CAT Strategy & Preparation for Re-takers of the Exam

By Anjali Chowdhury|Updated : February 5th, 2022

A significant percentage of students preparing for the CAT Exam might have already appeared for the exam. A CAT Re-taker's preparation plan needs to be different from the ones who have yet not appeared for this exam. A re-taker is someone who has appeared for CAT before but did not perform to their 'maximum potential.' Based on your base skills levels, your best potential it could be a 99.XX percentile for some and a 90+ percentile for others. The Common Aptitude Test (CAT) is an annual national-level entrance exam for candidates who want to pursue their career in management. It's a computer-based test that takes place in November every year.  


Table of Content

Best way to prepare for CAT after Failure 

So, the first step is to figure out where you went wrong in the previous attempt. Because if you don't alter the way you've been preparing, it'll be another wasted year.  

Identify your strengths and weaknesses 

If you've taken the CAT Exam before, you should have a good notion of which sections require the most effort and which sections you have a better base in. Go through the previous year's papers and identify the weaker sections.

The opportunity cost of a missed year, as well as the need to repeat the difficult preparation process, should ideally motivate you to seek honest answers to the question, "Why did I fail this year?" Please evaluate your current position on the ladder and determine your next steps. 

CAT Study Plan - Make a study schedule

The very first two steps have set the basis for what your study strategy should be. However, along with focusing on the parts and themes that require attention, the next step should be to create a comprehensive study plan that includes all of them. This will ensure that you are familiar with each section. 

Take a deep look at the section - Identify Priority Topics  

Once you've figured out which aspects you need to concentrate on, you can begin to dig deeper into each one. In each section, there will be topics that require a higher level of attention and effort than others. You should start studying these things as well, to decrease the room for mistakes as much as possible. 

Attempt CAT Mock Tests 

Taking as many CAT Mock tests as possible is one of the greatest techniques to ensure that your preparation is on the right path. Analysis of these CAT mocks is also essential. This will tell you whether you are progressing in your weaknesses and will give you plenty of knowledge if you start to slip in your strengths.  

Had a bad day on the CAT day 

You planned well and had a smart plan, but you panicked on the day of the CAT. This is a typical situation, and you'll be astonished to learn that many of the top Mock CAT scorers fail to repeat their results on the big day. This indicates that the mental aspect of the preparation was lacking, and there may be gaps in the approach as well. 

Talk to a mentor 

An excellent mentor will be able to hold a mirror up to your face. You don't have to take their course until you're satisfied, but you should at least talk to them and get their opinion on where you went wrong. They would see thousands of students just like you and will be able to provide you with genuine feedback as a response. 

You can also try BYJU'S Exam Prep CAT online classes which are led by India’s top faculty who have years of experience in teaching and guiding CAT aspirants. 

Final Tips for CAT Re-takers

Is it a question of speed or ability to comprehend? 

  • If it's about speed, practice is the way to go. 
  • If you're having trouble grasping something, start with the basics. Seek help in the doubt sessions or talk to your mentor again. 


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