Don’t prepare offline for the online CAT

Posted on the August 1st, 2009 under CAT by rishir

CAT examThe online format to be introduced from 2009 could affect your performance in the CAT if you are not very comfortable with on-screen reading. Since the Verbal Ability questions require a lot of reading (e.g. Reading comprehension) and intensive reading (e.g. Critical Reasoning), your reading skills play a major role in the speed and accuracy of your responses.

As most of us are accustomed to on-paper reading, we have generally ignored the ineffective reading habits involving regression, vocalization, and the use of a pacer. Normally, these habits do not constrain our reading; but, in the frame work of a test in which we need to read, comprehend, assimilate, and analyze text quickly, a different visual source of the text can create problems, slowing us down considerably.

Hence, it is necessary to develop a fair degree of comfort in reading text on the screen. Online simulated tests alone may not be sufficient to effectively address this problem. You need to get used to reading on screen. The online CAT merely reflects the social and technological changes around us. We need to switch to the computer to read our daily newspaper. The internet is an inexhaustible source for reading material. There are innumerable websites where we can read articles on various subjects similar to the passages in the CAT.

Prioritising within the Verbal in your preparation is also important. It is advisable to devote the maximum time to Reading Comprehension (RC), since 50% of the verbal section of the CAT has always been RC. Reasoning questions should be the next emphasis followed by Grammar and Vocabulary. The hierarchy is not because we expect the number of questions to be decreasingly in that order, but because one can rely on the RC and Reasoning questions for the marks.

Grammar and Vocabulary, however well prepared one is in these areas, are rather risky, and may not be relied upon for the marks. When one has systematically prepared for the online CAT this way, it becomes possible to approach the CAT with a fair level of confidence.

How much and how far the online format of the CAT would impact the questions is a matter of conjuncture at this moment. However, IIMs can be trusted to produce the most intelligent exam as is their wont. No major changes are expected in the Verbal Section because the current paper-pencil pattern of the CAT is very much computer friendly too, though RC passage may reduce in length. If at all any section has to undergo drastic changes, it is likely to be Data Interpretation which involves lengthy calculations at times, and in-depth analysis at times.

The best thing about the IIMs and the CAT is that they do not harass the candidates, but provide them with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate their aptitude.Hence go into the online CAT cheerfully. All the best.

Source: DNA India

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