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CAT 2018: Last min tips

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

With the Common Entrance Test (CAT) just a few days away, students are naturally nervous about the exam. Prashanth Nair, Centre Director, T.I.M.E. and Puneet Sharma, CAT Product Head of T.I.M.E, give a few last minute tips aspirants should keep in mind.

The last few days before the CAT are filled with anxiety and nervousness for most of the serious CAT aspirants. This is quite natural. One should capitalize on this nervous energy to be focused and to utilize the remaining time in an effective manner so that one can give one’s best shot at CAT. Here are few tips that I would like to share to help aspirants be better prepared -

Preparation Tips:
Avoid taking up a completely new area of study. Focus only on two major aspects:

Regular Mock Test Taking (to help improve speed and test taking strategy):
Take one full length mock test every alternate day or, at least, once in 3 days. Do not exhaust yourself by taking a mock per day or even 2 – 3 mocks per day just because you have not been regular so far. Writing more mocks than what I have suggested may lead to mental fatigue. Do realise that it is perfectly acceptable to not have finished all the mocks before the CAT. What is more important is your analysis of the mocks you have taken.

It is imperative that you analyse every single mock taken. Use it to understand & improve upon the approach to each question. Simultaneously, you should note down the mistakes that you are still making and make conscious efforts to eliminate them.

You should now write your mocks in the same time slot as your actual CAT exam. Ideally, do not write any full length mock after 22nd November. You should take sufficient rest in the next two days. Stay positive and calm till the D-Day.

Consistent Revision
Spend the majority of the time left in revising the material that you have solved. Go through the important formulae, various quant application based questions, R.C. & V.A. processes that you have been taught in class or learnt during self-study.  As for the remaining areas, you would do well to attempt their sectional tests and revising important sets from the previous AIMCATs (which is undoubtedly the best bet to crack CAT)

Preparation Plan in the coming days:
1) Tackle at least 3 R.C. passages every day
2) Solve at least 4-5 different types of LR/DI sets every day
3) Students with a weaker quant section should revise two main areas thoroughly– Arithmetic and Geometry & Mensuration.

Test Taking strategy:
Be flexible instead of having a pre-decided strategy. Decide your approach according to the difficulty level of the CAT.

It is always advisable that you start with the RCs in the VA section. Attempting a RC passage with 6 questions in the beginning can be quite rewarding and also helps to boost your confidence. Your fresh mind will help you concentrate better and thereby, maximize your score.

In DI/LR, be slow in choosing the right set. Once you have narrowed down the set, solve them fast. Reading questions along with the set is also a good strategy.

Don’t be biased. The CAT may have easy questions based on the areas you ignore. Hence, going with a pre-decided notion about the number of attempts and the areas from which one will solve questions is not smart. Read ALL the questions, identify the ones you can attempt & attempt only the ones you are sure of answering correctly. Never, ever, get stuck on a question. Lastly, don’t hesitate to skip a lengthy/tough question.

CAT is an exam having relative scoring and a difficult paper will be difficult to almost everyone. The key is to have a good presence of mind and make sure that you give it your best attempt.

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