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How to identify your strengths and weaknesses for CAT Exam?

Jul 18, 2017 11:20 IST
CAT Exam
CAT Exam

A huge part of the success or failure of an MBA aspirant depends on whether or not he knows his strengths and weaknesses. CAT, as an exam, is actually really simple to crack. If you look at the difficulty level of the questions that are asked – they are typically of the level of class 10th. It is the immense pressure that is there on a CAT aspirant that makes it harder than it actually is. However, with a little bit of planning and having a keen eye for observing your performance over time can actually lead to a significant improvement in results. There are the tricks that  students must learn in order to understand the concepts and nail the questions rigth away.

Overemphasising on a section

One of the surest signs that you are neglecting a weak area is when you spend a majority of your time on an area that you like. It is a very natural human tendency. We like to study topics that we like. We enjoy solving questions that we can solve easily. It gives us a feeling of joy – instant gratification. That is probably a problem that you need to learn deal with as soon as possible. I have seen that a large number of students spend more than 50% of their time on just one particular section. It won’t be wrong to say that some students spend 70% of their preparation time on Quantitative Aptitude, 20% of their preparation time on Verbal Ability and the remaining 10% on areas like Logical Reasoning, Data Interpretation, and Reading Comprehension. They forget that LR / DI / RC form 50% of the CAT paper. And it is not something new – it has always been the case. But still, they choose to ignore these areas. Are you doing it as well? If you are – you should stop that as soon as possible. So, if you find yourself spending more than half of your preparation time dedicated to one particular section – it is a mistake. You are leaving out important areas of CAT preparation that will end up becoming your weakness and cost you in the final exam.

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Analyzing the Mock Tests

While the previous suggestion will help with your CAT preparation in a qualitative way, another good way to identify your strengths and weaknesses is to do a deep level analysis of your mock performance. If you have attempted more than 3 mocks seriously, which you should have by now since there are only 2 months left for the exam, you should have the necessary data with you. You just need to look at that data and gather the insights. First thing that you need to do is to solve all the 100 questions from each of the mocks. You will not be able to do it in 3 hours. Even if it takes you 6 hours to do it – it is worth the time. Once you are done with the 100 questions, try and figure out that how many of these questions were easy / sitters. Ideally, you should have attempted all the sitters. If you cannot identify the sitters from a particular topic, then that topic is a weakness for you and you need to fix that. Also, there will be some questions that will be ridiculously hard. Those are the speed breakers that you should not attempt in the exam. Please understand that you do not need to attempt all the questions in the CAT exam. Even attempting half of them will lead to a really good score and percentile. If you attempted a significant number of these ridiculously difficult questions from a particular topic, then that topic is also a weakness. It is understandable that you get trapped in a question in a particular topic once or twice but if it keeps on happening over and over again, the reason for that is simple – you are not clear with the fundamentals of the topic. You need to work more in that topic to improve your understanding of it.

Free CAT Mock Test Papers

I hope you would have learnt something from this post about figuring out your strengths and weaknesses that will help you with your CAT Preparation. Do provide feedback about the same via the comments section.

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1 Comment

sheebasharma,

my son anshu sharma is preparing for cat 2016, he will also apear for cat 2015 can you give me impt tips how to prepare for getting good percentile in cat exam

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