With around 120 days left for the Common Admission Test, for admission to the coveted IIMs and other good management institutions of the country, the preparation is moving to higher gears. We look at how to proceed from here to the exam day.
Firstly, “more studies” is better but remember that studying more will help provided you are able to concentrate and learn. If you find it difficult, it is time to take a break. Most of can study 6-8 hours a day. Studying different areas in a day helps in better concentration. For example, if you plan to study 8 hours a day in chunks of two hours, you may do Quant, RC, DI and LR for two hours each with about 10-15 minutes break between every two sessions. However, ensure that you should cover all areas every week. Further, weaker areas should be allotted more time. The general rule is that the weaker you are in an area, the more time you allocate for the section. This will help you with the sectional cutoffs, which are present for the IIMs and other good management institutes.
As the exam gives you less time than required to solve the entire exam, time management is the most crucial element that is being checked in the examination. Thus, always work with a ‘time deadline’ when you are solving questions so that you are accustomed to the time pressure. The standard guideline is that the time you set, should be sufficient for tackling around 75 per cent of the questions.
While taking AIMCATs seriously is extremely important for you to know your relative strengths and weaknesses, it is even more important that you analyse your performance thoroughly and have an action plan to improve upon it. Initially taking around 1-2 mock tests per week with complete analysis and taking action based on the analysis is sufficient. By the end, taking around 2-3, full-length tests in a week will be sufficient followed by analysis. When analysing, look at what you solved but took too much time, look at what you solved but got wrong and look at what you left but could have been solved easily (that is, in less time). This will give you targets to work on for study.
Section wise tips
Improve conceptual clarity: Revision of mathematics concepts and important formulae can be done in the last one month. For now, focus on improving your conceptual clarity. Do not memorise formulae since the CAT is not looking at your ability to memorise, but rather the ability to apply concepts.
DI and LR section: Do look at all types of questions, so that there are no nasty surprises in the CAT 2018 for this section. If you are familiar with various types of problems in the exam beforehand, you are more likely to do well on the test. Your mock tests can serve as an excellent source of a large number of sets which are the level of the examination.
English section: A bulk of the English section is reading oriented, whether it is RCs or reading oriented VA questions. Surely, there are some Vocabulary and Grammar questions, but the effort you put in them is not going to be as fruitful as improving reading skill. So focus more on reading.
Try to attempt an RC exercise in a time bound fashion. Without checking the answers first, try to understand the tough words and concepts from a dictionary and a search engine/ encyclopedia. Then redo the exercise and recheck your answers. You will get a lot more right.
Do not start anything new in the last two weeks before CAT. Focus only on strong areas in the last two weeks. Gradually reduce your study in the last 3-4 days and relax on the day before you will take CAT. Some students fail to do well in mock tests and feel demotivated. Be realistic in your assessment of your caliber and set realistic and achievable goals. Performance improvement takes place slowly since everyone is studying and is trying to improve.
The author is Chief Knowledge Expert, T.I.M.E. Delhi