With only eight days left for the Common Admission Test (CAT) to be held on November 29, aspirants must be anxious on how to study in the last week of the exam. We give some last minute tips and advices on how to navigate this exam.
Focus on few selected topics Do not narrow down the syllabus and focus on a few select topics. Throughout the history of CAT, the one constant has been the surprises it throws up. Be prepared to see surprises in the test and make suitable plans to tackle it.
Mock is the key Take not take more than 2-3 mock tests in the last few days as it might result in exhaustion and the inevitable demoralising effect.
Do not guess randomly The negative marking in CAT would make this a fruitless exercise and one that can really pull down your scores. Some of you may be tempted by the non multiple choice questions which do not have negative marking yet it would be prudent to understand that attempting such questions (especially when one is not sure of the approach) would lead to valuable time being frittered away which in itself is akin to the imposition of negative marking.
Don’t get influence by others The optimal number of attempts is a function of the difficulty level of the paper and this cannot be predicted without looking at the paper. Do not get influenced by the pompous statements of fellow aspirants that they attempt a very high number of questions.
Time management With three sections and the imposition of sectional time limits, CAT15 can be treated as three different tests. It is important that you manage the 60 minutes allocated to each section in the most prudent manner so that you meet the twin objectives of clearing the cut-offs and also maximising the score in that section.
Fear factor Most aspirants have a fear that they will be unable to clear the cut-offs as required by the IIMs. In order to get over this fear they either attempt too many questions or go in for random guesswork. This strategy yields very low dividends and must be avoided. Over the years, we have noticedthat aspirants who work with a calm mind and identify the relatively easier questions and attempt them, stand a very good chance of clearing cut-offs and landing the coveted IIM calls.
Take care of your health CAT15 will be the longest ever exam in its history. It is important that aspirants build the stamina to take each section of the exam at the same level of intensity.
Do a receee of the venue With the increased in the number of test centres in CAT15, many aspirants have been assigned test centres which are at distant locations. It is important that you do a recce of the venue a day prior to the exam to understand the route to be taken and the estimated time of travel. Ensure that you reach the venue well before time on the 29th since the check in process will take quite a bit of time.
Get ready for more exams Most aspirants take a multitude of exams apart from CAT – ensure that you start preparing for these exams as soon as you are through with CAT15. This will help in setting a new goal to work on and you would not waste time in unnecessary speculation over the result.
— contributed by Sai Kumar Swamy, TIME Director, Delhi