The Common Admission Test (CAT) 2017 will be conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow on November 26 this year. The exam will be held for 180 minutes and will be divided into three sections including— verbal ability and reading comprehension, data interpretation and logical reason and quantitative ability.
The entrance exam is conducted annually to select candidates to seats in various programmes at IIMs and business schools across the country. It is a tough exam to crack and is even more difficult to secure high marks. However, candidates who have managed to top the exams have stated that doing well in the exam is quite possible.
Here are some last minute preparation tips by CAT toppers to held you crack the paper:
1. Important topics/subjects
With CAT 2017 right around the corner, candidates should by now have covered all important topics for the exam at least once. Keeping one’s strengths and weaknesses in mind, candidates must work on topics which they find difficult.
“I made sure on a daily basis to study for two-three hours and on Friday (weekend in Algeria), six-eight hours. I utilised even the travel time to office for some meaningful activity like revising formulae,” Prateek Bajpai, CAT 2016 topper.
2. Mock tests and analysis
This is one of the most important strategy that every CAT topper stressed on. Many of them solely relied on regular practice with mock tests and spent the remainder of their week on analysing the papers. This not only helps candidates to figure out which sections require more concentration, it also gives them a brief idea of how to handle the time during the exam. With practice, candidates will not waste too much time on one question or miss out on others.
“I took 86 mock tests for preparation and trusted almost 90 per cent on the analysis,” says Avidipto Chakraborty, a former BITS Pilani student who scored a perfect 100 percentile in CAT 2016.
3. Stick with one book
When it comes to preparation without prescribed books, candidates tend to panic and rely on too many sources for information and verification. Different books have different methodologies and can result in confusion. For this reason, toppers have advised that it is necessary to stick to one or limited sources.
” Students usually try to switch to a different book once they’re done with one. Sticking to the same book will help you a lot more as it gives you “depth”. Revising one material repeatedly will help you more than switching between three-four books,” says Rahul Sharma, a teacher in a private coaching institute who scored 100 percentile in CAT 2016.
Notes are the most important item for anyone who is preparing for an examination. Candidates appearing for CAT 2017 should have a notebook or two filled with vital information and important topics that they have covered during preparation. This is essential especially during the last few days before the exam when there is no time to rely on books. The last day should be spent brushing through collected through mock test analysis and studying.
“Do not just study for the exam. Practice. Practicing helps you and will give you the confidence to solve questions. Focus on weak areas and improve them. This will help you go a long way,” says IIT Delhi graduate Akshay Mehndritta, who scored 100 percentile in CAT 2016.
Maintaining a cool head during the paper is crucial for a good performance. Letting panic and anxiety take over will only result in a blank mind and wastage of time. For the three hours that candidates appear for the exam, it is important to take on the moment as an experience that will help them in the long run, despite the eventual result.
“I’ve noticed that many starts panicking in the last minute and this ruins their ability to do well in the paper. I believe all CAT aspirants should try to maintain a cool head during the exam and do the best they can. In the last week of preparation, believe in all you have learnt, brush through your notes and stay confident,” CAT 2016 topper Mukesh Goyal says.