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Cracking CAT: A reader's experience
Bharat Jhurani
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October 30, 2007

As CAT rapidly approaches, many students find the pressure unbearable.

In order to help you deal with some of the tension, we're publishing previous student experiences regarding CAT. Remember, you're not alone!

Today, Get Ahead reader Bharat Jhurani, who is a first year PGP student at IIM-Lucknow tells us about his CAT preparation:

It was sometime during my second year of college, I made up my mind that I am going to do an MBA, and that too from an IIM. After missing being in an IIT by a whisker, this time I was determined that I am going to get it.

In May 2005, I joined TIME for the super long term, and got used to the CAT way. After winning the scholarship at TIME, I was all the more motivated that I can do it.

The whole of first year of preparation was spent in just getting a strong hold on all the concepts, and reading the newspapers and a Business magazine regularly to improve my verbal. Also, puzzle books started attaining more importance in my life.

The small self analysis that I did in the beginning was:

The real preparation started just 6 months before the actual CAT. I made up my mind that I would never miss a single AIMCAT and also analyse the paper thoroughly after every exam. There was no Sunday evenings for me during that period. It was all spent in solitude in my locked room with me and the CAT paper.

I took about 20 full length tests, and with every passing test my confidence seemed to increase. The results no more affected me, as I was assured that what matters is the D-Day. "Be cool, be confident, and be sure of yourself." These words kept ringing in my years, and this is what I ended up doing.

Of late CAT has become more a test of accuracy and proper integrated application of concepts rather than just a speed test. 75 questions in two and a half hours are not too much at all. Cat has become more of a screener for people who can adapt to new things effortlessly.

In all the tests that I took, one thing I ensured was -- Be it whatever, if it is shock for me, it is more so for the weak hearted. If I am facing trouble, so are the lakhs writing it along with me? So just do your best and leave the rest. It is not how good you do; it is how better you do than the others.

Plan for people writing CAT this year

With little less than one month at your disposal, I would suggest don't pick up any new topics now. Just keep revising the done portion, and practise as much as possible. Try doing problems from every book you can lay your hand upon.

By now, you must have realised your strengths and weaknesses as far as sections are considered. My test taking strategy has been to first try attaining a decent split across the sections and then maximize in my strength section (Quant in my case), though I believe every individual has his own unique strategy and what works for one, may not work for another, you may always try out new things.

The most important things is to take the mock CATS regularly and very seriously, and more importantly make sure that you analyse each one thoroughly. Treat them as the final CAT. So much that Novermber 18th should just be your last Mock CAT!

On a final note, I would just like to reiterate - "Practice hard, and never lose hope". Be cool, calm, and success will be yours.

All the best!

Taking the CAT? Took the CAT in previous years? Just e-mail Get Ahead and share your experiences. We'll publish the most useful and informative pieces over the next month, right up until CAT day.

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