rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » CAT 2013: 10 last minute tips to ace it!

CAT 2013: 10 last minute tips to ace it!

Last updated on: October 09, 2013 17:15 IST

CAT 2013: 10 last minute tips to ace it!

     Next

Next
Courtesy Careers360.com

With seven days left for the exam to commence, here are some tips that'll help you optimise your CAT score. Illustrations by Uttam Ghosh and Dominic Xavier

As the 20-day Common Admission Test 2013 exam window begins on October 16, 2013 you must be on the last lap of your preparation.

What you need now is a few more days of concentration and focus to crack the exam and get admission opportunities from IIM and other top b-schools like FMS- Delhi, MDI Gurgaon, IMT Ghaziabad JBIMS and SPJIMR.

With a few days left for CAT 2013 to begin, we bring you 10 success tips that'll help you make the most of the last few days before the exam.

1. Take mock tests in an online environment

In the last few days to your CAT exam, you must take computer-based mock CAT so that you are familiar with the actual test environment.

Taking the mock CAT in real environment will make you completely prepare to take the computer based test on your CAT day and save any wastage of time on understanding the mode of test.

You can also join CAT test series to take a few mock CAT online.

Also, you must re-visit previous year CAT paper and solve it to have an actual feel of the test.

Putting yourself to the actual testing environment will help you to take CAT on the test centre on your D-day.

"During the final month you should brush through the fundamental basics based on the CAT syllabus and take around three to four full length mock exams. Also, it is very important to capitalize more on the strengths at this point of time," says CAT topper and IIM Ahmedabad student Vidya Bhushan.

Reader Invite

Did you crack the CAT recently? What was the experience like?

How did you begin your preparation and how did you plan your CAT strategy?

Which are the most important study topics? What are the common problem areas that test-takers face and how did you approach them?

Simply mail us your CAT tips and advice at getahead@rediff.co.in (subject line: 'CAT Tips') and we'll feature the best responses right here on Rediff.com.

Please click NEXT to continue reading...




     Next

CAT 2013: 10 last minute tips to ace it!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

2. Analysis is must

After every CAT mock test, you must analyse your performance and evaluate your scoring areas based on CAT question pattern.

The analysis of your mock CAT paper will bring clarity on your strengths and weaknesses.

IIM Rohtak student Lovin Mahajan, who scored 99.89 percentile in CAT 2012, says, "Analysing the number of questions not attempted and reasons for the same can help you improve your performance with every mock test."

You also must go through the explanation of answers and see whether you already knew the core concept for solving each question.

You should list down the questions which you could not solve despite having the conceptual clarity on the same.

Once you know these areas according to CAT test pattern, you must go back to the textbook or your CAT preparation material and revise the concepts along with practicing a few questions on the particular areas. This exercise will help you reap the hard work that you have been putting for CAT preparation for last few months.

Sharing his CAT preparation tips, Kamlesh Sajnani, Managing Director, IMS Learning Resources in an interview to careers360.com had said that more important than taking the mock CAT test is its analysis.

"If you don’t learn from each test before proceeding to the next, there is no point in taking a large number of them," he says, adding, “Try out various strategies for each test such as dividing your time equally in each section or spending more time on the weaker sections by working quickly in the stronger sections. It is also important to attempt a variety of tests because you may score well in a test that is more suited to your strengths while the CAT may carry more questions of the kind you are uncomfortable with. An exposure to range of problems and the rationale behind them will ensure that you are better prepared."




Prev     Next

CAT 2013: 10 last minute tips to ace it!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

3. Focus on strength

Going by your own evaluation, you must focus on your strong areas and build on the same.

As most of the questions in CAT paper are based on the application of basic concepts, learning both concepts and application at this stage is not advisable.

Instead, you should put all your efforts towards the areas which you have nearly been able to control and solve questions on the same.

PT Education Chairman Sandeep Manudhane advises that you should not touch new topics just before a few days of your CAT day.

"As CAT is less than 10 days away, now you must leave the topics that are uncomfortable to you," he says, adding, "your complete focus should be on revision and maintaining speed."




Prev     Next

CAT 2013: 10 last minute tips to ace it!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

4. Practice a lot

CAT experts suggest that you must practice a lot in last few days so that you can make an instant connect with the question during your CAT paper.

Regular practice with a scheduled stretch will not only help increase you question solving speed but also make you habitual to sit for about three hours during your CAT paper.

"Hard work will be the key to success. Practice as much as you can. Luck does play a role in the exam but do not expect it to favour you unless you really deserve it," says CAT topper and IIM Bangalore student Ravi Chandrakar who secured 99.58 percentile in CAT 2012.




Prev     Next

CAT 2013: 10 last minute tips to ace it!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

5. Set a target, but be open on number of attempts

As you already know the expected CAT 2013 pattern for Quantitative Aptitude and Verbal Ability, you should have targeted minimum and maximum number of questions that you will be attempting during CAT paper.

But experts suggest that you should be open on this number during your actual test.

