Now that the Common Admission Test (CAT) is over, many aspirants might be unhappy with the difficulty level in certain sections, especially the LRDI section. But fortunately, there are other options for management aspirants as well. If they feel, they would not be able to meet the cut-off, they can apply for other competitive exams. Let’s look at what one should you do after CAT 2017.
Prepare for other exams
The major upcoming exams in December are MAT, the MICAT, the SNAP, the XAT, the CMAT, the TISSNET and the February MAT. In addition, there is a host of other regional exams coming up. Start preparing for these entrance exams. If you feel that you had a bad CAT, you need to realise that it may not have been that bad. If everyone had trouble on the exam then no one had trouble.
The CAT scores you on a relative score and not on an absolute score. The predicted cut-off at 85 percentile, for the LRDI section, is as low as 14 marks out of 96. So stop worrying about the ‘low’ score.
Even if you had an average exam, there is nothing that you can do by crying over it. Will your score improve by moping about it? It is better to look at the future and prepare for it. Take CAT as your mock test and then you should certainly learn from your mistakes of the past exams and use them to improve the future attempts.
Prepare for the GWPI
The IIFT will be out with its calls latest by the fourth week of December. CAT will declare the results by the second week of January and typically the SNAP will also declare its results around the same time. Many institutes will give very less time for preparation for the second round. It would be really advisable to start working on the various areas of the GWPI season. A student should be well-versed with general knowledge and awareness, the subjects of graduation, career goals, personal traits and personal hobbies and interests. These areas are commonly asked in the interviews and group discussion as well as the WAT (Written Ability Test).
What if you are not successful in the CAT or other examinations?
If you are not successful in any of the competitive examinations then it might seem that the road ahead is completely barred for you. However, the reality is quite different. One should not think that one is incapable of cracking the exam if one has not been successful in the first time. CAT is not an exam of intelligence but of aptitude. What it means is that one needs to have skills of selection, pressure handling and the ability to work harder than others, in addition to knowledge of QA, English and LRDI.
It is a national level examination where the final success rate is around two per cent. It might not be prudent to drop the aspiration for the same after the first attempt. You can start/continue to work. A job will offer maturity, independence, valuable work experience and a chance to improve your profile. It will make you realise what you really want to do in life. MBA colleges will offer some extra points for work experience, making your entry easier.
If you don’t want to pick up a full-time job, an internship could be an option. They offer flexibility, a chance to learn and work in multiple environments quickly.
Continue to prepare and work towards the next year’s examination. Some students wish to not pick up a job and prepare exclusively. That could be acceptable only if you are extremely weak with basics and need a lot of time for preparation. Most students will actually benefit from working alongside preparation.
— The author, Ankur Jain, is the Chief Knowledge Expert, T.I.M.E.