Are You Following These Steps While Appearing For CAT Mocks? – Mock Strategies By IIM Lucknow Student

With less than 3 months to go for CAT 2017, I can understand the situation in which a serious CAT aspirant finds himself, having been through the same phase 2 years back. Mounting exam pressure, reading ‘CAT strategies’, falling percentiles in mock exams, peers doing better, all of this and what not. CAT 2015 was my third attempt. After two casual attempts, I had made up my mind to give in my 100% for CAT 2015. I had started my preparation almost nine months before the exams. What followed was months of hard work and sleepless nights but all of this finally paid off. I had calls from IIM C L K I and all new IIMs. I finally aced IIM Lucknow and became a proud Hellite.

Apart from the unwavering support from family members and some phenomenal teachers, what really helped me in acing the CAT was giving the mock exams extremely diligently. While most serious aspirants do understand the importance of giving mock exams, few follow the correct strategy while doing so. In this article, I will share with you a few pointers that I followed while giving mock exams. Hope they help you just the way they helped me 😊

1)    Which mocks to take: It is that time of the year when all coaching centers come up with lucrative offers and want you to sign up for their mock CAT series. Do not get swayed by the idea of saving a few thousand bucks. Stick to the tests offered by 3-4 established players. These tests are carefully designed by them after having analyzed previous year trends. Also, these players would give you a better idea of your percentile as they are the preferred choice of most serious aspirants.

2)    How many mocks to take: Ideally at this time, you should give 1 or 2 mocks a week depending on your level of preparation and the amount of time you can devote. This number should increase in the coming months. However, do not wait to complete the full syllabus and then start with mocks or give more than one mock a day.

3)    Mirror the actual test environment: Approach the mock tests with the same intensity as you would approach the final exam. Keep your cell phone away, do not take any breaks between the test, have minimal disturbance outside, etc. If possible, go to the coaching center and give mocks with other 10-12 students (most of the centers of reputed players have this facility).

4)    Analyse even more seriously: The single most unpardonable sin that you can commit in your preparation is to only give mocks without any analysis. After every mock you take, you should be spending 3-4 hours analyzing the same. You should be asking yourself following types of questions –

•    Which questions could be solved in lesser time?

•    What were the easy questions that I did not attempt?

•    Where did I make silly errors?

•    What are my strong areas? Which areas need more work?

•    Which questions am I getting regularly wrong?

5)    Do not get disheartened: You may not score very well in your mocks initially. However, do not give up. Even I had as low as 65%ile in the first few mocks and less than 95%ile in most of them. As they say, every dark cloud has a silver lining. The key is to continue improving in the coming months.

I wish you all the best in your endeavours.

I’d be more than happy to answer the queries you may have. Good Luck!

samaksha vaish

Samaksha Vaish is a second year student at IIM Lucknow. He is also a member of the Industry Interaction Cell and Manjunath Shanmugam Trust.




Go after the easy questions,,the ones you think will take 45 secs or about. Once the sitter questions are done, go after the tougher questions from topics you are comfortable with


Were you working while preparing ….if yes then how much time you devoted to preperation….

Jay Dave

Hello, I gave CAT last year got 94 percentile but could not clear Verbal Sectional. Quant used to be my strength I could easily score 50+ marks in every mock. But this year even after giving 5-6 mocks I hardly scored 45+ in one exam. I certainly improved in Verbal but I lost track on Quant. Also in DI I can hardly do 5 sets that is 20 questions. How to improve attempts in DI?