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Tips: How to revise for a CAT exam

Last updated on: July 15, 2011 12:06 IST

Tips: How to revise before an exam


Ambrish Awasthi

Ambrish Awasthi, a PGP participant at IIM-Kozhikode suggests a three-point strategy to revise before your exam.

Although I am still a student, every day, I deal with numerous questions from the students who aspire to crack competitive exams like IIT JEE, AIEEE, CAT or GMAT. I have realised that students who are sincerely putting in their efforts to convert their dreams into reality face a dilemma when it comes to time management.

Once you have studied the basic concepts of a particular subject, follows the need to revise. Time management is crucial, especially, when you have to revise more than 2-3 subjects in a day. Here, in this article I will share my strategy for dealing with such issues.

Strategy 1: Dealing with time

Every section in any completive exam has almost 10 subsections i.e. QA section for CAT aspirants has almost 10 topics like Number System, Algebra, Percentages etc.

During the initial phase of preparation, your strategy should be towards developing quick understanding of all the topics and attempting to solve the primary level problems as fast as possible. This will help you understand the areas where you generally go wrong, and identify specific sections in the exam that need attention.

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'Enjoy the pain while recollecting concepts'

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Strategy 2: Challenge your concentration, focus on memory

During second stage of revision, you should try to solve the questions without going through the notes.

Enjoy the pain you feel while you try to recollect some complicated concepts.

The point of revising is targeted towards bringing these often forgotten things to the unconscious mind of the person. It's all about challenging your concentration and focusing on your memory skills.

Does a bus driver stop using the clutch while changing gears during driving? No matter how tensed he is, or whether the passengers are involved in a heated argument inside the vehicle, the driver continues to do what he is doing driving. Reason: concentration and focus.

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'People make mistakes when they think from the conscious mind'

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Strategy 3: Feeding the subconscious mind

Like I mentioned in the example above, the process of using the clutch before changing gear has been fed into his subconscious mind ever since he learnt driving.

People tend to make mistakes when they think from the conscious mind, not when things are in one's unconscious mind.

You will never feel the need to revise when concepts are inside your subconscious mind. That comes out of repeated hours of practice.

How do I place things in my unconscious mind?

It's very simple. Try solving problems or revising concepts when you are least expected to do so eg; while travelling alone, while taking a bath.

This may sound funny to most of you, but believe me, it's a healthy mental exercise. If you could successfully recall 60-70% of things told in the class or the things you did recently and found difficult, your target is achieved.

And you can proudly say that you are done with the topic for the rest of your life.

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