A Day-Wise Plan For The Last Week Before CAT By An IIM Indore Student

“Which section of CAT should be most practised in the last few days before the D-Day? How should I divide my time between revision, mocks and learning new formulas? What my last AIMCAT score says about my chances in CAT?”. A myriad of such questions beset a candidate’s mind and more so in the penultimate or the last week before the exam. I can empathise with everyone going through this dilemma since I was on the same a couple of years ago.

The good news is that, capitalising on my experience and some simple observations, I can make lives easier for you by charting out a day-wise plan for the last 7 days in the build-up to CAT ’17. However, there’s one caveat that this plan will be germane to only those who’ve been preparing for CAT since at least last 5-6 months and that too in a structured way:

  • 7 Days to CAT: Take two mock CATs (choose among AIMCATs, previous year CAT papers or the mock CAT series of any CAT training institute) and ANALYSE them once you have the result in your hands. A mock test given without following it up with a sincere analysis is a pathetic waste of time and efforts! I remember coming across 2 quant questions in CAT ’15 which were very similar to the ones I had learnt during the analysis of one of the mocks merely 3 days before the actual exam. Apart from the mocks, choose any one section, let’s say VA, and perform a last and final revision of the topics practised before. DON’T try to learn anything new at this time, it’ll only dwindle your confidence. Estimated no. of hours – 6 hrs for 2 mocks+ 4 hrs for their analyses + 2-3 hours of revision of VA in our case = 12-13 hrs.
  • 6 Days to CAT: The task of taking 2 mocks and then analysing them should be infallibly repeated not just on this day but until two days before CAT. Other than the mocks, continue with revisiting the important topics/concepts/questions of the same section which you chose for yesterday. The idea is to plan revision for 2 consecutive days for each of the three sections. And I repeat that doesn’t take up any such topic now which has log bothered you or the one which you haven’t practiced before. The estimated no. of hours will remain the same as the previous day.
  • 5 Days to CAT: As mentioned above, take 2 more mocks today. Switch to the next section, let’s say DI LR, for performing the revision of its concepts for one last time.

And just clarifying that your last AIMCAT/any X test series score doesn’t tell anything about your expected CAT percentile but instead take an average of the percentile results of all the tests taken by you and then it’ll be safe to assume that your expected CAT percentile will be 3-4 percentile more than this average. To corroborate this, let me tell you that I was only in the 76th percentile in my last AIMCAT, my average AIMCAT score was about the 95th percentile and I ended up scoring 99+ in CAT ’15. I observed a similar pattern with many of my friends.

  • 4 Days to CAT: Repeat the process of taking 2 mock CATs and continuing with your revision of the second section (DI LR in our case). You can surely take a few very specific sectional tests on the topics which you revised lately but are still not very comfortable dealing with its questions. I did the same for 3-4 DI LR topics some 3-4 days before CAT.
  • 2 Days – 3 Days to CAT: Live with the monotonous task of taking 2 mocks on each of these 2 days and switch to the last section, QA in our case, for revisiting the easy-to-forget formulas, challenging questions of every topic and some speed mathematics tricks.
  • 1 Day to CAT: Contrary to what most serious candidates would do, I strongly suggest forgetting CAT and CAT prep for one day – the day right before the exam! Watch a movie or two, play your favourite sport and sleep well. People often underestimate the value of a fresh, relaxed and unburdened mind in the run-up to the exam. Being calm and composed during those 3 hours is half as good as your preparation of the past one year or so.
  • That it folks! A simple and minimalistic plan such as this can be incredibly effective in writing a merry climax of your CAT preparation story. All The Best 😊

Abhinav Bansal

I'm a participant of the PGP 2016-18 batch at IIM Indore. Stuff like brands, blogging and dramatics interests me a lot! I aspire to launch my post MBA career with a typical Sales/Marketing job. In line with this goal, I've been a part of the Marketing club of IIM Indore and interned at a leading FMCG firm during the summers of '17.



Naina Gupta

Hi Abhinav, Thank you for an insightful article! I take 4-5 hours to analyse a mock. So if I give only 1 mock per day until the 25th. Would that be sufficient?


Hi Naina! I would suggest to cut down the time taken to analyse one mock to max 2.5 hours and devote the remaining time to attempting a second mock. That’s because, in this way, you’ll expose yourself to much larger variety of questions.