Aspirants often talk about study plan, often forgetting that adhering to the plan is more important than just having the plan. The question should be how should I stick to the study plan that I have designed for myself.
Your most important resource is time, and you must put it to best use. Your daily plan can have two things: committed study, and leisurely study.
Committed study plan
Committed study means solving of questions and learning of concepts by devoting fix time, uninterrupted by any phone call, chat or any sort of digression. One-hour study means strict one-hour study.
This sort of study must happen daily for at least 90 minutes. These 90 minutes should be dedicated to studying a particular topic, solving questions, taking short tests. In short, you should do those things that are directly related to the exam.
Leisurely study plan
It includes activities such as reading articles, newspapers, solving puzzles casually, preparing vocab. These you can do whenever you find time, as while travelling, lying on bed, relaxing etc. The leisurely study is optional, but the committed study is mandatory and will help you train yourself for the actual test taking environment.
The committed study can happen during any time of the day, but it should happen at a time when you are fresh and full of energy. A committed study demands concentration and discipline, which are difficult to maintain when you are exhausted.
But 90 minute of committed study is must, and must happen early in the morning or whenever you feel you are fresh to take up the work. Once you have a committed study plan, you must focus on studying the topics that are tested in the exam.
Always be syllabus oriented, not a single minute of your committed study plan must be wasted on doing irrelevant things.
Stages of CAT preparation study plan
Every topic of all the sections must have four stages of prep. In the first stage, you must finish the concepts, and the solved examples. In the second stage, you should practice varied difficulty of questions, without any time constraints.
In the third stage, you must practice with time constraints by solving topic wise tests. This process should be followed for all the three sections. Once you have had enough practice, and you think that you are able to get 70-80 percent accuracy with strict time constraints, you should start taking sectional tests followed by the mock tests.
CAT Verbal Ability Study Plan
This is in lines with the Bodhee Prep’s online CAT VARC course that we have designed, but is applicable to any sort of prep
Step 1: Start with the basics of parajumbles. Go through all the concepts and the solved examples of the course/books. Jot down the things that you learn by maintaining a hard copy notepad.
Step 2: Practice at least 50 questions so that you get a hang of the questions and how to attempt them. Strive for accuracy, without worrying much about the amount of time you take to solve the questions. The focus has to be on identifying the easy questions, and how to get them correct.
Step 3: Start with the basics of odd sentence. Since Odd Sentences are conceptually very similar to parajumbles, you should not take much time to get accustomed to this variety. Go through a few solved examples, and solve at least 50 questions. Here, too, the focus has to be on identifying the easy questions and how to get them correct
Step 4: Repeat the same process for Paragraph Summary questions as well. The only difference is that in Para summary, the accuracy rate should be higher. Once you are done with these three topics, you would have touched all the three areas of verbal ability.
Step 5: Go through the basics of Critical Reasoning, and all possible varieties of solved examples. Critical Reasoning should always precede Reading Comprehension.
Critical reasoning questions, though not directly asked in CAT, often feature in Reading Comprehension passages. In fact, 70 percent of RC questions in CAT 2019 were of Critical Reasoning type.
Step 6: Go through the different basic concepts of CAT Reading Comprehension. Learn how to attempt main idea questions, inference based questions, critical reasoning kind of questions. Once you are done with these, start solving the RC passages.
The focus has to be on getting the questions correct. At the initial stages of your prep, you should not much worry about speed. Speed will gradually and organically come to you. You have to be consistent with your practice.
Step 7: Once you have achieved the desired level of accuracy (ideal 80 percent in RC, and 70 percent in VA), you should start writing the sectional tests. Before you start with the mock tests, you should have finished at least 10-12 sectional tests.