So I’m done with most of my interviews and the ones that remain are in late March, so I thought now would be a good time to write this post. Ofcourse there is no fixed way to prepare for the exam, no magic elixir so to say. Your current knowledge and level of preparation play a big role in the whole process, but I will try to cover the things I had worked on and good resources for subjects in as much depth as possible.
A bit about me:
I have been an avid reader since school, so I had a reasonably good command over the English language. Quant and DiLr were areas Ineeded to work on. Surprisingly my CAT score painted a completely different picture!
CAT 2015 (Overall: 99.89; Verbal:99.1,DiLr 99.29; Quant 99.71)
I will try to cover the basics in this post, and cover each section separately in other posts. So let’s get to the meat of the matter! The prep!
Should I join a class?
TLDR: If it’s your first attempt YES, else self-study.
Since this was my first attempt, I had joined TIME’s weekend batch in December 2014. I would recommend joining a full-time class from either TIME, CL or IMS based on which center has better teachers around your area. Joining a class the first time around becomes extremely important as there are a lot of important shortcuts and tricks that would not be that easy to grasp from a book. For me, the class also helped maintain a certain amount of discipline and momentum, which sometimes becomes difficult with self-study. That being said I believe if you have taken a class once and have covered the entire syllabus, self-study will be a lot more effective, both in terms of time saved and channelizing your effort into strengthening your areas of weakness.
How should I start prep?
TLDR: Start with the coaching material if you have it and try to complete that(concepts+questions) by June end.
You would need around 8-9 months of quality preparation if you are a serious aspirant. I would recommend starting off early(Jan/Feb), and trying to complete the syllabus or atleast a sizeable chunk of it by June so that you can then focus on your mock analysis and direct your efforts to sections that are a bit weak.
Which mocks should I take?
TLDR: One amongst the three biggies (TIME,CL,IMS) and 1 among the online free ones (HitBullsEye,Cracku) would be a good combination.
- To let you analyze your individual performance
- To help you see where you stand amongst your peers.
Any other secret ingredient?This a long and ardous journey, and like the one to Mordor, having good people by your side will always help.
Which facebook groups should I join?CAT prep by Indrajeet is one of the largest around. MBA math by Amiya is also a good group to follow if you are looking for some challenging math problems. Links below.
Any other resources to practise questions online?Cracku and oliveboard are by far the best for this. Both have daily online tests as well as a good repository of questions sorted by topic