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CAT 2021Preparation

As the last month before the CAT 2021 Exam looms, the question on the minds of most aspirants is, ‘How to prepare for CAT 2021 in 1 month?’ This is a rather difficult question to answer as it varies from person to person. And yet, there are some basic things that every aspirant should follow in order to maximize the time that they have before the CAT 2021 Exam.

Action Plan for CAT 2021Preparation

With just over a month to go in CAT 2021, it is important to be extremely clear about how to prepare for CAT 2021 in this 1 month. Keeping this in mind, we are going to talk about a few things that you need to pursue over the course of your CAT Preparation.

  • Identify the most important topics – With the CAT 2021 Exam just over a month away, you need to prioritize the topics on which you will be focused on. One of the better ways of doing this is by identifying the most important topics (in terms of weightage) in the CAT Exam. This can be done fairly easily by going through the analysis of the previous years’ CAT paper which can be found on this page.
  • Understand CAT Exam Pattern and CAT Syllabus properly -It is mandatory for a candidate who has less than a month to prepare for CAT to understand and analyze the CAT Exam Pattern and CAT syllabus. Keep in mind that CAT is an aptitude screening examination for admission in MBA programmes offered by b-schools across the country. Hence the questions asked in the main examinations wouldn't assess your knowledge as much as it will assess your accuracy to answer the right kind of questions. CAT syllabus is usually humongous and it is not possible to cover the entire syllabus in one go.  Hence it is mandatory for you to know which are the major topics in CAT that constitutes the most weightage and which topics have become less and less common in the last few years. This scrutinizing will help you prepare for CAT much quicker and also boost your confidence.
  • Pay special attention to weak areas: Most would suggest the opposite, I.e. pay attention to strong areas and do not worry about the weak areas. But it is also true that this remains subjective to the weightage of several topics in CAT. If you find that you struggle a lot with Data Interpretation questions, you cannot just leave the topic behind and practice only those topics you are good with. DI constitutes 50% of the DILR section and once understood properly, is interesting and easy. Also, there aren’t many variations of the way a DI problem can be solved. Hence, in this case, it is not advisable to skip DI and focus on other sections of CAT. Analyze what topics you are weak in by giving sectional mocks of each section and then a full-length mock in the end. Once you determine the list of topics you need to practice, sort them as per the topic-wise weightage provided in the CAT syllabus. You can also refer to previous year papers for the same. After analysing the mock, practice only those weak concepts that are important from the exam’s point of view.
  • Do not neglect Reading Comprehension: Reading Comprehension is a non-negotiable part of the CAT examination. Come what may, you cannot neglect the significance of this particular section. It is the root of the VARC section which contributes 70% to its questions. In fact, it would be most appropriate for you to coin your RC preparation at the start of the month. You need to practice at least 100 RCs for the CAT examination and master your reading speed through valuable techniques like understanding the passage type and tone, main point of all the paragraphs and its correlation to the overall main points of the passage, identifying the primary purpose of the passage and engaging in active reading. Regularization of practice using these techniques can help you gain control over this section which can be extremely challenging without proper practice.

Read more :How to improve VARC for CAT?

  • Plan your Schedule – The limited time between today and the CAT 2021 Exam means that the need to establish a sound schedule for how to prepare for CAT 2021. This plan needs to cover all the major areas and requires the candidates to have a good idea of their strengths and weaknesses. Based on this fact, the candidates can decide their own schedule.
  • Segregation of time – Over the period of 1 month, the time to be spent on each section has to be carefully sub-divided so that each section receives adequate attention. After all, each section in the CAT 2021 Exam also has its own sectional cut-offs which means that focusing on a couple of sections to maximize the score is not possible. While planning the schedule, the candidate needs to ensure that they assign adequate time to each section and maximize their score at the same time.
  • Mocks & Mock Analysis – It is extremely important for the candidate’s CAT 2021Preparation that they give as many mocks as possible in this 1-month period. At this stage of time, the candidate should be prepared to give a mock every second day if not every day. This will ensure that they have the maximum amount of practice and exposure when they actually sit for the CAT 2021Exam. It is equally important to analyze the mocks given so that the candidate can keep track of their progress and identify the areas where some additional efforts might be required.

Read more: Why are CAT mocks important?

  • Relax – While this may seem contradictory to the previous point about giving as many mocks as possible, it really is not. With good discipline and time management, there is definitely an hour or two that can be squeezed out to in order to pursue your hobbies and relax the proper way. While this may prove to be slightly more difficult for candidates who are working than for candidates who are in college, it can still be done.

While following these things alone will not be sufficient to crack CAT 2021, they give a decent foundation on how to do CAT 2021 preparation. Let us also look at some of practices and mindsets that can deter the candidate from effectively pursuing the practice of on how to do CAT 2021 preparation.

