With the change in the pattern of the exam introduced with this year, students have many doubts. As per the changes, instead of three sections there will be two sections in CAT now- Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning. But even if the pattern is new, the components of the sections and the areas will remain the same. So you need not change your preparation strategy for the new pattern.
In an attempt to help you ace your preparation, we will discuss about Data Interpretation which will be now converged with the Quantitative Ability part in the first of the two sections of CAT.
Topics covered in Data Interpretation of CAT :
The Data Interpretation section consists of graphs, charts, tables etc. for calculating data. Though some questions need calculations, others can be solved just mentally without calculation. Questions can also be asked on Tables, Bar Charts, Pie Charts, Line chart/Scatter diagrams; Caselet/Logic based DI, Network Diagram etc. The only way to do well in this section is to improve your ability to work with numbers. You need to increase the speed of your mental calculations and that can be achieved only by practice.
Books for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning:
There are some books that will help you prepare for the CAT 2012 exam. Some books dealing with this section are-:
How to prepare for the Data Interpretation for CAT' by TATA-McGraw Hill publications
Course In Mental Ability and Quantitative Aptitude' by Edgar Thorpe
How to prepare for the Data Interpretation for CAT' by Arihant Prakashan
Data Interpretation and Logical by Arun Sharma
How to prepare for Data Interpretation?
Practice: Take as many mock tests as possible. Also solve previous years' CAT papers. Talking to media, Vinayak Kudva, Product Head, IMS Learning says, "For Data Interpretation, go through last five to six years CAT exam papers and try solving them without any preparation. Analyse and evaluate your approach with reference to every question including the one which you solved easily."
Reading: Reading books and prep material will be useful. You must read articles, especially on business which are heavy on data and analyse them.
Analyse: Refer to the graphs and data provided in various business papers and business magazines or corporate publications. You need to identify techniques to solve questions which require time consuming calculations.