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Should I give CAT this year? Very demotivated.

Should I give CAT this year? Very demotivated.

Anonymous asked 5 months ago

CAT 2018 was pathetic for me. I scored only 80 percentile after preparing for 6 months. And now I am confused if I should go for CAT once again. 
It takes way too much effort and I don’t think that with my 9-9 job I can manage preparations. Need some motivation and tips from community members, please. Should I go for CAT 2019?
10th – 85.5%
12th – 87%
Graduation – 73%

3 Answers
Apurva Sharma, IIM Trichy answered 5 months ago


Your profiles look good. Please don’t get depressed. Just have faith in yourself and you’ll be able to crack it. Watch motivational videos on YouTube and other online video streaming sites whenever you feel low. Even I cracked CAT in my third attempt. You can go through this article: https://insideiim.com/consent-dreams-not-typical-journey-iim-trichy/?src=apurva

Reality hit me when I attempted CAT exam with some amount of preparation.
CAT 2015: 66%ile – utter failure
CAT 2016: 73%ile – better but still utter failure. The gap between me and my dream was so huge. But I didn’t lose hope.
CAT 2017: Enough percentile to get a call from 13 IIMs including IIM Bangalore, Lucknow and Shillong, and SJMSOM (IIT-B).

So, never lose hope and move forward thinking that the better days are yet to come.

Typically for preparing well for CAT takes around 8-10 months at maximum. Here are the few things which you can start following from now on so that everything gets easy-peasy for you.

Develop a habit of reading: The biggest favor you can do to yourself is developing a reading habit. This is something in future you will be immensely thankful for – it will help you a lot while attempting CAT RCs. Trust me, it’s a fundamental skill but is a real differentiator.
You may already have a good reading habit. It is so, then keep it up. But if you don’t, then it is the apt time to start. You have enough time to make a difference. Cultivating a reading habit is easy – just make it a point to read anything that interests you – be it novels, magazines, articles in newspapers – every day in breaks or before hitting the bed at night. The more you read, the better you’ll get at comprehensions and other questions on VA. Practice comprehensions from previous year papers, study materials. Newspapers may be a good way to revise the vocabulary – a lot of words from the words list appear in the newspapers and newspapers will also help you keep updated with current affairs.

Increase your vocabulary: Many questions on VA will use words that you do not typically see in normal conversation. If you know the meanings, it will be much easier to score. You can learn and increase your vocab by using sites like QSLeap, JagranJosh, http://www.vocabulary.com, etc

  • Learn 30 words in a day
  • Revise these words once or twice before hitting the bed at night.
  • On weekends, revise the words learned over the week.

Use mnemonics for words which you can’t seem to learn even after a few attempts. There are plenty of websites that contain a lot of mnemonics for all these words.

Quantitative Ability: To solve quants questions, you need to do a lot of practice, that’s it. Practice the important topics well, and you should be good to go.

Data interpretation and Logical reasoning: For the DI problems my advice would be to leave the more calculation based problems for the end. Learn to do an approximation. DI is almost similar to LR in terms of how to master this section. You’ll find 2 kinds of questions – those that require some calculation, and those that require a lot of intensive calculation. Most questions in this section will appear in sets (2-4 questions based on a single set of data), it is important to be able to quickly judge which of the two categories each set of question lies in because you don’t want to spend a few minutes on a set of question and then realize that it requires way too much calculation and then end up not answering. By practicing a lot you’ll be able to master the needed skill.
LR section is actually fairly intuitive but comes with a little bit of practice. You should know the techniques required to solve different kinds of questions and so for this refer to different websites and books by Sarvesh K Verma (Quantum CAT) and Arun Sharma books. Another important point here is speed. If you do not practice enough, you will be able to solve most of the questions, but it will take you much longer than others who are more prepared. So when you practice, make sure you are focusing on your speed and speed of solving LR questions plays an important role in examinations like IIFT and SNAP.

Take mock tests: Take some practice tests early on to see which sections you are better at, and which ones you need to improve on. Also, learn to eliminate unreasonable options: Often, in QA and LR, some options just do not fit the scenario. They can be eliminated and it then becomes a lot easier to solve the problem for the remaining cases. Properly analyzing the results of a mock test is an art form in itself, and also many coaching institutes provide varying levels of support and details in their results. Focus on your weaker sections and make full use of your mocks.

All the best! 🙂

Member of InsideIIM Student Team 4.0 | IIM Trichy

Sibi Vishvak, MBA Aspirant answered 5 months ago

I am in the same situation. My CAT 2018 was bad as i scored only 84 percentile. It depends on your profile. if you are working for more than two years and if you want to do an MBA in the same field as your job, then i would ask you to go for an executive course next year focusing on strengthening your profile.
If you are working for less than two years, then i would ask you to either look for overseas options if you could afford it or try to give CAT 2019.
I know people who resigned their job and prepared for CAT 2018 but still got the same percentile as mine.
Also, if you are looking to switch domains, please quit your job now as your current working experience will not help you post MBA. Rather do some certifications and internships that might help you.
I am saved by my CMAT score which might help me crack some Tier-2 institutions.

Jeetesh Varshney, IIM Udaipur answered 5 months ago


Feeling depressed is quite natural when you don’t get the expected result but that the time when you have to collect yourself and start preparing to strike hard the very next time when you will get the opportunity i.e CAT 2019 in your case. Once I was in the same situation and even after a lot of preparation, only manage to secure 70 %tile but I never left the hope as I was very much determined that I have to do the MBA. Believe me, that the only thing that helped to secure approx 99 %ile in CAT 2017. So be ready to sacrifice whatever it takes to make it to a prestigious b-school.

For more dose of motivation and how to approach for CAT 2019, read my article: https://insideiim.com/ace-second-attempt-cat/?src=jeetesh

Hope this helps!

Member, InsideIIM Student Team 4 | PGP - IIM Udaipur, 2020

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