How Not To Crack Under Pressure – Tips By IIM Students

“Calmness is the cradle of power.” With the CAT D-Day nearing, we should be excited, not scared. The stakes are high; everyone is looking up to us to perform. The fear of underperforming keeps us motivated to work hard. Having such rush is a general phenomenon, however, too much fear builds untamable pressure and leads to breakdowns in some cases.

“Hard work is the key to success”; this is what every aspirant should comply with. Practice as much as you can and keep sharpening your skills.

I remember, many questions surrounded me when I started my revision for the CAT. It was 1st December 2016, and I had not slept the previous night. I hadn’t taken supper even. My heart was beating very fast. I was totally stressed out. I had planned to give a mock test, and I sat for it 9:00 am in the morning. But I already knew I would ruin this test. I started reading the first passage but could not understand anything. It felt as if my mind had become defunct.

I stepped out the room, sweating heavily in the month of December. I took my bike keys and went out for the ride. Sitting alone on the stairs of a  nearby stadium, staring at the green grass, I started a conversation with myself. I took a deep breath and said:  “I can’t give up!”. I had put in a lot of effort for this day. I had to do something.

I asked myself, “How will I achieve Success? How will I live up to the Expectations? The answer was obvious. “I had to work hard”. After that suddenly every thought faded away and I was calm again.

I started thinking logically. If I had to change my fate, I needed to improve my scores. I could do that only by working hard. Each and every minute was precious. Thinking about the result or about things which could happen in future was wasting my precious hours which if utilised could enhance my scores. At that moment, most of the other aspirants would be under similar stress. If I released my stress and started working hard, I could get ahead of them. There would be enough time left to panic after the exam if I didn’t perform. ”Then why panic now?”. I was back on the track again. I started thinking constructive.

After 2 long hours of discussion with myself, I came back and restarted my mock test. After completing it, I realised that my overall score was decent and I was pretty confident that I would give my best in the CAT exam and I did that. Now after being in IIM Raipur when I look behind, I realise that those 2 hrs have really changed my future.

Everyone who is giving CAT is under pressure and the key thing lies in how you manage it. For it can be talking to your bestie or your parents, exercising or singing out loud, playing cricket or going on a date or it can be watching motivational videos too which can be your stressbuster. So, do anything required to remain on the battlefield. Because ”It’s not the load that breaks you, it’s the way you carry it”.


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