“CAT preparation & luck: Do they go hand it hand?”
“People say that along with intelligence & hard work, CAT is also about luck. Is it so?”, asked my younger brother.
Having cracked CAT with 98.3 percentile the previous year, I remarked, “People might say that but I beg to differ. It is more about being organized and being fastidious with your approach.”
“So how do you think I can crack it in three months without any luck?”
“The difference, my brother, is not created by luck but by your approach and other personality traits like decision-making, calmness, memory power & analytical capabilities. And you can surely develop all this with disciplined practice.”
While I asked my brother to be organized, I also did the same and charted out the following strategy for him. The below mentioned 9 points might just help you gain that much required confidence and edge for the CAT exam.
1. Keep practicing a lot of questions
Don’t stop practicing once you get it right; keep practicing until you can’t get it wrong anymore. Apply this approach in all sections. Also don’t just work on harder sections, keep practicing your favorite sections too and have some fun. Relentless practice is what separates champions from the crowd.
2. Thoroughly analyze your mock CAT results and wrong answers
Appear for a lot of mock CATs. This will help you become familiar with the CAT exam pattern.
Make a timetable and try to take at least one sectional test every day for the three months. In the last 45 days, take 15-20 mock tests in addition to the daily sectional tests. This could be quite a decent timeline to follow but you can surely customize it as per your own needs.
Try different approaches in different mock CATs so that on the day of the real exam, you just know which approach works the best for you. Always keep some buffer time for each section during mock CATs to cross check and to try to answer the ones you’ve flagged for later. In the flagged questions, try working the other way round and see if you can start with eliminating from the answers and reach to the correct answer this way. It just works brilliantly at times in the quant section especially.
The forum at PRAQTISE will help you compete with the whole of India in mock CATs and compare your scores accordingly. There can be many more tricks that we can learn for giving mock CATs but we shall dedicate another blog post to that later.
3. Have a live access to your strong & weak sections at any time
Better if it is in a chart format and better if an online portal does that for you.
This strategy will allow you to use time wisely and will help you build your daily plans, weekly plans and monthly plans. Dedicate yourself to weaker sections for days on stretch if required. However, do not ignore your strong areas.
4. Avoid slack during CAT preparation
If you are anyway giving just three months to CAT preparation, you need to be regular & disciplined in your approach. Ideally, you should not let even a day pass without practicing. And after a lag, it might be difficult to get on track again. Let the engine be oiled every single day so that it can perform at its best on the day of the race. And you can surely take out a few hours every day to relax but skipping complete days should be avoided.
5. Work on your decision-making skills
CAT exam is a lot about the decisions you make, the questions you choose to answer and the questions you choose to leave. There might be some unexpected questions in the exam but if you panic, you lose the game. However, if you are strong headed enough to think through and reach the right decisions, you will excel.
6. Turn time to your favor
Keep a check on the time you take to solve different types of questions. Try reducing the time taken as much as possible for the sections you are strong at. This strategy will help you dedicate more time to difficult questions during CAT exam. Time plays a major differentiating role in the final score.
7. Work on accuracy
Another major differentiating factor among CAT toppers is the aspect of accuracy. If the complexity of the exam is on a higher side, normalization would benefit all those who had better accuracy and thereby minimized negative marking. Make better use of your PRAQTISE dashboard to keep a tab on your accuracy v/s time ratio for individual sections as well as for mock CATs.
8. Try multiple approaches for the same question
You might be able to solve a question in a particular way. But questions in quant sections specially can be solved with multiple approaches. Try to find different ways and you never know you could end up saving a lot of time solving the questions in an alternative way.
9. Take it like a game and play with your friends
This is where a forum like PRAQTISE helps you gain an advantage. We very well know how human psyche works on games.
You get so involved and habituated that you will play it perfectly & accurately even if someone wakes you from deep sleep. At PRAQTISE, we are redefining the whole MBA entrance exams preparation sector with our gamified version of CAT preparation. You can actually play it as a game, challenge your friends, collect medals, customize the experience and access reports showcasing your historical performance & weak areas.
While others spend their time on those onerous lectures & study books with limited questions, you can have an access to unlimited questions & analysis on just one click. The answer-bank in the portal is designed in such a way that it is capable of being a personalized tutor for you.
Gone is the era of classrooms, chalkboards and paper based exams. Welcome the era of eclectic, hybrid and custom-made online CAT preparation with PRAQTISE.
How long did it take you to complete your CAT syllabus? Share your case study with us in the comments section and our panel of experts will reach out to you with a customized plan. And if you have an interesting case study to share, we might even feature it in one of our upcoming articles.