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Seven days to CAT 2006

Sourajit Anthony Ghosh
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November 13, 2006

With seven days to go for the Common Admission Test 2006, some hearts are beating faster, some minds are thinking overtime and some of you are trying to stay calm by claiming that everything is 'cool'.

This article is for all CAT aspirants who want some idea of what to do in the next seven days until you finally bell the CAT.

Monday to Wednesday

~Quantitative

Formulae

We agree that just formulae will not help you on the test, yet there are questions in which, once you decipher the reasoning behind them, you need formulae to solve them. So you need to revise your formulae on all the topics. No matter how well you know them, remember to write the formulae and freshen up your memory.

Revision

Don't forget to revise typical questions, which had taught you a unique concept and were marked by you in your material. Also revise the basic material by glancing through the solved examples. There's NO POINT looking at or trying to solve new questions at this stage.

Numbers and geometry

We are not trying to predict the CAT pattern but these two topics together do constitute a significant portion in CAT. So revise some solved questions from your AIMCATs. Even if you see, on an average, eight questions across 20 papers, you are looking at revising 160 questions from numbers and geometry in three days.

~Data Interpretation

Calculation

Again, pure calculation speed will not help you in CAT. But lack of practice will certainly make you feel uncomfortable, when you might have to solve one case-let with slightly large calculations. So, try playing with numbers (normal multiplication, addition, division and subtraction) for approximately 20 minutes in a day, spanned across two stints of 10 minutes each (one in the morning and one in the evening)

Analysis

Don't try solving new graphs or reasoning problems. Sit with your old AIMCATs and analyse your performance. Try looking at the macro picture -- what the question was about, how the two or three graphs were linked in the question, etc. Spend time analysing the AIMCAT DI sections for 30 minutes each. In 10 hours spanned across three days, you will have revised all the 20 AIMCAT DI questions.

~Verbal Ability

English usage

Simply revise the errors you made in the 20 AIMCAT papers. That would be enough for the three days.

Reading Comprehension

Read the editorials of three general (not business) English newspapers. Try reading the newspapers whose editorials are of good quality. And it is important to read them back-to-back.

Read the articles from your RC tests or RC basic books without solving the questions. Read them not like you would read a novel, but the same way you read it on a test. Only this time, you don't solve the questions.

Plan Thursday

Sit for a full-length paper, and analyse it in detail. That's it for the whole day. Do not study or do anything else. And remember; do not allow the scores of the paper affect your confidence negatively. The paper is simply taken in keeping with the habit of appearing for a test.

Caution: Those of you, who are extremely nervous -- don't solve a paper. It might unnecessarily hamper your confidence

Plan Friday

Hang out with friends. Go to a movie. Relax and get your mind completely off CAT. Also, check out the venue of your examination centre if you have not been there before. This will make you comfortable with the route, conveyance details and the time taken to travel.

Plan Saturday

Try reading newspapers/magazines for four hours at a stretch during CAT timings (typically from 10 am to 2 pm). During this time, also practice filling up an optical mark recognition sheet for 15 minutes at a stretch. By doing this, firstly, you are conditioning yourself to sit for four hours at a stretch, and secondly, you are filling up the OMR at a stretch. So, two and a half hours of sitting the next day will be easy.

Prepare your kit -- pencils (lots of sharpened pencils), erasers, sharpeners, etc. Also your admit card. Make sure you pack all that you will carry for the exam. And sleep well.

Plan D-day

Go ahead and crack the CAT. Trust yourself -- always. You will do well.

-- The author is PGDM, IIM Indore and works as Senior Manager (operations and academics), T.I.M.E., Kolkata.

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