CAT, a simple three-letter abbreviation that intimidates scores of MBA aspirants throughout the country. In a bid to pursue that golden 99+ score, aspirants often end up making mistakes that culminate in not getting the result that their preparation deserved.
With this article, we, the students of DMS IIT Delhi, aim to provide the aspirants an advisory, fuelled by self-experiences, on the mistakes to avoid on ‘the-Day’ of CAT.
To make it simple, we have divided the article into four parts;
Also Read: All You Need To Know About Cracking CAT 2019
Excess Mock Taking
Mocks in the final lead up to the exam is often difficult. This strategy is used to elevate the stress levels of students in preparation for the CAT day. However, it can be counter-productive if lower scores in these mocks end up denting the confidence of aspirants. We would advise sticking to sectional tests as opposed to mock tests.
Dedicate a reasonable amount of time to revise quant formulas and tricks. Solving questions should be a matter of muscle memory now, but recalling formulas can cut downtime to calculate significantly
Sacrificing sleep on the night before the exam
Sleep is a genuine necessity for the exam. CAT is a test of aptitude and sharpness. Anything that can hamper cognitive ability is an issue. Lack of sleep is one of them.
Many students make a mistake to skip their meals in order to bid time right before the exam. However, this can turn out to be one of the worse decisions for CAT, as the exam requires full attention to the questions, and skipping the meal can divert your attention to your stomach. It is advisable to eat something light and which can keep you energetic.
Worrying too much
Making CAT a matter of life and death can invite not only added pressure but also hamper cognitive ability. Again, a big no.
This section can be either incredibly daunting or the exact opposite, depending on the candidate. There is usually no middle ground. Both sets of candidates need to follow the same approach, though: Understand the story behind every RC passage. Candidates usually dive straight into the questions after going through the passage. What we would do is take a little bit of extra time to understand the passage entirely. The story, the theme, and the general tone of the passage. This strategy would ensure more accuracy in answering the questions of the passage as well as in reducing time significantly in answering the questions.
One strategy to tackle the DILR section is to focus on many questions cracked and not on the number of sets cracked. In general, there is at least one question in every set that is difficult to crack and at least one easy question. Leaving those hard questions and attempting easy questions of all sets is not at all a wrong move. You can score based on questions cracked and not based on sets cracked.
A quick reading of all sets and questions asked in less than 5 minutes gives a better understanding and clarity of sets to pick and whether questions asked to require the complete solution of the set or only a few pieces would be sufficient to do 2-3 questions. It is crucial so that you do not leave any easy set just because you were busy solving a difficult one and did not get time to read this set. The next step is to gauge time accordingly and hop on to set that seems easy compared to others.
The focus while attempting the quant section should be ongoing throughout the whole section. It is never about getting the most challenging question but getting the maximum number of questions with the highest accuracy. The candidate should practice as many questions as possible and try to find the comfort zone. During the CAT, the strategy can be to read the question and gauge the amount of time required to solve the question. If the candidate is confident about the question, then he should go ahead otherwise move on to the next question. The questions which will take less than 1/1.5 min should be attempted first, and questions that might take time around 2-3 min should be marked for a later stage. After attempting all these questions, the candidate can move on to another question as per the preference. In this manner, the candidate might be able to attend the maximum number of questions and with maximum accuracy.
We wish you ALL THE BEST for CAT and further admission processes!
The authors of this articles are First Year students of DMS, IIT Delhi having scored 99.5+ percentile in various sections of CAT 2018.