Just a scant few days to go before CAT is upon you. It’s normal to have doubts and queries. More significantly, you may also be suffering from self-doubt. That’s okay. Because those who came before you suffered from CAT trauma too! Having said that, how do you strategise and plan if you have one weaker section as compared to the others? Quite a few students, irrespective of their backgrounds, find quant to be tough. Others struggle with LRDI. Many feel that the VARC section is a challenge. So how do you prepare when one section could be your Achilles Heel? In this article, we share some strategies used by students when one section is found to be weaker. Find out how you can win over your weaknesses in this article.
All your major prep must have been done by now - basics cleared, sectionals given and ‘n’ number of mock exams taken. At this point in time, you must be wondering what to do in these last days. There are a few strategic actions that might help your prep at this time -
Keep in touch with your strong sections; Don’t focus only on the weaker sections
Don’t pick up a new topic or concept at the last minute. In the last few days keep a light study schedule as compared to the previous months of preparation. For example, If you think your quant section is weak and are worried if you will even clear the sectional cut off, then stop fretting! Spend the last 15 or so days focusing on quant, while randomly solving some DI-LR sets, VA sections, RCs, summary, para jumbles, odd one out etc, to keep in touch with these sections too.
Paving your way through the weaker sections
For this, give a few sectional sets (your weaker section). After a few of them, you will figure out which questions are easy to solve, and which are the hard ones. Now you need to categorise them into easy, medium and hard. In the last few days, try to solve questions with a higher difficulty level. However, if they are still giving you a hard time then leave them and focus on solving the easy one in less time.
During the exam, read every question but leave questions that are your weak points. Don’t waste your time to solve them as they will eat up the time which you could have spent on other questions. The key here is to not skip a question even if it is from your weak topic, read every question- it might be an easy one. Leave a question only if it seems impossible to solve (at that time). As you leave questions from these topics, make a point to solve all the questions that are a part of your strong suit. Just keep giving sectional and mock tests and you will definitely see an improvement in your weak section and hence your overall score.
Appear for sectionals and mock in your CAT slots
By now you already have your admit card and know your CAT slots. Start appearing for your mocks and sectionals in your CAT slot timings. This practice has two benefits -
- You will get mentally ready for the exam and develop the habit of staying alert at that time of the day.
- Another benefit is time management. A combination of CAT mocks and sectionals at the slots will stimulate a CAT exam like experience. You will be able to identify the exact time you need for strong and weak areas, on those exact hours of the day you need to be at your best.
- Two or three mocks in a week during this stage is more than enough. Don’t over-do mocks, they are just there to develop test-taking abilities and not over-stretch your mental muscles.
- Instead, take the time to analyse your test scores and make strategies accordingly.
There is no such thing as ‘important topics’
In the last week, you will hear a lot of chatter about “important” topics and expected questions on online forums. Those are just rumors, don’t ponder over it, especially when you are unsure about the topics that are being discussed. CAT 2019 is one of the toughest MBA entrance exams because of its difficulty level and unpredictability. Therefore, instead of paying heed to those rumors, try focusing on key concepts, revise the important formulas and keep practising.
Keep revising fundamental concepts & formulas
If your fundamentals are clear then there is nothing really that can stop you from acing the CAT. During the last week, there are many aspirants like you who are less confident about one section than others. Hence, in order to master your weaknesses, you are probably using the strategy of rigorous practice by taking several mocks. While your strategy is right, it is equally important to revise your fundamentals and keep your basics clear. Because at the end of the day, no matter how many mocks you attempt, there are bound to be a few questions in CAT 2019 that you will be encountering for the first time. Only those who have a clear grasp of their concepts and fundamentals will be able to solve those questions. So, for the last few weeks, revise your Quant formulas, understand the concepts of DI, RC and LR and keep reading the latest editorials from newspapers for your VA section.