There is a myth among CAT aspirants that the admissions to the country’s best business schools through Common Admission Test (CAT) is the best fit for students with the engineering background. Most of the students who clear the MBA entrance exams and dominated the B-school classes are from the science and engineering backgrounds.
Many people believe this point with reasons that students from Non-Engineering backgrounds such as Humanities, Arts, and Commerce streams lose touch with the mathematics and quantitative aptitude section which are essential to crack this most sought exam with good score. These sections of CAT contain basic questions that are taught during engineering preparation and classes.
However, Indian Institutes of Management and other management institutes emphasize to have a good mix of students from different fields and academic backgrounds in their class. IIMs told in past also that CAT exam is not designed solely for engineers, there are many CAT toppers who do not have an engineering background.
So the question arises, how should the non-engineers MBA aspirants go about their preparation for CAT and other MBA Entrance Exams? Non-engineers constitute for about 40% of the total test takers. According to the AfterGraduation counselors, there are not much of differences in the preparation strategy and focal points between engineers and non-engineers candidates.
Every year, a high number of candidates from the non-engineering background are able to secure admission into the IIMs and other top-rated B-schools through CAT. They (non-engineers) need to work a little harder than engineering candidates and utilize every minute of their preparation to overcome their weak area. They must follow a strict preparation plan and make sure that everything goes properly. Also, they must practice what they have learned by practicing sample papers, writing mock tests, substituting answer options and eliminating options to come to the right solutions. This article provides the basic tips for non-engineers MBA aspirants to prepare and cracks CAT 2017.
Candidates should build a concise study plan ensuring sufficient preparation time for each section and topic of CAT assumed syllabus. Depending on one’s strength, they can give more weightage and preparation time to the sections that need more focus.
Brush up the Basics
It is important for non-engineering background candidates to understand the CAT exam pattern. The foundation of CAT exam is general mathematics upto class X, not the higher mathematics. So it is important for the candidates to be comfortable with the foundation steps and brush up their basics mathematics from the syllabus of classes 6 to 10.
Try to understand the topics clearly instead of mugging up the formula and covering the chapters. After revising and noting the important formulas from algebra, geometry, arithmetic and number system, switch to solving problems in the NCERT books.
Verbal ability is one of the most important sections in CAT which test the candidate’s strength in reading comprehension and vocabulary.
To prepare for this section candidate must build a habit to read regularly on daily basis and pick a variety of magazines, newspapers, articles, novels and other texts that are easily available online and offline.
Take CAT mock tests to analyze your preparation, exam performance and identify your weak areas. Depending on the analysis, you need to work hard on your weaker section and focus on solving more questions from those sections. This exercise is to master each concept well before the exam. These time-bound tests will also help in improving your speed and accuracy in solving the questions.
Accuracy is must for any entrance or competition exam. All candidates should focus on accuracy. As there is negative marking in CAT exam, the candidate must avoid guess work and focus to answer more accurately. Candidates should spend adequate time to read and understand each question in order to avoid faulty answers.
Common Admission Test Section-wise Preparation Tips
Now after general tips, now to focus on the Section wise preparation tips for MBA entrance CAT exam.
QA and Mathematics are not the same things. The QA section is just one of the dimensions of Mathematics. The CAT exam requisite only basic math skills that we studied till class 10. Most of the problems require the basic application of skills. This essentially means that knowledge of basic arithmetic and proportionality tools, numbers, time, speed distance, elementary combinations, algebra, and geometry are sufficient to crack this section.
The other parts are more important, which is the ability to perform in a pressure situation, observation skill, decision making, adaptability and finally an ability to comprehend the questions. What is required to inculcate these skills, is practice.
To solve these questions, the candidates must read the entire question and understand the comprehension of the question and what is required or missing. While coming to a conclusion, make sure that you have explored all the possibilities and have eliminated all the other possibilities.
Logical Reasoning (LR) and Data Interpretation (DI)
The LR and DI sections are the tricky one, with both skill oriented and knowledge oriented questions. Whether you are an engineer or a non-engineer, this section is an equalizer in the true sense. To prepare for this section, candidates must clear their concepts and need regular and thorough practice. To excel in this section, most experts advise practicing this section under a time pressure is important.
READ ALSO: Skills Required To Crack The CAT Exam
The questions in DI section are based on percentages, proportionality tool, averages and allegations. The LR involves linear arrangements, circular arrangements, distributions, order and sequencing, selections and binary logic.
Mastering these topics can only be done by practicing rigorously.
Also, the candidates must minimize the use of the online calculator in the test as mental calculations are always quick and helpful. To improve in mental calculations, the candidates can practice Vedic Mathematics.
This section is equally tough or easy for both the engineering & non-engineering candidates, where the candidate’s knowledge of the fundamentals of English language is challenged.
This section contains questions on grammar, vocabulary etc. It would have sections on Fact inference judgment, Fill in the blanks, Para completion, Para jumble, Grammar, Sentence correction, Verbal reasoning and Word usage (vocabulary).
To prepare for this section, the candidates must read the editorials of the newspapers, magazines, books, novels regularly to improve comprehension. Verbal Reasoning and Reading Comprehension require candidates to become familiar with the type of questions and paragraphs. Reading will not only help the candidates to score the cutoff marks but also help them to communicate better in the Personal Interview and Group Discussion rounds.
READ ALSO: MBA Programs, Which One Is Right For You?
Since last year, IIMs are trying to make a mild atmosphere for the non-engineering candidates. IIMs are revising their policies to make the classroom more diverse by increasing the weightage of the Personal Interview round. This step is taken to have a more diverse classroom to strengthen the leadership talent pool of the country.
Non-engineering students need to focus more on the optimisation of speed and accuracy, the evaluating factors in Common Admission Test. Prepare for the exam by dividing your time equally for VA, LRDI and quant sections. By making best of the preparation time, non-engineers candidates can also crack the CAT exam with a high percentile Score.
!! AfterGraduation wishes Common Admission Test 2017 Aspirants a very Best Luck !!. Here you got the details about CAT 2017 preparation tips for Non-Engineer MBA Aspirants. Please post your queries or Comments regarding above article, on our Aftergraduation Forum. Connect with us for all latest updates on CAT 2017 through Facebook and Twitter also.