:

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  • Learn core concepts in numeric & verbal ability.
  • Practice sample questions.
  • Attempt mock test.
  • Work on weaker areas.

As a thumb rule, preparation should be structured in a way to consolidate performance in the strong sections, while eliminating weakness in the other areas.
It is often the weak areas that provide maximum opportunity to improve performance. Based on your core skills, form a strategy to develop complete expertise. For instance, if verbal reasoning is the weaker area- make a conscious effort to improve through extensive reading on varied topics. On the other hand, those fearing maths would benefit from starting with a high school book to learn algebra, commercial maths, geometry and trigonometry.
Another focus area in early days is keeping abreast with current events in the economy, politics and corporate sector. This can prove handy in the group discussion & Exam stage. Think of relevant topics and organize mock discussion sessions with your peers.

CAT - IIM Specialised Coaching Classes

Given the complexity of the testing process and the stiff competition, a structured training course is often recommended. It can also provide a good practice ground to evaluate individual ability with different test patterns and provide structure to the preparation.

Click here for Top CAT and MBA Coaching classes
Click here for interview of Nitin Gupta, Founder & Director, Alphanumeric Institute (CAT Coaching) for expert tips on CAT preparation

Continuous Appraisal of Progress

Build regular check points to review progress. At any point, if things are not working as per the plan, don't be afraid to adjust the approach.
Key success factors are as much dependent on knowledge and rational thinking as on speed and accuracy. Devote three to four hours a day to test preparation. After gaining adequate familiarity with the pattern of questions, shift focus towards attempting mock test. While approaching test preparation, consider:

  • Joining a specialized training programme.
  • Identifying weak areas as early as possible.
  • Forming a peer group to exchange notes.
  • Devising regular check points

Sheshdari Venkatadri, Alumni of IIM-C, Shares his experience on CAT Preparation:


Approach to CAT preparation

I, devoted nearly four to six hours a day to practice over four months. Kept 30 sample tests for the last month and re-did each test where I scored poorly.

Benefits of enrolling in a CAT - IIM coaching program

Highly useful to gain a broad overview of the test pattern.

Working with a peer group for MBA Exam Preparation

Highly recommended – a few of us preparing for CAT compared scores and discussed individual areas of improvement.

Most difficult aspect of the CAT - IIM Exam

Striking the right balance in the time spent on each section.

Final CAT Preparation Tip to young aspirants!

The test is not just about trying to determine your verbal or numerical skills. Conceptual understanding is also a must and one must aim to work on mastering core concepts.

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