Sumit Singh Gandhi
The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a national-level examination conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM). It is a mandatory exam for seeking admission into IIM or other prestigious business schools like the Faculty of Management Studies (Delhi), Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management (Mumbai), SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (Mumbai), and many more . The exam is conducted annually in the last week of November. CAT 2019 will be conducted on November 28, 2021.
Almost 2 lakh candidates appeared for CAT every year and less than 2000 aspirants score 99+ percentile. This means that your preparation needs to be different to stand out and be in those 2000 candidates who score 99+ percentile.
Over the years, it has been observed that the people who followed the following strategies end up scoring 99+ percentile:
1. Be firm about your aim
Since day 1, be clear that your aim is scoring 99 percentile. Make up your mind of not settling even 0.1 percentile less than 99 percentile. Be firm and confident about yourself and just be optimism that you can achieve it. Decide the IIM you want to get into and work towards the percentile needed to get into that IIM.
2. Push your limits
Work hard from the very beginning. Go all out and study with all your heart. Solve a minimum of 3-4 mocks each day. While solving every mock, solve it like it is the actual CAT exam. After every mock check for the wrong answers and practice to not make the same mistakes. Push your limits and work as hard as you can. Work hard on the topics that you find tough. Keep practicing all the topics even the ones you are already good at. Be careful while solving each question and concentrate completely on it.
3. Make strategies to reach your aim
Study the exam pattern at first. Know how many questions you need to get right in each section to score 99 percentile. Try those strategies while practicing mocks. This will tell you which strategy is more accurate. Use the most tried and trusted strategy in the actual exam. A lot of time you will give to the section and how much maximum time you will spend on one question.
4. Evaluate your performance each time
After you practice, every time evaluate what you have done. Make a note of your mistakes. This will help you know which sections you are good at and which sections need more practice. Accordingly, try planning upon the questions you will prefer to attempt. This way you won’t lose marks unnecessarily. Don’t be overconfident about your strengths and don’t be ignorant of your weaknesses. Strive hard to convert your weaknesses into strengths.
5. Do not succumb to pressure
One thing that sets the 99 percentile scorers apart from the less percentile scorer is how they deal with pressure. No matter what the situation is during the exam you cannot lose your calm. You need to deal with the situation with patience. Often, there are questions that the candidate is unable to solve in the first attempt. In such situations, leave the question and move ahead to solving the rest of the paper. This way you won’t lose your time. If you panic and stick to solving that question then you probably won’t be able to complete your paper ahead. Go with a good state of mind and have confidence in yourself.
6. Time management
Be quick with solving the problems. Don’t waste much time on a particular question. If you are not sure about an answer, keep the question for later and solve it if you have time at the end. But while solving with speed, you cannot afford to make silly mistakes. Silly mistakes are a major reason for the low percentile. You need to be careful and alert with every question. Understand the question correctly.
7. Practice and analyze
Solve as many questions as you can. Keep practicing regularly. It is said practice makes a man perfect, so one should keep this thought in the mind and give the time for mock test. Practicing all the topics even the ones you are already good at. Be careful while solving each question and concentrate completely on it.
CAT examination tests not only your academic knowledge but also your time management skills and your prioritization skills as well. Make sure you have a clear exam-taking strategy planned out in your mind (Revised and Thorough!) before you go for your CAT 2021 exam.
The writer is CEO, CATKing Educare