Are you all set to appear for CAT 2018? Do you plan to prepare yourself and not enroll for any CAT coaching classes? If yes, breathe a sigh of relief as you aren’t alone. Several students choose to do CAT preparation on their own. If you wish to achieve the formidable feat yourself, this article is just for you.

Self-preparation is no easy task. We understand this and thus, here are some hacks and advice to help you crack CAT 2018 on your own!

Get hold of the right study material

If you do not want to opt for CAT coaching, the good news is that there is ample study material to help you prepare on your own. You will find several books, question banks, and sample question papers in bookstores as well as the online market. The right study material will help you prepare without interruption. Use the sample question papers to understand your strengths and work on your weaknesses. You can use ‘How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT’ by Arun Sharma, ‘The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT’ by Nishit Sinha, and ‘Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT’ by Sarvesh Verma for self-study and reference. Also, go through several newspapers and magazines to get your general knowledge up-to-date.

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Join a study group to ace CAT 2018

If you join forces with the right people, anything can be achieved. Form a study group of not more than 3-4 people. You can either form a group with friends who are planning to appear for CAT 2018 or you can find people who are appearing for CAT in your vicinity on social media. You can use this group to bounce off ideas or prepare for a particular topic in CAT. Sharing your strategies and queries and listening to that of others will help you prepare better. If your study group has members who are taking CAT coaching, even better. They can help you clear your doubts by getting answers from experts. You can even solve practice papers and take mock tests together to better your CAT preparation.

Utilise the internet

Several education news websites serve news and articles related to the CAT exam, along with study materials and sample papers which can be downloaded for free. Be a part of social media groups for CAT aspirants. Do this by searching relevant groups on Facebook. You’ll need to send a request to join the groups if they are closed groups. You can also like Forum threads that are created by CAT coaching institutes and aspirants. While you’re at it, follow the Twitter handles of the exam officials and authorities to always be updated with the latest on CAT.

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Prepare a study timetable and stick to it

Prepare a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Decide how many hours you want to study and what you want to study. Studying 4-5 hours during weekdays and 5-6 hours during weekends is recommended. You must increase your hours as you get closer to the exam. As pointed out earlier, you will only be answerable to yourself. Hence, push yourself to do your best by setting targets for the week. For instance, if you think you will be able to study 4 concepts during the week, aim at completing 5. You can select something easy to study as the 5th concept. Also, devote time to reading newspapers like the Hindu, The Indian Express, and the Print for knowledge about current happenings. This will help you prepare for the Reading Comprehension section.  

Take several online mock tests

After you’re done with your basic CAT preparation, you need to start taking CAT mock tests on a regular basis. Remember, analysis of the mock tests is crucial to know where you stand with your CAT preparation. Based on your analysis, change the course of action of your CAT preparation. Start by taking the mock tests once or twice a week. After a month, you can increase the frequency to 3-to-4 times a week. Find out if it’s lack of conceptual clarity or silly mistakes that are leading to most errors. You can also enroll for a test series of popular CAT coaching institutes and get them analysed by institute experts.

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To put it simply, consistency and dedication in your work will help you obtain the excellence you desire. Do not compare yourself with your peers who attend CAT coaching classes. You have the liberty to study at your own pace. Thus, it is imperative to have the right attitude in place and strive forward!

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