How a Non Engineer can crack CAT 2021
“I can’ certainly sounds better than ‘I can’t’.”
Most of the toppers getting admitted into top B-Schools are engineers, but it doesn't mean that non engineers are lagging behind. All of the aspirants, whether engineer or not, are going through the same study, after all what is asked in CAT is not your graduation curriculum, but your fundamentals that you learned way back in your high school. So yes, non-engineers too have great chance of cracking CAT with decent score, say 99%ile. You reap as you sow, so here is what you actually need to take care while going through your CAT journey.
Clear Your Preconceptions
You must be having some fear of the entrance, it's syllabus and what it demands. First of All, what is tested in CAT is your Reading Comprehension and Verbal Ability, your grasp on Quants and your Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning abilities. While you may be thinking that Quants is the specific advantage for engineers, this is not actually the case as there are several examples of non-engineering students who have scored more than 99%ile in quants only. So it's nothing to be feared of. Regarding VARC, you don't need to be perfect in English, all what needs is your hard work.
Find Your Stand
Try attempting mocks for a few days and then take the average of all the scores. It will help you in finding your worth before actually start preparing. One you are done, lists all the topics where you are weak and lagging behind.
1. For Quants
If you are really scared of quants, start with the most basic topics like Arithmetic and then move gradually to modern math’s. But whatever the way you take, you need to go through three aspects.
First and foremost is conceptual clarity. you need to get familiar with all the theories of concepts and formulas. Try to note down every formula you come across in a separate notebook so as to revise whenever you forget. There are many shortcuts to approach a problem and that is where you will save your time in lengthy looking problems, so do cover it very patiently in your initial days of preparation.
Second is your application part, where you will use your brain for the right formulas with the right set of shortcuts. So, get your hands on solving each type of question in a particular area.
It's not enough to go through and get familiar with all permutations and combinations of questions. And there comes the third part where you will be practicing each area repeatedly. Make the habit of practice. You will have minimum 10 chapters for each unit, so solving 500 questions for each unit is what you should aim at.
2. For VARC
You will have to develop reading habit and that too with a shortcut, since time saving is the most crucial aspect of attempting exam. To match the standard with CAT passages, you will have to select the best sources like editorials from The Hindu.
Read at least 2 articles a day with skimming. When you go through an article, not all words are important for your understanding, only a few counts for actually grasping the whole context. So you have to skim through the content to save your efforts and time. Try to summarize all the paras into phrases so as to quickly grab the essence whenever you look at it back. Read the whole passage first and then jump into questions as you never know but different elements of the whole passage are generally brought up together in a question.
Also you don't need to remember a huge list of words for improving vocabulary, instead try to strengthen your ability to come up with the right meanings by going through the context of the paragraph. This all can happen through a rigorous schedule of sectional tests.
3. For DILR
There is nothing in this which a non-engineer can't do. It's also a matter of practice with right approach. And it's where you can save your time in exam if you know right way of going. If you become well versed with specific types of problems, you will take seconds in selecting which one to do and which one to leave in the exam and this is what will make you stand in top rankers. Solve each category of questions separately and try to find best tricks that lead to quick answers. you will gonna to develop and use lots of symbols and abbreviations that will be unique to you. This will help in decoding and summarizing all the information and constraints.
As you will be competing with lakhs of students, it goes without saying that your efforts should have to be maximum to crack your goal. Even when you are done with all the topics, it will never be sure how much you will be securing finally. The time your rhythm breaks, you would waste your worthy time on getting back to it. So always be in a mood of giving mock and sectional tests at least twice in a week, with keen focus on competing before alarm bells. This will henceforth make your continuity enact.
Whenever you feel less motivated, just go through some inspiring stories of top B-School students. Always remain in line with your reason for why you want to do MBA.
The days before CAT
Feeling low, uncomfortable, nervous is quite common before some days of your actual examination. These days are very crucial as you need to go through all the previous year CAT papers and be rigid within specific time deadlines. Maintain your peace and surpass this challenging but golden time. As for the day of CAT, you don't need to do any revision as it will not be anything productive.
What is required for 99 percentiles?
It is not yet sure whether CAT 2021 will be on new pattern or on old one. As per new pattern, an average of 115 marks can easily fetch your 99%ile. Converting into questions, it would be sufficient to attempt 45 questions (with bifurcation of approx. 17,13 and 15 questions out of 26,24 and 26 in VARC, DILR and QA respectively) out of a total of 76.
If the old pattern is still continued, then a total of 75 questions (with further bifurcation of approx. 22, 23 and 23 out of 32, 34 and 32 in VARC, DILR and QA respectively) out of total 100 may provide you with required scores.
Hence, you need to figure out in advance your strong areas so that your least time gets wasted on other questions.
Associated with aspirations of each of the CAT takers, the exam not only tests your syllabus but also your timeliness, mental state, pressure handling skills and most importantly decision-making abilities. So, you need to be master of all, to see yourself on the leader board.