Pre checks for 1-month CAT 2021Preparation

There are some pre-preparatory checks that a student has to conduct before delving into one month of rigorous CAT preparation. Here is a list of all the must-haves to frame a fool-proof CAT 2021 1-month preparation strategy:

  • Make sure you have completed online CAT registration for that particular year and have a printout of the CAT registration form with you.
  • Ensure that all the credentials provided by you are correct and not frivolous. Believe me, this would save you a significant amount of time on the day of the examination.
  • Frame a month schedule in advance and adhere to it on a strict basis.
  • Do not stick to one section while framing the timetable. Give adequate time to all the sections with consistent breaks in between.
  • Vow to study for at least 5-6 hours every day (if you are a working professional) and 8-9 hours (if you are a student). Hard work never killed anyone.
  • Lastly, take care of yourself throughout the month. Take breathers between your perpetual studying hours and go for a drive, play a sport or get enough hours of sleep.
  • Take a full-length mock to familiarize yourself with the examination inside out and make a list of all the questions you answered correctly and incorrectly.
  • Analyze the questions you answered correctly; whether it was just a guess or did you work hard to solve the question? If it was just a guess, then you are not well versed with that topic as such. Analyze the question you solved incorrectly in a similar manner and list all the concepts you need to revise again.

Phase-wise Preparation Schedule of CAT VARC

Here is how you can furbish your CAT VARC strategy in 1 month:

First Phase (Day 1 to Day 7)

Second Phase (Day 7 to Day 14)

Third Phase (Day 14 to Day 21)

Fourth Phase (Day 21 to Day 28)

Practice different types of RC passages.

Learn about all the basic techniques on how to solve a passage.

Time yourself while solving a particular passage.

Learn about how to actively read a passage.

Learn to identify the central idea of the passage.

Learn the tone of the passage I.e whether it is subjective or objective. Read between the lines to identify the tone of a passage

Pay more attention to informative RCs and Analytical RCs in the beginning.

Make sure you practice at least 25-30 RCs in this week

Take a topic mock for practice.

Shift your attention to Persuasive, scientific and critical RCs.

Focus on solving Paraphrasing questions at this stage of preparation.

Take one CAT sectional mock every day for proper practice.

Solve another 25-30 RCs in this week and analyze the solutions.

Keep on practising the RCs. Complete your goal of 100 RCs before CAT.

Make sure to attempt VA questions for at least 2 hours a day.

Revise all the techniques you have learnt so far and give a full-length mock to scale your VARC preparation.

Replace reading by reading. Read novels, newspapers and journals to strengthen your vocabulary and learn new idioms and phrases.

Phase-wise Preparation Schedule of CAT DILR

Here is how you can furbish your CAT DILR strategy in 1 month:

First Phase (Day 1 to Day 7)

Second Phase (Day 7 to Day 14)

Third Phase (Day 14 to Day 21)

Fourth Phase (Day 21 to Day 28)

Make a list of all the DILR topics and segregate them into three categories I.e., most important sets, tough sets and most selective sets.

Focus on the most important topics first. These topics will constitute of sequence and series, matrix arrangements (linear and circular)

Get started with the basics first. Flex your problem-solving psyche.

After you have covered the important basics, start answering review questions, first priority is to be given to easy and solvable sets.

Solve a sectional LRDI mock to find out your areas of incompetence.

Keep on practising as many LR sets as you can, not worrying about the time limit initially.


Refrain yourself from peeping into the solution key. If you have studied properly, you will solve the question.

Explore different LR topics such as coding-decoding, blood relations, directions, syllogisms etc. Make sure you learn the basics first.

If you feel you are unable to solve a particular problem even after learning the concept, visit the concept again. There would be some loophole you are missing out on.

In this phase. Take a sectional mock every week to dig out your weaknesses and work on them.

Practice as many as 20 LR questions in 1 day. Mark the questions you are not able to solve and do not let that come in the way of your practice.

Solve various puzzle questions. Conventional LR questions are usually ambiguous to solve and only concept-dependent.

Solve past year CAT papers and analyze your performance.

Shift your focus to the DI questions. Solve at least 5 DI sets in one day. Time yourself while solving each set.

Learn about speed-enhancing tricks and jot down all the important approaches and formulas in your notebook.

By now, you should know that 1/9 = 0.11 and other fractions. The same goes for percentages, cubes, squares and square roots.

Take a sectional mock every day and analyze your performance.

Take a full CAT to mock some days before the last day to gauge your DILR performance.

If, during the mocks, you feel you are not able to understand a particular question, DO NOT ATTEMPT IT. Some questions can be classified as tricky or uncertain.

