Strategy For Last Month To CAT 2018
With just over a month to go, I need a little bit of guidance on what my preparation strategy should be.
I have 4 questions regarding this –
- How many mocks should I give in this last month, if I have 16 waking hours?
- Should I give any sectional tests?
- Should I learn new topics?
- 3-4 days before CAT, should I give mocks or should I halt my preparation?
Any other tips from your side will be great.
Some of the points that one should follow in the last month of CAT are :
- Take Mock Tests : This point cannot be stressed much. Aspirants shy away from mocks as they fear how they might perform or they might score less marks and it might demotivate them. But mocks are essential on many levels : Helps in building stamina since you are sitting for 3 hours, knows where you stand on a national level and also helps in identifying your weak areas. For ones who are already taking enough mocks, don’t overburden yourself with it and don’t take more than 4-5 mocks every week. Also try to take one test a week on test timing schedule so that your body is familiar with the test schedule and on D-Day the body adjusts easily to it. It is important to analyse these mocks after you are done with them since you can identify your mistakes and learn from it.
- Formula Sheet for Quant: I think this is necessary for any aspirant regardless of how good he/she is. You must make it a point to have a formula sheet compiled so that you can refer to it anytime. The Formula sheet serves two purposes : It serves as a go to place to revise certain concepts and formulas in Quant and also on D-Day while you have to report 2 hours before the exam you can go through this and revise and it keep the mind alert and in exam mode.
- Keep reading for Verbal : You should keep reading random material preferably newspapers. This may not effectively look like enhancing or helping your verbal but trust me it does. It also helps in keeping you up to date with the recent happenings around the world which might come in handy for exams like IIFT which is just a week before CAT.
- Important to relax: It is important to relax and not fret over the exam too much. Spend time with your family daily or go for a walk or run for an hour everyday. This helps in increased energy and activates the body. Keep thinking positively. Don’t lose heart if you perform badly in a mock rather realize why you performed badly in it and work towards it.
- Time Management : CAT is not only a test of aptitude but also a test of how well you manage time and pressure. Condition your mind not to get stuck up on one question and every question has a time frame attached to it. If you are having difficulty with some question move on and try to work on that area after the test.
- Try different Test taking strategies : This is the best time to do trial and error and check what suits you best. Try different strategies for each section and see what suits you best. If in Verbal are you comfortable working on RCs first or is it visa versa ? While you are attempting the RC do you read the RC and then the questions or some other way ? This is the best time to test all this and realize what suits you best. Don’t go by what your friends or others are doing,do whatever what suits you best and gives the best results.
Make the journey for studying for the CAT as a memorable one rather than a harassing one. CAT is not a difficult exam at the end of the day but it does require effort constantly. One Needs to strategically approach the exam and also be level headed while going for it. At the end of the day think of the long term gains you might get if you succeed in the exam to motivate oneself to work towards it. In case of any difficulties,doubts or advise you are free to message me here.
Till then, Keep Calm and Bell the CAT !
This answer was originally written by Saket Banka.
You can access it here: https://insideiim.com/30-days-to-cat-what-to-do/?src=pratikranjan .
I have answered your questions chronologically:
- I would say that anything from 5-8 mocks would be great for the last month, preferably more frequent towards the end of the month. By the time of your last 5 mocks or so, it will only be about being in the frame of mind where you can be alert for 3 hours at a stretch. Of course, there will be learning as well. But it will more about the speed and sustained concentration. Even if you are unable to do as many, try 3 in the last 10 days. That will keep you well prepared for D-day!
- Continue giving sectional tests if you still have a section that is significantly weaker than the other 2. For instance, my LRDI was still lagging in this period. So I kept giving 1 hour LRDI tests. But avoid it if you are doing reasonably well in all. The logic is that sectional tests should be used when the scope of growth in a section is still very high. I eventually gave 10-15 LRDI tests over 2 months and it helped me with my speed a lot
- This depends on the topic. If it is a topic that sees at least 2-3 questions, and if you happen to be very poor at it then go for it. But have a plan in mind. Decide that you will try 3-4 new topics this month and stick to it. Do not try too many new topics. Better to understand a new one and grow quicker at it than learn many without being quick. Imagine you learned the cut dice problem in LRDI section this month. But just learning it is not enough. If you get that problem this year, and it takes you more than 15 minutes to solve, then there really is not much use. Instead, if you learned it and practised it such that you did it in around 10 minutes, that is something learned
- 3-4 days before CAT, just chill. Give a mock test 3-4 days back. Then for the remaining 3 days do not give any mock tests. Just revise your formulae sheet if you have one. Otherwise just relax. It is best that you are in a relaxed frame of mind. Most importantly, get your sleep cycle right! That adversely impacted me when I wrote CAT since like most college students, I am a night person. I had CAT in the morning slot and I was unable to sleep till 4 am because just not used to it! So try to sort that out, especially if you have the morning slot
All the best! Hope this helps
Member, InsideIIM Student Team 4 | PGP - IIM Calcutta, 2019
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