1. Focus more on reviewing Mock Tests
In these last days, avoid the rush of taking up a mock test every alternate day. Target to take 2 mock tests each week, devote all the time to reviewing and improving. Take a detailed test in exam like scenario and assess your performance to analyze if there is still an area you could improve upon. Practice tests at this stage are more about reinforcing your preparations rather than finding your weaknesses so take it in that spirit.
During this last month make sure that you get into a habit of attempting the mock tests/ CAT papers at the time of your slot. This will make sure that you are not drowsy or lethargic at the time of the actual CAT examination.
2. Solve Previous year Question Papers of CAT
Apart from the mock tests, solving the previous year question papers is another key that can help you tame the CAT well.
3. Prepare final notes for preparation
This is the last time you have to prepare the notes and these will be the revision notes. You would be under more pressure and anxiety in the last week and hence you need to be prepared to review the concepts and formulas in most effective manner. Neither the book nor the formulae list purchased from the market can help or will be effective as the one created by you. Prepare review sheets or formula sheets for quick revision.
4. Focus on your strengths
These 30 days are for last-minute review of any concept that you may be unsure of. You must not go on learning new topics or spend hours in getting the concepts clear which you have just not touched till now. While it is always good to learn whatever you can, avoid the temptation to absorb too much in too little time. Use this time primarily to build on the knowledge you already have rather than attempting to gain new knowledge in unknown topics. However, in case you believe that you need input on specific areas, do look for concept specific source of information rather than checking in with anyone you find.
5. Follow the Elimination Rule
CAT carries negative marking, for answering a wrong question, 1 mark will be deducted. However, the negative marking is not applicable for the non-MCQs. In such a scenario, the students can take a calculated risk in the exam. They should get themselves familiar with taking options without solving. Sometimes, the options given in a question are such that you might not even need to solve it. You can simply eliminate any option through simple logic and common sense. This could potentially avoid any wastage of time. Don’t be scared to take risks. Many people might call this fluke, but there’s a deep logic behind this and you need practice to master this art.
6. Develop a right approach to attacking the paper
Make a strategy of attempting CAT on the exam day. You should know how you can make the best use of 180 minutes, what kind of questions should you attempt in the paper, which all questions to attempt first and which all later.
7. Do visit your CAT Exam Centre once
It is important that you visit your exam venue 2-3 days prior to the exam just to become aware of the route to be taken and the estimated time of travel.
8. Take good care of your health and mind
Listen to your favorite music, go out with friends for an evening walk, take sound sleep and eat well. We understand the pressure of writing CAT and moreover making a career but health is more important. Part your time for study and in addition for play.
What should not be done in these last few days for cracking CAT?
1. Use these last 30 days wisely
We have grown up listening that “Time is money”. CAT Exam aspirants must use these days wisely. You cannot get back the time you have wasted until now but can focus on utilizing the available time in the best possible way. Make the right plan and strategy for yourself for making the best use of these last 30 days.
2. Do not get stuck on one question
The students must choose the questions to attempt in the exam and mock test smartly. While taking the mock tests, you must ensure that you are not getting stuck on one question and wasting time. You cannot switch between the sections but can always come back to the questions marked for review. Treat the mock tests as the actual CAT exam. Taking the mock test by not getting stuck on a question, marking it for review and coming back to it later will culminate into a habit and this will help on the exam day.
3. Do not guess and mark the MCQs randomly
The negative marking in CAT would make this a fruitless exercise and one that can really pull down your scores. Even after adopting the ‘Elimination Rule’, if you are not sure of the correct answer, don’t mark it. A zero for not answering the question will be far better than losing 1 mark.
4. Do not get tempted by the Non-MCQs
These questions don’t carry negative marking and the students usually feel like these are the bonus questions that can help improve the CAT percentile. These questions are too much time consuming and require smartness along with lots of practice. The students must take care of the fact that they should not attempt such questions, especially when one is not sure of the approach as it would lead to valuable time being wasted.
5. Avoid panicking on the exam day
Most aspirants have a fear that they will be unable to clear the CAT cutoffs 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. The aspirants who work with a calm mind and identify the relatively easier questions and attempt them, obtain those magical 99+ percentile and stand a very good chance of clearing cutoffs and landing the coveted IIM calls.