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CAT 2017: 10 commandments to score above 90 percentile and get into IIMs

Nov 10, 2017 14:55 IST
CAT 2017
CAT 2017

CAT exam is round the corner of the month and with so less time in hand, it is imperative that you prepare yourself fully to face one of the toughest management exams. Out of all the MBA exams that test the aptitude of the aspirants, this is the only one that offers an opportunity to enter the IIMs. And scoring 90 percentile is not a gamble here, it is a matter of share hardwork and persistence. Along with the hardwork, you also need to acquire some additional skills that can make you a winner in the race of thousands of aspirants vying for a seat in the top IIMs.

So here are 10 commandments to score above 90 percentile and get into IIMs and get admission in the institute of your dreams:

1. Steer Clear of Rumours

Rumours are your biggest enemy, especially the ones which are directed at hurting your morale and creating a negative mind set about the upcoming CAT 2017 MBA entrance exam. As the exam day approaches, you will start hearing a lot of rumours related to the CAT exam pattern, CAT exam syllabus and the general trend which would dictate the way you should change your preparation strategy. But, as experience has taught up, such rumours never turn out to be true and only deviate you from the core preparation strategy you have for CAT 2017. So, if you want to score above 90 percentile and get into the best MBA colleges in India, you must steer clear of such rumours and follow the MBA test prep strategy that you have designed for yourself.

2. Memorization is not a must

Well, many MBA aspirants and even some MBA gurus would tell you, to bell the CAT and get into IIMs; you must memorize a ton of formulas and shortcut tricks. But the question to be asked here is it really necessary to mug-up all the formulas that are hardly going to be of any use during the actual exam? Again, experience tells us that mugging up formulas do not guarantee success. But, on the other hand, gaining conceptual understanding of any topic does.

So, try to learn a topic by actually understanding the concept and you won’t need to learn formulas. And even if you have to learn a few formulas, you can always memorize them for short-term before entering the exam hall and quickly write them down on the sheet of paper provided to do the rough calculations. Doing so will make sure that you do not mix up any formulas during the exam when the pressure to complete / attempt the question is high.  

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3. Scan the Paper / Section first

Like every competitive exam, the key to cracking CAT 2017 lies in actually evaluating the exam paper first and understanding how much time and effort you are going to need to actually score above 90 percentile. Scanning the paper or a section first would give you an idea of where the easy questions lie which require less time and effort. On the other hand, if you follow a sequential order, you will end up wasting a lot of time on questions that you are not completely confident of solving in the given time. So, make it a rule to always scan the entire paper / section first and go through the entire question set; making a mental note of the questions that are easier to solve.

4. Do not pre-fix number of questions to attempt

One of the biggest mistakes that even the most brilliant of CAT aspirants do is to fix the number of questions to attempt from a particular section. While it is good practice to perform a thorough SWOT analysis and understand your strengths and weaknesses and which sections to focus, fixing the minimum number of questions to attempt from a section is taking it to an extreme. No mock test or any sample paper is good enough to truly predict the type, style and format of questions which will be asked in CAT 2017. Therefore, fixing the number of questions to attempt in a section is a very bad idea. It would only end up with you wasting a lot of time behind questions that you surely know are unanswerable. Therefore, it is advisable to attempt questions as you come across them without any compulsions and as per their merit.

5. Don’t lose heart if you fail to do well in one section

Another rookie mistake that MBA aspirants often do during CAT 2017 is to lose hope after not doing well in any one particular section of the CAT MBA entrance exam. While it is natural for one to lose heart for not meeting your expectations in either VARC / Quant / DILR, you must remember that there still are other two sections in which you can make up for the lost ground. Brooding over not performing well in one particular section would only bring down your own morale and put you into a negative mind-set that would also adversely affect your performance in other sections. Therefore, never judge your CAT 2017 performance on the basis of your not doing well in only one section.

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6. Don’t get into an ego tussle with yourself

CAT 2017 is an exam that is aimed at identifying and shortlisting the best business managers that India has to offer and this also include testing not only their knowledge i.e. intelligence quotient but also passion i.e. emotional quotient. Many a times, you will come across questions in CAT 2017 exam that seem very easy and similar to the ones that you have solved earlier, but in reality they are much different and difficult. In such cases, it is best to realize this in time and take a conscious call to not attempt them; instead of getting into an ego tussle with yourself for solving it. You must remember that ultimately only the things that you are able to do on the D-day of 26th November are the ones that count. So, even if you have solved a particular type of question a 100 times prior to this day, if it’s taking too much time on the D-day, its better to leave it rather than waste a lot of time on it.

7. Be patient to avoid errors

This one is quite self-explanatory, but still if you need any more convincing, please read on. Patience is one of the key traits of any business manager and therefore it is thoroughly tested in CAT 2017. In fact, you can easily find a few stories every year after CAT of aspirants doing all the hard work to arrive at the right answer, in the hurry candidates often end up selecting the wrong option. This is all due to the exam pressure and anxiety. Therefore, to avoid such mistakes, it is important to be patient and avoid such errors.

8. Grow an eye for details

Again this point flows from the earlier one, when on the exam day, you often end up messing things up due to small errors like not checking the details even after doing all the necessary hard work. One such simple example of growing an eye for detail would be to keep an eye over the units in which the question and answers are posted. For instance, a data analysis questions might provide you data in millions but the answers given as MCQs might be in lakhs. Therefore, until and unless you notice such minor details and calculate things accordingly, you might never make any headway with regards to solving the question. So, grow an eye for detail and you will surely save a lot of time and effort in solving CAT 2017 questions.

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9. Don’t carry hangover of previous section

After completing one section, you would either be quite happy and satisfied with your performance or be completely down in dumps; depending upon how you managed to answer the questions. However, when it comes to CAT 2017, it is best to treat each individual section as a separate paper and also not to carry any hangover of the earlier sections in the next one. If you move to the next section with over-confidence then there is a very likely chance that you will end up making silly mistakes in the next ones. Similarly, if you go in without any confidence or with a completely negative mind set, you might again make mistakes which you would not have made otherwise. Therefore, it is very important to be indifferent to your performance in each of the sections of CAT 2017 MBA entrance exam.

10. Avoid the guessing game

Finally, coming to the biggest mistakes that thousands of MBA aspirants do every year during CAT MBA exam i.e. playing the guessing game. Even the brightest among the lot fall for this trick. After investing a lot of time on solving a question, when you are unable to come to any logical conclusion, you often resort to the guessing game. This puts you at a great risk of not only losing out on the marks for that particular questions but also marks you might have scored from other questions, thanks to negative marking. Therefore, negative marking is a complete ‘No’ when it comes to CAT 2017.

These are the 10 simple commandments that you must follow in order to make CAT 2017 a fruitful attempt in scoring above 90 percentile and getting into the best MBA colleges in India i.e. IIMs. If you think that we have missed out on any other important aspects that MBA aspirants must keep in mind for the D-day of 26th November, please point them out in the comments section below. You can also register yourself for the latest news and updates as well as CAT 2017 study material at mba.jagranjosh.com.

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