A beginner's guide to starting the CAT preparation

CAT (Common Admission Test) is one of the toughest exams to crack. It is the gateway to getting into prestigious IIMs and other top B-schools of India. Thus, it becomes quite crucial for the beginners to prepare for such an important exam in the correct manner. But no worries; we at FUNDAMAKERS are committed to our promise of landing the aspirants in the best B schools of their choice, by the combination of their hard work and our mentorship.

There are a couple of pointers to be kept in mind by the beginners while preparing for this not so friendly CAT! Understand the syllabus
This is a useful tip for almost any exam. Understand the syllabus by going through past year’s papers and official guidelines. CAT can be segmented into four broad parts-
Quantitative Ability
Data Interpretation
Logical Reasoning
Verbal Ability
The concepts used in this examination are broadly of class 10 level. However, the questions are a little bit tricky to solve and require a good amount of logical thinking. But it can be developed by practice.
Begin with the end in mind
Start your preparation with sheer determination. Whenever you feel demotivated, you can dream about the day when you will crack the exam and it will definitely motivate you. March-April is a good time to start preparation for the exam which will be held in October-November. However, if you are starting late, say 3 months before the exam, you still have a decent time to prepare and crack this exam. It all depends on how efficiently you can utilize your time.
Should you join coaching?
We at FUNDAMAKERS strongly suggest beginners to join a coaching institute of their choice. The obvious reason behind this suggestion being the fact that they are pretty infant in this competitive dimension of CAT, hence they need the right guidance at the right point of time. However, if a student is in a remote area we suggest him/her to take up the online programs. FUNDAMAKERS is also proud to have established its presence on the online platforms and for helping students realise their dreams from all parts of the nation.
Books and material
First of all, get CAT preparation material of coaching institute. ( FUNDAMAKERS offers study material at highly affordable rates)
For Quant, there are two good books - Arun Sharma & Sarvesh Varma. You can refer to any of these. Both the books are good. If you have limited time, solving one book is enough.
No special book for concepts of Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Verbal Ability. You can rely on the coaching material for all the concepts and can solve all the practice questions. However, you should refer to more books on these topics only after you finish the entire syllabus.
For verbal, you also need to read “Word Power made Easy” by Norman Lewis. It is a very good book which helps in increasing vocabulary not by memorizing stuff, but by understanding the ideas behind the words. It is distributed into 45-47 sessions meant to be read one at a time. It is a must-read book and should be completed within two months of starting your preparation.
Reading, reading & reading
Many students, especially engineers, are already good at quant but perform badly in verbal. Earlier, CAT was heavily based on vocab and grammar concepts. But these days, it is more of a general English exam which tests one’s command over English in common usage. You should be very much familiar with English. The only way to improve your verbal score is to read a lot of good books written in standard English. These can be fiction, non-fiction or anything, just written in good English.
Test Series
This is like the Holy Grail of CAT preparation. Subscribe to one good Test Series (FUNDACATS now available at highly affordable rates) and write all the tests very sincerely in a simulated environment. Fix a day, say Sunday, fix a time, and give the test every week at the same time. Sit in a proper position while attempting the test and tell all your roommates or family members not to disturb you at that time.
Once you write 15-20 such tests, CAT will no longer be a stranger to you. When you will sit for actual CAT, you will feel as if you have done this a lot of times and it will help you to remain confident during the exam.
Most coaching institutes try to set the Mock Question paper to be very tough in comparison to the real exam . Thus, subscribe to a test series which is very close to the actual CAT. Over the past three to four years, FUNDACATS have been really close to the actual CAT exams.
Ofcourse, there will be some odd cases when you may find it difficult to score good in the mock tests. But it will boost your confidence when you will find the actual CAT to be easier than the mock tests.

News coverage for post-CAT preparation
Once you clear CAT, you need to qualify the Personality Test rounds of various colleges which include Group Discussions, Written Tests and Personal Interviews. Qualifying CAT makes you eligible to attend this stage and it's your performance in these rounds which finally helps you in getting selected. Preparing for this stage immediately after the CAT result can be difficult. Try to follow the basic news in your daily life from today itself. This will ease down the load of preparation for Personality Test rounds and boost up your confidence as well. Moreover, we at FUNDAMAKERS pay special attention to General awareness and personality building of the aspirants on a regular basis. We have special mentoring sessions by the stalwarts of CAT prep., motivation sessions, etc. to develop the aspirants’ personality holistically.