Start with a mock, just to get a feel of the test. Although the idea of taking a mock without much or any preparation might seem intimidating, what better way to start preparing than knowing what you are facing. The 1st mock is not for you to judge your scores, percentile, or level of preparedness but more like to get a feel for what the test is all about.
2. Prepare the basics and analyze your areas of strengths
When it comes to building expertise in a subject, preparing the basics is crucial. The idea is to keep the approach simple and not get bogged down by the unlimited resources available out there. Preparing the basics of each topic and testing yourself through sectional tests or mocks can be a good way to progress steadily. Testing regularly and rather frequently not only helps get a grasp of how strong or weak you are in a particular section but also conditions you mentally to solve questions within the stipulated time.
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3. Make a strategy and stick to it
Having a strategy is important for any aspirant as this is what provides a structure to the preparation. More often than not, people make the mistake of putting in long hours without really having an underlying goal. While there is "no one size fits all", talking to a mentor, or peers or even analyzing some of the mocks can help formulate a plan of action. Sticking to your strategy requires discipline and commitment, but it can lead to significant benefits in the long run. It also allows you to measure your progress and make adjustments as necessary to ensure you're on track to achieve your objectives.
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4. When in doubt, talk to people!
When you're feeling uncertain or confused, talking to other people can be a great way to gain clarity and perspective. This is because other people can offer insights, advice, and different ways of looking at the situation that you may not have considered. The CAT is as much about knowing the concepts as it is about mentally conditioning yourself for D-day. It is perfectly normal to have doubts, highs, and lows alike. Don't be afraid to reach out to friends, family members, colleagues, or mentors when you need guidance or support.
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5. Focus on your weaknesses but don't lose sight of your strengths
One major red flag or biggest trap that candidates fall into is focusing all of their time and energy on areas where they have been struggling. Although it is important to identify areas where you have been scoring less, try to master those concepts, and improve the scoring but it is equally important to constantly sharpen your strengths and make those areas rock solid. Your strengths are areas in which you are naturally excelling and under no circumstances should these be taken for granted.
To sum it all up, I just want to say that there are several different coaching avenues, study materials, blogs, so on and so forth that can very easily overwhelm an aspirant. Rather than trying to cover it all, the focus should just be on keeping things simple. Practice as many mock tests as possible, and review your performance to identify areas where you need improvement. Focus on building your speed and accuracy, and try to develop a strategic approach to tackling the different sections of the exam. Additionally, take care of your physical and mental health in the days leading up to the exam. Get plenty of rest, exercise regularly, and eat a healthy diet. Finally, stay calm and composed during the exam, and trust in your preparation. Good luck!
If you want any guidance for CAT and other MBA entrance examinations, feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn.