With less than a month to go, every CAT aspirant will be on their toes. I remember that in the last month, I was in a quandary that should I learn more words like quandary or practice more probability problems, which was like kryptonite to my superman, or focus on solving the dreadful DILR problems. And apart from the subject-specific preparation, there was newspaper reading, full mock tests, my job, and whatnot. I was overwhelmed with so much to do in such a tiny amount of time. Looking back in hindsight, I think I took the correct steps and scored well finally (99.63%ile). Let me share what I did and what you can do in the last few days.
First and foremost, start giving full mocks if you have not started yet. If you have begun already, double down on it. Nothing, and I repeat nothing is as important as full length 3 hours mocks. I took a week’s holiday in which all I did was solve mocks and look at old papers. There is a big difference in sectional tests and full-length mocks. A 3-hour exam requires stamina and concentration. It requires a determination to go ahead and solve QA even if the last DILR section went horrible. Every one of us has a stronghold and a weakness. But CAT does not give us the option to choose our stronghold to complete it first. Only practice will make you comfortable with giving the same amount of focus to all the sections throughout the 3 hours.
After the mocks, analyze where you are lacking. Is that topic very important? Brush up on the topics that have more weight. See if you need speed in VARC or accuracy. Your next mock should be about improving the shortcomings of the last mock. The more mocks you give the more shortcomings you cover.
Don’t stress too much on that tough nut topic
Let me make it clear, CAT does not want you to excel in all the topics in all the subjects. Take a look at the following table.
|Subject||No of questions asked in CAT||No of correct questions required for 99%ile||Percentage of the questions|
The table clearly shows that you have to get only half the questions correct in DILR and Quant.
What does it mean for DILR and Quant?
Just leave that last difficult topic. You can prepare 90% of the portion and still score well in the exam. For me, it was "probability". Could not do then, cannot do now. I just had to skip the probability questions in the main exam and focus more on the other topics which I could do well. After doing all the problems, I came back to the probability questions and did the simple ones. And the bell rung! You don’t have the time to cover all the questions, then why cover all the topics in the first place. This doesn’t mean that you should leave the whole Arithmetic. Try to complete 90% of the portion.
And the last but most important – CHILL!!!
I have friends who scored well in the mocks, were prepped with all the topics, but they did just one thing wrong. They either freaked out during the exam or took the exam too damn seriously. Please bear this in mind, this is not the last CAT, nor this is the last MBA entrance exam that you are giving.
What’s the worst that could happen?
You will score horribly. So what? You can use the same portion to study for XAT, SNAP, State CETs.
Only want IIMS? Guess what – 60% of top CEOs in India do not have an MBA degree.
So, MBA and CAT is not the last thing in your life. Just chill out. Give the exam as if you are giving another mock - cool, calm and confident. I think this is the most important mantra as compared to the first two.
To summarize and add a few more points
1. Give as many full mocks as possible
2. Analyze mocks and improvise in the next one.
3. Don’t stress yourself on difficult topics. Covering 85-90% of the portion is still good.
4. Creating a cheat-sheet for Quant helps in remembering everything quickly.
5. Just CHILLAX! November 24th is not the end of the world. Be Cool, Calm & Confident
All the best guys!!