It is time to shift gears of your preparation for CAT 2016. Now that there are hardly 2 weeks left, it can be assumed that your basic preparation is over by now and the focus has to be shifted to revision, practice and deciding the test day strategy.
Take Mock Tests – Taking regular mock tests should be your thumb rule now. Take mock tests at least thrice or twice in a week along with adequate analysis. Taking mock tests will help you analyze your current preparation level. Make sure you update your preparation strategy accordingly. For e.g. if you are committing too many silly mistake, then you must increase your practice and focus on accuracy. Revision should be a must after taking a mock test. “Mock exams provide an insight about your preparations and help you focus on key strategic points like performance, strengths, speed, technique and pattern of questions. A considerable time should be spent in analyzing the performances thereafter. Focus on your strengths and decide on a time management strategy,” says Soumik Biswas who obtained 99.94 percentile in CAT 2013 and pursuing PGP from IIM Indore.
Strengthen your weaknesses – There is still some scope of improvement for those areas which you are not too comfortable with. Unless you have not even touched those areas, you should give your best to at least recognize the way to answer the question on those topics. Although it is fine to leave out certain areas but you must not totally siphon them. As Vinayak Kudva, Head, PG, IMS Learning says, “With 50 questions to a section, you cannot afford to leave questions out. If you leave out Modern Math entirely, you have narrowed your selection to only the easy questions in Arithmetic and Algebra.” Who knows, with regular practice and expert guidance, your weak points might turn to your strengths!
Don’t start any new topics – Now that there is less than 1 month to go for CAT 2014, you should not start any new topics. At this short duration you would neither be able to grasp it well nor will it help you during the test. You should rather utilize the time in revision. “Don’t start any new topic in this stage. Leave out the uncomfortable areas and select the questions carefully. However, if the topic carries high weight, it is advisable that you get the basic idea so that you can clear the cut off,” says Kamlesh Sajnani, MD, IMS Learning.
Revise and practice well – Apart from taking mock tests, the rest of the time should be utilized in preparing well to make your stand better than that of your last mock test performance. Revise your weak areas and practice your strengths to be at an edge. For revision purpose, go to any extent for clearing your doubts. Be it your 10+2 level NCERT books or notes from mentors, following question and solution method shared by experts or approaching your guide from coaching institutes for better understanding of the subject matter. Gavin D’Souza, who got 99.49 percentile in CAT 2013 and IIT Bombay SJMSoM student mentions, “To improve my weak area I dedicated more time practicing it. I would understand concepts and then practice sums to make sure that I was exam ready. Another benefit of solving a lot of sums is that getting it right gives your confidence a boost.”
Finalize your test taking strategy – Since this year onwards your sections would not be time bound anymore like the previous years, you have to manage the time tactfully. With a standard number of mock tests, you must have recognized the strategy or the test taking methodology which suits you the best. By now, you should have a final strategy in hand which must include the points like,
- Section to start with
- Time to allot in each section and subsection
- Time to allot for each question
- Buffer time for revision and attempting Marked questions
- Selecting back up questions to attempt in case your shortlisted questions turn out to be time consuming
Talking about the exam taking strategy, Sandeep Manudhane, Chairman, PT Education suggests, “The best strategy is to take first what you are best at. Do as much of that as possible, mark all answers accordingly, take a stock of the situation, and having thus completed that preferred section (test area) of yours, move on to the test area you are ‘second-best’ at. Then repeat this process, move on to your ‘third-best’ area. And so on.”