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Step-by-Step Guide to Crack CAT Without Coaching

Janvi Bhambri
Janvi BhambriUpdated On: September 20, 2022 11:29 am IST | CAT

Preparing for CAT without any coaching? Let us take a look at expert tips to prepare for CAT without coaching.

How to Prepare for CAT Without Coaching

CAT coaching can undoubtedly be very beneficial for CAT preparation. From providing study material to preparing a fixed routine, from holding doubt sessions to taking mock tests, coaching institutes play a huge role throughout the process. However, being totally dependent on tuition and thinking that CAT cannot be cracked without coaching classes is a myth that needs to be busted right away. History stands witness to some marvellous students who excelled in CAT without coaching or any expert guidance. 

According to statistics, more than 2 lakh students appear for the CAT exam every year and compete for about MBA seats at the premier B-schools in the country. Since the competition is high, we bring to you some of the key points to keep in mind if you’re preparing for the CAT exam without coaching.

Important Tips to Prepare for CAT Without Coaching

Since you are preparing for the CAT exam on your own, you can plan your preparation schedule in such a way that every section of the exam gets equal attention. Some tips to prepare for the CAT exam without coaching are provided here.

1. Familiarise Yourself with the Syllabus and Exam Pattern

After deciding how to prepare for the CAT without coaching, one of the first things you should do is go through the CAT Exam Pattern and Syllabus in depth. Then you should review the analysis from previous years so that you may create a thorough preparation schedule and set your targets based on the importance of various topics across sections. In the CAT exam, questions from three main categories—Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Ability—are presented in both multiple-choice and objective form. 

Also Read:CAT Preparation Tips for Working Professionals

2. Focus on the Fundamentals

Make a schedule considering the entire coursework before starting to prepare for the CAT 2022. Plan your schedule so that it includes time for each component. Clearing your fundamentals is the most important step. For instance, if your math skills are lacking, review the NCERT Mathematics for classes 9 and 10 to strengthen your basics. You cannot answer a question if your fundamentals are weak. Therefore, it's important to re-examine your concepts in each section. For conceptual clarity, you can use online study tools or consult the top study guides by writers like R.S. Aggarwal, Arun Sharma, and others.

3. Collecting the Study Material

One of the major advantages of coaching classes is that they provide their students with study materials on the basis of the different sections in the paper. But students who are preparing for the exam without taking help from coaching classes need not worry about the same. Ample study material is available for students on the internet and in the market.

Some of the best books for the CAT 2022 exam have been mentioned below:

  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning by Gautam Puri
  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay/Arihant
  • 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary Mass Market Paperback by Wilfred Funk & Norman Lewis/ Simon & Schuster
  • Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency by Ananta Ashish
  • How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT by Arun Sharma

Hack: To keep track of the current happenings, read magazines and newspapers daily and brush up on your language skills, comprehensive skills, and general knowledge.

Also Read:

4. Study Schedule

Once you are equipped with the syllabus, what you require next is a preparation strategy. Prepare a schedule by dividing different topics and subjects into various slots and further assigning deadlines for covering each of these slots. Once this is done, devote your time as per the schedule to meet the desired deadlines.

Also Read: CAT Preparation 2022: How Can You Make the Cut? 

5. Solve Online Mock Tests and Previous Year Questions

You can identify your strengths and weaknesses in each section after taking mock tests. You would also discover how much effort you need to put into each topic. After you have finished learning the topics, you should begin taking practice exams once or twice a week. By completing mock exams, you can evaluate both your fundamental knowledge and your response time to questions. Gradually increase the number of mock tests to 3 to 4 times a week. Examine the mistakes you make in practice exams and strive to prevent them in the real ones. By taking practice exams, you might gain experience for the final examination and balance your speed and accuracy.

6. Analyze your Performance

You should first take a mock test to see where you stand in terms of your preparation before beginning your CAT preparation. This analysis is essential since it will make you aware of the exam pattern and the degree of difficulty. Additionally, you would also be able to examine how many questions are asked from each topic. Each PYQ/mock test requires you to evaluate your performance. Students who successfully complete CAT sample papers find that they are more accurate when answering questions because they become more adept at spotting errors they make when answering questions. This reduces the likelihood that they will make mistakes on the final exam day. 

Also Read: Top Ten Non-IIM Colleges that accept CAT Scores in India

7. Google it!

Candidates who have made up their minds about not enrolling in any coaching programmes for CAT 2022 preparation can rely on the Internet to a great extent. Find the greatest study materials for CAT 2022 by visiting websites offering plenty of resources. For CAT 2022 preparation, you can refer to online lectures or take online mock tests. You can also join social media groups to stay informed about the latest CAT news and updates.

8. Join a Peer Study Group

Look for your peers who have taken the CAT exam in the past. They would have the knowledge that will be very beneficial to you. Make friends with those who have already enrolled in coaching classes. They will offer notes and provide guidance at every turn. The study group will assist you in clearing up any and all questions you have on any subject. You might create a positive environment with the different competitors by your side by participating in group studies.

9. Improve Time Management Skills

One of the most important aspects of achieving your goals is time management. A candidate may not succeed if he or she lacks time management skills. Learn to prioritize and create a schedule where you can dedicate one day for each section. To avoid problems throughout the exam, complete questions in the allotted time.

10. Scope for improvement

Once you are familiar with your strengths, practice harder to excel in it. Don’t stop unless you score 99 percentile in that section, every time you sit down for a mock test. Also, identify your weaknesses and practice until it becomes your strength.

Is It Possible to Prepare for CAT Without Coaching?

Most of the experts suggest that taking CAT coaching is beneficial for the candidates to score well in the exam. However, it is not mandatory to join any coaching institute to prepare for the CAT exam. You can also pass the exam without any coaching.

Many toppers of the CAT exam have accepted that they did not take any CAT coaching for the preparation. Just a proper plan and preparation strategy can help you ace the CAT exam. You can refer to the CAT Previous Years’ Question Papers and CAT Mock Test Papers  to know what type of questions are expected to be asked in the exam.

Also Read:Check How Toppers Prepare for CAT

What Is the Best Time to Prepare for CAT 2022?

There is a myth about CAT preparation that one year is required for CAT preparation.You can prepare for the CAT exam in six months straight. However, you will have to practise a lot in order to score well, considering the high competition

Also Read:How Much Time is Required to Prepare for CAT?

You can follow all the tips provided in this article to prepare for CAT without coaching. If you have any other questions related to CAT preparation, you can post the same on our Q&A zone.

 You can also check some of the articles provided below to prepare for CAT on your own.

CAT Previous Year Question Paper

CAT Question Paper 2018 Slot 1

CAT Question Paper 2018 Slot 2

CAT Question Paper 2019 Slot 1

CAT Question Paper 2019 Slot 2

CAT question Paper 2017 f1

CAT question Paper 2017 F2


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