Are you an aspiring graduate? Do you wish to lead an organization someday? If your answer is yes, then deciding to study for a postgraduate degree is a big step for you. GRE and CAT are tests conducted to assess aspiring students’ potential applying to leading B-schools and universities.
CAT or the Common Admission Test is a computer-based entrance exam conducted every year for admission into MBA programs at prestigious B-schools within India, including IIMs and several others.
The GRE or Graduate Record Examinations is one of the world’s most extensive assessment tests used by several international universities/colleges for admission in their graduate programs. GRE scores are accepted all around the world for thousands of graduate programs.
Getting an advanced degree opens up many opportunities, but having a game plan to approach the tests is the first essential step. Students who are eyeing prestigious universities and B-schools both within India and abroad have to go through both the GRE and CAT exams. Both the tests challenge your aptitude and spontaneity, so let’s look at how we can conquer both the targets with one shot.
Challenges of Preparing for Both GRE and CAT Simultaneously
It takes real dedication and focus to prepare for both the tests at the same time. You’ll have to learn to handle the intensity of knowledge required to grasp each topic in both formats.
CAT is a computer-based linear exam. In comparison, GRE is a computerized section-wise adaptive exam where the next level of questions’ complexity depends on the previous section’s performance.
Verbal Reasoning in GRE and CAT
When it comes to verbal reasoning, GRE is way more challenging when compared to CAT. GRE challenges you with multiple-choice type questions and word-selection as part of a vocabulary test. CAT also covers these types of questions and has additional questions based on word usage, paragraph formation, etc.
The GRE reasoning section tests your vocabulary and high-level reading skills. You’ll be asked to choose the appropriate word for a particular sentence, read the comprehension, and interpret the passages’ details.
You can approach the reasoning questions by visualizing and drawing tables to fit in conditions, which will help you solve them. Use the process of elimination to narrow down to the appropriate answer.
Quant in GRE and CAT
Both the exams cover the quant section from arithmetic, geometry, trigonometry, and algebra. However, the extent of intensity may vary. The Quant section of CAT is way more difficult when compared to GRE. The question format is also different. While CAT puts up multiple-choice questions and requires one correct answer, GRE may often require multiple solutions or even require students to type-in the right answer.
Prepare for quantitative aptitude by:
Building strong basics: Learn to read. Continue working with a problem till you understand it. Resist the temptation to jump to the next step and dig deep into the actual concept.
Identifying strength and planning out preparation: Follow the sequence in Math practice as every topic builds upon the previous topic. If you follow a systematic approach, you’ll be able to cover every topic with proficiency. Figure out the topics you’re good at and concentrate more on the weak areas. Such a practice will help you prepare well.
Getting the formulas right using shortcuts: Don’t learn a formula without understanding the meaning behind it. Your brain will quickly learn if you’re able to formulate links between the formula and its theory. Approach each topic from a different angle using lateral thinking—additionally, master the quantitative aptitude shortcuts to speed up the process.
Analytical Writing Assessment
Prepare for two writing tasks for the GRE Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). The section would require you to build and support new ideas, attach relevant reasoning, provide evidence, and prepare a well-focused assessment. It will help if you learn to think critically and be able to convey your thoughts. There is no such test in CAT.
To practice Analytical Writing Assessment, spend the first five minutes outlining your argument. Once you have got a solid outline, start writing the essay. Make sure you don’t spend more than 25 minutes on an essay.
Don’t Get Intimidated
Improve your word knowledge, learn contextual meanings, and grasp new vocabulary extensively for GRE. Focus on improving your quant skills in-depth for CAT. You’ll be able to handle Analytical Writing Assessment or AWA in GRE quite easily if you master the verbal section.
Many sections of both the syllabuses overlap with each other. If you make a few adjustments in your GRE preparation to learn CAT’s variations, it’s possible to crack both the exams simultaneously.