The last few days before the CAT are usually filled with anxiety and nervousness for most of the serious CAT aspirants. It is quite natural to feel that way. However one should capitalize on this feeling to be focused and to utilize the remaining time in an effective manner so that one can give one’s best shot at CAT. Here are few tips that I would like to share to help aspirants be better prepared:
CAT 2019 - Study Tips
It would be better to avoid taking up a completely new area of study in the last few days. Focus should predominantly be on two major aspects:
Taking regular Mock tests (to help improve speed and for an effective test taking strategy):
Take one full length mock test every alternate day or, at least, once in 3 days. Do not exhaust yourself by taking a mock per day or even 2 – 3 mocks per day just because you have not been regular so far. Writing more mocks than what I have suggested may lead to mental fatigue. Do realize that it is perfectly acceptable to not have finished all the mocks before the CAT. What is more important is the analysis of the mocks you have taken.
Analysis of the Mocks is the Key- It’s not the quantity but the quality that matters
It is imperative that you analyze every single mock taken. Use it to understand & improve upon the approach to each question. Simultaneously, you should note down the mistakes that you are still making and make conscious efforts to eliminate them.
You should now write your mocks in the same time slot as your actual CAT exam. Ideally, do not write any full length mock after 21st November. Taking sufficient rest in the last two days before the actual exam is important to stay positive and calm till the D-Day.
Spend the majority of the time left in revising the material that you have solved. Go through the important formula, various Quant application based question and the R.C. & V.A. processes that you have been taught in class or learnt during self-study. As for the remaining areas, it would do well to attempt their sectional tests and revise important sets from the previous AIMCATs (which is undoubtedly the best bet to crack CAT)
CAT 2019 - 30 Days Plan
1) Solve at least 3 R.C. passages with diverse subject areas every day
2) Solve at least 4-5 different types of LR/DI sets everyday
3) Students with a weaker quant section should revise these three main areas thoroughly–Arithmetic, Geometry/Mens. and Algebra. A good grasp of these areas would help all the non-engineering students struggling with the quant section to do well in the test.
Remember CAT is about applying your concepts and maximizing your scores. The more you practice the better you get at it. So without any prejudices and preconceived notions, prepare well in the next few days.
CAT 2019 - Test Taking Strategy
It is advisable to be flexible instead of having a pre-decided strategy while solving the exam. Decide your approach after going through the paper based on the difficulty level of the CAT.
It is always advisable to start with the RCs in the VA section. Your fresh mind at the start of the exam will help you concentrate better and thereby, maximize your score. Attempting a RC passage with 5/6 questions in the beginning can be quite rewarding and would also help boost your confidence.
In the DI/LR section, be slow in choosing the right set. Once you have narrowed down the sets, solve them as fast as you can. Reading questions along with the set is also a good strategy to maximize the number of attempts.
Avoid biases while taking the exam. The CAT may have easy questions, based on the areas you ignore. Hence, going with a pre-decided notion about the number of attempts and the areas from which one will solve questions is not a smart thing to do. Read ALL the questions, identify the ones you can attempt & attempt only the ones you are sure of answering correctly. Never, ever, get stuck on a question as this leads to wasting time which could be utilized to solve other questions. Lastly, don’t hesitate to skip a lengthy/tough question.
CAT is an exam having relative scoring and a difficult paper will be difficult to almost everyone. The key is to have a good presence of mind and make sure that you give it your best attempt.All the very best of luck to you!
About the Expert
Mr. Kaushik Laskar is a Computer Science Graduate from IIT Kharagpur and holds PGDM from IIM – Ahmedabad. With rich corporate experience of 23 years in key domains such as Marketing, Sales and Strategy spanning across Management Consulting, Media, Cement and Telecom sectors in India & Africa, Globacom, Tata Teleservices, Reliance Communications, Bharti Airtel ltd, ABP Group and A.F Ferguson, he is now actively engaged in guiding the MBA aspirants to join the field of Management.