Though around 20 questions in each the sections can take you to around 98 or 99 percentile in CAT, you should not relax despite reaching your target as last few attempts can bring you much advantageous edge over competitors.



Tags: CAT

Prev     Next

CAT 2013: 10 last minute tips to ace it!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

6. Play smart, find soft target first

As you begin your paper on your D-day, you should begin with the soft target.

With 70 minutes allotted for each section during your CAT test duration, you should first attempt the questions which you can solve quickly.

If you are doubtful on a question in the first glance, you leave it in the first round and come back to it in sequence after you have completed the first round of attempts.

As you quickly solve a few questions, it will instil a higher level of confidence to attempt the difficult questions during the second round of attempts.

IIM Bangalore student Nilesh Gupta who got 99.93 percentile in CAT 2012 and received admission offers from most of the established and new IIMs and other top b-schools like FMS Delhi said the clarity on time management helped him maximise his score during the test.

"I was very clear about few things regarding time management.

In the first section, I attempted all the QA questions which I could clearly solve in the first sight and marked a few which were doable but with a little more thought. Then I got back to the marked questions.

I could solve some and left the rest, proceeding to the DI section.

This section needs a lot of patience and I ensured that I left no question just because of lengthy calculations.

Luckily, I was still left with time after all DI questions and spent the last few minutes reviewing the paper.

In the second section, I attempted all 'Fill in the blanks' i.e. 'Vocabulary-testing' questions first. Then I moved to Para-jumbling and so on before moving to LR. Once everything was done, I started reading the paragraphs and could solve some before the final bell," says Nilesh Gupta.




Prev     Next

CAT 2013: 10 last minute tips to ace it!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

7. Speed is important, but don’t compromise with accuracy

Time management is one of most important part of the CAT testing with prioritisation of questions becoming one of the key areas to success.

As you go on attempting questions during your CAT paper, make sure that you compromise very little on accuracy.

While speed is important to increase your number of attempts, maintaining a higher level of accuracy is even more important to convert your attempts into your score.

Also, achieving a higher level of speed without a high level of accuracy result in negative marking also, making it a double loss proposition with your time spent on the question reducing your overall score by one mark.

CAT has negative marking pattern with three marks awarded for every right answer and one mark reduced for every wrong answer.



Tags: CAT

Prev     Next

CAT 2013: 10 last minute tips to ace it!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

8. Reverse action

In case you find questions a little difficult during the second round of your attempt, you must go reverse while solving the questions and scan the answer options first.

Sometimes, answer options hold crucial clues towards solving the questions.

You can also go by eliminating wrong options first, which reduces the number of answer options making it a little easier to find the right answer.



Tags: 1

Prev     Next

CAT 2013: 10 last minute tips to ace it!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

9. Prepare well before your D-day

You should prepare well before your date with the CAT.

Spend a day before the test in a stress-free environment.

You should meet your friends and relax the way you like.

After your hectic preparations for CAT in last few months, take a day-long break to reorganise your thoughts and D-day strategy.

Forget about your weaknesses and have confidence in what you know.

Apurva Jain who got 99.31 percentile in CAT 2012 and received final admission offers from many new IIMs and other top b-schools like FMS- Delhi, MDI Gurgaon, SIBM Pune, and IMT Ghaziabad, says, "CAT takers should remain confident in their preparation and remain focused."

A day-long break before the CAT day will refresh you, enhance your capability, and enable you to perform to the best of your preparation.

Be sincere, and not serious! And don’t forget to download your admit card.




Prev     Next

CAT 2013: 10 last minute tips to ace it!

Prev     More
Prev

More

10. Be focused and keep calm during the test

Once you enter the test centre keep yourself focused on the test and maintain calm.

"All the hard work done will go waste if you do not focus during the exam. During the exam, it is important not to panic as it would lead to silly mistakes," says IIM Rohtak student Sudha Datla who got 99.48 percentile in CAT 2012.

The CAT paper will only measure your intellect and the kind of effort that you have put.

As you have already made the best efforts, now you need not to worry about results and selections.

Focus on maximising number of attempts with high accuracy. Leave the rest on to your honest effort.

Believe in yourself.

Remember, your chances to crack CAT and enter IIM are brightest this year as compared to the last few years.

According to the official data shared by CAT convener Prof Rohit Kapoor, the total number of applicants for CAT 2013 has reduced by over 10,000 despite the number of seats at IIMs going up from 3220 in 2012 to 3335 this year.

The CAT cut-off percentile for admission to top b-schools is going to come down this year as a lesser number of candidates will be appearing for CAT 2013.

The CAT 2013 results are bound to bring a higher success rate as the number of seats available at IIMs has gone up and competition has come down.

Meanwhile, according to the official CAT data, the availability of seats per 1000 applicants has increased from 11 in 2010 to 17 this year.




Prev     More

Careers360 is a complete education and career magazine offering campus and course reviews, career features, scholarships, expert advisories, entrance exam preparation & solved papers, admission alerts and more.