How To Prepare For Multiple Exams In The Same Timeframe

It is that time of the year again. The MBA exam frenzy has started to kick in. Be it students juggling their final year or working professionals their jobs, this preparation is a test of your time management and mental strength as it is a strength of Verbal, Quant and Analytical skills. It is also the time when one has to mound his preparation according to the exam at hand as CAT isn’t generally the only exam aspirants focus on. There are other exams also like NMAT, XAT, TISS, SNAP, IIFT, CMAT and also GMAT in some cases. Each exam has something different and unique to be focused on for it. So as an aspirant, how do I encounter this headache of preparing for each exam but also not derailing from my main focus and preparation of the CAT.

One thing to note is that the basic heart of all these exams is the same. So if one is preparing for CAT properly and seriously, his DI, Quant, Verbal and LR for all the other exams is pretty much taken care of. One thumb rule for any exam that you plan to or are about to give is to take around a minimum of 5 mocks of that exam. These mocks not only help you familiarise yourself with the pattern of the exam but also it helps your body cycle and improves stamina. Any exam is never an exam of skill entirely. It also is how you handle pressure and concentrate on D-Day. So familiarising the body clock with the exam is very important.

One thing to prepare simultaneously with the normal preparation material is to be well versed with GK. Even if one is preparing for CAT alone, keeping up to date with GK helps in GD-PI preparation for the near future. And in exams like IIFT, something like GK can act as the game changer and really give you a few brownie points and increase your score substantially. It acts like the make or break section. So reading the newspaper for an hour or half an hour should help massively.

It’s November and the season started with NMAT in October. Some of you might have already given it or are about to. Here the main focus is speed and accuracy as there is no negative marking. There is no extra material required for preparation and your normal CAT material should suffice. A few mocks and you shall be good to go. This is followed by  IIFT where the game changer-GK comes into the picture. Here since there is negative marking, Accuracy is required and a high GK score should be helpful in increasing keeping in mind clearing the minimum cut off for the other sections.

GK, in general, can be divided into 2 sections namely static and dynamic GK. Static GK is the one which is facts and stands the test of time for example  “Name the tributaries of Ganga ” The answer for this will remain the same. This is called static GK. Dynamic GK is one which is based on the current happening around. Your best source of information for this is newspapers and keeping yourself updated with the day to day happenings around the world. One good book that might help you with your GK preparation is Manorama General Knowledge as it consists of both, static and Dynamic GK. You could also take the help of your peers for this section but do not take this section lightly. Often I have seen students thinking GK is a cakewalk and falter in that and also all the serious aspirants realise the importance of this section and how it can really enhance their score. So if you are going for other exams keep GK as your priority as well.

Only exam that contains a section which is different from all this is XAT. XAT has a section on Decision Making. Decision Making is a really interesting section and tests how you react to a given situation which you may face later as a manager. There is no hard and fast rule for this section and practice is one way to get better for this section as this is a whole new entity at the end of the day.  You could go through the past year papers to know better. Also reading how people who have already aced prepared for this section can be helpful and you can follow the same.

So at the end, preparing for different exams in the same time frame isn’t as much of a headache as we make it to be as the main part of the exam remains the same, with some additional section or probably a shift in the strategy of the exam. A good way to counter all of this is by giving mocks and knowing better on where you lack in these exams and improving those weak points while also for GK reading and being up to date with the news.

Keep calm and Happy studying !

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