The optimal nine-month preparation plan for CAT 2018

Hi all,

ACME started providing its services last year with a weekend batch that started in April. A whopping 20% of that batch have secured interview calls to just the ‘Top 10’ B-schools! This number is even higher if we include the new IIMs, the IITs, and other top 30 B-schools.

Guess what, we’re not satisfied with 20%. That was just our first year, and we are very much committed to learning from our mistakes and getting even better. We’re pushing for 40% this year, and we have what it takes to deliver on this rather ambitious goal.

With that target in mind, we’re kicking off our weekend batch for CAT 2018 a month earlier than last year. We’ll be having regular classes every Saturday and Sunday from 9:30AM to 1PM, starting March 3. In addition to this, we’ll be having extra practice and doubt clearing sessions on some weekday mornings (before work/college) as and when requested by the students.

As we have already mentioned in other posts, ACME is committed to providing individual attention and a good quality of service to our students, which is why we limit the batch size to twenty. At the moment of writing this, we have a handful of seats left, so here’s your opportunity to join the best CAT 2018 batch in Trivandrum. Call 9866153891 for details 🙂

Anyway, here’s the schedule that we’ll be following for the March weekend batch. If you haven’t started preparing already, it is THE optimal nine-month preparation plan for CAT 2018. (Check out the CAT knowledge map as well.) Commit to 40 weeks of sincere hard work and success will be yours!

As far as the schedule is concerned, we thought we’d save everyone the trouble and pre-emptively answer some questions that we expect one might have.

Q. Why are there so many sessions devoted to tests and discussions?

A. Most competitive exams are tests of both knowledge and skill, but the relative importance varies. Any management exam worth its salt will require proper focus on developing problem solving skills, prioritization skills, the ability to keep calm under pressure etc. The schedule shows an approximately 40-60 ratio between concept building sessions and practice/training sessions, which we believe is a decent reflection of the knowledge acquisition vs. skill acquisition required for a successful CAT prep strategy.

Q. Why the rush to complete the syllabus?

A. As we've implied above, knowledge acquisition by itself won't get you anything worthwhile in this exam. We believe there should be at least three months of solid revision and practice post syllabus completion. (We're doing four, as you can see.) For the same reason, we can assert that ACME will never do a weekend batch that starts in July or August - the time just isn't sufficient to properly train most aspirants. Some skepticism is justified for any claims to the contrary.

Q. Why are there so few sessions for DI and VA/RC?

A. The short answer: It’s only few if you don’t count the mock discussion sessions.

The longer answer: There really isn’t much knowledge that you should feed into your brain prior to walking into a DI or VA/RC section. The VA/RC section is primarily comprehension, which by definition means you are given all the information to answer the questions. And DI is basically comprehension with numbers. So if you’re talking about knowledge vs. skill, these two are almost entirely about skill and exam strategy. We don’t believe you can do much textbook learning for these two areas. The learning will primarily happen through taking and reviewing mocks, and attending mock CAT discussions.

Q. Can we pick up a quant chapter in one session?

A. Of course not. But neither can you do it in 3-4 sessions. The most time-efficient strategy to cover the syllabus is to get acquainted with the fundamentals and some common applications, and then keep testing yourself with exams to find what you don’t know. Any question that you can’t solve is indicative of a gap in knowledge. An iterative process of spotting and plugging these gaps in knowledge using mocks and sectional tests would yield optimum results.

If you want a simpler answer, we’ll also be doing multiple rounds of revision, and providing doubt clearing sessions on demand during weekdays 🙂

Q. Why do we have PnC, Set theory and Number Systems taught much before their respective units are started?
A. If you look at the knowledge map, you'll see they are prerequisites for many other chapters, including some LR topics. Moreover, they are the most commonly tested quant chapters in DI sets, outside of the quartet of Averages, Mixtures, Ratios and Percentages. So it makes sense to be introduced to these chapters before starting DI.

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