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What is the ideal time to start with the mocks for CAT and other MBA entrance exams? 

What is the ideal time to start with the mocks for CAT and other MBA entrance exams? 

What is the ideal time to start with the mocks for CAT and other MBA entrance exams? 

5 Answers
Apurva Sharma, IIM Trichy answered 9 months ago

Every individual has unique way to grasp the concepts for any competitive exam. Some students start giving mock tests initially, some students complete all the course material first and then they attempt mock tests. But for CAT and other MBA entrance exams, all of the aspirants have basic knowledge of at least one of the sections of the exam. So the aspirants must first start giving sectional tests and gauge the level of understanding of the basic concepts. This practice must be started as soon as the student has decided to attempt the CAT this year to utilize the remaining time as much as possible.
Ideal time to start the preparation is 5 months before the exam to dedicate time to brush up and learn basics if you are not comfortable with the concepts. Dedicate at most 2 month time to hone your vocabulary skills and grammar, improve your reading pace, and go through basic concepts of mathematics(if you are not from mathematics background). After that indulge yourself completely in mock exams because that is the way you can practice to sit for 3 straight hours and solve the medley of problems with the time constraint.
Since less than 3 months are left in CAT so now you should take sectional tests and more precisely topic wise tests and start with the most uncomfortable topic. This would give boost to your study because if you pick up the most difficult topic at the end then you tend to skip it and by doing this you are paving way to loose marks if a similar problem turns up in exam. And mix up this test taking strategy with full length mock tests.
Now there are around 80 days remaining so try to attempt at least 30 full length mocks along with 5 tests for each topic and analyze the solutions ‘thoroughly’ whether you have got them correct or not and give more time to imbibe the concepts if required. This would in turn save your time for revision when you would have few days remaining in the exam.

I am a member of InsideIIM student team 4.0 and currently studying at IIM Trichy.

Jeetesh Varshney, IIM Udaipur answered 9 months ago

In my opinion, one should start with the mock tests only when he/she has once gone through the basics of all the sections. As we all know in today’s time, nothing is free, and the same is the case with mock tests. Good mock tests of good coachings are quite expensive, so doing mock tests before completing basics at least 70% is simply wastage of time and money. But till that stage of 70 %, one can give topic tests which will also strength their concepts and also give them the idea what all kind of question will be in mock tests. But one should start giving mock tests before three months of the date of an exam as giving a mock test and evaluating it requires a good amount time and it also teaches you a lot of new concepts which only solving a question can teach you. So start early with one mock interview in a week, then two in a week and keep going but never give more than one mock test in a day.

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

Chirag Shukla, MBA Aspirant
answered 9 months ago

My opinion is that one should start taking mocks as soon as possible. 
Because honestly, just learning concepts and solving questions can be done by a Class 12th student as well. The real test is – can you solve it with a timer in your face and negative marking and huge competition? That can only be tested by mock tests. 
My suggestion is, aim for 20 mock tests at this stage. Keep 10 to form strategies and the other 10 to test your concepts only. If you are really ambitious and hold the capacity of giving 40+ mocks and their analysis, then go for it (I am on track to giving 40+ mocks by November 23rd to improve my QA and DI-LR scores). 
Another way is to learn a concept, give a sectional test to see if you’ve understood concepts, and then moving on to a mock. A sectional will take you anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour. 
We currently have 3 months to CAT. Just give it that last push and get all your concepts absolutely right. 
All the best!

Parth Shekhar, MBA Aspirant answered 9 months ago

In my opinion, taking mocks should be a part of one’s preparation, i.e. they should be in parallel to the concept building process. The reasons being-
1) The more you take them, the more familiar you get with the exam pattern.
2) The questions you attempt wrong or leave unattempted helps you recognise the areas of improvement.
Doing so, helps you chalk out a proper preparation plan to improve your grey areas, rather than randomly picking up chapters to study.
However, many would be comfortable with first studying all the chapters and building concepts and then start with the mocks. If this is the case, then utilising at least 2-3 months before the exams for taking mocks should be good. There should be sufficient time given to analyse one’s mocks as well.

Sailesh Hota, XLRI Jamshedpur answered 9 months ago

In my humble opinion, an individual should start giving mocks 3 months before CAT despite his level of preparation. This would have 2 advantages:
a. Exposure to various types of questions.
b. Identification of strengths and weaknesses.
c. A practice run for sitting 3 hours at a stretch.
The frequency should be low in the beginning, high in the middle and medium towards the end in the 3 month period. Taking 3 months would also help you see your improvement correlated with your level of preparation and improve your speed and time management skills. It would also help you explore various mocks from various sources and help you analyse your performance based on the type of paper that was presented.

Member, InsideIIM Student Team 4 | PGDHRM - XLRI Jamshedpur, 2020

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