Syllabus for CAT 2012 : What To Study


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CAT 2012 Syllabus & Preparation TipsOn behalf of the Indian Institutes of Management, CAT 2012 will be coordinated by Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIM-K).

With registration for CAT 2012 ended on 19 September, now is the time to finally prepare for the examination which shall be conducted from 11 October through 6 November 2012 by Prometric, which has been conducting it for last 3 years.

There has been confusion about change in the syllabus for CAT 2012, however the students to note that effectively it is not the change in the syllabus but only reorganization of the sections, as the actual areas on which the students will be tested remain the same.

Unlike prior to 2011, where there were 3 sections, 2011 saw it changed to 2. The 3 sections in the erstwhile CAT were i) Verbal Ability, ii) Quantitative Ability, and iii) Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning. The new exam pattern has only two sections with the reorganization of the same topics – i) Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, and ii) Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning

CAT 2012 will comprise of two sections that will be separately timed. Each of the two sections will be 1 hour and 10 minutes (i.e. 70 minutes). There will be 30 questions in each section.

Once a section ends, aspirants can no longer go back to it. Aspirants will be presented with the section on Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation first, followed by Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning.

Though there is no fixed syllabus, what follows is the list of topics that would be ideally covered under the syllabus :

Verbal Ability -

This section will test you on 4 areas broadly classified intyo Vocabulary based questions, English usage/grammar, Verbal Reasoning and Reading Comprehension.

The kind of questions vary from syllogisms, contextual usage, analogies, antonyms, fill In the blanks, jumbled paragraphs with 4 or 5 sentences, jumbled paragraphs,sentence correction, sentence completion, sentence correction, odd man out, idioms, one word substitution, different usage of same word etc.

Quantitative Aptitude -

Main topics to be covered are Number Systems, Percentages, Profit and Loss, Interest, Speed, Time and Distance, Time and Work, Averages, Ratio and Proportion, Quadratic Equation, Logarithm, Progressions, Binomial Theorem, Inequalities, Permutation and Combination, Probability, Functions, Set Theory, Mixtures and Alligations, Geometry, Co-ordinate Geometry, Trigonometry, Mensuration.

Date Interpretation & Data Sufficiency -

You should cover Data Interpretation based on text, Data Interpretation based on graphs and tables.Graphs can be Column graphs, Bar Graphs, Line charts, Pie Chart, Graphs representing Area, Venn Diagram, etc.Critical reasoning, Visual reasoning, Assumption-Premise-Conclusion, Assertion and reasons, Statements and assumptions, identifying valid inferences , identifying Strong arguments and Weak arguments, Statements and conclusions, Cause and Effect, Identifying Probably true, Probably false, definitely true, definitely false kind of statement, Linear arrangements, Matrix arrangements.Puzzles, Syllogisms, Functions, Family tree – identifying relationship among group of people, Symbol Based problems, Coding and decoding , Sequencing , identifying next number in series, etc.

Preparing For CAT – Last Minute Tips :

With only few days left, the following are a few tips to your help -

Do A SWOT Analysis -

This means that you should analyse your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (i.e. SWOT). Take a mock test (even if you are not well-prepared). You will immediately get to know which areas need to be worked upon (work on your weakness), which areas need just improvements (fortify your strengths), which areas will help you score the most (exploit your opportunities) and which areas can be avoided (steer clear of threats).

CAT Syllabus & Exam Pattern -

Instead of randomly picking up topics to prepare, get hold of the complete list of areas that you need to cover. The syllabus for CAT is never constant, but can get a better picture of the various topics as given above. Put up the syllabus in front of your study table and keep ticking off topics you’re confident about. This is an excellent way to keep track of what you know/don’t know and it will take some stress off your mind as you keep checking off the topics you’ve covered.

Practice Makes You Perfect -

Since you only have only few days left, start with at least 1 mock test every second day (alternate day). Make sure you simulate the actual CAT atmosphere while taking these tests (i.e. take computer-based tests, sit in a classroom-like area, take the entire test in one go). Doing so will help you in the following ways:

  • It will increase your test-taking speed.
  • It will condition you to take computer-based tests.
  • It will help you overcome panic.
  • It will give you a clear picture about the topics you’re weak in.

Only taking mock tests won’t help. You should follow up every test with an in-depth analysis so that you can pin-point your weak areas and work on them.

History Does Repeat Itself -

Get hold of questions from previous CAT exams and try solving them. Though you may not find questions being repeated, you will get a fair idea about the kind of questions that CAT 2012 will throw at you.  The pattern of the exam would be more or less the same as that of CAT 2011. Since the CAT 2012 pattern & the syllabus would remain similar to CAT 2011, all you need to focus on is practice questions!

Take Your Mock Tests on Computers -

CAT went from being a paper-based test to a computer -based test from 2009 onwards. So make sure that your mock tests are always taken on a computer.  Students tend to get jittery and nervous in an examination hall and things can get worse if you are not comfortable taking an exam using a computer and a mouse.

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