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Facts and Myths about CAT Exam

by Manish Gupta 2021-08-19

Facts and Myths About CAT Exam

The CAT exam is considerably voguish now as evident from the number of students preparing and attempting it all over the country. Despite having such wide popularity and know-how of the exam, there are still some myths that revolve in the minds of CAT aspirants, creating dispensable anxiety and confusion. Below are some of these myths and along with the facts pertaining to them, to get a clear picture about the CAT exam. 

Myth 1: CAT is difficult for non-engineers

Fact: The syllabus of CAT is somewhat designed in such a way that it wouldn't give an edge to students from any of the streams be it science, technology, commerce, arts, or any other field. Engineers are perceived to be good in mathematics, so they are believed to do well in quants. But it's not like non-engineers can't excel in this section, as the syllabus is mostly up to the class 10th level and can be prepared well with enough practice. Many aspirants from other educational backgrounds managed to score 99 percentiles and some are also toppers. So this clarifies that CAT is not that hard as it is believed to be for non-engineers. Read more about CAT tips for non-engineers

Myth 2: CAT preparation demands long hours

Fact: It doesn't always mean that all those who have studied for long hours each day also have secured decent percentiles. One thing to note about CAT is that it's more of an aptitude test rather than being your semester exams where your study level is checked. You can just focus for even 2 hours each day and nothing is stopping you from being the CAT topper if your CAT  preparation strategy is solid. We offer an interactive free CAT daily preparation planner to easily schedule your study hours so that you don't feel it hectic the whole day. Make your preparation load evenly distributed with this planner.

Myth 3: Only those who start early will secure good ranks

Fact: It's nowhere mentioned when you should begin to start your studies for CAT preparation. You may start in the early part of the year and can even start in the last 3-4 months and still end up being in the top ranks. Many toppers including Kshitiz Singhal (99.99 percentiler, CAT 2020), Rishi Mittal (100th percentiler, CAT 2019) started in July and still cracked the exam with such high ranks. Again, what matters is your dedication, consistency, focus, and practice. Having said that, yes there are few last minute preparation strategies that can help you to plan your preparation in the last few months before the CAT Exam.

Myth 4: CAT without Coaching is Difficult to Manage

Fact: You will find many instances where toppers relied on self-study while side-by-side taking help of online supporting materials like Free Mocks, Questions Banks, Doubt sessions etc.. Coaching is preferable but not necessary if you are damn sure that you have the guts to clear it on your own. Coaching may provide you all the resources but at last, it would be you who will go through them. You can do the same sitting at your home along with the best free study resources with premium plans made available to you on Acadergy. Do check more about how to prepare for CAT 2021 without coaching

Myth 5: Leaving a job is necessary for CAT Exam Preparation

Fact: Your full-time 8-9 hours job doesn't have a prominent effect on your CAT prep if your daily and weekend schedule is filled with productive study hours. Further, your job can fetch you work experience points during shortlisting for IIMs and other top B-Schools  interviews and final selection rounds, so leaving it would be of no added advantage. Certainly there are few things to take care of while managing CAT prep with a full time job  and hence, tips on how to manage CAT prep with a full-time job can be very handy for you.

Myth 6: Only attempting CAT Mocks is sufficient

Fact: Attempting CAT mocks is essential, but it's not the only thing on which you can judge your amount of preparation. Your CAT mocks scores reveal your performance but tracking your inter-mock and intra-mocks performance is required to do a SWOT analysis of your CAT preparation level. You need to spend double the time on analyzing your solutions, strategy, accuracy, and above all the time taken question-wise and section-wise. Acadergy offers an all-round performance analysis after each mock you attempt from the website. 

Myth 7: CAT scores depend on how many questions you attempt

Fact: The number of questions you attempt determines your scores to some extent. But, your accuracy is also a significant factor as CAT comes with negative marking. Not all the 76 questions are meant to be attempted. If you attempt 70% of the questions with high accuracy, it's sufficient enough to rank in top positions. On the offside, attempting all the questions is of no advantage, if you lack the surety of correctness of your answers. So focus should be on optimization of scores within the constraints of high accuracy and the maximum number of questions. If any of the constraints are violated, it may ultimately hamper your CAT scores. 

Myth 8:  CAT percentile is same as CAT scores

Fact: CAT percentile is based on your CAT scores while the vice versa is not true. Your CAT scores are computed by adding up scores of corrected answers and deducting for incorrect ones. Percentile depends on many factors being the number of students appearing in the CAT exam, difficulty level of the exam, errors in exam questions, and obviously the CAT scores. Since the CAT used to happen in 3 slots, the difficulty level of each slot varies to some extent. So the students' scores among these slots differ. 

 Higher the difficulty level, lower would be the highest scores secured in a particular slot. Further, if there is any incorrect question asked in the exam, its effect is to be adjusted in the candidate's raw score. Now, the scaled scores are used to calculate percentile taking into account the number of students who have sat in the exam. See below how the number of students appeared and percentile is related. 

Myth 9: Only CAT exam is sufficient to go into top B-Schools

Fact: The CAT exam is just a prerequisite to enter into your dream B-school. It's not sufficient to just crack it, as, alongside several other criteria like 10th, 12th, and graduation degree performance, written ability test, and personal interview are also considered in the final selection criteria. Check out more on Is Getting a Good Percentile Enough?

Myth 10: All concepts must be cleared before attempting CAT Exam

Fact: Conceptual clarity is required, for you would not be able to contextualize a question without a fundamental base. But, it's not like you need to go through all the topics even when it's the last few days left for the CAT exam. You should rely on concept building for almost half part of your preparation span period. After that, what matters is your practice, your quick-solving abilities as then they would be saving you in the exam, because as said above also, not all questions are meant to be answered and thus not all concepts will be used. Holding your grip on concepts you are strengthened in may also allow you to solve sufficient questions in CAT. 

So we have covered some of the myths that students generally encounter before and during their CAT preparation journey. Hope this would have helped you in breaking the illusion about the CAT exam and getting more focussed and preparation oriented. To boost your CAT preparation to the next level, Acadergy's all in one plans could prove to be of immense help. Browse through our plan features and make the right choice for yourself. 

See below how the number of students appeared and percentile is related?

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