CAT 2020 Prep Talk: part 1
Why do we have to add the odd placed digits, the even placed digits and find the difference between the two sums to figure out if a number is divisible by 11?
Have you ever solved one or more of these puzzles: Bulls and Cows, Kakuro, Hitori, Kakurasu, Tower of Hanoi?
Have you ever wondered about the origin of words like Brobdingnagian, decimate, meme, blockbuster, trivia?
If you have ever wondered about one or many of these things, then congratulations! You have already begun on the right foot with your CAT 2020 preparation journey. For those of you who are clueless about any of these things, you have arrived possibly at the right place at the right time. This period is an MBA aspirant’s sweet spot wherein, the right amount of push can lead to brilliant results during the mock season around July-August.
In the first part of a two part series, SHASHANK PRABHU, Chief Mentor and Test Prep expert with IMS Learning Resources will give you tips to prepare effectively.
Now, there’s conventional advice that you would be getting aplenty from a lot of sources, which primarily involves solving a lot of questions and general persistence. And then there’s the one that works if you haven’t had any experience cracking competitive tests. The best way to start your preparatory journey is by being comfortable with the whole transition that is from your school/college tests that expect you to justify your answer and move on to the objective tests that only expect the correct answer. Here are a few pointers from the toppers’ stable that should ensure a smooth transition:
Be curious about everything around you: CAT as we all know is mostly a test of application and not absolute knowledge. You might be surprised to know that the solution to a question in the form of “In how many different ways can a person climb a flight of 10 steps by taking either 1 step or 2 steps at a time?” involves an understanding of the Fibonacci sequence. So, the best trait would be an attempt to understand the workings behind the mainstream formulas, word roots, logical puzzles and calculation in general. Those will help you find trends.
Find conventional/unconventional sources to suit your needs: If you do not have a reading habit, following a drab article from even the most authentic source might seem a tad boring. The key here is to get familiar with reading first and then look at more polished sources. If you are someone who hasn’t read the front page or the editorial section of a newspaper, it might be a good idea to start with a friendlier source like Buzzfeed / ScoopWhoop (the visual / listicle format is easier to digest than prose), Reddit, Quora and then upgrade to The Hindu or The New York Times once you are comfortable. Even trashy or erstwhile cringe-inducing YouTube videos might end up piquing you in topics such as economics and polity.
Chalk a plan and stick to it but don’t micromanage: A common trap that aspirants fall into is building elaborate schedules down to the last minute and then not being able to follow them. Understand what your strengths and weaknesses are in terms of preparation and plan accordingly. A brief overview of the coming week in broad terms (special focus on Geometry and grammar along with the daily dose of mathematics, verbal and logic questions) and an honest appraisal of the past week would be a good idea. Write it down and keep on rewarding yourself for targets that you would have achieved.
(We will cover some of the other test preparation tips in the next post. So, keep reading.)