Last few weeks before CAT, or for that matter, any competitive exam is often filled with stress for students. It is often a culmination of the effort that they have put in over the last few months and sometimes even a year. However, if used wisely – these last few weeks can make a lot of difference in the result. In this post, I will try to discuss three key steps that you can take to make the most of these last few weeks.
Step 1 – Mock Tests
A lot of students believe, wrongly I might add, that the only thing that they should be doing in the last month is to attempt mock tests. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If you are taking a mock test daily, you are deluding yourself. It might look and feel like you are putting in a lot of effort, but most of that effort is going to waste. Writing a mock daily will probably benefit only those students who are in the 99+ category. If you are not in that range, probably you need to use the mocks better. You should take two mock tests every week from now till the exam. Also, once you are done with the stipulated 3-hour time limit – sit down and solve all the 100 questions. Figure out the tough questions you attempted unnecessarily. Figure out the easy questions you missed out. Ensure that you are moving in the right direction.
Step 2 – Figure out your weak area
Take a hard look at the data you have from your previous mocks. You can also go by a gut feeling. All you need to do is to figure out a weak area and allocate a couple of days to it. You might not be able to master the topic in a couple of days, but you should improve your skills to such a level that if a straightforward question comes from that topic, you can solve it. The weak area should not be Quant / LR / DI but a level deeper – like Geometry, Algebra, Critical Reasoning, etc. One good way to work on that weak area would be to go through the basic concepts. For example, as a part of my online coaching course for CAT, I have a set of basic concept videos for all CAT related topics. If you are a student of that course, you can quickly revise the basics using those videos. If not, you can just search for similar videos on YouTube. If you know what you want to study, YouTube will have a teacher waiting for you.
Step 3 – Train your body for 3-hour sessions
I am often surprised as to how and why such a large number of students miss out on this very fundamental fact that their body is not a machine, and it will require some training as well. Taking mocks is one way of training your body to get accustomed with a 3-hour session but that is not the only way. From today till the exam – ensure that you have regular 3-hour study sessions. Every week, you should have at least five sessions in which you sit and study for 3 hours without any breaks. A lot of CAT aspirants neglect this aspect, and their CAT percentile suffers because of it. The remaining time is more than enough to train your body and your mind. Put the time to good use. Let me add, this is a bigger problem for people who have been working for 2-3 years, unlike college students who are used to writing exams on a regular basis.
I hope you would have learnt something from this post about exam strategy for CAT Preparation. Do provide feedback about the same via the comments section on the blog. I look forward to your suggestions.
Ravi Handa, an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, has been teaching for CAT and various other competitive exams for around a decade. He started online courses on his website Handa Ka Funda in 2013 and 10000+ students have subscribed to them since then.