Rahul is a current student at FMS Dehli. He loves mentoring students for CAT.
How Important is mocks for CAT exams?
Mocks are an integral part of your CAT preparation. It helps to make a habit of sitting for 3hrs and minimizining the distruction. I will suggest a few direct points which shows why and how mocks are important for CAT preparation.
1) Relevancy: Mock will help you with the topics which are more important from the exam point of view so that you can decide how much time you need to put on a particular topic. And it will help you input your energy in the things that are important and stop wasting time on less important topics from the exam point of view.
2) Knowing Strength and Weakness: This is the most important to get to know your strengths and weaknesses as soon as possible, and there is one better way to know it starts writing mocks early. in addition it helps in learning Many concepts and amazing shortcuts that are useful in the final exam.
3) Revision: There is no other better way than writing a mock for the revision. And revision is the one thing that will increase your number of attempts as well as accuracy in the exam.
4)Track your Preparation: Constantly writing mocks will keeps track of preparedness and shows how much effort needs to put and whre. It will keep you on the right track for the preparation.
When to start writing mocks? Should one wait for the completion of the syllabus before starting to write the tests?
The right time to start mock is at least before to 4-5 months before the final CAT exam. And as per syllabus is concerned, it is an aptitude exam in which simplicity of knowledge helps, you don't require any complex formulae or cram things. In one or two months, depending on how much daily hours you are putting, you can go through once all the basic knowledge that you need. And after that, you can keep building on that knowledge with the help of your mocks.
Simply CAT is not IIT JEE or UPSC exam where you need a year or even more to complete the syllabus then start writing mocks. here you can start your preparation with a mock.
How to approach tests? What to look while writing mocks?
VARC – In this section, once you have done with basics, start writing mocks. There are generally two types of aspirants, one with good accuracy other with average accuracy. For aspirants with average accuracy, if you already have tried general techniques and are not able to increase your accuracy, then there is only one way left to improve your marks is to increase your attempts slowly with the number of mocks.
DILR- This is one section that has been very difficult for aspirants in recent years. For this section, the selection is the key. Put starting 5-8 minutes in deciding two easiest sets that you are going to attempt immediately and two sets that you will do at last only if you have time. It means you need to arrange sets in increasing order of its difficulty level. this can master only by giving a lot of mocks.
QA-There are various strategies to attempt this section. The most effective, as per my opinion, is the divide and conquer approach. In this, you divide one hour into 6 parts of 10minutes each, and in this, you start from the first question and visit a pair of 6 questions in every 10 minutes segment. This will save your time that wastes in the ABC approach in the shuffle between questions. Implementing this approach in upcoming sectional and full-length mocks will be very effective once you get accustomed to it.
How many mocks one needs to write on average to get the overall benefit of it, and how many test series one needs to subscribe to?
The number of mocks depends on how much time you have for your preparation. If you are doing along with preparation. I would recommend you take two national level mock series, whereas if you hav not taken full course and partially preparing for CAT, take 3 test series. You need to write at least serious 30+ mocks, and you should not get surprised that almost every 99+ percentile writes on an average of 55+ mocks.
Any other wisdom?
Most important things don't get demotivated by bad marks in mocks, keep improving by learning new things and revising what you learned earlier. Understand the mocks' concept, they are meant to be for learning, revising, and improving your aptitude skills. The D-day is going to be way different from mocks, some people perform better under exam pressure and some under-perform, you have to be the first one.
And last but one least, Don't ask for advice from anyone out there. Because everyone will share their own experience what they have, so if you want a great percentile in the first attempt, take advice only from persons who had done this in their first attempt. Learn from other's failure, don't repeat them.
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