How To Prepare In The Last 30-Days To CAT 2015

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CAT / CAT Strat / Motivation

We are about to enter the last month to the CAT 2015 and I am sure all serious aspirants must be having  at least a few butterflies fluttering around  in their stomachs.

Each one of you would have a taken a different trajectory to reach point of your prep — first-time takers, repeat-takers, those prepping diligently since a year or more and those just getting into the flow. Despite all of these differences I think if utilised well the last 30-days can really take you to your best score.

So here is what  need to do in the last 30 days.

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[title text=”How many tests should I take?”]

To keep it really simple — 2 to 3 tests per week spread out evenly —neither more neither less than this.

The questions that we usually get asked are:

How good are the take-home tests are they too easy?

  • You will do better because you on average tend to take them under with lesser stress than the SimCATs

I get a great percentile etc. are they inflated should I be happy?

  • Since not too many students take them, the percentiles end up being on the higher side

Use them to develop stamina, speed and accuracy. If they are easy hit them out the park like SA did to India recently.

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[title text=”What should I do between tests?”]

Your practice between tests should be used to

  • build speed & accuracy
  • widen the range of concepts you are comfortable with

So you need to divide your practice into two parts — short-sprints and learning-modules


During this period your non-test practice should mimic the actual test constraints as much as possible. I have always advocated the 30-minute sprints and just a few days a student came up and said that he religiously did that for a couple of weeks and saw his score move into the 100s for the first time.

Area # Questions Time
RC 3 Sets 30 min.
VA 20 30 min
DI 3 Sets 30 Min
LR 3 Sets 30 min
QA 15 30 min.
QA 15 30 min

Your practice sessions between full-length tests should be a combination of any number of sprints. Treat each of these sprints as a segment on the actual test — what we you will be doing is breaking down the 3 hours and performing over smaller units.

  • If you are taking a break and have a whole day to prep do 6 sprints
    spread over the day.
  • If you are working and have only a 4-5 hours to prep each day then do
    2-3 sprints.


How to measure your performance on these sprints?

Score Percentile
28+ 99 and above
25+ 98 and above
22+ 95 and above
20+ 90 and above
15 + 85 and above


What is best material to do these sprints from?
The best material to do sprints will be the questions from the CAT 500 book since they are questions from old SimCATs at a difficulty level you are supposed to crack if you want to maximise your CAT score.

Do not burden yourself with solving too many of the toughest-level questions across topics at this stage. Remember the toughest questions are supposed to be left alone. Just as the toughest balls from the bowler are supposed to be. Your job is to handle easy to maximize your score from easy to medium level questions. CAT 500 with only medium to medium-tough questions is the ideal for practice at this stage.

An alternative to this can be doing the Area Tests or Section Tests on myIMS.

Remember, your state of mind during these short-sprints should be in TEST MODE.



In between test-taking days or if you have time after taking & analysing a test, you should take up learning modules.

What should you be learning?
The areas/topics/concepts you have neglected so far. The concepts you know you are not good at but have kept them at arm’s length hoping to do well enough in the other areas to clear the cut-off. More than your strengths it is your weakness that can possibly be your undoing on CAT 2015. You cannot hope the paper is aligned to your strength. So in the last 30 days make yourself familiar with those pet-hates of yours whatever they might be — modulus, functions, graphs, similarity, binomial, trigonometry, logarithms etc.

Where to should I learn them from?
Two options, either from the BRM or from the CAT-holics blog whichever suits your palate.

I know all concepts, how should I go about revising?
Ensure you know how to solve each and every problem in the Workshops and you should be sorted

Are there any formula sheets t0 make our lives easier?
The Workshop sheets have a formula list at the end which should suffice. All the more reason for those who have not been attending workshops to at least collect the class sheets.

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[title text=”Will I be able to crack CAT 2015?”]

  • Focus only on the things to do
  • Speak less
  • Browse even lesser
  • Deep breathing really helps (do remember to exhale fully). Do it 10 times twice every day — once after waking up and once before turning in for the day. If the world’s biggest achievers believe in it, you too can.
  • Tamp down the mind, don’t listen to it too much, use it only to solve problems. Before a match Sachin used to plug-in his earphones and listen to music just to drown out the noise of the mind

The mind, the body, and the spirit are similar to the horse, the chariot and the charioteer; cultivate the spirit and the other two will be under your control.

If you follow each of the things outlined and stay patient, you will definitely see the your scores moving in the right direction.

Keep prepping,

All the best!



  1. Sir,
    There are section wise question in application builder and CAT 500 . Then we can do 15 question geometry and 15 question in arithmetic. …….or we should do 15 question (all areas) 2 times ?


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