7 Days To CAT – The Dos And The Don’ts – Rushi Vyas, 99.28%ile In CAT 2015 – IIM Rohtak

After attending the rigorous study sessions, memorising the short cut formulae, appearing in the never ending mock tests and evaluating their performances time and again, 2.5 lakh aspirants await the day for which they toiled so hard. The Common Admission Test (CAT), widely considered as the toughest entrance exam in India, is only 7 days away. However, the last week is filled with anxiety and anticipation for the aspirants. Having sailed through the same storm a year ago, I offer a few signboards for the serious aspirant, which I feel may come handy.


1.      Formulate a D-Day Strategy

CAT is a strategic test in which one needs to analyse the difficulty level of the question before attempting it. Once you do that, in the first round solve all the easy questions which take minimum time. In the second round solve the questions which are time-consuming but solvable. Only If time permits, go through the very difficult questions in the third round. Your strategy should revolve around your strengths and hence know beforehand which concepts you are most comfortable with.


2.     Full-Length Mocks

Although a serious aspirant should have started taking regular full-length tests a month before the CAT, there’s no harm in attempting a few more full-length tests in the last week. One should try to attempt at least 6 full-length mock tests in the next 6 days. These tests should preferably be taken in an environment similar to that of the test centre. At the end of the test analyse the questions you attempted, identify the ones that required more time to solve and also the ones which were relatively easy for you. Modify your strategy based on the mock test analysis.  


3.     Revise your Notes

This one goes without saying. Revise all the basic concepts you have learnt over the period of your preparation. Go through all the tricks and shortcuts once again till the day before the CAT. This should be done preferably before attempting the day’s mock test so that they get refreshed during the test.


1.      Stay Away from learning New Concepts 

A mistake many aspirants make is of picking up new concepts to study during the last week. This way they do not learn the topic properly and thereby valuable time is wasted, which should, otherwise, have been utilized for revising the concepts learnt already.


2.     Avoid Sleep during the Scheduled Time of CAT

You must have heard about the concept of Body Clock. With repetition, our body gets habituated to performing activities at a certain time. I learnt this during my engineering exam days, and could hence, avoid making the same mistake during the CAT preparation. Instead of dozing off, appear in the mocks precisely at the time slot you have been allotted on the D-Day.

3.     No all-nighters the day before the CAT

 It is of utmost importance that you have 8-10 hours’ sleep the night before the CAT. You need to be fresh because the test is 3-hour long and requires high level of concentration. There is no point in burning the midnight oil the night before, since by then you should be thorough with the syllabus. Your practice over the past months should see you through. On the day, everything boils down to how well you hold your nerves in the exam heat.




About the  Author:

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Rushi Vyas is a first-year student and a member of the PR Cell at IIM Rohtak. He scored 99.28 percentile in CAT 2015.