What to expect from the first CAT mock test?
One cannot progress without a proper plan. When you prepare to take the CAT for the very first time and decide to give a mock first, how do you analyze the results? How should one go ahead and carve out a detailed plan for preparation based on the results?
I took my first CAT in 2013, since then i have been in touch with CAT preparation and aspirants. Assumptions for my answer: Average person who is new to CAT and taking his/her first Mock.
Transition from workbook tests to mocks is like switching from Club team to Ranji Team.
Usually first mocks are eye openers. For the first time, one has to sit for 3 hours and solve all the sections with time boundation. Usually when one attempts questions through work books, they don’t feel the pressure of time limit, multiple choice, multiple questions and negative marking.
I’ve seen aspirants getting panicked after first mocks, there were able to attempt only half of what they could have attempted without time limitation. Use this experience to observe your weakness, note down places where you have failed and then try to rework them.
Following and Writing about CAT Prep since 2013
According to me, one should be very calm about first their mock, whether it goes good or bad, the first mock is to analyze what is lacking and what needs to be sorted.
It should be taken in early months of May-June to test the waters.CAT is all about staying calm under pressure and so are the mocks associated with it.
Your first mock test will bring only disappointment unless you are exceptionally bright and have basics in place.
But as Rajesh Balasubramaniam of 2iim constantly reiterates, spend half an hour crying about how you did not do better than 30 percent of the crowd. Then get to the real work, i.e., the analysis of mock tests. I have spent countless hours just sulking because I got an 80 percentile in a mock. But obviously, the key is to sit and analyse what mistakes you made. A more important task is an assessment of the questions you have not attempted and viewing their solutions. It has personally helped me learn 3-4 concept of topics I haven’t even started yet. AIMCATs/SIMCATs are the worst when it comes to difficulty level, but the best when it comes to analysis (which is what matters).
So one must forget about the percentile for at least the first 10 mock tests.
Been scoring 95 in the past few mock tests and know a thing or two about mock test analysis.
That’s a very good question to ask. Well the very purpose of the first mock is to acess where you stand and from where to you need to start your preparation. It helps you benchmark your speed, accuracy, exam prep and most of all test taking strategy. The score of your first mock doesn’t reflect anything. A granular analysis of this test will tell you where the rough edges of your preparation lie.
Hope that helps!
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