With CAT (Common Admission Test) 2020 around the corner, its crucial time to focus on a feasible exam strategy. It’s not only thorough preparation but also a well-planned strategy that helps to improve CAT percentile and crack it. CAT 2020 is scheduled on November 29 with 2.30 lakhs applications. With approximately 15 days to go for the CAT exam, it is necessary that the candidates should slender their preparation and not experiment with anything new and revise thoroughly whatever they have prepared in the past six months to one year.
While candidates have been preparing from home through online classes and also self-study because of pandemic, it is easy for stress to take over and can kill their confidence. An important thing aspirant must keep in mind is how to apply the concepts in solving questions. The application of concepts and testing ability to perform in the exam can only be achieved with a calm and non-panicked mind. Here are some smart tips for CAT aspirants that will help in their last-minute preparation and during the exam too.
Prioritise less prepared topics
Make of list of topics. Prioritise them based on preparedness and allot time as maximum to least prepared topic and minimum to most prepared topic.
Maintain a timetable
Have scheduled timetable for your last few days of study and decide on outcome of every study session and try to achieve it. Having a set routine will make it much easier to tackle the time related stress on the day of exam. It is important to identify obstacles in the path of achieving high percentile.
Use video-based learning
Video-based learning like YouTube has more impact. Videos are a powerful support too. It is beneficial for last-minute prep as video-based learning is shorter, crispier and engaging in nature.
Take up Mock Tests
Solve past question papers and mock tests. There are several mock tests available online. Try to complete 20 mock tests before your actual exam. Time yourself and check your score according to the rules. This will not only help prepare you for the final exam, but will also build your confidence. It is also advisable to practice the CAT previous year papers that are available online. They will help gain understanding about the type of questions that appear in the exam.
Keep your health in check
Maintain healthy routines with good sleep and healthy food intake. Do not indulge in eating junk food and endless cups of coffee during the preparation phase. A healthy body has a healthy and alert brain, leading to better performance. Eat well, Rest well and sleep well.
Avoid brain fatigue
It is vital to relax and calm your mind. Do not take stress and get anxious. Meditate to improve concentration and calm your mind. It is also critical to find time to unwind and not put your self-care on the back-burner. A sound mind will help you to stay focussed.
Do not panic on exam day
It is important not to panic on the CAT exam day, under any circumstances. Preparing oneself with all the necessary documents and reaching the centre on time is important. Sticking to your exam strategy will help avoid unnecessary stress. Taking the CAT exam as any other exam and freeing oneself of any other mental block paves the way for relieving pressure and delivering a better exam.
Start with known questions
On the exam day do not right away start answering the questions without going through the question paper. Find out which are the answers you are confident about and try answering them first. It will help you to not get confused with your answers you already know. Do not try start solving an unknown section or attempt a new topic.
Do not answer questions if not confident
It is better to leave a question unanswered rather than giving the wrong answer. Avoiding negative marking is an important part of the plan. The sense of judgment is important for obtaining a higher percentile.
Time is precious!
If you feel a question is tricky that requires a lot of time, do not waste your time trying to solve it. Move on to the next questions. You can attempt to solve it after you are done with rest of the questions. Any mistake in time will take you away from your goal. Divide your time judiciously.
Double-check the answers, always
Always have some time on your hand at the end to double-check the answers. Go through your answers thoroughly and check if it has been answered correctly. Check if you have missed any questions.
Wishing good luck to all CAT aspirants
-Author Sandeep Pachpande is Chairman of ASM Group of Institutes.Views expressed here are personal.