Every year, more than 2 lac applicants attempt the CAT in order to pursue their dream of attending a prestigious B-School in India. Each year, the number of candidates, the level of competition, and the pressure to perform well in the exam rise drastically. And rightfully so, because this test demands a great deal of patience, tenacity, consistency, resilience, frequent practice, and "smart hard work."
When a candidate decides to take this exam, they do so with the understanding and awareness that they may no longer be able to live their pre-aspirant life. To pass this exam, you must make drastic changes in your daily life and routines.
As a result, most serious aspirants are fully aware of and are prepared for the reality that this journey would require them to make several sacrifices. However, it is important to remember that during this preparation process, one should not become ‘burned out,' since if this occurs, the aim of acing the CAT would be defeated before it has even begun!
It's typical for CAT candidates to stay up late at night and study for hours on end, day after day for months, making the expression "burning the midnight oil" ring true. Aspirants sometimes sacrifice sleep in order to cover an "additional chapter from Quantitative Ability" or a "Verbal Ability passage". Without an ounce of doubt, cramming as many hours into a day as feasible is necessary to cover as much material as possible, but aspirants must remember not to neglect their health and wellness in the process.
Always remember that while we put our minds under a lot of stress and discomfort in order to improve our efficiency during preparation, we must also allow our body and mind to rest adequately. It's critical to remember that addressing a problem or issue is always preferable to ignoring the warning signals and hoping it will go away. Furthermore, because prevention is always better than cure, begin taking steps as soon as possible. This is because burnout is a problem that is better prevented than taking measures after it has started. As a result, it is critical to remain vigilant in this regard. It's important to be on the watch for symptoms of burnout and adopt preventative measures as soon as possible in case symptoms become prominent.
Some helpful pointers for overcoming burnout:
Focus on one thing at a time: Concentrating on one thing at a time will much assist with this. If you're taking coaching, concentrate on one topic at a time; if you need more knowledge, look it up and cross-reference it later; if you need more information, write it down and come back later. Similarly, if you want to relax, take some time to rest - don't watch TV with your textbook on your lap since you won't learn anything or enjoy the television. Most importantly, if you're attempting to focus on something, switch off your phone.
Reach out: When you're stressed and not feeling like you're accomplishing anything, it is important to recognize when you're stressed and on the verge of burnout but it is more difficult to recognize since it doesn't entail the intensity of feeling that comes with stress, but rather a blunting of emotion. Here's when having supporting friends and family plays a vital role. If you can, make a resolution with your friends at the start of your preparation journey to keep a closer watch on each other than you would have otherwise, because it's sometimes easier for others to detect the warning signs of burnout in you than it is for you to notice them in yourself.
Make your Health a Priority: Unfortunately, it's fairly uncommon for people to ignore their health during the time of preparation. Stress may be harming the quality of your sleep, and you're unlikely to be receiving as much fresh air or sunshine as would be beneficial to your health, no matter how healthy you eat or how much exercise you receive. So, if you start to feel sick, take care of yourself before it becomes a bigger problem. It will feel difficult – perhaps even lazy – to take a couple of days off when you are hardly able to study or go to school, but it is preferable to becoming really unwell and having to put your job on hold.
Talk to your mentors: Mentors might sometimes be the ones who can help us raise our morale. This is because there is a sense of security that they are constantly looking out for our best interests. Talking to them or seeking their advice can be quite beneficial every time a sensation of helplessness or bewilderment arises in the mind. We may even have one or two close friends or family who motivate us and help us in increasing our motivation. Keeping in touch with such people is beneficial and hence advisable.
Take frequent breaks: Take frequent breaks - for example, a fixed daily period of "me time," during which you will do whatever you wish to - be it practice yoga, hang out with friends, or go for a run. Basically, the idea is for you to have some time wherein you can allow yourself to rejuvenate and recover from the preparation stress.
Giving yourself little incentives: We might give ourselves a modest incentive or reward in the form of a small gift or treat when we complete a daily or a weekly goal. This is an excellent approach for educating oneself to work diligently toward one's own objectives. If you recall, our parents, teachers, and elders all used this approach on us when we were younger to get us to learn. Maybe now is the time to apply this technique to ourselves. Give it a go.
Set daily small goals: Making a schedule to cover the CAT curriculum is simply the first step. Following the set schedule and setting modest but attainable goals within that time frame is essential. Setting small daily goals helps immensely as it not only helps one prepare on a regular basis but also gives us a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day. Feeling successful in accomplishing your daily goals has a wonderful effect on our psychological states. Goal achievement on a daily basis and recalling it before retiring for the night might help us replenish our batteries and move closer to our ultimate aim.
Monitor your screen time: Preparing for CAT will inevitably require you to be on screen for an extended period of time. If you’re working, the screen would be even higher. Thus, it is important for you to monitor your screen time and make sure you are taking “No Screen” breaks to recover from the extended screen time. While it can be difficult to truly relax, one of the reasons people advocate worthy-sounding forms of relaxation like yoga or jogging is that they are likely to be different from the task you're doing, which aids relaxing. So include anything that does not involve you using a screen among your relaxing activities, whatever it may be.
Noting things down: When you're tired of studying and feel like you're losing concentration, writing down your ideas might do wonders for you. For some, this entails keeping a diary or beginning a notebook in which they may scribble whatever is on their mind without having to read it again. Others may think of it as something as basic as a series of to-do lists.
Cut off negative people: There is no shortage of pessimists in our circles. Aspirants for the CAT should be aware that those who have bad sentiments should avoid interactions with them at all costs. While pursuing the dream B-School aim, negative thoughts or talks might be a significant barrier. It may be most harmful when one is in their most vulnerable state of mind. Rather, when one is feeling really down or discouraged, it is preferable to surround oneself with individuals who can instill optimism in us, such as friends or family. All the best!
Recommended For You: