If you give it a thought, isn’t it just worth pondering that we devote months and even multiple years of our time in prepping up primarily for just one exam of merely 3 hours? Shorter is the time frame of performance, higher is the influence of the luck factor on the fallouts. Such cases are not distant from reality where one was a lion in all of his/her mock CATs and ends up goofing it up big time in the actual CAT exam. Besides, even if you do well in CAT, a gap of 2-3 questions can fetch someone else those crucial interview calls which could have otherwise knocked at your door.
My aim is not to engender that eerie feeling but to just drive you towards making that prudent decision of not just attempting but also preparing differently and specifically for some major non-CAT exams. Here’s my guide to approaching a few exams in an effective way:
- NMAT: In a nutshell, NMAT is all about speed, may it be devouring an RC or doing mental calculations in quant or DI/LR. Apart from some very few bouncers, all the questions will be manageable but the time allotted to solve them (especially the numerical calculations) will put great pressure on the candidate.
- #Tip: Be well versed with the all those calculation tricks given in TIME’s Speed Maths booklet.
- Also, definitely expect 6-7 vocabulary based questions relating to synonyms/antonyms. A book like 6 Weeks to Words of Power and learning 15-20 words from daily newspapers must make life easier.
- IIFT: The single biggest problem that IIFT takers face year after year is failing to make the cut in one or more of sectional cut-offs. Once you clear all the cutoffs, you can fairly sure of crossing the overall cut-off as well. Another pressing issue is that of the GK section which is a melange of stock GK and current affairs.
- #Tip: Fix time slots for each section at the starting of the test in a stringent manner. Use an optimisation strategy across the sections and not a maximisation strategy in your strong section.
- For upping your game in GK, an exhaustive eleventh-hour preparation i.e. in the last 15-20 days spearheaded by 3-4 TIME GK sessions if you’ve joined it and if not then borrowing the TIME question sheets from your friends will do. Apart from this, if you’ve been following newspapers from the past few months then let alone cut-off, you’ll be able to accumulate very high scores in the GK section.
- XAT: Contrary to its traditional pattern, XAT has moved towards much easier quant section and one who has readied his/her weapons for CAT’s quant should be able to trample that of XAT’s too. I found the VA section of XAT much more challenging than that of CAT due to a considerable presence of poetic elements and tough vocabulary germane questions. And how can we forget the epicentre of all uncertainty – the decision-making ability section.
- #Tip: For tackling the eccentric VA section of XAT, one can rely on a XAT specialised coaching provided by most coaching institutes which take place between CAT and XAT. 6 Weeks to Words of Power can come in handy in faring the storm of XAT’s vocab related questions.
- With regard to the DM section, I can just say that an open and rational approach to the questions during the exam can earn big scores. I don’t think that acing DM is a function of one’s prior practice.
- There are a few other exams like SNAP and TISSNET that are as capable of hedging the risk and augmenting one’s chances of reaping the benefits of their hard work but as of now, they’re out of my scope. All The Best!