Phase-wise Preparation Schedule of CAT QA

Here is how you can furbish your CAT QA strategy in 1 month:

First Phase (Day 1 to Day 7)

Second Phase (Day 7 to Day 14)

Third Phase (Day 14 to Day 21)

Fourth Phase (Day 21 to Day 28)

Focus on major topics first, starting with the Number systems, modern mathematics and Geometry.

Learn the concepts and solve questions related to these dominating and broad topics.

Take a sectional mock to figure out which concepts are currently out of your knowledge

Enlist those topics and take them down one by one.

Remember having a “wide-to-narrow" approach in quant. As the syllabus is intensive, it would require quite an effort from your end to cover the topics.

For each day of the week, continue taking sectional mocks.

Focus primarily on questions related to Algebra. Lean towards learning concepts of linear equation, quadratic equation, special equations and surds and indices.

Practice as many as 50 quant questions per day. If you feel stuck at any point, do not refer to the solution immediately. Seek advice from your mentors to solve a question you do not understand.

Read the question properly. Many a time, Answer lies deep within the question.

For this phase, focus on commercial mathematic topics I.e allegation and mixtures, ratio and proportions, investment and partnerships, income and expenditure, profit and loss, percentages, averages, simple and compound interest etc.

Practice at least 20 questions from all the topics and take a topic mock at the end of every commercial math topic.

Prepare a cheat sheet of all the formulas you have learnt so far.

Make it a thumb rule to time yourself every time you solve a question.

Bend towards the easier topics at this point I.e Geometry, Trigonometry, Probability, Permutations and combinations.

Take a full-length CAT to mock for all the days of the week to observe how far you have come in your QA preparation.

Analyze the solution of each mock and enlist questions you left unattended.

Team up with your fellow CAT colleagues and other friends to share your doubts with them and validate your preparation strategy.

Revise all the learnt concepts at least 2 times to make sure you have a strong grip over them.

Post Preparation Check for last counting days of last month

During the last and counting days of the CAT exam, it is important for you to reaffirm your strengths and have a calm mindset for the examination. You did the best you could do, there is nothing more you could have done. The rigorous preparation has not only prepared you for CAT but for a plethora of other competitive examinations in just 1 month! Here are some last day checks for your CAT 2021 1-month preparation plan:

  1. For the remaining 3-4 days of the preparation, try to practice previous CAT papers, one at a time. Check your preparation methods and the types of actual CAT questions.
  2. Take each section of CAT and write important pointers related to them. These pointers can include formulas, identities, the context of a question and weightage of a topic. This would help you maintain familiarity with the important subsets of the exam.
  3. Revision is a very easy and important step to be performed at this stage. For revision, random sample the topics of all three sections and go through them briefly.
  4. Take at least 7 hours of sleep before the exam and eat properly on all the days. A healthy and peaceful mind can concentrate better during the examination.

CAT D-Day

Put all your handwork together and let loose the inspiration. You have drilled yourself so far, now is the time to quietly soak in the exam day thrill and assure yourself that you are not walking in that examination hall with little knowledge and a shaky mind. Ensure you have all your documents, admit card and some stationery in form of a pen or pencil with you and most importantly, self-motivation. A three-hour arduous examination, and the flushing happiness on your face when the trial ends, can make up for all that you have sacrificed so far for your CAT preparation.

Things that can deter your CAT 2021 Preparation

There are some things that one needs to guard against during their CAT 2021Preparation in the last month. Some of the major deterrents are:

  • Do not overreact to Mocks: There will be some mocks where one will perform extremely well and somewhere they will perform quite badly. It is important not to get carried away due to the good results and equally important to not get bogged down by the bad results. The Mock results are simply meant to be the milestones in the path to the CAT 2020 Exam and should be analyzed but not affect you emotionally.
  • Do not burn yourself out: Several candidates are so zealous in their CAT 2021 Preparation at this time that they tend to burn themselves out as they approach the actual CAT 2021 Exam. Therefore it is necessary for the candidate to pace themselves well over the last month so that they can give the CAT 2021 exam in a good state of mind.
  • Do not deviate from your CAT 2021 Preparation plan: It is necessary for the candidate to stick to their CAT 2021 Preparation plan so that they can actually cover everything important over the course of the next month. This is how to prepare for CAT 2021 in 1 month as the time frame makes it nearly impossible to adjust the CAT 2021 Preparation plan during this period.

There can be other pitfalls that one might face during their journey towards the CAT 2021 Exam but these must, in particular, be avoided so that the CAT 2021 Preparation over the last month goes smoothly.

Final thoughts on how to do CAT 2021 preparation in 1 month

Preparing for CAT is a tough task at the best of times simply due to the level of competition that one needs to contend with. The additional challenge of a short time frame of 1 month makes it even more difficult for the candidate. The pointers mentioned in this article can make it slightly easier for the candidate to prepare in the last month.