‘Don’t Change Your Strategy In The Last 3 Weeks’ – IIM Lucknow Student

Hello Warriors!

Warriors, yes, because you have been no lesser. The heaps of sacrifices that you have made in the bygone months from giving up on that extra hour of sleep to not attending those birthday parties. It’s now time give the final finishing touch to your prep. The last 3 weeks can be very critical and hence needs to be planned for.

Before we look at what exactly should your strategy be in the last 3 weeks let’s first look at the various components of this strategy:

  • Revision
  • Taking Mock CATs
  • Analyzing current and previous Mocks
  • Developing the final test-taking strategy
  • What to do in the last 5 days?

Let’s look at each of these legs of strategy separately.

(a) Revision of Basics: If you skim through the papers of the last three years, it has been majorly very conceptual. Most of the questions stem directly from the most basic concepts. Not knowing or not revising these concepts could, therefore, take a toll on your score. You might not love P&C or Geometry but if you don’t do their basic concepts, you might end up missing out on some low hanging fruits on the exam day.

So, Revisit your basics.

(b) Taking Mock Tests: Mock tests are your dry run of not just your knowledge but also your strategy. They tell you what might or might not work on the D-day. Taking 2 full-length mocks weekly and 1 sectional mock daily should suffice.

Try taking mocks in the same slot as the real exam. This helps you condition your body to be perspicacious and active in those few hours each day.

(c) Analyzing current and previous Mocks: Taking mocks won’t add any value to your prep unless you analyze them and learn to embetter in the subsequent tests.

Key points to remember while analyzing:

  • If you’re not able to do the easy questions of a topic, revisit the basics
  • If you’re more time in solving questions of a particular topic, check alternate methods to solve or shortcuts
  • If you are consistently making the same mistake in a section/subsection, say RC, make note of it particularly
  • If you end up wasting a lot of time in difficult questions, learn to prioritize the questions and to go in rounds.

This is not an exhaustive list but rather a thought process that should help you think and take corrective action for whatever might not be working for you.

(d) Developing the final test-taking strategy: The best thing about a good strategy is that it helps you score more at the same level of prep. What’s even better is the fact that there’s no one “best strategy”. So in the weeks left at your disposal, experiment with your strategy for the first few days and then stick to the strategy that seems to be working well for you.

Don’t change your strategy in the last 10 days.

(e) What to do in the last 5 days?:

  • Don’t strain yourself with the burden of revising everything. Relax.
  • Sleep well. Don’t burn the midnight oil for that one extra mark. It’s illusionary.
  • Adapt for biological clock to test timings.
  • Eat light. Stay safe and healthy.
  • Read newspaper or novels, or anything. Just keep reading something.
  • Listen to your favorite music.
  • Talk to friends.
  • Believe in yourself.

There you go.

Go seize the day & win the battle. After all you’re a warrior.
May you bell the CAT well.
Good luck!

Pratik Ranjan

Pratik is an MBA candidate at IIM Lucknow. He is an ardent aspiring marketing strategist. His passion for marketing multiplied multifold post his internship with Unilever, where he was conferred with a PPO. Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug & seized by afflatus to read, write & explore, this twenty-something believes in the power of dreaming with his eyes open. He is a columnist in various newsletters and is up for any discussion that involves the nuances of marketing and strategy. P.S: He's charged by the fuel of caffeine.


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