I have xx% in my Tenth, only yy% in Twelfth and zz% in UnderGrad... Do you think I even have a shot at IIMs??" / "2.1 Lakhs students appeared for CAT last year... Should I even attempt CAT??" / If these thoughts run through your mind, then your confidence level is shaky. As these self doubts creep into your mind, your brain, which is supposed to "Crack CAT", is busy answering these questions instead of focusing on preparation and crunching those valuable numbers. So, here are five tips from IIM-B students to help you increase your confidence, keep cool and give the CAT a run.
1. Disciplined Approach - Routine and Checklists
Having a schedule for preparation and following it religiously is key to building confidence. This is because your mind is focused on preparation rather than what activities you should pursue next. Keep a checklist of learning materials / topics and make sure you tick them as you complete.A completed list will give an instant boost of confidence as you now have a proof that you have prepared. You mind can no longer play games that you haven't prepared enough - simply looking at the ticked list will make you feel good.
2. Health Mix of Preparation and Distraction - Short Breaks
Remember the cliched adage that "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" ?? Well, it's true. Focusing only on preparation will tire your brain just like how running an entire day will tire your body. The brain needs rest. Take a walk, listen to music, watch an episode, dance, play the guitar, hang out with friends, etc.. do anything that will help you relax. However, approach with caution. Make sure this doesn't consume more time than preparation. Remember.. to keep it a SHORT BREAK!
3. Stop Worrying about What Others are Doing - Focus on Yourself
Do you find yourself comparing your schedule with a friend's? Envious that your neighbor aunt's son who was always out partying cracked CAT? Do your parents seem to pressurize you by reminding you about a far relative who is always studying??
Ignore it all!! Each one of us is unique and so our approach to CAT should be unique as well. As mentioned in my earlier blog, take up a mock exam to identify areas of weakness and prepare accordingly. Customize your preparation. Ask for advice but be careful and wise in choosing which ones to take. Do not worry if your friend is spending more time or using "expensive" materials to prepare. Remember, CAT is all about having a cool head that can think and no amount of preparation can give that. Comparison only makes it worse... So stay focused on your preparation.
4. Self Assurance - Formula Sheet
Constantly find yourself worrying and anxious because you think you've forgotten what you learnt earlier? Fret not! Always carry a handy notepad with you.. jot down formulas, important grammar rules, etc. in it and keep referring to them every time you're nervous. This will help assure yourself that you haven't forgotten what you've already prepared. Writing down formulas will also help better with remembering.
5. Deep Breathe - Relax
Every time you find yourself tired and doubting your capability, it is a sign that your brain is tired. It is time for it to relax. So, have a power nap and do some breathing exercises. This will help better supply much needed Oxygen to your brain and also, calm you down. Have healthy food - Fruits, nuts and vegetables. Just like how a healthy diet is needed for building muscles, healthy foods increase your memory capabilities.
Armed with the above tips, I hope you now know how to handle the feeling of anxiousness. For further queries, please leave a comment below and follow me for more updates!!
Rinku Stephen pursued Computer Science and Engineering just because she was fascinated by the law of cartoons. But later during her course, she was smitten by the tech bug and went on to develop developed Peer to Peer Application for NFCs, automated healthcare claims and solutions to clinical trials. She also had a brief stint as the IT consultant for a Startup – Praise Foundation. She has interned at Flipkart as a Product Manager and looks forward to a long career in tech related roles. Setting the geek side aside, Rinku loves to trek, try new sports, read crazy, and of course.. GOT.