CAT 2011 Pattern Change: How to Prepare for the New Format
Category : CAT
posted Date :
Total No.of views :
Total No.of Comments :
4 / 5 (1 votes)

In this month is crucial time for those who are appearing for CAT 2011. Most of you would have spent the last few months ensuring that you are well-prepared for what is rightfully considered as one of the toughest and most competitive entrance exams in India. However, there are also many needless apprehensions that students sometimes fall victim to. This year, the format change has created confusion for many CAT aspirants. However, a careful examination of this year`s format will reveal that students have no real reason to worry. If you`ve prepared well, you really shouldn`t have any trouble coping with the exam.

What has changed in pattern of CAT 2011?

CAT 2011 will now be separated into two different sections:

Section I - Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

Section II - Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning

Out of the total examination time of 140 minutes, examinees will have 70 minutes to solve 30 questions within each section. The test, administered by Prometric, will also contain a 15-minute tutorial. Do not skip this as it will help you become familiar with the testing system.

There will also be an on-screen countdown timer, which should help you keep track of your time constraint. Once the 70 minutes are over, test-takers will not be able to go back and attempt the questions that they were not able to complete in the given time. It is this change that has created the maximum fear amongst students. However, if you think about it, it also has several benefits as it will actually make it easier for you to focus on problem-solving without having to worry too much about time management and allocation.

ow should I prepare for CAT 2011?

The basic skills and fundamentals remain unchanged. You don`t have to worry about focusing upon new areas of study. As long as you have prepared well, all you need to do are practise mock tests keeping in mind the new timing system. Along with focus and self-belief, this should see you through with flying colors!

What should I focus on?

1. Don`t get caught unaware: Finding a question similar to something you have practiced before has a very calming effect on you and will help boost your confidence. The best way to achieve this is to practice all kinds of questions. If you`ve covered everything, there is very little chance of getting caught unaware.

2. Learn, Practice & Test: There are some very good modules available for learning, practicing and testing. Make good use of them! Modules like Test Gym and MBA-on-Demand are especially helpful in this final, critical period. Moreover, these are available online and give you the added advantage of familiarizing yourself with the online medium.

There are certain mistakes that many students make. You can steer clear of them by using these techniques:

i) The Set rule: Divide your section into sets. Read all the questions in each block and assign them an equal amount of time. These time limits should be sacrosanct. There can be nothing worse than missing out on an easy question just because it appears towards the end of the section. Thus, selecting the right questions is extremely important.

ii) Speed up: Speed matters. Not only when you`re solving questions but when you`re reading them! The faster you can read all the questions and select those you think you should attempt; the better will be your chances of a good score.

iii) Put your ego aside: For some students, solving a question becomes an ego issue. This is the worst thing you can do to your CAT 2011 paper. If you have spent a considerable time on a problem to no avail, leave it and go ahead. There may be an easier question ahead, just waiting to be capitalized upon!

iv) No time for indecision: There is no time in the CAT for being indecisive about your answers. The new format should make this easier by taking some of your time management concerns off your shoulders.

Most important:

The Elimination Rule: There is a reason why you`re given 4 options with every question. Make good use of them! Never make the mistake of attempting a question without reading the options. Sometimes, the options are such that solving the question may not even be required. You can safely eliminate some of the options based on pure logic and common sense. Some students solve the question first and then check the options only to re-confirm their answer. While this is reassuring, it also leads to wastage of precious time.